Yesterday saw a container loaded with four cars headed to the World Time Attack Challenge (WTAC) in Sydney. For one team, 3 Rotor Racing, it marked the end of a four-month, somewhat-hectic rework of their GT2 championship–winning FD RX-7. One that saw the car take a very different route than the team had ever envisaged, with the introduction of aero. 

Last week we took a look at the shakedown for the team with the car still missing a few components, including its new wheels and livery. The last stickers were applied inside our studio, just before the machine was loaded up for the long haul across the Tasman. When designing a car to be aero-optimized, this can see things go astray in the aesthetics department, like a few of the WTAC creations we have seen. But thankfully Andy Duffin's RX-7 has remained looking like, well, an RX-7 — albeit super aggressive. 

David Higgins from Kinetic Sim designed the aero, jumping on board as soon as he heard the team were heading to Sydney.

Andy explained to NZ Performance Car: “With only limited time we had to prioritize the work, so we focused on getting the five or six major components done — the front splitter, rear wing, side skirts, and venting out of the bonnet and front guards. There is still more we would like to do, but that can wait.”

David also put together the livery, a reworked version of the team's black and green, but not all of the bodywork is covered in paint or vinyl; sometimes it's good to simply leave the carbon bare. 

The rear dual-element wing has had as much weight removed from the knife-edged alloy uprights as possible; but in the name of clean air flow, polycarbonate blanking plates are used.

The CAD (computer-aided design) designs of components like this were brought to life by Glenn Sandbrooks for any of the CNC work, and Tim Dorset handled the carbon work.

“Without guys like that, the project just simply would not have happened. It's all just backyard stuff, by a bunch of very talented guys,” stated Andy. 

Measuring 18x11-inch all round, the Advan TCIIIs are wrapped in 295/30R18 Advan 050s — the control tyre for the class. Once back form WTAC, and back into GT racing, these will be replaced with a 300-wide full slick. But the semis will be handy when running events like Leadfoot Festival in February 2016.  Also worth noting are the two-piece front guards, which allow air to exit through the top and rear. 

In just a few weeks Andy hopes to be hitting 10,00RPM in sixth gear of the Elite sequential. down Sydney's 800m front straight. With the current gearing this should see the team hitting around the 260kph mark, a speed typical of a 500–600hp machine. With only a handful of laps with the new aero, suspension, brakes, and having never been to, or driven, Sydney Motorsport Park, the team are hoping to get on top of the set-up very quickly.

The Green Brothers Racing 20B (hidden under all that carbon) is putting out 385kW, which will by no means see it as one of the most powerful in the Open class. The guys are used to being the underdogs and are heading over to give it a red-hot go, Andy told us. If they come away with a top-ten and top-three rear-wheel drive placing in open they will be happy. Win or lose, we have a sneaking suspicion that the sound of that 20B blasting past the pits and main grandstand will have this entry as one of the crowd favourites. 

Marcus Gibson

Marcus Gibson has spent his life getting a little grease under his fingernails growing up with a fascination for all things loud, fast, and low. Growing up during the boom of the import scene, the last ten years have seen him work for a few publications, as well as running his own website before taking up a role at NZ Performance Car in 2011. Marcus is as at home with a keyboard or camera in-hand as he is getting dirty in his workshop or at the track, championing that Kiwi DIY attitude.