Sometimes a build comes along that takes everyone’s breath away. Something that everyone has heard of but no one has seen yet. Andy Forrest has just finished one such build in his shed in Scotland. And he has one simple goal and that is to be the fastest time attack car in the world. He will be loading this insane creation into a container marked “Sydney” as he plans to take on all comers and tries to break the existing lap record of 1:22.19 and take the top Pro Class spot in the process.
Having made the trip to Sydney back in 2015, the original iteration of this vehicle suffered an irreparable transmission failure that relegated them to the sidelines for the event without ever putting down a lap in anger. But what happened that weekend was sure to change the course of this car forever. You see Andy and his lovely wife Lisa spent the weekend checking out the high standard of cars at WTAC and went straight back home to lock themselves in a shed back in Scotland for two whole years. They worked after hours and every weekend to create a vehicle capable of winning outright. Much like his Japanese counterpart Under Suzuki, Andy Forest is truly a one man show with his wife and friends helping but almost everything being built in house by him. He is also the driver and even though he would qualify to run in Pro Am, much like Suzuki, he has no intention of doing that. He wants to win outright and the Pro Class has a greater allocation of tyres and allows NOS.
This car truly is a work of art with the SVX 6 cylinder engine now running a big single turbocharger and punching out well over 1000hp. This same engine with twin turbochargers and 1200hp propelled this car in its previous form to a quarter mile time of 7.7 seconds. The single turbo has been selected for response and also better fitment around the insane aero package. Once again we see some of Andrew Brilliant’s finest work in the design and the mind truly boggles at the potential here. The transmission is a ‘built’ R35 GTR dual clutch transaxle. Yep you read that right! And that is just a taste of the list of utter craziness on this build.
We caught up with Andy in his sleepy hometown of Port Seton near Edinburgh Scotland as he was putting the finishing touches to this insane beast.
WTAC: Hi Andy. Thanks for taking the time out to talk with us. This is one crazy bit of kit you have created here! You must have come back from WTAC with a serious vision as this is almost an entirely new car. Tell us a bit about it
Andy Forest: Yeah for sure. Maybe it’s easier just to say what I retained from the 2015 car! We retained the main structure: the A, B and C pillars, steel roof, most of the floor and chassis and also the T45 cage. Pretty much everything else has changed.
WTAC: 2015 was obviously a bit disappointing with transmission woes forcing you out of competition early. I assume there has been a fair bit of development in this area in preparation for WTAC 2017?
AF: This is one of the big changes for 2017, we have fitted an R35 GTR dual clutch transaxle in the rear. Two main reasons for this, the car suffered poor weight distribution with the big H6 engine hanging out over the front, also the reliability of the Subaru trans at 1000+bhp was a concern. The R35 transmissions are running 2000+bhp now in some applications so at least we have an upgrade path!
WTAC: The car has undergone a fair bit of change in the aero department as well – It looks like a completely different car! How did your previous WTAC experience effect your new aero package?
AF: Looking at corner speeds, I was aware we could match and indeed run faster than the front running cars on the slow speed corners but on the high speed stuff they just killed us. There was only one answer, proper aero. Ian introduced me to Andrew Brilliant at WTAC 2015 and the rest is history! I speak the same tech language as Andrew and found him great to work with. He went out his way to meet my needs, normally transaxle cars don’t have room for full aero tunnels and end up with diffusers. I was adamant I wanted big tunnels and he made it work!
WTAC: And did you build it all yourself in-house?
AF: 99% yes, I had some help with the internal sheet metal but ended up making all my own suspension, FWD drivetrain and all the carbon parts, including full floor, tunnels, splitter, bumper bar, and wings.
WTAC: We hear that you will be running a trick new suspension setup as well?
AF: I have junked the struts and designed a fully rosejointed double wishbone suspension with inboard cantilever shocks, alloy uprights, blade adjustable tubular anti roll bars, variable ackerman steering, hydraulic/pneumatic ride height adjustment and my own design of 3rd spring set up.
The role of the 3rd spring is to react to forces that only affect both wheels at the same time ie aerodynamic loads. It allows us to run optimum wheel rates on the main springs for good mechanical grip whilst supporting massive downforce at high speed. Without this we would have to resort to either very stiff springs or running on the bumpstops at high speed. I believe we are the first to run this sort of set up front and rear on a WTAC specification saloon car.
WTAC: You were running a pretty interesting flat-6 engine in 2015, can you tell us a bit about what you will be running for 2017?
AF: The same lump is in there for 2017, just with a different turbo set up (big single turbo with twin scroll). We are looking for fast response to challenge the limits of the new grip levels!
WTAC: So is the car now 100% time attack focused, or do you think you will still be taking it to the drag strip?
AF: As the R35 GTR transmission is a full time RWD set up with a FWD clutch, it is better suited to drag racing than the all time 4WD Subaru set up, so yes it will see some drag action, these DCG upshifts shifts are pretty awesome with the race clutches in there!
WTAC: What’s the plan for the lead up to WTAC this year? It looks like you will have a lot more time to prepare and test versus 2015!
AF: We are currently testing the aero at high speed on an open airfield as that is the safest place to find any weakness (no FEA here!) and we have some tracktime planned at our local Knockhill track to quantify what gains we have made and dial in the suspension and aero balance. It will be a steep learning curve!
WTAC: Any people or sponsors you want to give a shout out to?
AF: We wouldn’t be there without Yoda (Ian) believing in our ability to rock the boat on such a tight budget, so a big thank you goes out there. Our main supporting sponsors are Whiteline for the suspension units and track side support. Turbosmart for wastegates and dump valves. Syvecs for their sheer brilliance in all things software related. AMB Aero for the custom aero work. Ecutek for Racerom software to allow tuning of the transmission. AE Forrest for pattern cutting. Roland Alsop for engine machining and pistons and last but not least, that crazy Stormtrooper, my partner Lisa.