Sydney Motorsport Park (formerly Eastern Creek Raceway) was once again alive with the sound of rotary, boosted and N/A engines from around Australia and the globe, all battling against the formidable stop watch.
It seems that just like the lap times this year, the last twelve months have gone extremely quickly, since Gripshiftslide.com’s humble beginnings in a hotel just five minutes from the track at last years event.
Along with last years entrants, we too stepped up our WTAC game! While teams added crazy aero and chased lap times in preparation for the two day event, we brought a crew of four up from Melbourne to get as much photo and video content as possible and even run a stall over the entire weekend.
To say it took a toll on us, in between our 9-5’s, would be an understatement!
Now just over a week has passed since the mind blowing racing that took place in Sydney and we can tell you now, the Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge did not disappoint one bit!
With a host of high profile teams traveling across the globe to our neck of the woods to battle it out in an almost out of this world experience for any time attack/automotive enthusiast here in Australia.
The sole WTAC NZ entry from last years race was once again the lone NZ car on the track this year. James Winslow drove the Team RevolutioNZ EVO 8 to a very respectable 11th overall with a 1:33.4118!
The pit lane was always alive with energy with teams scurrying around cars and getting ready for each session, Russell Cunningham and his crew worked tirelessly and came home with a 20th position out of 52 cars is no small feet!! Their R32 GTS-T Skyline ran a 1:38.5710!
To the casual spectator it’s is hard to truly appreciate how fast/hard these drivers push their cars around the high speed circuit, as with most motorsports the faster the car the more tame it looks around the track.
It is however a very different story on top of ‘corporate hill’, here nearly every car is on the brink of disaster as they scream up and over the twisting hilly section of the track.
This was a common sight, one wheel losing contact with the track surface!! The BYP Racing Civic won the award for highest wheel lift, we posted a photo on our Facebook page earlier in the week.
The Tilton Interiors Evo mustered a blistering 1:27.1820 on Friday and spent all Saturday chasing their tail hoping to beat their own time, after such a fast time the car began to suffer as Garth Walden pushed on.
During the second Pro Class session on Saturday the Evo had a severe problem with the rear differential and lost all power to the rear wheels!! With the 800hp+ Cosworth 4G63 now powering only the front wheels there was a few hairy moments, the smoke you see is just the front tyres struggling with all power!!
Despite the issues the team’s hot lap from Friday was fast enough to secure 2nd place!
John Boston had his hands full at one stage with the Insight Motorsports Honda S2000, all the stress and hard work was worth it with the team placing 11th in open class! A very quick 1:36.2510!!
The black sheep amongst the other competitors and the crowd favorite… Queensland born Nemo Racing Evo was the dominating force at this years WTAC.
The car is a product of some of the best minds Australia has to offer, top that off with Warren Luff (A V8 super car driver) and you will get a lap time of just 1:25.0200!!!!
Blowing last years Cyber Evo winning lap of 1:28.8510 out of the water!!
Nobuteru Taniguchi had his work cut out for him, piloting both the RE-Amemiya RX-7 and the Topfuel S2000!!
Taniguchi pulled out all the cards and landed 5th and 6th spots in Pro Class, an outstanding effort and only a few hundreds of a second apart!
5th 1:29.0520 – Team Top Fuel Voltex S2000, 6th 1:29.8020 RE Amemiya RX-7.
The Road Track Rally team taped a Victorian license plate to the front of the car after placing 3rd in the clubsprint class, their lap time of 1:40.2530 was good enough to beat half of the open class teams!
We stopped by the RTR pit garage and the team were astonished with how successful their Evo X had been, expect some big things from these guys now they have a taste for poll position!!
One of the oldest Australian time attack cars and still evolving with the sport, the Hi Octane finished in a very respectable 7th 1:30.7732!
Mark berry drove the Hi Octane R34 and R32 in open class, the R32 finished in 6th place thanks to Marks very quick driving. 1:34.6620, only 4 seconds behind the teams R34 GT-R!!
This years open class entries resemble last years pro class cars so we expect some very experimental looking time attack cars next year.
The PSR Tuning Evo 7 came out in 17th spot with a 1:37.2230 lap time!
One of the most exciting sounding cars was the STZ Automotive V8 powered Rx-7, Marty Horvat drove the teams car to 23’rd in the open class with a sub 1:40 lap time… 1:39.9370!
The open class was full of Rx-7’s this year with 7 in total competing in this class!!!
In the 12 months since last years event this Evo X from Uber Motorsport has gone from a demo car sitting in the exhibitor section to a full blown competitive track car.
Adam Quinn drove the car around the track in a not too shabby 1:46.7350!
Anda Suzuki made some fine adjustments to his already capable Scorch Racing S15, sitting in the 3rd place until the Saturdays last Pro class session getting knocked out by MCA Suspension’s S13.
Suzuki managed a 1:28.3290 a full three seconds faster then last year, he and his team are still classed as a privateer entry too!!
While most returning cars shaved a few seconds off their times, the second entry from Tilton Interiors added a few seconds!
The little EG hatch was two seconds slower this year, Still quick by anyone’s standards the team achieved a 1:42.3970.
After teams came to grips with the track after a few sessions, it was time to head in and make some much needed adjustments.
The Top fuel S2000 struggled to stay in a straight line through the high speed sections of the track, this is to be expected when a car produces 700hp and weighs in at just 1010kg!!
It seems the saying ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ has no place at the World Time Attack, the open class saw 1st and second places both go to teams racing Evo 6’s!!
1st – Dominator Evo 1:30.7260, 2nd – Chasers Motorworks 1:33.4840, some super quick times from both teams!
It also goes to show that you don’t need a big budget or crazy aero to turn some heads at WTAC, Nick Adams scored 14th place in clubsprint in the Pulse Racing R33 GTR.
Some seriously good driving for a 1:47.6730 lap time.
The pits were buzzing with confusion and excitement as the Cyber Evo got dropped off at 4pm Friday… Things were not looking good for Tarzan and the team.
The car had an engine failure while being tuned in Sydney, after sourcing an engine to borrow the car was slapped back together and delivered to Eastern Creek as fast as humanly possible!
Now with only an hour worth of Pro class sessions left all eyes were on the defending champion to pull out a miracle and hold onto a two year winning streak…
Sadly this was not Cyber Evo’s years, the borrowed engine blew the main rear seal and began dropping oil the whole way around the track causing massive delays as the clean up crew got to work on the slippery surfaces.
In between sessions you could catch drivers getting some fresh air and sizing up the competition from the pit lane roof area.
The sun started to fade and the last cars pulled in from the final session.
Some photographers set up camp ready for the Tectaloy Drift Comp that follows after the award ceremony, with 100 media personal working around the track you had to find a good spot early to get the best shots!
Meanwhile the rest of the media and crowds huddled around the Advan trailer to hear the final placings, the 2012 winning car from Nemo Racing was also brought out into the crowd for the ceremony .
With all the awards given out, it was time for the big question…
… Which international drivers would return to try and reclaim the top spot at WTAC, Anda Suzuki was smiles all round and said he would do everything e can to come back and compete next year!
Tarzan also said he would not miss it!!
Thanks for reading, we have loads more coverage coming up including the Drift Challenge and more from the pits and show and shine!!