If you know anything about ST Hitec, you’ll be aware that they’re obsessed with anything GT-R. It should come as no surprise then that they hired Meremere Dragway on July 11, and spent the day trying to claim the title of New Zealand’s fastest R35.

If you’re involved in the automotive scene here in New Zealand, even in a small way, you would most likely have seen Iain Clegg of ST Hitec driving his Nissan GT-R R35 at a wide range of events. As Iain is involved in time attack, most would think that this GT-R was circuit-suitable only, however, as most GT-Rs are known for their versatility, Iain wanted to prove that his has what it takes to attack the quarter-mile and become New Zealand’s fastest R35.  

With a private test day booked at Meremere Dragway, Iain and the ST Hitec team prepped the R35 for action. The 4.1-litre fully forged VR38 engine with HKS1000 kit fitted was ready for action. The stroked engine, with upgraded HKS turbos, now produces 1100hp at the flywheel, and around 900hp at the wheels. After several frustrating low 10-second passes, Iain finished up the day with a 10.056-second pass at 146mph, with a 1.6-second 60-foot, making him the driver of the fastest R35 GT-R in New Zealand. However, due to cool track temperatures, Iain’s R35 struggled for traction off the line through the first three gears. With a prepped track, the R35 will dip into the nines, according to Iain. 

In the Prowear NZ Superlap Series, Iain is extremely competitive in his chosen Pro Street category, punching out times that the Pro category drivers would love to be getting. Around Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, Iain drove the R35 to an extremely quick 1:10.196 on Toyo R888 semi slicks, and a 1:08.98 on full slicks. This R35 GT-R is a potent machine, and is proof that, once set up correctly, even a 1850kg dry R35 GT-R can be a fantastic all-rounder. 

Image credit: Joseph Taikato at ODD Photography

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.