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While the latest remake of Godzilla is taking NZ box offices by storm another sort of ‘Godzilla’ has its sights set on making a mark in NZ. This R35 GT-R was commissioned by International Motorsport to be converted for participation in New Zealand’s 2014 Endurance Racing Season, which coincidentally starts with Round One at Taupo this weekend.

Based on the already quick R35 GTR, the International Motorsports/ENDLESS GT-R shares the same 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 as its road going  counterpart, albeit with a few tweaks. These tweaks include an upgraded internal actuators and Tial BOV. In addition there are 1000cc injectors by Injector Dynamic and Albins Australia GR6 nut retention gearset, upgraded clutches and diagnostic tools. No official performance figures have been announced but with the standard car producing around 500bhp it’s safe to say that the IM/E GT-R will definitely be in excess of that.

That thanks to its smorgasbords of sponsor brands and upgrades. The ‘ENDLESS ‘ bit in its name comes from its principal sponsor. ENDLESS supplied the brakes which are now 400mmx36mm up front and 387mmx34mm up back. The brake calipers, pads and fluids are also from ENDLESS as well as the new Super Function Suspension.

On top of these there’s a 5-inch custom side exit exhaust system (who doesn’t love a side exhaust?) with 3.5-inch AMS downpipes and Y section. AMS also provided the racing alloy intercoolers, oil cooler, radiator, cooling system, intake system, fuel rails and trans brace. Diff cooling comes from Willall and ECUTEK upgraded the traction control management which will go nicely with the reworked 4WD controller from GTC Racing Technology UK. The standard car’s 85L fuel tank has been ditched for a 120L FIA arc fuel tank with BOSCH fuel pumps. There’s even a lightweight race battery and adjustable fuel pressure regulator to make this as serious a racer as possible.

By the end of it all, there really isn’t much left of the original car. That’s because a lot of the mechanics have to be strengthen to industrial levels for it to withstand endurance racing. The race engine management and ECU which has multiple maps and torque control has been reworked. This was installed by Richard Moss and tuned by Glenn Suckling at MOTEC.

But wait, there’s more. Air jacks were supplied by JL Design, KM Motorsports supplied the chassis and tower bracing, CJH Motorsport NZ supplied a full carbon/kevlar brake duct kit with carbon bonnet ducts, Eibach supplied the sway bars. SPL the upper control arms, and titanium suspension toe links. There’s also Stillen rocker extensions and JUN carbon front intake.

On the exterior the front splitter is from Aeromotion and the rear wing by Turners Group Australia. The wheels are 19-inch WedsSport SA55M with Slick/Wets Pirelli 305/690R19 rubber around them. I know looks are about as important to a racecar as iPhone connectivity but I quite like the colour scheme on this. The silver/blue reminds me of THAT R34 from The Fast and Furious movies. And how can anyone not like a yellow grille?

Inside there’s a Custom International Motorsport roll cage built from CDS steel tube manufactured to ASTM-A519. This is the level of roll cage usually found in CAMS, CCDA, FIA & ANDRA approved roll cages. The seats, endurance seat belts and fire system are from RaceTech while the rear-view camera system is from Rapid Radio. Safe to say it won’t be like the rear-view camera in a Nissan Pathfinder.

That’s quite an extensive list of changes indeed. Going through the list of upgrades was almost an endurance challenge in itself. No wonder they claimed “the GTR is easily one of New Zealand’s most impressive road to race conversions”. I don’t doubt that for a second. It took the International Motorsport just under 12 months to complete and had to work around the 2013/2014 V8 Supercar season. This’ll be the car to look out for come race time. The NZ Endurance Race Season goes from Taupo this weekend to Manfield for Round Two on 27/28 June and on to Round Three at Pukekohe on 18/19 July. After the IM/E GT-R finishes the North Island series, it’ll be competing at the international Highlands 101 event at Cromwell on 7-9 November.

Managing Director of ENDLESS Brakes NZ said “It’s something New Zealand won’t have seen before on home soil, and we can’t wait to see the results for ourselves”. Neither can we. I don’t know what’s more impressive; the extensive upgrades to the GTR or that this was all done in New Zealand. All the best of luck to the International Motors/ENDLESS team and their awesome GT-R.

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