René Vermeer makes his way out to Sydney’s south-west, where a car meet of epic proportions was taking place at Maatouks Racing

After an absolutely mental weekend of racing at Cootamundra (four hours south of Sydney) for the Just Car Insurance Drag Battle and Motor Sports Mechanical GT-R Challenge held over April 30–May 1, Monday certainly was a struggle. Alas, hundreds were still pumped from the event, and wanted to meet the stars of the show somewhere much closer to Sydney. An event was organized to be hosted at Maatouks Racing, with around 100 people expected. 

Well, things certainly escalated quickly. The BBQ was fired up and kebabs were prepped — it was going to be a much bigger night than anybody first anticipated. 

Car after car rolled into the venue, which soon reached capacity. Nearby buildings had their parking bays claimed, as did the streets. Hundreds of people swarmed the venue, in the hope that they’d see the eight-second street cars that the workshop is famous for. 

Literally every Skyline GT-R at the workshop outputs upwards of 500kW. Big singles are the name of the game here … 

Maatouks Racing originally became well known in the drag racing scene through modifying Holden Commodore VL turbos, with the single-cam RB30 engines. They hold more VL drag racing records than any other workshop. So, it would be rude for just a few to attend the meet. Funnily enough, ever since Anthony Maatouk dabbled in the world of GT-R modifying, he’s been hooked.

GT-R Skylines, and mental RB26-powered weapons now represent around 90 per cent of his business, and he’s doing well, too. 

I couldn’t help but take a sneaky photo of ‘GUNR33’. I’ve seen this GT-R in countless overseas publications, and I still consider it one of my favourites. It was amazing to see it in the metal! 

And how’s the engine bay? To me, this set-up is perfect. Perfect turbo, perfect colour scheme, just an all round perfect execution of a commonly modified engine bay. 

I took a wander from the event to a nearby car park. I was pleasantly delighted as I stumbled upon this super clean Nissan Silvia S15 sitting on Volk wheels. It was tastefully done with a carbon-fibre bonnet, carbon-fibre front splitter, and side skirts. Plus, the silver looked nice at night, too! 

There was also a Silvia wearing these beautiful stickers … yes Kiwis, ‘sex-spec’ is still a thing here in Australia! 

The famous Queen Street Customs Nissan GT-R R35 and matching Lamborghini gave the meet a classy feel indeed. The amount of Snapchat stories featuring this pair would be unmatched by any other ...

Another thing I found interesting was the use of Simmons wheels on literally everything. Pictured here is a Mitsubishi with massive Simmons and rubber-band tyres — a style not ever seen in New Zealand. 

One GT-R that stood out above the rest was this example. The paint job was simply stunning, and it was wearing a set of uber-rare Volk GT-C wheels. 

The RB26 was no longer factory either. It was now sporting a rather large, dinner plate–sized Garrett turbo. There’s no doubt in my mind that this pumps out over 500kW.

Kyle Loftis from 1320Video has been in Australia for a week now, as he’s been checking out the local car scene to give the Americans a taster. A great guy that seemed to attract a crowd wherever he went, and someone that I was pleased to have met. 

It was great to see a different side to the Australian car scene this week and work on my light-painting skills. For me, the fun in Australia is over for a few weeks or so, though, as I am flying back to New Zealand to cover the final round of the Prowear NZ Superlap Series! If you’re around, head to Hampton Downs Motorsport Park over the weekend of May 7–8 and say hello. See you all there! 

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.