Tag: time attack

Clubsprint: When Hondas Attack


It may not have the crazy aero of Pro and Pro Am nor the horsepower of Open but Clubsprint is the fastest growing class at WTAC and year upon year proves that it can deliver just as much excitement as its high profile brethren.


With serious restrictions on aero, engine swaps and tyre limits this class relies heavily on clever and innovative engineering and of course driver skill. Being an entry level class the associated costs are also considerably lower than in any other WTAC class so it’s not hard to see why the popularity of Clubsprint is growing at such a rapid rate. Those restrictions also make for very close racing which can only be a good thing, but more on that later.


Much like Open, Clubsprint has never had a driver take the top spot more than once. Since 2010 each year a different team stood on the top spot of the Clubsprint podium. This year however, the reigning class champion was determined change this record and make history.


Daniel Meredith took everyone by surprise when he won Clubsprint last year in what many dismissed as an “almost road trim” Honda Civic. After a year of testing and improving his ride, Daniel was back to defend his title with a more refined and fine-tuned car.


Friday morning belonged to Ben Arnold and his beautifully finished Bathurst-winning replica R32 GTR. Despite driving a car with very limited aero (even by Clubsprint standards) Ben was the pace setter early on with a lap time of 1:40.15. Unofrtunately a fatal turbo failure ended Ben’s campaign prematurely with the car retiring on Friday afternoon.


Daniel Meredith took this opportunity to make his intentions known. With a lap time of 1:39.62 in the afternoon session he jumped straight to the top of the class leaving all other contenders in a “chase” mode.


Jason Naidoo pushed hard but was unable to better Arnold’s time and finished Day 1 in the third position with a time of 1:41.29.


Only 0.2sec behind him was David Dalrymple in the Zen Garage R32 GTR.


With Ben Arnold out, the battle for Clubsprint podium was on from the very first session on Day 2.


Jayleen Nader, who didn’t even register on our radar on Friday suddenly posted a 1:39.87 lap time in his Honda S2000, challenging Meredith for the class title.


Meredith responded with a 1:39.274 cementing his No.1 position heading into the Superlap Shootout.


Despite everyone’s best efforts during the shootout, nobody in the top five improved on their times with Nader running wide, Naidoo aborting half track and Meredith making small errors which cost him valuable seconds.

As the dust settled after the shootout the 2016 Clubsprint podium consisted of: 1st – Daniel Meredith, 2nd Jayleen Nader, 3rd Ben Arnold.


In 4th place was David Dalrymple in the Zen Garage R32GTR with 1:40.188.


In 5th place Jason Naidoo in the SuperPro Mitsubishi Evo with 1:40.711.


6th place: Daniel Burton in the Competition Friction Honda S2000 – 1:41.47.


7th place: Danny Buneta in the DB Racing Toyota Supra – 1:42.0830


8th place: Vel Tomic in the Insight Motorsport Honda Civic – 1:42.2450


9th place: Mitchell Lukasz in his Toyota –  86 1:42.259


And rounding up the Top 10 was Harry Zhao driving the Harrop Engineering Lotus Exige with a lap time of 1:42.699.


Our Japanese Clubsprint entry Hideki Maeda suffered from a lethal mixture of mechanical problems and plain bad luck.


Having hit a wall during practice, Maeda-san patched the car up only to be plagued by a series of mechanical issues.


He finished the event with a time of 1:54.248 which we suspect is neither the car’s nor the driver’s true potential.


Kenny Nguyen in the Insight Motorsport Honda Integra – 1:44.966.


Andrew Wegener in the Lone Wolf Racing Honda S2000 – 1:45.103.


Glen Samson in the BYP Nissan R34 GTR – 1:44.505.


Benjamin McLaren in the Cardiff Automotive Subaru WRX – 1:45.281.


Daniel Griffin in his Honda NSX – 1:48.447.

As we’ve mentioned at the beginning of this article, Clubsprint is changing, and it’s changing for the better, offering closer racing, more variety in the field and lifting the overall class profile. But don’t take our word for it, the numbers speak for themselves:

Clubsprint Fast Facts

1. Less than one second separates the Top 3 competitors.
2. There’s only 3.4 seconds separating the 1st and the 10th competitor.
3. In a class previously dominated by AWDs there are now seven 2WD cars in the Top 10.
4. There are four Hondas in the Top 10.
5. Daniel Meredith is the first Clubsprint champion to successfully defend his class title.
6. The class lap record (under current rules) is 1:39.24 – set by Jason Wright in 2013.
7. Clubsprint first lap record (in 2010) was 1:44.37 – good enough for 17th place in 2016.
8. With 47 entries, this year’s Clubsprint was numerically the largest class at WTAC.

Helpful Links

arrow  WTAC 2016 Results
arrow  WTAC 2016 Day 1 Wrap
arrow  WTAC 2016 Day 2 Wrap
arrow  Intl Drift Challenge Wrap

Pro Am Class: Down to the Wire


Such was Mick Sigsworth’s dominance of the Garrett Pro Am class over the last three years that the pre-event rumour mill concentrated on who will come second and third rather than trying to predict the class winner. As it happened Mick came dangerously close to losing his Pro Am title this year and not to the hard-charging Chris Alexander in his powerful R32GTR either. The challenge came from a much more diminutive contender…


Team PMQ had a rather conservative first day. While there were no obvious problems with the car, Mick was visibly off the pace against the field and certainly way off his best time.


The exact opposite can be said of Rob Nguyen who made his intentions clear right from the start smashing out a 1:29.28 and finishing Day One in the No.1 spot, ahead of Sigsworth on 1:29.89.


Things didn’t improve for Sigsworth in the morning of Day Two with Chris Alexander laying down a 1:29.62 and pushing the PMQ Evo into third.


Sigsworth finally found his mojo and responded in style with a 1:27.45 leaping over both Alexander and Nguyen straight into the No.1 spot. There was a noticeable sigh of relief from the PMQ garage as Mick crossed the finish line. Watch Sigsworth’s fastest lap below.



Disaster struck in the second session with a fuel filter on the PMQ Evo catching on fire. Fortunately the fire was quickly contained and put out and the crew worked quickly to get the car ready for the Superlap Shootout.

“It looked worse than it really was” recalls Mick Sigsworth, “The damage wasn’t really serious but once the car got covered with fire extinguisher foam it looked really bad.”


Once again it looked like the class winner was going to be decided during the Superlap Shootout with Rob Nguyen pushing hard in the afternoon session and improving his time to 1:28.85.


Sigsworth went all out in the Shootout but failed to improve on his earlier time. Rob Nguyen put down an incredible lap in the Mighty Mouse, with sector times showing him ahead of Sigsworth at half track. A small cornering error cost Rob a valuable fraction of a second and possibly a class win as he crossed the finish line with a time of 1:27.61. Only 0.2 of second behind Sigsworth’s class-winning 1:27.45. Watch Rob Nguyen’s fastest lap below.


Chris Alexander also saved his best till last running his fastest lap of the event during the shootout. A time of 1:29.42 secured him a place on the class podium.


Brad Trenwith had a very successful debut of his brand new RX7 completed only weeks before the event. He finished 4th in the class with a 1:33.462.


Troy Patterson had to retire his Subaru early due to mechanical issues but not before recording a respectable 1:35.289.


Dale Malone also debuted his freshly completed ex-GT300 S15. The car is still in development but we’re expecting the times to drop dramatically once it’s all sorted.


Congratulations to Mick Sigsworth who now holds four consecutive Pro Am titles, the only driver or team to ever achieve that in WTAC history. He is still the man to beat but, as this year’s times show, his stranglehold on the class is diminishing.


Congratulations must also go to Rob Nguyen. The Mighty Mouse CRX is not only the fastest FWD at WTAC, it is also the fastest FWD ever to race at the Sydney Motorsport Park.

Helpful Links

arrow  WTAC 2016 Results
arrow  WTAC 2016 Day 1 Wrap
arrow  WTAC 2016 Day 2 Wrap
arrow  Intl Drift Challenge Wrap

Pro Class: Change of the Guard


When the Tilton Evo smashed its own lap record by more than a second back in 2015 we were not the only ones thinking this will be the benchmark for Pro Class cars for years to come.


Tilton boys made it clear they wanted to retire on a high and leave a lasting legacy. And as the 2015 WTAC drew to a close it certainly looked like they’ve done just that. As we announced the dates for the 2016 event we were faced with a very real possibility that, for the first time since its inception,the WTAC lap record may remain unbroken.


As WTAC insiders correctly pointed out, there were three main players in the race for the WTAC title, Scorch Racing, MCA Suspension and RP968. All three teams quite capable of taking the Pro Class win, but in order to break Tilton’s lap record each would have to shave 2 to 3 seconds off their absolute best so far. And when you’re lapping SMSP at around 1:25, that’s a big ask.


As we tracked the progress and pre-event testing of the title contenders it quickly became obvious neither of them was going to be content with just the WTAC title. Each had Tilton’s record in their sights.

“Winning WTAC is my dream” said Under Suzuki, “but breaking Tilton’s record is just as important.”

Neither of these teams are known for making empty promises so when October 14th rolled around we all held our collective breath eager to see if the challengers can live up to their pre-event aspirations. Were we in for a surprise or two…


RP968 overcame their early setback caused by the car losing its bonnet on the main straight during practice and turned their settings to “max attack” right from the start. Team MCA were in fine form too, rumoured to have set a new PB in practice, as did Under Suzuki who finally seemed to be having a trouble-free run.


By the end of Day 1, Tilton’s record has already been broken (if only by a 0.011 of a second) by Tim Slade in MCA’s Hammerhead S13.


Not far behind with a lap time of 1:24.03 was RP968 with Barton Mawer behind the wheel and snapping at his heels was Under Suzuki with 1:24.24.


That’s three cars under 1:25 at the end of Day 1! We were in for a real nail-biter on Day 2!


Tim Slade’s cool and precise driving style seemed to really suit MCA’s S13. The team were on top of things throughout the whole event, chasing faster lap times rather than fixing problems.


Similarly Under Suzuki, usually busy fixing and adjusting things inside his engine bay was relaxed and at ease.

“I don’t know what to do” he laughed when we visited him early in the morning, “everything is working, the car’s fine. I just want to go out and attack!”


Saturday morning session proved to be amazing with Suzuki laying down an incredible 1:23.1 lap moving him into the No.1 position for the very first time.


Unfortunately Suzuki’s joy was short lived as only a minute later Tim Slade responded with what can only be described as the most incredible WTAC lap ever – 1:22.19 thus relegating Suzuki back to the 2nd spot again.


The final podium placement however, was decided during the Superlap Shootout with Barton Mawer pushing the RP968 Porsche to yet another PB of 1:23.03 and beating Under Suzuki to the 2nd spot by just 0.1 second.

“I’m very happy this year” said Under Suzuki, “The car performed well, I gave it my best out there and went faster than ever before.”


As the sun went down over the WTAC podium we had a new champion, a new lap record and a new yard stick all those who follow will be measured by. WTAC’s new guard has arrived.


2016 has been groundbreaking for many reasons. Not only did all the top three teams smash last year’s record but all three were RWDs. The intense battle for the WTAC title was fought between two Nissans and a Porsche. The reign of Mitsubishi Evo, stretching back to the very first WTAC in 2010 has well and truly ended.

This proves something we’ve suspected all along. There is no such thing as the “best chassis/engine” for time attack. It all depends on the build, the amount of thought put into the design, its execution and of course the team’s ability to bring it all together on the day.


But there’s more. Every single Pro Class team broke their own lap record at this year’s event. Every single one.


Japanese time attack ace Nobuteru Taniguchi managed to shave over two seconds off Suttons Brothers S15’s best with a new PB of 1:28.45.


The only team flying the AWD/Evo flag in Pro Class, Pulse Racing finally broke into the sub 1:30 zone with an impressive 1:29.053.


Brad Shiels improved over 6 seconds from his 2015 best, finishing the event with a new PB of 1:32.03.


We will leave you with this final thought: this year’s winning car is based on a 25 year chassis and powered by an engine that can be traced back to early 1990s. Its best time is only 2 seconds off an A1GP car driven by Nico Hulkenberg. And it’s done it on road tyres.

Helpful Links

arrow  WTAC 2016 Results
arrow  WTAC 2016 Day 1 Wrap
arrow  WTAC 2016 Day 2 Wrap
arrow  Intl Drift Challenge Wrap

WTAC 2016 The Biggest and Best One Yet!


The 2016 Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge Sydney (WTAC), already hailed as the “Best Ever”, has delivered on all accounts with record attendance, record lap times and record media coverage.


Sydney delivered perfect spring weather for the thousands of interstate and international visitors who made their annual pilgrimage to the event; with mid-to-high 20s and blue skies on both days.


The WTAC lap record was reset not once but four times during the event with the eventual winner, MCA Suspension “Hammerhead” Nissan S13, driven by V8 Supercar ace Tim Slade, setting a blistering time of just 1:22.19 – almost two seconds faster than the 2015 record.


We’ve also seen a new Front Wheel Drive record, with Rob Nguyen’s Honda CRX claiming the spot with a 1:27.61 lap time.


The record breaking continued off track with the crowds arriving in thousands, taking advantage of great weather and a star-studded line-up.


“We are still waiting on the official ticket numbers to come in, but we know that over 25,000 people attended over the two days, and there were more than 11,000 people who stayed for our International Drift Challenge on Saturday night.” said Renato Loberto, Event Director.


With a world-class field of Drift competitors, it is no surprise that the huge crowds experienced on the Saturday night of the International Drift Challenge make it the largest drift event ever held in Australia.


With media from USA, Canada, Japan, UK, Malaysia, Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and of course Australia in attendance the event’s social media reach peaked at 1.8 million.


The tech-savvy and social media friendly crowd actively engaged with the event crew, competitors, and commentators, with over 550,000 active engagements during the event.


“It will take us a few days to confirm all the numbers, but the WTAC Live Stream was viewed by more than half a million people around the world on multiple platforms, on the Friday alone. Which is more than double the number of viewers we had for the whole event in 2015.” said Greg Lysien, Marketing Manager.


“We work all year to organize an event of this caliber” said WTAC CEO, Ian Baker. “But when you’ve got the formula right, people will come.”


The event organisers would like thank Yokohama Australia, the event naming sponsor since 2010. NSW Government whose support through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW was invaluable in the lead up to the event.


And last but not least all the event sponsors, exhibitors, competitors, race officials and volunteers who are all an integral part of the show and last but not least, all the spectators who continue to support the event every year and whose loyalty is greatly appreciated.

They are here!

Nothing says WTAC is only days away like the arrival of the first batch of international competitors. Packed tightly into their shipping containers, these machines will need to pass Australia’s strict Bio Security inspection before being re-assembled and race prep’d for the event.


Without a doubt, the most anticipated arrival in this first batch was Daigo Saito’s Lamborghini Murcielago.


The  car looks spectacular and we can’t wait to hear it in action!




So much detail to take in and admire…


Clubsprint Swift Ohji (below) looks diminutive and subtle in comparison but we still like it’s “small but tough” looks.



Most of the first batch contained cars from New Zealand. There’s no denying Team NZ is looking strong this year both in drift and time attack!


Kat Benson’s Evo and 3 Rotor Racing RX7 strike a pose in front of the SMSP control tower.


Many people tip this car to win Open Class this year. We’ll find out in a few days!


Phil Sutherland’s R34 and Troy Jenkins’ S15.


Nico Reid’s S15.


Bruce Tannock’s S13. Fat and low – just the way we like it!





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Helpful Links

arrow  Who else is coming? See WTAC entry list here
arrow  Travelling from interstate or overseas? See our Travel & Accommodation Guide
arrow  Still more questions? Read the Spectators FAQ
arrow  Frist time at WTAC? Getting to Sydney Motorsport Park
arrow  Need further convincing? 7 Things your need to know about WTAC 2016
arrow  Read to book your tickets? WTAC 2016 Tickets

10 Reasons Why You Can’t Miss WTAC 2016

This year’s WTAC is shaping up to be the biggest and the most exciting one yet. While all our hardcore fans have already booked their holidays, planned their trip and are now impatiently crossing days off on their calendars, there are still those who are either new to WTAC or simply need a bit more convincing.

It is with those people in mind that we’ve prepare the 10 Reasons why you absolutely, positively cannot afford to miss this year’s WTAC:

10. Night drifting is back


If you’ve never experienced the phenomenon that is night drifting you’re in for a treat. Not only do we have some of the biggest names from Japan, USA and New Zealand coming over, we’ve also assembled the most formidable line-up of Australian drifters to take on the internationals. Get ready for two nights of non-stop, full noise drifting action!

9. Tickets for everyone


Want to come and watch the whole spectacle that is WTAC? No problem, we’ve got a 2-Day Superass that covers it all. Want to come on Friday after work and then come back for a full day on Saturday? We’ve got a 1.5 Day Pass that covers that. Want to come just on Friday or just on Saturday? No problem, a single day pass is what you want. Want to come and just watch the drift? You can do that too – with an afternoon (entry after 5pm) pass.

8. On-site parking

Driving to WTAC? We’ve got plenty of on-site parking but make sure you get in early as the best spots get taken early on.

7. Daigo Saito and his drift Lamborghini


One of the most prominent drifters in the world is coming to Sydney with his insane drift Lamborghini. Even if you’re not into drift this car needs to be seen and heard to be appreciated.

6. Tarzan to take on Open Class


Two-time WTAC Champion is making a welcome come-back to Open Class in one of the class favourites, Denis Resi’s “Lightning” R32 GTR. The car is already a proven performer with a runner-up title under its belt and with Tarzan at the controls it’s going to be a red-hot class favourite for sure.

5. Crowing of the new WTAC Champion


We don’t know who is going to take the big trophy this year, but what we do know is that we’ll be crowning a new champion this year. With the reigning champ retiring, the field is wide open and the challengers are eager to claim that No.1 spot.

4. Mad Mike and the HUMBUL RX7

This is the car Mike won the Japanese round of Formula Drift in earlier this year. The twin turbo, quad rotor monster has never been outside Japan and will no doubt be one of the hot favourites at the International Drift Challenge.

3. Nissan R88C Le Mans


At WTAC we are all about cool cars and they don’t come much cooler than the Group C era Le Mans cars. For 2016 we have secured the amazing Nissan R88C Le Mans car that will be displayed throughout the event and come lunch time we will clear the track and send it out for some hot laps. If you’ve never seen a Group C Le Mans car in action, this is your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

2. Pagani Huayra BC


Unveiled earlier this year, this Italian supercar is worth close to $3 million dollars and is one of the most exclusive production vehicles in the world. You will get to see on display on both days and it will take to the track during the Midday Mayhem. But wait till we tell you who’ll be driving it….

1. Keiichi Tsuchiya


The Drift King himself. What can we say about this guy that hasn’t already been said. One of the most recognisable names in the Japanese tuning and indeed motorsport and racing scene. Tsuchiya-san will be piloting the Huayra BC as well doing a drift display in a very familiar looking AE86.

So what are you waiting for? Click the link below and book your tickets now!

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Helpful Links

arrow  Who else is coming? See WTAC entry list here
arrow  Travelling from interstate or overseas? See our Travel & Accommodation Guide
arrow  Still more questions? Read the Spectators FAQ
arrow  Frist time at WTAC? Getting to Sydney Motorsport Park
arrow  Need further convincing? 7 Things your need to know about WTAC 2016
arrow  Read to book your tickets? WTAC 2016 Tickets