We caught up with Andrew Brilliant at the after-event party and had a lengthy chat about Nemo, aerodynamics and his time attack Eclipse.
WTAC: Did you enjoy yourself at the event this year?
AB: Very much so. The cars are really stepping up, the times are falling and the event is getting bigger and better every year.
WTAC: We didn’t get to see much of your Eclipse, did you run into some problems?
AB: We had some problems yes, but we were expecting that. The car has been rebuilt from inside out specially for this event and this was our first outing with it. On Friday we had gearbox problems, so we pulled it out and fixed it. We then went out and found out that our suspension had been damaged during shipping.
WTAC: You must have been disappointed.
AB: I’m a firm believer in the old adage that you have to experience failures and overcome them to succeed. The Eclipse is a long term project, so we are taking it one step at a time. We’ve done the numbers and the car has the potential to be very, very competitive.
WTAC: Why did you decide to go with an Eclipse?
AB: This car has a bit of a personal history with me, it was my first project car and I do feel a lot of emotional connection with it. It certainly attracted plenty of attention in Australia where the Eclipse was not imported.
WTAC: Who would you consider your main competition at WTAC?
AB: In the FWD the Mighty Mouse guys are very quick and of course BYP – that Integra was crazy fast and consistent all weekend.
WTAC: What do you think of the aero designs this year?
AB: I am amazed how far this area of time attack has progressed in the last few years. It’s incredible. Last year Nemo really did set a new standard and leap-frogged the competition but look at the field twelve months later – everybody is getting smarter and more innovative with their aero kits. The lap times prove that they’re moving in the right direction.
Under Suzuki is a perfect example, his car responded really well to changes in the aero setup. He was incredibly fast at Tsukuba and even at SMSP he want faster than last year. He had mechanical issues on the weekend but that car can and will go faster.
WTAC: Were you surprised with Nemo’s overheating woes?
AB: Look, this is racing and these things happen. What people have to understand is that at this level of competition the engines are being pushed to their limits. They are getting pushed harder and harder each year. You also have to realise that aero and cooling are sworn enemies. Your ideal aerodynamic shape would not have any vents in it. So the better your aero kit the more difficult it is to get air flow into the engine bay.
Also don’t forget Sydney Motorsport Park has a very long straight. That puts the engine under full load for a very long time. Your car really needs to be built and set up specifically for this track.
But that’s what makes it so interesting and exciting. This is why I love coming here and why I want to complete this project and see just how fast it can be.
WTAC: So I take it we’ll see you back here next year?
AB: Wouldn’t miss it for the world.