Ever since I last got Rodney out onto the circuit a few months back, I have been itching at the chance to get out yet again. However, with a trip to Japan just recently booked, priorities have changed to make sure I can make that happen. However, Caffeine & Gasoline announced that alongside their car meet at Hampton Downs Raceway, they would be letting folk out onto the skid pan and circuit for a bit of fun. The best part? It was CHEAP!
Some friends from work and I made the incredibly straight-forward cruise down to Hampton Downs Raceway to arrive with enough time to hang around before the proposed 11 am track cruising session. This gave me plenty of time to wander around, with the camera in hand, to snap a few photos of the park up. What a turnout!
Keegan, a workmate of mine, was also itching to get his Altezza out for a burn. Now powered by a 380hp 2JZ-GTE engine, it’s got a fair bit more poke than Rodney. It’s got a lot more aero, and suspension mods too. It’s a serious track day weapon when it’s unleashed.
Keegan is collecting parts for his Garrett TO4Z conversion, which should see the under-stressed 2JZ make north of 400kW. It will also feature a Turbosmart wastegate and 6Boost manifold and eventually be tuned by the Link ECU.
Another weapon in the convoy is Nick’s, what I would call, a sleeper. Although it appears fairly factory on the outside, it packs a recently-built PPRE studded, doweled and bridgeported 13B. When Nick purchased it, it was packing a Master Power turbo and made just over 300kW on wastegate pressure. With the newly-built engine, Nick decided to level up with a 6Boost manifold, Borgwarner S366 turbo and Turbosmart GenV Progate to control boost pressure. We aren’t going to go too much into the details though, as when the final tune is done, we’ll be featuring it on timeattackR.com. Lets just say it’s going to make a fair bit more than it used too…
It was good to see Ethan Lowe of Hi-Power Performance out in attendance in a customer’s car to showcase what the shop is capable of. This R32 packs a fully-built motor and outputs over 600kW at the wheels. It has been known to upset much more powerful cars on the regular. Hearing this machine on song was an experience I will never forget! Click HERE to watch the in-car pull.
Thankfully for me, there was an incredibly diverse range of vehicles parked up. Alfa Romeos sitting next to Nissan Skyline R33 GT-Rs. Where else do you get this kind of Pick ‘n’ Mix?
I’m not a huge motorbike fan to be honest, but, I can appreciate the engineering behind some of the more impressive models out there. (I’m not even sure what model this is? But I liked it!)
On the other hand, I thoroughly enjoyed this custom ‘bike’, whatever it is. How crazy are those exhausts! It must take a lot to keep it that polished.
Another thing that was awesome to see was the amount of kids at the show. From what I have read/heard online/TV, is that younger kids these days aren’t falling in love with cars and bikes in the same way the generation before them has. Who can blame them? Hybrids? Stricter laws? Older licence age? I was ripping donuts in an old Audi around a paddock when I was 14, itching for the day I could legally get onto the road. I even saved up and purchased a ‘big bore’ exhaust when I was 13, which was the start of my passion for modifying.
If you know me, I have a serious soft spot for wagons. I currently own two wagons, which should probably say it all, with one being an SiR Accord wagon, powered by an H23A DOHC VTEC engine, and a Subaru Legacy BP5 GT which packs a turbocharged boxer engine. So, when I stumble upon other high-powered rare long-roof machines, I need to take photos. It’s not even a want anymore. I just need them.
The Nissan Stagea 260RS is by far one of my favourite wagons of all time. The Audi RS2 is at the top, followed by the Stagea 260RS, followed by the Audi RS6 of all generations. Packing an RB26DETT engine found in the GT-R and a five-speed manual pinched from the R33 GT-R, they’re a serious wolf in sheep’s clothing. I have owned two RS Stageas in my time, both packing the slightly less desirable, yet potential-packing RB25DET engine. Oh, what I would do to get my hands on a 260RS!
Another hyper-wagon in attendance was this Evo wagon. Packing the same chassis, engine and driveline as your regular Evos, these are probably one of the fastest, most brutal long-roofs around. This one most definitely has had a fair bit of tickling, as it sounded incredibly angry on the skid pan. Driven well, too!
Life itself wouldn’t be complete without spotting my second all-time favourite car; the Mitsubishi GTO. Not the older, less tech-savvy rear-wheel drive model, but rather the incredibly expensive to own, hard to find parts for, tech-bursting, twin-turbo-packing 1991 model. This particular model was a turbo model, pre-facelift AND red — it doesn’t get better than this! Maybe this year I will get another one?
I am incredibly thankful us Aucklanders and Waikato folk have this facility to use in its entirety once a month. It blew me away with it’s affordability, diversity, and relaxed atmosphere. If you don’t lock this in your calendar once a month, you’re simply out of your mind. I have never experienced a cooler car realm to hang out with mates before. Wanna do skids? Cool! Want to hit the track? Done! Want to park up and watch people drool? That’s catered for too. I managed to get Rodney out to both track sessions, which were ‘cruising’ focused, but still, we definitely got to push our cars to the limit among friends. For $50? amazing!
We need to get behind this event as car enthusiasts in New Zealand. There’s no reason it can’t be a Chrome-style event once a month. There’s no excuse, see you at the next one!