I photographed the first incarnation of Matt Haines’ seriously-impressive R32 GTR Nissan about three years ago now. We featured the car when it was making just on 885whp and running a blistering 9.67 @ 148.7 mph and now, well honestly, it is a whole different story and we just had to feature it all over again.
The 26 year old; mechanical fitter, raised the bar back then for Nissans, being the first 9 second street registered GTR in Western Australia and he has now lifted it way out of the reach on any other serious contenders. Earning the nickname Hollywood after his recent success at the Motul Racewars event in Albany, his car has been given a fair whack of attention online and on the track. The ironic part, he is anything but Hollywood, he is just a humble guy who is following his passion for fast cars and is keen to do as much as he can himself. The return of the car is nothing less than spectacular in all facets.
“After breaking my car at Racewars in 2015, it sat for some time while I focused on some other things in life, but the announcement of Racewars 17 had me discover some new love for the GTR. I decided that it was the right time to bring the GTR back, but this time, exactly how I imagined it in my head. It had to be a serious contender!” said Matt.
He already had most of the parts and engine build was well and truly underway with Matt doing some of the spanner work himself. “Even though the engine was on the go; the car itself was still untouched and I basically had to build the car in six months to an even higher standard than before to compete at Racewars, whilst learning from all of my previous mistakes I made with the old setup. The pressure was on but I had a great team of mates behind me to lend a hand.”
Those mates of Matt’s are some of the biggest and best names in the game. “Josh Brett at Metalcraft did all of the cutting and welding / fabrication in the engine bay. Stuff like the custom radiator, intercooler, dry sump tank and intercooler piping. His work was second to none. After the fabrication was completed, Owen Ellis at Meltham Motors took the car to concentrate on the new paint scheme I had planned. Mounted on an aluminium frame that Josh built, he got to fixing the rust issues and then resprayed the car in the new Hornet Gold colour. I really have to thank Owen as he spent many a late night finishing the car for my tight schedule,” explained Matt. I can attest to the late nights as I remember getting a text from ‘Big O’ around 2am of the newly painted car. I pedaled my BMX up the road the check it out too! The car looked awesome in the flesh.
“While the body was on the stand, I had all the subframes underneath sandblasted and powder coated black and I fitted new bushes and bearings throughout the whole car. It was back as a roller by December 2016 and the next step was to pick up the motor and assemble the dry sump setup, and drop it into the engine bay. I did all of the major work and then had Nissan guru Rob Turner whip up a custom wiring loom for the engine, fuel pumps and Motec dash.”
The car initially started it without any issues at the end of January, but during the run-in period a few issues with the oil pressure dropping when the motor got warm had Matt concerned. “I finally sorted out that issue as it turned out to be the inline oil filter. It just couldn’t flow enough oil and subsequently cooked some main bearings.” The worst part was that this all happened about a week before Racewars. Somehow, Matt and Rob had the motor in and out and fixed so the car could make it to Racewars to snare the R/Up spot with 324 km/h over the 1000m as well as being crowned Best of show and another 5 trophies returned home with him too.
The combination that returned to Racewars 17 was nothing like what Matt had already built in the white version. The easiest way to describe it as next level – basically everything was changed or improved upon.
The Nissan RB30 motor was built privately by Andrew Smith with the inclusion of forged Nitto internals this time around. The RB26 head remained but new Tomei, 280 duration camshafts were fitted. With power being the name of the game, the fuel system was binned and was seriously-upgraded to include Walbro 460s pumps that feed the E85 direct to the twelve 1250cc injectors that are plumbed into the Hypertune set up. A larger Precision 8685 Gen 2 turbo replaces the old ball bearing 7175 snail. Even the ECU was replaced, with Matt choosing to go with a new Link G4+ set up. The 4-inch exhaust system remained as did some of the Turbosmart gear. With horsepower being a very honest measurement of improvement, the car has gone from a serious 885whp to a ridiculous 1181RWHP at all fours! Insanity right there.
Back during the first build, Matt had to do a fait bit of work to make the motor actually fit. “The RB30 block is around 35mm higher than the RB26 so I had to machine the gearbox crossmember down so the motor sat higher in the tunnel and dropped the motor at the front. That was the easy part; making space for all of the turbo stuff and the piping was a little more exhausting. There is bugger all room down around the lower parts of the motor,” explained Matt.
There was only one obvious choice for a gearbox in a car like this and that is of course a Hollinger 6-speed sequential. An OS Giken R3c clutch is complimented by components wearing the same name and a Nismo front 1.5 way diff cops the power as does a rebuilt, factory set up. The brakes system comprises DBA5000 rotors with Brembo F40 calipers on the front whilst R33 GTR Brembo calipers clamp the rear discs.
The suspension copped an upgrade with HKS Drag Springs getting the go ahead on all four corners with Koni shocks taking up residence on the back end. Matt has two sets of the rims for the car and chose to run his race set up for the shoot – the wheels are Enkei RPF1 17×10+18s wearing 275/40 Mickey Thompson ET Radials.
With the car wearing that gorgeous new colour scheme, Matt decided the interior could do with some tarting up. When I last photographed the car it was very standard. Living up to his promise in issue one, Matt made a heap of changes in the name of safety. With an 8-second car that can do 324 km/h, a roll cage is a must. Bride Zeta III Genuine Carbon fixed back bucket seats were selected and equipped with harnesses. The Motec C125 colour dash tells Matt all that he needs to know.
As we packed up at after the photoshoot, Matt opened the boot and apologised for forgetting to attach the parachute for the photos. It was all good though, I didn’t mind as I watched him get in the car and drive it home from the shoot – I don’t think I will ever forget how good the car sounded leaving and going through the gears. Hollywood, you are a super star mate.