Road Atlanta, the one event we all look forward to. The one Round in the Global Time Attack Season that everyone shoots for, or commits to going. Far from the West Side of the US in which most of the other GTA Rounds are held, like Willow Springs Raceway, and Buttonwillow which is the famed GTA/SLB Round at the end of the year. But not to take away from the legendary Super Lap Battle, the GTA Road Atlanta Pro Round feels and acts like the Super Lap Battle East! Lol. If that where the case, but it’s not and that’s mighty fine with all of us.
This year was highly anticipated since we had most of the cars that were competing go through some changes in the off season. Just to name a few, starting with Erin Sanford, and his beloved “Salmon/Coral/Pepto-Bismol Colored LSV8 powered Nissan 240SX. My favorite car of the event, with clean lines, proper components, and just a straight beautiful execution from all angles. If you saw this car in person, you would stick around and give it a look or 2 just for sitting there. Well after a hiatus in the past GTA RA Events he fought through some battles with that car and came out to compete in Limited RWD with about 8 other competitors. Tired and with few hours of sleep like most of the other drivers, he still managed to take the Win and get 1st Place with a 01:29.759!! Then our good friends from Snail Performance Sally McNulty and Markos Mylonas came down with some fresh livery, a few new components and that all great attitude. Markos in true fashion aka “Record Breaker” and his nicely done Red Livery WRX went at it a few sessions, only to realize again some lurking gremlins that would put him back in the position of either going all out for one session with the possibility of his motor grenading itself, or leave it in the pits and just watch everyone else have some fun. But of course that’s not Markos, he went for Gold and got himself a 01:29.763 taking again the Street AWD record and another Waypoint Watch. Sally on the other hand came fresh with her super bright livery Subaru WRX and had aero issues to the point she had to ditch the front splitter and just go with her front bumper alone. Surprisingly the car held up and gave her a personal best of 01:36.939 which landed her in 3rd.
Thinking if there was any more room for record breaking that weekend, there was one particular person that would not only break the record but literally “Kill IT” which was William Au-Yeung, who shouldn’t be a new name to you by now, especially if you have been following Time Attack. So after a stunning performance at GTA Round 1 Buttonwillow earlier this year, which I mentioned in this article “Perfect Storm – Global Time Attack RD1 Buttonwillow 2018” he has been on a mission with his Vibrant Performance/PZ Tuning Honda Civic. Yup Honda Civic, you heard me right, coming out again with not only the Civic, but his other FWD Time Attack Race Car the Acura RSX. Both cars delivered and transported to Road Atlanta with a 4 person crew on their own, and all the way from Canada of course. Wishing William stayed out on track longer for me to capture him more, it wasn’t up to me to get that luck, but I believe in order to break the record you would have to take not only yourself, but your car to it’s maximum limits which William did it again, in his FWD Honda Civic killing it with a 01:19.509!! The standing record before that was 01:20.793 held by another GTA Competitor in the GST Motorsports Subaru Impreza L, and Jeff Westphal in 2016. Which you would think that was enough, but it didn’t end there, he got out of one car and into his Acura RSX to also take the Limited FWD record with a 01:27.745!! Giving William a new name in my books “Time Killer” for future reference, and to mark him in the history books of Time Attack.
Now this event had more to it, and as I mention every year on why I label this as my favorite event to cover all season. The fans, the crowds, the atmosphere comes all together like a huge family and after 3-4 days (most of us) it still feels it’s never enough. Lol. Georgia’s Southern Hospitality always delivers, that combined with the food is enough reason for me to come, even if I was just a Spectator. It’s by far one of the greatest experiences on the Motorsports Calendar for me, because Jason Dienhart the GTA Staff, the Drivers, and of course everyone else that work hard and do their part to make it happen every year. To all the Competitors and their teams, I want to personally THANK YOU for making Time Attack a Great thing to be part of. You guys come from all over to make that journey to compete here are at the forefront of this growing sport that will be even bigger next year. Of course, I’ll still be working with Global Time Attack to make sure you guys all get your spotlight, that to me will never end and I hope these photos bring you some great memories. -Rommel Estrada #timeattacklife