After finishing in second place in Pro Am at WTAC 2017 William Au Yeung and the PZ Tuning team have vowed to return in a far more serious weapon. There is no question the PZ Tuning team take time attack racing very seriously and since returning home have set about resetting outright time attack records right across North America which is nothing short of astonishing for a front wheel drive car. We caught up with Will as he was busy preparing for his next event at Gridlife where no doubt he will be chasing the record there in what is now the fastest time attack car in the entire North American continent.
WTAC: Hi Will, great to catch up again. Since returning home to Canada you got straight back on the mission starting with resetting the outright time attack record at Buttonwillow previously held by the FX Motorsports NSX. That is amazing. Sid you do this with the car at the same spec as WTAC?
William Au-Yeung: The first thing we owe a lot of our improvement this season is our experience at WTAC 2017. We were very impressed by the level of competition in Australia and coming back home our motivation level was higher than ever! In fact, as soon as the car made it back on Canadian soil, we started a rebuild process to improve the car in several departments. Aero wise we had some input from Scott Beeton of AeroDesigns Aus, and we went straight to work improving the front end with a new carbon front assembly. Going into Global Time Attack Rd1 at Buttonwillow our main goal was to test and see how the new mods worked.To be able to reset the overall time attack track record was just incredible!
WTAC: What other changes have you made since returning home?
Will: On top of that, one area that I felt could use a major improvment was the cockpit area, at WTAC we had the opporitunity to check out the PE Racing pedal setup, and that was high on our list of parts to attain. We also complimented the improved pedal setup with a paddle shift system, which we ended up being a geartronics setup, and a direct air actuator for our Quaife Sequential with the help of Momentum Motorsports. Huge thanks goes our to Sasha Anis from Onpoint Dyno for nailing the setup first time out, without a doubt the combination has resulted in one of our greatest improvements to date!
WTAC: Then you went on to do the same thing at Road Atlanta, once again resetting the outright time attack lap record. That’s quite a big deal! What spec was the car in for Road Atlanta?
Will: I think a lot of people would be surprised to hear the setup was almost the exact same at Road Atlanta as it was at ButtonWillow, with the only real change being a new turbo unit installed just prior to the event. Pretty amazing that we didn’t do a single suspension tweak between the two tracks, especially considering they’re quite different in both pace and dynamics. The Civic has really found a sweet spot where everything is just coming together perfectly.
WTAC: Your team seems to have a very methodical approach to the development. Tell us a bit about how your program works.
Will: We’re a pretty small team, so we have to be smart about how we use our time and still make sure we make it out to events to represent our sponsors. Because quite frankly you can’t win and get records if you don’t make it out to the track in the first place! The other thing is I really believe in what we’ve built and love competiting to prove to the world just what we can do. Although we only run a small shop, it shows that with hard work and determination, anyone can battle against the best.
WTAC: It seems you have some amazing levels of support from some very prominent companies. Can you tell us a bit about how this has helped fast track your program?
Will: Well one thing we don’t have is massive resources, but we do have amazing support. So a lot of our development is very dependent in our partners. Our core group is – Vibrant Performance, Competition Clutch, BorgWarner, Fortune Auto and King Racing Bearings are all once again behind us, and quite honestly I’m a very lucky guy to have so many companies help us out, so Huge thanks goes out to all of them!
WTAC: You have been hinting at a new engine package for this year, can you tell us a bit about this and what it involves.
Will: Well Time Attack is definitly a sport where you can never have too much power it seems, so we’ve been working with our engine partners to create an even more powerful engine for WTAC 2018! Featuring the latest LA Sleeves ductile iron sleeves, we will have a Brian Crower Stroker kit installed into it for some serious power. Pistons will once again be from CP Pistons, with King Racing Bearings and a Cometic Head Gasket rounding out the package. We’ll also be looking at improving the airflow of the engine, with improved EFR turbo and Vibrant Performance Intercooler in the works.
WTAC: And you have also made some major improvements in the aero too from what we hear. What is going on there?
Will: Well we’ve been a bit behind schedule on the complete aero development, but we know we’re on the right track with the results we’ve been able to achieve and how easy the cars been to drive to attain those. We’ve been leaning on the staff at Vibrant Performance to 3d render the car, and again Aero Designs will be our most important influenece when it comes to that next level of aero, so keep an eye out for changes coming before WTAC.
WTAC: Your car was lightning fast last year and you were runner up behind WTAC veteran Rob Nguyen in the Mighty Mouse CRX. This is a huge acehivement on your first ever trip downunder, what were your expectations going into that first year?
Will: Quite honestly we had zero expectations entering our first WTAC. The main goal was having a good time and not making fools of ourselves! . In the end I was extremely proud of our 2nd place effort, and enjoyed the competition we had with Sami in the Finnish R8 1:1 to earn it! Hats off to Rob in the Mighty Mouse for kicking ass, I really wish we could battle with him once again this year.
WTAC: How much faster do you think the car is now?
Will: Well the delta we’ve had at tracks over here in America has been around 4 seconds. However, this includes some improvements that were already in place for WTAC last year. I think the new improvements should put us somewhere around 2.5 seconds conservatively, but the plan is to get even faster before October.
WTAC: Over the years you would have seen the guys from Sierra Sierra, FXMD and GST Motorsports holding outright records in America, did you ever imagine a front wheel drive, or more specifically yourself would be able to hold those outright lap records?
Will: The short answer is no. When we first started the Civic build our goal was just to make the fastest FWD car we could. We really didn’t think that we’d be resetting the benchmark times at the most important time attack tracks in America. What’s crazy is we’re getting very close to GTLM laptimes, and with so much speed still to come that I think we can even eclipse those! As for myself, I’ve always been confident in my abilities, but if you would have told me that I would be faster than Jeff Westphal (GST), Billy Johnson (FXMD) and David Empringham (Sierra Sierra) I would have said you were nuts!
WTAC: What is your favourite track you have ever raced on?
Will: Any track I hold a record on! More seriously though, I enjoy racing on any track – they all have their unique challenges! But favourite would be a toss up between Road Atlanta and Sydney Motorsports Park – they’re both world class circuits, and nutty fast ones at that!
WTAC: Lastly there must be a few people you want to thank that make this all possible.
Will: Well first and foremost is my wife Noreen (aka PZmum, aka team manager, aka BOSS) – the work it takes to run a program that competes around the world is insane, and the stuff she has to put up with (mainly me) is at another level! Next is our crew of Alex, Ryan (and Mike Warfield when we can get him out). They’ve put in endless hours in making the car go fast, and I really hope they enjoy it every bit as much as I do. Also a huge thanks to Sasha Anis from OnPoint Dyno – his tuning (along with our Motec ecu) has made everything in this car work seamlessly.
Of course to all our awesome sponsors, we couldn’t do this without them:
Vibrant Performance, Competition Clutch, BorgWarner, Fortune Auto, King Bearings, Hoosier Tires, TurboSmart, Project Mu, OnPoint Dyno, Hybrid Racing, Motul, Rays, Brian Crower, LA Sleeves, CP Pistons, Cometic, APR Performance, Ignite Racing Fuel, Niko Signs and Graphx, Quick Trick Alignment, Motec USA, Anti Gravity Batteries, Momentum Motorsports, Eibach, Evolved Injection, Ron Davis Rads, Toronto Motorsports Park, OSGiken, ESM Race
WTAC: Awesome stuff! We look forward to seeing you and the guys here in October!
Will: We look forward to seeing everyone again at WTAC, especially our friends at JDM Yard, the Turbosmart team, and everyone else that gave us a hand! We’ll definitely be bringing the fight from North America, and once again look forward to batttling against the best in the world in Sydney!