Think time attack cars, and chances are your mind will race to something like Under Suzuki’s S15, Ando’s Evo, or the wild competitors of WTAC’s Unlimited Class.
But for many, time attack is basically one step up from weekend track days. In no way, shape or form do you need 500+hp under the hood, and events like Attack are always good at reminding us of this fact.
At last year’s Attack Tsukuba event I focused on some kei cars that stood out to me, emphasizing how any car can be raced successfully at a track. This year it was a Suzuki Swift that I chose to highlight.
The Swift is one of Japan’s more popular domestic hatchbacks, and as the years go by one of the few left that are still available with a manual transmission. So kudos to Suzuki for continuing to stick with the MT, even on the newer Swift Sport models.
This ZC31S is such a great example of how you can slowly build up a car for some time-attacking fun.
The high-revving 1.6L M16A in its stock form developed around 125hp, but this one has been treated to a little dose of forced induction. With the turbo boost, power output has effectively doubled, and with that turned what would have been a 1m10s car around Tsukuba into something considerably faster.
Yokohama Advan A052 semi-slicks help put all the added mid-range torque down effectively around the turns of Tsukuba, while a Wilwood brake setup guarantees a strong middle pedal. To contain the generously-sized race rubber, the stock front fenders have been replaced with wider and vented aftermarket items, while the rear runs some simple bolt-on flares.
The interior has been largely gutted, leaving space to fit a bolt-in roll cage and a Recaro seat with must-have TAKATA Racing belts.
My favorite details were the adjustable GT wing, which is secured to the hatch with two sets of stays, and the diffuser that pokes out from under the rear bumper.
The driver managed a 1:03.224 lap, which must make the little Swift one hell of a fun drive.
If you’ve got a racer on a budget like this one, let’s see it in the comments section below.
Dino Dalle Carbonare