The pursuit of perfection is something most mere mortals aren’t accustomed too. You might think you’re close, getting the job done well, but what you don’t realise is there’s another level above that — one that takes years to conquer. A realm fit for the automotive heroes; heros we’ll be talking about for decades to come. Hard work and dedication are traits embedded deep within the McIntyre family gene pool, with Mark Snr and Mark Jnr (Macca) a father and son team on an inspirational lifelong motorsport journey.
Personally, we’ve been following the MSport Nissan Silvia S14 since its inception. Years ago, it looked somewhat similar at a squinted glance, but now it’s a Silvia on steroids and it has just joined Team TimeattackR. Attendees of the second Prowear NZ Superlap Series were in for a big surprise when the MSport Silvia rolled into scrutineering sporting billet centre-locking hubs, wide aero, and a 500kW 2JZ engine on what would be one of the team’s initial shakedowns of the latest package.
From what started as a $3000 Trade Me purchase, Macca and the team have gone to exceptional lengths to produce a competitive package for GTRNZ racing here in New Zealand, with Macca last season taking out rookie of the year two or three seasons ago. With this newfound title, the team knew they’d need to step it up a notch, and decided to completely redesign the Silvia and take it from a road-going based Silvia (albeit rather mental), to a race-bred monster. Which rulebook would they build it too, though?
The Yokohama World Time Attack is no doubt the biggest event of its kind this side of the globe and its one that Macca has been seriously keen on taking on for several years now. With this in mind, it was decided that the Pro-Am class of WTAC would be where the team would steer their build. A seriously competitive class, with drivers dipping into the mid-to-high minute twenties around Sydney Motorsport Park, Macca knew some local knowledge would be essential to being competitive.
Pace Innovations, a Queensland-based business behind the V8 Supercars and the SuperTourer class, set to work designing custom suspension arms and billet uprights, and another Queensland-based business MCA Suspension designed a set of custom-valved four-way adjustable coilovers which would mount to custom pickup points — keeping within the WTAC rulebook.
To complement the recent suspension design changes, the team knew some larger rubber and wheel width would be required. Zak from Carboglass designed a custom wide-body kit for the Silvia, which now swallows 18x12-inch centre-lock wheels wrapped in Hankook Z221 295/30R18 tyres with ease.
The driveline has some similarities to the old setup, with the 2JZ-GTE engine still sporting Wossner forged pistons and H-beam rods, Crow cams, custom porting and headwork, a Borg Warner 9180, an array of Injector Dynamics ID1000 injectors, with NZEFI coil packs — tuned to 500kW at the wheels on 19psi with aviation fuel.
However, the biggest change in the driveline department has been with the gearbox and differential, with the S14 now running a Winters quick-change diff for in-pit adjustment, custom axles and an HGT five-speed sequential gearbox which replaced the older Tremec TKO 600 with Liberty faceplated gears. Hearing the Silvia pluck through gears with the HGT sequential is a sight to behold.
Without a solid support team, builds like this would be too much for two mere mortals on race day. Now, the MSport team have almost full-time support from Macbilt Engineering and the help of Chris from Prestige Tuning & Motorsport — both of whom have been vital members of the team.
“For now we want to focus on developing the car; there is still so much to learn from it. Now with having a lot of Motec gear, there is a lot of data we are able to get which is helping us work on a lot of different areas of the car. We built the car with the goal in mind of being the fastest time attack car in the country so that is another thing we will be working on. We’ll possibly compete in a full GTRNZ season in GT1. As you know it’s a hard class to compete in so really my goal here is to just do the best we can, finish every race and improve on our personal best times at the different tracks with the goal to eventually get to WTAC in 2019.”