Born to ride

EDWIN Francis Nair is what you would call a true car enthusiast, owning three different vehicles that he continues to modify and use them at drag races in the country.

A simple and humble guy, Nair is a totally different person when he’s behind the wheel, basically tearing up the tracks to improve his race time.

Nair is the business banking relationship manager for BRED Bank (Fiji) Ltd in Namaka and has been a banker for almost 10 years.

He drives a Toyota Celica GT powered by a Generation 3, twin entry, water-cooled intercooler turbo, and 3SGTE engine.

He turned it into a GT specification, including upgrading of the engine out of a GT4 car and tuning it into a stock car.

With its best time of 14.1 sec the Toyota Celica has bagged a couple of trophies in the 14 and 15 second ¼ mile race and Drag Wars events in the past.

It has a two litre engine, with a front wheel drive manual transmission.

Mr Nair was among car enthusiasts at the Fiji Car Club drag race at Pacific Harbour last weekend.

“I have been racing for the past five years now and the experience has been good so far. The event gives us an opportunity to come together and race on a proper track (a more controlled environment) so we don’t race on the street like some drivers do,” he said.

“There is a need to promote more of this drag race and there are a lot of racers coming in from the West. It would be great to have more of this race being held in the country.

“The reason why we come all the way to Suva to race is because this is the only proper race facility that we can use right now.”

He said he bought his Toyota Celica in 2009 after he had gotten into an accident with his old ride.

“I had to fix my old car and sell it and later bought the Celica. Over the years I had modified it,” he said.

“I started racing in the 16 seconds category and then it improved to 15 seconds and now I’m clocking 14 seconds.

“I spent a lot of money in modifying the vehicle and I have actually lost track of how much I spent on the car.

“For the candy orange car colour, I wanted to paint the vehicle with an eye-catchy paint that can draw people’s attention at the race track. It is the third time I have painted the car.”

He said it was quite hard having race cars because of the road conditions in Fiji and the car parts being imported with car owners having to pay duty on it,

“Now it’s good to notice that a lot of companies are bringing in spare parts for race car drivers and I think the market now is easily accessible through technology,” he said.

“It would be great if government looked at racing as one of the national sports because of the huge interest that we have and if they promote it and build good facilities it will be quite good.”

He said racing was an expensive sport and people should not get too addicted to spending too much on car expenses.

“I have two cars that I use for racing and one is being modified to also race,” he said.

Details of his other cars:

Toyota Caldina GTT (EP721) — Powered by a Generation 4, 3SGTE with front mount intercooler.

It hasn’t been tested on the tracks yet but the engine has been fully rebuilt for race applications. The car should be ready to race soon. This is an all-wheel drive car with a 5 speed manual transmission.

Toyota AE70 GT (Z3PHYR) — Powered by Blacktop 4AGE twin CAM engine.

It is a 1.6 litre naturally aspirated engine and the transmission is a 5 Speed manual rear wheel drive. It has a previous record of 15.0 seconds.

He is currently tuning the car since the last race where he had managed to get 15.6 seconds. It needs some work to get back to the previous time or do better.

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