POWERTUNE Built EJ2.2
Over the weekend we headed to a very chilly Wakefield Park for the AUS Time Attack Challenge. Our team for the weekend consisted of Dennis Resi piloting Lightning the R32 GT-R, and Ben Schwer in his 180SX. Apart from the cold start to the day, both Saturday and Sunday were absolute cracker weather conditions. Big thank you to the AUS Time Attack crew they put on a very smooth event.
It was a slow start for pretty much everybody in the paddock as the track temperatures just weren’t there until midday’ish. The first two sessions were very much just feeling out the track, and making sure all the mechanicals/temperatures were in check. Carrying on the niggling brake knock off issues from the previous outing, Lightning was not inspiring Dennis with much braking confidence. This is a huge issue and we are working to rectify it as soon as possible. We covered the brake issue in greater detail with our previous race feature. In a nutshell the R32 chassis naturally suffers from pad knock off/flex, although with this amount of power Wakefield really pronounces the issue with its short and undulated nature.
KUDOS to Dennis for turning a 1:03.63, as you can see from the video above Lightning is nothing short of a handful to control! Lightning turned well over 35 laps combined across both days, mechanically he’s on point, but we’ll definitely be back with an adequate braking system.
We are super stoked for Ben’s efforts over the weekend! Finishing up 3rd in Clubsprint with a 1:05.6.
Needless to say conditions were hard for everybody. Early on Ben was having under-steer issues which he slowly improved by adjusting the suspension, softening the front damper and sway bar as the day went on. It definitely helped. In combination with track conditions getting better, Ben went from turning mid 1:08’s to his best time of 1:05 by Sunday’s end. There is always room for improvement and Ben is still very much getting to grips with his 180SX. There is room to improve on the suspension as well, especially in the setup combined with the AD08R. A tyre Ben has had very limited track time with.
A true grass roots racer, Ben is improving with every event he enters and we’ll be following all his progress right here on our site. To Follow all his races hit Ben’s YouTube Chanel right here.
Just for good measure, below we’ve attached a much faster 1:03.7 that Ben has run at a previous Wakefield event. When conditions are good aye! Oh and slicks…
Lightning has been turning laps at various race days for well over 3 years now. Mechanically the RB28 power-plant is rock solid day in day out with plenty of power at hand. Since WTAC 2016 we have put in place a new engine program. Where by we have specifically modified the N1 RB26 block to be able to withstand 600kw of power in RACE mode. In the past years we have been limiting output power to around the 500kw mark as the N1 blocks seem to start giving way at around that point. But since 2016 we have put in place our new RB26/28 engine program, and Lightning Resi has been turning laps at well over 550kw without any signs of wear or damage. Just to make sure, and for our piece of mind we have been working closely with Nulon in sending away engine oil samples away after every race meet for testing. They are able to analyse the samples, and if any fragments or traces of metal are found in the oil we can find the problem area way before any damage is actually one. So far so good!
Now running the MoTeC M150 GPRP ECU package, the Albins gearbox has been optimised and tuned. As you can hear from the video above, the shifts are smooth and fast! 232km/h down the straight to be exact.
This time at Wakefield though, we were yet again dealing with braking issues. Any R32 Skyline owner that has pushed their car to the limits will eventually complain about the Hub Flex or Pad Knock Off that occurs naturally on the R32 platform. Since WTAC last year, we have tried a few different methods to rectify this problem. We’ve replaced the OEM bearing for a much wider one, in hopes that it would centralize the hub and not allow movement, this did not work. We then tried installing some Pad Knock Off Springs, again in the hopes that it would stop the brake pad from opening up during steering wheel inputs and cornering. This did not work. Our latest attempt just prior to arriving at Wakefield was to try and use 5psi pressure valves in the brake lines with the aim to hold much more brake pressure in the lines, again to no avail. We have now literally exhausted all of the ‘off-the-shelf’ avenues to rectify the Pad Knock Off.
Our next plan of attack is to completely redesign the front hub assembly, which will be designed specifically to counteract the Hub Flex issues that come factory fitted with the R32 Skyline. Obviously we did not see the times we were after with a 1:02 at Wakefield, but in saying that every test is very important, and yet again we completed a full race meet without any mechanical issues from the workhorse Lightning Resi. It was also great chance to test all of the MoTeC data logging, and being such a short track a great circuit to optimise and tune the gear shifts. Until next time!
With a great starting platform that is the Nissan S-Chassis, it really doesn’t take much to bring the car’s potential out whether it be for drifting or circuit work. With the correct suspension modifications, and a little bit more power than factory, the S-Chassis range of cars can be amazing on track!
It does not take much for one to get addicted to circuit racing! After just a few laps as passenger in a friends race car, Ben found himself hooked on the track life! He quickly found himself this tidy 180SX to fuel that adrenaline rush he had experienced as a passenger. It wasn’t long after the purchase that Ben came to us for some much needed SR20 power upgrades.
When it comes to adding that ‘little’ bit more power Powertune has you covered with intimate knowledge of the SR20 platform. Ben’s 180SX features our 300Kw Stage-1 SR20 Power Package, and as you can see from the above video it is the perfect entry level track package. Kudos to Ben with a impressive time of 1:03, and setting a new PB for both driver and car. With continued commitment to support our grassroots level drivers it is needless to say we are very excited to see this car and driver combination evolve into the future. Stay tuned for a complete Drivers Bio page coming to our site soon.
John may be the latest driver to join our grassroots racing team, but is no noob when it comes to the track by any means of the word! Prior to taking ownership of the Red S15, John has turned many laps with motorbikes, various RWD / AWD cars, and even tried his hand at a few drifting events.
John entered WTAC 2015 in the Clubsprint class with his Stage-2 Golf R, but by the time WTAC had come around he’d already decided that he wanted to build a RWD track car. Having always loved the S chassis, and thinking the best bang for buck would be a Silvia. John found this red S15 which had previously been built here at Powertune with a 300Kw Stage-1 SR20 Power Build. The only other upgrades we made prior to the Wakefield track day was the RB25 gearbox conversion, and a few engine protection sensors just to keep an eye on the systems while it is being punished out on track. You can see the track preparation feature in greater detail here.
John’s plans for the moment are to do as many track days as possible, and compete in the Super-Sprint series, with the first event coming up in June. After completing his first track day since buying the S15, John is very happy with the swap to the S-Chassis. “It is a much more challenging drive, I have a lot to learn, and much confidence to gain.”
And again, with the continued support for our grassroots drivers the future for John and his S15 will be to further develop the S15 platform, with the car transitioning into a dedicated track car. The end game for John will be to race it around the infamous Mt Panorama Bathurst circuit. Stay tuned for a complete Drivers Bio page coming to our site soon.
Blood, sweat and tears aren’t enough. The pursuit of the perfect connected performance of car, tyres, track and driver is possibly the hardest-fought battle in any Australian Motorsport. But in time attack, this synergy is everything. Lightning Resi was back for another campaign for the win in front of a record WTAC crowd and with Eiji ‘Tarzan’ Yamada at the helm of this beast, we waited on baited breath to see if the stars would align for us this year. A week before our campaign kicked off, our technicians completely overhauled the 2015 engine package making sure the RB28 was ready for another grueling week of racing.
To begin out WTAC 2016 campaign, we arrived two days ahead of official proceedings to begin testing. Barton Mawer, who would eventually pilot the PR968 Porsche to second place in Pro Class, jumped in Lightning Resi for a drive and feedback session. See one Barton’s hot laps in the video below.
“It’s a fun car, and should go very well!” said Barton of our R32 GT-R. Barton was impressed with the power and delivery so the changes we made from his comments were to the suspension dynamics to rectify some slight under-steer.
The Nulon guys were supporting us all weekend with oil testing, helping us diagnose any internal issues before it became catastrophic. Comparable to a blood test, any traces of foreign fluids or gasses in the oil usually points to engine or gasket disintegration. We treated Lightning to a fresh round of synthetic Nulon 15W30 before cleaning up and preparing for another busy day ahead of us before the big event.
Still one day out from official proceedings we were back at SMSP again for our last round of testing and tuning. Dennis Resi, car owner, team boss and all-round legend is in the seat for today.
In the video captured from this session, you’ll see Dennis driving at the highest RPM for most of the lap, as Chea tests for maximum boost pressure through the gear range.
As much as Dennis would have loved to drive the car at its absolute limit, today was not about lap times but more so about diagnostics and data collection. Chea had given Dennis some criteria to feed into the data logger for analysis. Hard braking and acceleration events as well as driving in low and high RPM would be priority, also testing the boost levels at max RPM.
Another part of testing is keeping an eye on tyre pressures and temperatures. An event like WTAC puts a limitation on the amount of tyres you’re able to use over the weekend as well as the kind of tyre you’re able to use. For WTAC we have a very soft Yokohama Advan A050, which is a competitive tyre that offers a small window of peak performance. We are only given about 2 hot laps with a set of tyres before degradation occurs and the performance maximum is greatly reduced.
We had Cole Powelson of LYFE Motorsport have a steer of the GT-R in the afternoon. Sending him out with a full tank of fuel, he was out for what we counted to be 9 laps, 4 of which were flying laps! He brought the car to its absolute limits in regards to fueling, and had the crew waving hats from the pit roof trying to call him in. BUT in hindsight, he was able to assist is in getting great data entries about the limits of the engine’s efficiency. Crucial when we want to send the car out with the minimum amount of fuel to save weight. Check out Cole’s aggressive lap below, with the fuel log attached underneath just for some laughs. Starting with 20L ( shown as 2.0 on graph ) the car returned with only 500ml! It literally stalled as we were loading it onto the trailer.
Two EGT sensors failed, sending the engine into limp mode. Chea had noticed a data anomaly in one of the cylinder temperatures, showing 800 degree C spike for a split second, physically impossible and a sign of sensor failure. Thankfully the guys from Haltech were on their way with 6 new EGT sensors.
After consultation with the Nulon team, we also opted for a higher viscosity engine oil as we found the previous oil was thinning out due to the dilution caused by high ethanol usage. A very common problem for cars running ethanol, we opted for a 10W60 for optimum shear resistance qualities and for the stability it offered after a full day at the track.
Another fuel pump was added for the flexibility of turning up the power if Tarzan Yamada asked for it. To support this addition we also installed a high-amp alternator to provide the extra bit of spark. We tuned these additions along with the new EGT sensors on the hub dyno and tested for a high level of fuel delivery and flow.
Lightning Resi was put to bed for another day, ready for the first day of the official WTAC attack.
Time attack legend and pilot of Lightning Resi for the official WTAC Eiji ‘Tarzan’ Yamada had his first drive of Lightning Resi today in official testing today. We were keen to see what he had to say about the car, as we wanted to make sure he could be 100% comfortable in the car and to focus on getting the one perfect lap.
Tarzan’s feedback after the first session was that he wanted a lower front end on the car. We adjusted suspension to rectify this and also made slight adjustments to the suspension canisters and sway bars for extra stability in high-speed corner entries. Tarzan had no complaints about the engine performance that meant the team and Tarzan could focus on the driving and other fine-tuning.
One point of adjustment that needed to be made for Tarzan’s aggressive style of driving was power delivery. Using an overlay of track data and engine data, Chea was able to pinpoint specific sectors of the track and was able to to increase or reduce levels of boost and power output accordingly. This assisted in providing better grip levels where the power came on too strong, and also better power in sectors where Tarzan needed more muscle. It was all about giving Tarzan the perfect tools to make the perfect lap happen.
All the while, the Albins sequential’s flat shifting timing was still being tuned, incrementally reducing the shift delay across testing days to get it into a sweet spot on race day. You’ll notice this change in shift timing across our videos some shifts will sounds slower than others.
During the last session of official practice, Tarzan had reported that the car’s drive had gone into full bias to the rear wheels. After checking the 4WD controller and other electronic controls, the issue still lingered, meaning something had failed mechanically.
The transfer case had taken a beating over the year of hard driving as well as an intense hub dyno session the night before. It had finally given way, unfortunate but not uncommon after the duties we had assigned to it for a long time. This was replaced, another round of oil samples were sent away to Nulon, we serviced Lightning Resi and gave him a wash, said our prayers and went to bed.
No news is good news – exactly how we’d describe the first day of the WTAC festival. A very surreal feeling as the car did not skip a beat and Tarzan did not encounter any issues. Nothing to adjust, nothing broken. The team actually got paranoid and started looking for problems, but alas, the time in development must definitely have paid off.
We just let Tarzan loose to do his thing and ended with a best time of 1:32.3070. With no major issues to rectify on the GT-R, we did our routine mechanical and fluid inspections, gave the car a wash and locked up the garage for our final day of the WTAC campaign.
Nothing dramatic to report on the final day of proceedings. As Tarzan spent more time in the car he was getting faster and faster and bettered our time by a second (1:32.3070). Unfortunately, in the game of time attack, even if we got a little bit faster, there were teams who were a lot faster. We were up against a very strong and competitive field and were not able to place, finishing 11th in Open Class.
There’s no replacement for experience. We’d like to congratulate and thank Ian Baker and the WTAC team for the biggest event we’ve seen yet and we know it will keep growing to be bigger and better each year. It’s with deep gratitude that these events are held, as it gives us the perfect platform to ‘walk the walk’. Many of our customers build cars to break their own PBs and what better way to show them we know what they want than breaking our own PBs with a bullet proof package?
We walked away this year with an unprecedented amount of data that has lead to us with our most reliable package yet. Our engineers have a deeper insight into pressures, temperatures, efficiencies and strengths of high-powered engine packages and, like F1 teams and their associated manufacturers, are converting these key developments into palpable benefits for our customers.
Our new engine packages will be as solid as our race package and it’s thanks to the huge team involved in our campaign this year that is had all been made possible.
Special thanks to
Ian Baker and the whole World Time Attack crew, every year bigger and better congratulations to the whole team on another stellar event.
Nulon Oils Australia for their support across the whole week.
Plazmaman.com for fabricating up our new intercooler so quickly.
Haltech for their ongoing support and really coming through for us on those EGT sensors!
Turbosmart for all the R&D help along the way.
Last but not least SELECTNINE for the media coverage of our 2016 WTAC campaign.
This car is bound make automotive purists not sure what to do with themselves. This car will be the poster car of all fans of Euro and JDM alike. This car is what happens when you take the chassis from one of the greatest performance lineages and match it to the legendary heart of Godzilla. This car is the child of an unholy marriage of German finesse and Japanese muscle, born only to sacrifice tyres to please the god of sideways driving. Much like the fabled giant version of his drift moniker, we’ve helped Jake ‘DriftSquid’ Jones put together something almost mythical – The RBM3.
The base of Jake’s latest monster is an E92 BMW M3, although not much of it remains. Converting a luxury sports coupe into a drift beast with tubed front end, a stripped and caged interior and custom everything else seems complicated at first glance, but our engineer Adam tells us there were no unexpected challenges in the build. “With our experience with projects of this nature, it all flowed smoothly,” said Adam. We at Powertune believe in putting experience into our products, and the engine package built for this project helped breathe life into this unusual heart transplant.
Not all engines are built alike, purely because not every car is used alike. The RBM3 runs an RB26 with a Tomei stroker kit, beefing the displacement up to 2.8L. The engine package closely resembles our WTAC package although features a custom Powertune Australia camshaft and shim-less cylinder head. The choice of camshaft lightened the rotating mass, providing maximum response was to be had. The choice to use a shim-less cylinder head was to ensure there was durability in the head when the car would inevitably find its rev limit over and over again on the drift track.
A twin Hypertune fuel rail inlet manifold and a whopping twelve sequentially staged injectors provide the juice and breathing (at time of shoot) is assisted by a GCG turbo and a Hypertune front-mounted intercooler. At the shakedown pictured later, we found that the turbo was over-spinning, causing a spike in air temperatures. Our Band-Aid fix for testing was to lower the pressure of the wastegate, effectively slowing the turbo down. This worked in testing but since the shoot the GCG has been swapped out for a larger Precision 6870 turbo.
The package is controlled and monitored by a Motec system, providing comprehensive data and analysis. Based in Australia, the local support for the item was crucial. There are also sensors fitted to the car for diagnostics rather than performance. Being an international competitor, if Jake was to take the vehicle out of the country, we would be able to assist with even a minor boost leak from the comfort of our workshop. Not that a boost leak would make us feel comfortable!
No expense has been spared to ensure longevity of the package with hard fluid lines running underneath the car and premium fittings in the engine bay. The ethanol lines are made of Teflon, ensuring maximum lifespan. The radiator is mounted in the boot to save space in the engine bay as well as for the benefit of clean air. Ducting cool air to the radiator as well as eliminating air pockets from the cooling system proved to be a few obstacles with this set up but we assisted to ensure any cooling system maintenance would be accessible for any mechanic.
A custom 4-inch exhaust was fabricated for the car, and was created with sound, performance and good design in mind. Due to the shape and size of the M3 chassis, it would not simply be an adapted GT-R exhaust, but rather we kept the exhaust as straight as possible and ensured the same volume of air would pass through the system as would in our other GT-R systems. The exhaust delightfully sings through this set up and the sound is unmistakably RB, but has a slight twang in it’s vocal range due to the custom layout.
Since time of shooting, as mentioned previously, a new turbocharger set up has been sourced for the car. Amongst other changes, as is the case with any unique project which is at the edge of development, a new differential has been sourced for the RBM3. The diff was still a factory BMW unit at shakedown but proved the diff ratio was too high for the intended purpose of the car. A Winters Performance diff has been sourced and fitted, and we will bring this to you in a later feature.
Technician Adam replacing the Turbosmart wastegate from 20psi down to a 15psi, in an attempt to lower the boost for some data acquisition.
Technician Adam replacing the Turbosmart wastegate from 20psi down to a 15psi, in an attempt to lower the boost for some data acquisition.Technician Adam replacing the Turbosmart wastegate from 20psi down to a 15psi, in an attempt to lower the boost for some data acquisition.
Technician Adam replacing the Turbosmart wastegate from 20psi down to a 15psi, in an attempt to lower the boost for some data acquisition.
Like all good stories of monsters and mythical creatures, they never die, only lie dormant getting stronger until they emerge again. Until next feature, enjoy the shots by SELECTNINE and videos by Scott Mitchell Media of DriftSquid’s RB-Powered BMW M3!