There comes a time when the car enthusiast in us says “I need to be faster” or “I need to be lower”. Realistically most people do both at some point.
This was certainly the case for Daniel “Twitch” Smith prior to his Mitsubishi Evolution 7RS build. Everything was going right for his Subaru GC8 throughout the hillclimb scene in South Australia. But there was something missing…
Every time those pesky Evo’s would show up to the Hillclimb events the Subaru struggled to compete. There was nothing unreliable about the car mind you, having housed an STi engine under the bonnet with the usual mods including turbo upgrades, suspension upgrades and roll cage. But soon enough the old saying “If you can’t beat them, join them” rang through his head and not long thereafter the search for an Evo began.
Originally Daniel’s plan was to track down a cheeky Evo 5 or 6RS as his partner in crime at the local hillclimbs. The love of the nostalgic 90’s cars was strong. But the problem was soon realised that finding one of those locally or imported from the motherland in Japan was going to be tricky. Finding one in any shape at all that doesn’t require you to trade in a kidney was going to be hard.
Throughout his search Daniel received a message from a friend suggesting that he look at a Evo 7RS that was right here in Adelaide. It sounded too good to be true. It had an Evo 9 Mivec engine, upgraded turbo and a chromoly roll cage. The perfect start to a race car. A week of sitting on the fence and the deal was done. He was the proud owner of the Mitsubishi Evolution 7RS. Let the fun begin.
The Evo was sitting in the driveway screaming to get out on the track. Anticipation was building.
Fast forward 2 years and the Evo had won 2 Collingrove Hillclimb Series Championships and showed huge potential in other hillclimbs around South Australia but suffered with mechanical issues. Two brand new extensively built engines had major failures, tuning errors and turbo failures causing some major setbacks with the cars development (and the piggy bank).
The last 10 months of the build is where things really started to shine. Daniel decided that if you’re going to race cars you might as well slug it out with the big boys and start some door to door racing in the National Sports Sedans category. Having come from a karting and circuit Excel racing background it wasn’t as an intimidating thought as some would have believed but it was always a dream.
With renewed focus on the path ahead and some extraordinary support from local businesses the dream is happening.
The majority of Sports Sedans are purpose built, space framed, RWD, sub 1000kgs, 700hp V8 monsters! With a few rotaries and turbo cars to seperate the competition. While Daniel’s Evolution is far from the production car that we know of in the engine and drivetrain department, much of the cars chassis is the road going version, unlike the full composite bodied weapons he will be facing on the track. The car going into the series is running a Norris Designs 4G64T prepped by Chris Milton Engineering which is run by a Motec M800 ECU and producing 700HP which equates to 521.99 kW for the ones that don’t have time to convert. Of course the car needs to stop, and this is helped with the delicious 8 piston Brembo calipers on Hankook F200’s all round.
Very recently Daniel had his first race of the series at Wakefield Park, NSW where he was the fastest 4 cylinder car by over 3 seconds per lap and was mixing in quiet well with the V8’s and rotaries. No doubt his Borg Warner EFR turbo got too hot to touch but the Xtreme 184mm triple plate clutch performed admirably along with the 6 speed Modena sequential gearbox. While at the moment the car comes in at a healthy 1180kg’s, this is by no means obese but could do with some work, which is the plan from Dan and his team in the near future, and will reach 100km/h in about 2.9 seconds. If doing the rolling shots is anything to go by, I believe it. We also had half the neighbourhood admiring the build during the shoot.
The road is long ahead. But seeing Dan take his dreams to the next level is sure enough of an inspiration for everyone in the South Australian scene and we can’t wait to see what the year holds. The team still has plans for suspension work, weight reduction and wider guards to get some chunky tyres underneath.
Dan would love to thank all those who have all contributed to building the car into what it is today. Without their guidance and the financial contribution none of this build would be possible.
Solid Engineering Mechanical
Morpowa Auto & Dyno Centre
Chris Milton Engine Developments
SSM Performance Parts
A CUT ABOVE Detailing
Southern Coast Fencing
Shorty’s Custom Wiring
Aldinga Auto Care
Modena Motorsport Gears
ULX110 custom blend oils.
SA Motorsport Tyres
Higher Level Health
Lastly a special mention from Dan to his Fiancé Jaz.
“Thank you for letting me continue to put our life on hold while I go racing.”