Images: Damian Smuts
We’ve been eagerly awaiting this moment; boost, and more of it, inside the highly-strung, fully-built 4G63 that resides between the strut towers of Kat’s Evo VII. Last season was a tease, but now with more power in the mix, it’s a season we’ve been looking forward too. As always, the Evo looks fantastic out on track, with an instantly recognisable livery and a pace that can’t be missed. As with any build though, there are the risks involved with increasing power to new heights. Last season, a dog-engagement gear-set was installed in preparation for the brutal power it now packs, but unfortunately, a smaller driveline issue would spell the end to round one for Kat. It’s always nicer hearing it directly from the driver in question, so over to you Kat!
Last season, our team made a ton of changes to the Burger Fuel Mitsubishi Evo VII. With a new engine, turbo, ECU, and gearbox package, the goal was to get used to the car and push myself as a driver to consistently run the fastest times capable at the power and grip levels available to us.
Now that I was comfortable in the seat, we decided to let the engine breathe for the 2018/19 NZ Superlap Series. To do this, we’ve introduced some extra boost which the engine welcomed returning a healthy 506kW at the wheels. The E&H built, PPM Racing, Link Ecu, Sinco Customs and BorgWarner EFR8374 combo just wants to keep making power but we erred on the side of caution and dialed the power back to 480kW until we are able to make further modifications to the head to prevent any lifting issues.
A weather forecast for thunderstorms at round one of the series opener at Hampton Downs was putting a “dampener” (punny right) on our anticipation for the first time on track in months. But with the new found power and recently rebuilt gearbox, I still couldn’t wait to get out there and smash some laps.
The first morning session was on a fully wet track, and we were struggling with some issues over-rotating on corner entry, but still managed to battle through them and get in some recon laps.
The weather was kind to us and gave a break to the rain for our next session of the day, and I was eager to get back out and really push the Evo to its limits. With a drying track and new semi-slick tyres, I was able to cut down considerably on times from the previous session, but couldn’t quite catch a flying Brady Wild who set the fastest time of the session in Pro Street.
Still battling oversteer issues we wrapped up the day and came back to the pits to make a plan for the second day. Back in the pits we had a quick check over the vehicle and couldn’t find any issues with the setup, but the GPS logging was showing all of our corner speeds were way down on previous data.
Alignment was still fine and the only thing we found was a small leak from the rear diff which we thought at the time was due to overfilling. The next morning we arrived and straight away realised that the small leak was more than just that, with a pool of AYC fluid and gear oil under the car. The rear differential casing had multiple cracks and was seeping fluid. With no replacement available, we were forced to retire early. A new diff is already on its’ way, and we will have the BurgerFuel Evo VII back up and running within the week, ready to really push the limits at Taupo for round two. Thanks again to my sponsors and crew for all your help and support - Mega Love KBR XO
If you want to follow Kat’s time attack journey, you can do so here.
With only a few small upgrades and repairs needed before round two, we’re excited to see what times the Evo and Kat can pull off in Taupo!