We all know street cars don’t come much tougher than an R32 GT-R. Throw some extra boost down their throats, some wide wheels and tyres, and some lower shocks and springs, and you’ve got a staunch, yet extremely capable street car. Add forged, stroked internals though, and you’ve got an R32 GT-R that can pick up the milk on the weekend dairy run, and scare the big players in our New Zealand’s local time attack series, NZ Superlap.
We’ve known Andy for a wee while now, but we’ve never had the time to crawl over his R32 GT-R, as to be honest, it’s just too busy cutting laps around the numerous circuits we’ve spotted it at. Whether it be Pukekohe Park Race, Hampton Downs Raceway, The Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, or Manfeild, Andy’s R32 is right at home and driven to each one on it’s own power. With a strong love for GT-Rs since Andy was 16 years old, one of his own was always on the cards, however, it wasn’t just the legendary status of the successful platform that drew him in, he explains, “ The technology of their day, looks, and performance drew me in, but mostly the sound.”
After first purchasing this particular GT-R a few whiskers past the turn of the millennium, Andy started modifying it how most of us would; an exhaust, intercooler kit, and en ECU reflash by good friend of Andy’s, Robin at Torque Performance, netted decent figures for the time, however in 2003 the engine broke it’s oil pump. “Soichi Tate of ST Hitec sourced the parts needed for a forged 2.6-litre engine, and with the help of Joe Kyle of Joe’s Mechanical, we built the motor which Soichi then tuned on an A’PEXi Power FC ECU,” Andy tells us.
With a car just over a decade old, Andy was soon turning heads, and the aforementioned upgrades and tuned netted a massive 378kW at the hubs, propelling the GT-R down the quarter mile in 11.1-seconds. However, as adrenalin pumping as drag racing is, Andy soon became bored of drag racing, he says, “I became bored of drag racing primarily due to the stopages from weather and oil downs. I was also ejected from Meremere Dragway before running a 10-second pass. I did however return in 2016 with Soichi, and run a 10.9-second pass at 213kph which was with a more power 450kW tune.”
Having raced several different performance vehicles in the late ‘90s, including a few Hondas and a Nissan Silvia, Andy has always had a love affair with the twists and turns of New Zealand’s circuits. After being invited to a track day in 2004 at the longer 1.3km Taupo circuit, Andy was hooked. So much so, that Andy began hiring his favourite circuit annually for GT-R and Supra owners, which is a highlight of the year for numerous enthusiasts around the country.
“I was an admirer of Scott Kreyl’s Mitsubishi Evolution and Barry Manon’s AE92 Levin at the first Superlap competitions, but I knew my car was not capable of doing that well, so I never intended to compete,” Andy continues, “In 2016 several friends were in the current competition, enjoying great comradery, and I entered the final round at Hampton Downs Raceway. I really enjoyed the event and testing the car, while putting myself under the microscope. Since then, I have taken part in this 2016/2017 series and enjoyed trying to foot it with the best in the local scene with a car that despite its many years of development, is one of the oldest competing and running at what I would call road car ride height and alignment settings with a manual transmission. It’s challenging to get these times from an old car, even with 750hp+ — it still needs to go around corners and stop!”
Currently, Andy’s R32 is at a happy medium, now running a Tomei 2.8-litre stroker kit and twin HKS 2530 Kai turbos outputting 530kW, however there’re some plans on the cards to improve response and performance. A single turbo kit is the plan from this point, but Andy is currently toying with the idea of building something circuit specific. With a passion for touring, putting on tamer tyres and spoilers to enjoy the open road, we think that might be a good idea before things get wildly out of hand.
Whatever Andy decides, with a love for Japanese performance products, high-powered RBs, and the race track, it’ll no doubt be entertaining. All the best Andy, we’ll see you at the NZ Superlap Final round!
- Engine: RB26DETT, Tomei 2.8-litre stroker kit, N1 86.5mm bore, Nismo bearings, head ported to Group A specs, Naprec valves, Tomei Pro Cams, lifters, springs, guides and Ti retainers, Nismo GT intake manifold, Trust 115mm twin entry intercooler, HKS/Blitz induction kit, Slater fabrication piping, twin HKS 2530 Kai turbos, HKS internal wastegates, ARC BOVs x2, 1400cc injectors, HKS fuel rail, twin Aeromotive 340lph main pumps, Sard surge tank, Nismo lift pump, HKS DLi, Splitfire coils, NGK Iridium race plugs, twin HPI 70mm dump pipes, RS*R 70x2 - 85mm ex-mag front pipe, Tomei 90mm Ti exhaust, Tabata 45mm radiator, Auto Staff frost plug delete kit, Sard swirl pot, Nismo thermostat, Trust oil cooler, Link G4+, Dtech Motorsport trigger kit, Continental Flex fuel sensor, Dtech Motorsport boost controller, Trust sump, ATi race damper
- Driveline: BNR34 Getrag six-speed gearbox, Nismo G-Max II twin-plate clutch, Nismo chromoly flywheel, Nismo GT Pro TT rear diff, Nismo GT LSD front 1.5-way diff, BNR32 4.11 final-drive
- Suspension: HKS Racing remote reservoir coilovers, HKS racing springs, Fujimura Ti strut brace, NAMS camber arms and castor. Cusco front sway bar
- Braking: Brembo F50 front calipers, Biot 370mm front rotors, PMU 999 pads, APP lines, V36 330mm rear rotors, PMU 999 pads, Auto Select master cylinder
- Wheels and Tyres: Rays TE37 SL 18x11 (+15) Advan A050 295/30R18 Medium Compound
- Body: KH2 Gunmetal paint, Trust front bumper, First rear diffuser, custom front diffuser, Nismo Group A side skirts, Trust end caps, Sard Fuji GT wing, Do Luck bonnet duct
- Interior: Bride Brix driver's seat, Superior Auto seat covers, OMP Steering wheel, OEM 300kph Speedo, Omori oil temp, pressure and voltage gauges, Blitz boost gauge, Blitz fuel pressure, Cage Fx half cage
- Performance: 525kw at the hubs (1.75bar of boost with an E35 mix)
- Thanks: Soichi Tate, Joe Kyle, Taylor Automotive, Tony Satherley, Dave Heerdegen, my wife Michelle and friends who have helped along the way