With 1350kW on the wheels, Craig Czank’s 8-second Toyota Supra has had its fair share of ups and downs. We tagged along with the Czank team…
By Joel Batty Silva
Craig’s call to our offices the day before the race event indicated the Czank Racing team were hoping to go faster and improve the Toyota Supra’s best of an 8.44 @ 264km/h. I guess harnessing those ponies isn’t as easy as everyone thinks, and here’s why.
Many factors and variables come into play. Track conditions, weather, electronics, engine and tyre setup can make or break your day at the office. But having one of the best engine management systems on the market can certainly point you in the right direction.
For a car that will look right at home at World Finals in Maryland, you’d assume none of the factory wiring remains anywhere on the car. But you’re sadly mistaken. The car still has electric windows, window wipers, indicators…the list is long. Infact, the whole car is still intact and nothing has been removed except for the carpeting, roof lining and seats. It even passed a roadworthy and Craig has proof of that too.
“She’s a fat lady, hey!” laughs Craig. “She weighs 1448kg without me in it.” Admittedly though, everybody will still say the Supra is a drag car. I guess we should blame the wheelie bars and the massive 33×17 slicks but other than that, nothing else.
For the most part, the body on this Supra remains stock and only a trained eye familiar with the lines of a JZA80 would be able to peek past the famous body panels on the car to reveal a plethora of race-only parts and pure performance.
Take a peek inside the cockpit and you will notice the ECUMaster power distribution module which eliminates the need for fuses and relays. Packed neatly on the floor resides the Haltech Elite 2500 standalone computer accompanied by an entourage of other modules.
These state-of-the-art electronics keep the monster engine which Hannes Minnaar built running like clockwork.
I say monster because it once made 1365kW on the wheels at 70-pounds of boost. As with the rest of the car, the attention to detail that went into the engine is astonishing. Slapping together an engine with off-the-shelf internals is something most tuning shops would do. Tearing everything apart and further customising parts is how the Czank Racing team rolls.
Hannes didn’t overlook any part of the engine: Arias forged pistons, ARP fasteners and Extreme aluminium conrods are all part of the formula. Surprisingly though, the crank is still a stock item rotating in the epoxy-filled block. He also added Kelford cams and a Ferrea valvetrain to the beast. And the CNC-machined Pro-Jay Billet Bulley intake manifold is just sick!
Whenever a Toyota Supra lines up at the start line, enthusiasts gather around, as they know all hell is probably about to break loose. The same applies with Craig’s Mk4 Supra but getting off the line isn’t all fun and games. The team’s tuning wizard Johan Minnaar cracks the laptop open to view the data from Craig’s first run, and one thing becomes clear: traction is a swear word.
“Look, the turbo is massive. In order to eliminate abit of wheel spin, I lower the boost. But because it’s so big, it only really comes alive with more boost! So I’m always adding here and taking away there.”
Johan admits the Haltech is a proper management system, and user-friendly too. The boost setup is currently speed-based and for this they use a squirt of carbon dioxide. “With CO2 we have an onboard supply of high-pressure CO2 gas that can be supplied to the wastegate. Instead of being limited to just boost pressure, we can regulate the CO2 pressure supply and supply that to the wastegate instead.” The same principle is applied to the Liberty Extreme air shift box: you can say Craig’s job is to simply point and steer. And to hang on and scream. But don’t tell him that.
So what’s next on the list? The team are looking to utilise Garrett’s latest technology and upgrade to a 98mm turbo. Perhaps even going with a longer 1st gear ratio. Oh, and there is also the small matter of a full carbon fibre body that has just recently been completed. It’s exciting times for the outfit from Klerksdorp.