In a sea of 1000-plus horsepower drift cars, there is one driver who, year after year, shuns the changes the sport is going through in the USA and returns to the American Formula Drift paddock to compete behind the wheel of his cult status Toyota 86. Sit back and check out this feature-length documentary on Taka Aono and his flying 86.
With the release of NZ Performance Car 209 we thought it proper to put up a few wallpapers for you to enjoy this month. You can find full features on all four cars in NZ Performance Car 209, which is on shelves now or available online via a subscription from www.giveamag.co.nz
Photo: AJ Grasso
Dunedin-based driver Emma Gilmour will be taking on the world when she competes in a new two-car team with world champion driver Rhys Millen. She’ll be competing in 10 Global Rallycross Championshiop (GRC) rounds in the United States this year.
In a sport usually dominated by men, Emma will be making her mark as the first female to compete on the dirt- and tarmac-based circuits throughout North America in the GRC. But then there’s more — she’ll also be one of two women, the other being Australia’s Sarah Burgess, to race in the X-Games in June.
We all know our esteemed editor has a bit of a soft spot for old Zeds, so when this video of Chris Forsberg drifting his own RB-powered 280Z (S30) popped up this morning, he spent the next 20 minutes showing it to everyone in the office. There’s nothing quite like seeing old school Japanese tin on opposite lock!
Five years in the making, this FD RX-7 is one car you won’t forget in a hurry
Growing up in small-town rural New Zealand can leave teenagers with not a lot to do in their spare time, and we’d hazard a guess that’s at least partly what’s led to the term ‘misspent youth’. Some drink, some fight, and others find solace in terrorizing back-country roads with high-speed runs, drifting, burnouts, and, often as a by-product, police chases. It’s the bio of many who now keep their driving antics on the track.
Max Flower grew up in rural Waikato, and his teenage years took a similar path, as the NZPC team came to learn during the shoot. Max had plenty of tales to tell of his own misspent youth, with most of his teenage years passing without a licence and handing over considerable amounts of his weekly wage to the Ministry of Justice, which is just how he came to be nicknamed ‘Mad Max’ by a friend’s mum. However, as many others have found, there comes a time when you have to decide call it quits and, for want of a better term, ‘go legit’. For Max, it all came to a head with one final brush with the law that involved a police chase through the Hamilton streets, as he explains: “I decided I was never going to do that again, and that I needed to build a track car. I wanted something that could be competitive in not only drifting but drag racing, burnouts, and the show scene, doing a bit of each while setting up the car before committing 100 per cent to drifting a year later.” With his mind made up to give away the street antics, his 447kW (600hp) Series 5 RX-7 was put up for sale in 2008, and subsequently on-sold to a new owner.
If you haven’t already grabbed your copy of NZ Performance Car 209, which is now in-stores, here is a little teaser of what you can expect to find. On the cover we have the hardest-working couple in New Zealand drifting Drew Donovan and Jodie Verhulst. For the Team DMNZ cover shoot we knew we needed a special location, thanks to Drew having a word in the right ear, we were handed the keys to the decommissioned Meremere power station. Much like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory, we have always dreamt of what lurked inside. There may have been no Oompa Loompas or Wonkavision, but we did find a huge open expanse of a building to blast two competition drift cars around in. You can check out the DMNZ video from the day HERE. Amongst tearing the place up, we did manage to sit down and have a chat with Jodie and Drew about the ups and downs involved with competitive motorsport, and get the low-down on the teams LS2-powered Nissan S15 and 2JZ-GTE-powered Supra
Welcome to the Weekend Workshop, a place where you can save some cash by getting your hands dirty.
These tech guides aim to arm you with the necessary info and knowledge to get out there and give it a go yourself, with no professionals needed, and at a price tag that won’t break the bank. This month we delve into a bit of weight reduction, with the goal of removing sound deadening from a KE70 sedan destined for a bit of weekend track work.
The removal of sound deadening is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to lose weight from your ride, thanks to the smart cookies who figured dry ice would freeze it off. Coming in at around 78 degrees Celsius below freezing, ‘dry ice’ is the solid-state form of the gas carbon dioxide. The best bit about the frozen gas is the lack of residue left behind — it simply melts and returns to its natural gas state, unlike its H2O counterpart. Dry ice comes in the form of pellets about the size of AA batteries.
Due to the 78-below temperature, extreme care must be taken when handling dry ice, as it will burn upon contact with the skin, causing frostbite (not that you will need to cut off a limb straight away, but it will hurt — a lot). This is easily something you can carry out at home, but for demonstration purposes, we have enlisted the help of Keg at DKM Fabrication, on Auckland’s North Shore.
It’s the little details that count with Kerry’s perfect Datsun 1600
About halfway through last year, we were quietly sitting in our office when the phone rang. It was Azhar Bhamji at 4&Rotary on the other end, and after the usual shit-talking, he asked: “Oh hey, do you remember a car called ‘SQWRT’?”
“The blue Datsun from down south that used to win everything at shows?” the Ed. replied.
“That’s it,” said Azhar, “The owner is bringing it back out of retirement for the V 4&Rotary South Island Champs.”
To be honest, with so many cars coming and going in our scene over the years, it can be easy to let some of the less remarkable ones pass from memory, but in the five years since we last saw Kerry Martin’s 1969 Datsun 1600, we’ve never forgotten it. In fact, there’ve been a few times in the office we’ve asked, “Whatever happened to the SQWRT Datsun?” An inch-perfect, tastefully modified, early Datsun packing some pretty serious grunt and a bootful of show trophies isn’t something you forget all that quickly, especially considering we’d never actually managed to get it featured in the magazine.
So, whatever did happen to the SQWRT Datsun, and why has it suddenly reemerged? After travelling down to Nelson for the South Island Champs late last year, we were able to ask Kerry in person, and finally get the angry little blue machine nailed down for a shoot.