The last week of August usually marks the start of what we call WTAC FEVER! The hype around what each team is bringing starts to circulate, and we start seeing pictures of completed cars on social media.
This particular Sydney Motorsport Park mid-week track day saw several of the major players turn out for a good test session in the lead up to the 2018 event. Most teams were playing their cards close to their chest as they do not want any competition getting the jump on them. This just goes to show how competitive it has become to be at the top of each class at World Time Attack Challenge.
Many top Open Class cars and a couple of the leading Clubsprint guys were all laying down laptimes and collecting valuable data in an effort to fine tune their machines into something capable of winning their respective classes in October.
The first car we stumbled upon was the insane R33 GTR of WBT Racing. This car has been a player for several years now and it appears the guys have stepped it up quite substantially for 2018.
“Yep we are having a big go this year” said team principle Gerard Maggs “We have upgraded to a top line Motec ECU with all data capabilities, changed all the suspension to MCA, rod ends everywhere, changed the style of diffs we are using along with the ratios, dry carbon doors and fine tuned the aero. The list just goes on but after today we seem to be slowly getting our ducks in a row. We are not doing all this just for fun, the plan is to win.”
Walking around the WBT pit garage we saw some familiar faces with Mitch from Maatouks overseeing the data and Kyle from Hi Octane Racing overseeing the operations.
“It looks like we are on the right track now” said Kyle Major “the engine is a cracker, a high compression PMC billet alloy block special producing 970 horsepower at all four wheels reliably on 34psi”
“It is certainly a different animal to last year!” said hired gun driver Steven Johnson “Not only is the acceleration from another planet, but it is literally like a slot car now and we are not even really leaning on it yet.”
“Im not sure I could predict an accurate time just yet but it will be seriously fast, faster than you think!” said Johnson
Moving along pit lane it would be hard not to notice the Xtreme GTR with is raw carbon body glistening in the sunlight. This car has a build quality that would not look out of place in any top line car show but also has all the goods to back it up including a billet block, Albins sequential and all the other fruit. John Boston was out giving it another shakedown.
“It’s very good.” said John Boston “We are just working our way through the list, but the list is certainly getting shorter which is a good sign. It really shows a lot of promise. The Open Class will be mid twenties this year I reckon, so that is where we are aiming for.”
The reigning champions JDM Yard were in the next garage. Boss Zie was tight lipped, but he did let on they have substantially more power from the engine and have revised both the suspension and aero for 2018.
“Twenty fives or twenty sixes is where it will be for Open Class this year.” said Zie “That is pretty common knowledge for anyone in the know and that is our target for this year for certain”
David Dalrymple was also out in his freshly rebuilt R32 GTR “We have a fresh engine top to bottom from Croydon Racing and it is a whole lot faster. I need to get it all sorted now though, as my wife is having a baby the week before WTAC. There is a chance I will be bringing my driving suit and helmet to the hospital and leaving straight from there!” laughed Dalrymple “Seriously though, we are on a winner now – it feels fantastic and we are good to go.”
Finally Benny Tran from BYP was out in Steven Wan’s Civic giving it a final once over. “This is our tried and true package so there is not a whole lot to do.” said Tran “We are just fine tuning a few little things, but we can almost put these things together in our sleep, we have done that many of them. Nice and simple but capable of winning, that’s the secret. This is a very similar package to the car that took Daniel Merideth to two Clubsprint victories but obviously we have refined a few things since then”
With the Link Open Class and V-Sport Clubsprint Class both getting incredibly competitive, will the testing pay off? Only time will tell, so don’t miss out on what is shaping up to be an epic battle for the top spot in October!