When it comes to someone with an undying passion for fast cars Richard Lal simply fits the description like no other. This fast-car lover owns two racing cars and he modified and spent a hefty amount to get the job done.
The 36—year—old is the director of Richie's Seafresh and resides at Nadera. Like other car lovers, the passion began as a boy.
"I always had a dream to own a fast car and when I started working I bought a Subaru WRX," he said. "Since then I have had three WRX which I have sold and later bought a Mitsubishi Evolution 7 and a Toyota Starlet. The two current fast cars."
* About EVO
Mr Lal explains just how much he's spent because of his love for cars. The Mitsubishi Evolution 7 was personally imported from Singapore in 2007. Since then a lot of modification work took place mainly with panel parts (body kits) and engine upgrades.
The charge? Well he spent a total of $52,000 to import the vehicle and $20,000 for upgrades. But wait, he says there's still more room for upgrading.
The result, well the Evo 7 best time at the drag race was 13.30 sec and he also won third best overall at the drag race organised by Fiji Car Club. Evo 7 has won many trophies at car shows, mainly best sport car, best dressed car and best audio setup.
Registration number plate is EV872 and it's a street legal car. "Mostly every part has been ordered from NZ or Australia because they are not available in Fiji," Lal says.
"I have spent $20,000 on upgrade itself and there's more to come. It had taken me a good six years of work but more work is needed to make it faster," he said.
"Evo 7 has a 4G63 engine and its turbo charged with forged internals and dual stage boost controller to control turbo pressure, fuel cut defender to increase the fuel cut and also fuel pressure regulator and aftermarket turbo manifold to increase performance. Evo 7 is really an eye catching ride because of its unique colour and features. It's not my daily ride".
* Toyota Starlet EP71
Toyota Starlet is a fast car with power to weight ratio. It's got a 4EFTE engine with bigger turbo GT3076R, Turbosmart External 60mm wastegate, Turbo smart Dual Stage boost controller, Turbosmart fuel cut defender, Turbosmart Fuel Pressure Regulator, Aftermarket Turbo manifold, Greddy front mount intercooler, Whalbro aftermarket fuel pump and injectors.
Lal named this car RICHIE "because most people know me by that name" and he's reserved No.7 (car number) at drag races because it's his lucky number. "I even wore No.7 jersey whenever I played soccer for my club Nadera and for Nasinu Soccer," he said.
"I bought this car locally and did all these modifications panel and engine upgrades.
"I have used this Toyota Starlet in the last two drag races and the best timing is 14.6secs. I have won the Class C catergory 1600cc-2000cc for the past two races.
"There is a lot more work needed on this car, I have Microtech Aftermarket ECU and Nitrous Oxide complete kit. I will install it in coming races to better my timing. Mostly I order parts from Turbosmart Aust since I am the authorised Turbosmart Dealer in Fiji.
"I have spent close to $10,000 on upgrades itself. I have also done custom — built sound system to give it a wild look when not used in drag races. It's not my daily drive sometimes for Sunday cruise."
Lal says that with so many modifications one really had to know his car well, so that they are able to control it at high speed. "It's not to show off on the streets and for illegal drag races," he said. "As an executive of the Fiji Car Club I don't recommend people to race on the streets but challenge them to come down to race the tracks at the next drag race."