Revenge of the Nerd – The Consultant, Helping Fast GT-R's go Even Faster!
By Mike Kojima
I am lucky enough to get to work with some of the best people and companies in the industry as a consultant, usually in the field of suspension design and set up. A couple of weeks ago, I got a call from the folks at Greddy Performance Products and KW Suspension to help with an effort to break the 1/4 mile record for a street driven full body R35 Nissan GT-R.
My part in the mission was to help pare down the 60 foot times and I gladly accepted the challenge representing KW Suspension. I would be working with Chris Marion, who helps me in Formula D. Chris and I work together quite a bit and I really enjoy working with him and KW.
The subject of this adventure is this Las Vegas based R35 Nissan GT-R. The R35 packs a bunch of heat–over 1200 hp worth of hardware by Greddy and SP Engineering. It is however, a fully streetable car!
Darn, I wanted to get this license plate for myself!
The drag strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It was warm and the air density was on the low side.
The track was green and covered in desert dust so the track management spent a bit prepping the course. The track was first vacuumed and brushed off.
Next VHT was applied to make the track more sticky. The guy doing the prep work told me that VHT has sold the rights to the traction compound to some other company so technically it was not called VHT anymore but I forgot who he said now sells the stuff.
After the VHT was dry, the track surface was dragged with old rubber belts to reduce the stickiness to avoid bogging and drivetrain failure. It was interesting to actually be able to talk to the guys doing the prep to learn about how it's done.
We got special permission to run the GT-R as a street car. Although technically you need a parachute, the GT-R is so stable, handles and brakes so good it is not really needed. This is no floppy slick shod, skinny front runner, solid disc, thin solid rotor single pot caliper minimalist brake, typical drag car. The GT-R is a supercar capable of dragging, cornering and braking at high speeds without drama.