New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Fastest Nissan ever a 350Z?

2009-08-28 06:56
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Nissan
Model 350Z dragster
Engine 3.5l V6 turbo
Power 1 400kW
Drag racing, the preserve of oversized American V8s, right? Well no, not if you have a Nissan 350Z engine and an overactive imagination.

Rolling up to the startline at a top flight drag-race with a 3.5l Japanese V6 under your door slammer’s bonnet would seem an extraordinarily silly thing to do. Unless your name is John Bradshaw.

Always keen to bat against the odds in typical British tradition, John decided Europe’s Pro Class drag racing needed Project Zed – a 350Z powered quarter-mile machine.

Featuring a traditional Pro Class full double frame rail chassis, with electronically adjustable Koni dampers at the rear, Project Zed appears to be standard drag racing fare at first.

Well, if you consider dual impact crossform parachutes with stainless air launchers, actuated via pushbutton air deployment, as a standard deceleration aid for a car…

Genuine doorslammer boy and girls, just look at those authentic vertical Nissan Z-car doorhandles. Cool.

Three things though, make Project Zed quite unique. Firstly, there are those stock 350Z taillights – which work. Oh, authentic 350Z door handles too...

Then of course, there is the meticulously prepared 350Z V6 engine up front.

Featuring a stock block, the Project Zed car is boosted by dual Borg Warner turbos, managed by Kooks turbo headers and 127mm downpipes features a 50mm wastegate for expelling excess pressure.

If you are a keen statistician, Bradshaw’s car produces 1 400kW of peak power. You’ll agree, that is quite a lot for a 3.5l V6.

When you are straining a medium capacity engine to such extremes, nearly all the internals are required to be hand built by specialists.

Therefore a Sonny Bryant custom crank drives Ross pistons connected via Carillo conrods. Darton sleeves keep the combustion movement smooth and compression true, whilst a Wilson sheet metal intake manifold feeds the Nissan engine courtesy of 100mm Acuufab throttle bodies.

Lubrication is a Petersen dry sump set-up. Suffice to say, the Nissan warranty has been voided...

Eats Detroit iron V8s for starters...

Launching the Project Zed off the line is a five-speed Lenco transmission (with reverse, no less) topped off by a Liberty sequential air shifter. Traction is provided by Goodyear drag racing tyres, dimensions are of the cartoon variety – ‘16x16 wheels rolling 870mm tread width rubber.

Bradshaw expects his 350Z Pro Class car to run competitively at the Santa Pod finals, scheduled for the second weekend in September.

Not only is 0-100km/h expected to take only 1.3 seconds, but 0-270km/h will arrive in just 4.1 seconds.

Throughout the rest of the year Project Zed will run in various classes including Super Pro ET, Competitor Eliminator and HKS Series – Pro Class.

John Bradshaw, the guy who is taking a Samurai sword to a six-shooter gunfight – and might just win…


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