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.



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Sunday, March 25, 2012 10:47 PM
No cage and shoulder belts bolted to the floor. I hope Hing never has a serious accident. Does the AMS car have proper safety equipment?
Monday, March 26, 2012 4:42 AM
nice article! never knew the VQ38 had such potential.
why are the front tyres larger @45% then the rears @40%?
Monday, March 26, 2012 8:04 AM
Great article as always! Its always great to see two cars competing. Each company keeps pushing the boundaries to beat the other. Keep up the good work.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, March 26, 2012 9:02 AM
I don't think the AMS car has a cage either but it does have a parachute. Not 100% sure on this.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, March 26, 2012 9:03 AM
Edward, the rolling diameters are the same.
Monday, March 26, 2012 9:31 AM
I was wondering why and what you were doing here in Las Vegas Mike!! That is one bad a$$ GTR.... :)
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Monday, March 26, 2012 9:48 AM
"I bet you, he's got more than a hundred grand under the hood!"
Well, I couldn't think of more potent 6-figure cars than the GT-R! I'm a bit envious of Hing's status as having one of the ultimate street cars but I look forward to your guys' success. Can you imagine the torque to sheer those axles!? AWESOME!
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, March 26, 2012 9:51 AM
I think the car has under 80k into it including the transmission and suspension.
Monday, March 26, 2012 9:54 AM
The AMS car has at least a roll bar with door bars.
Monday, March 26, 2012 10:18 AM
Funny, I just watched this video Saturday with the guys at Paladin who work on GTRs. I commented that Mike was in the video and no one knew who I was talking about. I guess you're only famous in some circles ;)
Great job. Now take the car to a more dense elevation. Vegas isn't a mile high, but the air is a little thinner here.
Monday, March 26, 2012 2:22 PM
If SP Engineering/ Greddy, and/or the owner of the GT-R want to go faster, why not removing weight from the porky chassis? Parts will last a bit longer, not to mention less $$$ for the owner.
Wes Dumalski
Wes Dumalskilink
Monday, March 26, 2012 5:00 PM
^ I think the point here is that there is a serious competition going to maintain and or achieve the record in a Streetable full interior car. Kinda the point of the GTR really is something that destroys at all things!

I know the AMS car has at least a roll bar with door bars but because it was the week before Texas I didn't get too nosy with my camera when I was at AMS.

Hats off to SP/Greddy KW and the guys that made this happen. This is a serious accomplishment I look forward to the "space race" that is about to ensue!
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Monday, March 26, 2012 6:16 PM
80k? I actually would've guessed 50-60 but my joke was including the price of the car. To me, it seems like the tranny will be the weak link for a while.

PS We're almost to April and I don't think we've heard directly from you Mike about this years adventures or what's in store!? Formula Drift changes, Team USA, MTPCC, etc.!
Monday, March 26, 2012 9:25 PM
AMS car has a full cage and parachute. It just did 233.1 mph in the standing mile.

Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, March 26, 2012 10:50 PM
Been too busy making things happen to write about it. Sorry I will try my best!
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 9:54 AM
So...wet sleeve vs. dry sleeve. Does that mean the wet sleeve has the sleeve exposed to the coolant passages and the dry sleeve has block material between the two?
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 11:22 AM
I know this may be a ridiculous question, but can you tell us about the use, or non-use of traction control? Was the factory launch control used? Was a tweaked version of it used? Was there no electronic traction control or launch control used at all?
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 1:06 PM
Sounded to me like launch control was modified to 4500rpm.

Car sounds awesome, though you could hear the clutch was balking on a couple of runs.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 2:00 PM
Cool to see a write up about the car and the record runs. I was watching NAGTROC that day/weekend it was exciting to see SPE and then AMS break records.

I hope SPE brings the record back :)
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 2:05 PM
Dry sleeve doesn't break into the water jacket.

I think the launch control used was a slightly tweeked version of Nissan's LC3 program.

The clutch was working fine in all of the runs that were videoed.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 5:17 PM
The first few wet sleeved blocks- AMS and Greddy both split blocks.



According to Hing and Greddy, the launch Control that was used is LC1. LC1 is the first setup. 4500 rpm clutch dumping nastiness.


If you want to see what a 6000 rpm launch looks like....


That car only went 151 mph.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 8:08 PM
Thanks Sean!
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 6:50 AM
So the launch control is simply a rev limit, but no additional or actual electronic traction control (acceleration slew rate based, or ABS wheel sensor based)? Is that what I'm hearing? I'm not familiar with the stock R35 launch control... I guess it is simply a rev limit at launch?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 10:19 AM
Is there a point where the stock wing would start detracting from 1/4 mile times? The AMS team has taken it off too.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 10:45 AM
Ben, it is a pretty complicated and integrated system.

XO, at exactly 153.467 mph the wing causes a diminishing return. Actually I have no idea.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 11:21 AM
I will now be brandishing that MPH figure on any forum I can!

I kid, I kid.

I figured either SPE (or AMS) had some hard testing on it, as the quicker R35s seem to remove it. My search continues!
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 4:56 PM
The launch control is complicated. Read the damn link that I posted.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 3:45 PM
I feel kind of stupid for asking, I always see them being manually shifted via the paddles. Is there an advantage over doing so, vs leaving it in Auto and changing the shift points?
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 5:01 PM
For absolute racing its better to shift in manual mode.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 5:26 PM
For drag racing, keeping it in auto for first, and then manually shifting seems to work out well for a lot of guys. For road racing you want to use the paddles.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 7:23 PM
So you slap into manual mode after you get into second?
Saturday, April 14, 2012 9:19 PM
I neglected to mention in my original question, I know for absolute racing that manual mode is better, I was just wondering if there was a technical reason why Auto doesn't seem to be used often in drag racing. Wasn't sure if it was something like the shift program not jiving with modifications, something related to track conditions, available traction, etc. From what I've seen so far, the GTR's electronics seem to play nice with mods.
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