Tag: WRX

Andy Forrest – Living the dream

As the cars get faster, the battle for number 1 gets tougher. With soaring temperatures and the stiffest competition yet, the pressure on all international challengers is enormous. One international entry who can testify to that is Scotland’s Andy Forrest. In this guest blog, Andy shares the experience of his first World Time Attack Challenge.

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The beginning

I had always wanted to race in Australia but could never find the time or means. Then, one cold and rainy day in Scotland, I received an email from my Australian friend, Nev Scott. 

Nev had been chatting to Ian Baker, about the possibility of bringing our Superlap Scotland winning Impreza to Australia for WTAC. My initial reaction was no, we don’t have enough time to prepare our car properly, but another glance out of the window at the sideways rain was enough to convince me and I replied: yes, we will go!

Then the reality hit home, we have a car that has just done a season’s racing and it needs to be prepared to WTAC spec and loaded into a shipping container in only 2 weeks. 
Graeme Jeram at Whiteline UK and Andy Napier at RA Motorsports set about arranging parts and sponsorship to make it happen. Our existing aero was considered quite wild by UK standards but was closer to Clubsprint class level in Australia. Our front aerofoil wing was sacrificed and chopped up to make some WTAC spec 300mm wide winglets. Along with a flat carbon splitter, that would make up our international spec aero. 

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Graeme had secured the services of Simon Stanley of Chevron Motorsport who took care of all suspension and chassis set up work. 
Andy Napier had meanwhile been securing sponsorship from Turbosmart UK, Gareth at Plastic mouldings, Glenroyal, Zac at Torque Developments, Daren at ABW and of course RA Motorsports. 
We also had our existing support from Keith Michaels Insurance, ASPerformance, Blouch turbos, Roland Alsop and Extreme Clutch to help us on the way.

We hit our 2 week deadline for getting down to Dover to load the car into the shipping container alongside the SVA Evo. From then on it was a waiting game. A few weeks later we set off on the 22hr flight to Sydney, eventually arriving at the stunning Darling Harbour area. We met up with Andy Nolan, David Chenery and the team at Whiteline. Ian met us at the track along with the Border Control customs. As they cut off the padlocks it was a bit tense as we looked inside, was it still all there, was it intact?

After a few tense moments during inspection, when the inspector found a lump of used rubber that had escaped us during the clean, it was a pass!

Next day it was back down to Sydney Motorsport Park at 6am in the morning for what they call “dawn patrol”. This is an opportunity for new drivers to have a few hours on track with no overtaking and a strict speed limit of 110kph. It may sound slow but it was a chance to find the lines on the track and it was an invaluable two hours.

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The middle

We started the car up for the first time to do some test laps. It was quite a feeling pulling out onto the pit lane for the first time. We left the silencers at home (no noise limits) so it sure woke up the other garage occupants as we cruised by.

Out onto track and the car just felt at home. The circuit has such a fast flowing nature to it, then there is that long downhill straight followed by the famous high speed turn 1. 
A few laps and we come in for a systems check, tweak to the fuel map and we head out again, still on minimum boost. Getting faster down the main straight and the shift lights come on in 5th gear at 270kph and I still have not even reached the 300mtr marker. I lift off and drop to around 90mph for turn 1. It is a long semi blind entry tightening turn. We need to be doing this at 230+kph to be on the pace!

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Brain says you can’t go this fast around a bend,

aero says you can!

In for a tyre temp check on these super soft Yokohama A050s that we have never run on before. They are up to 90+ degrees after 2 gentle laps and the max they should be run at is 100 C. So it’s outlap, fast lap, in lap from now on. Track temp was mid 40’s but the car was coping well.

We set off for the next session (6 x 15 min sessions, alternating with road cars) we bang in all 6 sessions with no issues at all. No lap timing at this stage as we were just optimising on sectors and targeting the lower speed corners first. 
The high temperatures seemed to be affecting the other international cars, most of them spending the best part of the day in the pits changing broken bits. 
At the end of the day we were well pleased with progress, the car was well balanced in the medium speed corners and was putting the power down well.

We had a slight balance issue in the higher speed turns where we were working on getting the aero balance sorted. That front aero was certainly working, maybe too well.

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With the stiffer front springs in place we set out on our first session of day 2. The grounding had stopped but the car was still loose on high speed turns. We noticed that as we added more rear wing, the wings chassis mounts deflected, taking the angle back off again which was sorted by a quick fix.

We do another test run with the GoPro watching the wing and all is good and the balance feels much better. We add more rear wing again and a full lap proves that the car is now well balanced at speed, and working turn 1 up to 190kph apex speed and all is stable. The track temp is high 40’s by now so we know it requires one fast lap per outing in order to preserve the rubber.
 We have now done 30+ laps and feel comfortable with the car and track.

Coming onto the main straight I give it full throttle, it hooks up well, I let it auto shift up the gears as usual, then I short shift into 6th. Previously we were lifting around the 300 metres so I take a brave pill and run deeper into turn 1, lifting around the 150m point. Still too early but I need to work up to speed gently. Brain says you can’t go this fast around a bend, aero says you can!

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The car has so much more grip on the new tyres that I feel I should have turned into each corner faster. I make a mental note and carry on pushing slightly harder. Then, at turn 8 the box misses an up-shift. It gets it second time then on up-shift to 4th, as we approach the final complex 9/10/11 turns, I feel a vibration, then bang, then a total loss of drive and a big vibration. It feels like a broken driveshaft.

Then I notice flames under the car. I’m undoing my window straps and harness using my knees to steer to the next marshal’s post and as I pull up the flames go out. I can see gear oil pouring out across the under tray.

The end

Tow back to the pits and we strip off the aero floor for a look at the gearbox. It’s ugly. The carbon prop has snapped and taken out the centre diff casing with it, the drop gears (still intact) literally drop out the hole in the casing.

I think we can fix this. Nev has a carbon propshaft lined up and Brett Middleton from MRT knows of a Subaru specialist transmission shop that has casings and is willing to stay up all night if required to allow us to fix it. You can’t beat the Australian hospitality.

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As we look at the damage in more detail it becomes clear that the drive to the front diff has also been damaged. 
We get the car up to Peakhurst transmissions to find literally hundreds of Subaru transmissions on the shelf. The guys get the box out, open up the main casing and the output shaft drops out, snapped clean 
in two.  

As we look closer, the reason is clear, the needle roller bearing on 4th gear has failed and partly seized onto the main shaft, the resulting heat from this has softened the main shaft to the point that the torque has just ripped it apart.

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The car is transported to Hypertune while Ian, Nev and Brett hunt for a replacement gearbox. We have offers of a 6 speed H pattern but it doesn’t fit our setup, we stumble upon the PPG stand in the trader alley, who have a 6sp sequential in a display case. This could work but since it’s a display box it would require a fair bit of custom work. 
We sit down with the sponsors and all of us reluctantly agree that it is just unrealistic to get this amount of custom work done in time available.

We had all been thinking this but nobody wanted to be the first to say it. That was it, end of play. We have all had disappointments in motorsport. It’s the nature of the game. This was a tough one though as I felt like I was letting people down. The drive to the event on Saturday was emotional. We were going as spectators, not as competitors.

We had all been thinking this

but nobody wanted to be the first to say it.

Saturday wasn’t all gloom though as Nev and Dan let me have a session on track in Daniel’s CMA car.

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The future

On the positive side looking forward, we have gained heaps of data on the fuel, ambient conditions, the track and the tyres. Our car can run in these high temperatures and at high speeds without a hitch. We were on for a sub 1:30 lap when the box went. Although we have to balance that with a further reality check of just how fast these WTAC cars really are, the Mighty Mouse FWD Honda CRX ran a 1:29!

We were running 280kph down the straight on minimum boost, braking early for turn 1, I can’t wait to find out what it would do with the additional 400bhp available from high boost, never mind the Nitrous.

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I can’t thank everyone enough, particularly the team at Whiteline Australia, Graeme, Simon and Mick. Nev and Daniel from the CMA team and Brett and his guys from MRT. Finally Ian Baker for making it all possible.

So where do we go from here? The repair parts are already ordered for the Modena gearbox, we have also ordered a 6sp PPG sequential to set up in our car and test run in the UK so we have a spare box modified ready and we have a certain well known WTAC aerodynamicist coming to visit us shortly to discuss enhancements in that area.

WTAC is the best place ever for networking and the friendliest race environment I have ever been 
involved with. Our place at WTAC is already booked for 2016, unfinished business – Living The Dream Part 2. Bring it on!

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Helpful Links

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arrow  Final Results –  WTAC 2015 Leader Board
arrow  Watch Tilton’s winning lap – 1:23.77 a new WTAC record

2015 WTAC Form Guide

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Picking a winner this year was never going to be an easy task. The competition across all classes has gotten a lot fiercer with a number of teams capable of taking the win. As the official practice day draws to a close the only thing we can promise with any degree of certainly is that this year’s field is closer that it’s ever been.

When awarding our scores we’ve looked at the car’s past performance, pre-event testing and preparation as well our first impressions on the test day. We have then scored each car’s chances of winning its respective class out of 10. And so, without further ado here are our top picks for the 2015 Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge.

Tilton Interiors

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The reigning champs have proven time and time again they can overcome setbacks and come out on top. Going for their third WTAC title they are the team to beat.

Strengths: Very experienced team, tried and proved package, experienced driver, loads of pre-event testing.
Weaknesses: Some reliability issues but otherwise not many.
Our Score: 9/10

MCA Suspension

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MCA’s brand new car is big leap forward for the team. With a gun driver and the team’s previous experience in clocking consistently fast times, MCA is well position to dethrone Tilton.

Strengths: Very experienced team, aggressive and experienced driver, massively improved vehicle.
Weaknesses: Limited pre-event testing.
Our Score: 8.5/10

Scorch Racing

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In 2014 Suzuki came oh-so-close and will no doubt be going for the kill this year. The car now has the aero package that Andrew Brilliant originally envisaged for it.

Strengths: Has the passion, the skill and the car to go head to head with the fastest.
Weaknesses: The revised aero package had limited testing time. Some engine reliability issues.
Our Score: 8.5/10

RP 968

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This is a team that could potentially cause a major upset. They suffered a bit of a setback on Wednesday with flames seen bellowing out of the engine bay but they’re back in their garage today with the car looking as good as new.

Strengths: One of the most extreme builds we’ve ever soon. A very professional and experienced team.
Weaknesses: Little to no testing time. First time at WTAC.
Our Score: 8/10

SVA Imports

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UK champions did not come all this way to just ‘have a go’. They know what’s needed to win in time attack and have a well proven package to do it with. The car looked fast in practice and performed without any major issues.

Strengths: Very experienced team, light weight, reliable and very quick car, experienced driver, plenty of pre-event testing.
Weaknesses: First time at WTAC (though Gareth has been here before with Redbrick Racing).
Our Score: 8/10

LYFE Motorsport

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This Utah-based team carries the hopes of the entire North American continent on their shoulders. Their car cannot be underestimated but lack of pre-event testing could be a problem.

Strengths: Experienced team, experienced driver, very advanced build.
Weaknesses: Lack of pre-event testing, heavy and complex vehicle.
Our Score: 7/10

Andy Forrest Performance

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Strengths: Very fast car with a killer power-to-weight ratio.
Weaknesses: First time at WTAC, largely untested aero package, suffered from gearbox issues during practice.
Our Score: 6.5/10

 

Mick Sigsworth

Like Tilton in Pro Class, Mick Sigsworth is the one to beat in Pro Am. In fact, many people tip him to be the fastest outright this year. This prediction is not without its merit as Mick is a very competent driver and in his hands the PMQ Evo is an absolute weapon.

Strengths: Reigning champion currently enjoying a big lead over other Pro Am competitors. Fast, reliable car, focused and experienced team.
Weaknesses: Intermittent mechanical issues plagued Mick last year but these seem to have been fixed.
Our Score: 9.5/10

Chris Alexander

Here is a driver that has done a lot of off-season testing and reportedly shaved seconds off his 2014 best. The car certainly has the power and handling to take on Sigsworth’s Evo so it’ll come down to the driver’s capability of getting the most out of it.

Strengths: Very potent car with a quickly improving driver. plenty of pre-event testing.
Weaknesses: Persisting reliability issues. Car caught fire in practice.
Our Score: 8/10

Rob Nguyen

Now equipped with a supercharger, Rob’s Mighty Mouse is a very serious title contender. If his performance last year is anything to go by this little Honda is not to be underestimated.

Strengths: Well balanced, reliable car with a killer power-to-weight ratio. experienced driver.
Weaknesses: New car for 2015 with limited testing time. Team sat out practice session so we haven’t seen the new package run yet.
Our Score: 8/10

Atsushi Shimaya

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This car was no slouch when it competed here in 2013 and has since been dramatically improved. It is certainly capable of being on the class podium.

Strengths: Well developed, tested and proven package, experienced driver.
Weaknesses: Somewhat underpowered in comparison with the top contenders in this class, mechanical issues during practice.
Our Score:7.5/10

Jason Wright

Don’t make Hulk angry! This year Hulk has a billet engine, new transmission and revised aero. This should put Jason well within the podium contention.

Strengths: Reliable, powerful car, experienced driver, sufficient pre-event testing.
Weaknesses: Had a year hiatus from WTAC.
Our Score: 7/10

 

Steve Ka / Powertune

Strengths: Proven performer. Underwent a massive suspension and engine upgrade since last year. Plenty of testing prior to this year’s event.
Weaknesses: Nothing we can think of.
Our Score: 9/10

Nik Kalis / Team Sparta

Strengths: Nik Kalis is back and he wants his trophy back! The car is finally doing what the driver wants it to and the new aero package will make this car a real threat.
Weaknesses: Judging by its performance so far, not many.
Our Score: 8/10

Evolution Custom Industries

Strengths: Plenty of power, good handling, experienced driver.
Weaknesses: Lack of pre-event testing, some reliability issues.
Our Score: 8/10

Road Track Rally (RTR)

Strengths: Well sorted, reliable package, experienced driver with plenty of time attack experience.
Weaknesses: Limited pre-event testing.
Our Score: 7.5/10

3 Rotor Racing

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Strengths: Very professional looking build. Looked very fast and very comfortable in practice, this New Zealand team is certainly a podium material.
Weaknesses: First time at WTAC.
Our Score: 7.5/10

 

Jason Naidoo

Strengths: WTAC veteran, new powerful engine, tried and proven performer. This year Jason will be hard to beat.
Weaknesses: Limited testing with the new engine.
Our Score: 9/10

David Lord

Strengths: Another WTAC veteran who proved last year that he’s got what it takes to make the podium.
Weaknesses: Lack of pre-event testing.
Our Score: 8/10

John Richardson

Strengths: Finishing just outside the podium last year, John has some unfinished business to take care of. He’s got a refined, well sorted package that could potentially put him on the podium this year.
Weaknesses: Competing against AWD EVOs and STIs, John’s R33 GTST might have some weight and RWD disadvantage.
Our Score: 7/10

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1200hp WRX from Scotland to take on Pro Class

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Imagine building a really fast WRX. Something to run at the odd drag meet. Then imagine things get out of hand and you finish up with a flat six Subaru engine from a SVX punched out to 3.6 litres with all the good bits internally and with a couple of big turbochargers strapped on either side.

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The horsepower climbs to well over 1000 (in fact closer to 1200hp with a whiff of NOS) and before you know it the car is running 7.7 second quarter mile times at near on 300km/h all whilst remaining street registered. If all this sounds impressive (which it most certainly is) just wait until you hear the next bit…

The car is then developed into a top level time attack car that goes out to set lap records and decimate almost everything that is put against it whilst retaining this insane power level.

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Sound impossible? Well, you have never met Andy Forrest!

We caught up with this crazy Scotsman at his little workshop Andy Forrest Performance nestled in the sleepy town of Port Seton near Edinburgh on the East Coast of Scotland as he busily prepares what could possibly be the most insane Subaru WRX on the planet to ship to Sydney Australia to take on the fastest time attack cars on the planet.

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WTAC: We are really looking forward to seeing you compete at WTAC in October. How did all this come about?

Andy Forrest: It’s all a bit of a blur actually. One minute I’m sitting, looking out at the rain, thinking I need a new challenge for the car, then I get an email from Nev Scott from Australia asking if I was up for WTAC this year. I had previously said no as it was not what the car was built for, but he caught me at just the right time and I said: Yes, let’s do this!

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WTAC: Let’s start at the beginning, tell us about this crazy car of yours.

AF: It came about as a bet with my partner Lisa! I seen this 95 Impreza RA on Ebay for £2500 and just happened to say: that’s a 9 second car right there. She laughed: “in your dreams!” I said “I could have one of them running 9’s within a month”. The challenge was on and I won!

WTAC: We’ve heard this car has a hell of a reputation at the Ten Of The Best (TOTB) events in the UK

AF: Yes, TOTB is a multi discipline event for street legal cars that includes 1/4 mile drag, top speed over 1km standing start and a handling course over a fairly tight coned slalom track. We have won it outright for the past 3 years, against the UK’s fastest. The car runs 289 kph on the 1/4 and 340 kph from a standing start over the kilometer in full street trim.

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WTAC: You’ve also smashed another record at Knockhill circuit recently at a round of the Superlap Scotland series?

AF: Knockhill is my local circuit, I won the Scottish saloon car championship there over 20 years ago in a Sierra Cosworth. I thought it was about time I visited again, so we had a look at the regs, tweeked the car to suit and entered the event. We took the win and set a new lap record first time out, which was nice.

WTAC: We are all intrigued at how on earth you managed to convert what was essentially a street car into a race car that does times at both the drag strip and the race circuit.

AF: A wise man once said “there is no replacement for displacement” but that was before we had boost. Now the belief is “there’s no substitute for boost”. So we’ve just combined them. 3600cc and 40psi boost in a lightweight car. There is your answer!

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WTAC: Can you talk us through your engine and running gear?

AF: We have used an H6 engine from the normally aspirated Subaru SVX/Alcoyne. It is basically an Impreza engine with 2 more cylinders, it shares most of its internals with the EJ22 engine from the old 90s Legacy/Liberty and bolts right in to the std engine mounts.

It has been stroked to 79mm and sleeved out to 98mm with uprated forged internals and our own custom camshafts. It runs two Blouch billet GT35-88 turbos that are rated at 700bhp each and 12 x ASNU 1300cc injectors, all controlled by a Syvecs S8 ECU. The trans is a Australian made Modena 6 speed sequential in the OE Impreza casing with paddle shift and an Australian made Xtreme Clutch.

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WTAC: As all this has come around in whirlwind you guys obviously have very little time to prepare. This can be a bit of a detriment but we have heard it from many reliable sources to never underestimate what you guys are capable of, regardless of the odds. This bears the question, what will you be doing in preparation for coming to Australia in such a short space of time?

AF: This is the tricky bit, most guys have had a year to prepare for WTAC, we have had 2 weeks! The car needs to ship out next week in order to make it down by early October. We have been sprinting the car so the format of 1 hot lap is a familiar one, however we don’t have any tracks on our calendar that have such high speed turns like Sydney Motorsport Park.

Aerodynamics is where we will find the challenge, we have the power, we have the mechanical grip but we don’t have the aero development that is all important for this event. We have a few last minute DIY alterations underway to address this but with no time to test it on track it is a bit of a gamble.

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WTAC: Sydney Motorsport Park is a large flowing circuit that favors the higher horsepower cars so this may well play into your hands.

AF: Yes, if we can maintain the momentum in the faster turns it will be good. Pulling 2+ G’s through turn 1 on road tyres requires some serious down force, that will be our challenge.

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WTAC: You have a serious following worldwide on social media, is there anything you would like to say to your fans before you get here?

AF: Come down to Sydney if you can, there is simply no better way of experiencing a motorsport event than in person. If you can’t make it, tune in to the live stream. I was captivated by it last year and we didn’t even have any UK cars running! We will be giving it all we have got that’s for sure!

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WTAC: Thanks Andy, along with everyone else we cannot wait to see what you can do. We suspect you may surprise even the biggest skeptic!

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Photos courtesy of Flat Out Motorsport Photography

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A World Class boxer with a 1000hp punch

There are few people on the planet as passionate about the sport of time attack racing as Newcastle based mining contractor and weekend racer Jason Wright. Jason has competed at every single World Time Attack event going right back to the first national Superlap event back at Oran Park. His weapon of choice – always a Subaru WRX.

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Every year, Jason has come back to WTAC with a new an improved weapon. He has even made it to the podium in 2011 and 2013 – last year with multiple trophies. Jason achieved an outright win in Clubsprint Class in a car he refers to as the Hornet and a very impressive 3rd place in the hotly contested Pro Am Class driving the newly built and bright green Hulk WRX. Returning for 2014 his goal is to be the first ever competitor to win two classes in the same year.

He will be defending his title in Clubsprint and stepping up his game with the Hulk to try to net the Pro Am title as well. We caught up with him to get the inside details of his plans for 2014.

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WTAC: Tell us about your Clubsprint title winning Subaru WRX

Jason Wright:  It all started with our humble 2003 WRX STi, affectionately known as ‘The Hornet’. I originally purchased this car for my wife as a run around for her and weekend toy for me. This eventually lead to Supersprints and then the modifications started. I already had significant track experience around many tracks; Oran Park, Amaroo Park, Eastern Creek and Wakefield Park from many years racing motorcycles.

So I took to the car racing pretty easy and in the first year competing the full CAMS SuperSprint Series, I won the rego class championship and claimed lap record at every circuit. It’s safe to say I was hooked from there, the one thing that drives me in my life is the desire for success in everything I do. Basically, if I’m going to do something I plan to do it well and if it’s a competition, then my plan is to win it.

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WTAC: It looks like you had to make some changes to suit the current Clubsprint rules?

JW: Well, yes and no, the Hornet has always been registered and built to run in CAMS SVD Rego Class of completion. In that category it now holds 2 CAMS National Championships and Two NSW State Series victories, plus multiple lap records. In 2011 we really thought we would dial it up and try a run in WTAC in Open Class, so we entered up a class that year and Autotech built a fire cracker engine just for the event, it was absolutely bonkers and we smashed out a 1.35 lap which was good enough for 3rd in open class, in a street registered car.

On the Sunday after WTAC (yes the next day) we had to run in CAMS National Championship back in the street class which we did and won that also. So basically, that was a real street car on the podium of Open Class in WTAC. I don’t think you’ll see that today with the way the competition has stepped it up in open class.

So basically in answer to your question, we didn’t have to change a lot to run back in club sprint in 2013. We cut down the front splitter from 100mm to 50mm and that’s about it. The weight of the car has always been around the clubsprint category regs and the tyres have always been 265.

The facts  is, that with the extreme level of competition now arriving at WTAC, there is no way a big heavy street car could compete in Open Class, so we’ve simply put The Hornet is back where it belongs. And there is no way we’re feeling cocky after a smashing win last year, we know people are turning it up even more in all classes and we’ll be working hard to make sure we get the best out of the Hornet this year.

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WTAC: And what are your plans for the Hornet for 2014?

JW: Pretty simple really, we plan to defend our crown as the fastest and most competent rego car in Australia. A cherry on top will be to break Nev Scott’s 2012 295 tyre, lap record and be the fastest street car to ever run WTAC. We had tongues wagging last year by posting dyno graphs on the Hornet punching out over 500kw on the dyno. But truth be known, we can’t run at the track with full power because the gearbox just won’t hold it.

This year we will run a Samsonas dog box, so if need be, we can run at full power this year. Don’t expect us to lay all our cards on the table on Friday though, we’re a bit smarter than that.

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WTAC: Let’s talk about your Pro Am entry  – the Hulk. This is certainly a spectacular looking car and a 3rd fastest car in Pro Am class in 2013!

JW: Of course the Hulk is our hero car and noone has seen its real potential yet. One frustrating thing about time attack is that the cars are always under development and usually haven’t seen enough track time in testing. Last year was very lucky for us, we rolled the car out on the day of the event, very much under developed in the aero department and lacking any kind of testing. It had the big flashy bits of aero like a big rear wing, but was missing all the important stuff that drives good ground effects.

We had no flat floor, rear diffuser, canards, side skirts or many other things. This year we are working on addressing those missing parts. We also have a brand new Samsonas Sequential gearbox and more engine power from our newly developed 1000hp billet engine. Our budget was dismal in 2013, we spent some money on a carbon-fibre splitter and a big wing, a new set of springs, 3 sets of tyres and we chose to run the 2012 engine which wasn’t great but still made OK power on the dyno.

This is the same engine that suffered multiple lean outs on account of the rag in the fuel tank episode in 2012. Anyway, thanks to Haltech’s excellent engine protection software it still ran ok so we chose to use it again. This older engine didn’t make the power we would really like on the day, but still it got us around the track in the 1.32 which was good enough for 3rd, so not too shabby.

Also holding the Hulk back last year was the OEM H-Pattern Syncro box. Thanks to Samsonas Motorsport Transmissions we’ll be flat shifting like the pros this year!

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WTAC:  What’s your plan for 2014?

JW: We are working on what we believe to be the three missing elements from last year’s car – power, aero and a sequential transmission.

The first one is easy and it’s the part we are most passionate about – more power. We’ve always been able to make the power but as people have discovered the world over, the Subaru cast EJ engine blocks are just not strong enough, no matter what you do to them, to handle that power for any reasonable amount of time. So this year we have teamed up with Bullet Cylinder Heads from South Australia to develop and produce a full billet close-deck EJ27 engine casing that is capable to withstand over 1000hp at the flywheel, with a level of reliability and rebuild-ability, that has been previously un-heard of in the Subaru tuner world.

Secondly and arguably the most important element, is the aero. We’ve been very fortunate to team up with Chris Wilcox from WeaponGrade Composites to get the missing aero components made and installed on the car. Fortunately for us, Chris has experience with Indy Car both in mechanical grip, aero and also as a test driver, as well as experience and ability to run CFD models of various aero components. So he is bringing some great ideas to the table as we encounter various obstacles and packaging constraints to manufacture aero components that fit and actually enhance the overall aerodynamic performance of the car.

Last but certainly not least, we would like to welcome aboard our transmission partner in Samsonas Motor Sport Transmissions, whom we are now Australian distributor for and whom are providing the S6 Sequential transmission for the Hulk this year.

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WTAC: Tell us a bit about that new sequential transmission.

JW: The Samsonas S6 is relatively new to the market but there are a quite a few running in Europe and UK. They are doing very well in the UK time attack series with RA MotorSport and other teams now running them. As of writing this interview we’ve not run ours yet, but all reports from some friends of mine who run them in UK is that it’s great and it will transform the car.

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Samsonas as a manufacturer have been supplying the European rally, hill climb, circuit and time attack market for nearly 12 years and their gear boxes are renowned for their slick shifting performance, strength and reliability. We also do a sequential for Evo and that will be showcased this year at WTAC in the awesome Pulse Evo.

Both the Subaru S6 and the Evo S5 Sequential boxes run in modified and internally strengthened casings, so installation is easy. The Samsonas sequential runs a closed loop flat shifting system and we expect this feature will aid our car speed as we can now shuffle through the gears with no interruption to engine boost or forward propulsion of the car.

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WTAC: A 1000hp billet engine? That is crazy!

JW: Yeah, it’s very exciting news. It’s been a long time in the making but we are assembling the first billet block this week and hope to have it running in the car before the end of August. It’s not just to make more power but also to develop a solution for Subaru lovers the world over, that solves the fragility issues that are inherent in the OEM engine casings.

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The Subaru EJ engine platform is excellent on many levels, like low centre of gravity for the car, north south orientation helps front to rear weight distribution and they easily tune to make good power numbers. Unfortunately they just don’t last when you start to push big horse power numbers out of them.

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WTAC: Your relationship with Autotech engineering seems to be as strong as ever, we hear you and Spiro are now in business together?

JW: Autotech Engineering, Spiro Papadimatos and I have become great friends and are now business partners. It’s amazing how well it works and I think it’s because we’re both deriving different benefits from the relationship.

Being in the auto industry for all of his working life, Spiro loves the performance and development side of things and more than anything, he loves the attention and recognition that winning races brings to his business Autotech Engineering. For me it’s the thrill of driving these cars and the personal recognition I get from any driving success we achieve.

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The Hulk will compete at the 2014 WTAC with major improvements in three key areas: aerodynamics, engine and transmission. Photo: On The Limit Photography.

Thanks to:

Autotech Engineering
Dejan Ninic of Envirage
ProcessWest Performance Aluminium
Chris Wilcox from WeaponGrade Composites
Martynas Samsonas, from Samsonas MotorSport Transmissions
Haltech – for still supplying the very best Aussie Engine Management technology for both cars
Cash Stop Finance – Long-time supporter supplying financial assistance
Liqui Molly – Lubes and Financial Support
Competition Clutch CCI – Clutches
Faber Competition Parts and Manley – Engine Components
Exclusive Body Werx – Painting the car
Pro-Speed Racing – Parts importation support
999 Automotive and Cusco – Suspension and Diffs
Racer Industries and Project Mu – Brakes and assorted other go-fast stuff
Turbo by Garrett

PA-Garret


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Team Autotech get Hulk ready for Pro-Am

Guest Post by Team Autotech

Team Autotech have been busy in the office and the garage since our first competitive run in the HULK at Wakefield Park where they ran a reasonable time of 61.82 around Wakefield Park.

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While that time is not blistering for the current field of top WTAC cars, it showed that the development of this new car is going in the right direction. Had the gearbox not failed pretty much as soon as we put the sticky tyres, we are confident the car could have got it into the 60s .

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A more recent test at SMSP, with the car still in Open Class spec, saw more progress but issues with steering pump failing prevented us from hitting our mark and setting a solid time to show the open class boys what they are missing out on.  But rest assured, Team Autotech is on schedule to bring something very impressive to the track on October 16-19. If you like your Subarus, watch this space.

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Make the best of these pictures people, because the next time you see The HULK, he’s going to be very angry, bristling and bulging with all sorts of new appendages.

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Process West / Autotech WRX set to rock the Clubsprint Class

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For 2013 we see local sprint legend and WRX aficionado Jason Wright competing in the Clubsprint Class in a the WRX he campaigned at 2011 WTAC and finished on the podium in Open class with a 3rd place. For 2013 he has modified the aero, changed a few bits and pieces and plans on putting on some true street tyres and giving the Evo boys a real showdown in Clubsprint Class.

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“If you want the fastest street registered, owner driven, performance cars in this years Club Sprint Class, then we are a must have on your entry list.” said Jason Wright “we have worked really hard over the past few months to bring the car back to 100% legal Clubsprint rules and it is now totally compliant with the 2013 rulebook and we openly welcome any challenge.”

“Plain and simple this car is an example of what extreme performance can be extracted from a street registered Subaru by careful selection of parts and tuning and a whole lot of development”.

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This car is 2 times CAMS National Super Sprint Champion and 2 times CAMS NSW State Super Sprint Series Winner, in the hotly contested SVD (unlimited rego) class. It holds a number of CAMS lap records for fastest registered car in NSW. In 2011 the car finished on the podium in Open Class with time of 1.35.8 but no doubt we will not run that quick now it is back in Clubsprint format.

Having said that however, even back then we were still a whole closer to a Clubsprint car than what you may think. Back then it was simply a bigger splitter, some aftermarket crossmembers and R compound tyres compared to the street tyres we must run in Clubsprint. So it was fairly straightforward to bring it in line with the current ruleset. We will be right on minimum weight and ride height and look forward to mixing it with the Mitsubishi clan at the front of the pack”

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Team Name: ProcessWest/ Autotech
Class: Clubsprint
Car: Subaru 2003 WRX STi
Driver Name: Jason Wright
Car builder/tuner: Autotech Engineering – Spiro Papadimatos
Team Website: www.processwest.com.au

Mods:
Engine: Autotech 2.5L Boxer (Autotech Time Attack Series Engine)
Gearbox: Subaru 6-Speed H-Pattern
Suspension:  Cusco Zero 3R
Brakes: Project Mu
Wheels:  Advan RS
Tyres: Advan
Electronics: Subaru
Aero: Pro-Speed Racing Wing – Autotech Splitter
Other than boot and wing all external panels and glass are Subaru OE, the car has full interior, electric windows, carpet, current NSW registration and complies with all WTAC Club Sprint vehicle regulations.

Performance:
Fastest Lap: 1.35.82 on R-Spec @ Sydney Motorsport Park – NSW
Power Output: 380kwatw

Thanks to:
Autotech Engineering
ProcessWest Performance Aluminium
Pro-Speed Racing
LIC Motorsports
Rising Sun Subaru
Gulf Western Oil
Ross Balancers
Hi-Octane Performance Coatings
Nitto Engine Components

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