Like any music festival, big name acts bring the fans in droves, especially international super stars. The World Time Attack Challenge is no different and when it comes to international guests, they’ve got you covered.
It’s no easy task to convince a race team to invest a large amount of money to send a car on a boat half way across the globe along with a small army of mechanics to go head to head with a bunch of locals who don’t want lose on their home turf.
Year after year, Ian and the team behind WTAC manage to top themselves and 2014 was the biggest field of overseas talent we’ve seen yet!
First up team America had two entries. Andrew Brilliant has now decided to keep his time attack Eclipse within Australia (originally from the USA). Having the car based here and help from GT Auto Garage his campaign for 2014 was his strongest yet.
Having won both 2009 & 2010 Super Lap Battle Limited FF titles Andrew is certainly no amateur! With the dream of being the fastest FF car at WTAC Andrew had his work cut out thanks to a little mouse that could…
Andrew’s biggest rival is none other than the QLD based Mighty Mouse CRX. With a time of 1:31.8430 the little Honda was still at much faster pace than the Eclipse this year. Not to take away from AMB Aero USA’s efforts as Andrew and the team managed to shave off a staggering 5 seconds from their previous year!!
The car has undergone many changes since 2013 but the biggest change this year has been a new Haltech ECU and Jack LeBrocq behind the wheel. The team finished with 1:35.7200 around Sydney Motorsport Park.
The second entry for Team USA, ARK Design R32 Skyline and some say this car is cursed. Two years ago at it’s first WTAC, the car was accidentally shipped to China missing the competition completely. The team took a year off, rebuilt the car from the ground up and set course for Sydney once again. This time the arrived with plenty of time to add finishing touches in prepping the car…
This is where it all began to fall apart for the ARK Design team with multiple mechanical failures and then serious issues with the ECU. It was all over for the team even before the first day of competition… The R32 limped around the track for two sessions but did not manage a timed lap. We’re hoping this just makes Team USA push harder for 2015, as we haven’t seen two teams really go head to head for the fastest lap since Sierra Sierra vs Cyber Evo in 2011.
Now from the motherland, the biggest heavy hitters in WTAC history. HKS and Top Secret, two of Japans largest tuning names brought the fight in the form of two wild R35 Nissan GTR’s
The HKS GTR piloted by Nob Taniguchi really was one of the stand outs of the entire event. With ‘out of this world’ looks, the green headlights remind us of an angry alien/insect.
HKS’ direct competitor in the GTR shoot out, Tarzan Yamada in the Top Secret R35. We found ourselves pinching our arms while gazing at these legendary machines.
These were real hero cars and nothing was more exciting than watching these two giants battle it out in the fading light on Saturday.
Once the sun dipped out of sight, these guys really started pushing hard. HKS took the win nearly a full second in front with a time of just 1:30.8380!!
Tarzan certainly gave it all he could in the Top Secret GTR finishing on 1:31.7250. You can’t say he didn’t try.
Another entry from Japan and no stranger to WTAC, the Top Fuel S2000 was back again for another shot at glory. Nob Tanaguchi was also driving the S2000 for a second year, with plenty of seat time between this car and the HKS GTR Nob was certainly dealt with plenty of track time to get things right.
Pro class is where all the time attack monsters reside, Top Fuel has dealt with pressure like this before yet with the most competitive field ever seen at the world time attack challenge this would not be an easy task for Nob.
This year Top Fuel was sporting a new aero package designed by Voltex Racing to help win the fight. But was it enough?
They were faster this year but the team missed out on a podium finish by just over a second. Over the last 3 years they have continually improved in time and in speed. Sadly the rest of the competitors have also improved! The car did suffer a few issues over the weekend and we have to wonder if the car had more to give. Looks like we will have to wait for next year.
Nob locked the s2000 in 4th place with a respectable time of just 1:26.8700.
With a name like Kyushu-Danji, you can only guess that this team is also from Japan! The immaculate BNR34 Skyline GT-R snapped necks for all that dared to lay eyes on this albino Godzilla.
Hot off the heels from fast time around Tsukuba Circuit, Kyushu-Danji was here to set records! With a car that just screams race ready and a driving style that resembles Nigel Manson!
Driver Miyata Sumihiko pushed the r34 to its limits setting a time of 1:31.6856 taking 3rd in his class.
Another return entry, the beautiful RE Amemiya RX7. The ex-autosalon demo car turned serious time attack competitor has quickly become a crowd favorite.
This year in the drivers seat was none other than Japanese racing legend Max Orido!!!
Max is considered racing royalty and featured in many tuning video’s since the 1990’s making him quite the celebrity amongst Japanese tuning enthusiasts.
Max planted his right foot and steered the RX7 to it’s fastest time yet at just 1:27.3410!!
If WTAC had a public face it would be this man, Suzuki Under has been competing for 4 years now and has become the absolute crowd favorite and under dog of the event.
Committed is one way to describe Under Suzuki, we have watched his personal creation the “Scorch Racing” S15 transform over the last 4 years with more carbon fibre and aero development than the united states air force.
While he has received a little help along the way Under is still predominantly a privateer entry in the event, no one wants the win more then Under.
This year he pushed harder than ever before and it wasn’t until the final dusk session when the track was at it’s coolest that he managed his best time ever… All with no headlights!!
Under finished 2nd with a blistering 1:24.8800!!! While over the moon with his win, he has said he will not rest until he is number one!! We cannot wait for 2015!
So when the main attractions are the fastest tuned cars in the world what do you do for entertainment between sessions?? Bring a piece of motoring history to the fans of course, the infamous Mazda 767B Le Mans car! The sound is like nothing else 4 rotors of ear shredding glory!!
To see a classic Le Mans car on track was incredible! It is great to know this isn’t just collecting dust in someones garage and still being used to bring joy to the world. The owner/driver was so excited to be sharing his prized possession with the fans, so much so that he was only meant to complete 3-5 laps but instead continued for almost 10!
From seeing this as a matchbox car in our childhood, to seeing it in reality, there are no words to explain how amazing this piece of machinery really is. Everywhere it went the crowd followed! This year Mazda was one of the major sponsors of WTAC 2014 so along with the 787B they also had a good collection of historical and influential Mazda’s both on and off the track.
If the sound of quad rotor wasn’t enough to keep you on the edge of your seat during lunch than some freestyle motorkhana driving from NZ based Alex Kelsey and his V6 powered Peugeot was sure to get the blood pumping.
This car is as custom built as they come. Starting out in a similar fashion to Nigel Petire’s drift ute. Alex’s Peugeot started out life in tiny garage.
The angry little Peugeot features a hand-built Renault Sport V6 engine and spits flames like no tomorrow. What is it with cars from New Zealand shooting flames?!
We would like to thank all our internationally guests for their continued support of our home grown series and again to the whole team behind the World Time Attack Challenge. The greatest event on the Calendar!!
Stay tuned for even more post WTAC goodness.
Until than, full results here.
Thanks for reading,