If you’re reading this, you’re probably at SEMA or WCF and I was suppose to go to both of those. But without getting you lost in other stories, I stayed behind to finish this feature, and gallery before the big Global Time Attack x Super Lap Battle coming on November 10-11th. As a huge enthusiast and supporter of Time Attack, I have always wanted to go to the “World Time Attack Challenge” in Australia. For years watching and reading up on the stories, the cars, drivers and the experience magnified me to make it happen. Well, I finally did it in 2016, and it was a tough decision since I also wanted to do those other events I mentioned, and some major ones, like the Formula 1 USGP Race, or the Tokyo Auto Salon in 2017. But being on a budget and trying to do some of these events can be hard, and since Time Attack has taken my heart for the longest, I knew I had to go to WTAC at least once. First and foremost the Australian people along with the New Zealanders I met and made friends with during this trip are some of the coolest people I have ever met. Truly friendly and talked about cars and racing during breaks was never ending.
Right when I stepped on the grounds of Sydney Motorsports Park, I knew right away why they chose this place. The massive real estate showed miles of track, with rising elevations, and clean sweeps, to blind turns that only the best of the best drivers could read. The venue was really up to date, with simple garage space for everyone. The stands had enough to house the fans, and the fields showed unlimited potential for grass grazers, campers and different viewpoints. It was almost like Laguna Seca and Road Atlanta all configured as one. Luckily for me, I wasn’t the only person from the US that went over. I got a chance to meet up with friends and Time Attack Drivers Ken Suen, and Cole Powelson who made it out, along with a few other industry heads.
Day 1, I went straight to the pits, and garages. Right away I started jaw dropping at some of the baddest looking Time Attack Race Cars in the World. From the noisy rotary powered RX-7’s to the insanely engineered Pro Class competitors, it was too much to see already. I really wanted to take my time and evaluate each car individually, breaking down the details like the use of countersunk fasteners to the completely revised suspension setups. WTAC had 4 classes which started from the Club Sprint Class by V-Sport that was your entry level cars, which mostly consisted of street driven with a track purpose style. No crazy aero, or heavily modified engines. Then you had the Open Class by Link Engine Management which started to look more like true track cars, aero mods, wings, and uncorked built engines. Here you can see how most of these cars would eventually make it into the Pro-Am or Pro Class eventually, but short of either money, sponsorship, and much more. Still the love and determination was equal. The Pro-Am Class by Turbo by Garrett, and Pro Class by Royal Purple cars looked around the same with heavily modified exteriors, full stitch welded frames and roll cages. With engine components ranging from full custom never seen before, to the best money can buy. These cars were insanely fast, clean to detail with no bullshit. Even the tools and staff worked like clock work around these cars. You can see the professionalism among all of them, doing what’s best for the team and their car. Not one soul was kicking back or playing games, they truly were all in and all for that one lap.
What’s different on each car, there is only one component that is the same, and that all WTAC Cars are running Yokohama Advan control tires in all classes. Directly supplied by Yokohama, no one gets special treatment, it evens out the field and provides fairness across the board, as all tires are ordered ahead of time and for all the teams. Every team has to pre-order prior the event, and there are no special tires or orders. But they can choose any combination of soft or medium compound tires within their class quantity and size restrictions. The Widest Tire they can use in any class is 295.
Officially WTAC is a 2 day event starting on a Friday and ending on a Saturday. But Thursday was practice day, and I didn’t want to miss a thing, as I knew that if I was going to cover this massive event without including the Drift portion of it, I had to capture as much as I could so that all you guys can visually see what took place. By Friday I already filled four 32GB memory cards, and only 2 left, but if you’re a gear head like me or that enthused of Time Attack then you’ll understand that it didn’t matter. So this gallery is my biggest to date, and following after this will be 3 other features in the upcoming days, on the Aero and Exterior differences of WTAC, and 2 cars I personally admired and covered at WTAC for the next RCO #006 and #007. As every day was something new, this massive event was surely to big for just one person but I managed my fanboiness, and captured some of the best moments of the event. Without going through a play by play time line of each class and how it broke down to the final laps. I’m going to give you a visual break down with my photography, and caption the photos as if you where there. Enjoy! -Rommel Estrada #timeattackforever