Welcome to Lazy Sundays 23, which comes to you after a week’s break. As the year winds down, awesome car videos seem to be coming more sporadically. Therefore, I elected to go with quality over quantity and choose the cream of the crop from the past two weeks.
To start this list, we head to Michigan for the Motovicity Speed Ring. The Speed Ring actually started as an event held by HKS last year. They brought Nob Taniguchi and their HKS GT1000 R35 GTR to the M1 Concourse and challenged the best of the best Time Attackers in North America to beat his lap; the prize for the winner being US $20,000. For 2017, Motovicity brought the Speed Ring back, again as a Time Attack competition, with cash prizes up for grabs in every class and up to $20,000 for the overall winner. But that wasn’t all. New for 2017 – and a first for any Time Attack event – were cat-and-mouse Touge bracket battles. For the Hot Version uninitiated, in the cat-and-mouse version of Touge, a lead and chase car complete a flying lap of the course. Passing is not allowed, rather the winner is decided by the time gap between the cars at the end compared to the beginning. It’s the lead car’s win if the gap is extended or the chase car’s win if the gap is reduced. Both cars get a chance to lead a lap with a tie-breaker lap if necessary. With new competitions and prize money on the table, the fastest teams from the USA and Canada descended on the M1 Concourse for two days of battle. At the end of the madness, it was Canada’s CanJam Subaru Impreza that took the grand prize in Time Attack (also, how many Time Attack monsters are lurking in Canada?), while the Professional Awesome Evo took Togue victory. Hopefully events like this are a sign of things to come for Time Attack.
Staying with Time Attack, here’s a feature on one of the craziest cars from the recently concluded World Time Attack Challenge (WTAC). While a gearbox failure spoiled Andy Forrest’s WTAC adventure in 2015, seeing the level of the competition convinced him that his Impreza needed a comprehensive upgrade. And by comprehensive, I’m talking a full Andrew Brilliant designed aero package and a completely custom inboard suspension system. In the power department, the Subaru SVX sourced flat-6 was converted from a twin turbo setup to a single for better response and well over 1000hp, sent to the wheels through a truly unique transmission setup. The engine sits up front, with a R35 GTR transmission at the rear axle and a chain driven setup for the front wheels, made with drag bike chains and a Ford Escort Cosworth differential. What’s more, he did almost all of the work himself. I can’t even begin to imagine the engineering that went into making this setup work properly, but it’s a stroke of genius.
Given the endless conveyor belt of epic automotive videos on YouTube this year, you would think that there really isn’t anything that would catch me off guard. However, every now and again, a car comes along that is so impressive, my only response is “Well damn…”. Case in point, this Foxbody Mustang did a 3.907 second 1/8th Mile at 203.25mph. Let that sink in for a moment. It went from standstill to 200mph in less time than it took you to read this sentence. How it does that time is unbelievable as well. This is easily the most stable drag car I’ve seen. Even with over 2000hp at the rear tyres, there’s absolutely no drama; it just hooks and goes. That’s frankly insane for a Foxbody on radial tyres and no wheelie bar.
This week, multiple auto news sources reported that Subaru was planning to discontinue the Impreza WRX STI, giving the tuning world a collective heart attack. Thankfully though, clarification has since arrived and it seems that only the UK will suffer the loss of the last remaining rally bred sedan (The loss of the Evo still stings Mitsubishi). It’s most fitting then, that also arriving this week was this video on the history of the WRX family, to help us calm down from a scare no Halloween trick could match.
Finally, we head to Big Sky Movie Ranch in California, the picturesque countryside featured in movies ranging from Little House on the Prarie to Transformers. Only we aren’t here for movies. Rather, we’re here to see Jeff Zwart take his Porsche 911 Carrera 4 rally car for a spin on some epic dirt roads. Jeff Zwart, an automotive photographer/ advertisement director and race driver, lives and breathes Porsche. His obsession with the brand started with his father’s 1964 Porsche 901. Fun fact: The Porsche 911 was originally meant to be called the 901. However Peugeot protested, claiming they had rights to any three digit number with a ‘0’ in the middle, hence the change a ‘1’. Still 82 cars were made with the 901 designation before the change and Zwart’s dad got his hands on number 35… and Jeff Zwart learned to drive in that car (learner vehicle goals). In motorsports, he is best known for success in US rallying and hillclimb racing. This Carrera 4 in particular took 7 overall wins in the now defunct US Pro Rally Championship, as well as an Open Class win at Pikes Peak. Now it’s back on its original proving grounds for some epic skids.
That’s it for another Lazy Sundays. We hope you’ve enjoyed the videos chosen over the past fortnight. As always, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram so you will know when new content arrives. Also, be on the lookout for a special World Time Attack Challenge video feature in the coming days.