I received a phone call from Jeff Ash at C-Red about a week and half ago asking whether or not I had anything last weekend...being the weekend of Perth Autosalon. I said no not really, and he asked if I was interested in entering SILLBEER into Perth Autosalon. I said sure, how much? The reply was nothing, Just Car Insurance was looking for a decent vehicle to be placed on their stand and the organisers went to Jeff to see if he had anything, he said I'm sure I can find something...thus the call to me. So free entry into the show on the Just Cars Insurance stand sounded pretty good to me, so it was all set.
The lead up to the event wasn't so great though. The weekend prior, I was somewhat inattentive on the way somewhere and I gently rubbed up against a median strip putting about 3/4 circumference of gutter rash on both driver's side rims. Read about that here. Luckily Alliance Rim Repairs were kind enough to do a repair to them both within the week and I picked up the rims at 4.30pm on the Friday afternoon before the show.
I cleaned the car while it was on stands in the afternoon, and after refitting the rims I polished it in the dark until it was ready to be placed into the show about 7.30pm.
The show itself was pretty good, Perth Autosalon returning after skipping a year, there was a lot less cars, but feel the quality of those in attendance was up from previous years so that made up for it. There was certainly a lot less LCD TV's stuck in boots (trunks) and bonnets (hoods) this year, but there were still a couple of the 'sexy spec' cars there. Not quite my cup of tea, but the work they put into the cars cannot be sniffed at.
Simon (and the rest of the crew) from Just Car Insurance were all over from the east for the show and really pretty excited about have my car on the stand. Apparently at some of the other shows, the car they were provided were a little under what they were expecting in regards to style and build quality. They all loved it as they new it was a daily driven car and represented what their target market was with regards to insurance people's cars. We were lucky enough to have some promo girls on the stand as part of a promotion they were running and were happy to use the car as a prop.
Of course Simon and I couldn't let them have all the fun. I think we got a call from Cleo magazine later in the day
In the end the show was a great success and I really enjoyed myself. The car got a great deal of traffic going around it and everyone was really complimentary about it - some asking if I wanted to sell it (answer: are you on crack?). Here's a few more shows from the weekend.
Last weekend was the running of the inaugural World Time Attack Challenge at Eastern Creek Raceway (Friday 21 May - Saturday 22 May 2010), just west of Sydney, Australia. It was put on by the same crew that has done Super Lap Time Attack series over the last couple of years, but this time inviting competitors from around the world to come and pit themselves against the best from Australia and each other - all up over 90 entrants. The lead up to the event had a number of big hitters set to come down here, but unfortunately there was some attrition that took place. Given the logistics of bringing a car, supporting equipment and crew overseas and on the somewhat limited budgets of the teams, it was not unexpected, as least from my point of view. Having said that, those internationl players that did turn up, pushed hard and came away winners.
In those travelling from overseas were four cars from Japan, and 1 car from the United States. Japan being where many see as roots of Time Attack (placed fair and square at Tsukuba) we had the Cyber Evo Mitsubishi Evolution IV (driven by Eiji “Tarzan” Yamada), the Tomei/Cusco Subaru Impreza WRX STI (again driven by Eiji “Tarzan” Yamada), the Pan Speed Racing Mazda RX-7 FD3S (driven by Kouta Sasaki) and the Pro Staff R-Magic Mazda RX-7 FD3S (driven by Kinoshita Mitsuhiro). The lone gun from the United States was none other than the Sierra Sierra Enterprises Cosworth Mitsubishi Evolution VIII (driven by David Empringham), having recently beaten the long standing HKS CT230R Evo's record time at Buttonwillow Raceway with a 1:43.43, just nine-tenths quicker than the CT230R.
Being in Perth, the journey to WTAC 2010 started early on Thursday morning with a 4 hr flight to Sydney, jumping into a hire car and tackling for the first time the freeways and toll booths out to our hotel in Blacktown, about 5 minutes drive from the track. Friday had us out at the track nice and early (if not a little seedy from the shenanigans the night before). My overall impression of the event is one that was very well run, with the best trade section I've seen at such and event and a good selection of cars out in the show and shine section too. Being able to get up and close to the back of the pit garages was great, probably something the Japanese can't do at say their Time Attack events which are generally closed to the public. Know this was the first day, I wasn't expecting a great deal in regards to times, as there was still all of Saturday to bang some fast laps in, but gave us all a good chance to take a peek at the teams doing their hard work and see what was available in the trade stalls.
Here's the 1st days pics, note that I'm putting these up in fairly high resolution (1280x960) so you can get a better glimpse at the goings on.
The Advan/Hi Octane Nissan R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R was hyped considerably before the event with plenty of news and the occasional video released showing it go through its shadedown paces. Unfortunately the weekend would see it plagued with problems that would keep it from running to its full potential. Hopefully next year, with much more track testing under its belt, we'll see this monster pushing it to the limit.
The Pan Speed Mazda RX-7 was a consistent performer throughout the weekend, not to mention an absolutely stunning piece of automotive engineering who's presentation was a standout on the weekend second only to the R Magic Mazda RX-7.
The Advan/Hi Octane GT-R coming back into the pits after 1 lap out, this would be a common site for this car which the team did the hard yards troubleshooting the running problems.
This strange looking snake piece is the roof trim from the Cyber Evo, ripped off at high speed down the long Eastern Creek pit lane straight. It just goes to show what sort of speed Tarzan was doing.
The Option film crew was on hand to document the efforts of the Japanese drivers (as well as the others), here seen doing a quick interview with Eiji “Tarzan” Yamada in the Tomei/Cusco Subaru Impreza WRX STI in what I recall was the first session out.
David Empringham in the Sierra Sierra Enterprise is seen here being pushed back into the pit garage after a quick practice session, and I assume still in shakedown/tuning/setup mode.
There were some really nice Mazda FD RX7's out there, one being this black example from Rama Racing driven by Brad Trenwith, and wearing a beautiful widebody kit from Bodyform. The sister car from Rama Racing was a Silver example, both the cars wrapped in vinyl by D&S Auto.
The immaculately turned out Pro Staff R-Magic Mazda RX-7 FD3S driven by Kinoshita Mitsuhiro trundling down pit lane after a couple of practice laps. This and the Pan Speed car were two of the best detailed race cars I've seen, certainly not '12-foot' cars by any stretch (a '12-foot' car is one that looks great from distances 12 feet or more away, any closer and you start to see blemishes).
This is the Prep'd Motorsport Lotus Exige GT3 driven by Warren Luff (a YouTube video of a full attack on Eastern Creek). There was a little bit of controversy about the fact this was a GT3 prepped racecar and it being allowed to race against what are essentially modified street cars, but considering the essentially 'no rules' type of modifications that have been done to the other cars, I thought there was a bit of a overhype on the issue. The more the merrier I reckon.
Tarzan brings the Tomei/Cusco WRX back in after a couple of laps. Again, as with the other Japanese cars, this was an immaculately turned out vehicle. It even turned up on the Autosalon circuit throughout Australia after WTAC.
A rear view of the Rama Racing Mazda RX7. The Bodyform widebody kit really is a nicely put together and design kit with the front guards and side skirts really lending their design from the FD race cars to an extent. And although that rear wing puts a Hills Hoist to shame, it doesn't look out of place given the tool that this car is.
This is a mix of the Motor Magazine Open Class and Yokohama Advan Clubsprint Class entrants lining up for practice. Considering there was over 90 entrants, the variety of different makes and models made for some great spectating and trainspotting.
Being an S13 chassis owner, I was really pleased to see Wayne Sutton in his Nissan S13 180SX Type-X. For what is essentially a late 80's designed chassis (first S13 appeared in 1988), it did extremely well in its class (Motor Magazine Open Class) even beating some of the times set in the Wynn's Pro Class. Not to mention it was immaculate too, with a widebody bodykit and all the essential time attack appendages. Just wish I'd managed to get some better photos (more photos I found on NissanSilvia.com).
As well as the on-track action, there was plenty in the pit paddock to keep any automotive enthusiast happy, from club displays to drift cars, aftermarket parts stalls and shop displays. One car that did catch my eye was this white Nissan S15 200SX/Silvia. The engine bay was immaculate and very well thought out. One item that did peak my interest especially was the placement and piping configuration for the GReddy Type-R Blow-off Valve, an item that I run on SILLBEER, and the cold air box that's been setup to keep initial intake temperatures down.
A close up shows the intricate piping configuration. Present in this pic are the GReddy Type-R Blow-off valve, which has a short return/plumb back into the intake pipe (seen with the K&N Air Filter). Interestingly it's still running the original plastic power steering reservoir. I'm not entirely sure what the tank is behind the power steering reservoir, but the black teflon braided line comes from the cam cover (see above overall photo) and is going to a custom breather can, which itself also vents back into the intake rather than venting to atmosphere keeping this package very much within the Australian ADR engineering guidelines and apart from the aftermarket parts, essentially a factory configuration. Bloody beautiful work whoever you are.
Another item that caught my attention, being another SR20 engine, was this one with an SR20VE/T head conversion. The heads come from either the SR20VE in the Nissan Primera or the SR20VET in the JDM Nissan X-Trail GT and house Nissan's Neo VVL (Variable Valve LIft) - see more on the SR16VE/SR20VE/SR20VET. The conversion allows for greater revs and superior response given a larger than stock turbo.
Well that brings me to the end of the Day one wrap-up. It was a top day, and on the Friday night we headed out and interacted with the locals, with some interesting social interaction witnessed at a local super pub (super because of the 3000 people capacity). There's plenty more to come.
Well it's been a couple of weeks since the Perth Autosalon 2008 event and I've finally found a space to get this update done. Oh, and I do apologise to those following this blog for the tardiness of the updates recently.
Anyways, the event. I must say first off that being able to drive the car to, into and out of the venue this year was a great feeling. Last year we didn't manage to get the car completed before the event (even with the massive two week push before hand). And even though I won the 'Best Overall Engineering' award, it didn't seem right.
Again Jeff Ash, Director of C-Red, asked to have Sillbeer back on the C-Red stand this year (thanks mate), and with the other cars that C-Red had I was in hallowed company. This included another C-Red customer's car '200SXY' (Nissan S15 Silvia/200SX) which took out 'Best Engineered Brakes' and 'Best Vinyl Graphics' this year. C-Red's vehicles included their 'EFO' Mitsubishi Evo VII GTA, a recently started Lexus GS300 with complete Junction Produce makeover and the new legendary 'General Lee Sideways' Nissan Laurel which has copped a 5.7L Holden LS1 twin-turbo conversion. The Laurel took out a number of awards including 'Top-Judged Innovation', 'V8 Highest Power Output' and 'Power Champion (Highest Power Output)' with a top of 502kw ATW!
I had spent the Thursday and Friday before the event cleaning and polishing the car inside, outside and underneath only to have to drive from the workshop to the venue in torrential rain! But as the polish had only just been done and it was rain water a quick chamois off and buff and all was good again.
Now as part of the event, and the fact that the car was a driver, I did take part in both the Dyno and dB Drag Racing components. I have no pics of the db Drag Racing, which is logical considering it's not really exciting and managed to crank the stereo up to a respectable 126.7db taking out 1st place in the 'Street Stock A' class. Not bad for a single 10" Sub-doofer in the boot.
As for the Dyno, well according to most who had run their cars on dyno's the week leading up to the event, it was reading low. But then again, dyno's are there as a tuning tool as opposed to a full on correct measuring system. The dyno used was a Mainline one and is trucked around to all the Autosalon events around Australia. As this was the case, I was estimating around the mid 200hp's for my run. After loading it on and having an initial go, this is the video of the second run.
The end results of 200.3kw (268.6hp) at the wheels was a pleasant surprise. Previously the car has made 251kw (337.4hp) at the hubs on a Dynapack Hub Dyno so it's anyones guess what it really makes. Whatever it is, for a daily driver and occasional track hack it's plenty.
At the end of the show, I did manage to pick up an award for 'Best Wheel Innovation'. Probably not as highly regarded as 'Best Overall Engineering' from the year before, but fitting 18x9.5+10 on the front and 18x10.5+12 on the rear of an S13 Silvia is no mean feat - and an award is an award after all.
All in all I had a cracker of a time and thank my wife and kiddies for letting me do it. Jeff, Marc, Josh, Boney and Armond from C-Red for their help in preparation and on the day and Sequoia (owner of 200SXY) for her support over the weekend too.
Motorvation #22 finished up yesterday. It was a weekend of hot rods, muscle cars, street machines and imports...a few hundred cars in total with some hitting some serious bat. With a bit of a surprise, I didn't leave empty handed either. I picked up 'Best Engineered & Underbody' in the 'Late Model Performance' category. For those not familiar with the underbody, a previous post has a number of photos.
Overall the weekend was brilliant. I got to drive in the motorkhana event out on the grassed infield of the speedway track, making for a very sideways affair. Stupid me didn't wind up the windows, so I ended up with grass getting in all over the back seat somehow. Also went in a couple of the Supercruises which took us down the strip...and although we weren't racing, you could at least open the taps a bit which was just great. I would have done more driving on the Sunday morning, but due to a very liquid night prior, and Motorvation having a 'zero tolerance' policy towards your blood alcohol content (I blew 0.031 prior to my events to check), I was not allowed to drive. No matter, it was probably for the best considering the long day prior being awake for over 20hrs and only 4.5hrs sleep - my reaction times and driving abilities would have surely been impaired. I will know for next year though.
I was part of the SilviaWA (Silvia Owners Club of Western Australia) contingency, and had a cracker of a time with all the crew over the weekend. It was my first Motorvation and many thanks go to Badga and Scott in organising all the components around MV for SilviaWA.
Now it's time to recover. Roll on Powercruise #15 on 11-12th October up at Barbagallo!
Phew, I'm glad that's over. Yep...referring to the hectic lead up to Perth Autosalon 2007 that I had last week. The target was to get the car pretty much 100% completed, but we had to settle for about 85%. Visually it was complete, but due to the short amount of time left over we didn't manage to turn the engine over and troubleshoot in time so we left it at that.
The week started out with a list, and by Friday afternoon I think I'd managed to cross off about 50% of the items...some big, some small. I was just happy enough to get it looking like it should, even if only the rear exhaust section was just hanging on the rubbers. But during this week, I did have the help of some top technicians in the form of C-Red's Marc, Josh and resident welding gnome. Even though they were busy with the three other C-Red cars, they managed to find time to point me in the right direction when needed...I can only say thank you all so much.
Once we had the cars into the convention centre, it was time for me to pay attention to the bodywork on SILLBEER. I had cleaned up everything else before going on the truck, but left the paint until I was in situ. Thanks again go to 200SXY from Silvia...you're tops. Not having had to really worry about show quality paint before, she kindly lent me her Meguires products and microfibre clothes to initially clean the paint work (which was filthy from sitting in a workshop for 2yrs) and then on Saturday morning, the wax to finish the job. I was completely surprised by how much of a difference these two products made. There's still a few blemishes on the paintwork, but with a proper buff and detail I reckon we can turn it up a few notches more.
The weekend was great in all and I came away with an award for 'Best Overall Engineering' which I was surprised at considering the car wasn't even running. But I suppose they saw the quality of parts and work that was put in by all and sundry.
Am I happy with the result so far? You betcha. The comfiness of the interior is what has most surprised me. The use of the R34 GT-R seats was spot on, and the softer materials used in the trimming and carpets has transformed an interior that I remember as being quite dated, cold and hard to something that you don't mind spending time in. Of course the quality sounds coming from the thumping stereo help.
So to end this post, I'd like to thank a few people. First and foremost would be my wife and three kids for supporting my efforts thus far with the car...you patience has been worthy of your own trophy. I've already thanked the boys at C-Red, but additional thanks go to Jeff Ash, the MD for C-Red...cheers buddy.To Roy Robinson - now heading up Kensei for his work and support in the earlier stages of the project (larv ewe). To Greg Dally for sitting in during the early parts of this year and knocking a lot of work off the list. To Pete and Chris at Trimcare for doing an awesome job on the interior trim work and carpets. Daniel Jurkovic from Audio Addict for his immaculate work with the stereo install. Phil Foster from A.F.M. Enterprises for helping out with some final painting bits (he also painted the C RED S14 with 1JZ). SilviaWA members for continuous support and kind words. And last but not least...myself, cause it was hard work.
Where to from here you might ask? Engine will be first off the rank followed by a run-in tune. Then we'll be getting the help of an engineer to see what we need to get done to have it all registered. Then some kms to run everything in and shakedown support systems. And somewhere in there a decent alignment and tweaks to the suspension to get a baseline to work from with regard to tuning the chassis.
Well this last week has been nuts trying to get ready for Autosalon this weekend. The kit and stereo are in, but there's been many many small things to do. Made a list at the beginning of the week, and I'm only half way through it so a few things will need to be missed unfortunately just to get it to the show in a worthy state.
So the next time I see you I hope to have heaps of photos to show you from the show.