For the first time at a Global Time Attack event a fwd not only breaks the long standing record, but tops it off by clenching the fastest overall time. Every year at Road Atlanta it seems to change between who to look out for or what to expect. No matter how many times I’ve tried, my predictions never match the results. With my mind set at the usual Unlimited AWD class taking the best time of the day, I search the list for the players. Seeing Brian Faessler return with his Paul’s Automotive Engineering Ford Mustang and the only Pro/Comp entrant, he was extremely fast last year but just got edged out by last year’s winner Jeff Westhphal driving the hard to beat GST Motorsports Subaru Impreza and LYFE Motorsports Nissan GTR driven by Cole Powelson. So off the bat, I figured if it wasn’t going to be Rick MacPherson with his DBW Motorsports GTR or Tony Szirka and his UMS Tuning EVO, or just maybe one of the Canadians with their oh so powerful Honda’s might do it. But if I placed a bet as if it where a Vegas sports book I would have lost for sure.
The expectation was that William Au-Yeung or James Houghton were going to go fast, and yes, maybe beat the FF record 1:25.555 held by Chris Rado since 2012. The result, well they both break the record and left themselves the last 2 standing to see who would edge out who, and come out on top. Both K-powered and both Honda proud, and session after session. it was William and his Vibrant/PZ Tuning Honda Civic that clocked in a 1:23.358 beating James Houghton’s 1:24.341 with his K-Tuned Integra Type R. William goes into the history books stapling the track record, and the first to take a FF Platform to the top of Time Attack.
As for the rest of the field, there was nothing short of fast cars. Dez White and his DSR Pull-A-Part Porsche 911 Turbo finally clenches a 1st in Unlimited RWD with a 1:28.599. Followed by Phil Grabow of Element Tuning and his new LS powered Toyota FRS with a 1:31.837, and topping off 3rd in the same class was So-Cal Native Jason Sharek who happens to be a first timer at this track. Unfortunately, his beautiful AMG C63 lost a wheel during a session and ended his day with a 1:34.115. Returning from last year Sally McNulty, and Markos Mylonas from the Snail Performance Camp were able to podium again in Street AWD grabbing 1st for Markos with a 1:31.870 and 3rd for Sally with a 1:39.055. Second place went to Chris Bickford in his Mitsubishi EVO X at 1:37.694.
Limited RWD had the biggest roster with over 12 entries. Previous West side driver Tony Fuentes takes the win with a 1:31.270 in the Solo Motorsports BMW 135i. Followed by Steve Greene in the Master Grade Engineering Chevy Corvette with a 1:34.009, and local boys Dan Kang and Matt Isbell from ZEN Motors with their beautiful Lexus IS300 placed 3rd with a 1:34.881. Other fast times came from Chris Boersma in Limited FWD with a 1:32.428, also a Canadian who’s part of the same K-Tuned Camp with James Houghton. Ken Xu, who also came all the way from California, and his Diamond Hills Collision Mazda RX7 took the Street RWD with a 1:34.738. Douglas Wind in Street FWD took home 1st again with a 1:32.958 with his Dodge SRT4, and one of my personal favorite cars, Pure Tuning’s very own Tony Calabrese, and his clean functionally equipped Subaru STI #888 taking 1st in 2015, 2016, and now 2017 in Limited AWD with a 1:29.681.
Road Atlanta will always be a guarantee for me every year. I always say and will continue to say it, nothing beats the fans, the food and the overall atmosphere of this place. Mighty proud to see a lot more media and coverage at this event as it shows that Time Attack is here to stay in North America. And will continue to grow as more cars get built, more drivers find interests, and returning drivers come back to either reclaim their title or set new records. Who knows you might see me next year.. lol.. -Rommel Estrada #everysecondcounts