Feb 7, 2008 | NZPC

pc news citroen

Citroen’s quadruple FIA World Rally Champions Sebastien Loeb and co-driver, Daniel Elena, will make their 100th WRC start in Sweden this weekend.  Frenchman Loeb and Monegasque, Elena, are the most successful pairing in WRC to date, with 37 wins from their 99 starts. They also hold the records for most wins in one season (10 in 2005) and the longest run of consecutive wins (6 in 2005).

The pair, who contested their first rally together 10 years ago, have notched up a massive 61 WRC podiums on their way to a reliable 85% finishing record.  Only Carlos Reutemann has ever set a better starts to podiums ratio, in the 1980s.

Loeb and Elena have won the last four WRC titles, and altogether have triumphed on 17 different events — 12 rallies on the current WRC calendar plus previous rounds in Sanremo, Portugal, Ireland, Cyprus and Australia.

Sebastien is also the only non-Nordic driver to have won the Swedish Rally, in 2004, and he and Daniel will be looking to continue their perfect start to the ’08 season, having set a brand new record two weeks ago, when they clinched their fifth Rallye Monte Carlo victory.

“Sure, it would be nice to celebrate our 100th start with a win,” observed Sebastien. “But scoring points in both championships will also be important, and I will base my pace on the way the rally unfolds.”

The 2008 Swedish Rally starts in Karlstad on Thursday, February 8.

Feb 7, 2008 | NZPC

in pro virtual motor

If your ride is far too quiet, now you can make it sound like a rally car without offending the fuzz by breaching noise regulations. With government crackdowns on loud exhausts, and the trend towards quieter engines that sound like a sewing machines, wouldn’t it be great to ride along listening to your car sounding like a rally weapon, or a race car?

These sounds are the ones that make your hair stand on end when you start the engine, and now you can get all this through your stereo speakers (better hope it’s a good stereo or it’ll sound rank!)

Virtual Motor from in.pro is a sound module that fits in place of your radio. Run the cables to the engine compartment and it picks up the engine rpm. Set the idle speed and you’re away. Four engine tones are available, and you can change them on the fly with a push of a button, be it a revved-up V8 Italian super sports car, the distinctive six-cylinder sound of a boxer engine, a rally car or formula race car. There’s not an option for a 1000hp GT-R – perhaps there’ll be an upgrade pack in the future. If we all end up driving electric cars through congested streets, this might be the only thing that makes motoring enjoyable.

Feb 7, 2008 | NZPC

park or die

Handy Games (the company that also brought you Marc Collins: American Lesbians), has released Park or Die for mobile phone. Become an extreme sports parking driver in Park Or Die! Impress the illegal street scene with your driving skills and pick up the hottest babe in town!

You are an undercover agent investigating the shady events of a newly founded underground scene. Earn the respect of the gang members by pulling off daring parking stunts and finishing every race in time! Prove yourself in wild duels against the world’s best stunt parkers! Take part in the biggest street events organized by the scene and master your skills in tight slalom courses, fast car races and crazy parking competitions! Experience a movie-like story and feel the heat of your tyres burning on the asphalt! Are you ready? Then Park Or Die!

Park Or Die is out now!


- Wild speed parking action with illegal underground atmosphere

– Hollywood-like story with sophisticated characters

– 25 thrilling missions plus 4 unlockable bonus levels

– 3 varying game modes: parking, slalom and drift race

– Hardcore mode for advanced players

– Highscore and high heels

– Groovy soundtrack

– Destructible car model

– Tutorial

Feb 6, 2008 | NZPC

HKS35 anniversary Lexus

Rees at Japanese Used cars attended the HKS 35th Anniversary celebration at Fuji Speedway in Japan and took hundreds of photos.

You can read a short account of the day here: http://www.performancecar.co.nz/forums/circuit-racing/hks-35th-anniversary-fuji-speedway-27th-jan-08

If you want to have a look at the machinery on show, check out Rees’ gallery here: http://www.autospecsltd.com/HKS%2035th%20Anniversary%20Fuji%20Speedway%20Jan%2008/album/index.html

Feb 6, 2008 | NZPC

audi quattro

The most priceless example of the legendary sports car that pioneered four-wheel-drive for production road cars is Audi UK’s own unregistered car with zero miles, and will never be put up for sale.

So rare is this car – the last right-hand-drive quattro sports car ever made – that Audi is forced to keep it in a secret location and stored in a sealed, dehumidified environment.

An untouched and as new car could actually be worth an unlimited sum to an enthusiast Audi collector. “We would never be able to replace this car and its value to the brand is inestimable” said Jeremy Hicks Director of Audi UK. “Whenever we have exhibited it, we have received a succession of surprisingly high offers, but sadly this particular car, the quattro that started it all for the company in the early eighties, will never be for sale”.

Production ceased on the quattro almost twenty years ago. “We are seeing renewed interest in our classic cars and we fully expect demand for the first Audi quattro to rise dramatically this year,” concluded Mr Hicks.

Intriguingly, Audi has always spelt 'quattro’ with a lower case Q.

Feb 5, 2008 | NZPC

1993 Honda Civic SIR (EG6)

To most people, cars are merely a mode of transport, a tool with which to complete a journey, to get from one location to another and nothing more. Our particular breed of human, however, is different. With us, it’s the car itself that is the journey. To be sure, it is most often a terrible, arduous journey filled with disaster and toil at every turn, but it’s a journey none the less. Joseph McDowall and his 1993 EG6 dubbed FATCIV began their own journey a good five years ago now, back when having a DOHC VTEC Civic SiR was the pinnacle of Honda tuning, especially for the then 17-year-old Invercargill lad. Over these last five years the journey has taken Joe and the Civic from anonymity to minor local celebrity.

Along the way there have been empty pockets and a fair few show trophies. Perversely, this car was only ever built because Joe managed to lose his license after a few less intelligent moments, affording him a bit of spare time and a lot of spare gas money to spend. The car was pulled off the road and work began building one of the country’s top import show weapons.

It wasn’t an easy task, but Joe stuck to his guns and saw the Civic through many different incarnations, finally arriving at the current one by far its most serious.

As you may have seen from event coverage in previous issues, the car was all but finished in the looks department in early ’07. But its mild turbocharged 1600cc engine setup just wasn’t cutting the mustard on the dyno. Joe decided to contact Christchurch tuner of the hour, Spec Development, which took on the task of providing the last piece in the show car puzzle: big power.

As always, it was a mad rush to get the car running leading up to the Christchurch round of the 2007 Auto Salon series. Suffice it to say, Spec Development got the Honda running just in time, winding out a massive 330kW at the wheels. This was all good news for us, as we had long been hanging out to shoot this immaculate machine. So come Monday morning we cornered Joe, pulled out the portable studio lights and got snapping before he began the trip back down to Invercargill.

After five long years this particular journey is nearing its end. Now a total work of art, Joe’s Civic looks amazing inside and out, pumps out some serious decibels and packs ridiculous amounts of power. The question is, what is left to be modified? The answer: not a whole lot. It would appear Joe and his mental Civic have reached their final destination.

Tuning Menu

1993 Honda Civic SIR (EG6)

Engine: Honda B18C 1.8-litre DOHC VTEC, Wiseco forged pistons, Eagle rods, block guard, ARP bolts, upgraded valve springs, Type R cams, adjustable cam gears, custom 4-inch air intake, JG Edelbrock intake manifold, bored-out throttle body, 2.5-inch intercooler piping, Garrett GT3540 turbocharger, Tial 44mm wastegate, GReddy Type R blow-off valve, Racepro intercooler, Spec Performance custom stainless manifold, 1000cc injectors, custom fuel rail, 500hp in-tank pump, 700hp external pump, Spec Performance surge tank, SX fuel pressure regulator, braided fuel lines, Bosch coils, HT racing leads, 3-inch mandrel bent exhaust system, RPS muffler, custom alloy radiator, remote oil cooler, power steering cooler, MicroTech LT8S ECU, MicroTech X4 external ignitor, GReddy Profec B2 boost controller, GReddy turbo timer, MicroTech hand controller

Driveline: Honda Integra Type R S80 5-speed gearbox, Type R factory LSD, Exedy Hyper Single clutch

Suspension: Air cylinder suspension system, 0.5-inch lines, chrome tank, 10-switch box, Nolathane bushes

Brakes: Znoelli dimpled and slotted rotors, factory SiR callipers, race pads

Wheels/Tyres: 18-inch 5Zigen Fighters, Goodyear GSD3 215/35R18 tyres

Exterior: Flared and modified guards, shaved hatch, shaved aerial, smoothed engine bay, vertical swing doors, full custom bodykit, Hilux front bar inserts, Ford 'Envy Green’ paint

Interior: Full custom vinyl interior, Momo bucket seats, Momo steering wheel, Momo gear knob, Auto Meter Sport Comp Tacho, Auto Meter Sport Comp boost gauge

ICE: Pioneer touch screen in-dash head unit, Infinity 6.5-inch components, Infinity 6×9-inch speakers, Infinity amp, MTX 12-inch subwoofer

Performance: Dyno Power — 330kW (450hp) @ wheels

Feb 5, 2008 | NZPC

1989 Nissan Silvia S13 - Ice Rage

I’ve experienced some fairly cold weather over the years and to be honest, I thought I was pretty capable when it came to braving the elements. But during our trip to Christchurch to cover the NZPC magazine South Island Champs, I was proven very wrong. Yep, it was cold down there — f****n cold!

On the Saturday night, over a couple of cordials, local meteorological expert Big Dave from Indy Cars assured the NZPC crew there was no threat of bad weather. Literally one minute later, as Giant Jaffa-sized lumps of hail belted down from above, it was fair to, as usual, say he had no idea what he was on about!

For the next three days, the temperature didn’t get above five degrees. Us hardened Auckland lads were forced to not only don all the hoodies and jackets we’d bought down, we even had to head out and buy gloves! sad I know!

So you can imagine our bewilderment when we met up with Gavin Bath, the owner of this Nissan, wearing a T-shirt and cap! (Oh yeah, he did have pants on too, but you get what I mean.) Hell, they definitely make them tough down those parts, and not just the locals — the cars too. Just look at Gavin’s immaculate S13.

Mind you, this slide-spec stunner wasn’t always the pristine machine you’re peering at now. Before Gavin got his hands on it the Silvia had been subjected to a fairly hard life. Starting out as the weakling of the pack — a 1.8-litre NA automatic — saw the dark blue beast lagging right from the outset. And as it aged things didn’t get any better, as somewhere along the way the tired CA18DE shat its pants once and for all.

The rest of the engine and associated bits and pieces didn’t require the same level of ingenuity, because the twin cam mill is in relatively standard spec. Internally, the block and head hardware is of the stock variety, but on the outside a few tasty touches have been added. For starters a K&N filter feeds stacks of chilly southern atmosphere through Gecko intake piping before it gets tumbled through the standard T28 turbo.

Lurking inconspicuously behind the front bumper is a R32 GTR intercooler, which subjects the charge to a brisk frisk before it meets up with the boom juice for a good time.

Speaking of that explosive stuff, it makes its way to the 480cc injectors in fine form thanks to a Walbro 255-litre-perhour in-tank fuel pump and a Nismo fuel pressure regulator.

At this stage the standard ignition system and ECU still kick everything into life, but once the combustion commotion has taken place, the leftovers are delivered cleanly and quickly to the world: first through the XS Power stainless exhaust manifold, which flows into a three-inch Gecko Racing exhaust and stainless bullet muffler. It’s a cool sounding exhaust too, but you know what’s even cooler? The engine — thanks to a S14 radiator with electric fan.

The under-bonnet appearance is nothing to sneeze at; in fact, it’s bloody immaculate! Of course the re-spray in 2K white lifts the visual appeal, but so does the de-looming, polished plenum, Gecko Racing catch tank, lasercut stainless cover and polished everything else.

On a recent dyno run this tidy machine cranked out a respectable 191kW at the wheels on one bar of boost. Not too shabby at all, and it gets it all to the road very well thanks to the R32 Skyline GTS-t limited slip diff.

There’s a few other changes in the driveline area too, such as a modified re-balanced prop-shaft, a modified gearbox cross member and the fitment of GTS-t Skyline drive shafts and fivestud rear hubs. The front hubs also received the treatment — being swapped for S14 Silvia Ks hubs and spindles. This meant Gavin could now fit the wheels he wanted — none other than 16×8-inch R32 GTR forged alloys wrapped in Toyo Proxes rubber.

You know what else it meant? Skyline brakes all round — R32 GTS-t rotors and four-pot callipers on the front and R32 GTS-t rotors and two-pot callipers on the rear. Gavin also saw to it that custom handbrake cables were part of the mix.

Suspension-wise, the S13 Silvia gets its nice ride stance and fantastic handling characteristics from BC Sports adjustable coil-overs on all corners.

These quality components are height, preload, camber and dampening adjustable, which allows Gavin plenty of flexibility to set the car up for every application, be it everyday street use or full-on track/drift action. And he didn’t stop by merely fitting the coil-overs either. No Sir, because the Silvia now makes use of Whiteline radius rod bushes, Whiteline 'Pineapple’ sub-frame bushes and Gecko Racing adjustable top arms, tie-rod drop joints and rack end spacers (for more lock).

While most would have shunned this already unloved machine, Gavin looked beyond the ropey exterior and rooted motor as he could see a bit of life still lurking in the old girl. It would take a decent amount of work before he’d be seen out in public with her though. Nevertheless, he parted with 1000 notes and took her home.

From the outset of the build project Gavin had a clear plan. He wanted a tidy streetcar, with no body kit for something different, and plenty of power to boot. The poked 1.8-litre pussbucket was never going to help him out in that department so something with a little more spunk was welcomed to the family! a two-litre turbo SR20DET fresh from a S15 Silvia.

The engine is arguably the best move Gavin could have made in terms of bang for buck. And given the ease of conversion, all the ticks were lining up in the positive column. There was one problem though — the engine and matching six-speed gearbox didn’t come with a diff. The S15 has its speedo drive in the diff, so Gavin had to make a custom one, but how did he do it? He used a proximity sensor off a Volvo truck that picks up from the bolt heads on the prop shaft flange! simple really!

Just like the suspension, the exterior of this Nissan was very well sorted. From the outset Gavin knew he wanted it to be immaculate, but a big-arse body kit was never on his wish list. He wanted all the panels to be as straight as an arrow and perfectly coated in super white, super slick paint. For this, Nathan from Straighten Up Panel & Paint got the call up, and after an amazing four days, he had the car straight and coated in 040 Toyota white with gloss black on the roof. The car’s look is super clean and just goes to prove you don’t need a body kit to have a fine looking ride.

Inside, Gavin hasn’t gone too mad, as he’s a fan of the S13’s interior just the way it is. The only additions or changes you’ll really find are an aftermarket steering wheel, Nismo gear knob, an HKS EVC3 boost controller and Cusco spin-turn drift handbrake knob. Of course, there are some tunes in there  too, in the form of a Sony Xplod 50Wx4 headunit and Fusion six-inch component speakers.

This car almost offers an important lesson in life: never disregard the unfortunate or ugly ones, because you never know, you might see them later and they’ll be something you’d give your left nut to have!


1989 Nissan Silvia S13

ENGINE: S15 SR20DET, standard internals, K&N pod filter, Gecko intake piping, T28 turbo, XSPOWER stainless exhaust manifold, Siamese dump pipe, R32 GT-R intercooler, 2.5-inch polished aluminium cooler piping, Samco joiners, GReddy Type RS BOV, Walbro 255lph in tank fuel pump, Nismo adjustable FPR, ASP fuel pressure gauge, factory 480cc injectors, 3-inch Gecko Racing exhaust, 3-inch stainless bullet rear muffler, S14 radiator with electric fan, HKS EVC3 boost controller, engine bay re-sprayed in white 2K, de-loomed

DRIVELINE: S15 Silvia Spec R six speed gearbox, copper/ceramic driven clutch plate, R32 GTS-t LSD, modified/rebalanced prop shaft, modified gearbox cross member, R32 Skyline GTS-t drive shafts/rear hubs (5- stud), S14 Silvia Ks 5-stud front hubs and spindles

SUSPENSION/BRAKES: BC Sports adjustable height/preload/camber/dampening coil-overs, Whiteline radius rod bushes, Whiteline 'Pineapple’ sub frame bushes, Gecko Racing rose-jointed adjustable top arms/toe arms/traction arms, Gecko Racing tie-rod drop joints, Gecko Racing rack end spacers (for more lock) Front: R32 Skyline GTS-t rotors and alloy 4-pot callipers, custom brake lines. Rear: R32 Skyline GTS-t rotors and 2-pot alloy callipers, custom handbrake cables

WHEELS AND TYRES: R32 GT-R 16×8-inch forged alloy wheels (road) R32 Skyline GTS-t 16-inch (track) Toyo Proxes — 225/50R16 on front, 245/45R16 on rear

EXTERIOR: GT-R-style Nismo front grille, all panels straightened, re-sprayed in Toyota 040 white, gloss black roof, flared rear guards.

INTERIOR: Aftermarket steering wheel, Nismo gear knob, Cusco spin-turn drift knob

ICE: Sony Xplod 50Wx4 head unit, Fusion 6-inch components

PERFORMANCE: 191 rear wheel kW @ 1.0 bar 0-400: 13.2 @ 107mph


Gavin Bath

AGE: 22

OCCUPATION: Design Engineer

PREVIOUSLY OWNED CARS: MKII 1100 Escort, MKII 1600 Sport Escort, Nissan Pulsar GTi DREAM CAR> F1 car, with the job to go with it! (Hey, it says 'dream’)

WHY THE SILVIA?: “I’ve always loved Nissans. This one is lighter than the R32 with better balance. I love the look of the S13 too — it’s got a modern interior for the age.”

BUILD TIME: 9 months


GAVIN THANKS: Mum & Dad, Ritchie, Ben, Craig, Bryan, Mike and Nic, Moose, Trev, Dr Prong, Henry, Gene and Steve @ Firestone, Nathan @ Straighten Up Panel & Paint, Aaron (Azztech Enhancements), Craig (South Island Bearing Distributors, Nicol (Quik Performance), Goff (Hi-Tech Sheetmetals), NZEFI, special thanks to Ben – Team Gecko

Feb 5, 2008 | NZPC

rally sweden 2008

The first day brought the expected but nevertheless unusual mix of ice and gravel in a combination that made the stages very tricky and unforgiving. The surfaces were incredibly demanding of crews as the traditionally hard-packed and snow-covered roads of this specialist snow event were covered with only patchy ice, revealing the gravel beneath.

The recent warmer weather meant that the snow banks were not as firm and when leaning on them crews risked bursting through into the woodland beyond, and a premature end to their rally. Without the buffer of the hard-packed banks usually experienced here, the narrow speed tests left no room for error and drivers did not use them as normal to help guide their cars through the fast bends.

“Today was not what you might expect from a route that is normally covered in deep snow. It’s a tough challenge for crews to adapt to and we have already seen some of the front-runners fall” said Team Principal David Richards. “Petter is in a solid position, and Chris will continue to fight for Manufacturers’ points but tomorrow will be a very different day and will present a whole new set of challenges. I am also very pleased to see Mads Ostberg in one of our private cars running so strongly in sixth place.”

Solberg started the rally strongly, winning his opening 1.9 kilometre head-to-head battle against local hero PG Andersson around the Karlstad trotting track on Thursday night. Overnight leaders of the rally, he and Mills delivered a consistent performance to avoid problems and mistakes on their way to finishing fifth overall in conditions that demanded absolute focus and precision. Pushing hard to achieve the second fastest stage time on the second running of the Karlstad spectator test, the duo finished the day pleased but wanting more tomorrow.

“I’ve been driving to my pace all day today, going as fast as we can in these conditions” said Petter Solberg. “They’re very strange as the first few stages this morning were good and icy but this afternoon was full gravel with lots of water in the ruts. If you go one hour north there’s 1.5 metres of snow, but in the stages there’s not that much. I think tomorrow will be warmer as well so we will see how the conditions in the stages are. Grip is very very tricky so it was very tough today. We’re going flat out, so we will see what happens tomorrow and Sunday.”

Atkinson started Friday’s first stage matching Solberg’s stage time, however on the morning’s second stage he slid wide on a narrow section of road and ran into a snow bank exiting a corner. As the banks are softer than normal, instead of guiding the car back onto the stage, it gave way and beached the Impreza. Undamaged, it nevertheless took the pair 15 minutes to free themselves of the soft snow and rejoin the stage.

“The conditions were very hard today” said Chris Atkinson. “The slide into the bank was quite a surprise for me. I wasn’t feeling entirely comfortable with the car in the conditions, which were a mixture of snow and gravel and so made the level of grip tricky. We would normally have made some changes at the midday service, but here we are only allowed to change tyres and refuel (in a remote service) so there’s not much you can do. The roads are so narrow here, and we can’t use the snow banks as they’re too soft. They’re very fast, so if you step a little off-line there’s just no room to sort it out before you’re off. Our focus now is on gaining manufacturer points by the end of Sunday. We’ll make some changes tonight and start again tomorrow.”