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Car Feature - Steve Ka's R34

Car Feature - Steve Ka's R34 - Affinis Motor Sports

 We're going to be sharing a few of the GT-R's that we've found to stand out from the rest. Sporting a specific style, and function that separates them from the crowd. This one comes from Dino @ Speedhunters, Thanks for the awesome article! 



We’re working hard to bring you our in-depth coverage of the Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge event held last weekend in Sydney, Australia, but after returning to Japan and starting to properly go through all my images, I did come across a few cool car spotlights that I’d like to share with you first.

Let’s get things started with this ex-Powertune BNR34 Skyline GT-R


This Nissan won the Open Class at WTAC when I last attended the event back in 2014, and seeing it stripped of its livery and in a refreshed state on the Hi Octane Racing stand, it was just begging for a closer look. Plus, as much as I like following the wild stuff that happens in the Pro Class ranks, I will always prefer the less in-your-face builds that you always find in the more regulated classes.


I thought it also represented the Australian way of building up a track-spec GT-R rather well. It features a high level of fabrication, a great technical approach in its parts selection, and has a heavy dependency on big power.


The latter is achieved through a stroked RB and a single Precision turbo setup with custom piping feeding a cooled intake charge to each of the six cylinders via a Hypertune manifold. But as soon as next year rolls around its owner, Steve Ka, told us that he will replacing the whole ensemble with a billet engine capable of 1100 HP, up 300 HP on the current power. That’s all channeled to the wheels via an upgraded Albins sequential.


Since I saw the car two years ago it’s had a slight remodelling at the front end with a cleaner lower bumper section topped off with larger canards and a more protruding carbon fiber lip and bigger Topstage V3 rear wing. There’s also a new hood design with six large openings to help channel air out of the engine bay.


The front fenders are modelled after the Nismo Z-tune items, but the tapered out corners are where the similarities end. These are wider and sport a cut lower section to expose the modifications made to the chassis to help air flow cleaner under and around the car. It sits on bronze RAYS Volk Racing RE30s wrapped in Hankook Ventus semi-slick rubber. It’s hard to miss the 6-pot AP Racing calipers and 2-piece J-hook grooved rotors too.


It’s pretty serious business in the interior where there’s absolutely nothing left from a stock BNR34. Aussies take their roll-cages pretty seriously and always try to bring them up to international standards, as race tracks and series in Australia are far stricter on this side of things compared to Japan for example. So sitting among the complex multi-point cage is a custom dash equipped with a MoTeC C187 color display, an adjustable pedal box and pretty much nothing else.


Except the driver’s bucket seat and the Albins sequential transmission shifter, of course.

Here’s a quick video of the car testing at Sydney Motorsport Park for last year’s event. Steve, who’s also the driver, will be back out on track at WTAC 2017 as he continues to test and refine this rather special R34, not happy until he gets his beast to lap in the 1 min 27 sec bracket.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino

Car Feature>> Garage Ito Prostock GT-R

Car Feature>> Garage Ito Prostock GT-R - Affinis Motor Sports

You are looking at one of the most far out GT-R time attack projects ever created. It cost a massive $350,000 to build and has yet to see the light of day on a race track. It all started back in 2006 when Hiroya-san, a very good customer of Garage Ito in Osaka, decided to see if he could challenge the lap time record at Tsukuba set by the HKS CT230R. Hiroya-san is a very successful business man, and with his company pretty much taking care of itself he decided to dedicate some more time to his passion, cars. On top of having Ito-san build him the craziest BNR34 the tuning industry has ever seen, he also decided to set-up his own tuning company in the outskirts of Tokyo.  This is how ProStock Racing was born, now an established tuner catering to GT-Rs and Zs of all generations. But the question remains, what on earth ever happened to his mighty red R34?

Before we get into that let's take a closer look as this GT-R, with some in-depth pictures that show the amount of work that went into this build. Ito-san of Garage Ito was given simple instructions, whatever needs to be done to make this car the fastest, do it. Hiroya-san has bucket loads of determination, the kind of drive you often see in successful men. He has nothing to prove with this car, which is kind of obvious as he has yet to use it! With a long list of exotic cars parked in his garage this was always going to be his toy, a car that was custom built to his specifications, a dream that was turned into reality.

Ito-san got started on the stripped V-spec II N1 base chassis by strengthening weak areas with custom fabricated plates and lots of spot welding. You can see the boxed off areas around the front wheel arches, which have even been cut in order to stiffen the turrets and allow the custom suspension layout to fit. Custom engine mounts were created to position the engine a massive 20 cm rearward and a few centimeters lower, to help shift some of that heavy front end weight balance towards the center of the car. This might sound like as simple thing to do but due to the unusual oil-sump & differential housing layout of the RB26…

…a lot of work was required to keep the front drive shafts in line with the wheel hubs. This led to a custom sump being created with the main reservoir section moved rearwards. This also required a custom oil pick up and baffling to be designed and fabricated. The weigh balance benefits made all of this work worthwhile. But from the above shot you can clearly see the custom work didn't exactly end there! Hiroya-san called in the help of suspension specialists Ikeya Formula who were asked to create a custom adjustable suspension links. Up front the multilink set-up was replaced by a sort of double wishbone layout, which in turn needed custom mounting points on the chassis. Ito-san took care of the upper mounts when reinforcing the suspension turrets, while the lower mounts called for a whole new tubular sub-frame to be created. 

Adjustable stabilizers were also designed and the stock steering rack had to be moved back, so Ikeya Formula also needed to make pivots and pillow-ball tie rods, which you can see in the above picture. The race-spec Quantum dampers complete the transformation.

Any old brake kit wasn't going to cut it so Ito-san fitted Brembo Racing magnesium-alloy 6-pot monobloc calipers. This top of the line system, usually found in GT cars, uses lightweight titanium pistons. The 2-piece ø380 mm rotors and billet caliper mounts were made by Rdd.

At the rear ø355 rotors are employed along with 4-pot Brembo Racing calipers of the same quality as the fronts. Above its possible to see the custom work that has gone into creating and stiffening the wheel arch and suspension turret, and how most of the rear chassis section has been removed.

Like at the front, the rear stock subframe was eliminated and replaced with a custom tubular one fabricated to allow the double wishbone layout to be fitted. Ikeya Formula also made up adjustable stabilizers for the rear.

Shaving weight off was a big priority and almost 400 kg were removed thanks to all the custom suspension and chassis work, not to mention the dry-carbon body. Everything you see is custom made, every panel weighing in at a few kg, including the doors, where a great deal of the weight was removed from. Even the headlights were eliminated! The massive front spoiler is there to help generate lots of front downforce…

…with the rear end being sucked down by the diffuser, as well as pushed down by the massive carbon wing which is directly mounted onto the chassis. Wheels are of course Rays Engineering TE37s, 10J by 18-inch and wearing Yokohama Advan A048 tires in 265/35/ZR18 size at all four corners.

With the engine having been pushed back 20 cm the whole driving position was also shifted rearward, including the pedals and the extended steering column. The interior is really pure race car, the central tunnel custom built to offer more rigidity and house the 6-speed Hollinger sequential transmission. The Recaro SP-A sits in line with the B-pillar just like it would on a Super GT car and there is only one piece of instrumentation, a Motec data logger LCD display unit fixed onto the dry-carbon dashboard. The roll cage is pretty hardcore as you can see.

These are the two levers that adjust the front and rear stabilizers.

The HKS T04Z was chosen for the engine build, as it would have no problem supplying the 650 HP Ito-san and Hiroya-san were shooting for.

When I shot the car in the summer of 2007 the engine wasn't yet fully connected up with all the various piping and ancillaries, which was kind of cool as it was easy to see all the little details that make this one hell of a special BNR34! Notice how the custom ARC intercooler sits behind the radiator (another one-off ARC item), there to help give the best throttle response possible seeing how short the titanium piping could be kept in such a configuration. The HKS Step III 2.8L engine is built around an RRR block, known as the GT Block as it was used on the GT500 racing GT-Rs years ago. The HKS 272º cam on the exhaust side is joined by a V-Cam system on the intake which should make the engine develop lots of mid-range torque for optimal response and explosive acceleration.

The titanium exhaust is obviously custom, and a little on the short side (who said exhaust need to be long!) ending up pretty much where the transfer box ends. Along with the Hollinger, other driveline components include front and rear ATS carbon LSDs and an Exedy triple plate carbon clutch. All mounts for the gearbox and transfer box had to be custom made.

The men behind this incredible project, Hiroya-san on the left showing his target times for Tsukuba, Fuji, Suzuka, Central and Okayama and Ito-san, the man responsible for actually building this GT-R. Since 2007 I have waited in anticipation to see this car go up against the best Japan has to offer at the Super Lap Battle, but for three years now I have been disappointed. Hiroya-san has been busy making sure ProStock Racingcontinues to grow, which is probably why the BNR34 Time Attack project has been put on hold. I heard the car is on display at the ProStock HQ so I might have to drop by one of these days to find out when we can expect to see this beast in action! 

-Dino Dalle Carbonare

Link here!  

Car Feature>> Garage Kagotani R34 GT-R

Car Feature>> Garage Kagotani R34 GT-R - Affinis Motor Sports

 We're going to be sharing a few of the GT-R's that we've found to stand out from the rest. Sporting a specific style, and function that separates them from the crowd. This one comes from Dino @ Speedhunters, Thanks for the awesome article! 



For my last selection of the Game Changers theme that we've had this month I decided to pick another GT-R, the Garage Kagotani BNR34. It was a car that appeared as quickly as it disappeared, it surprised everyone at the 2005 Tsukuba Super Battle by coming in third position with a 57"232 lap, and that was it, after that it was gone.

Kagotani-san, seen here posing…

…next to his caricature on the carbon sides of the rear GT-Wing, was contacted by a customer of his that wanted to create something different. A dedicated and very capable time attack car, extreme in every way from the powerful yet responsive engine to the one-off exterior.

The car was shown off at the 2006 Tokyo Auto Salon where at the same time the complete  Garage Kagotani G-Force aero kit was released to the public. It may cost a cool ¥1,000,000 ($12,415 at todays rates)…

…but it still remains one of the most high quality conversions I've ever seen. With factory-like panel fit and sturdy construction this FRP kit was spiced up with a little carbon here and there for added effect. The aero was designed to give a Super GT feel to the R34 and to be as effective as possible at creating high levels of downforce at the front and rear, not to mention directing large abounts of air towards the engine, various coolers and brakes.

Check out the extractors integrated into the rear bumper, there to channel air out from under the car. 

This R34 really put Garage Kagotani on the map as a serious and capable builder of fast circuit cars, and his experiences isn't only in GT-Rs, his shop is littered with all sorts of cool unique projects, which you will be seeing soon in a little tour of his facility.

Rays collaborated with Garage Kagotani on the project, fitting it out with the then pre-production version and now discontinued, titanium effect Gram Lights DR-505.

These 18×9.5J wheels featured a welded on external rim part, where the titanium like effect was applied. Since the car was built for track duty only it was fitted with sticky Advan A048 semi-slicks in 265/35R18 sizes all round.

Hiding behind the chunky spokes of the CRs is a complete AP Racing braking package made up of 6-pot calipers up front and 4-pots out back. These are joined with 2-piece floating discs, 355 mm front, 332 mm rear.

Kagotani had quite a challenge on his hands when it came to the engine, as he needed to create a responsive yet very powerful set up able to give instant acceleration out of corners. He based the motor around a limited edition "RRR" 2.8L Nismo GT block, the same cast iron block that the JGTC and Super GT GT500 GT-Rs used to use in competition. This, along with the HKS 2.8L kit, would allow for faster spool up of the Trust T88-33D single turbo that was chosen. Kagotani-san made sure the head was as efficient as possible so dedicated a lot of time to porting and polishing all surfaces before he threw on a ton of Tomei Powered goodies like valve springs, guides, 270º cams and adjustable cam pulleys. I especially liked the transparent air box!

The T88 dumps spent exhaust gasses through a GReddy front pipe and Power House Amuse full titanium system. Fuelling is handled by two Bosh pumps which fish high-octane gas from the 50L race fuel cell in the trunk before sending it to the six 1000 cc/min injectors. An HKS F-Con V Pro ECU takes care of the engine management and allows the RB28 to churn out 700 HP at just 1.5 bar of boost.  

With the car weighing in at just over 1,400 kg that is a decent amount of power to be playing with. In time attack, shifting through gears quickly is a very important thing, so it's no surprise that the stock Getrag transmission was replaced with an OS Giken 6-speed sequential. This allows for almost instantaneous changes while the ATS twin plate carbon clutch makes sure every lb/ft of torque is transferred efficiently. With 700 HP on tap guaranteeing optimal traction is vital, so Kagotani-san fitted a Cusco 1.5way LSD at the front and a smooth-engaging ATS 2way carbon LSD at the rear.

Element adjustable race dampers take care of the handling and are joined by very hard Swift springs, 20 kg/mm front and a slightly softer 16 kg/mm at the rear.  

Swing open the driver side door and the surprises continue, revealing the fully stripped and prepped chassis…

…custom welded-in roll cage…

…and lots and lots of carbon fiber. 

All-important modules like the HKS boost controller, A/F knock amp meter and lap timer… 

…as well as the Defi gauges are neatly laid out in the center console, again all made in carbon fiber. 

So there you have it, yet another impressive GT-R build and a car that really made itself noticed. It showed that with a bit of imagination and great engineering skills to back it up you can accomplish anything. 

Garage Kagotani

Game Changers features on Speedhunters

-Dino Dalle Carbonare