For my second bit of Redline Time Attack coverage from Willow Springs, I wanted to highlight some of the day's fastest cars. The level of the American time attack competition continues to grow by leaps and bounds, and many track records would be broken before the desert sun set at WSIR. Before we move on, you also have to remember that unlike the Japanese time attack events which are held in the cooler winter months, this all went down under blazing 90-degree conditions!
OK then, let's get started.
One of the cool things about this event was the addition of the Drift Class where drivers would pilot their drift machines for time instead of smoke and angle. Calvin Wan was the winner in his personal FD RX7 with a lap time of 1:32.870. This was enough for Calvin to take the Drift Class victory by a wide margin.
The Street AWD Class was packed full of quick Evos and Imprezas, but none were as fast the Evo8 driven by Jeremy Toye. He was able to take the AWD class victory by a margin of nearly four seconds with a 1:28.817. This was also good for the overall win in the Street Class.
I already mentioned how many fast Hondas there are at time attack events these days, but it wasn't a Honda that took the win in the Street FWD Class. Nope, that honor would go to Matt Andrews in this Eclipse GST Spyder – running a lap time of 1:31.267. You gotta give respect to this team for not only running a unique platform, but for winning with it.
Wrapping up the Street Class was Jeremy Croiset who took the Street RWD win in this SW20 MR2. Jeremy did a nice job fending off the S2000's with a 1:32.399 lap time. If you remember the season opener at Buttonwillow, it was another mid-engined car that took the victory in this class (Manly Kao's Lotus Elise) .
Moving on the Modified Class now. JC Meynet and the Harman Motive STI dominated Modified AWD with a scorching 1:26.417 lap.This was over three seconds quicker than the next fastest car in the class, and more than enough to take the overall Modified win.
The Modified FWD champ was again Tim Kuo in the Sportcar Motion EG Civic. This monster Honda's 1:29.693 lap was nearly seven seconds faster than the second place car in Modified FWD, and the only car that was faster in the entire Modified Class was the Harman Motive Impreza. Incredible.
Modified RWD went to Brian Lock in this FD3S RX7 with a 1:29.824. This class was one of the most diverse, with the roster including everything from Mustangs to a Porsche.
Now moving on to the Unlimited Class where the competition was faster and tighter than ever. Gary Sheehan's time of 1:23.141 in the GST Impreza was good enough for third place in Unlimited AWD. Lap times aside, I do have to say that this car has become quite good looking with its new Hankook livery.
In round one at Buttonwillow Tarzan took the Unlimited AWD victory with the Crawford STI. Would his time of 1:22.097 be enough to repeat at Willow Springs?
As I mentioned in yesterday's post, this event marked the competition debut for the Sierra-Sierra Enterprises Evo8. SSE instantly became one of the most feared teams around when Johnathan Bomarito took the AWD class victory with a 1:20.454 lap time. This would also be the day's second fastest time overall. The US time attack scene has a new frontrunner.
Love it or hate it, Chris Rado's fwing-equipped Scion delivered a 1:22.623 lap – destroying the competition in Unlimited FWD and shattering notions of what a front drive car is capable of. Apparently this was the fastest lap time ever recorded by a FWD vehicle at Willow Springs and no doubt this car will be even faster once Chris and the team get the boost issues figured out.
Finally we move on the Unlimited RWD Class. Third place went to Mike Cronin Jr. in the Fontana Nissan Z33 with a 1:23.846. Not bad for the car's second competition event…
Despite the head gasket failure that ended his day early, Tyler McQuarrie was able to secure second with a very fast 1:20.838 in the BC S2000. This would be the day's third fastest time overall.
And finally, the winner of the Unlimited RWD Class and the day's fastest runner overall was Billy Johnson in the FX Motorsports Acura NSX. This car shattered the 1:20 barrier with an unbelievable 1:18.555 lap. Prior to this event, the Unlimited record at WSIR was in the 1:22 range and by the end of the day no less than five cars had broken this record.
Stay tuned for more from the Redline and Just Drift events at Willow Springs.