Tag: hi octane racing

Under Suzuki – so close and yet so far

All the pre-event reports and rumours confirmed our suspicions that Suzuki was more determined than ever to make the WTAC podium this year.

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The car now sported a completely revamped aero package which, according to Andrew Brilliant (the guy responsible for the design and implementation of Suzuki’s aero) was the most advanced time attack package he has ever designed.

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“The car now generates more downforce than Nemo ever did and has a better drag coefficient factor too!” Andrew said shortly before the event.

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To compensate for all that extra aero Suzuki upgraded the engine and turbo setup running higher boost and thus gaining a healthy increase in power. The only chink in the S15’s armour was cooling. The engine suffered from overheating during its testing in Japan and the problem manifested itself again on Thursday, at the official WTAC practice.

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Suzuki’s team worked hard till the late hours on Thursday and when the car went out on its first timed session it certainly looked like overheating was no longer an issue.

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Suzuki’s intentions were made very clear with his first flying lap. With what seemed like an effortless lap Suzuki dialled in 1:25.71 – more than two seconds faster than his best effort last year and less than one second off the Pro class record!

In a stark contrast to last year, it was now Tilton that was playing catch-up and while the defending champions were struggling with mechanical problems, Suzuki was laying down consistently fast laps getting more confident and visibly more aggressive at the wheel.

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Day 2 provided a much needed break for the Tilton team who moved back into the 1st spot with a 1:24.94. Suzuki was now 0.7 second behind.

There was no holding back for Suzuki as he charged hard during every session getting closer but not close enough to Tilton. His last chance came during the Superlap Shootout. It was a session Suzuki will never forget and neither will all the people lucky enough to watch it firsthand.

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Shane Van Gisbergen was in a fine form too, pushing the MCA S13 around the track in a last ditch attempt to better his lap time. As he crossed the finish line his final lap time came up as 1:25.70. Suzuki was relegated to the third place by 0.01 of a second, by the exact same car that denied him a podium place in 2013 and 2012!

This was a make it or break it moment for Suzuki. On his last hot lap, going out just behind Tilton, Suzuki really went all out with the dark, menacing shape of his S15 moving swiftly through the corners. The car looked like it was glued to the track and it was obvious the driver was pushing it all the way.

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Suzuki needed to better MCA’s time to reclaim his second spot but the lap time he was really chasing was Tilton’s 1:24.94.

As he crossed the line with cheers erupting in the pit lane and all around the circuit Suzuki’s time came up as 1:24.88. Little did he know that just a moment before Garth Walden pushed the Tilton Evo to a record-breaking time of 1:24.84.

So close and yet so far. Suzuki managed to reclaim his second spot from Shane Van Gisbergen but came just 0.04 second short of Garth Walden’s winning lap in what was the closest WTAC final ever.

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As Suzuki drove back into his garage he was engulfed by crowds of media and fans. If that’s the reception he gets for coming second we can’t help but wonder what it would be like if he wins!

It is at this point that we probably should remind everyone that Under Suzuki is not only a privateer but an owner-driver as well. He has a full-time job and spends most of his free time working on his car with a small group of friends.

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His commitment and passion is unquestionable, seeing him on the Pro Class podium will no doubt inspire thousands of young time attack fans and for that, Under Suzuki, we salute you!

Photo Credits: Adam Drake, Colin Marshall, David Lysien and Mitchell Rowe.

Miss World Time Attack contest

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When you think of World Time Attack what do you think of? The fastest time attack cars on the planet, the craziest drift cars, the stunning show cars, the rows of amazing trade stands and umm….. the beautiful girls that flock to represent the companies, teams and some that just come to soak up the atmosphere that we call “World Time Attack Fever”.

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We thought it was about time that we recognised the effort put in by all the girls so this year we will be judging the “MISS WORLD TIME ATTACK’ contest.

The girls will have the chance to strut their stuff on a specially built Miss World Time Attack stage in the pit area at 3pm on Saturday afternoon. Don’t miss it!

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So what does the winner get?
Well this is the good bit; the winner will first of all be the lucky girl that hands over the trophies to the WTAC winners of every category in front of media from all around the world (read – instantly famous!).

And now the real good bit; they will also receive a portfolio photo shoot valued at $800 from EDGE Model Management and after this they will be the recipient of a 12 month modelling contract also from EDGE Model management that should set them on their way to a potential career as a true professional model.

We will throw in $200 cash so they can buy some bubbly to celebrate with their friends. The runner-up will get $100 cash.

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Who can enter?
This will be open to any girl over the age of 18 that wants to register. Numbers are strictly limited to 45 girls so make sure you register early at WTAC Central from midday on Saturday. Any girl that is representing a company at WTAC is to compete in the promotional outfit  provided by the exhibitor giving fantastic exposure for the companies that they represent.

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How will they be judged?
They will be judged by a panel of four individuals who have no relationship with any of the exhibiting companies to ensure there is “clarity” in the judging. One of these judges will be Gary Holmes from EDGE Model Management.

Each girl will receive points for 1. appearance 2. crowd reaction 3. answer to a “fun” question asked by the presenter. The competitor with the highest score will be crowned Miss World Time Attack.

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So if you are attending WTAC on behalf of one of the exhibitors or would like an opportunity to break into a modelling career drop by the WTAC Central on  Saturday and put put your name down.

Big thanks to Bubblegum events and Edge Model Management for making this happen and Downshift for the lovely pics.

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WTAC vs The World

“If it’s not door-to-door it’s not racing!”
“Real racing goes for 30 laps, not just one”
“Time attack cars are pretend race cars”
“It’s just like a club outing for the JDM teens”

Yes, we’ve heard them all. The criticisms and the put downs from both ends of the motorsport spectrum. For the most part we simply ignore them and move on, but sometimes it is important to set the record straight.

Let’s start at the beginning. The sport of time attack has its roots in Japan, and has been, from the very outset, a competition between tuning shops – a tuning workshop battle if you will. One of the guiding principles of the World Time Attack Challenge was to stay true to that format, hence the rules of WTAC closely resemble those of the original Tsukuba event.

If you’re used to watching V8 Supercars then you’re in for a surprise. Time Attack is not door-to-door racing, but neither is WRC, Hill Climbs or any form of Motorkhana. That doesn’t make it “worse” or “not real racing” it’s just a different form of motorsport.

Time Attack is just as intense as any door-to-door racing, the mental and physical demands placed on the man and his machine are enormous. Without the stress of competing directly against other cars on the track, the driver can concentrate on a single goal – getting around the track as fast as possible. Pure speed. Man and machine against time. That’s what time attack is all about.

So it is true that one fast lap is all that matters. Time attack is not an endurance race.  Neither is drag racing – that doesn’t meant it’s not “real racing”. Again, it’s simply a different form of motorsport.

Having said that, it is not true that the car needs to only do one lap. Over the course of WTAC, an average Pro Class car will do approximately 30 laps. That’s not counting the practice before the event. So calling time attack cars “1 Lap Race Cars” is a gross underestimation of their potential.

By far, the biggest group of critics are the ones comparing time attack cars to the modified street cars, usually citing WRXs, Evos or Skylines. And to certain extent, they’re right. Time Attack is very much a “grassroots” motorsport. Rather than denying it, we’re actually rather proud of that fact. The fact that our fans can identify with the cars that are competing at WTAC is part of the reason the event is so successful.

Granted, the Pro Class and the pointy end of the Open Class are filled with big dollar cars that can never be mistaken for “street” vehicles, but look further down the field and you’ll see cars that are within the reach of most of the spectators.  What others see as the downside of time attack, we see as a huge advantage.

What other form of motorsport would allow you to enter an international event and rub shoulders with the racing stars from all over the globe, with your car pitted next door to the world champions? Formula 1? We don’t think so. WRC? Good luck with that. Even the local V8 Supercars would not dream of having entry level privateers sharing garages with the top runners.

And while on the subject of the top runners, it always amazes us just how greatly people outside time attack underestimate the speed with which these cars go around the track.

These days we just tend to quote the lap times from last year’s event. Numbers have this incredible ability to silence any smartass critics. The winning lap in 2011 was 1:28, and there were four cars running 1:30 and under. Even if you just have a vague idea about Eastern Creek lap times, you will nod your head with respect.

What’s even more remarkable is the fact that the cars that run those incredible times are not what you would call “big budget” teams. Even at the top end of the Pro Class, the teams would be considered “privateers” in any other form of motorsport.

Most of the cars are financed by workshops or very committed individuals with a passion for the sport. There is no manufacturer-backing like in WRC, no global corporate sponsors like in Formula 1. All the time attack teams are on very lean budgets in comparison to other international motorsport series.

An average Formula 1 team budget is estimated at between 120-400 million per year, in NASCAR it’s about 20 million, V8 Supercars top teams will have about $10 million per year to play with while a Top Fuel drag racing team will cost around 1-2 million per season.

Compare that to an average top-level Pro Class Time Attack team budget of around $200 – $400 thousand and you start to appreciate the monetary gap between time attack and the big world of motor racing. And we won’t even go into the R&D and testing facilities and time allocated to the likes of V8 Supercars, WRC or Formula 1. Put in that context, time attack racing has incredibly fast cars, built and campaigned on very limited budgets.

World Time Attack Challenge has grown to be a true international event, putting the sport of time attack onto the global motor racing map. It has the international teams, media, industry support and spectator numbers to rival many bigger, established events, but its biggest drawcard has always been its relevance to the fans.

We’ll end this story with a touching scene one of our staff witnessed in the pits at last year’s event. A group of three or four young spectators crowded one of the Clubsprint Class cars,  standing beside it, watching as the crew prepared the car for its next session. Then one of the young boys turned around to his friends and said: “I’m gonna build one just like it and race it next year!”

And that, dear fans, is the very essence of  World Time Attack.
See you at the track!


One Event. One Track. Two Days. One Winner. Be there!
Book your 2-Day WTAC Pass online now and save.

Open Class: Advan / Hi Octane Racing R32

Now here is a car that has a history in time attack racing that stretches right back to its very beginning in Australia. This is the car that Mark Berry so famously drove to became the first Australian to compete in a Japanese time attack event at Tsukuba circuit in December 2007.

Prior to that the car had been competing around the country in various sprints and Dutton Rallies with partner Russell Newman more often than not decimating just about anyone that dared take them on. Upon returning from Japan the car competed in the very first Superlap event where it finished a credible second behind the crazy supercharged Honda powered Lotus of Peter Lucas.

In 2008, with the new purpose-built time attack R34 GTR becoming the main race car, the R32 was sold to Hi Octane Racing customer and Cairns local David Williams who competed in the 2009 Superlap event at Oran Park.

In 2010 it was back in the hands of Russell Newman at World Time Attack and now supported by Advan Yokohama formed the second part of a two-car Advan/Hi Octane Racing team. The car was campaigned for two years in this format with times in the 1.38 second range.

For 2012 the team have their eyes on the Open Class podium with Mark Berry once again taking the controls and Russell Newman now taking on the engineering role as crew chief.

The car is having the dry sump RB26 engine freshened up and will be sporting a single Precision turbocharger that should push power close to the 500kw mark at all four wheels on E85 fuel. The car now also sports a sequential Holinger 6 speed gearbox and Ohlins coilovers on all four corners and sticky Yokohama Advan Ao50 tyres.

“The goal with this is to go as fast as humanly possible while still looking like an original R32 GTR” said Mark “we will leave the crazy aero for the pro class car. I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of the old girl to be honest! I have had a lot of good times in this car over many years and we are deternmined to make it competetive once again”

 

Thanks to Hi Octane Racing, Yokohama Advan, Turbosmart, Hypertune, Dragons Lair Motorsports, C N J Motorsports.


One Event. One Track. Two Days. One Winner. Be there!
Book your 2-Day WTAC Pass online now and save.

‘Drift Squid’ all set for Tectaloy Drift

After qualifying number one in 2011 Jake ‘Drift Squid’ Jones is set to return to the Tectaloy International Drift Challenge this year and it will be very interesting to see him on track after having driven in Japan in Team Orange’s Subaru.

Jake will be heading over next week to drive at a D1GP round after being invited by Team Orange to spend a week at Ebisu training, then compete at the “Tokyo Drift” round in Odaiba.

With an experience like that, Jake is sure to return to Australia with the driving experience no other Aussie drifter can compare to. We caught up with Jake before he headed over to Japan…

Superlap Australia: Not long now until you’re in Japan competing with the world’s finest, are you nervous?

Jake Jones: Very nervous! I still can’t believe I have been given this opportunity. My wildest dreams are coming true, its amazing. Driving in Japan was very different and the driving in the iconic Team Orange Subaru is going to be something else, something nothing one can compare to! The whole thing is so nerve racking, I’m going to be up against Japans finest, the guys I have watched on TV since I was young. WOW!

SL: How did this opportunity come about?

JJ: When I was in Japan last year I met up with Ian (from Hi Octane Racing)  Tats (from Yokohama Australia) and Furitani-san (from Yokohama Japan) and they took me to a meeting with Yokohama Japan where I met Kumakubo. The next thing I know he was inviting me to drive one of his cars at Ebisu the next day, when I got back to Australia they invited me to head over for the D1GP Round to compete in their Subaru… the rest is history!

SL: Tell us about how you got involved with drifting?

JJ: I watched an Option DVD when I was 13 and just knew I had to do it! There was something about it I just could not resist, a passion before I even got started. Once I started driving it was such a huge part of my life. Just couldn’t live without it!

SL: How long have you been competing?

JJ: My first big competition was in 2008 at Drift Australia in the Super Drift series. Since then I have competed, at state comps, national comps and international comps . In 2010 after the demise of Drift Australia I shipped my car to New Zealand and competed in D1 NZ for that season before returning it for the 2011 Tectaloy International Drift Challenge at World Time Attack Challenge. After competing against the D1NZ guys I knew they where always going to be hard to beat.

SL: What has been your best drift experience to date?

JJ: Drifting in Ebisu in the snow when Team Orange invited me up to drive one of their cars. It was so unexpected and I was absolutely blown away! I couldn’t believe I had even met these guys, and the next thing I knew I was driving on their circuit in their S14. They have now invited me to compete in their Subaru in the next round of D1GP, I am so excited I don’t even know where to begin! My Japanese isn’t so great so I’m working on that at the moment but the fact I will be competing in D1 in a Team Orange Subaru is something I could only ever dream of, I still can’t believe its happening!


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SL: Tell us more about the car you’ll be competing in this year, any changes?

JJ: Well it will be the same Onevia with a few refinements. Firstly it now has a new PPG dog engagement gearbox and the engine has had a freshen up. Empire Aero have supplied me with one of their latest body kits and the whole lot will receive some fresh war paint still to the same theme though. Fit some fresh Advan Neova ADO8s and we will be ready to take on the best in the business!

SL: Who are you looking forward to battling at the Tectaloy International Drift Challenge this year?

JJ: Rumor is some D1 drivers are heading over, so it will be awesome to battle them on our home turf!

For a full driver profile click here

Aussie companies support overseas teams

Maybe it’s the Aussie way that goes back generations but we certainly have a history of “lending a hand” and it is interesting to see just how many local companies have jumped in to support the overseas teams.

Sydney-based GCG turbochargers has been involved with a number of Japanese teams over the years. Garage Revolution, Panspeed and Scorch cars all benefit from the GCG expertise and all run GCG-built turbos. Daniel Farrand from GCG’s Japan branch will also be escorting the teams on their trip to Australia.


Hi Octane Racing has helped Scorch Racing with their dry sump conversion.


Motul oil have sponsored the Cyber Evo through their Australian distributor Link International and Elf Racing fuel have also got behind the Cyber team with some of their Elf Perfo 105 racing fuel hoping that this may give this team the winning edge.


The American Sierra Sierra team have secured support from Australian turbo component manufacturer Turbosmart. Turbosmart products are also used by Scorch Racing and PanSpeed teams.


Royal Purple Oil Australia have also jumped in to give the Sierra Sierra guys a hand as well and are expecting a promising result.

Adelaide based Xtreme Clutch are also heavily involved with several of the top D1 NZ cars including three time champion Gaz Whiter and will be looking for a big showing in Sydney.


On top of this, the guys at both Yokohama Australia and Hankook Australia have gone out of their way to make sure all of these cars have the appropriate tyres ready when they arrive.

So we just wanted you to know how much support us Aussies give to our international guests! To all of them we say a big THANK YOU!