When drag shops build time attack cars, cool stuff happens. And it seems like an almost natural progression, or at least in Japan where drag racing has sadly been reduced to only a few annual events held at hardly ideal venues. But that’s another story… What I want to concentrate on here is a serious looking Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution built by Escort Drag Racing Service.
This is a project that has brought together some big names in the Japanese tuning and racing world, starting off with Voltex who was called in to create a bespoke aero package for the Evo. The Attack event at the end of February was the car’s first competitive outing at Tsukuba, and the Escort team and its privateer owner/driver are still very much in the set-up phase. But the 54.9-second lap it recorded straight out of the box is something that cannot be ignored.
It’s pretty obvious that aerodynamics have been taken very seriously here, and you probably won’t be surprised to hear that the package was developed in Voltex’s own wind tunnel. Included is a bespoke front bumper that’s both elongated and widened to merge effortlessly with the super-wide front fenders. And check out the multi canard and splitter arrangement to keep the front end planted through Tsukuba’s tricky corners.
There’s a carbon under-tray too which extends outwards to meet up with the complex side skirts.
Rear overfenders hide the fact that the rear arches had to be cut to accommodate the generous offset of the wheels: RAYS Volk Racing TE37SLs shod with 295-section Yokohama Advan A050s. Compared to some of the other fast Tsukuba time attack machines, the rear wing is somewhat restrained in size, but it’s anchored right onto the chassis through the boot lid, so all of the downforce it produces is used to full effect.
Throw unpainted carbon fiber doors into the mix and the result is a menacing, almost prototype-looking time attack beast.
The engine was built by Escort is based around a Kansai Service 2.2-liter stroker kit running an GCG turbo with Turbosmart HyperGate45 wastegate for boost control. The power output? Around the 600hp mark I’m told. Drive is sent to all four wheels via a Holinger sequential gearbox.
Escort teamed up with AVO Japan – the country’s official MoTeC importer and distributor – for this build, so it’s running some good stuff – custom wired MoTeC M800 engine management system and MoTeC C187 digital display/logger unit included.
Problems with turbo lag? Easy, just run a bit of gas – that’s what the two-stage NOS system is here to do. I haven’t seen a time attack car running N2O in a long time, but I’m sure Escort has a lot of experience with it.
The large oil tank in the passenger footwell is an obvious hint that the 4G63 has been treated to a dry sump conversion too; nothing has been left to chance.
The guys at Escort have the whole year to refine the car’s setup now, and you can be sure that when the colder months roll around again, this Evo will be back out at Tsukuba Circuit trying to put down an even quicker lap time. That, I cannot wait to see!
Dino Dalle Carbonare