Merry Christmas to all my friends on the MLR. I hope you're not getting too bored over Christmas? If you are, allow me to bore you some more. Here's an article I did for a certain Evo magazine recently but unfortunately it was refused.
Rather than delete it, here it is. I've tried to make the thread interactive and embedded (any word that's underlined) some random links to various videos from my youtube channel so please feel free to have a look at those when you get a minute from stuffing your faces with turkey and mince pies.
Kenny1's Evo 5 RS - Throughout the years
This car is the Devil. It weighs 1035 kgs and has around 800bhp.
This equates to 772bhp per tonne and It accelerates like no other Evo I’ve been in. The throttle feels like a hyperspace button. Step on it, and you're suddenly at the end of the road that was in front of you. It corners harder than I can handle, brakes later than my balls allow and I have to admit for the first time in 11 years of Evo ownership, it’s quicker than me….way quicker.
So where did this car start? I had this car imported in 2007.
It arrived from the import company with a dismantled roll cage, self tapping screws in the rear bumper, a TME front bumper, a very heavy metal undertray and exhaust guards. It also had what we later found out to be KAAZ gearbox and transfer box diffs which shook the car so much when turning I think it was set up for gravel. Although the paintwork looked nice, for a grade 4 car I was concerned that this had been used as a recce car
for local rallies in Japan. However, with only 36k on the clock I knew this was a good base for what I wanted to do, and what I wanted to do, is compete.
We took the low mileage engine out and put it in my black GSR before selling it. We then used the block from the GSR to build a 2.4 stroker engine and took it sprinting. Initially, we installed an Evo Green turbo and ran it on an Apexi Power FC ECU with Hotbits suspension. Over time the car had seen many a rolling road mapping session
and had upgraded from the Evo Green to an ATP3076 and then to an AMS GT35 turbo
. It was pushing out 600bhp and in 2008 and 2009 I competed in 36 competitive events
. I entered a sprint championship called the NSCC (Nottingham Sports Car Club) and things were going well.
Lap records were being broken at almost every event and the points were racking up on the championship table. My goal was to win the NSCC, get the Curborough road class lap record
and somehow get an FTD at an MLR sprint
despite being in a full weight road car that I drove to all events.
I achieved road class lap records at Curborough, Aintree, Thorseby, Llandow and Mira, but I was still quite a noob at sprinting. I had a lot to learn about tyre compounds, especially when it came to MLR sprints
I managed to buy some second hand rally tyres from Gaz at CPP and I tried them out at the MLR Rockingham sprint
. After a poor start on some 1a tyres in the wet I was way off the pace in practice, but switched from REO70s to Dunlop CR311 X22s and immediately dropped 15 seconds to move into second place behind Wayne at Arnside, with the REAL driving god Knoxville only 100th of a second behind me. The timed runs began and I moved into first place for the first time ever! What the hell was I doing there? It was still early in the day though and I was very aware that Knoxville was only 0.06 behind me. The next session saw me drop right down to 5th place as I had an issue with the car and had to miss a run. Great, just my luck when I was in the lead. The next run saw me move up to 3rd but I was still almost a second behind Gav. I was trying to work out where to find the time. Run 4 saw me go 2 seconds slower as I completely messed up the lap. This wasn’t to be my day and Neverneverman was suddenly breathing down my neck. Run 5 and BOOM….I was back in 1st place with Neverneverman and Gav both within 0.5 of a second behind. Could I hang on to the lead? No. Neverneverman pipped me on the last run by 0.06 and the pressure was on. I had one more run left. Luckily for me I knew exactly where I could make up the time as there was one particular corner I had overshot all day. So off I launched with the aim of doing the whole track as I had before, only braking earlier at the corner I was struggling with. Over the line I went and back into the pits thinking...ah, I’ve not done it. Gutted, but before I even got to the timing screen people were coming up to me saying well done. Slightly stunned I said yeah, 2nd isn’t too bad. “No mate, you’ve won!”. That was my first ever MLR FTD and I couldn’t believe I had done it.
Success continued in the NSCC championship, and true to form, I won that at the last round in the season and on the last run of the day. Winning the NSCC Championship was great. It’s quite prestige and you get to keep their trophy for a year. Your name is engraved into the trophy and you have to attend a dinner and do a speech if you win. Not my kind of thing but I managed to get through it without collapsing from nervousness on stage.
Over the next few years I did a variety of MLR sprints, hill climbs and trackdays, but one thing I really wanted to do is win the handling circuit at TOTB
. To achieve this in a road car didn’t seem possible and after being dropped by the MLR TOTB team in 2011 I decided to enter as a privateer and give it my best shot. I got my wallet out for a change, bought a Drenth dog-box and had the car mapped on VP Import. Sometimes, feeling aggrieved gets the best out of me.
With 711bhp and 650ft lbs I certainly had the power to achieve my goal. All of a sudden I had been reinstated in the MLR team and I was sitting on the start line in front of a grandstand with some mental cars as competition. The car was awesome. The response was immense and the grip something else. I managed to just scrape into the top 4 to make it into the semi finals. Things were heating up and when the pressure is on, I tend to excel. The tyres had time to cool and the next run saw the fastest time of the day to get me into the final against Richard Marples in his lightweight monster of an Evo. I won the toss of the coin and decided to go second so I could wait and see if he did a good time. He didn’t. His time was ok but way off my previous time so I just launched off the line and put a brisk but mistake free run in. Composure under pressure is everything. Check out the crazy gigs competition 3 of us seemed to have during the presentations.
2012 had it’s moments too. After a bad start to the season
with my rear diff backing plate broke at the MLR Silverstone sprint
, my ECU randomly turning on and off at Kames, pistons melting on a rolling road mapping session the night before MIRA and a cam snapping on the way home from Castle Combe, it certainly wasn’t a year of success for me. There was one more sprint left. Teesside