Haltech Heroes: Ian Porter’s Barra-powered Brute

When Ian Porter wanted to try his hand at Time Attack and circuit racing he could have picked from any number of different vehicles.

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What he chose however, is definitely a display of “out of the box” thinking.

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Ian picked up his BF Ford Falcon ute from a mate. It’d been sitting around after taking a hit in the rear, but the damage wasn’t a concern for Ian. He had different plans for the car.

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We all know that you need more than a big wing to make a time attack car handle, but being designed for hauling heavy hay bales and tools, the Falcon ute came standard with a leaf sprung solid axle in the rear. Hardly the choice of preference for aspiring time attack monsters. 

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With some help from Daniel at Impossible Fabrications, the whole back half of the iconic Aussie ute was cut off. What came next is an inspiring effort in “backyard engineering”. A full rear subframe from a Nissan 300ZX was sourced and grafted behind the cab using some of the most impressive bar work we’ve seen in a while.

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Ian runs his own steering and suspension business, Porter Performance, so setting up the ute to handle was of utmost concern to him.

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The rear end of a Nissan R33 GTR was measured up, and all suspension angles were transposed over to the ute. Custom built BC coil-overs tie the whole thing together.

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Moving from the rear to the pointy end of the ute, motivation comes from one of Ford Australia’s venerable Barra engines.

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The twin-cam, straight six Barra engine was found in every model Falcon in Australia from 2002 onwards. Used in rentals, taxis and police cars it is a great choice for anyone wanting to make power on a budget.

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Ian’s example is running stock internals, with only a set of valve springs to help it cope with the 22psi of boost the bigger turbo is supplying.

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With the Elite 2500 in control, the combo is good for about 500Kw (or 670hp) at the rear wheels, which provides plenty of excitement when Ian gets behind the wheel!

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The cabin is simple and purposeful with a serious rollcage offering maximum protection to both the driver and the passenger.

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Haltech IQ3 logger dash replaces the factory instrument cluster.

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G4 Racing eight piston brakes slow the beast down.

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The front aero package by JSAI is complimented by a massive V3 rear wing by TopStage.

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Ian is not afraid to throw the ute around having competed in numerous track events including an impressive performance at the Bathurst Hillclimb Nulon Nationals.

Bonus Images:

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