It seems like only yesterday that the Speedhunters crew were in Sydney covering the World Time Attack Challenge. But a year has past, and once again some of the world’s quickest time attack machines have congregated at Eastern Creek’s Sydney Motorsport Park to chase the ultimate lap time.
My day started early Thursday morning with a 4.30am jaunt to Auckland International Airport for a 7.00am flight to Sydney Australia.
Three and a half hours on a Boeing 777, followed by a one-hour drive, I arrived at the race track where the pits were already a hive of activity.
For most teams, the day before the event provides one last chance to make alterations and fine tune their set up. The Top Fuel with Voltex team were kept busy changing suspension and the gearbox in their wild 700hp/1030kg Honda S2000.
Panspeed’s Pro Class RX-8 entry sounded superb flying down the front straight. Under the hood is a naturally aspirated and peripheral ported 20B three-rotor engine.
Legendary Japanese driver Eiji ‘Tarzan’ Yamada had a very quiet day, mostly because both cars he was scheduled to drive weren’t at Eastern Creek. World Time Attack Challenge’s defending champion, the Garage HRS ‘Cyber Evo’, was still being worked on at a workshop in Sydney, while the ARK Design/Cosworth Nissan Skyline GT-R failed to even make it to Australia. Rumor has it that the lone US entry was somehow sent to China in error!
Another familiar Japanese driver, Nobuteru Taniguchi, is here too, and driving the Top Fuel/Voltex Honda S2000 as well as the RE-Amemiya ‘Hurricane’ RX-7 over the course of the weekend. With 700hp at-the-wheels on tap, I can’t wait to see what Amemiya-san’s 20B-powered machine car do!
The 700hp Scorch Racing S15 was looking as intimidating as ever. Hopefully its privateer owner, Under Suzuki, will be able to better his 1:31.45 lap from the 2011 event.
Of all the cars in attendance, it’s Nemo Racing’s Evo that’s grabbing the most attention. With its 2.2L 4G63 engine reputedly sending 900hp to the rear wheels and a weight of less than 1000kg, it’ll be a force to be reckoned with if everything comes together over the weekend. Although there was no official timing at the shakedown, rumor has it that Nemo may have gone as quick as 1:29 in testing with Chris Eaton behind the wheel. If that’s true, it will surely be a contender for 2012 honors…
One thing’s for sure, there’ll be plenty of data analyzation going on over the next two days as teams try to extra every last ounce of performance out of their time attack machines…
…and plenty of tires used in the process. Of course, Yokohama (World Time Attack Challenge’s naming-rights sponsor) is on hand with plenty of fresh, sticky, ADVAN rubber.
Even though this is my first time at WTAC, it’s obvious that many of the local Australian teams have stepped up their game, especially in regard to their aero packages. MCA Suspension’s Silvia S13 wowed everyone last year with its crazy looking Nissan. It’s back again this year with Kiwi driver, Earl Bamber, behind the wheel and looking as wild as ever…
…as was this serious-looking EF-chassis Honda CR-X…
…and this V8-powered FD3S Mazda RX-7.
On top of the main act there’s plenty more going on this weekend, including the Tectaloy International Drift Challenge. Along with a large team from New Zealand, Japan is represented this year with a two-car entry from Team Orange. Nobushige Kumokubo will be driving his rear-wheel-drive Subaru Impreza, while Naoto Suenaga will be behind the wheel of his similarly-modified-for-slide Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX.
Of course, Speedhunters’ own Mad Mike Whiddett is due to tear up the drift section in his 20B-powered Mazda RX-8, too.
Only a few weeks on from Gatebil, Mike’s amped to take on the drift talent in attendance…
…and put on a show in typical MM style! The RX-8 is due to receive new body work and livery when it returns to New Zealand, so I’m expecting there won’t be much of the kit left by the end of the weekend!
I’m also really looking forward to seeing the Motul Turbo Legends out on the track a couple of times of the next two days. The ex-Mark Gibbs GIO Nissan Skyline GT-R, and the ex-George Fury Nissan Bluebird Turbo are just two legendary cars from Australia’s touring car history that will be demonstrated, along with a bunch of other racing historics.
So that’s it for now. As I finish this post off cars are rolling out of the pit garages and first Friday session has begun… and already the Cyber Evo’s World Time Attack Challenge record has been broken by another Lancer Evo! Game on!
Nemo and Tilton Interiors evos features are musts!! If you guys are doing this please remember to have a peek in the tunnels and underbody of the Nemo. and suspension shot too, I believe they have completely reworked the suspension.
Mad Mike is throwing me off by using a peace sign instead of the horns, I just don't see him do that too often hahaha
This is a must-go. Nobushinge Kumekubo, Naoto Suenega, Under Suzuki, Nob Taniguchi, Tarzan Yamada, MadMike Whiddett. Not to mention all of the awesome cars. Mind blown, officially. One day perhaps...
Please can you sus a feature on the s15 iin you last pic brad that would be amazing and all your performance car friends would still live you, or just on speed hunters would do....best blog EVER!!!!
I wonder when WTAC and other TA bodies will realize where they are heading with the silly (not even in the consumer tuner car spirit) unlimited aero.
Take a look at Pikes Peak over the last 2 decades in the upper echelon to figure it out.
Cool! Nemo looks INSANE as usual lol. Can't wait to see how things play out, just jealous I couldn't be there. Have fun Brad!
was going to type the exact same thing!! Please Brad!!! we beg!
May we have the last picture as a desktop?!
Well Nitto would of supplied the tyres when he drifted in FD, Seeing as the car still has FD banner on the car i dont think he is going to take a Nitto sticker off.
no there isn't unfortunately, but there are live time updates here for all classeshttp://www.worldtimeattack.com/index.php/live-timing/
@TougeSpirit Oh, my, god. That's insane! I'd love to see Nemo @ super lap in the states or rev speed Tsukuba!
nemo with a 1:26.9 on the first day
and it has more boost to be wound into it, along with the fact that it had a terminal speed of 243km/h down the main straight, in context last years speeds were cyber- 26x k's, SSE 299 k's, and scorch 27x k's. so there's a huge amount of time to be made on the straight alone let alone the rest of the course with some more power
The track has changed a fair bit since last year. Lots of re-surfacing, extra run off and altered corners (especially turn 6 and 8), so naturally everyone should be quicker. I tested there not long ago, and I was lapping close to 1.5s quicker. Cars with proper aero can find 2s easily. See the Nemo on board video.
This must be a cyber evo fanboy posting as "F3 racer" if that track got 2 seconds quicker? The whole field was actually getting slower since last year?!
Just download a video of a run at the track! IMPOSSIBLE to be two seconds,
That started because Cyber conveniently imagined it and posted that on facebook.