Weekly Motor Fix: Ashnil's dragster

Posted in Cars, Opinion

Ashnil Kumar is probably one of the most dedicated street-car drag racers around. He has been down to Meremere Raceway more than we can count and his extremely consistent, down-to-the-millisecond times are concrete-proof.

After viewing ten R32 GT-Rs, Ashnil settled for this example, which at the time was extremely cheap thanks to the car-yard owner thinking there was a problem with it. Ashnil wasn’t too worried, and took the lumpy, idled R32 GT-R home for a steal.

Happy with how the GT-R drove on the way home, Ashnil instantly pulled the cam gear cover off to discover a set of Tomei adjustable cam gears — he had a sneaky suspicion this GT-R was not factory. This was confirmed when the rocker covers were pulled off and a set of Tomei Type-B Poncams were discovered.


The interior has been kept extremely clean and simple, as Ashnil doesn’t like things overly complicated here. Everything Ashnil needs to know is displayed by the HKS EVC and the factory gauge cluster. A wood-grain steering wheel and gear knob are the only other aftermarket additions.

After running a 12.6-second quarter-mile, Ashnil decided to take it into ST Hitec, ‘ST’ coming from owner Soichi Tate's initals, to give it a dyno tune and a check-up. You wouldn’t believe it — they discovered the GT-R had an HKS F-CON V Pro ECU and HKS GT-SS turbos. They turned up the wick a touch and the GT-R churned out 335kW at the wheels — enough to get quarter-mile times down to 11.6 seconds.

After consistent (and we mean very consistent) 11.1-second passes, Ashnil was more determined than ever to run a 10-second pass. The GT-SS turbos were replaced with Garrett GT2860-5s, 1000cc Bosch injectors were installed, and a Nismo twin-plate clutch.

Before the boost was turned up any higher, Soichi did some inspection to see what pistons the GT-R was running. After finding out that they were definitely not factory items, the boost was turned up to 23psi and the GT-R was now making a respectable 420kW at the wheels — back to the drag strip.

At a recent test and tune day, Ashnil managed a very solid 10.9-second pass in the GT-R. This was backed up recently at the Meremere Night Speed Drag Wars, where he ran another 10-second pass. Unfortunately, Ashnil cannot return to the drag strip until he has a roll cage, so a few upgrades are happening as we speak. Ashnil has the desire to go circuit racing, so, yes, the GT-R will get a roll cage, but also a much larger engine with a single turbo. Oh, and a nice set of six-pot Endless calipers with huge rotors.

Keep posted at the end of the year for a full feature in NZ Performance Car magazine. Which motorsport do you prefer for a GT-R — circuit or drag racing? Let us know in the comments section below.

René Vermeer

Dutch, French, or just a Kiwi, René isn’t quite sure, but he does know he has a passion for Japanese vehicles like no other. A well-seasoned Gran Turismo player dating back to his single-digit days, René has a comprehensive knowledge of a wide range of performance vehicles and has owned more than 30 performance cars here in New Zealand, ranging from Nissans to Hondas. A lover of photography, you’ll find him either peeping under someone’s bonnet to snap a detailed shot, or on the side of the racetrack, perfecting his panning.