Hey everyone – welcome to the second installment of the MCNSPORT Audi Drift Sport D-Mac S1. Following on from my first build story, the car has returned from Stone Motorsport, so the rest of the work will now be completed here at MCNSPORT HQ in Cork, Ireland. Progress will be dramatic too, so keep returning to Speedhunters to see how she comes together. As you can see, some body panels have arrived and more tube and fab work has been carried out since last time, so let’s take a closer look…
At the front I’ve decided to go with a double-tube design for added strength, and there’ll be a crash structure to go onto the front of this. It was important to make it strong so that in a minor incident only the crash structure deforms. For now it’s just tacked in place, as I’ll only know the final length required once the engine (with its dry sump pulley fitted), oil cooler and intercooler are installed. This is a good starting place for now though.
As you can see, major progress has been made in the engine bay. A few points of interest here: the double-tube front structure had been triangulated to the suspension top, the mock-up five-cylinder engine has been chassis mounted, the gearbox tunnel has been fabricated, and the firewall has been extended slightly into the engine bay to make room for the brake cylinder mounted inside the car.
The engine has been chassis mounted on the passenger side too, and the two original holes in the body where the Audi tie rods go through have also been welded up.
The next step for the front is to remove the crossmember and have it blasted and powder-coated, and install the 034 Motorsport alloy mounting bushes. We will also be making a custom front anti-roll bar for this car to ensure it handles how I want it to.
The tunnel itself is 99 per cent complete and just needs some trimming and final prep work. Its odd shape is due to the Saenz sequential gearbox’s design and the need to get a 4-inch downpipe down the driver’s side as well.
I am almost regretting not making the car left-hand drive, as the right side is very busy with the steering column, Garrett turbo, downpipe and gearbox layshaft all fighting for space. The starter is mounted quite high as the engine is designed to lean over to the right side, but we have dry sumped it and stood it up. On the left side we will have the dry sump tank lines, radiator lines, fuel lines and the wiring loom going to the Haltech Elite 2500 engine management system.
The interior has really taken shape since last time, and I am delighted to welcome Sparco Italy to the project with a pair of Drifting LF seats. Sparco has just launched this new Drifting range, and what better way to promote it than in the coolest drift car of all time.
Also part of the range is the Sparco Drifting steering wheel. Finished in stealth black with a soft rubber grip, it’ll be a nice contrast against the silver metallic paint that the interior will eventually receive.
Here you can see the billet alloy steering column mounts. We will be re-making the bar coming off the cage as I want the mounts to point rearward rather than down, so this will be changed before paint.
It’s great to get a car back with so much of the fab work already complete. I’m used to doing my own cars from scratch, so this is a really refreshing change. Hopefully the S1 will spend a lot less time on four stands in the workshop too.
The rear firewall has been modified down to the level of the suspension tops. With the D-Mac 86 we went a bit crazy and the radiator was above the axle taking air in through the roof, which meant the centre hoop of the cage had to be fire-walled. But I’m looking to keep things more simple in the S1 and prevent tyre smoke and debris getting into the interior. The S1 has a much larger trunk area than the 86 so we can take radiator air from there.
The cage is now fully complete save for the door bars and harness bar. The door bars are always the last job before paint as they are a pain in the ass to be getting in and out over, and once the seats are mounted properly then the harness bar can be added. It was impossible for John at Stone Motorsport to mount the seats without me, so we will do this stuff in-house.
I love the Sweet MFG collapsible steering column. It’s a pretty expensive item, but when you plan to run no dash then it must look sexy. Most, if not all factory steering columns look terrible with the original dash removed.
Here you can see the level of fab that went into the gearbox tunnel. With the layshaft on the right-hand side the tunnel had to be wider on the driver’s side. It looks like it intrudes into the driver’s footwell, but there is actually plenty of room for the pedals. Please remember that this car is being built to the Irish Drift Championship rulebook – not Formula Drift rules.
The driveshaft tunnel also had to be raised and we will use a one-piece shaft back to the Nissan R200 Diff. The lever for the sequential gearbox and also the D-Mac handbrake will be mounted on the driveshaft tunnel, but we’ll take a closer look at all those parts in the next update.
The passenger side of the tunnel is quiet vertical so it leaves us options for the electric power steering pump and the fuel, oil and coolant lines. I will also mount the Haltech Elite ECU and all the relays on a panel above the footwell for easy accessibility.
Now you can really start to see the makings of the iconic S1. These panels came from Germany and the quarter is a prototype extended short wheelbase S1 item moulded from an original S1 E2 component. These are probably the only two in existence in the world. On the rear you can see a copy of a Group B/Pikes Peak S1 lower panel. This will be cut to allow for protruding crash protection bars as I will be expected to clip walls.
Across from the new is the old, and the disassembled D-Mac 86 sits next to its successor. I cannot see myself using the 86 over the S1 in the future so I have decided to sell the chassis. If you want it, hit me up!
In the bay next door sits my dad’s oval racing K10 Micra and the Mike Fitz Hankook RX-7 in for some repairs. We have plenty to do around here…
Paddy loved the D-Mac 86 in its final MCNSPORT cream livery. The design was created at the start of last season for the possibility of building a S1, and the three stripes are a homage to the old Audi Sport stripes – albeit with a crazy twist on the side of the car to make it more flashy. I’m happy with how it came out and that I was able to translate it from my head to the car so well.
This the Coco the smaller of our two dogs. She spends her days walking around the workshop saying hello to everyone and generally being the happiest dog in the world. The other guy just lays in the back of his own van all day and only gets out for food. Maybe Ben will also make an appearance in a future update…
Its amazing to think what special machinery sits here in this sleepy village in Ireland. I don’t think we are ready for how famous the D-Mac S1 is going to become. The 86 was world famous, but the S1 is on another level in my opinion. I hope people are as excited about it as I am.
Many items from the past lay scattered around the workshop. We have killed many Starlet EP70s oval racing, but this grill badge has survived. If it wasn’t for Toyota there would be no MCNSPORT. Respect!
My dad does all the suspension setups as well as everything else for the the oval and dirt track racers, and here’s another K10 Micra in for some work. The Micra has replaced the Starlet as the car of choice in the 1.0-litre class, and believe me when I say that these things are so much fun!
Outside sits my D-Mac 240. This left-hand drive car was originally from the USA but somehow found its way to Ireland. We have since modified the crap out of it and used it as the test bed for our S-chassis range of parts, including the newly-developed D-Mac Steering Angle Kit. The 240 is powered by a fully-built 2JZ using BC internals and JE pistons, along with a Garrett GTX turbo and a Haltech Elite engine management system. This car has been driven by Chris Forsberg and Matt Powers in the Irish Drift Championship, and I think Speedhunters should do a feature on it. You guys agree, right? Also pictured is a customer’s red-over-black AE86 in for a 1UZ conversion.
It’s nice to keep old body panels around the place to remind you of good times. This door was damaged when Chris Forsberg drove the D-Mac 240 and got ran into, but still secured a great second place. I get a lot of enjoyment from other drivers driving my 240 and giving their feedback towards my products. Chris loved the 240, so hopefully he can come back and drive it again someday.
On the top shelves are reminders of the Audi that gave up its life to build the D-Mac S1. Audi UR lights are kept well out of harms way until the final assembly stage. When these get taken down we will almost be there. I cant wait!
Also tucked away is the five-cylinder manifold from the KRB time attack car. This was supplied with our 2.7-litre engine and will be used for mock-up.
So there you have it – another update for you lot to drool over. I’ll be back very soon showing more of the D-Mac S1 and all of the amazing parts that are ready to be fitted from our fantastic partners.