Event>>redline Time Attack (& Friends)

Man, I love living in California – the place where the geography is just as diverse as the car culture. Last weekend it was hot rods and customs in the cool coastal breeze, and this weekend it was time attack under the hot desert sun at the Redline Time Attack event at Willow Springs International Raceway. Even with the hot and dusty weather, competitors and fans came out in large numbers for the second Redline event of the season. All the big time attack regulars were out to run on "Big Willow", plus several new cars made their competition debut this weekend.

As you've probably heard all ready, Rod and his whole film crew were also at the track all weekend to shoot their fourth NFS driver film. This one will be focusing on Chris Rado and his rebuilt Scion tC, which saw its competition debut this weekend. During all the racing events I've been to, I've never seen something as strange looking as Rado's giant wings in both the rear and the front. This was certainly the talk of the paddock…

Apparently I missed seeing this badass first generation Firebird taking laps on Saturday. Obviously it was inspired by the SCCA Trans Am racers of the late '60s and early '70s. Damn!

Throughout the day I also found myself heading over to the balcony to check out the Just Drift event being held there. As I was watching, I realized that it's been quite some time since I've been to a grassroots drift event. During my time in Japan I'd forgotten just how fun JD events are.

As usual, there was a nice selection of front-drive Hondas running in the Street and Modified Classes. Not too long ago it was hard to find race-tuned Hondas outside of the dragstrip, but now there are plenty of FF circuit cars around. I'm constantly amazed at the results these guys are getting out of these little Hondas.

And then there's always the big turnout of privateer-owned Evos and Imprezas which seems to grow every event.

Our buddy Tyler McQuarrie was at the track working his "second job" behind the wheel of the BC S2000 in the Unlimited Class. Unfortunately the team was plagued by head gasket issues all day.

Hiro Sumida brought out his MX83 Cressida street car for both the JD event and the time attack itself. I'm pretty sure this was the first Cressida I've ever seen running a time attack event. Cool.

There were a few Genesis Coupes running in the Modified and Street classes, including the MODE-built car which had a proper low and wide look to it.

Here's the GST Impreza undergoing some work before heading out for the afternoon time attack sessions. Like the BC S2000, this car has been part of the US Time Attack scene for a while and is a force to be reckoned with in the Unlimited Class.

This AE86 spent the entire day sliding around balcony with it's 4AGE singing the sounds of sweet NA music.

Sierra-Sierra Enterrpises used this event to debut their new Evo 8 time attack car in the Unlimited Class. The team has experience in open wheel racing and has decided to try its hand at time attack with this fully built Evo. Like the HKS CT230R, this car is beyond the realm of tuner cars and into that of total race cars. SSE has clearly set their sights on the top, and it will be fun to see what this car is capable of.

The Harman Motive STI is the car to beat in the Modified Class. It's also very fun to watch as it jumps around the track on its giant Toyo R888's.

Speaking of fun to watch, there were few cars on the track that had more presence than Steve Butscher's "Mad Max" Mustang in the Modified Class. This flat black monster looked right at home as it roared through WSIR's desolate scenery.

Tarzan Yamada, the world's go-to guy for time attack driving commuted from Japan to drive the Crawford Impreza at Willow Springs.

As part of the tie-up between Redline and Just Drift, some the JD drivers were allowed to drift the main Willow Springs course. This car belongs to Aaron Suarez AKA Dousan – a Just Drift and All Star Bash regular who lives and dies for grassroots drifting in Southern California. You'll be hard pressed to find a better looking and more complete S13 on this continent.

Finally, one of the Just Drift/Federal demo cars sliding around Big Willow like it aint no thang.

Next time we'll look at some of the day's time attack results.

-Mike Garrett



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I'm all for new things and new ways of thinking, but I'm still a bit of a purist. And I'm always the first to go after someone who is talks crap about a certain car. But I just can't think of one good thing to say about Rado's tC. It's just not right.


We read here that Rado's Tc employs an Audi LeMans program aerodynamicist. That's a good thing, for certain.


can't wait to see results! Is that TC the one converted to AWD or still FWD?


This is our Unlimited FWD Scion tC, we ran a 1:22.623 this weekend. AWD is coming soon...


thanks for the pics mike, it was nice to meet you!


Too bad there is almost zero action in that video, started off promising. :(


I am a big fan of canards and diffussers but when it gets out of control like most lancer EVO 9 and that crazy front wing, something tells me they should have just bought a different car to race.


i heart speedhunters!!!!! thanks mike and antonio! you guys keep cool even in a 100 degree heat at willow! ok maybe 95... but it was hot enough! thanks!


More of that Firebird NOW! Awesome!


the wheel/tire size on that genisis look sicck but thats the only time you'll hear me say that/ great coverage of the event some pretty sick cars out there!!


props to rado for takin chances even if it is funky looking


I don't think many people truly understand just how FAST the time was that Billy Johnson ran in the NSX..... and then to have Rado run 1:22's in a FRONT WHEEL DRIVE car!!!! That is simply INSANE! You can say all you want about the front wing setup, but it WORKS! People joked about wheely bars on FWD drag cars over a decade ago... Now they joke around about wings like that on circuit cars....

Sierra Sierra is also just getting started. Combine their experience, expertise, access to top notch drivers and bank roll... they'll be challenging for the event title in no time. To post a 1:20 at Big Willow, when the car isn't running at 100%.... boy. Gonna be exciting to see them tussle with AMS, FX Motorsports, and the other top dogs throughout the rest of the season!


No horse thief pics mike???


man o man this looks like incredible fun... I love the American scene so much


The Firebird was not allowed to run due to the Jerico transmission, believe it or not.


i had forgot my camera on saturday, great to speedhunters didn't & were right next to me getting these great shots that i couldnt. - theirs was better anyways, big as rifles.lol


BTW, I'm really upset with the organizers of this event and with the teams that cheated the system.

We were racing in the Modified class, we stuck to the rules that were imposed....many other teams did NOT ! And that includes Harman Automotive.

The Modified class rules state that the windows have to be made out of glass no lexan or any other material. They have to be (OE) and have to work. Harman Automotive (like Matt Andrew's full dry carbon fiber Miata, or Ryan Gates's EVO X) had gutted doors with no windows at all. Not to mentioned that the class does not allow to remove the carpets, and having fully gutted interior is prohibited. Removing the side mirrors is also prohibited. The class also states that the A/C has to work. Harman Automotive did not have one (like many other teams).

I am in no way shape or form upset about our placement. I am upset about people breaking the rules, and tech inspection not been professional about thoroughly check the car BEFORE the race .

Here are the rules for the non-believers:



Ergh did I just miss a chance to meet the famous Alex? ack!!!!


Alex, I think you should read the rules more carefully before you complain. In mod class you ARE allowed to remove the front window glass and gut the doors if a rollcage with door bars is in place. It also does not say anything about removing carpet, it just says the OEM dash and center console must remain. I don't think Redline's rules are anywhere close to ideal, as I think they leave way too much room for teams with big budgets to come in and blow everyone away, which is why I race with NASA instead. But if you're going to call people out for violating the rules (by name no less) you should probably get your facts straight first. I just quickly skimmed the rules you posted and found exceptions to everything you objected to.


Someday I'm going to have to live in California, so I can soak up some of this culture...

That S2k is plain sexy. Love her.


they wouldn't let a car run because of its transmission, but the let the TC run with the wing? I can't believe they let that race. It's basically like cheating, they better ban it before anyone else shows up with one.


its about time i see a fox body mustang on here


Wow I think some people really need to read the rules before complaining about what is legal and what isn't. Also understand that this is why there is a (Unlimited Class) almost anything goes here including aftermarket transmissions & aero, then they have (modified class) more restrictive, (street class) even more restricted. That's what makes Time Attack so great there are many classes to compete. It seems like some people are upset and I don't blame them, I'd be mad too if I brought a knife to a gun fight and got my butt kicked. See you at Chicago Redline!!


I'm all for technical innovation in the Unlimited class, but that big front wing on the Scion sure looks like a liability to the driver in case of a rollover or some other crash where that thing could come loose.


>>> Alex <<<<

Please read the rules before you begin making statements about them. You are incorrect. Every car that ran in the event was inspected to the rules of the Class they were competing in.

As for the Firebird not being allowed to run? What is that all about? I know the owner of the car and ENCOURAGED them to run the car. Trust me, they were NOT turned away.


@Dan Ryan Gates' EVO does NOT have side-crash bar in his EVO

Look it up http://www.311gates.com......and tell me he didn't break the rules.

Read again 3.2.1 and 3.2.3

Our driver took the car to the tech-officials, and those chumps couldn't even distinguish a V8 vs a V6.

They BARELY skimmed thru the car and gave him the okay. Very unprofessional. I wish they were stricter....and yes, after talking to the officials, they did say the carpet HAVE to be there (even though it doesn't say anything in the rules, which makes it even more frustrating). AND, a full carbon fiber body is not allowed.

(Hint. Matt Andrew's Miata is fully dry carbon). I call people out because I was there and withness it.

@ Nikolas: if you were the guy to go to for the tech inspection, you straight up fail. Whoever I talked to clearly didn't have any clue what they were talking about. He even asked me what tires our team was running with (can't you read it on the sidewall?).

As far as the Firebird not being about to race, go ask to the Team Fontana what they have to say.


I agree that the wing on the TC seems like a safety concern.


Guys, A rear wing is also dangerous to the car and driver following, should they be banned?. What would be the difference between a ft wing and a rear one? If anything were to fail with the fwing the driver (Rado) would be the first to feel the heat. Now i may be biased because Rado is a good friend of mine but as far as the technology and safety goes the set up is spot on. We actually did dips off the wing in the pit. I am not huge but weigh 160 lbs. The wing was rock solid with me basically jumping on it.

I was very happy to be there to witness the cars first outing. Running a 1.22.6 at big willow is a HUGE number, several seconds ahead of the closest FWD car, smashing the track record. Rado made history last weekend. You guys should embrace his accomplishment. As well as the Factor X guys for running what are really crazy numbers out there.

And besides all that, racing is an inherently dangerous activity. I have seen several of the competitors wing elements "flapping" around on the straightaways. Those scared me way more that Rados fwing did.

If you are scared by the wing, you might want to consider a different sport. Golf is pretty safe from what i hear.



Alex: reading comprehension FAIL.


Alex- Feel free to come by at the next race and check the car out closer. I'd be happy to help explain the rule book to you as well. Both the cars I drove have been scrutinized in the past more closely than you probably think. A full carbon body would mean every panel. My car retains the rear qtr panels that are part of the unibody and the front bumper is fiberglass. Carpets are also not required by the class. I can't speak to your experience in tech, its too bad if that soured your experience. While we're all competitive, there is a real sense of cooperation in the pits amongst teams. If you really feel like challenging, I beleive there is actually a process to do so, it only cost you $50 I think.

And congrats to Rado, FX, and all the other winners. See you in Chicago.

Good luck,



I'll pick sides - I'm no fan of the front wing either. As a matter of fact, I probably bash on FWD cars more than ANYONE that I know. Now, with this in mind, I think the front wing is extremely functional albeit how hideous it may appear. RWD cars benefit from a down force applied by the wing, and I wonder why do people bicker about the FWD wing? Ultimately I think it is unconventional, and we all know how resistant people are to change.

As far as the safety concerns go, I can understand these. Not only is the wing hazardous for the driver, (160 lbs. might seem like enough to hold the wing in place, but what about during a minor collision?) but I think it appears to pose serious threat to the line of sight of the driver. Hopefully minor collisions won't change its position much, as there appears to be little room for discrepancy. Obviously you would think that this issue has been solved by the team engineers and manufacturers, and it probably has. Perception is not reality, as they say.


Alex: as many others have said, if you have a complaint or feel someone is cheating, there is a petition process in which you pay $50 or $75 (can't remember) and have the car reinspected for that particular rule violation. Either you did not read the rules carefully enough to know this or, you don't have $50 to petition. I'm sure there are some teams that are breaking the rules but put some skin in the game. There's no point in calling people out after-the-fact. It should have been done on the spot. In which case you would have lost your $50 because the miata is compliant w/ the rules.


Congrats to the winners. To the people with accusations of cheating....I say put up the money and do a formal protest. To protest after the runs have been made are truly sad. Hope to see you guys at the next event.