After dropping the fourth round of the Prowear NZ Superlap Series due to a few mid-season upgrades, Hans Ruiterman was back in the hot-seat ready for action in the fifth and final round held at New Zealand’s benchmark time attack circuit; Hampton Downs Raceway. Hans has been constantly improving the Silvia throughout and before the season with a unique VCT/NEO VVL SR22 engine — the first of its kind in the world.
The changes didn’t stop there though, as Hans has been developing a stroked VQ35HR-powered S15 Silvia that will be taking on the Yokohama World Time Attack in 2019. During the development of the S15, Hans made some improvements to the suspension geometry, he explains, “from all the suspension research and design work we have been doing on our S15 project, it became apparent that there was an issue with the rear roll-centre height in relation to the front in our S14.5.”
Hans continues, “During the weeks leading up the event, we decided to build the subframe for the S15 and put this into our current Silvia to test. The new subframe has the ability for geometry adjustments and still fits around the stock fuel tank and unmodified chassis rails — making it a bolt-in item.”
“As the current car had previously been well dialled in and now with the geometry adjusted, the balance had changed so there was work to be done. During the event, we changed the front and rear sway bar settings, shock settings and wheel alignment to achieve a perfect balance between understeer and oversteer to suit my driving style. The car now has less of a natural tendency to take weight off the inner wheels under high cornering loads and we are able to soften it up to gain more grip without inducing too much body roll.”
Unfortunately, Hans’ team weren’t blessed with track time at the final with rain and sessions that were cut short, which meant they were unable to utilise and maximise the potential from the new layout. During the event we were supplying Hans with images from various corners, so he could check just how low the splitter was getting to the tarmac and braking and cornering.
Hans is confident the next time the S14.5 is out on track it’ll knock down his previous personal best of 1:06.5-seconds set last year. Hans finished the weekend, and the final with a 1:07.03-seconds, which seems off the pace but is staggeringly quick considering the massive change weeks prior to the event. We’ll keep you up to date during the off-season with any modifications Hans completes, and we’ll no doubt checking out his mental WTAC project.
Hans would like to thank all of his sponsors for their support this season, including; the team at E&H Motors, Gull Sports/Gull NZ, Motul NZ, Pukekohe Auto Spares, Onehunga Panel and Paint, TTi GTO racing gearboxes, Enduro Fit, Devise, Alicia Ruiterman, Theresa Knight, Claire Robinson, Carl Ruiterman, Shaun Judd, Alex Lean, Jedd Mormon, Daniel Burrows, Wayne Cowley, Jason Liefting and David Higgins