Tag: Eastern Creek

Sydney Motorsport Park – the old is new again

Those who attended the 2012 World Time Attack Challenge would have seen the final stages of the upgrade that saw the Eastern Creek International Raceway turn into the Sydney Motorsport Park. While the track work has been completed in time for WTAC, the presence of heavy machinery and building materials showed that there was still plenty of work to do.

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To put all this in context, we need to take a short trip down the memory lane to 2010. The loss of Oran Park was felt keenly amongst the motorsport community, leaving just one permanent racetrack in Sydney – the GP circuit at Eastern Creek International Raceway.  The Creek was usually fully booked – and did not share Oran Park’s twin-track layout, which enabled the full circuit to be split into two tracks, a North and South track, to allow more groups, clubs and events to participate in motorsport.

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The 2010 World Time Attack Challenge was held for the first time at the Eastern Creek Raceway following the closure of Oran Park. 

With demand for track time at an all-time high, and The Creek in desperate need of a mid-life makeover, a massive rebranding and renovation plan was undertaken in a joint partnership between the NSW state government, and official venue managers the Australian Racing Drivers’ Club (ARDC).

What followed was a 12 month, $12million transformation of its circuits, pit facilities and corporate suites, to enable the Park to not only hold not just big events, but multiple events and meets at once. This is what transformed Eastern Creek International Raceway into Sydney Motorsport Park.

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Two time WTAC Champion, “Tarzan” Yamada poses in front of the newly refurbished control tower in 2012. The track was hailed as faster and smoother by all competitors. Unfortunately for Tarzan, it was also the year in which he lost the championship to the new WTAC King – Nemo Evo.

The Sydney Motorsport Park now offers four separate track configurations, including an 830m extension of the existing Grand Prix circuit, now the 4.5Km Brabham Circuit, along with a 2.8km North GP layout and 1.9km South GP configuration. Each of the circuits has a distinct character, and each offers a unique selection of challenges to competitors.

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Tilton Interiors Evo passing under one of the new Sydney Motorsport Park signs.

The first stage of the works began in June 2011 with the construction of link road A between turn four and the turn 15 hairpin, creating the 2.8km North GP layout. The North GP utilises the main straight, turns one, two, three, four A and B (the link road), 16, 17 and 18, and offers a combination of fast flowing sections and tight technical tests.

Work them moved to the southern section of the facility, and the construction of an seven-corner, 830m extension to the circuit, and the removal of the turn six ‘kink’. This work, in addition to the construction of link road B, between the entry to the turn 15 hairpin and exit of turn four, created the 1.9km South GP layout. It offers a tighter, more complex challenge with significant changes in topography, blind crests and hairpins.

A brand new pit lane complex was constructed adjacent to turns four and five, which services the South GP track. This enables the North GP and South GP layouts to operate simultaneously during race meetings, and two meets can be easily held on the one day.

The new sections of track also offers some fantastic vantage points for spectators, particularly for Drifting on the South Circuit’s twisting uphill sections.

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Centrally located, close to the freeway and accommodation and offering world-class facilities, the Sydney Motorsport Park is an ideal venue for the World Time Attack Challenge.

Amid all of these changes, the original GP Circuit is still the original 3.9km layout which first opened to traffic in November 1990 – aside from the deletion of the turn six kink. This is the circuit that has seen such events as 500cc Motorcycle Grand Prix, A1GP, V8 Supercars, the Winfield Triple Challenge of the early 1990s, and , of course, the World Time Attack Challenge.

 

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All the records from these great battles are still standing, and still relevant. This is why we have decided to stay with the GP Circuit for the 2013 World Time Attack Challenge.

 

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As WTAC is a double-header event, the International Drift Challenge will get its own separate track. The new South Circuit will provide the drift competitors with their own pits, control tower and the drift fans with better viewing spots and easier access.

Put all these things together and what you end up with is a venue that’s better for the competitors and better for the spectators. But don’t take our word for it, you really need to check it out for yourself. See you there!

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A Spectators’ Guide to Eastern Creek

Where is the Public Entry Gate?
All spectators will enter through Gate B. Simply follow the signs posted all around the surrounding streets. If unsure – check our General Map below before coming (click to enlarge the map).

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Where do I park my car?
The WTAC staff will direct you to the nearest parking area, simply follow the directions from the security staff.

How to get to the Pit Area?
Okay, obviously this will be your first port of call after parking your car. Walk back towards the grand stand, as you approach the grand stand you will notice signs pointing to an underground tunnel. The tunnels runs under the main straight and emerges on the other side of the track. Walk up, turn right and voila – you’re in the Pit Area! See the detailed map of the Pit Zone, Motul Turbo Legends, Turbosmart Flying 500 and MotoGraphics Show’n’Shine below.

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Where is the Tectaloy Drift Challenge?
This year the TIDC gets its own track with dedicated pits. The South Circuit will be the Drift Circuit – see the map below for the judged corners. If you don’t feel like walking take the WTAC Shuttle Bus up to the South Circuit.

All the drift cars will be on display at the South Circuit Pit Area. To view the action head up to the Drift Hill and find a spot around T8 and T9. From there you will be able to see all the judged corners.

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What are the best viewing spots for Time Attack.
WTAC is run on the GP Circuit (marked in yellow on the map below). There are a number of good viewing spots.

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Most regular spectators recommend the side of the hill directly below the main parking area which offers a good panoramic views of the main straight along with Turns 16, 17, 18 and 19.  The grandstand itself offers seating and provides a good view of Turn 18, the main straight, Turn 1 and 2. 

Standing up behind Turn 3 offers sweeping views of T2, T3 and T4a. A great spot for seeing car hard under brakes going into T2.

One of the most popular spots is the Pit Garage rooftop offering unobstructed views of the main straight on one side and glimpses of T14, T15 and T16 on the other. It is also very close (just walk down the stairs) to all amenities and the Pit Area.

I want to sample some trackside cuisine…
WTAC is a long event so we made sure there’s enough food and beverage stalls to keep our spectators fed and hydrated. There will be food outlets located at each end of the Pit Zone and in the Show’n’Shine area – look for people sipping coffee and scoffing burgers. There are also additional foods stalls between the Pit Carports and the MotoGraphics Show’n’Shine area. But if you want to dine in style you have to check out the ARDC Garage Cafe located in the first suite on the left, directly above the pit garages.

Where the bloody hell are you?
If you’re lost or can’t find the exhibitor or display you’re looking for, head down to the World Time Attack Central – in front of the Radical building. We’ve got maps, exhibitor listings and can point you the right direction. We’ll also try to sell you a commemorative T-shirt, cap or a hoodie, which, we can unashamedly say, all look bloody fantastic!

Things to remember:
Gates open to the public at 7am both days. (Plenty of tickets still available for both days)
Public Entry is via Gate B unless advised otherwise.
Racing starts at around 9am. Drifting starts around 5.30pm
There will be a live commentary throughout the event, but if you want to get the most up-to-date times, head over to the WTAC Central and check out the times on our big screen.
We’ll be doing frequent updates on our website to head over to www.worldtimeattack.com. We’ll also have live timing on our site so you can stay up to date with the pecking order. For the best coverage it’s best to follow us on Twitter and Facebook as we’ll be posting updates throughout both days.

And last but not least…
Enjoy yourselves! It takes more than 8 months of hard work, stress and sleepless nights to put on an event of this caliber. It’s not an easy task but on the day it all comes together and we want nothing more than to see the teams try their hardest and happy crowds cheering on their favourite teams. That’s what motorsport is all about, that’s what World Time Attack is all about. Enjoy!

The World Time Attack Team

Dates for WTAC 2012 Announced

We are happy to announce the dates for the 2012 Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge have been confirmed as Friday 10th and Saturday 11th August. The event will, once again, be held at Sydney’s Eastern Creek International Raceway. Stay tuned for more updates.

Message from the CEO

Firstly, let me just say: What a weekend!
I want to thank everyone that made the journey down here to Sydney to be a part of the World Time Attack Challenge and I know we had people here from all over the globe. I am sure that anyone who walked through the gates of Eastern Creek on Friday or Saturday, with the beautiful Sydney winter sun shining down was treated to a very special experience.

I also need to thank all those whose help made this event possible and whose (often superhuman) effort ensured it runs smoothly and without any major disruptions. All the people in the race control, all the marshalls, track officials and volunteers, all our sponsors, especially Yokohama Australia and Tectaloy, media, and of course my dedicated WTAC team – without their help organsing, promoting and running this event would not be possible.

I am fairly sure the Australian motorsport community would be abuzz with the lap times set down by both the Cyber Evo and the Sierra Sierra cars as the winning time of 1.28.85 is now a full second quicker than the Sports Sedan record held by James Sera in a tube frame, mid-mount, 6-litre Chev Saab Aero on big, fat slick tyres. This record lap time is even more incredible when you take into account that these time attack cars run road legal tyres!

One of the most noticeable things this year was the caliber of Australian time attack cars throughout all classes. There is no doubt in my mind that Australia has responded to the challenge set by last year’s WTAC with many of the top Australian Pro teams ready to chase down the podium in coming years. Tilton Interiors is one team that comes to mind with a sensational fourth place this year for Garth Walden. Mark Berry is another very strong contender in the Advan/ Hi Octane Racing R34 GTR. The two R35s of Mercury Motorsports and GT Autogarage also showed very serious promise, keeping in mind both are very new cars with limited test time. The crazy MCA S13 is another to keep an eye on, again another new car with no test time that managed to run some very stout numbers.

Also evident at this year’s event, was just how many cars in the Open Class closely resembled Pro Cars and with the lap times tumbling it was clear how much effort these teams have put in over the past 12 months. To give you an idea, in 2010 a time of 1.40 would have won you the second place trophy but this year there were 15 cars running under the 1 minute 40 mark! The winner of the Open Class was Nik Kalis who won the Clubsprint Class in 2010 so one can only wonder where this guy is heading!

The theme continued in the Clubsprint Class with the top 8 cars running under a minute forty five which would have seen second place in 2010. Marek Tomaszewski claimed the title this year in his R35 GTR with Miles Tauber in the second R35 claiming runner up and showing that the R35 is the car to beat in this class.

Anyone that did not make it up on the hill to see the Tectaloy International Drift Challenge under lights missed out on what is undoubtedly one of the best drift shows our country has ever seen with many video clips from the event going viral within hours of hitting youtube.

Seeing Mad Mike light up the sky in the fire breathing RX7 is something many fans will remember for a long long time and by the end of Saturday night the Kiwi contingent certainly showed the Aussies that they have had a lot more practice in recent years with Curt Whittaker taking the win in the 2JZ powered Skyline from fellow Kiwi Daynom Templeman and Beau Yates the highest placed Aussie in third place. There is certain to be a showdown next year with the Kiwis already making their plans for 2012 clear.

The Meguiar’s Show’n’Shine also stepped it up several notches on Saturday with the skidpan filled to the bream with everything from show cars to exotic Italian thoroughbreds giving fans a feast of non-stop eye candy. For the fans of motorsport history the “Legends of the Turbo Era” proved a big drawcard with all the cars doing a demo lap around the track at lunch.

And lastly how could you not have enjoyed walking through the pit area with almost every single performance tuner brand represented. The effort that the companies are putting into their trade stands is extraordinary and this is what makes our event so special. You can see everything in one place and talk first hand to the tech guys from each company. It’s a unique opportunity that does not come around very often. One quote that sticks in my mind from one of the traders was “this is probably the closest thing Australia has to the American SEMA trade show for tuner parts!”

I guess you could say we have come a fair way in four short years. From the day I was sitting on that freezing pit wall at Tsukuba trying to figure out how I could make this concept work back in Australia, to standing in the pits at Eastern Creek talking to Ken Anderson from Cosworth USA and have him tell me “with the exception of Nascar and maybe Road Atlanta this event is bigger than any road racing event in North America and this is time attack! Unbelievable!”

And the reason it works is because of the support we have had. And I mean that from the top down. The support from the sponsors, the support from the industry, the support from the fans, and the support from the teams that have put all the effort in to build these cars. And the support from YOU! The fact that you are sitting there reading this, is showing support for what we are doing and for that we are eternally grateful.

So where to from here? Well, I can tell you World Time Attack Challenge is here to stay and we will be back, bigger and better in 2012! As the Cyber team said to me as we closed the door on the last shipping container bound for Japan “DOMO ARIGATO” – Thank you very much!

Ian Baker
CEO Superlap Australia

A Beginner’s Guide to Eastern Creek

While many of you are regular visitors to Eastern Creek, we suspect that there is a large number of once-every-so-ofteners or indeed Eastern Creek virgins amongst you. With this in mind, we’ve decided to give you a quick run-down on what to do and how to do it at the World Time Attack Challenge venue – Eastern Creek International Raceway.

How to get to the Pit Area?
Okay, obviously this will be your first port of call after parking your car. Walk back towards the grand stand, as you approach the grand stand you will notice signs pointing to an underground tunnel. The tunnels runs under the main straight and emerges on the other side of the track. Walk up, turn right and voila – you’re in the Pit Area!

What’s happening in the Pit Area?
Well, for starters there are the garages. Unlike most other events, World Time Attack Challenge allows public access to the pit garages. Nowhere else can you get so close to the hero cars and maybe even get an impromptu picture taken with the driver! Be mindful though that the teams are there to race so please try not to obstruct them.

Apart from the garages you’ll notice the the Pit Area is buzzing with activity; there are display cars, engines, products on display with a number of exhibitors having once-off sales and clearances. Have a chat to them, most are very knowledgeable and are happy to provide you with advice. Immerse yourself in this microcosm of performance, racing and technical knowledge.

And what’s that over there?
If by “over there” you mean the skid pad, then of course you must be looking at the Meguiar’s Show’n’Shine. Feast your eyes on the best new show cars in the country or relive the past glories by taking a trip down the memory lane at the Legends of the Turbo Era.

The main event.
Of course the main reason everyone is here is to see the action on the track. Who will take the 2011 World Time Attack trophy? Can Tarzan in the trusted Cyber Evo turn the magic on again or will the incredibly serious and focused Sierra Sierra team avenge their narrow defeat last year? Or will the Garage Revolution or Panspeed surprise everyone by giving a rotary its first Time Attack crown? Or will it be one of many other teams that will displace the favourites on the podium? Regardless of the result, we’re in for one hell of a race!

A bit of sideways action.
Once the time attack cars leave the track, the lights come on and a totally different kind of racing starts. Their lap might only have three corners in it and the top speed alone would not impress many motorsport enthusiasts but the pure enjoyment and spectacularly visual action offered by drifting is unique and well worth watching! With the cream of New Zealand drifting world coming face to face (or fender to fender) against the best of Aussie drifters, the Tectaloy International Drift Challenge offers action like no other drift event in the Southern Hemisphere!

Best viewing spots.
Now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty. Eastern Creek has a number of good viewing spots, most regular spectators recommend the top of the Corporate Hill which offers a good panoramic views of the whole track.

The grandstand offers seating and provides a good view of Turn 12, the main straight, Turn 1 and 2 and the rest of the track in a distance. One of the favourite viewing spots for the Time Attack spectators last year was the roof of the Pit Garage building. It offers a great view of Turn 11, 12, the main straight, Turn 1 and 2 and by turning around you can see almost the entire rest of the track. It is also very close (just walk down the stairs) to all amenities and the Pit Area.

For Drifting, head out to Turn 11 and 12 (up from the grandstand and past the public parking area) and look for the Tectaloy tent. If you position yourself slightly up on a hill behind Turn 11 you will have a clear view of the entire Drift Track.

Food and drinks
The main food kiosk is located smack-bang in the middle of the Pit Area, you can’t miss it, look for people sitting down, sipping coffee and scoffing burgers. There are a few smaller outlets around the Pit and the Show’n’Shine areas offering food and beverages.

Where the bloody hell are you?
If you’re lost or can’t find the exhibitor or display you’re looking for, head down to the World Time Attack Central – in front of the Radical building, next to the Mazda Australia display. We’ve got maps, exhibitor listings and can point you the right direction. We’ll also try to sell you a commemorative T-shirt, cap or a hoodie, which, we can unashamedly say, all look bloody fantastic!

Things to remember:
Gates open to the public at 9am both days. (Plenty of tickets still available for both days)
Public Entry is via Gate 4.
Racing starts at around 9am. Drifting starts around 5.30pm
There will be a live commentary throughout the event, but if you want to get the most up-to-date times, head over to the WTAC Central and check out the times on our big telly.
We’ll be doing frequent “Almost Live” updates on our website to head over to www.worldtimeattack.com and click on the “Live Updates” link.

And last but not least…
Enjoy yourselves! It takes almost 8 months of hard work, stress and sleepless nights to put on an event of this caliber. It’s not an easy task but on the day it all comes together and we want nothing more than to see the teams try their hardest and happy crowds cheering on their favourite teams. That’s what motorsport is all about, that’s what World Time Attack is all about. Enjoy!

The World Time Attack Team