The bar has been been raised. In 2013 Tilton Racing reset the WTAC record with the outright fastest time of 1.24.85 but if you thought that claiming the 1st place trophy would cause the Tilton team to rest on their laurels for WTAC 2014, you would be mistaken.
Tilton Racing have been making podiums since the first Superlap event in 2008 with many notable achievements through the years including fastest Australian car in 2011, 2nd place Pro Class behind Nemo Racing in 2012 which lead to a big rebuild of the car culminating in the big 2013 win. The team are updating and upgrading the car once again for the 2014 event, determined to retain their first place position.
We caught up with the Tilton boss and mastermind of the Tilton Racing Evo, Kostinken Pohurukov (Kostya to his friends) for a bit of reflection on 2013 and what is planned for 2014.
WTAC: What has been happening with the Tilton Racing Evo this year?
Kostya: It’s definitely been a busy year for us. We normally only do one event a year and that is WTAC, but this year when the opportunity came up to run against the Red Bull F1 car at Top Gear we simply couldn’t resist. It was such an awesome experience to have the engineers from Red Bull F1 and Daniel Riccardo himself check out our car. Not to mention how morale boosting it was for the whole team to hear the F1 guys commenting on how cool and seriously fast they thought our car was! It meant a lot as our guys all pour their heart and soul into this project.
The downside is that it was quite an expensive exercise. When these cars are running flat out at full boost they are only designed to do one lap and we did several flat out laps and damaged quite a few expensive components. I still think it was worth it because it was really a once in lifetime experience. How many other people on the face of the earth can say they raced a Formula One car in their old Evo!
WTAC: So what can we expect to see different on the Titon Evo for 2014?
Kostya: Firstly I can tell you the two horrible front canards are going! I hated them from day one but with time being of the essence in 2013 they were the quickest way to ensure maximum downforce and chase down Nemo. This year we had a bit more time to work out how to achieve similar or possibly even better downforce without them. The Tilton Evo will look a whole lot nicer this year, which for me is a big part of it.
When Nakijima-san from Voltex was designing the body I gave him strict instructions that we need to keep it looking like an Evo and not a spaceship!
WTAC: What about the engine, are you planning to run more power this year?
Kostya: We have never been shy on power but you can never have enough. With a turbo car you can always turn it down but if you haven’t done your homework properly it is not always possible to turn it up. So we like to go in with more than we need and always have some in reserve just in case. This year we have a new massive Borg-Warner Turbo that is capable of 1150 horsepower so there should be plenty in the reserves! One of our big goals this year is to do well over 300km/h on the main straight and for that a power up was essential.
The car has spent several weeks over at Hypertune where Mark and the boys worked their magic on the cooling system. We now have a new custom radiator, intercooler and a special oil cooler setup that I am not allowed to talk about. They will also have a new titanium exhaust fitted before WTAC which will pull some more weight out.
WTAC: Will you be using the same suspension as 2013, or are there some upgrades planned?
Kostya: We have new, lighter front and rear cross-members from the guys at RACEFAB in New Zealand who also made us some lighter lower control arms. We sent the shocks back to Murray Coote from MCA Suspension who is converting them to the latest spec, 4-way adjustable. At least that is what he tells me! Maybe using a rival Pro Class competitor for our suspension is a bad idea – they could come back with no gas in them!
WTAC: It certainly seems like the car is getting a thorough going over…
Kostya: Like I said, the Top Gear event damaged an awful lot of components and with this kind of investment we cannot afford to take any risks so it was a total rebuild. Trent from TM automotive looks after most of the mechanical and our engine builder Abe has screwed together a couple of new race engines. We have also made new front uprights and upgraded the Holinger transmission to the latest spec with paddle shift operation. Overall the car should be about 25kgs lighter than last year and potentially have 150 more horsepower. This should put us in a good spot right from the outset.
[pullquote]According to our data, the 1.24.8 lap last year
was a long way from perfect[/pullquote]
But as anyone who has competed at this level would know, anything can and often does go wrong. Fortunately we have a fairly comprehensive spares inventory these days so we can fix just about anything we need to. Being able to get back out there as soon as possible is super important when you have sponsors involved. The one other area that will be receiving a tune up is our driver – Garth.
According to our data the 1.24.8 lap last year was a long way from perfect. In fact, we believe that there was another second available without any changes so this year we will be concentrating on getting Garth “in the groove” for a near perfect lap.
WTAC: It certainly sounds like you guys have done your homework! You really do want to keep that title for another year…
Kostya: We actually have a bigger plan than that. We want to retain it for the next two years! The Cyber Evo won it twice and we need to beat that so that means three wins! We have a long way to go yet!
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