Epic rally racing has lost some of its luster in the world scene, though rallies like the Mille Miglia, Targa Florio and Carrera Panamericana were once the premier motorsports events in the world. One place where that spirit lives on is in the Targa Newfoundland. This year, one of the entrants will be a Stillen-built Nissan GT-R.

The all-tarmac rally will play to the GT-R's strong suits, allowing for the car's prodigious output and highly dynamic chassis to make the most of the unpredictable and twisty stages. But like all production cars, the GT-R will still require extensive modification to be suitable for the race.

Stillen's key areas of modification are: lightening, power, braking and suspension. To save weight, they will be replace the stock seats with race units, and use dry carbon fiber body panels wherever possible - no expense spared.

Power-adding is fairly easy in a forced-induction car, though the GT-R's ECU has been notoriously hard to tweak. Nevertheless, Stillen plans a new performance exhaust, intercooler and an ECU tune for what it hopes to be a big power gain. Keeping that power in check will be a new set of brakes co-developed with AP Racing.

Suspension mods are being kept top-secret, but Stillen is admitting to upgraded shocks and adjustable anti-roll bars at front and rear.

The 2009 Targa Newfoundland gets underway September 12 and runs through September 19, so the team has just 6 months to build the car up from scratch. Keep your eyes peeled for more on the race and the Stillen GT-R entry as the event approaches.