Introducing Stephen Thompson`s Evolution 9GT. This car has recorded some incredible times over the past couple of months with a repetitively stock motor and some very well thought out chassis upgrades. We sat down with Steve to find out alittle bit more about this build.
Tell us a little bit about the car you have build Steve? My car is a 2006 Evolution 9GT. ‘GT’ was a limited model with all the running gear from the RS model plus ABS and power windows – sort of a road going RS really. It has a chrome moly strut to strut cage, probably the biggest single investment in the car, stripped interior, brake, suspension and light power upgrades including Cams, bigger turbo, new exhaust manifold and a good fuel system making a super reliable 280 of E85.
What form of Motorsport are you building it for? It’s an all-rounder really. Initially super-sprints and World Time Attack was my plan with a view to production class racing later. More recently I’m looking at sports sedans as I could run it as is there.
Why have you chosen that chassis? The ‘CT’ chassis Evo’s (i.e. 7-8-9) make a great track car and there’s a wealth of parts and experience in what works, set-up, etc for the model.
How long have you been driving for? About three years ago I did my first super sprint. Prior to that I’d dome some driver training with Ian Luff at the now defunct Oran Park track. ‘V8 experience’ a couple times at SMSP. I did d a day in a formula Holden at Wakefield once. You could say I’ve been waiting for the chance to do what t I’m doing.
What cars have you owned in the past? I started supersprinting in a BMW MINI. Fun little car I drove to and from the track. Following that I built an Evo 7. Bolt in cage, kept it street registered. It was an all-rounder too. At the time I had an idea I might do some tarmac rally in it (Early Modern class)
Describe your style of driving? Smooth, consistent. I like to find my way around the track (particularly a new track) inch at a time then work on perfecting it.
Have you been involved in any other forms of Motorsport? Yes I raced Jet skis in the 90’s. Sea-Doo 200hp avgas sucking two strokes. It was fun but a young family made it tricky travelling up and down the east coast.
Describe your hairiest moment while driving? Probably when I trowelled my 7 at SMSP T4. Went in too quick on cold tyres and lost the rear. The tyre wall in front of the new south circuit pits is forgiving thankfully. Not for the 7 though – it was a write off.
What is the best mod you have done to your car for your chosen form of motorsport? The cage. Unbelievable body stiffness and integrity compared to any car I’ve driven. It’s the foundation for all handling without which all the power under the sun is of no use.
What is your favourite race car? I’m a fan of the Group A era touring cars culminating in the R32 GTR Godzilla. TCM cars currently – and the utes! I guess I like a road car made to race (though I appreciate dedicated race cars too) – a car you can relate to.
What do you think of Australian Motorsport right now? It’s in a great place. Some poo-poo the V8 Supercars but I think they’ll be around for some time yet. GT racing should find a legion of new fans once Mustang and Camaro land here (assuming the factprys back some teams). At the grass roots level we have more and more participants. The thing we lack is facilities particularly in NSW. In the UK there’s tracks dotted around the country hence the rich tradition. We need to get our act together.
What is your favourite track in Australia to drive on? Oh Mount Panorama! Easter just gone I ran there for the first time. One off the bucket list there.
What is your favourite corner in any racetrack in the world to drive on? Getting the castle and fish-hook combination just right at Wakefield is a buzz in a car that points well. Hard to top the mountain though – the run to McPhillamy where you run out to the ripple strip if you’re on it is a test. You actually take a breath at Skyline (like, thank f*ck, I made it) before heading down the mountain.
Have you noticed a change in the way your car performs since changing to Products? I certainly can sing the praises of the engine oil (syn10-w40). I recently put a fresh crate motor in the car that pulls like a train all day. That oil is a clean as a whistle and the engine doesn’t use a drop.
Where would you like to go with the Help of Nulon? DTMF Racing is the recently launched brainchild of a pair of mates (Michael King and myself). I say brainchild but we did it for laughs really (ask what DTMF stands for) – turns out though people are getting on board. See our ‘team’ is almost a targeted brand, the target being car owners that track their cars rather than pretty them up and look at them parked somewhere. We’re not sure where it’s going to go, but it’d be cool for NULON to be associated as a key sponsor and see a bunch of guys using the products because of it.
Thanks for your time Steve, lastly is there any style of event you would like to enter over the next 12 months? There’s a lot I am entered in! iRace, NSW Time Attack. I’m organising my CAMS circuit licence to do some door to door in the lead up to Easter 2015 when I’ll run with the sports sedans. DTMF has plans too – Radicals, Production sports, we’re not sure but 2015 will see us up the ante racing wise.
The next chance to see Steve and his well setup balanced Evoultion will be at the NSW state Time Attack held at Wakefield Raceway on the 21st and 22nd of June 2014.
Stay tuned for more information and results from Steve and the rest of the Nulon Motorsport team.