Hands down the World Time Attack Challenge is the biggest event on our radar, each and every year Ian Baker and the team step it up constantly raising the bar. We’ve been fortunate enough to follow the transition from the old Super Lap event days, into the world class spectacle it is now known and loved by, under the current name as the World Time Attack Challenge or ‘WTAC’ for short.
The first ever post on gripshiftslide.com was you guessed it, WTAC 2011! To say the event has held a special place in our hearts ever since, would be a massive understatement. We thought it would be a great tribute to create an entire post capturing the event on good old fashioned 35mm film. The charm of anything analogue is hard to deny, the hiss of a record, black & white movies and the grain and colour of a film camera.
We hope you enjoy our unique look at last years event and let us know if you would like to see more posts like this in the future by leaving a comment at the end of the post…
Once again we returned to Sydney Motorsport Park, having access a day early let’s us get up nice and close to the teams as they began final testing before attempting some ‘hot’ laps over the weekend.
It also helps not having any of the crowds around as WTAC is one of the only event’s that spectators can literally walk up to the pit bays see teams working around the clock preparing their car for each session.
The first day of racing last year will be one to remember, as bush fires threatened the nearby blue mountains thick smoke blocked out the sun.
The scene was a very uncomfortable one with reports that hundreds of homes were under danger and the eerie light from the smoke meant there were next to no shadows.
The soft light did make for some remarkable photos though as we spent most of the afternoon watching the drifters set up their pits. While WTAC is all about the remarkable machines pushing the limits of engineering and the laws of physics, at the same time it is arguably the highest profile drifting event in Australia, with many international guest taking part in the competition that takes place in the evening.
One of the biggest appearances last year was from local Melbourne lad, Nigel Petire and his extraordinary home built drift Ute. He made the trip with not one, but two cars!
The Ute was handcrafted in a garage barely bigger than the car itself, don’t believe us? Check out our feature of the build here.
This was the first public event for the Ute to not only be displayed to the public but also be driven on track!!
Nigel was grinning from ear to ear when he wasn’t losing his voice talking to the crowds about his stunning build. He was both nervous and overwhelmed from the excitement of driving his precious creation on track with other cars for the first time ever!
While the car itself doesn’t comply with current competition regulations, Nigel isn’t bothered as he built it for demonstration purposes and of course tyre shredding FUN!!
He brought along his tried and true 180SX for competition duties. So when he was behind the wheel of the Ute, he was just concentrating on getting to know his new friend.
After the first night of track demos in the Ute, something didn’t go to plan and of course that’s just cars for you! Due to the ultra light weight, yet super strong body, the transmission was not having a good time dealing with the punchy SR20 and very grippy tyres, ultimately giving up and retiring the Ute from track duties much earlier then expected.
You could tell it was not how Nigel envisioned his first weekend away with his new toy, he had contemplated getting busy and swapping parts over from the 180SX to get it going again. After the crushing blow the spirits were not high in the Petrie camp and Nigel pulled the pin and left the Ute to be a static display for the rest of the weekend. Since the WTAC he has traveled to New Zealand with Ute and enjoyed hassle free drift demos for all to see and Nigel is set to bring it back to this years WTAC event. We can’t wait!!
Speaking of NZ, Kiwi drifter Mad Mike was over here competing in the drift comp with his world famous “Madbul” Rx7.
The heart of the car is a quad rotor, which produces a very haunting and howling exhaust note that sounds like an F1 car possessed by a demon.
This fire spitting Rx7 has been seen the world over with trips to America, Europe and Australia 3 times now!! Mike sure has a lot of international events under his belt!
Another car that made the trip over from New Zealand was the PPRE RX4 featuring a massive 6 rotor!!! Yep 6!
Mad Mike was invited to pilot the crazy coupe around the full circuit, paying absolutely no attention to any sound restrictions, it broke necks and made ears bleed!
South Australian drifter and “Wunderkind” if you will, Jake Jones is one of the youngest Australian drivers competing on an international level.
His aggressive driving style has seen him go door to door with the worlds very best and scored him international drives in drift competitions in both Japan and China.
Jakes Onvia has even rubbed panels with Daigo Saito most recently at the Melbourne round of FD Asia, check out how he went against the current drift world champion here.
In between all the track action, there’s always plenty to see off the track. Each year the show and shine grows in size and the quality of cars is always impressive.
We’re suckers for old school cars and what better to fill up our roll of film then a pristine Sunny truck.
Remember when Corolla’s were cool! We loved this white duo, the KE30 was our pick of the two.
The Heasman steering girls were all smiles despite the blistering sun beating down against the concrete.
We said each year Ian and the team step it up – this year they had a half pipe with BMX demos all day long.
This sort of entertainment can easily go unnoticed at such a large motorsport event, I remember stopping and watching for a good 15 minutes. These guys had talent!!
One more standout from the crowded show was this striking bright yellow widebody RX7, the RE-super G bodykit is one of the wildest looking kits for the FD RX-7. So aggressive!!
This tubular framed beauty is very serious Nissan Stanza built for the sports sedan series and was part of the Turbo Legends segment were power houses of yesteryear get to prove they still have what it takes to put down a quick lap time.
Back near the pits we hunted around for some of the most impressive builds we could find. This RX8 looks to be a future competitor but for now it was just a static display. If you think the aero looked great the engine bay alone has had more money and time spent the some cars see for their entire build.
The Evolution Custom Industries Porsche was literally the black sheep of the field. One of the only European based cars it had a massive cult following going into the event.
The car is a work of art and seriously fast, the team didn’t get to show their best with a turbo failure ending their chances early.
We thought it would be nice to include this picture of Agges’ 180SX of Insane Drifters fame, some 8 months and many, many events after WTAC the mighty red 180SX finally had it’s last collision at an event here in Melbourne.
Drift cars receive quite a beating and when you’re as competitive as Agges it’s bound to happen sooner or later and sadly this 180SX won’t be seeing the track again.
Melbourne based workshop and tuning specialist Road Track Rally had been achieving great wins with their Evo X. Sadly the Evo lost control at high speeds and collided with a concrete wall.
The team has been busy repairing and will be back for 2014!
All eyes were on the reigning champion Nemo Racing Evo, this engineering marvel had taking the rule book and thrown it out the window and really forced the Australian and Japanese time attack community to go back to the drawing board of what’s possible.
What goes up must come down and in a strange turn of events the team behind this magnificent car crumbled during the weekend sending rumors flying. The car only managed a couple of ‘safe’ laps before being retired back to the pits without a chance to hold onto it’s winning trophy from the previous years WTAC.
With so many classes competing at WTAC you really get a great comparison for times against so many makes, models and platforms. How does a tuned FWD Mitsubishi Colt perform against an street trim Nissan GTR? You’ll find out at WTAC.
Many Japanese teams have started to really to take to series, this year saw some very big hitters from Japanese tuning culture attend.
Top Fuel returned their super agile S2000 to Sydney to once again take on the worlds best, the previous year the car was relatively untested and effectively “out of the box”.
However driver Nobuteru Taniguchi still found the car too challenging to achieve it’s goal, the car performed a lot better but we think Nob will be back to prove he and the car have what it takes.
The Esprit NSX was easily one of the most anticipated international cars this year and with Tarzan Yamada behind the wheel it was a hopeful podium finisher too, after a few hairy spins and a small engine fire the mighty NSX did not get it’s time to shine.
One of the most eye pleasing cars was the RE Amemiya Hurricane RX7, this car was originally built as an Autosalon demo car. This just proves that the Japanese do not do things half-arsed at all, this car is not just a show piece and can really strut it’s stuff in the Time Attack arena!
Back to Australia and the Queensland based Mighty Mouse CRX, This David vs Goliath honda was determined to hold onto it’s NA FWD record from the previous year, Rob and the team did just that. Now with pressure on for a third year the team has since converted the car to left hand drive for better weight distribution… Yep, they’re determined to win again in 2014.
A rare sight outside of the original Fast & The Furious movie here in Australia, The Mitsubishi Eclipse is not something we’re used to seeing racing let alone driving on the street. This FWD racer is owned by aero extraordinaire Andrew Brilliant.
The car originally raced in the America and had many victories under it’s hat, at one point it was the number 1 car out of 50 high powered RWD and AWD cars. A true testament to Andrew’s skills aerodynamic skills.
After three long days of racing the last cars rolled back into the pits, most came back under their own power, some returned to the pits on tow trucks. WTAC is not for the faint hearted and you have to be willing to put it all on the line to win.
After all the action stops the show is packed up and we begin counting down the days till next year, thankfully as we post this we’re less than two months away from the 2014 World Time Attack Challenge!
Don’t miss out on the biggest event on the calendar and book tickets, time off work and accommodation now!!
Check out all the details here www.worldtimeattack.com
We hope you’ve enjoyed this nostalgic glance at our favorite event, it took two rolls of film and nearly a year to get it developed but we love holding a real photo in our hands!
Thanks for reading,