The Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge 2013 is done and dusted and it would be fair to say that we have upstaged every previous event by a fair margin.
Firstly, I would like to congratulate Kostinken Pohurokov, Garth Walden and the Tilton Interiors team on resetting the Royal Purple Pro Class record. This is the new benchmark but we get the impression they may have even more up their sleeve. These guys have been the mainstay of time attack racing since our very first Superlap event in 2008 and very few have displayed the dedication and commitment that this team has year upon year and to finally have the WTAC trophy in their hands must be something they are very proud of.
It is worth noting that every single year this record has been reset from the previous year and the Tilton car is now the outright “tintop” lap record holder for the Sydney Motorsport Park circuit with a time of 1.24.85 and probably the only record holder to be running on “road legal tyres”.
Also a big hats-off to Murray and Josh Coote in the MCA Suspension S13 Silvia coming in second position with a time of 1.27.36 with Earl Bamber behind the wheel. This time is mind numbing for a rear wheel drive vehicle and even more so when you realize this team does zero testing throughout the year and simply make their changes from the previous year on the fly throughout the event.
Nemo had a troubled run but still managed to snare third place on their one flying lap with Warren Luff lamenting that there is still so much more in that car. It just wasn’t to be this time around. And the highest finishing Japanese team was Under Suzuki with a 1.27.95 in the fourth place overall. If we told you that a 1.27 didn’t guarantee you a spot on the podium a couple of years back you would have laughed at us but that is the fact in 2013.
With our new rule set in place the new Garrett Pro Am class promised to be spectacular and it did not disappoint with Mick Sigsworth taking the win with a time of 1.30.9 from the Sutton brothers immaculate S15 Silvia. Jason Wright took the 3rd in the Hulk WRX. The Sutton brothers had the car’s biggest fan, Nob Taniguchi continually peering into their garage over the weekend before saying “I really want to buy this car”, testament to the quality of the build. Pretty sure they do not want to sell it though.
The Open Class was another nail biter with Dean Lillie in the BC Automotive “Monster” GTR making a late charge for the top spot with a 1.31.7 and taking the win from Rick Bates in the V-Sport/ Go Pro Evo X when the latter were unable to repair a damaged transmission in time. In 3rd place was the BYP Integra with Benny Tran pulling an “almost unthinkable for front wheel drive” time of 1.32.6. This time is comparable to the Pro Class GT Auto Carbon Fibre R35 GTR that Steve Glenney drove in 2011. Like I said – insane – and a clear sign of how much development has poured into these vehicles over the past couple of years.
The Clubsprint Class had just as much going on with Jason Wright taking the win in his WRX from Benny Tran in his “street” S2000 and Jason Naidoo rounding out the podium in his Evo.
The lunchtime entertainment is always a hit with the fans and this year we introduced a new event called the Turbosmart Flying 500 that put the fastest tuner cars up the main straight in a show of anger. Think 1000 plus horsepower GTRs and Evos with a heap of other interesting things like the 6 rotor from NZ thrown in and the stands were absolutely packed for this. No doubt this event will grow and we will give it a bigger slice of the pie next year as this year was simply a trial run.
An F40 Ferrari, Audi Quattro and Group B Metro joined the other Motul Turbo Legends before the drift guys lit up the entire track in one of the craziest demos I have ever laid my eyes on. Seeing the passenger’s face in Jakes Jones’ black S13 as he tagged the wall at 190km/h was a highlight for sure.
The Tectaloy Drift Challenge moved to the South Circuit this year and with the beautiful spring weather the fans were out in force, something we feel is much more enjoyable than the freezing August nights we have endured in the past. The show was world class with the number one spot going to a guy many predicted it would – Daigo Saito. Mad Mike Whiddett collected second spot and Gaz Whiter rounding out the “all foreigner” podium for 2013.
The whole atmosphere around the grounds this year was absolutely sensational and I lost track of how many people came up to me and personally thanked me for putting on this show. Another side note was that I think almost every good looking girl in Sydney must have been in attendance as I can never remember seeing so many beautiful girls in one place ever.
On a somewhat more somber note I must mention the terrible fires that were burning around Sydney throughout the entire weekend and in fact our show’n'shine co-ordinator, Steve Gosbee had to leave early to defend his house from bushfire. Our heart goes out to the people that lost their homes.
The photo below, posted by one of the drift competitors, Levi Clarke shows just how close the fires came to the Sydney Motorsport Park.
Finally I want to thank the following people who have put their heart and soul into making this event what it is today.
Firstly my little pocket rocket event manager Amy Boatwright who hardly slept in the days leading up to the event. Greg Lysien our marketing co-ordinator and his entire family who all step up to help every year. Our race director Jeff Boulous who has run every time attack with me from day one at Oran Park.
Inga Whitman my financial controller, Daniel Farrand our Japan teams manager, Yukitaka Iriyama who was helping with translation, our amazing commentary team of Diggles, Mozza and Warren the Grumpy Ninja from NZ, our eligibility scrutineering team of Bruce Garland and Steve Stanley, the Cams scrutineers Scott McGrath and Peter Wilson, Ryan Lewis, the team at ARDC.
Also big thanks to my Hi Octane crew of Kyle, Chad and Moody, the drift judges Alexi, Takako and Gray Lynskey, Renato Loberto for organizing the Ferrari F40 (and a ride I will never forget) and Stewart Reid for organizing the Group B cars, Steve Gosbee and his Show’n'Shine crew, all of our amazing sponsors: Yokohama, Tectaloy, Royal Purple, V-Sport, Garrett, Just Car Insurance, Motul and Turbosmart, all the exhibitors, the media and of course the teams that travelled from around the country and around the globe to be here. And of course all the officials, volunteers and helpers who help us out every year. Without all these people we couldn’t have put a show of this caliber on.
I’m sorry if I have left anyone out but there is one person that I want to thank more than anyone else. YOU. The guy that paid his money to come through the gate and see our show. You are the reason we do this year upon year and we plan on being back in 2014 BIGGER AND BETTER than ever!
See you all next year
Superlap Australia Pty Ltd