Event>>redline Willow Springs: The Winners

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.

-Mike Garrett

Redline/Just Drift Willow Springs Coverage



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Nice pics and story. What in gods name is up with that Scion? lol


the sierra-sierra car was one of my favorite cars to watch on sunday. an outstanding result for the new car.


that front whatever is nuts on the scion, I guess if it works, and it seems that it did, they should keep using it...


Wow that Harman Motive Impreza looks brutal! Ever notice how Honda Civics seem to just make do with limited horsepower...True giant killers. And speaking of front wheel drive cars, front winged Scions RULE! A truly functional front wing. Now if it wasn't so ugly....


Wow, great coverage. I like checking out the results on the RTA website, but being able to see the cars and their times is really great.

Rado's Scion may have broken the FWD track record, but I can't imagine the sanctioning body will be cool with that fwing next year. It really is great though, remind me of Jim Hall's Chaparral 2J and 2E. We even see this same stuff in Brawn GP F1 team. You find out the rules, and instead of worrying about what they do say, you try to find out what they don't say. Rado just exploited what the rules don't mention.

Now the question is, will other teams do the same?


We did not exploit the rules one bit. The 2009 RTA rulebook clearly defines Aerodynamics (AERODYNAMICS are OPEN.) There was no exploiting of the rules at all. You can do whatever aero you want to your car. We didn't even have an under tray on the car yet ;)


Cool to see a formula atlantic driver in the sierra sierra evo.


congrats to Chris for being within half of a second of Tarzan Yamada's madmobile! the Fwing totally looks messed up but i'm sure i'll get used to seeing it, and if it works then it works! keep it up guys!


instaed of that giant wing cant they equip one of those wings that pheonix power used to throw on the front of sw20 mr2's to keep the front ends from lifting......at least that would look better?


How can a Unlimited RWD faster than Unlimited AWD?


Unlimited RWD is faster because its supposed to be.

All AWD cars are usually handicapped by complex differentials, drivetrain loss, and weight disadvantages.

If you look into any serious race team that has to start with a AWD chassis they usually convert it to RWD to bypass all the disadvantages.

A properly setup RWD should be faster then a AWD machine and I think we are starting to see proper setups in RTA.

This is not to say that really well setup AWD wont be faster ever. It can and will use its advantages at certain tracks however, WSIR is not one of them.


lol, rado's scion reminds me of those late-60's formula 1 cars which also had those giant front wings...


something I just thought about: the fwing really is a great idea on the race track, but if this ends up becoming a new ricer trend on the streets I will be really, really disappointed...


So, should I put front, rear, and SIDE wings on my AWD ride?


is that a miata i see in the first picture

do you have anymore pictures of that

rado's sion looks like a futuristic car, it looks like its going to lift off at any moment


Just put one really big wing on the middle of the roof instead.


I agree with hushypushy. One team using that fwing is one thing, but if I start seeing it on the street, I will probably cry.


the side wings are coming soon on the SCION ;)


We have been running wheelie bars on FWD cars at the track for over ten years now, but how many wheelie bar setups have you seen on the street FWD's? I'll be the first to admit that the car looks way better with just the rear wing, but the damn thing works so good I don't dare get rid of it. My Team and I are just trying to go as fast as the rules will permit with our Scion. I'll see everyone back out there soon.




Yea GO NSX! By the way I wouldn't care if that fwing made the tC faster than an F1 car, some things are just so aesthetically ridiculous that people should find different ways of attaining their speed and time goals. If the fwing is guaranteed to be the fastest method then maybe just run without it realizing you have hit the limits of that FWD car, no shame in not looking like a redneck sprint car out there.


Funny you metnion about S14's not drifting:


As I'm one of the other crazy guys who doesn't drift, and prefers grip :D


Some exciting action! Wish i could have been there, nice write-up Mike.


the front wing makes that scion develop grip like a formula car. really lame looking



Please do a run with out the front wing, see how it goes. ;)


You guys gotta feature that NSX


Are the unlimited guys running slicks ?


Chris. Keep the fwing at all costs. If it works, it works. good work being innovative. Honestly when I read the rules for Unlimited class, I thought Id see more of this.


damn, that Mitsubishi Eclipse is CRAAAZZYY! thats a damn sick street car right there! FWD cars can BE FAST on the road course.


nice posting thank for sharing, i like mitsubishi