Nerds Eye View- The Hawk Performance CRP Racing Nissan GT-R
By Mike Kojima
We were lucky enough to get a close look at the only R35 Nissan GT-R being campaigned in a North American professional race series at the Long Beach Grand Prix. Although the the R35 GT-R is being raced successfully in other countries it has not had much exposure in the USA. Hawk Performance has teamed up with CRP Racing to change all of that by campaigning a GT-R in SCCA's Pirelli World Challenge series in GT Class with driver Tim Bell behind the wheel.
The WC GT GT-R is very interesting technically, the car has a front mid engine mounting configuration with a rear mounted transaxle and has been converted to rear wheel drive, much like the Sumo Racing GT-3 GT-Rs being campaigned in Europe. CRP has come up with plenty of innovations in an effort to bring the big GT-R up to speed. These things make for a pretty interesting car, read on and check out what's inside it!
|We caught up with the Hawk Performance/CRP Racing GT-R in the pits at the Long Beach Grand prix while it was being maintained between rounds on the track. World Challenge has an interesting rules set where certain modifications are homologated on a car by car basis so some of the things you see on the Hawk/CRP car may not be legal on other cars. The car has a mix of some really trick things with some stuff that can apply on a grassroots level.
|The suspension is an interesting mix of stock and fabricated parts. The team was pretty secretive about some of the bits and the photos are a mix of stuff we took at Long Beach and at another race. We believe that the coilovers used are Penske 8760 3-way adjustable units. The dampers are built into custom height adjustable housings. Hyperco springs are used with Hydraulic load centering devices which isolate spring kinking forces from the shock shaft. The stock forged aluminum lower arm is used with the stock upright with a fabricated upper arm. All bushings have been replaced with spherical bearings. If you look closely, you can see something really interesting, no front axles! This GT-R is 2 wheel drive. Note the plethora of brake ducts. The GT-R is a big heavy car and street courses are hard on brakes. Air is fed to the center of the rotor and the middle of the calipers.
|The front upper arm is adjustable for camber and caster but the most interesting part is that the anti dive is also adjustable. You can see that the front mounting location of the upper control arm has several different mounting holes and the arm is in the position with the minimal amount of anti dive. We have always felt that the R35 GT-R has way too much anti dive in the front suspension geometry and it is cool to see that CRP Racing is working in the same direction that we would.
|The stock front anti sway bar is replaced with a Speedway Engineering tubular torsion bar type with adjustable arms. A racing type swaybar like this is better than a conventional OEM configuration bar because you can choose from many different rates quickly and easily.
|The rear suspension uses a mix of modified stock links, fabricated links and stock uprights. Some of the links have been replaced with fabricated parts that are adjustable with spherical bearings. Like the front, Penske 8760 shocks in custom height adjustable housings are used in the rear with Hyperco springs and HLC devices. You can also see the Speedway Engineering rear torsion bar type swaybar with adjustable arms.