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Agent Orange

Racecars are meant to be noticed. Logically speaking, why spray it a restrained, numbed down shade of “Meh” when a true-blue, purpose-built racecar will stick out like a sore thumb anyways unless it’s among its peers.

Sure some opt to go with the discreet, low-key shades and granted, it doesn’t have any effect whatsoever on the car’s performance, but what’s the point when you need your car to stand out in a field of racecars and attract the eyeballs of the spectators to make your sponsors jump in the air and do a little jig.

Something bright, something light but definitely not something white is a good starting point for a racecar livery and much like the television show, orange is turning out to be the new black it would appear.

Although the Agent Orange phrase is a taboo one these days, the Mitsubishi Evo 3 here has one thing in common with the lethal herbicide that gained notoriety during the Vietnam war; it absolutely annihilates lap times in the very same manner its chemical namesake defoliated the terrains of Vietnam.

However, the scintillating shade of orange is unfortunately the least of this legendary machine’s repertoire. As eye-catching as it is, the real focus is rightly centred on its blistering 2:26 lap around the default performance benchmark for a track sled in the country; the Sepang International Circuit.

Generally, anything that links the 15 corners of the circuit in a time below 2:30 is considered a formidable piece of engineering or a hotshoe with some undeniable natural talent, more often than not a combination of both though.

Given that dissecting the driver and making sense of the performance is illegal here, getting under the skin of the Evo 3 and seeing what makes it tick really fast would have to suffice.

As another superior piece of engineering to roll out of the Millennium Motorsports Asia garage, the recipe to this Evo 3 is a familiar but proven one and further reinforces the notion that Joshua and the guys at the garage have perfected their track attack strategy for almost any platform.

The head of the venerable 4G63 is fortified with 264-degree cams from Web Cams, a little known camshaft connoisseur in the United States. Adding to it are beefier valve springs and retainers with a port flow job by Millennium as the icing on the cake.

Solidifying the bottom end are JE 85mm pistons, Lunati connecting rods, King bearings and Racetech main girdles to prevent the block from flexing held together by sturdy ARP head and main studs.

Proving the capabilities of the stock components, Millennium opted to retain the factory MHI 16G TD05 turbocharger as well as the intake manifold but with a larger diameter S90 throttle body governing the air passing through. Spraying the optimum amount of fuel into the cylinders are 1300cc injectors from Injector Dynamis fed by an E85-capable Walbro pump. Exhaust gases are channelled out via a custom three-inch exhaust system right out to the rear.

Auxiliary bits can be found in the form of a 45mm Turbosmart wastegate, front-mount intercooler, aluminium radiator, Apexi air filter, oil catch tank, aluminium radiator reservoir, oil filter relocation kit and Racetech radiator plate.

Those familiar with the works of Joshua at Millennium will have picked up on his love for the Microtech LT9c Standalone ECU. Unsurprisingly, a unit finds its way into the Evo 3 and is accompanied by a Microtech X4 IGBT blaster for a bigger ignition spark.

Much like consistency being cardinal for the driver in achieving quick lap times, reliability is its equivalent for the car. For that, the five-speed manual transmission now bites via an ATS triple plate carbon clutch set and is accompanied by an ATS full-lock front and rear LSD to get maximum traction down.

With a lightweight, stripped interior, stopping the car is a less taxing effort on the brakes. Nonetheless, larger Brembo calipers from an Evo 6 are fitted together with Dixcel rotors and brake pads. AR Racing stainless steel brake hoses help reduce the mushy feeling once the braking components become heat-soaked following a few hot laps.

Extracting the maximum out of any chassis is heavily dependent on the suspension bits. A local name that has been steadily building a formidable reputation for itself is Fawster. Regarded as one of the suspension and chassis set up gurus, the Fawster folks were roped in to provide their custom coilovers with damping and rebound to suit the driver’s preferences.

Adding some strength to the aged shell is a complete spot-welding treatment while a Safety 21 roll-cage ensures nothing intrudes into the cabin in the event of a crash.

For track duties, the Evo 3 rides on some Rota 17×9.5 wheels wrapped in semi-slick Hankook Z221 rubbers that stick to the asphalt like superglue.

Seeing that it’s a racecar, the interior has been completely gutted of all creature comforts and sound deadening. The only things left inside are a Bride Lowmax bucket seat, Takata racing harness and Nardi Torino steering wheel. A Defi Advance ZD helps the driver keep an eye on the engine’s vitals while punching out fast laps.

As much as the colour of the car catches your attention, the simplicity of its tuning and the subsequent results from that speak volumes about the garage as well as the driver. Here’s to eking out some quicker laps in the new year.

Car – Mitsubishi Evo 3

Engine Mods – Web Cam 264-degree camshafts, Map valve springs + retainers, Millennium port flow, JE 85mm pistons, Lunati connecting rods, ARP head and main studs, Racetech main girdle, King bearings, Stock MHI 16G TD05 turbocharger, Stock manifold, Injector Dynamics 1300cc fuel injectors, Walbro E85 compatible fuel pump, S90 throttle body, 45mm Turbosmart wastegate, front-mount intercooler, aluminium radiator, Works Engineering radiator cap, Apexi air filter, oil catch tank, three-inch down pipe and exhaust system, aluminium radiator reservoir, oil filter relocation kit, Racetech radiator plate

Transmission – ATS triple plate carbon clutch set, ATS full-lock front and rear LSD

Electronics – Microtech LT9c Standalone ECU, Microtech X4 IGBT blaster

Brakes – Evo 6 Brembo calipers, Dixcel rotors, Dixcel brake pads, AR Racing stainless steel brake hoses

Suspension & Chassis – Fawster coilovers, Complete spot-welding, Safety 21 roll-cage, Cusco front strut bar

Wheels & Tyres – Rota 17×9.5 (-15), Hankook Z221 tyres

Interior Mods – Nardi Torino steering wheel, Defi Advance ZD, Bride Lowmax full bucket seat, Takata racing harness

Garage – Millennium Motorsports Asia

Tuner – Joshua of Millennium Motorsports Asia

Fastest Lap – 2:26 at Sepang International Circuit