Friday, July 1, 2011

New Project: Time Attack Car

With the R33 GT-R rebuild nearing completion, its time to to start a new project. It has always been my intention to purchase, rebuild and track a car. Basically, I'm looking for a road legal track car to carry out time attack runs in Sepang International Circuit (SIC). Now the next question is, what car to get?

Unlike in Australia, the UK or the States, we Malaysians are shafted when it comes to used cars. In Australia for example, you could purchase a decent road legal Nissan S13 or S14 for as little as RM10,000 - RM15,000 ringgit. Due to the high Malaysian import tax on cars (300% import duties on all foreign cars), used car prices are similarly affected. What this means is that a used S13 or S14 will probably cost three times as much in Malaysia a compared to a similar car in Australia. This makes it a challenge for the average person to pursue his or her motoring dream, to build a drift machine or to own a dedicated track car.

We now move on to the question of what make and model would be suitable for a time attack car. I've narrowed it down to a few budget (and not so budget) vehicles, seeing as this should be cost saving exercise. After all, a time attack car would require a further outlay of money in order to make it track ready.

And here are the contenders with their pros and cons:

  Nissan S13 Silvia Coupe

  • Good RWD base to build up from
  • Easy to get power out of the Nissan SR20 engine
  • Option to retro-fit parts from other Nissan models
  • Massive amount of aftermarket parts
  • Huge supply of halfcuts and spare parts that are already in Malaysia
  • Can be expensive to purchase
  • Difficult to find one in good condition and tastefully modified
    Honda Integra DC2

    • Light weight
    • Rigid chassis
    • Loads of aftermarket parts available
    • Plenty of halfcuts and spare parts that already in Malaysia
    • Its a FWD, meaning the front wheels have to not only steer the car but also slow it down
    • A bit expensive to produce big power being an N/A car
    • Parts can be expensive

         Mazda MX-5 (First Gen / NA)

        • Extremely capable chassis
        • Engine responds well to mods, especially when turbocharged
        • Manual units are rare in Malaysia
        • Turbo kit has to be sourced from abroad (costly)
        • Not as many halfcuts and spare parts compared to the other cars on this list
        • Cars in good condition still command high prices
        • Standard 1.6 N/A engine is gutless and seriously lacking in torque

        Subaru WRX GC8

        • Great AWD race car platform
        • Capable car even in stock form
        • Option to retro-fit parts from STI models
        • Expensive to purchase
        • Finding one in good condition is difficult
        • Parts aren't cheap
        • Stock GC8 WRX gearbox is crap
        • Full STI conversion costs a lot of money
        • Can be expensive to get big power out of the Subaru EJ engine

         Mitsubishi Evo II to VIII

        • Amazing AWD race car platform
        • Very capable even in stock form
        • Some models are 'race ready' (i.e. Evo VI Tommi Makinen Edition)
        • Very expensive to purchase
        • Difficult to find genuine Evos in good condition
        • Will be expensive to produce big power after a certain point

        So which car to get? Find out in the next blog posting!


        Jonathan K said...

        Maybe a HachiRoku with SR transplant would sound great? Lightweight + Powerful engine + FR = Great Handling and Superb Power to Weight Ratio

        Temujin said...

        The AE86 is a good platform to start with.

        But with its ridiculous price, better get the S13 (which J already did btw).

        AE86 (4AGE n/a engine) = RM45k (if ur lucky to find one in good nick)

        S13 (SR20DET turbo engine) = 45k

        Obviously the best bet would be the S13 in my books.. :)

        brigadecar said...

        Whilst a abate physique repairer may address if it comes to bargain pricing, it's account belief up what you are giving up for the account of a few admirable pounds.

        Second Hand Cars in Bangalore