Set your imagination on fire with the opportunity to not only own, but to refine your dream car into your idea of its ultimate form.
After years of hard work from owners Michele and Mark Guyer, the self-confessed die-hard Nissan R32 Skyline couple could finally unveil their own extreme interpretation of motoring perfection with the rest of us. And what a way to introduce it than setting her free to roar across Sydney Motorsport Park in the Open Class at the 2018 World Time Attack Challenge.
If you missed it during the competition, let me be the first to introduce you to Xtreme GT-R, a carbon-clad, 2.8-litre billet-engined BNR32 Skyline GT-R.
It’s a difficult task to stand out amongst the sheer madness of machinery on display on WTAC, but something about this Godzilla not only stole, but held my attention for the entire weekend. Ironically, it was the restraint used when reshaping the car in carbon fibre that initially piqued my interest.
Appearances are deceiving though, because the more I looked, the more subtle body differences and aero I noticed tucked away, blending cleverly into where you’d imagine the original GT-R’s body lines would run.
Despite the heavy revision by Topstage Composites, Xtreme GT-R still manages to retain all of the character and charm the R32 exuded on the day it rolled off Nissan’s factory floor.
Considering the entire body is carbon and therefore could have been molded into almost any shape, putting so much effort into maintaining so many of the original aesthetics and staying loyal to the heritage of their workhorse (and ignoring faster options) was a bold choice by Mark and Michele. It’s one I’m told they’d both happily make a thousand times over, though.
The decision to work with a 30-year-old platform no doubt prolonged the design process and required some unique ideas. I imagine walking the tightrope stretched between respecting the heritage of the R32 and chasing all-out performance would have been a difficult task.
The extra work has totally paid off, though; the reward is not only a blisteringly-fast time attack machine, but also a very personalised interpretation of what is in Michele and Mark’s minds, their perfect car.
Silverware and podiums are of course welcome bonuses, however, the real prize here is the car itself.Pheonix Reborn
Getting their carbon warrior to this point was no easy task. In fact, the entire project was almost completely destroyed after quite literally going up in flames at WTAC 2017. The fire was near catastrophic; I saw the thick plume of jet-black smoke and assumed that’d be the last we’d ever hear about the GT-R. Aside from obvious damage to the car, the team was emotionally left on the brink of destruction, too.
After months of deliberation, the couple decided they’d worked too hard and invested too much to walk away: Xtreme GT-R would compete at World Time Attack Challenge in 2018. From April to October, both Mark and Michele slept at the garage, spending every spare hour resurrecting the charred remains of a dream.
The clock ticked relentlessly, even with the team working around the clock; October was looking unrealistic. But as the event neared the project started coming together.
Testing commenced a fortnight before WTAC, but it quickly became evident that the GT-R was suffering some breathing issues and also struggling to keep oil in the engine. Both were significant problems.
Additional oil catch cans were added, and on average the three cans were collecting around three litres of oil each session. The engine was removed and taken to Nissan specialist Peter McDonnell at PMC Race Engines for its ultimate rebuild.
While that was happening, Murray Coote from MCA Suspension stepped in and introduced a clearly exhausted Xtreme GT-R team to Brad Sherriff at Boost Automotive. If anybody had the expertise to chase the final gremlins away, it was Brad. “He stepped in and saved the day for us; Xtreme GT-R would not have made WTAC or survived without Brad’s knowledge,” says Michele.More Than Looks
The same attention to detail and smart solutions flow inwards to the interior and also the mechanical solutions powering the lightweight chassis.
The driver, in this case Trackschool coach John Boston, must have felt like some sort of high-tech king while sitting in his Kevlar-shelled Racetech throne.
I wonder if John had enough time to appreciate being surrounded by pure carbon opulence while steering the old R32 towards a best lap of 1:30.1010?
Appearances can only carry you so far though, and lap times confirm there’s more than meets the eye here. Quick shifts were made possible by an Albins STi6 6-speed sequential gearbox.
And a whole stack of MoTeC gear, including a C187 dash, M150 ECU and two PDM15s control boxes completed with a custom military-spec loom and harness wired by GR Motorsport Electrics.
An Aftermarket Industries F1-1200 fuel cell supplies the stroked 2.8-litre RB-series engine in a package that delivers more than 1,000hp at all four wheels.
A custom Maatouks Racing CNC-ported head with shim-less valves, custom buckets and cams sit atop an RB26 billet block, now pushed out to 2.8-litres via a 77.77mm stroker kit. Larger SPS custom pistons and Carrillo conrods fire up the bigger block, while a stronger Nitto crank and Hi Octane dry sump provide additional insurance for the additional ponies.
Precision’s dual ball-bearing 6870 turbocharger pressurises the system, venting through a 60mm Turbosmart wastegate.
As mentioned earlier, the billet engine was assembled by PMC Race Engines, one of Australia’s most respected Nissan/Datsun engine builders, and a name you may be familiar with if you’ve been following the Australian content on Speedhunters. Once together, the final task of tuning this monster was entrusted to Brad at Boost Automotive.
I think I’ll leave the final words to those that dreamed up, worked hard and built this high-tech love letter to the king of a bygone era: “We still keep being told an R32 will never win time attack, and we don’t pay too much heed to that. We just keep doing the best we can and remain loyal to the car that inspired us to do great things.”
Nissan RB28DET, billet block, Maatouks Racing CNC-ported head with shim-less valves, custom buckets & cams, Nitto stroker crankshaft, Carrillo connecting rods, SPS custom forged pistons, Precision 6870 turbocharger, 60mm Turbosmart wastegate, Aftermarket Industries F1-1200 fuel cell, MoTeC M150 EC, GR Motorsport Electrics mil-spec wiring/loom, 2x MoTeC PDM15 modules, MoTeC C187 dash
Albins STi6 6-speed sequential gearbox, Xtreme Clutch 184mm quad-plate clutch
MCA Gold 3-way adjustable dampers, UAS upper pivoting control arms, Brypar billet uprights, Ikeya Formula control arms, AP Racing Pro 5000R 6-pot front & 4-pot rear calipers, Goodridge hoses & fittings
RAYS Volk Racing CE28SL 18×10.5-inch front/rear
Topstage Composites complete custom carbon fibre bodywork, J Racing paintwork, CPC powder coating, AP Racing CP3985 air jacks