Tag: sierra sierra

10 WTAC moments we will never forget

10450179_779922275384097_6759637361564613432_n

With six years of international competition under our belt we can confidently say that in that time we’ve seen many highs and lows. From heart wrenching terminal engine failures to last minute victories by hundrenths of a second in the dying stages of the event. The mixture of drama and excitement has become such an integral part of the event that nowadays it’s almost taken for granted!

In this feature we are going to count down what we consider the very best of the best moments of WTAC (so far).

WTAC_webstory_,p,emt1

10.  Rod Millen Celica lapping Sydney Motorsport Park in 2015

Kiwi legend Rod Millen has certainly been there and done that. In 2015 we managed to bring him and his record setting Pikes Peak car to do some demonstration runs. The exotic racing fuel for this car was extremely difficult to procure and cost us several thousand dollars but once we saw it on the track we knew it was all worth it. This really is the “OG aero car“. No ifs, no buts! It is!

WTAC_webstory_momenm2

9. HKS vs Top Secret in 2014

Two Japanese tuning heavyweights with two Japanese driving legends on the same track in the same type of car was certainly way cool. HKS vs Top Secret, Taniguchi vs Tarzan in two 1000hp plus GTRs. It really doesn’t get much better for the JDM entusiast. Add the fact that Smokey Nagata himself made the trip down and you’ve got a recipe for a JDM heaven.

WTAC_webstory_momenm10

8. Mad Mike’s flame-throwing RX7FD

In 2011 we ran our first International Drift Challenge and brought over many of the top competitors from New Zealand. Among them was “Mad” Mike Whiddett and his ear splitting, 4 rotor 26B powered peripheral port Mazda Rx7FD. With a specially designed tune, the engine was bellowing 15 foot flames that lit up the whole sky throughout the evening whilst deafening anyone within a 500m radius. Good times!

WTAC_webstory_momenm3

7. Cyber Evo overnight rebuild to win WTAC 2010

In our first year of international competition we very quickly realised that, at the time, the Japanese and American teams were way more developed than the local cars. The show looked like a 3 way battle between Cyber Evo and Tomei/ Cusco from Japan and Sierra Sierra from USA until the favourite, Cyber Evo, destroyed a cylinder head on the first day.

Australian team Notaras Racing were kind enough to sell them a used cylinder head and the team worked throughout the night to come back and take the win the following day. The crowd jumped to their feet as Tarzan Yamada wrestled the Cyber Evo to keep it in a straight line as the rear wing detached and flew along the track on the final lap. International Time Attack Racing had arrived on our shores in the biggest possible way.

WTAC_webstory_drift01

6. Team Orange win IDC in 2012

While Japanese D1 drivers have competed in Australia before, back in 2012 we had never seen the top drivers compete in their own “proper” D1GP vehicles. Not until we brought Nobishige Kumakubo and Naoto Suenaga out for the International Drift Challenge in 2012.

Despite near arctic conditions at the then August event, a huge crowd stayed back to watch Suenaga take the win in the Team Orange Evo 9 and giving Aussie fans their first taste of Japanese D1GP superstars.

WTAC_webstory_momenm4

5. Nemo domination in 2012

This was the one that no one saw coming. There was a lot of hype around this new crazy Pro Class Evo build with designs by aero ace Andrew Brilliant, but with the internet scattered with videos of multiple engine failures in testing it appeared this was just another car that whilst looking the business, would be unlikely to live up to the hype and even turn a full lap at WTAC.

All of that went out the window after the very first session at WTAC when Warren Luff pushed Nemo around the circuit in 1.25.1. A time over two seconds faster than any team had ever gone before! “And there was plenty more in it” said Luffy at the time “wait until we turn the boost up.”

WTAC_webstory_momenm7

Sadly, we would never get to see that happen as Nemo ran the following year once again with engine problems then disappeared as quick as it arrived in a sea of controversy. With a myriad of people making claims of unpaid invoices and much more it was all fairly obvious the car named Nemo is unlikely to ever resurface again. It certainly changed the face of WTAC forever though, with all the top Pro teams realizing that aero was the key to being competitive at the pointy end of WTAC.

767b

4. Mazda 767B lapping Sydney Motorsport Park in 2014

Everyone these days talks about “breaking the internet” but back in 2014 we actually did it. Or more correctly the Mazda 767B did it when we announced it was coming to WTAC.

IMG_8819

Such was the insane volume of traffic to our website as the news went viral that it crashed multiple times. Hearing it wail around Sydney Motorsport Park for the first time was a moment we will never forget. The plan was to do three laps but the owner/ driver Hoshino-san was having such a good time he ended up doing ten, much to the delight of the fans.

WTAC_webstory_momenm5

3. Cyber Evo vs Sierra Sierra in 2011

With the first ever WTAC going to the Japanese Cyber Evo team, 2011 was shaping up to be a showdown of epic proportions with both teams making claims they have no intention of losing.

Throw the Garage Revolution Rx7 into the mix fresh from a new Tsukuba T/A record time and you start to get the picture. This went right down to the wire with Canadian Indy car driver David Empringham leading the time sheets in the American Sierra Sierra Evo for most of the event right up until Tarzan Yamada pipped him by half a second in the nail biting final session.

WTAC_webstory_momenm6

Empringham made one last attempt but with everything turned up to maximum the car suffered a mechanical failure relegating the team to second place. Garage Revolution finished 3rd and a rapidly developing Tilton Evo into 4th place.

article_gaps7

2. Tilton vs Suzuki vs MCA shootout in 2014

2014 was another year that went right down to the wire. With the reintroduction of the Superlap Shootout format it was a 3-way battle between V8 Supercars star Shane Van Gisbergen in the MCA S13, Garth Walden in the Titon Evo and Japanese legend Under Suzuki in his S15 Silvia.

Mid-story4

This one went right down to the dying minutes with all three cars posting their fastest lap in the fading light of the Superlap Shootout. Walden in the Tilton Evo took the win, resetting the lap record once again with and Under Suzuki coming within 4 hundredths of a second behind him on his final lap to the cheers of the crowd and the MCA car coming in just behind.

WTAC_tilton2

1. Tilton threepeat 2013, 14, 15

Anyone who has ever won any class at WTAC will know the insane amount of dedication this takes. The late nights, the huge expense, the determination and the final act of stringing it all together on the day. This is indeed a feat that every winner should be proud of.

WTAC_webstory_momenm9

But without question the hardest class of all to win is the Pro Class. This is the fastest of the fast, the best in the world bar none, pro drivers, pro cars and pro teams. In our seven years of operation we have only ever seen three winners. Tarzan Yamada in the Cyber Evo in 2010 and 2011, Warren Luff in Nemo in 2012, and every other time since has been Garth Walden in the Tilton Racing Evo. 2013, 2014 and 2015 threepeat before announcing the car’s retirement.

WTAC_webstory_momenm8

What is even more incredible, every year the team smashed their own previous lap record which by now was without question the fastest tintop lap ever on this circuit.This is testament to Kosta Pohurukov and the whole Tilton Team and we can think of no more worthy recipient of our number one spot on this list than this team. Kosta, Garth and the whole Tilton team – we tip our hats to you!

articleWTAC_ceo2

As always, this year we will be looking to add many more memorable moments to this list. 2016 shaping up to be one of the most interesting years yet. With the WTAC crown up for grabs, a bunch of new state of the art Pro Class builds already in progress, along with the best lineup ever for the International Drift challenge, this will be an event not to be missed!


Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge. 14th – 15th October 2016. Sydney Motorsport Park.
Tickets go on sale June 1st. Don’t miss it!

Dawn of a new era

Dawn of a new era19

The last six years of World Time Attack Challenge can be best described as “evolutionary”. The event that started as a brand new concept in 2010 has evolved into something a lot bigger, better and more exciting. An event that has unmatched global reputation and is widely regarded as a bench mark other events are compared to.

Dawn of a new era1

The first two years of WTAC saw a total domination from overseas challengers. The likes of CyberEvo, Sierra Sierra, Cusco/Tomei and Garage Revolution took the spotlight with local teams struggling to match their pace.

Dawn of a new era2

2012 was a breakthrough year for Australian teams with Nemo Racing redefining the look, the speed and the overall approach to WTAC Pro Class. Australian time attack had arrived.

Dawn of a new era3

Tilton wrestled the title away from Nemo in 2013 and successfully defended it in 2014 and 2015 becoming the only WTAC team to win three consecutive Pro Class titles.

Dawn of a new era4

Earlier this year Tilton owner and manager confirmed rumours that their Evo will retire so the team can concentrate on a new project.

Dawn of a new era5

Tilton’s retirement opens the Pro Class right up. With up to five cars capable of taking the win, the competition is bound to be fierce. And that’s not counting the new builds and number of international teams who have expressed interest in competing this year.

Dawn of a new era18

But WTAC is not just Pro Class. One of the biggest upsets last year came in Open Class with JDM Yard’s Honda Civic beating a field of AWDs and RWDs to take the win.

Dawn of a new era7

Defending that title won’t be easy as we are already getting reports of some serious machinery being built to take them on. Not that the top runners of the class are far behind.

Dawn of a new era8

2015 runner-up Revzone and their Mitsubishi Evo are within a hundredth of a second. Evolution Custom Industries’ Porsche 944 and Insight Motorsport’s Honda S2000 are within a striking distance and let’s not forget the 2014 Open champion, Steve Ka’s Powertune Nissan R34 GTR.

Dawn of a new era9

It’s getting crowded at the top of Pro Am too with Chris Alexander closing the gap on Mick Sigsworth and Rob Nguyen’s Mighty Mouse not far behind. There’s also some talk of another high-profile Pro Am entry which may well upset the status quo.

Dawn of a new era10

If that wasn’t enough, Mick Sigsworth’s company now offers his Evo platform for sale as a kit, meaning anyone with the right budget can buy a tried and proven 1:25 second package as a starting point.

Dawn of a new era11

But the really exciting news comes from the grassroots, street-oriented Clubsprint class. Last year this class also saw a FWD Honda Civic swipe the win from the AWD brigade with Daniel Meredith in his BYP Racing prepared rocket stopped the clocks with a sub 1 minute 40 lap time.  The interest in this class has skyrocketed and it looks like we are going to have a jam packed Clubsprint class.

Dawn of a new era12

Why is this exciting? Every form of motorsport needs grassroots support. Without new people coming into motorsport the interest from both competitors, fans and sponsors alike will stagnate and eventually wane.

Dawn of a new era13

So the ever growing intake of new people wanting to build and race cars in Clubsprint class is a sign that time attack racing in Australia is enjoying a healthy growth in both interest and participation.

Dawn of a new era14

Retaining and growing our fan base is something we take very seriously. Our aim is to make WTAC the best “bang for your buck” motorsport event in the world. We have squeezed more action, more attractions, more ticket options, more inclusions while keeping the ticket price the same.

Dawn of a new era15

As we head towards the 7th World Time Attack Challenge we can’t help but feel the best is yet to come. The event is about to evolve once again and cement its position as one of the most spectator and competitor friendly motorsport events in the world.

Dawn of a new era16

There will be four Class titles up for grabs and it’s quite possible we will see a new champion in each class this year, including a new WTAC champion!

WTAC 2016 – Bring It On!

Dawn of a new era17

WTAC Highlights – what was your favourite?

Over the years WTAC has had numerous highlights. Controversies, nail-baiting finishes and once in a lifetime opportunities to see some of the most legendary motorsport icons are all part of the deal when you attend WTAC. We all have our favourites, what’s yours?

1. CyberEvo vs Sierra Sierra Duel

The rivalry between these two teams started in 2010 but the moment we all remember happened in the afternoon of Day 2 at the 2011 WTAC.

Sierra Sierra had just smashed Cyber Evo’s 2010 record by over a second and posted the fastest ever top speed at WTAC. So fast was the SSE Evo down the main straight that CyberEvo crew asked for the car to be checked for Nitrous.

Just when we thought CyberEvo was beaten, with just one session to go, Tarzan Yamada managed to pull a rabbit out of the had and better SSV’s time, setting a new WTAC lap record and successfully defending his title.

2. Team Orange win the 2012 Drift Challenge

Not many drift teams get such an enthusiastic reception as Team Orange did in Sydney back in 2012. The big question was; can they back their popularity with results? With Kumakubo-san out early with mechanical issues it didn’t look all that well for Team Orange at the end of Day 1.

Day 2 proved to be a defining day for Kumakubo’s team mate, Naoto Suenaga who seemed to progress effortlessly through all his battles, defeating some major local talent in the process.

As the smoke settled after the final battle, it was Suenaga who was left standing, winning not just the TIDC trophy but the hearts of Australian and New Zealand drift fans.

3. Mad Mike drives the PPRE 6-rotor

Nothing, and we mean nothing can prepare you for the sound generated by a peripherally ported, six rotor engine. We brought the 6B powered Mazda RX4 coupe from New Zealand to display at the 2013 WTAC. Our intention was to have the car in the paddock and start it up occasionally for the spectators.

When we heard the car start up however, a decision was quickly made that this car simply had to go out and do a few demo laps. The owner threw the keys to “Mad” Mike Whiddett and the rest, as they say, is history.

4. Legends shine and burn

In 2013 we were lucky enough to have two iconic Group B rally cars joining the ranks of our Motorsport Legends. The first car was an Audi Quattro S1 Group B replica and the second was an incredibly rare, genuine MG Metro 6R4 powered by a naturally aspirated 475hp V6 Goodwin V64 engine that revved to 14,000rpm!

As the cars went out for their laps a call came through the radio that one of them caught on fire. Our hearts sunk as we saw the gorgeous Metro engulfed by flames. While not exactly a highlight, it was a sight we will never forget.

5. Tilton vs Scorch Shootout

_MG_1899

2014 saw the re-introduction of Superlap Shootout, a bonus round for the top five teams in each class. Held in the afternoon of Day 2, with near-perfect track conditions, Superlap Shootout proved to be the deciding moment for the defending champ.

article_numbers35

Day 1 was a day Tilton would rather forget. Battling mechanical issues and even enduring a fire breaking out in the engine bay, Tilton were forced to pull an all-nighter to get the car ready for Saturday. Under Suzuki on the other hand was in a top form. Getting faster with every lap, the Scorch Racing S15 looked poised to wrestle the title away from Tilton.

It all came down to the final lap in the Superlap Shootout. Garth Walden drove a miraculously fast lap, beating Suzuki by just 0.04 sec, the smallest margin in WTAC history.

6. Mazda 767B Le Mans

10284793_724575724286018_312382320929747585_o

There are cars that transcend all car genres and unite all motorsport fans with their racing legacy and sheer presence. Mazda 767B Le Mans is such a car.

IMG_5722

It was without a doubt the centre of all attention in the paddock and was followed by a mob of adoring fans wherever it went. The sight and the sound of a 767B thundering down the main straight at SMSP was an unforgettable experience.

What’s your favourite?

Let us know what your favourite WTAC moment was in the comments below and you could win a WTAC ticket for yourself and your mate.

Times, they are-a-changing

article_times8

The sport of time attack is evolving at a rapid pace. Even a casual observer can notice a dramatic change in the appearance of the leading cars in each class. But it’s not just the cars’ appearance that changed, the developments in engine, suspension, brakes and forced induction technology have all contributed to the record times we are now accustomed to seeing.

While the changes in Pro Class are the ones that get the most publicity, it appears that Open and Clubsprint classes have more than kept up with the pace of development set by the top Pro teams. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding, and in the case of time attack that pudding is a lap time so let’s examine the class-topping lap times over the last four years of WTAC competition.

ProClass

OpenClass

Clubsprint

Let’s first take a look at the top lap times in each class in 2010 and 2011. The inaugural WTAC set the benchmark for all the local time attack enthusiasts with the international guests setting the pace. In the outright ranking it was 1. Japan, 2. USA, 3. Japan with close to 1.5 seconds separating the first from the third fastest. The disparity was much greater in the Open Class with over 3.5 seconds separating the class winner from the third place. The closest class of the 2010 even the Clubsprint class with only 0.6 second separating the first and the third spot.

article_times1
Cyber-Evo in its 2010 guise looks more in line with the current Open Class cars than the pointy end of Pro.

Forward to 2011 and looking through the garages we could clearly see that plenty of teams have taken cues from the international champions – namely CyberEvo and Sierra Sierra. Across the the board we could see the “less weight – more power” formula being adapted. We also saw a 2 second improvement on average in the top three times across all classes. The differences between the first and third remained very similar in Pro and Clubsprint but Open Class closed up considerably with only one second between first and third spot. Furthermore the time gap between the leaders in each class remained approximately the same as in 2010. The improvements, it seems, were implemented equally across all classes.

article_times2
The rivalry between Sierra-Sierra and Cyber Evo saw the smallest gap (just 0.2 sec) between 1st and 2nd in 2011.

2012 saw a major track upgrade and overhaul of the venue which also changed its official name from “Eastern Creek Raceway” to “Sydney Motorsport Park”. The resurfacing and smoothing out of one of the corners had a significant impact on lap times which dropped much lower than in the previous year-to-year comparision. It was in fact, twice the amount of the 2010 to 2011 gain. It was also a year we saw a big shift in focus toward aerodynamic aspects of time attack cars. A shift that no doubt also contributed to the faster times.

article_times4

The drop (4 seconds on average) was consistant across all class leaders. So, while everyone was in awe of Nemo resetting the class record by over four seconds, the records for Open and Clubsprint classes were reset by a very similar margin. And although it seemed like Nemo was the car that had distanced itself most from its competition, the biggest gap between first to second was, in fact, in the Open Class.

So, despite posting very fast times, 2012 followed a very similar pattern to the previous two years. The biggest change so far occurred in 2013.

AllClasses

The introduction of Pro Am class saw a number of Open Class teams move up and similarly some Clubsprint teams moved up to Open. The specs of some of the Open Class cars resembled the Pro Class front runners of only a couple of years before. The entire field stepped up, once again, not just in terms of power, weight but also, and most visibly, aerodynamics.

DAV_9345

The new class and the subsequent shuffle of teams resulted in mixed results with only the Pro Class recording better times than 2012, though only by less than half a second. The most noticeable difference was in the Open Class. Even though the class leader posted a slower lap time than his predecessor, the entire class recorded faster times and a lot closer competition with only 0.9 seconds separating the first and third place.

article_times7
Dean Lillie took the Open Class win in 2013 making the BC Automotive R32 GTR the first non-Evo car to win that title.

2013 also proved to be a year of surprises with the favourites losing out to hard-charging underdogs in all the classes. It was also a year that provided the most variety on the podium with Subaru, Nissan and Honda successfully taking the fight to Mitsubishi.

article_times10
2013 Clubsprint winner – Jason Wright’s Subaru STi. A perfect example of a well-sorted and very fast Clubsprint car.

So there you have it, the developments in the engine, drivetrain and aerodynamics have contributed to consistently faster lap times, but these developments did not only benefit the top Pro Class teams. In fact, over the years, Open and Clubsprint classes have shown equal improvement in lap times as their Pro counterparts.

article_times9
The introduction of the Pro Am Class proved very successful with the entries filling up in less than a week. These cars are built to Pro Class rules with the only difference being – they have to be driven by the owner, no pro drivers allowed. Mick Sigsworth Evo (above) took the class win with a lap time of just 1:30.957 so these cars are very fast indeed.

So what will this year’s event bring? Our guess is the times will be even faster with the teams getting familiar and confident in racing lightweight, big horsepower, aerodynamically advanced cars. The re-introduction of Superlap Shootout will certainly add another element of excitement and may well be the deciding factor in the final podium placings.

The Home Advantage

There is no doubt that an intimate knowledge of the track can improve your lap time. Intuitively knowing the perfect line through each corner shaves off valuable seconds but is it enough to be considered an “unfair advantage”? To answer that question we must first look at the factors contributing to winning at WTAC.

article_home1

Murray Coote once famously said: “all you need is a quick, well-handling car and an absolute gun driver”. While these are certainly the prerequisites, these days the formula seems to be a little more complex than that.

The Car
There is no point arguing that the car itself is at the centre of this formula. The inaugural WTAC in 2010 was a case in point, the international cars were just so much quicker than the local entries they took five out of the top six outright spots.

article_home2

None of the international entries have ever raced at Eastern Creek, which, by all accounts is a very different track to their home tracks. All the cars have had a very limited practice time with the eventual winner, CyberEvo, missing out on most of the practice day due to mechanical issues.

For Sierra Sierra (runner-up) it was the first time the car competed outside of the USA. This total lack of familiarity with the track didn’t stop the internationals pulling off a clean sweep at the podium and setting a new tin-top track record.

article_home3

When Nemo burst onto the scene in 2012, the focus, once again, was on the car itself. It is worth pointing out that the car and the team are based in Queensland and the first time Nemo went around the track at Eastern Creek was on WTAC practice day. The new lap record and the subsequent WTAC title are largely attributed to the car and the driver combo, not the local knowledge.

article_home4

The Driver
Much like the car, the driver and his ability to get the most out of every second on the track are paramount to success at WTAC. In 2010 neither Yamada, Empringham, Sasaki or Mitsushiro have ever been to, let alone raced at Eastern Creek. The fact that both Yamada and Empringham were already running low 1:30s in practice without any prior track knowledge is both incredible and a further proof that the right car in the right hands trumps any home track advantage.

article_home5

Forward one year to 2011 and we have three internationals on the podium again. With Yamada and Empringham taking the top two spots, it was another newcomer with no prior experience at Eastern Creek, Mitsuhiro Kinoshita in the Garage Revolution RX7 that took the third place ahead of all local entries.

article_home6

Warren Luff’s driving skills and racing experience with the Red Bull V8 team are well known so we don’t need to discuss them here in detail but it’s worth noting that while he has raced at Eastern Creek numerous times and is very familiar with the circuit layout, the first time he has driven Nemo there was on Day 1 of the 2012 WTAC.

article_home7

The Team
Having discussed the car and the driver we come to the area that we believe offers the biggest advantage to the local (and by local we mean Sydney-based) teams.

When the cars are shipped from overseas the container space is at a premium, so although every last cubic inch of that space is utilized it still limits most teams to a little more than just bare necessities. What that means is the international and even the interstate teams don’t have the luxury of relying on unlimited crew, parts and multitude of spare engines. They have to run with what they brought.

article_home8

It is worth mentioning here the wonderful comradery shown by the Australian teams who often help out the internationals with spares, tools and a helping hand. This true (and almost forgotten in other forms of motorsport) sportsmanship is one of the reasons why the event has such a great reputation internationally.

article_home9

Yet, once again, the small crew, minimal spares and shorter preparation time haven’t stopped the international teams dominating in 2010 and 2011. Which brings us to the last point…

article_home10

The Sum Of It All
When we think of the “Home Advantage” we really need to look at the combination of the driver’s knowledge of the track, pre-event testing opportunities, access to local crew, access to local spares, tools and workshop facilities if needed.

article_home11

Does all that add up to a win at WTAC? Not necessarily, but it certainly is one of the contributing factors. As we have seen in 2010 and 2011, the right car in the right hands trumps any home advantage. Even though Nemo was not an international entry, it still subscribes to the same formula.

article_home12

In 2013, for the very first time we saw the trifecta of the right car, in the right hands with some home advantage thrown in. Garth Walden described it best after the trophy presentation:

“It’s a combination of a lot of things going right. The car, the driver, the team, everything has to work and if you have a bit of luck on the day it will all come together.”

“That was the case for Nemo last year, everything just seemed to go their way. This year it was us, after months of hard work and testing everything just clicked on the day. That’s racing!”

We couldn’t agree more.

article_home13

The Top Ten Time Attack cars of all time (2013 edition)

This list will always start some speculation but we do it every year, and every year we get inundated with emails telling us “yes but this car ran faster at this track” or something similar. The bottom line is, we have based this list on ACTUAL results in real competition, not a “reported time” during practice or similar. There are also many possibilities that maybe should be on here but we lack the data to know where they would sit.

One of these is the crazy KRB Audi from Scandinavia, but the biggest problem here is they seem to run on slick tyres making them ineligible under our criteria.

The UK based Gobstopper was exceptionally fast back in the day and no doubt the new “version 2.0” could well make the list in the future once sorted and the Redbrick Evo from the UK was also very fast on their home soil but struggled with a troubled run in Australia.

Also, there is an extremely high chance that the Esprit NSX should be on here, and no doubt will be next year, but but without seeing it in international competition it is also very hard to gauge.

The list below may be considered biased toward cars that have actually competed at our event but the World Time Attack Challenge is, afterall, the only international event of its kind in the world. So here goes:

10. RE Amemiya Hurricane RX7 (Japan)

When one of the most prolific rotary tuners in the world builds a 20B powered “demo show/time attack car” based upon their experience in Super GT Racing and then employs one of the best time attack pilots in the world, Nobuteru Taniguchi to pilot it you could bet the results will be good and you are right. The car was originally built as a show car for Tokyo Autosalon but in the months prior to WTAC 2012 the RE Amemiya team set about converting it to “full race spec” and this resulted in a time of 1.29.8 at Sydney Motorsport Park on its debut and sixth place overall. Expect to see vast improvements for 2013 with improved aero and more horsepower.

9. FX Motorsports NSX (USA)

Now this is the only car that we included that is running on an entirely different style of tyre in than the other competitors. They use a DOT style US tyre which is very similar to a slick tyre with two radial grooves where all of the other cars are using fully grooved radials. Having said that there is still no denying this car is fast, having reset the Buttonwillow lap record with a time of 1.40.37 previously held by Sierra Sierra. One day we may see this car on the same track as the others on the same type of tyre and we would have a true indication of its standing, until then it slots in at ninth place.

8. Top Fuel/Voltex S2000RR (Japan)

Another car that has the potential to absolutely skyrocket up the list after WTAC 2013. A joint collaboration between legendary Japanese tuning house Top Fuel and equally legendary Japanese aero manufacturer Voltex. A year of development has seen the car break the “tuner car record” at Fuji Speedway with Taniguchi behind the wheel with a 1.40.9, and the 2012 WTAC time of 1.29.03 is guaranteed to be a distant memory as these guys chase not only the RWD record but indeed the outright lap record and the WTAC Pro Class victory.

7. HKS CT230 Evo (Japan)

What can we say about this car? Ahead of its time? Probably… Unbeatable at the time? Well yes sort of, although the Cyber team did run faster at some tracks. Still there is no denying it absolutely smashed the Tsukuba record in 2006 with a 53.58 with Nob Taniguchi driving and held onto it for many years. In fact, it was only in 2012 that Suzuki-san managed to beat it.

In 2007 the team went to Buttonwillow and smashed the time attack record out of the park with a 1.43.5 and this is indeed often credited with “kicking off” the US time attack scene as teams scrambled to build cars to beat the foreign invaders. It is unlikely the car would be competitive against the current crop of cars and HKS have confirmed that “the project is over” and the car is happily retired in the HKS headquarters in Japan.

6. Sierra Sierra Evo (USA)

If there was a “hard luck award” these guys would deserve it. Twice they travelled across the Pacific in 2010 and 2o11 and twice went home with a “runner up” trophy behind the Cyber Evo.  A well sorted ex Indycar/Formula Atlantic team with Cosworth power and a no expense spared build with Canadian driver David Empringham saw them stop the clocks at 1.29.0 on a “less than perfect run” to Cyber Evos 1.28.8 in 2011.

Sadly the team disbanded straight after WTAC 2011 and the car now is retired with its owner Dennis Kottke in Minden Nevada

5. Cyber Evo (2011 spec) Japan

What can we say about a team that came twice from Japan and beat all comers to take the big trophy home with them with the head car owner/engineer/tuner actually citing his real profession as a dentist.

In 2010 they struggled with engine issues, worked through the night and got the car going to take the big trophy back home with them with Tarzan Yamada beating all comers in the nail biting last session. This was repeated in 2011 (minus the engine drama) but in 2012 the car returned with an entirely different look and entirely different team and sadly suffered a very undignified end to such an iconic vehicle. They only arrived at the track on Saturday lunchtime and could only get one lap in before they oiled the track down and were left with no option but to retire.

Regardless, the achievements of the original “Red and White” Cyber Evo cannot be ignored and they slot into 5th place

4. Scorch Racing (Japan)

The current Tsukuba lap record holder with a time of 52.67  beating the HKS CT230R by almost a full second in late 2012.  By all accounts the car is believed to be a fair bit faster than when this time was set.

This car has long been a fan favorite due to Suzuki-sans “do it yourself” attitude despite working in a totally non relevant industry (he is a pharmacist). Most of the work was performed by him after hours but you can be guaranteed the “underdog” reputation is long gone and he is now “the guy to beat”. Recently seen testing at Tsukuba with aero ace Andrew Brilliant putting down sector times that were “hard to believe”. We only have one thing to say about this team… WATCH THIS SPACE!

3. MCA Suspension (Australia)

When former Australian Rally Champion and suspension guru Murray Coote and his son Josh, decided to guild a time attack car it always had the potential to be special. When they employed former McLaren F1 engineer Barry Lock to design it and open wheel Kiwi ace Earl Bamber to drive it then it was guaranteed to be very special. Finishing in the top ten on its debut in 2011, the guys then upped the ante and finished on the podium in 3rd place 2012 stopping the clocks at a phenomenal 1.27.8. at WTAC 2012
We have done a lot of stuff since last year” said Josh “we should be faster this year for sure

2. Tilton Interiors (Australia)

The Tilton interiors team of Kostinken Pohurukov and Garth Walden have been a dominant force in time attack racing in Australia since its inception however in the last couple of years the team have changed the game considerably.

Finishing in 4th at WTAC in 2011 with a time of 1.30.8 and in 2012 the team put an insane all out effort in and finished with a time of 1.27.2 made all the more incredible by the fact the car was suffering from driveline issues and spent much of the lap in 2WD. The car and team ventured over to Tsukuba earlier this year and despite not being able to have a trouble free run still recorded a 54.8 (the data showed promise of much better times). In 2013 the car returns from Japan with a wind tunnel tested Voltex Aero with more power than ever and their eyes on the big prize. 2013 may well be their year.

1. Nemo Racing (Australia)

What can we possibly say about a car that appeared with only a few shakedown runs under its belt and laid down a time near on 2 seconds quicker than its nearest rival on its debut event. It was certainly controversial in both its appearance and its construction but there is no denying the absolutely lightning quick times it pulled off with V8 Supercar and Audi endurance ace Warren Luff behind the wheel.

Designed by American aero guru Andrew Brilliant and constructed in Queensland by Porsche specialists McElrea racing, the car has undergone a revamp for 2013 to meet current rule changes but the team maintain they will be “right back at the pointy end in October”. Until we are proven otherwise Nemo sits firmly in the number one position in our books.

ticket_banner