Competition between Australia’s leading time attack teams is hotting up, with local squads completing crucial final track testing in the lead-up to Friday’s World Time Attack Challenge (WTAC) in Sydney.
After starting as a grass roots motorsport activity five years ago, WTAC 2012 will see 93 teams compete at Sydney Motorsport Park, including entries from Japan, the United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Event organiser Ian Baker said the intensity of development aimed at setting the fastest flying lap on semi-treaded street-legal tyres is “mind blowing”.
“World Time Attack has become an arms race to see who can build the lightest, most powerful and most aerodynamically effective car—and this year the Australian teams have really stepped up to try and meet the standard of the overseas squads,” he said.
One of the leading Australian competitors is expected to be the Hankook-supported MCA Suspension Silvia from Queensland, managed by Murray and Joshua Coote.
After finishing 10th in last year’s event the Silvia, driven by Superleague Formula driver Earl Bamber, has undergone a thorough upgrade.
“There have definitely been some big changes to the aero and suspension, which we are sure will make the car more competitive than last year,” Joshua said.
The front end gets a new diffuser, and rear of the car gains a double diffuser with two gradients, allowing it to function at a wider range of speeds. The body has also been lightened, with custom doors and plastic windows.
The engine gains 60kW and now makes over 470kW at the rear wheels, while the whole lot will be slowed down with bigger brakes.
MCA’s renowned suspension expertise has seen it replace the original MacPherson strut front suspension with a purpose-designed double-wishbone coilover set-up, while the rear suspension gets a custom cross member.
Joshua Coote says the changes, combined with more development time at the track, will allow the Silvia to better exploit the grip of the Hankook Ventus TD tyres.
“Last year we only had one test day before we arrived at Time Attack but we’ve had more time to set the car up for 2012.
“We’ve been very happy with the tyres; they’ve had good life and we’ve continued using the ones from last year for testing purposes,” he said.
Also racing on Hankook tyres will be the Tilton Interiors Mitsubishi Evo, managed and driven by former V8 Supercar driver Garth Walden.
Compared with many vehicles in the event, the Tilton Evo has undergone relatively minor upgrades since last year.
A Cosworth-spec engine adds 60kW, bringing the total to around 600kW. This extra power now goes through a new six-speed sequential transmission.
MCA Suspension refined the existing shock absorber set-up, and the suspension cross members were replaced with some hand-fabricated items.
The aero kit was also replaced with a new, lighter set-up. This and some other part changes have brought the weight down to around 1180kg.
Garth said these changes have been substantial.
“We’ve gained good time around some familiar tracks, so it’s obvious to us that the time spent on the car is paying off,” Garth said.
“The new aero, the engine and the change to Hankook tyres will give us the edge we need.
“Our goal is to win. Our car is a whole lot better than last year and we’re feeling pretty confident that we can do it.”
World Time Attack will run 10–11 August at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Article submitted by The Project Group.