The Road To WTAC Starts Here
The Latest From Japan

World Time Attack Challenge 2018 is just over a month away, which means if you are an international entry the deadline to get your car ready is pretty much up. And that’s especially true for those shipping their cars in from the Northern Hemisphere, as the Japanese contingent are. The cars will spend a month at sea, arriving a week before they need to be at Sydney Motorsport Park.

However, when you scroll down through this post you’ll see that one very important car is missing…

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I made it down to the Yokohama port yesterday just in time to get a quick look at four of the five Japanese entries for this year’s event before they were locked up inside their respective shipping containers. Luckily, the typhoon that’s just wreaked havoc across Japan has now passed and won’t effect the cars’ departures.

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As I ran into the warehouse camera bag in tow, I came across these first two cars. My eyes locked straight on Naoki Nakamura’s brand new Nissan Silvia S15. The mix of candy colors and graphics made it instantly recognizable as a Pink Style build, but boasting a newfound freshness about it.

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Next to it was Ando-san’s wild Lancer Evo built by Escort, now sporting a revised aero package since they split away from Voltex. What I personally love about this car is the new livery; it’s a throwback to Escort’s old school drag racing days and a vinyl package fitted by Narita-san and Nakamura-san from Tokonatsu factory, the same guys that wrapped Project GT-R earlier this year. I’m so happy to see these guys recognized for their awesome work.

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As I was checking out Naoki’s car, I spotted two familiar guys walk into the warehouse.

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The man himself along with Shane Bingham of Stacked Inc., someone many of you will know for his skills behind the wheel as well as the parts he sources and ships globally from Japan.

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Taking a closer look at the S15, while the visual style remains it’s a very different car than what we’ve come to expect from Naoki.

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This time around there’s no SR20DET to be seen, rather a 3.4-litre Toyota 2JZ running a single Trust T88-38GK – the biggest of the T88 turbos – and backed up by a Holinger Engineering sequential transmission. With 1,100hp on tap, Naoki says it’s way faster than what he’s used to so it will be a ton of fun. Get ready to seeing the S15 tailed by monster-sized Valino tire smoke clouds.

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From the rear, it’s plain to see how different the Evo’s aero now is with a pair of wild wing end-plates that extend down to connect with a series of winglets on the corners of the bumper.

There’s also a fin that runs off the edge of the roof, down the rear glass (which is not glass but a dry carbon cover) and bolts up to center of the wing. I even spotted a series of vanes above the center-exit exhaust; I’m not sure what they would be for, but maybe they have discovered a way to tap into exhaust gasses to increase downforce… I’m kidding, of course, but it’s a curious addition nonetheless.

Along with each car is a ton of spares. I spotted six sets of Enkei NT03RR wheels shod with Yokohama’s finest and softest S-tire for Ando’s Evo, along with other parts and tools. This guy is so serious on bettering his time around Sydney Motorsport Park that he’s even bringing two fully-built billet block 4G63s with him, just in case.

HKS & The TRB-03 86
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If you’ve been following the WTAC 2018 entry announcements, you’ll know that HKS is bringing down their latest Tsukuba Record Breaker – the TRB-03 Toyota 86.

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The front bumper had already been removed, providing an unusual view of the car’s front end.

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It’s absolutely crazy how secretive HKS have been with this project; we’ve seen it before at events and throughout its evolution, but we’re still waiting to get the nitty-gritty on the car and learn all the secrets of the Andrew Brilliant-designed aero package.

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Maybe after this outing in Australia, HKS will give the media a bit more access into what may well be a WTAC title challenger.

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Mind you, the car is entered in its own demo category as HKS has pushed to run the car on custom Yokohama slicks, as opposed to S-tires.

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I was pretty surprised to see 20-inch Advan GTs fitted at each corner, as these are the same wheels (and slick tires) HKS used on the R35 GT-R GT1000 time attack car. Apparently these were thrown on to allow for a bit more clearance during transportion, as moving race cars in and out of containers and around ports usually results in unwanted damage.

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I still can’t believe how far pro-spec time attack cars have evolved in the last decade or so.

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Simple things like wings have been borrowed straight off of prototype racers, and the sizes are hard to believe.

But Where Is Under Suzuki?
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Along with the TRB-03, HKS is also bringing out their Drift 86 to compete in the International Drifting Cup side of the event with Nobuteru Taniguchi at the wheel of both cars.

With Nob and Naoki early headliners of the sub-event it’s going to a real spectacle, and there are still entrants to be announced.

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With pro drift cars demanding time attack levels of grip and control these days, I’m not surprised to see the HKS Drift 86 running on Yokohama Advan’s A052. I wonder if we’ll see cars drift on slick in a few more years…

And speaking of slicks, I’m guessing the wrapped wheels/tires that the HKS guys unloaded are the ones the TRB-03 will use.

But wait – what happened to Under Suzuki? The word on the grapevine is that he’s currently finalizing the build of an all-new S15 which has taken longer than expected to put together. Right now, Suzuki and the Scorch Racing guys are working around the clock to try and get the car ready in time to air freight it over to Australia a few days before the event. Talk about cutting it short!

With so many new cars, so many surprises, and still so much up in the air, WTAC 2018 is promising to be the best one yet.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

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35 comments

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1

Have we hit peak wing yet? Can they possibly get any bigger?

2

I'm wondering if these guys (not Andrew Brilliant or HKS) actually do aero testing or just throw darts at the board blindfolded.

3

I thought Brilliant DID the aero for HKS GT86 anyways...so...?

4

The level of technical know how and practice is almost next level.

It's become much more valid every year. Competition provides that. Just too bad only a few can really compete at the top. Given the costs.

5

A time attack driver/builder myself, it all just takes some research and there are some well known setups that work, and choosing what to go with and just developing by trial and error from there.

I personally try to stick to a stable low-drag setup, not so much all the crazy downforce because my car doesn't make alot of horsepower compared to others.

Author6
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Some do some don't

7

Mostly throwing darts. He had an explanation on camera about infinity wings that was flat out wrong at one point, stating the orientation of an aerodynamic appendage can add zero drag points to a car regardless of whether or not you are adding something into a stream of air flow.

My friend who built Senna's car explained that to me and corrected him when we were watching a video of Andrew together. But hey, I'm just a troll. Ignore me. No idea what I'm talking about.

8

Marko, I think maybe I didnt explain well. If by rotating the wing we reduced drag doesn't mean the rotation of the wing reduced drag. Just saying, its hard to explain such an in depth technical topic in a 5 minute video for general audience and satisfy a F1 designer at the same time.

9

Hey Andrew, thanks for taking the time to reply. Maybe it was just a mishmash of your words by mistake. I can see if you were trying to blow through a really technical explanation how that could happen.

I think it was the video you did with Kyle Engineers with a white Subaru. Car looked like a lot of fun to drive and very well setup. Thanks for the explanation!

10
Jay Soh Tsu Chung

Now even Naoki Nakamura has joined in the horsepower wars. I'm waiting to see those who always worship Nakamura start to rage. LMAO!

Author11
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I think it was all done to keep the Aussies happy, if they don't see gigantic clouds of smoke they wont be impressed :D

12

got that right mate!

13
Jay Soh Tsu Chung

But I think he does use this car for D1, doesn't he?

14
Pádraig MacCraith

This is a fresh build which he only tested recently.

15

The little "wing" over the exhaust is called a monkey seat and it's been proven to create more downforce. It's been banned in many motorsports.

Author16
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah on open wheel cars and sitting usually within the main wing itself. Not behind a bumper and on top of the exhaust

17

yup. but i've only seen it in open wheel application. not an expert by any means, but i can't seem to see how the airflow here would be similar in any way. which makes me agree with R.Bass - do these guys just throw darts? i guess that's the fun at this level, the experimentation.

18

Surely these teams would use CFD software simulations rather than "throw darts". At this level and these extremities i'd assume no one is investing time and money bringing cars around the world thinking stuff might work. At the very least they probably use cotton tuft or liquid testing.

19

The cars designed by us and Sammy at DAS will have had hundreds of CFD test as well as on car testing and correlation.

20

I just wondering now, where's Under Suzuki? Haven't heard any news from him.

21
Pádraig MacCraith

Last paragraph :)

Author22
Dino Dalle Carbonare

He's trying to finish up something very special!

23

The "monkey seat" in F1 at least does use the exhaust gasses to increase its efficiency but I've never seen one on a "tin top" before. I'm surprised we haven't seen a blown diffuser yet in Time Attack... or I have I missed it?

Author24
Dino Dalle Carbonare

You mean with fans to generate more downforce?

25

No, not quite. The idea is you feed exhaust gasses to the diffuser in an attempt to the seal the airflow and stop it spilling out the side of the diffuser itself. The exhaust gasses act like a barrier on either side of the diffuser by creating a difference in pressure which if done correctly can hugely increase its efficiency. It was a big F1 development a few years ago until they banned it. They were even "blowing" the diffuser when the driver was off the throttle, using clever mapping to keep the throttle open but not generate drive but create more downforce... Effectively like ground effect without the skirts. I am surprised more Time Attack teams dont use a basic blown diffuser at least... I'm not an aero expert but that's how my simple mind understands it.

You could do it with a fan, the Brabham fan car managed it with incredible results.

26

The problem with blown diffusers in more grassroots or time attack scenarios is the off-throttle portions that you mentioned. I remember reading in an article awhile back that without the off-throttle exhaust mapping, you lose the extra downforce created by blowing the diffuser almost instantly when you let off the throttle, which makes the car super unpredictable and snappy (I imagine it being similar to an F1 car when the DRS sticks open under braking, like what caused Ericsson to crash under braking last race). The cars sure sounded awesome with the blown diffusers

27

You are right, with out the off throttle blowing you'll instantly lose the additional downforce generated by blowing the diffuser making the car unpredictable, especially if you relying on that additional downforce in a corner. Although I'm sure its not beyond some of the tuning companies to map in off throttle blowing. Surely its just a case of changing the ignition timing and allowing fuel in? I know its not as "simple" as that but I'm pretty sure they could do it.

Maybe it will crop up in Time Attack soon, maybe we'll even see a DRS system as well.

28

Very cool, detail article. Nice to see Yokohama pushing the limits.

Author29
Dino Dalle Carbonare

They should do a one-size control tire for time attack with reinforced construction so time attack cars can continue to evolve without blowing tires under extreme aero loads.

30

Can't wait to watch all of this year the circuit up. Naoki can hopefully adapt to the new car on a loud pedal course with minimal brakes.

Author31
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Naoki will kill it for sure. Keen to see the show he'll put on, the guy is a true legend behind the wheel

32

That little wing under the exhaust is for using the gasses to make downforce. Its like a "monkey seat" in F1. The exhaust and air are existing faster under the wing with than the air over, creating some downforce.

33

I love these Time Attack cars. It really opens my eye to small development ideas for my car, mostly how important 'ducting' really is. It gives me a lot of ideas to play with in my head and on paper to later implement onto my own car. I can only dream of ever being up close to a full on dedicated time attack machine like these so photos will have to suffice and give me ideas of what can be looked at for much much lower tier time attack aspirations.

34

Upside-down blown diffuser? It looks like part of the rear aero is missing since the brackets aren't holding up anything.

35

Ando is friggin ballin!

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