Tag: scorch racing

Midnight Heroes

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They say nothing shows your true character like your actions when faced with adversity. Last night we saw the true character of Scorch Racing and LYFE Motorsport teams and it was truly inspirational.

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Much to everyone’s horror, Suzuki-san didn’t complete his last session on Friday and had to be towed back to his garage. The diagnosis did not come till a couple of hours later – bent valves amongst a few other things.

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Without the slightest sign of hesitation the team immediately got to work replacing the engine with their back-up unit. When we dropped by the Scorch garage, around 1am this morning, Suzuki-san just gave us a quick nod and said: “We’ll be ready!”

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True to his word, at 4:30am the car fired up with its new engine in place.

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Scorch Racing S15 Silvia will indeed be ready for the first morning session on Saturday!

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Another team burning the midnight oil were LYFE Motorsport. “We were gutted when we lost our engine” said Cole Powelson, “but there’s no way we were going to let our fans, our sponsors and all the spectators down.”

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The team managed to secure a replacement engine and were hard at work throughout the night replacing its fatally wounded motor with a new one. “We knew knew it was going to be an all-nighter, but at the same time we knew that it had to be done.”

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At 5:50am on Saturday morning LYFE Motorsport R35 GTR started and drove up and down the pit lane.

Scorch Racing and LYFE Motorsport – we take our hats off to you. This is what this event is all about. This is the true spirit of motorsport. This is World Time Attack Challenge.

Support these guys by cheering them on today and send your messages of support to the official WTAC Facebook Page.  Now let’s get today’s proceedings under way!

Under Suzuki’s final pre-event test at Fuji

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Scorch Racing at the 2014 WTAC: the only Japanese team capable of taking on Tilton head on.

There is no question that Under Suzuki has only one thing on his mind and that is to become the fastest time attack driver in the world.

That has been the case ever since he first toured here way back in 2011 and every single year since. Finishing within 4 hundredths of a second behind the champion Tilton Evo in 2014 and taking the runner-up trophy proved that Suzuki-san has the car and the driving skill to match it with the best of the best.

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In 2015 subtlety is out and “function over form” is in. Every extra canard, every extra kilowatt could be the difference between winning and coming second.

Knowing that in time attack racing not evolving means going backwards, this year he will unveil by far the craziest incarnation of a S15 Silvia the world has seen to date. The team were busy getting a final test session in at Fuji Speedway on the weekend and certainly turned some heads with the radical new aero package.

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Most noticeable was the massive front splitter built to the absolute maximum the rules allow in every regard, high mounted front canards and some crazy side canards.

We’ve done well last year with an aero package that was

far from finished – this year we are very close.

The team was reluctant to give away too much information but what we did find out is that they are packing a fresh NAPREC built 2.2 litre motor, full of all the top-shelf bits and now controlled by a full MoTeC system, replacing the old F-Con that has been on the car since the beginning.

The new engine management will no doubt allow much greater control and data acquisition that is so important at this level of competition.

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Andrew Brilliant, the brains behind Suzuki-san’s aero package was a little more forthcoming with info:

“We actually came up with most of these design two years ago but it just takes so long to get everything done. Remember it is just him and a couple of his buddies in a shed making all this stuff and a lot of it is quite complex.”

“On top of this, he has to work a hell of a lot of hours at his real job to pay for all the expensive parts so it really is a continuous uphill battle. What I can tell you though is that this year he should be on the money. While he may have done well last year I can assure you that aero package was a long way from finished. This year it is very close.”

“We have also tried to keep the front a lot more subtle in the past but looking at the competition in 2015 we would be simply giving away far too much. Subtlety could cost us precious time and Suzuki-san is going down there to win so his attitude now is – we need to do whatever it takes to win.”

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Subtlety will cost us valuable fractions of a second,

we need to do whatever it takes to win!

As a very exhausted team packed up at Fuji Speedway and headed home Suzuki quietly announced:

“I am going home to go straight bed. I have not slept at all the past couple of days in order to get everything finished. And the week before was not much better. Once it is on the boat I think I will sleep for an entire weekend!”

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If you want to wish Under Suzuki good luck at this year’s WTAC, do so on his Facebook Page.
And of course the best way to cheer him on is to be at Sydney Motorsport Park in October.

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Under Suzuki to chase win at WTAC 2015

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Whilst the rest of the world was busy cleaning up the leftovers of their Christmas turkey and putting away their presents on Boxing Day 2014, Under Suzuki and his small team from Scorch Racing were quietly unloading his S15 onto the freezing cold pavement of Tsukuba circuit and preparing to smash his own time attack record.

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And smash it he did. Suzuki-san not only beat his previous record of 53.363 set earlier in December, he smashed it out of the ballpark with an incredible 51.127 bettering the outright tin top record held by Keichi Tsuchiya in the ATRA GT500 Honda NSX (51.87)! This was despite the engine misfiring on the back straight. We have no doubt there is even more left in this insane machine.

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To say it has been a long road for this guy would be a gross understatement but what he lacks in corporate funding and resources, he makes up for with hard work and dedication.

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From his very first attendance at WTAC 2012, Suzuki-san has worked almost every single night, often until early morning in the corner of the Scorch Racing workshop. After a few hours of sleep he would go to work only to do it all again the following night. Any free time he had, Suzuki-san would spend on Max Orido’s driving simulator getting not only tuition from the Super GT driver but also learning the race tracks like the back of his hand.

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It’s worth noting that whilst Suzuki-san would still qualify to run in the Pro Am Class (pro car, amateur driver) he has made it clear he has no intention of doing this. He also makes no bones about the fact that it will always be hard competing against the 4WD vehicles.

I knew it’d be hard competing against all wheel drives but

I chose the Silvia platform so this is what I have to work with. 

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“I want to win outright. I have no ambition just to compete against other amateur drivers. I built this car to be the fastest in the world and that means my competition is not only professional teams but professional drivers also.”

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“I chose the Silvia as my base car so this is what I have to work with. Of course it will always be a difficult task against all wheel drive vehicles and that is why I have to work even harder, both in the engineering of the car and also in my driving to achieve this.”

I won’t give up until I am the World Time Attack champion

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“We will be making many changes this year and aiming to go much faster. I look forward to seeing all of my fans in Australia in October. I plan to do you all proud!”

Under Suzuki resets Tsukuba lap record – again!

Just when you thought coming 2nd in the world’s most prestigious time attack event warranted some well-earned rest, Suzuki strikes again. This time at the circuit that many consider the birthplace of time attack – Tsukuba.

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Unstoppable: Under Suzuki in full flight at Tsukuba. PHOTO: Smiley Shot.

For those who didn’t know, Suzuki-san already holds a lap record at Tsukuba with a time of 52:649. To get it, he had to beat Taniguchi’s long standing record, set in HKS CT230R, which he did in 2012.

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Suzuki’s wide body S15 is Japan’s fastest time attack car and it just keeps getting faster!

Seems like Suzuki is the type of driver who doesn’t like resting on his laurels though. Only two short months after claiming the 2nd spot at the 2014 WTAC he was back at Tsukuba attacking his own lap record.

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Powered by his an unsurpassed desire to win and carrying the dreams of privateers world-wide on his shoulders, Under Suzuki showed us a taste of what’s to come in 2015 by setting a new lap record with an amazing time of 52.363 seconds. Click play on the video below and watch the master at work!

They’re here!

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Our media launch, held usually a few days before the event, marks the official start of the WTAC Week. The countdown to the event is well and truly on with all the international cars already in Sydney and getting ready to attack.

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Parked side by side, the HKS and Top Secret GTRs look pretty evenly matched. The battle between these two titans is one of the most eagerly anticipated duels at this year’s event.

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Yep, we’re smiling…

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Top Secret windscreen banner quietly hints at the R35 GTR Class result…

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While HKS’ alludes to its engine power output…

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Everything about this car says HKS are very serious about their official return to international time attack racing.

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Alex Kelsey’s hand-built rally car is even more impressive up close than on pictures.

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The quality of this build and the attention to detail is simply stunning.

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And one lucky spectator will ride shotgun with Alex in this very seat…

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While not officially competing, the 767B is a huge drawcard for this year’s WTAC.

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A chance to see this car doing a flying lap around Sydney Motorsport Park should be enough to convince any motorsport fan to be there!

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Under Suzuki’s S15. We’re expecting to see some low times from this car.

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Without a doubt, this is the most serious this car has ever looked.

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The no-nonsense, all-business approach is also reflected in the cabin.

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Top Fuel / Voltex S2000RR. Subtle improvements are noticeable everywhere if you look closely enough.

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In the foreground: a 1000hp time attack Nissan. In the background: a 1000hp drift Nissan.

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Japanese teams shakedown at Fuji Speedway

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The Japanese time attack teams were out in force last weekend at Fuji Speedway as part of the Motor Games that featured the second round of Formula Drift Asia and amongst many other things a World Time Attack Challenge invitational demonstration.

In attendance were HKS in their blisteringly fast R35 GTR now with a claimed 1300 horsepower and having witnessed the acceleration down the main straight at Fuji this is certainly a believable claim. This was the first public viewing of this car in its final livery and to say it looks stunning would be an understatement. It is actually a deep “gun smoke chrome” finish with the traditional HKS livery applied over the top.

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Over the course of the weekend the team had an early battle with a fuel issue and were also seen trying several brake pad compounds with the HKS engineers continually pulling data every time Taniguchi entered pit lane. Like all the other teams they were keeping their lap times close to their chests but needless to say they were all smiles as they packed up on Sunday afternoon.

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In the very next garage  was an equally impressive Top Secret R35 GTR. In this instance it was driven by Kikuchi Yasui but we will see Tarzan take the wheel in October. While Top Secret claim less power (1100hp to HKS 1300 hp) it was immediately obvious how much more developed aero-wise this car is over HKS. On the Saturday it could be seen full noise on the wet track emitting a huge rooster tail behind it.

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Both of the cars sounded extremely strong particularly down the straight where the noise echoes off the stands. Top Secret have made it clear from the outset that their mission statement is to “beat HKS” and any other scalps that dare take them on are simply a bonus. The refinement of the Top Secret car was clear with the team barely laying a spanner on the car all weekend and looking every bit as fast as the competition.

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Smokey Nagata gave us the thumbs up after the last session and explained that he cannot wait to meet the Australian fans. We certainly walked away thinking that the HKS/Top Secret battle may be an awful lot closer than people realize.

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There is no question the car that everyone wanted to see was the radically re-engineered Under Suzuki S15. This car was fresh from the shop having undertaken an extensive aero re-design with the help of Andrew Brilliant. As well as the aero upgrade the car also had a major increase in power thanks to a new GCG/Garrett turbo.

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Even a casual glance at the rear end reveals how much work has been done to the aero package with the car now resembling an early IMSA Le Mans style car with two very distinct tunnels running deep under the rear of the car. This, along with the frontal revisions have seen the car make an enormous leap forward in the aero department.

“This car now has the goods as far as down force is concerned” said  Andrew Brilliant who was with Suzuki-san in the pit garage to assist with set up. “The CFD shows more downforce than the Nemo car which is believable seeing as we are now four years down the track from when I designed that car. The big thing will be getting it all to work together.”

“Once you introduce this type of aero there are other things that come into play from engine cooling to suspension travel and we are slowly working our way through the list. Provided we can sort all these niggling issues this car could be a winning car for sure. But that as usual is always easier said than done.”

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“The other big attraction of working with Suzuki-san is that he probably has the smallest budget in the Pro Class field but gets around this by doing all the work himself from building the engine to making the moulds and laying up the carbon fibre he does the lot!” said Andrew “I think this is something that so many enthusiasts including myself can relate to. He has given up his entire life in the pursuit of this dream and I admire that”

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 Suzuki-san has given up his entire life in pursuit

of his dream – you’ve got to admire that.

“We have been involved with the Suzuki for many years and are really seeing some results now” said Daniel Farrand from GCG Turbo Japan “Suzuki has been running a GCG/Garrett turbo for many years but we have recently upgraded him to the latest GTX 40/88R with a .85 housing. The latest Hypertune exhaust manifold lowers the turbo right down in the chassis rails and we have fitted a pair of high boost Turbosmart Comp-Gates.  It is now making well over 800hp”

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Along with the other revisions Suzuki also added this neat titanium side pipe made by, yep you guessed it, Suzuki himself. Is there anything this guy can’t do?

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Also running were Aussie ex-pats and long time time attack supporters AVO with Ross Wilson behind the wheel and father Terry Wilson twisting spanners. Many of the younger generation may not realize this but Terry Wilson is one of the true pioneers of turbocharging in Australia with a history dating way back to the 1970s.

These days he lives in Thailand and is a scrutineer for Formula One but still likes to “keep his hand in” with a bit of racing. The Subaru BRZ they have built is seriously fast whilst still retaining full street ability and looking at their lap times would be very competitive in the WTAC Clubsprint class. “Everything in this car you can buy from our catalog” said Ross Wilson “You never know, one day we may even make the journey to Sydney with it!”

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Finally, the RE Amemiya Hurricane was out lapping with some more power and claimed reduction in weight. The aero has also received some minor revisions. Though the car was in the hands of the new Thai owner, Taniguchi was still in charge of the driving duties.

A return to WTAC in 2014? Watch this space.

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