In hill climbing three main rules apply, you need a fast car, a light car and the driver has to be consistent to tenths of a second. Without these attributes there is not much point in competing.
So when we spied this Evo 7 at a local hill climb event we wondered what lay beneath the glorious WRC “Marlboro” red paint work, the only way to find out was to get in touch with its owner Steve Hunter.
Steve has been competing in the Guyson Hillclimb series in Scotland for the last few years and has been very consistent with his times at tracks like Fintray, Boyndie and Golspie. Consistency is the key and to be constant you need to be a smooth driver and know your cars limits/attributes.
Steve campaigned a road going Evo VIII for many years but using a road going car from the beginning caused a lot of headaches, starting with a road shell means that the sheer amount of weight/metal work that needs to be shed reduces the cars stability when cornering and when you get to the heights of competition Steve was at it just becomes impossible to improve the car any further.
So where do you begin? This is the question Steve asked himself at the end of the 2011 Hillclimb season, he loved the Evo chassis but starting with a road car again would have been pointless.
A plan was hatched to start with the best money could buy ……… a full WRC prepped Evo VII shell. A visit to Dave at Ears Motorsport and Steve picked up an ADR prepped shell complete with a full custom cage.
Being a WRC shell it would be rude not to have some WRC parts.
And there is nothing cooler than being able to say the doors,bumpers and boot lid have actually been used in the WRC. Inside the doors (which contain no metal what so ever) is a nice little reminder of who the previous owner was, the name can’t be much bigger.
The name Mcrae is synonymous with rallying and although this time it doesn’t relate to Colin or his farther Jimmy it does relate to Colin’s younger brother Alister who campaigned the Evo VII throughout the 2002 season. These particular doors were from the round in Kenya that was to be the last time WRC would be able to compete there due to funding issues.
The doors also featured these awesome mirror/lights, Steve hopes to wire them up in the future to see if they still work and also for a cool touch when heading up the hill.
With the base being super light it was time to start make the lightweight shell pay off. Steve’s engine from his previous Evo had been built by RC developments and he knew that would be the best option to fit to his new lighter Evo.
The engine itself is a stroked 2.4 litre 4G63 complete with Kelford cams. A full race tubular manifold feeds the Borg Warner 8374 EFR turbo, the turbo itself runs a twin scroll set up for faster spooling which Steve hopes to put to the test in the next few weeks.
A GWR Custom side exit exhaust takes care of getting the gases expelled while twin Tial waste gates get rid of the unwanted boost via a screamer pipe.
A JAZ 20ltr fuel cell feeds two Bosch 044 fuel pumps which is enters the engine via 4 2000cc injector’s.
With a sorted engine it was time to make sure the car would be able to transfer the power to the road,Steve decided to use a Samsonas dog box with a Drenth sequential shifter. The power is transferred from the gearbox through the prop shaft and into an RS rear diff.
Chassis mods were up next, a full suspension set up from Proflex with their Jumbo 3 Coilovers which include’s remote reservoirs which basically give the suspension infinite adjustment.
The roll cage does the most of the stability work but underneath the car a Momentum rear subframe adds even more rigidity and reduces unwanted chassis flex.
Now if you’re gonna go fast, you need to stop fast! Alcon are BIG in the game of brakes and so the choice for Steve was a no brainer
Sixpots up front with four pots in the rear coupled with Carbontech XP10 pads make sure the car has maximum braking force!
To save on the unsprung weight Steve added lightweight 18 x 8.5″ Compomotive MO’s shod in Kumho C03 tarmac slicks to keep the car connected to the road.
The interior retains the lightweight theme, the standard dash is the only piece that remains from the original interior. Steve decided that it would need to be flocked to reduce the glare from the road.
An AIM MXL digital dash takes all the readings from the Motec ECU and a stripped RS wiring loom retains the least amount of wiring needed to keep the car going.
Corbeau Pro Sprint seats and Sabelt harnesses keep Steve secured while tackling the various sprint circuits in the Guyson season.
The car is superbly put together by Steve himself with the help of David Coutts of DMC performance
With all the ground work done the car now ready to test
Its time to see if all the hard work will pay off.
Its time to see if this mega Evo VII can be King of the Hill!