Tag: wtac

Tsuchiya to drive a Pagani Huayra BC at WTAC

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Feast your eyes on this piece of automotive art. What you’re looking at is the recently released Pagani supercar – the Huayra BC.

The car looks absolutely stunning in pictures but in October you will be able to get up close and personal with it as the Italian manufacturer will have its latest creation on display both Friday and Saturday right the middle of the WTAC Pit Zone. But it gets better…

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“The Huayra BC is much more than just a beautiful, expensive car that’s been designed with a race track in mind, and we want to showcase the car in it’s natural habitat – on a race track.” Pagani Automobili

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And who could be better suited to drive this Italian thoroughbred around SMSP than the Japanese racing legend Keichii Tsuchiya.

“Tsuchiya-san is a perfect choice. With his Le Mans, and Japanese Super GT experience, he will be able to get the most out of the car.” said WTAC CEO, Ian Baker. Tsuchiya-san will take the Huayra BC for a full noise lap during Midday Mayhem on both Friday and Saturday.

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With only 20 units ever to be made and a price tag of almost $3,000,000 (three million), the Pagani Huayra BC is one of the most sought after and exclusive supercars in the world today.

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Named after the very first customer of Pagani Automobile, Benny Caiola whose initials (BC) form part of the car’s name, Huayra BC can only be described as automotive art with a perfect blend of styling, engineering and raw performance.

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The car oozes quality and prestige. From the overall design, stance and beautiful, aerodynamic shape to every single, minute detail.

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While it has been designed as a road going car, Huayra BC’s focus is very much on a race track. This is evident when you look at the powerplant. The 5980cc, Mercedes-Benz/AMG V12 engine delivers in excess of 750hp and over 1000Nm of torque.

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That power combined with the car’s weight of just 1218kg gives it a killer power-to-weight ratio.

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The chassis is a Pagani carbo-titanium monocoque with front and rear frame in steel tubes. Transmission is an AMT 7 speed with electronic mechanical differential.

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Slowing this beast down are 4 ventilated Brembo CCM brakes. 380x34mm, 6 piston at the front and 4 piston at the back. State of the art four wheel independent double wishbone suspension is completed with a set of fully adjustable Ohlins.

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The car will be on display in a special Pagani display area both days and will take to the track during the Midday Mayhem. But we’ve left the best news till last…

WIN a ride with Keiichi Tsuchiya in a Pagani Huayra BC

Talk about an experience of a lifetime! Not only will you get to ride shotgun with the one and only Keiichi Tsuchiya, you’ll do so in one of the rarest, most exclusive supercars in the world!

To be in the running all you need to do is purchase your WTAC ticket before September 4th 2016. Already bought your ticket? Don’t worry, all tickets (VIPs and Ultimate Fans included) get automatically entered in the draw. To collect your prize you have to be present at WTAC (well, obviously) and be over 18 at the time of the ride.

Entries close at midnight on Sunday September 4th 2016. Don’t leave it till the last minute – get yours NOW!

The Festival of Awesome just got a whole lot more awesome.


Tickets start from $20. Click the link below to book yours now!

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arrow  Travelling from interstate or overseas? See our Travel & Accommodation Guide
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7 Things your need to know about WTAC 2016
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Mick Sigsworth – the return of Mr Consistent

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There is a bit of misconception out there that factors like reliability and consistency play little if any role in time attack racing. It’s all about going hell for leather with a “make it or break it” attitude right?
Mick Sigsworth begs to differ.

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“To me, time attack is all about balance,” says the quietly spoken three-time Pro Am champ, “a balance between power, grip and handling.”

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With a huge library of data, Mick insists that consistency is the key to getting quicker. Consistent, repeatable results provide a clear road map to where the improvements should be made. Remove any variables caused by failing or under-performing components and it gets much easier to predict the results of your adjustments.

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Mick’s reasoning has plenty of merit. While most people are familiar with his class winning 1:25 lap times, it’s a little known fact that he’s been running the same engine for the last three years.

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“I’m down 200 or even 300hp on the top Pro guys, but I’ve gone to great lengths to ensure the engine is reliable. A lot of effort has gone into making sure the engine has adequate cooling and can withstand multiple hot laps.”

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“We do a lot of our testing in the hottest summer months,” Mick explains, “If the engine can cope with the scorching Queensland summer, it should cope with the Sydney spring without any problems.”

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The results support Mick’s philosophy; he has won every Pro Am title since the class was introduced in 2013, and he has done that without blowing a single engine.

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“Many top teams invest so much time and energy in extracting every last ounce of power from their engines but I think it’s unnecessary. WTAC is not won on the main straight, it’s won around the 12 turns leading up to it, and that’s where our focus is.”

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It’s hard to argue with a man who has, for two years in a row, challenged the Pro Class front runners with lap times in the outright top three. Considering that he’s done that with no Nitrous and with Pro Am tyre limits it stands to reason he knows what he’s talking about.

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This year he will once again bring his immaculately presented, reliable, consistent and predictable machine to go head to head against the wild, all-out, big horsepower competition.

Ironically, Mick might well cause the most unpredictable upset ever: a Pro Am car claiming the fastest outright lap. Can he do it? It’ll sure be fun to watch him try!

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Tickets start from $20. Book yours 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

10 WTAC moments we will never forget

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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).

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

It’s all about the data and strategy

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We have witnessed time attack racing evolve at an extremely fast pace over the past few years. This evolution is very evident at the pointy end of every class and particularly in the Pro Classes.

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These cars now run the latest, cutting edge electronics and data acquisition systems. Everything from shock absorber travel to brake temperature along with every detail within the engine’s operation is measured and recorded.

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To get the most out of these high tech electronic systems the teams employ a plethora of engineers, many with extensive experience in various forms of motorsport, from WRC to Formula One, Indycar to V8 Supercar all working together to devise a tune, setup and strategy to put their team on the podium.

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Where WTAC differs from traditional style racing is that there is not a lot of time to “creep up” on any setup. You effectively have three 15 minute sessions per day to prove your worth. This means pre-event testing is critical.

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This was not always the case though because the 2010/11 WTAC champion, Cyber Evo, had no data acquisition whatsoever and all tuning was performed by the owner Mr Takizawa (who is actually a dentist) and Tarzan Yamada from the seat of his pants.

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MCA Suspension is one exception though and although they have used extensive engine data they use very minimal chassis data instead choosing to draw on Murray Coote’s 40-odd years of experience and Shane Van Gisbergen’s incredibly accurate feedback to make changes needed. Not many teams have a guy with this many years of hands on experience though.

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Suzuki-san has also incredibly ran the past few years with very minimal data but has just last year switched to a full MoTeC system in order to keep up with the competition as he continues to push the envelope.

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These are rare insights of how sometimes things can be done in an unorthodox fashion and still achieve a result, particularly when there is a close connection between driver and engineer. These, however, are exceptions rather than the rule.

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If you look at other teams such as Tilton Racing, PMQ, RP968 and even Sierra Sierra back in the day you will see sensors and wires on every conceivable component allowing these teams to make accurate changes and dial in these cars on the fly.

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Let’s not forget the fact that each team is limited to a certain number of tyres for the event (8 for Clubsprint, 12 for Open, 16 for Pro Am and 24 for Pro). With limited tyres, the top teams cannot afford to waste a set of “green” (new) tyres on testing so getting the setup right prior to the event is of utmost importance.

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Strategies also play an important role in the top teams’ overall plans. The drivers and engineers come up with a schedule and decide when they will go for their “full attack” lap in order to put them at the top of the timesheets.

This decision will normally be based upon things such as track temperature, amount of traffic on track, ambient temperature, weather conditions and many more.

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As a guide, the track is traditionally fastest very in the late in the afternoon when the temperature drops and is at its slowest during the middle of the day when the track temperature is usually very hot.

This means that the likelihood of setting the fastest time in the Superlap Shootout is very high but in order to get in the Superlap Shootout you need to be in the top 5 in that particular class. It is because of that we often see very fast laps set on Friday afternoon as the teams push to get into the top five in their class.

Once you qualify for the Superlap Shootout you then get one chance to set your best lap with one warmup lap, one full attack lap and one cool down lap.

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In 2014 this went down to the wire with Tilton and Under Suzuki coming within several hundreths of a second in the dying stages.

In 2015 the weather put rest to this happening with a downpour ensuring no one went faster than they previously had.

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One team that was seriously affected by this was PMQ Racing who had saved their last set of tyres for a “turn everything up to 11” run only to be sidelined by the weather.

Whilst they still won the Pro Am class it was clearly evident they were chasing the outright fastest time and they certainly appeared to have strong pace so we can only wonder what could have been.

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In the more restricted classes the strategy can be even more critical. Open Class has a smaller tyre allocation (only 3 sets) and for a top team using soft compound tyres it is critical to pick the right time for your “full attack” lap.

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With Open Class times now approaching Pro Class times of a few years ago, the teams have to be very smart with how they used their tyres, especially because Open Class cars rely a lot less on aero focusing instead on mechanical grip.

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Many of these teams actually opt for one set of medium compound tyres allowing them a lot more consistency throughout the middle of the day and some “softs” for their full attack lap. Once again, strategies vary from team to team but usually the fastest times are set in the early morning or late afternoon.

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The Clubsprint Class is equally competitive albeit a little less affected by the track temperature as this class uses a full road Yokohama Advan Neova ADO8 tyre (non semi slick).

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Having said that, there is a strong workshop and tuner contingent that competes in this class and there’s no shortage of planning and strategies implemented, all aimed at putting their team at the front of the pack.

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And let’s not forget all the die-hard enthusiasts that travel from all over the country to be a part of WTAC. Though their chances of ever getting on the podium are slim, their dedication and passion should not be underestimated.

If you asked them about their strategy, the reply would most likely be: “I’ll get out there, do my best and have a fantastic time. Just to compete alongside some of the fastest cars on the planet and rub shoulders with time attack legends is a blast!” And this fine by us too!


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

Full Frontal Assault

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If you told us six years ago that front wheel drive Hondas will dominate both Clubsprint and Open classes we would have probably shook our heads at the unlikely odds of that scenario coming to pass. Alas, six years later, that exact scenario became reality.

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2015 was a truly defining year for the front wheel drive and, to a great extent, also the Honda Civic platform. Front wheel drive cars proved they can not only match but beat their RWD and AWD counterparts.

While some were quick to dismiss the wins as a “fluke” we couldn’t disagree more. The class wins by Adam Casmiri and Daniel Meredith were a result of good preparation, great driving and a testament to a well-sorted, well balanced and superbly reliable package.

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Adam Casmiri’s wining time of 1:30.70 might have been slower than Dean Lillie’s 2014 time (even if only by 0.3 sec) but it’s important to note that last year’s Superlap Shootout was rained out.

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Had the good weather held for another hour, the smart money would have been on Casmiri going all out and setting a new class record.

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And let’s not forget Adam managed to fight off a hard-charging Tarzan Yamada in an incredibly quick RevZone EVO9.

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Daniel Meredith’s story is equally fascinating. Here is a car that (with the possible exception of the rear wing) could pass for a street car. In fact, many confused it for such while it was parked outside its garage in the trader area.

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But in the skilful hands of Meredith, this pocket rocket absolutely ruled the class traditionally dominated by all-wheel-drives. So quick was the BYP Civic that to fully appreciate its achievement one needs to look at the cars it beat to the title.

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David Lord in his WRX was Daniel’s most serious challenger but ended up half a second behind in a runner-up spot. Only 0.1 second behind Lord was a WTAC veteran, Jason Naidoo in an Evo 9.

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Nobody can question the skill and determination of Naidoo or Lord, both seasoned time attack drivers and both with WTAC podium placings under their belts. Both charged hard and pushed Meredith all the way, which is what makes his achievement all the more impressive.

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Daniel also managed to beat the 2015 Clubsprint winning lap time of 1:39.44, set by Dan Farquar in an Evo 9.

As the saying goes; when the flag drops, the bullshit stops, and last year those two Civics delivered all the FWD and Honda doubters a generously sized slice of humble pie. The age of fwd has arrived at WTAC, and we, for one, welcome it with a smile.

Honourable Mentions

It’s hard to have an article praising the achievement of the WTAC front wheel drive brigade without mentioning these amazing teams.

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Rob Nguyen’s Mighty Mouse CRX. Probably the most recogniseable time attack Honda world-wide, Mighty Mouse has a string of WTAC podiums under its belt and with a lap time of 1:29.517 it well and truly belongs to the WTAC Pro Am elite.

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Also flying the Honda flag in Pro Am is Luke Ryall. Luke’s Civic is a consistent performer and with a lap time of 1:35.50 it’s no slouch either!

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Another Honda from the BYP stable is this infamous Integra DC5. In the very capable hands of Benny Tran the car clocked 1:31.49 back in 2014. This car has been developed further since this so will unquestionably be faster. Let’s hope we see them back at WTAC 2016.

With many years of AWD domination it would seem that the front wheel drive brigade have done the unthinkable in both Clubsprint and Open Classes and we have to wonder whether a Pro Am win may also be acheivable for Mighty Mouse given optimum conditions and another year of testing. Whatever the case, take every single FWD entry very seriously as they have more than proven their capabilities and can mix it with the best.

Bring on WTAC 2016 so we can all find out!

Dawn of a new era

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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