World Time Attack Challenge (WTAC) 2017 was easily one of the best in recent memory. Aided by cool conditions on day two, competitors were able to extract the most out of their cars, resulting in a number of epic laps. So many in fact, that we decided to scour YouTube and gather all the best in-car footage we could find into one place.
There’s really no other way to start this list than with the champions, so first up is the Pro Class winning – and overall record breaking – lap by the MCA Hammerhead S13, driven by Tim Slade. Returning even stronger after a record breaking 2016, Slade lowered the Hammerhead’s 1:22.192 record by just over a second, to a 1:20.971. Everything about this lap is aggressive, from the rate that the surroundings go by to the visible effect that the downforce from the extreme aero package has on the car. Is this the fastest Time Attack car on earth? I’ll go out on a limb and say almost surely.
Next we have the Pro Am winning lap from the 101 Motorsports Mighty Mouse CRX, driven by Rob Nguyen. Since it burst onto the WTAC scene in 2011, Mighty Mouse has constantly and rapidly improved, and gained a giant-killer reputation in the process. It was fitting then, that in the final WTAC event before its retirement, it finally took the Pro Am trophy. The absence of Mick Sigsworth in the PMQ Evo and Chris Alexander in the CJA Motorsport R32 GTR – the latter due to an unfortunate fire during the Practice day – left a “what if?” in the air, but don’t let that take away from the 101 Motorsports team’s achievement. Only the PMQ Evo has gone faster than the Mighty Mouse’s 1:26.276.
In the ever competitive Open Class, another front-wheel-drive Honda took top spot. The JDM Yard Civic won the Open Class title on it’s debut in 2015, with Australian rally driver Adam Casmiri posting a 1:30.701. They returned in 2016 with basically the same setup and bettered that time to a 1:30.657, but it was only good for 6th place (such is the rate of improvement at WTAC). This year then, they returned with a new package, featuring a dry sump system, turbocharged K24 (as they had reached the limits of the original supercharger setup), Holinger 6-speed sequential transmission, Motec M150 ecu and digital dash and a revised aero package. With this new setup they broke the Open Class record by almost 2 seconds with a 1:27.562.
My favourite lap of the event surprisingly came from the Clubsprint class. Why, you ask? Firstly, the driver. You probably won’t know who Jordan Cox is, although you may have seen his giant killing heroics in a little red Honda Civic (you can watch an example of his skills here). Needless to say, the boy can steer. Then there’s the fact that the IS Motor Racing Evo 9 he was driving was set up by Bilstein Australia and Heasman Steering & Suspension; the same people that set up the suspension on his Civic. So it can handle as well. Those are the two main factors behind the cleanest lap I’ve seen outside of the Pro classes. The 1:36.839 lap broke the Clubsprint record by over two seconds. That time would have landed Cox around mid-table in the Open lass. That’s amazing when you consider that Clubsprint cars have far tighter restrictions on weight and aero, and run on Yokohama AD08R street tyres.
Now onto the best of the rest, starting with the mental PR Technology RP968. Many expected this beast – which used to be a humble Porsche 968 – to be the one to de-throne the Hammerhead this year. However, their brand new Elmer Racing 4.0L inline-4, billet block race engine (fittingly named Thor) was not ready in time for testing, meaning the team returned with last year’s setup. Still, they managed a new personal best (1:21.485) and second place finish with driver Barton Mawer at the wheel. Next year will be interesting when their new engine is sorted.
Third place went to fan favourite Tomohiko ‘Under’ Suzuki in his Scorch Racing S15. Under is one of the OG pioneers of World Time Attack, flying the flag for Japan since 2011. Unlike other Pro Class competitors, where the car is built by large companies, the Scorch Racing S15 is largely a privateer effort. Also, technically not a professional driver, he doesn’t even have to compete in the Pro class. He chooses to, because he wants to compete against the best of the best. While he has never won an event, the lap times continue to tumble consistently. This year, with driving lessons from Max Orido under his belt, he lapped Sydney Motorsports Park in 1:21.796, the fastest he has ever gone.
Another privateer who came out to fight with the best was Andy Forrest, who finished fourth in Pro. If you’ve read the latest Lazy Sundays, you would’ve seen a feature on his mental Impreza (if you haven’t you can watch that video here). While he couldn’t match the top three, a 1:26.952 lap ensured that he achieved his goals of being the fastest European representative and the fastest Subaru. That’s an impressive feat for a car that had its first shakedown just a few weeks before the big event.
The Mighty Mouse wasn’t the only fast Honda in Pro Am. Will Au Yeung made the trip from Canada to compete with his PZ Tuning Civic Si. If you follow the US Time Attack scene, you will know that the PZ Tuning Civic is not only one of the fastest FWD Time Attack cars in North America, but one of the fastest Time Attack cars in North America, period. Featuring a new engine and updated aero, the Civic was a model of reliability and consistency throughout the weekend. More importantly – as seen in this 360° video – it was fast, very fast. Its 1:28.473 was good enough for a second place finish. Considering that this was the first time Au Yeung had turned a wheel on Sydney Motorsports Park, there’s likely some time to be gained as well. Could we be looking at a potential Pro Am winner next year?
To round out this video collection, we’ll look at two Open Class cars that were by far the best sounding cars on track. First, the Croydon Racing Developments (CRD) R34 GTR, driven by owner Drew Hall. Having been competing since 2012, this well sorted car has years of development under it’s belt. The 2017 spec features a dry sumped, 2.7L stroker RB26 with a CRD spec head and Garrett 35/84 turbocharger – good for around 800hp – sending power to the wheels through a Holinger 6-speed transmission. Keeping all that power on the track is accomplished with AP Racing brakes, Bilstein coilovers and a Top Stage Composites V3 aero package. With this setup, Hall finished 10th with a new personal best time of 1:33.1150.
Last, but certainly not least, we have the undisputed loudest competitor at WTAC; New Zealand’s 3 Rotor Racing RX7, driven by owner Andy Duffin. The source of the orchestra coming out of the exhaust is a naturally aspirated, peripheral port 20B 3 Rotor, capable of around 650hp when the nitrous system is engaged. An Endless big brake kit up front and Fortune Auto 3-way coilovers work with a bespoke Kinetic Sim aero package to keep the lightweight beast under control. Duffin’s 1:31.178 lap was off his personal best of 1:30.486, but with the way that RX7 screams, I doubt anyone cared.
That brings us to the end of our WTAC video review. Do you have any predictions for next year? Let us know in the comments.