The story of ARK Design’s WTAC campaign really started in 2012. Looking a lot more subtle that the machine we saw at this year’s event, the car was happily awaiting being shipped to Sydney, Australia when it got accidentally picked up and put on a different ship, bound for China. True story that!
Two years and a complete overhaul later, the ARK Design R32 GTR finally made it to Sydney. Sporting a new engine, a different drivetrain and a host of new modifications, the car was also now very well endowed in the aero department.
Having arrived early, Eric Hsu and his team used the time to put finishing touches on the car and ensure it was ready for the practice day. Unfortunately, this is where the dreaded mechanical gremlins reared their ugly heads.
Team USA seemed to be on a perpetual back foot, battling electrical issues that caused a malfunction and eventual destruction of the original and the back up ECU. Eric resorted to building a complete jumper harness from scratch to suit the replacement ECU.
When the car arrived back in the pit garage early Saturday morning, after another all-nighter in a local workshop, we were hoping to finally see the raw power and speed of the menacing looking R32. Alas, it was not to be.
The car managed to go out twice but limped back to the pits without putting any times on the board.
There is one thing that needs mentioning here, Eric’s team never gave up. They worked almost continously throughout the entire event, day and night and did everything humanly possible to get the car running.
“They are one of the most professional teams I have ever been involved with,” said Team USA’s hired driver, Australian rally ace Steve Glenney, “I would be honoured to drive for them again.”
Eric Hsu was more sombre in his assessment: “We were ill prepared and that’s nobody’s fault but our own. We need to step it up for 2015 and that’s really all there is to it.”
As they say, nothing cures failure like success, so from our end we would like nothing more than to see Team USA back at WTAC next year with all guns blazing.