The Speedhunters WTAC Wrap-Up
Onwards & Upwards

If you have even a passing interest in time attack racing, it would be impossible to have gone the last few weeks without hearing about World Time Attack Challenge. We’ve been covering the event since its 2010 move to Eastern Creek Raceway (now known as Sydney Motorsport Park), and this year myself and Richard Opie joined racers and fans from around the world on the annual pilgrimage to the king of all time attack events.

We’ve already announced the Pro class results, so now I’m going to take you in for a closer look at some of the cars and personalities that make WTAC such an iconic event.


2011 was the first year that I, as a camera-toting youth, walked through the gates to a WTAC event. Although my photos were extremely blurry and just horrid in general (I had to revisit them before writing this story for a laugh), my memory of cars like the R-Magic FD3S and Cyber Evo being piloted by Japanese superstars like Tarzan Yamada and literally frothing at the mouth with excitement is crystal clear.


Some things never change, and the contingent of amazing Japanese team cars – although slightly smaller this year – was still present.


Also in attendance were the brigade of owner/drivers campaigning in Clubsprint class where extreme body modifications are disallowed. Many consider this to be the grassroots core of time attack racing and it’s more similar to what you can find at other events around the world.


However, the big draw card for this event is Pro class, where the restrictions are scant and accordingly the lap times are very, very low. Vehicle development year-on-year is extremely rapid.

To give some context, the Tilton Evo’s winning 1:23.777 lap (captured by MotiveDVD in the clip above) is seven seconds faster than what was required to take the title back in 2010. The track has been altered slightly since then, but there’s at least five seconds of vehicle improvement in it, which is a massive margin in the bigger scheme of things.


In fact, Garth Walden’s time in the Tilton machine makes it the fastest tin-top car to ever circulate Sydney Motorsport Park. And remember, there’s no slicks to be seen! At this point, only a handful of Formula 3 cars are quicker outright, but I wonder how long that will last…


This year, another new team arrived on the block with a shiny new car and some big claims. It might be hard to tell, but a Porsche 968 was the starting point for this Pro class build led by the Sydney-based Porsche specialists, PR Technology.


From the rear of the car it becomes obvious just how far this vehicle has deviated from the original vehicle, almost representing what Porsche might have developed the 968 into had they gone hunting a Le Mans Prototype win with it. The team did nothing to quell rumours of it being a $1 million build.


Again, the question does arise of whether creations like the 968 are in the ‘spirit’ of time attack, which has historically lent towards modified road cars as opposed to scratch-built race cars.


On the one hand, allowing these prototype-style cars does create a risk of deterring smaller teams (especially those based overseas) from coming to compete when their own outfits don’t have access to the same level of funding, and as a result, development and technology. Simply put, they don’t want to come a long way to be badly beaten.


The flip side is that, like the golden years of F1, the level of constant innovation is a huge draw card for fans and sponsors alike. Like any sporting event, WTAC lives or dies by ticket sales, and the buzz generated by such extreme cars is the greatest marketing tool the event has. There’s probably lessons to be learned from F1, but that’s for another article. I’d love for any math geniuses out there to help me calculate which is more expensive per minute of circuit racing time.

Triumphs & Tribulations

This year’s Open class was packed with a great variety of entries and competition was hot. Cars like Tarzan’s RevZone Evo were mixing it with a bevy of GT-Rs and one very special Honda Civic.


Somewhat amazingly, the little front-wheel drive JDM Yard machine managed to outpace the whole field and take victory with a 1:30.7010 lap – inching out Tarzan by one hundredth of a second. It was a very impressive effort from these guys.


One of the busiest men at the event this year was Paul McKinnon, who was not only managing two customer cars he prepared at his workshop Evolution Motorsport, but also behind the wheel in both the Evolution Porsche 944 in Open class and Pulse Racing’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evo in Pro Am.


Being a 944 owner I’m extremely biased, but this is easily the coolest car at the event. It looks like the guys may have started a trend for these front-engined, transaxle Porsches too? A 1:31.56 meant McKinnon missed the bottom step of the podium by one tenth of a second. The guys will be back next year with a larger displacement engine to right this wrong.


PMQ’s Evo IX absolutely dominated the Pro Am class, leaving the competition 2.5 seconds behind. In fact, Michael Sigsworth’s 1:25.7570 was 3rd outright, meaning he could have been on the podium in Pro class. Look out, Tilton!


As we reported on Instagram late Friday evening, the Scorch S15 blew an engine in an afternoon session and the team spent the night in the pits installing a new power unit. However, the 1:25.8 lap set by Under Suzuki put him well within striking distance of the leading Tilton car, and if the new engine could hold up the team was confident that they could go faster.


Unfortunately for Suzuki-san, Saturday brought no reprieve from the misfortune. Another engine failure brought his Australian trip to an end. Still, the time set on Friday would be fast enough to keep him in 3rd position after the final Superlap Shootout.


Shane Van Gisbergen is proving himself to be one of the most talented drivers in Australasia today. Not only was the Kiwi handy enough to take the MCA Nissan Silvia S13 to 2nd place in Pro class, but he’s also a top-tier drifter in New Zealand’s D1NZ series and is currently running 7th in the V8 Supercars championship.


Also from the V8 Supercars fraternity was David Wall, driving (and testing) the PR Technology 968. Unfortunately, there were simply too many teething problems for the team to be competitive; an engine fire on Friday and a rear wing that destroyed itself on Saturday punctuated a busy weekend. These are the risks that come with finishing a car the week of an event.


Another disappointment from the weekend was the SVA Imports entry. The team had travelled all the way from Dover in the UK to pit their Evo VI up against the best Australia has to offer.


Unfortunately, their boosted and nitrous-injected 4G63 was another victim of the brutally hot conditions with an engine fire early on Saturday. I really hope these guys make it back to our shores next year.

The WTAC Circus

Although time attack is undoubtedly on a rapidly upwards trajectory, I’m going to be frank and say that it’s not the most exciting form of motorsport to watch from the grandstands as a spectator. The chaos of close wheel-to-wheel racing is absent, and by its nature there is plenty of downtime between sessions. Thankfully, WTAC has plenty of off-track action for punters to enjoy as well, so I made sure to explore this side of the event too.


Exhibit A is the Just Car Insurance Show ‘n’ Shine which invaded the central skidpan at Sydney Motorsport Park on the main day of competition. So, of course I had to take a quick look and pick out some favourite local rides for you. Every time I post a picture of an R34 GT-R, I can just imagine our American readers turning green with envy…


It’s great to see a Toyota Supra done right. Too often I feel that builders default towards an aggressive body kit when the original lines work so well.


We do love our S-chassis here in Australia, and we especially love them low and wide. Well, I guess it’s universal.


Someone’s always gotta take things too far though.


Time attack sessions were also interspersed with some hot laps from an impressive line-up of historic and exotic racers.


My personal favourite? This gorgeous Zakspeed Escort replica brought over from New Zealand. It was impossible to get a clear shot of it all weekend, as it drew the punters in like moths to a flame.


Not to mention the main straight being turned into manji madness by the Outlaw Drift Shootout. These guys were initiating at up to 180km/h and the crowd was loving it.


Back in the paddock, plenty of local brands came out to interact with the fans too, including the Sydney-based but internationally recognised Zen Garage and the lovely Zen Babes.


I was pretty happy with my Zen cap, but this hat really takes the cake. You really can’t have too much aero at WTAC!

That’s a wrap for this overall look at the event, but myself and Richard have plenty more WTAC goodness coming up in the next few days and weeks. Keep your eyes peeled for some spotlights on our favourite finds…

Blake Jones
Instagram: blaketjones

Cutting Room Floor


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That white SVA Evo should be named Goatse.


what car is the one in the 3rd bonus pics? is it a monaro?


4Forza Yep! LSX powered, we have a closer look under the hood coming up soon.


That Porsche had some of the best suspension I've ever seen.


3rd from the bottom of BONUS pics. :)
SpeedRun Monster EVO. WOOOOOHOOOO hope you got some awesome pics of that car


I have been to time attack 14" and 15" and I got to say the biggest draw card for me is pro class cars. They extremely innovative, absolutely mental and I love seeing the constant variety come from no where every year. I don't really get the "not in the spirit of time attack" thing, if you don't like pro class there 3 other classes to choose from, open class particularly being advanced enough to showcase almost endless new tuning trends for the big tuning companies whilst still remaining a true chassi "in the spirit" built class. Even though pro is getting a bit ridiculous with the pay to play aspect I think it's completely necessary to keep the big crowds like myself there, I mean no other form of Motorsport in the would has so little restrictions, it's very exciting.


So much goodness.


Thank you for time attack coverage!  Might not be the best spectator racing but to me time attack, hillclimb, and rally push the progression.  Can't wait to see feature cars because ideas!  The teams are probably secretive but it would be nice to know what they do to get faster.  From the post i see bigger wider splitters, tall sides on the wings... nitrous.  The cars are (somewhat) relatable and ideas can be applied to street cars.  I might be a minority here but nerd out on those features!


Excellent coverage, Blake Jones. Nice variance in the images. You covered all bases of a very full on event. Well done.


The evo engine bay picture (third from bottom is my car!!)
Check out


My eyes never get tired of the Scorch s15.


Moar WTAC!  :-)  Seeing the ever evolving pro-class cars never gets old.  Shame Tilton is retiring their car, can't wait for their next car though.  Not sure how the PR Tech Porsche 968 is not in the spirit; it's still a modified roadcar.


What about miss world time atta,k?? Total babe!!


Love the WTAC coverage! 

Shane Van Gisbergen is so involved in motorsport. Three different forms and he's amazing at all! 

I feel like the show n shine could of been it's own separate entry (will there be one?). There were plenty of awesome builds that I'm sure many readers would love to see.


I've been obsessed with the engineering at this event.  Been creepin on the WTAC Facebook page daily!


The 968 was a $1 million build??? Thats some massive dedication! Feature plz!!


It truly was a good WTAC this year, sad to see Under Suzuki's car blow up...I thought for sure he'd finally win this year


DinoSawr He reminds me a lot of the greats from the 60's and 70's who would drive just about anything in any kind of event.  Really cool to see that pure passion for hooning about having fun can still exist at the pro level.


bluestreaksti MotoIQ have a pretty good peek at Tilton's evo here:
They've done similar for Suzuki's s15, cyber evo, SSE evo and a full multi-part build thread on the Team America R32 gtr from last year.


That 944 looks amazing!


Speedhunters dat booty


More 968 pictures please!


More of that Civic please!


Disappointed to see zero coverage of the AFP Impreza. I under stand he retired early with gearbox issues  but
the car is definitely worthy of some coverage.


I would like to see here two features. Tilton's Evo and Suzuki Under's spectacular S15!


That hat doe!

Pete the perfect pilot

WHERE, oh where is the Rotary love?! Very scant coverage = poor. 3 rotor racing Rx 7 was there I believe for 1st time ... No coverage, and no rxs get a mention. Fail.


I agree with this guy, @BlakeJones


Gisbergen's lap,

Speaks for itself really...


Peter_Kelly Thanks! A lot of work has gone into it...unless you mean the 968 in which case a LOT of work has gone into it!!!


Great article and pics Blake, congrats!! Thanks for the nice words about the car and yes, Paul is a busy boy!


Are there any decent video clips of the Time Attack cars pure sound?

Most of what you get is dullard drifting nonsense, sorry not my thing.

A few years back put up a great series of pure sound clips of all the top cars.

Was wondering if anyone else had done the same, as most of what I have found is tuners tlaking up their cars or sponsors doing previews etc.


Met you over there, the kiwis that showed you a pic of the wide body aw11. Your photos came out a lot better than mine after all! Good shit


Spanners Was great meeting you guys. Guess I was a real Speedhunter after all ;) Send me the pics of that AW11!


333pg333 Thanks Pat! Always love seeing your beast out on track.


Pete the perfect pilot Pete the perfect pilot perhaps doesn't possess patience?


RobertEvery I agree. I get very frustrated at the coverage of both world and national time attak events.  The footage is too fragmented, with too many individuals doing their own thing and when there is a general 'film' or feature made, details of the cars and footage of their laps is rare.

Someone needs to get a grip of this and try to centralise the decent footage, backup up with some facts / figures on the cars (i.e. the kind of info / data you see in mags or SH reviews / features).

For me, WTAC and national events / series don't get more interesting, they get more frustrating (about the lack of easy accessible footage), it's getting to the stage where I'm rapidly loosing interest as the time is takes to go through multiple vids just to see some decent footage is simply becoming not worth it...

It's a real shame, as I love the idea of Time Attak and find what different people are building for it quite interesting.


lol @ taking it too far in an schassis. Its about half as far as all the purpose built cars at WTAC.


Clearly, with this "wrap-up" and previous posts of the event, SH is not the site you want to go to if you want any type of detailed coverage of WTAC. No in-depths looks, no spotlights, no real coverage on any team that didn't place in the top 3 of the pro-class. Almost no coverage of open class and hardly a mention of clubsprint.

This was about as light of a skimming as could have possibly been done. I'm glad you went, but I don't really see why SH even bothered to go at all, much less send two people for such a light breeze of event coverage.


As has been stated in this article and the two preceeding pieces, there is more content coming. Thanks for your feedback but you could perhaps read the article first next time.


@Oliver I don't think it's meant as an insult. That being said kit dragging on ground is pretty pointless.


As long as the classes are kept separate and distinct between the road cars turned TT and the silhouette / aero monsters, it's all gravy to me. I love seeing machines built to go as quickly as possible no matter how there get there.
I do have to ask though, why no slicks for pro class???


This is your car right? Definitely wasn't meant as a negative comment - the build is great, hence why it was included in the coverage!


FunctionFirst I think its fair to assume that most people were there for the faster cars - I was there in person and think this summary is pretty good. Its an overview after all, not an in depth feature on individual cars.


@Oliver Looked like a bad time when the monsoon came and there was a gaping hole where the sunroof used to be! Cardboard wasn't up to the task :)


@Dillon RobertEvery Maybe come to WTAC 2016??


AlexKing1 RobertEvery  Mate I live in England!  Not likely


@Dillon RobertEvery  Sadly it seems most fan footage is drifting which leaves me cold I am afraid. There are some amazing cars there at WTAC and all you seem to get is detail and interviews about one car, no decent wrap footage and no pure sound stuff at all.  Its odd as at most other motorsport events you often get the odd fan who uploads this stuff.

But I will submit that even at things like Gatebil all the footage is bloody drifting, so it seems that is all most fans like.

Sadly for me it is like watching paint dry.


RobertEvery To be honest, most fans are too immersed into the action (i know I was!!). You really need to be there for two days to take in the whole event. Everything from the Time Attack, Drifting, Drag Racing, Show and Shine, Traders Alley and more. 
There is great live feeds during the event that have not only sound but also a unique birds eye view of the cars. 
It might be worth you making the pilgrimage one year to not only see and experience WTAC, but maybe take the opportunity to see another country / visit workshops, etc.


RobertEvery Also when you are at the event you have a great opportunity to get up close to the cars at various stages of the weekend. There was a 'Walk through' on both days where the cars were pushed out of their garages into pit lane and all the punters were allowed to walk through and have a really good look. Plus you can walk past the garages right up close and get to take pics and talk to some of the guys when they're not too busy. 

Ultimately I agree with the Author of this Article. It's not the most engrossing event in terms of pure spectator sport like a 'normal race'. If the cars weren't quite tuned as much on edge and the ambient temps weren't so high this year, there would have been a bit more action. Perhaps they could run the main body of the event as a regularity so an average of say 10 laps. Then the top 5 fastest cars of each class go through to the Shootout where they can turn everything up to 11. 

It's not easy as a competitor. You spend a LOT of money getting the car ready (and we're only in Open class!) and there is such a short window of opportunity to do your best laptimes. Early each morning when the track is cooler. If you have some sort of mishap or another competitor goes off the track causing a Red flag...that's it. We lost 2 sessions to a Red flag without recording a time at all. Then there's the car that blows the motor and drops oil all around the track on the racing line. Or when you're on a flyer and catch up to slower cars and that's your lap done. For the amount of money we spend to get to this event and then do 5 laps in total for 2 days and only 2 of those laps are hotlaps...Very expensive pursuit!!!


FunctionFirst  Function

It is clear from this site that things changed a lot when there was a dropout of people a tear or so ago. But the core stuff is the same, there is less content now but things like WTAC are SH events.

Their main bag is drifting, hence they would get press access as theya re perhaps the main guys covering it with features rather than jst reporting, but even that coverage has taken a stpe back.

I dont come here as much as I did as I dont like the way the site works now, I preferred the old format, but it is still a great place to read about events I will never be able to attend


Blake Jones, do you have anymore shots of the scorch s15? I'd like to see the updates to the front end in better detail.


DinoSawr  He also races in the GT3 endurance series in a McLaren as well as being one of the best in Australia with radio control off road cars. Pretty much lives and breaths any sort of motorsport including driving a Sprint car! Legend


Happy to see Shane Van Gizbergen do so well! He's had a hell of a year in 2015 so far. To add to what was already listed, he just won the Saturday race at the Gold Coast V8 race, and he was part of the only team to win 2 races in the BlancPain Endurance series. Were it not for bad luck at the some of the other rounds, they would have been serious championship contenders.


Panning game is on point.


that last picture doeeee!


that gtr hat is the win! no one can stop you at any turn.


How come there is no factory team in time attack? I mean,its very popular branch of do drift.....but never factory teams.


the car was very good 
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