2009 was a year of big developments for the American time attack scene. With both the Redline series and Super Lap Battle running events, competitors had plenty of chances to leave their marks this year on race tracks all over the country. We saw the competition get tighter, and the cars getting faster – particularity in the hardcore unlimited class.
Now, here's a quick look back at some of the highlights of 2009 American time attack season.
Chris Rado's new fwing setup debuted at the Willow Springs Redline event in the spring, and it quickly became a hot topic in both the paddock, and on the internet. Even non-time attack websites like Autoblog were posting the juicy news about Rado's big wing. It obviously paid off though, as Chris would go onto to set records at nearly every track went to, and eventually beat GM's longstanding front-drive lap record at the Buttonwillow Super Lap finals in November.
But it wasn't all about the unlimited competitors in 2009. Cars like the Sportcar Motion EG Civic showed just how fast a modified class car can be when built right.
Coming seemingly out of nowhere this year was the Sierra Sierra Enterprises team and their unlimited class Evo. One look at their car and their pit setup showed that this former open-wheel operation meant business.
The Sierra Sierra Evo instantly became one of the most feared cars on the track, and eventually took the honor of being the overall fastest at the Buttonwillow Super Lap finals. Following only a half-year of competition, news is the current Evo is going to be replaced next year by an even faster Evo X. Wild.
Another modified class car doing big things in 2009 was JC Meynet's Harman Motive/AQ Motorsports Impreza. If you read the feature I did on this car back in July, then you know just how simple, yet effective this build is.
The Brian Crower/C-West S2000 is a bit of a veteran in the American time attack world, and although the car suffered some mechanical problems this year, it was still a front-runner in nearly all the events it ran.
In the summertime AMS took the wraps off their new unlimited class Evo X at Autobahn Country Club in Illinois, which happens to be their home course.
The new Evo would jump right into to the top ranks of the unlimited class, with its sights set on its arch rival…
…the Crawford Performance STI driven by Tarzan Yamada. No two cars could better symbolize the Subaru-Mitsubishi rivalry on the track.
We didn't see a whole lot of participation from overseas teams this year due to the economy of course. Nonetheless, Team 5Zigen was out as usual with their unlimited class Accord to run in the Super Lap and Redline finales.
'09 was a hell of a year for Ryan Gates, who took both the Redline modified AWD season championship and the Super Lap class victory in his Evo X.
This year the FX Motorsports NSX again showed that you don't need AWD to be the top dog. A lot of people are saying this car has a good shot at breaking the HKS CT230R's lap record at Buttonwillow in the near future.
You can't forget about the street class either, and cars like the Voltex-equipped S2000 from Evasive Motorsports which ran very well at the Super Lap finals.
Another car I'm excited to see more of next year, the GoTo Racing unlimited class R35 GT-R.
So will 2010 improve on the excitement of 2009?
We'll find out in a few months when the season kicks off.