It’s not every day you step into the fastest race car you’ll likely ever take a ride in. Just ask NZV8 photographer Croy, who claims the Juno race car to be one of only two cars to have ever scared him.
His ride came recently, when we were invited to the launch of a truly special piece of race car engineering — the Synergy V8-powered Juno Racing vehicle. UK-derived and brought to New Zealand by UK-born Taupo resident Chris Hold, the Juno first popped up on the radar in late 2008. Originally powered by a 2.0-litre engine from late-model Honda Civics and tuned to create around 250hp, the Juno competed in a couple of local races.
However, director Chris says, “After originally wanting Hondas, I realised the Kiwi love for V8s.” Too right.
It just so happened that Chris crossed paths with Simon Longdill, a mechanical engineer who designed and built the Synergy V8 platform back in 2005. As a fellow engineer, Chris looked at the computer designs and needed no more convincing. A deal was struck, and Simon got to work piecing together the 2.4-litre Synergy V8. Built using two Kawasaki ZX-1200 motorbike heads, the Synergy produces a wild 400hp at 11000rpm. Taking into consideration that the Juno Racing chassis tips the scales at around the 600kg mark, the numbers start to get serious.
We weren’t there to be dazzled by the numbers, though. We were there to see how Juno and Synergy met in the middle. (more…)