Video: Sampling the Ultimate 350Z Racer

Sasha Anis, owner of On-Point Dyno, entered and left professional racing in a Nissan 350Z. His short pro career was the natural offshoot of time trials and drifting, and as his business caters to the Nissan community, it made professional sense he went with the then-current 350Z, which happened to be one of the cheaper platforms to use.

After a short struggle in Grand-Am, he decided to retire from the big leagues—but continued sternly on with his modified Nissan. Now free from the shackles of professional regulations, he started tuning the 350Z for time attack and club racing with three specific goals in mind:

  1. It must stay true to an ALMS GT car in terms of style and character.
  2. It must be fun to drive, and reliable enough to win sprint races.
  3. It must stay naturally-aspirated.

Part of the fun of leaving professional Grand-Am racing, aside from saving dough, is the ability to tune and experiment. As his GS class was very stringent and tried to encourage near-production car performance, wings were largely out of the question.

As a free man, his first modifications were a DJ Engineering wing at the rear and a splitter extension by C3 Composites, which integrates front wheel arch deflectors to divert air around the wheel wells. It’s still very much a production car and lacks much underbody aero, but the outright grip is there at speed.

Starting the relatively short list of engine modifications are: custom spec JE pistons, custom grind cams and valve springs by Jim Wolf Technology, a custom intake manifold—later replaced by 53mm individual throttle bodies from Jenvey—and C3 Composites’ custom carbon airboxes to avoid sucking in hot air.

Next, Sasha chose to increase the displacement from 3.5L to 3.7L by using an OE VQ37 crankshaft and VQ35 connecting rods, GT-R rod bolts, with stock cylinder heads to cap it off. Keeping the whole mill lubed under heavy cornering is a Dailey dry sump and a Peterson oil tank; the latter located over the rear wheels to keep them firmly planted. A Bosch 044 fuel pump feeds the thirsty engine, and the Injector Dynamics 725-cc injectors relay that juice.

The trumpets are shaped specifically to produce power at the top of the rev range, where the sound is stunning—like a million drunken, angry doves. At 9,000 rpm, the motor makes 413 horsepower at the rear wheels, which is metered out via the Nismo GT Pro LSD and the Motec M800’s traction control system. Incidentally, that ECU allows for flat upshifting, and the Quaife Engineering 69G sequential gearbox keeps the VQ howling in its rev range. Thanks to carbon pieces replacing the stock doors, hood, and trunk lid, the weight is sub-3,000 pounds, and it accelerates with the best of them.

It’s also quite nimble and compliant enough to make good use of the screaming motor. Koni 2822 4-way adjustable race shocks help deploy that monumental thrust, and sitting at each corner, underneath Rocket Bunny and Crown Crafting overfenders, are Volk ZE40 wheels measuring 12″ across. These stylish wheels—which were seriously damaged in a scrap with a 997 Cup—are wrapped in Anis’ choice of used slicks—either Michelins or Continentals.

The Stoptech ST40 calipers up front take the lion’s share of braking forces, and Stoptech rotors and Project Mu Clubracer pads complete the package. Thanks to a responsive motor and great stability at speed, this incredible Z manages to duel with cars far more expensive. It’s just a shame certain Porsche drivers don’t have the same sort of appreciation for Anis’ craftsmanship as I do.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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