2016 HSV R8 Clubsport

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Vehicle: 2016 HSV R8 Clubsport

Engine: Chev LSA 6.2 litre (376 ci)

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Colour: Red with a black roof

Name: Russell Cunningham

From: Gore

When and why did you acquire it? March 14, 2016, at a Wanaka show. The car was on display and I jokingly asked the salesman what it would cost to change over from current car to this car… deal done

What is the vehicle’s history? I have owned this from new. Have done drag racing at venues from Teretonga Park through to Ruapuna (Christchurch)

Have you altered it in any way? Yes, a set of 305x35x19 Mickey Thompson ET Streets [tyres] on the rear (drags only), and engine mods by Harman Bros Racing in Christchurch, including air intake, headers, three-inch stainless exhaust, cam, supercharger boost increase and a retune. Trans also recalibrated to match engine, which has increased revs from 6200 to 6700. Now producing 607hp at the wheels (452.7Kw) and 956.8N/M torque

What’s it like to drive? Awesome. Need to take care on wet roads though. Pretty easy to drive on the drag strip, just slip gear lever into sport mode, stand on the gas pedal, travel mile in about 11.3-11.8 seconds reaching about 123mph, then throw out the anchor. Then it’s back to the start for another run

What’s it worth? A bit more than my wife thinks

Where’s your favourite stretch of road? I enjoy travelling on the Gore-Te Anau highway. It’s a good road, although you do have to take care with tourist drivers using the road

Top speed? 165.44mph, based on a time of 5.44 seconds to cover the flying speedo was reading 288kmh – reads 5kmh fast (hadn’t even got into sixth gear). This was achieved at Ashburton Car Club’s standing held at Chertsey (near Ashburton)

Best driving experience? The above, reaching 283kmh, and competing in track days at Teretonga and Levels (Timaru)

Worst driving experience? Rolling a bulky in to a gulley

What other vehicles of note have you owned? A ’66 Chev Impala which has been, and still is, in my family for 40 years. I also had a hot 1957 Mark II Zephyr and a ’39 Chev Coupe

Best music to drive to? Just about anything apart from heavy metal, hip-hop, punk, etc

Describe your driving style: Can be aggressive, hate having cars in front or behind me – I like the road to myself. I am usually more subdued when carrying passengers

If you could go for a drive in any vehicle it would be a… ? I have often said I would love to go with Hayden Paddon in his Hyundai rally car. Would most likely chicken out, so might try a Lamborghini

What was the first vehicle you ever bought? A 1957 Mark II Zephyr, which I hotted up its reconed 2.5-litre motor by boring out and fitting oversize pistons, a hot cam, headers, planed head, straight through exhaust, a set of rims widened by two inches and a flash green metallic paint job

Do you belong to any clubs? Southern Dragways based at Teretonga

Event: Southern Dragways third point score round, Friday, March 30, at Teretonga Park. Engines and scrutineering from 10am-noon, racing starts at 1.30pm. Have-A-Go class for new racers.

All racers must wear overalls and a helmet. Spectators: adult $15, under 13 free, or $45 for a family pass. For more information, go to www.southerndragways.co.nz

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