The Tuners Group's 2011 World Time Attack Challenge Wrapup
This year's World Time Attack Challenge was an epic event, and we had the privilege of being right amongst it in pit lane throughout the event, with Mark Berry's R34 GT-R sharing a pit garage with the Cyber Evo.
Some fantastic results were achieved by the cars we sponsor and by a number of our customers' cars, highlighted by:
- an excellent 6th place in Pro Class by Mark Berry in The Tuners Group sponsored Advan / Hi Octane Racing R34 GT-R,
- Stephen Kakavas improving on his 2010 WTAC lap time in his Open class Evo by a massive 5.97 seconds, and
- the Clubsprint class win by Marek Tomaszewski in the Tomaszewski R35 GT-R from a very strong Clubsprint class field of 34 cars from all over the country.
The event also saw the competition debut of two amazing Pro Class R35 GT-R's ... the GT Auto Garage / HKS Australia R35 GT-R and the Mercury Motorsport / Q-Scan R35 GT-R.
Below you can find info on how the cars did, the highlights of the event for us from an engineering perspective, some of our favourite photos from the event, and some great videos ...
Mark Berry's Advan / Hi Octane Racing R34 GT-R
Mark's incredible R34 has been sponsored by The Tuners Group for quite some time now, and a number of customers and friends of The Tuners Group who visited Mark's pit garage during the event got to see the aero changes made to the car for this year's event up close.
As the saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the changes made to Mark's car for this year's WTAC were a massive success, particularly the aero changes.
Last year at the 2010 WTAC, the car ran a 1 min 34.109 second lap. This weekend the car ran a 1 minute 31.905 second lap ... a full 2.2 seconds faster than last year.
At this level in Pro Class, where improvements are hard to make and are measured in hundreds of a second, 2.2 seconds is a truly massive improvement.
As mentioned in our earlier article about the aero changes to Mark's car, this year Mark is running one of our DJ Engineering rear wings. And frankly, the R34 rocks this wing hard.
The DJ Engineering wing is designed by Simon McBeath and was selected for the R34 by Mark Berry and an independent Formula One designer and aerodynamicist who is working with Mark's team this year, following a rigorous wing selection process which involved analysis of a number of wings from different manufacturers.
Mark's car also ran a much larger front splitter this year, and at the rear the car ran a large rear diffuser, which not only worked very well but also looked completely menacing.
Mark commented that the additional downforce of the new wing and aero package makes the R34 feel like a completely different car, and he is in the process of re-learning where the new braking points are and what the new cornering speeds are with the new aero package, new rear wing, and new greater downforce.
Looking at the car's 6th place result at WTAC 2011, all the cars it finished behind are absolutely top shelf pieces of time attack machinery ... the Cyber Evo, the Sierra Sierra Evo, the Garage Revolution RX-7, the Tilton Interiors Evo, and the Scorch Racing S15 - an incredible lineup.
Also impressive are the great cars that R34 finished in front of this year, including the legendary Panspeed RX-7, the Prep'd Motorsport Lotus Exige GT3, and the Team RevolutionNZ Evo.
It's also interesting to compare the R34's time this year to the Pro Class times at last year's WTAC 2010 ...
The 1:31.9050 that the R34 ran this year is just 1.31 seconds slower than the Cyber Evo's 2010 WTAC winning time of 1:30.587, and would have placed the R34 in 4th place at WTAC 2010 behind the Cyber Evo, Sierra Sierra Evo and Tomei/Cusco Subaru Impreza WRX ... with the Tomei / Cusco car's time just 4 / 1000's of a second faster than Mark's WTAC 2011 laptime.
So clearly the R34 has come a long way in a year.
While the R34's 1 min 34.109 second lap and a 2.2 second improvement on the cars 2010 WTAC laptime is very impressive, it is expected that there is more time left in the car, particularly once the new Borg Warner EFR turbo is fitted to the car (the EFR was not run on the car at WTAC 2011 but will be fitted to the car shortly).
Congratulations to Mark Berry and his hardworking team on a great result against a world class field.
The exact same model of DJ wing that Mark Berry is running on his R34 GT-R is available from The Tuners Group, so if you want one for your car, please contact us. More info about our range of high downforce DJ Engineering Wings designed by Simon McBeath can be found here ...
More info about Mark's car can be found here ...
Videos of Mark's car can be found here ...
Sharing a garage with the Cyber Evo
If there's one car you would like to be garaged with at an event like this, it is the winner of both this year's event and last year's event, the legendary Cyber Evo.
Just seeing the Cyber Evo up close in pit lane last year was an experience, but this year we had the absolute privilege of Mark Berry's R34 sharing a pit garage with the Cyber Evo.Works Bell Rapfix II Steering Quick Release installed in the Cyber Evo
We smiled when we saw that the Cyber Evo runs one of our Works Bell Rapfix II Steering Quick Releases - they're a fantastic product. When we commented to one of the Voltex engineers about the Rapfix II on the car, he smiled and said "this is normal in Japan".
WTAC always produces some special moments behind the scenes, and on the Friday night at the end of day 1 of the event, with Mark Berry's crew working late into the night on the R34, we had the privilege of seeing up close how dedicated and hard working the Cyber Evo operation is.Mr Akihiro Nakajima, President of Voltex, was hard at work meticulously making aero parts by hand to tweak the Cyber Evo's performance
Very late into the evening, in the Cyber Evo's half of the garage, a legendary figure Mr Akihiro Nakajima, President of Voltex, was hard at work meticulously making aero parts by hand to tweak the Cyber Evo's performance the next day.
Alongside him Voltex's Kensaku Maeda was hard at work preparing the Cyber Evo's front bumper and front splitter assembly.
When you see how hard the engineers from Cyber Evo and Voltex work, you can truly appreciate how much they deserve the success they achieve.
When we left the R34 in the garage at 1AM on Friday night and asked Mr Akihiro Nakajima how much longer he thought he would be working for, he replied "about another hour".
Out of respect for Mr Akihiro Nakajima's work ethic, innovation and dedication, we won't reveal what aero changes he made to the Cyber Evo on Friday night at the deserted racetrack, but we are truly honoured to have been able to watch him work. He is truly a master craftsman and supreme innovator.Mr Akihiro Nakajima, President of Voltex and Kensaku Maeda of Voltex with the Cyber Evo moments after it conquered the 1 minute 28's barrier
The next day the Cyber Evo went out and not only won the event, but dug deep into the unspoken territory of the 1 min 28's - posting an incredible 1 minute 28.851 second lap to win the event by 0.173 second.
Marek Tomaszewski's Win In The Clubsprint Class
A huge congratulations to Marek Tomaszewski for an outstanding win in the Clubsprint Class in his Nissan R35 GT-R.
In Clubsprint the rules include "All vehicles must have current road registration and be driven by the owner of the vehicle", so these are road going vehicles, driven by their owners.
We sponsored Marek's R35 last year and it competed at the 2010 World Time Attack Challenge and in the 2010 CAMS Supersprint series, and the car set a number of class lap records during the season, so we knew both the car and the driver had what it takes to win Clubsprint.
On day 1 of WTAC 2011, Marek blitzed the Eastern Creek track, posting a 1:42.568, the fastest time of the day in Clubsprint.
This put Marek ahead of Miles Tauber's potent Clubsprint class Croydon Racing Developments R35 GT-R, and Jason Naidoo's Clubsprint class IS Motor Racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evo by 0.92 of a second.
Marek's Day 1 time would also have him in the fastest half the Open Class field's times, the next class up, with his time in Clubsprint being faster than the times posted by 34 Open Class cars out of a field of 53 Open Class cars on Day 1.
On Day 2, Marek improved his Day 1 time by a further 0.077 of a second, posting a 1:42.4910.
This gave Marek the Clubsprint Class win by 0.217 of a second, with Miles Tauber's Croydon Racing Developments Nissan R35 GTR in second place with a 1:42.708, and Ovidiu Zaberca's Hi Octane Racing/Advan Mitsubishi Lancer Evo in third place with a 1:43.0140.
To put Marek's winning time into perspective against last year's times from the 2010 WTAC, the Clubsprint Class at WTAC 2010 was won by Nicholas Kalis in his Evo with a 1:44.3780, so Marek's winning time at WTAC 2011 was 1.887 seconds faster than the winning time at WTAC 2010 in Clubsprint Class.
Last year at WTAC 2010, Marek came 6th with a 1:45.6250, so his winning time this year of 1:42.4910 is a massive improvement of 3.134 seconds better than his time last year.
Congratulations to Marek on a well deserved win, a fantastic laptime, and the huge improvement in laptime since last year's event.
More info about Marek's car can be found here in this article about the car from last year ...
Stephen Kakavas' Open Class Evo
As mentioned in the leadup to the event, Stephen Kakavas is building a Pro Class WRX but as the car was not completed for the 2011 WTAC, he entered WTAC 2011 in his Open Class Evo.
At WTAC 2010, Stephen ran his Evo in Clubsprint class and finished 7th with a very good time of 1:46.4530.
At WTAC 2011, Stephen moved up to Open Class, and made a huge improvement on his 2010 laptime, posting a 1:40.4770, which was a massive improvement of 5.976 seconds on his laptime from last year.
This placed Stephen 20th in Open Class in a field of 56 Open Class cars - an excellent result.
Congratulations to Stephen on a great result and a huge congratulations on your 5.97 second laptime improvement.
We expect that Stephen's Pro Class WRX will be completed soon, and you can expect to see some great times from him once it is completed.
More info on Stephen's Pro Class WRX which is sponsored by The Tuners Group can be found here ...
Other cars we loved at the event
As we were working during the event, it wasn't until the racing was over on Friday and Saturday night that we got some time to wander down the pit lane and have a close up look at some of the cars at the event.
The GT Auto Garage / HKS R35 was an awesome piece of work, and featured a host of brilliantly executed things like the door and window design that looked like something from an Apache helicopter, right through to the excellent ducting and fabrication work under the bonnet.
The interior is all business and is a great piece of work - just like we like racecar cockpits to be.One of our detachable Works Bell Paddle Shifter and Rapfix II Quick Release bundles for the R35 in the GT Auto Garage / HKS R35 GT-R
The Mercury Motorsport Pro Class R35 GT-R also runs the same Works Bell detachable paddle shifter system for the R35.The detachable paddle shifter and quick release arrangement devised by The Tuners Group for the Nissan R35 GT-R
Along with the Works Bell detachable paddle shifter system, the Mercury Motorsport R35 and the GT Auto Garage / HKS R35 both run a Sparco Ring Steering Wheel in suede as shown above in the Pilatus R35 GT-R.
We are very proud of these Works Bell detachable paddle shifter setups for the R35 GT-R and it's great to see two more of the fastest R35's on the planet running this system.
The detachable paddle shifter system is now also being run on a number of Porsches and BMWs including a BMW E92 M3 currently being built for 2011 World Challenge, and our paddleshifters are also now seen regularly on a number of our customers' BMW M3's at the Old Nurburgring.
If you want a similar detachable paddle shifter system for your racecar, contact us as we can supply this system for a range of vehicles, not just R35's and M3's.Interior of the Garage Revolution RX-7
He said of the car:
This was one car in particular that I was very keen to see close up. The photos we'd seen of it looked incredible, but up close in the flesh, it is truly a masterpiece.
I spent almost an hour with the car just trying to take in every detail.
From an engineering perspective it is engineered and designed to an incredible level, but the execution of the build is also truly incredible.
The attention to detail shown in every aspect of the car from the quality of the welds, to the beautiful composites and carbon fibre work, to the touches like drilling out the bonnet hinges to save weight (early Porsche 911R racecar style), are all an inspiration to every racecar builder and race engineer on the planet.
It's a truly incredible car and I express my thanks to the Garage Revolution team for giving me the opportunity to look at the car in such detail."The bonnet / hood hinges on the Garage Revolution RX-7 are extensively drilled to save weight
Also as mentioned in this post on our blog, the Garage Revolution RX-7 sported a sticker at the event that is great news to true JDM enthusiasts all over the world ...
As mentioned in our blog post about this sticker ...
As The Tuners Group is of only 10 authorised overseas distributors worldwide for ARC listed on the ARC International website, we are very pleased to bring you a couple of photos of something that was there in plain view at the 2011 World Time Attack Challenge today, but which you had to look closely to spot ...
We couldn't be happier to see this. ARC is an iconic company in the automotive industry, and the sticker beckons very well for the future of ARC.
We love comebacks, and you simply can't keep a great company like ARC down.
We spoke to the crew of the Garage Revolution RX-7 about the sticker, and without pre-empting anything or giving anything away, all we can say is stay tuned to our blog for further updates as soon as we have an official statement from the ARC factory in Japan.
Smashing the 1 minute 28 barrierEastern Creek International Raceway. Image Credit: Will Pittenger. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Eight months ago, back in December, we published an article titled "Sierra Sierra Smashes Buttonwillow Track Record by 2.3 seconds. Is a 1.28.xx at the 2011 World Time Attack Challenge Possible ?"
In that article we wrote: ...
"Given that Sierra Sierra have found a 2.2% improvement at Buttonwillow since March, what would happen if a similar 2.2% improvement was achieved by the Cyber Evo compared to it's 2010 World Time Attack Challenge time ?
A 2.2% improvement on the Cyber Evo over it's 2010 World Time Attack Challenge time of 1.30.587 would see the Cyber Evo posting a lap time at Eastern Creek of an otherworldly 1 min 28.594 seconds. ...
Given that the Cyber Evo ran a 1.30.587 in 2010, they wouldn't need the full 2.2% improvement to be in the 1.28's. A 1.8% improvement by the Cyber Evo would see it posting a 1 Min 28.956 lap. (90.587 seconds x .982 = 88.956 s = 1 min 28.956 seconds)
At this level, a 2.2% improvement is monumental and a testament to the fantastic achievement by Sierra Sierra.
Can a car like the Cyber Evo that is already so heavily developed be improved by 1.8% to skip the 1.29's and break straight into the 1.28's ? If it can be done, the guys behind the Cyber Evo clearly have the skills, experience and wind tunnel access to do it."
Obviously the answer to that question was a resounding "yes".
So since at the 2010 WTAC the Cyber Evo ran a 1.30.587, and this year ran a 1 minute 28.851 second lap, they cut an incredible 1.736 seconds off their 2010 WTAC winning lap time. That's an improvement of a truly massive 1.91%.
Finding a tenth of a second of improvement on a highly developed car like the Cyber Evo takes a huge amount of work. Finding 17 tenths of a second as they did is truly incredible work.
So all up, it was a fantastic event for The Tuners Group, our customers, the cars we sponsor, and Time Attack motorsport in general.
When you take highlights like:
- Mark Berry taking 6th place in Pro Class and improving his 2010 WTAC laptime by 2.2 seconds with his new aero package
- Marek Tomaszewski winning the Clubsprint class trophy and improving his 2010 WTAC laptime by 3.134 seconds
- Stephen Kakavas moving up to Open Class in his Evo and improving his 2010 WTAC laptime by 5.97 seconds
... and combine that with ...
- sharing a pit garage with the Cyber Evo
- seeing incredible examples of Japanese racecar engineering up close like the Garage Revolution RX-7, and
- seeing Mr Akihiro Nakajima, President of Voltex making aero parts for the Cyber Evo late at night by hand,
... it was truly a remarkable racing event.
2AM is truly when races are won.
Videos from the event
Various videos from the event are here and new videos will be added over the next few days ...