According to all reports, on the eve of the 2013 Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge the smart money was on Nemo successfully defending its title and quite possibly even improving its lap time. But as those who have attended WTAC in the past will attest to, this is racing and anything can and does happen.
The car looked fast in practice with the internet abuzz with speculations about just how much faster it’s going to be this year. But all was not good in the Nemo camp.
“We had a issues on Thursday,” says Warren Luff, “on our first run it got really hot and we had to replace the water pump. After replacing it we went out for another run and half way through the lap it got hot again so I switched it off straight away. Upon inspection we realized it had blown a head gasket.”
“The boys worked till late Thursday night replacing it and getting it ready for Friday.” says Mark Rayner, “Our first run on Friday we only ran low boost because we wanted to check that it was going to be okay and to get a balance on the car.”
“We only did the one timed lap,” adds Warren Luff, “which put us on the board with 1:27.7080. We had made some suspension changes for the 2nd session and decided to run medium boost. Unfortunately half way into the lap it got hot again and I had to abort the lap.”
“The boys pulled the engine apart again on Friday afternoon to looked at the head and block and both were warped quite badly. Without having a spare engine there we knew that it would keep blowing head gaskets the moment you start to load the engine up.”
“It was a difficult decision to make. We knew that if we persisted, the issue would damage the engine beyond repair and possibly something even worse may happen.” said Mark Rayner.
“We held a team meeting and between the mechanics, Luffy and myself we made the decision not to run in the last Pro sessions. With our low boost time on the board we still had a good chance at a podium but with the damage already done we knew we couldn’t wind the boost up to take it to the Tilton boys which is a shame as we knew the car had good speed.”
“The boys from MR Tuning asked if Wazza could leave as he did have other commitments to attend which he put off so he could drive at the event. Since we have already decided not to run, I agreed and after attending a signing session Luffy left.”
“Warren Luff is a true professional and we are very lucky to have him on the team. He was gutted he couldn’t give it a red hot go but was happy with the potential the car showed.”
“The boys put the engine back together so Chris Eaton could at least have a steer in the Saturday afternoon session and to show the car to all the fans who have made the effort to get to the event to cheer us on.”
“We we would like to congratulate Kosta and the boys for winning the event and we couldn’t have picked a better bunch to win the title. I have known Kosta for a while now and no one deserves it more. Like us last year, if you put your mind to it and set a goal it will happen. If anything it is going to make for a awesome 2014!”
“That’s racing.” says Warren Luff, “we weren’t the only ones having problems. You win some and you lose some and this just wasn’t our weekend unfortunately. All the team have done their best but sometimes you have to think about the bigger picture, as hard as it is when all we want to do is race. Full congrats to Garth and all the boys at Team Tilton on a great time.”