Robert Barac, like many American enthusiasts, had longed for a Lancer Evolution. After seeing Mitsubishi's rally-dominating flagship kick butt and take names, he wanted one. But as in America, EVOs weren't available in his home country of Australia. In 1997, he came across an EVO that had been personally imported down under and struck a deal with the owner. Barac added a performance exhaust and boosted the 4G63 with an electronic boost controller. His wife drove the car, a 1994 Evolution III, for a while.
"I decided to take it to the track," says Barac, "and it ran a 12.7 at 107 mph. Back then, there were hardly any import cars on the strip, mainly old-school V8s. This is when I got the bug for drag racing and going faster."
Fast forward three years and Barac met Nick Zervos, owner of Advanced Performance Centre (APC). The two hit it off straight away and Zervos had just bought an AWD dyno.
"After reading many issues of Turbo magazine-thanks to my brother-in-law, I got a lot of issues-we saw the potential of the 4G63 and decided to bite the bullet and build a 10-second street car. The first year we just bolted a bigger T3/T4 turbo on it and ran low 12s. Then the decision came to build a full race engine and for the last two or three years, we've been running consistently in the low 10-second region. We're proud to say the EVO has been one of the most consistent cars, winning quite a few meets along the way. I really enjoy taking the car to the track and having all the old-school V8 guys laugh at it because it has a parachute strapped to the boot. When we run the numbers, the looks on their faces are priceless."
The EVO runs a full interior, full exhaust and BFGoodrich street tires; heck, Barac still cruises it on the street every once and again. The Mitsu's best-ever quarter mile was a 9.97 at 145 mph at Willowbank Raceway in Queensland.
The race build encompassed strengthening the bottom end and fortifying the cylinder head. APC started by punching out the cylinders .020 inches and fitting the 4G63 with Wiseco 8.5:1 compression slugs. The forged pistons swing on billet Eagle Specialties connecting rods and a polished and nitrated stock crankshaft.
Up top, the head has been massaged with port matching, runner polishing and cc'd combustion chambers to ensure smooth flow and efficient ignition of the charge. The valvetrain consists of 1mm-over Ferrea valves, with double valve springs, APC retainers and APC keepers. Valvetrain events are orchestrated by a set of HKS 272-degree cams.
Boost is generated by a Garrett GT35R turbo with a big 1.06 A/R on the turbine side and a .70 A/R on the compressor side. The rest of the turbo system is made of an APC FMIC, a Turbonetics Deltagate wastegate, a pair of Turbosmart Type 3 blow-off valves and an MRT electronic boost controller. When conditions dictate, Barac can engage warp drive via a 100-shot Nitrous Express nitrous oxide system.
Barac relies on a trusty Haltech E6K engine management system to run the show. The Haltech is in command of the fuel, ignition and nitrous systems. The fuel setup consists of an Essex pump, dash-10 lines and 1400cc injectors. The ignition side is handled by the factory coils and an MSD DIS 2 box. Zervos programmed the E6K to bring the nitrous on line at 3500 rpm and keep it pumping until 6500 rpm so it enhances the 4G63's sweet spot, getting the most bang out of the heart of the power curve.
The EVO's driveline is relatively simple and retains all of the car's streetability. Footwork consists of Koni struts and King Spring coils, teamed with 235/60-15 BFGoodrich Comp T/A rubber and old-school Work wheels. The clutch is a key player in the car's consistency and durability. Barac runs a custom twin-plate creation from APC.
The interior is still there, but Barac has added an ANDRA-approved roll cage, five-point harness, and a parachute and tailshaft hoop to meet ANDRA specifications. While these mods take away a bit of the car's street aura, Barac welcomes the new era of Australian drag racing.
"Since Australia now has a sport compact class structure we are now in the process of reworking the car and are looking to make significantly more power so we can be competitive in its class. My goal is to run consistent 9.5s on street tires." We're guessing his wife is driving something else now.