Australian teams have reclaimed the podium at World Time Attack (WTAC) from the US and Japanese teams, taking 1-2-3 in both Pro and Open classes.
Strong winds throughout the event made things difficult for drivers, but did not hold back spectator numbers or prevent amazing times from being achieved on the track.
Warren Luff drove the Queensland-based Nemo Racing Mitsubishi Evolution VII to the number one spot in the Pro class, with his best lap time of 1.25.0200 on the Saturday creating Australian motorsport history.
Luff’s lap time undercuts the fastest ever V8 Supercar lap of Sydney Motorsport Park by over four seconds. It is the fastest ever WTAC lap, possibly the fastest lap in a tin-top car, and it was done on road-registrable Hankook Ventus TD tyres.
Nemo Racing manager Chris Eaton looked relaxed on the Friday after Luff pulled a time of 1.25.7400. After this, his team could have packed up and gone home and still won the event outright.
“We’d probably better not go too fast, they might not allow us back next year,” said Eaton.
“The car just loves the flowing corners of this course, and we’ll just keep getting faster.”
While all eyes were firmly fixed on the Nemo Evo, it was not the only car achieving incredible times.
The ACT-based Tilton Interiors Mitsubishi Evolution, piloted to second position by Garth Walden, was not far behind. Their best lap time of 1.27.1820 showed that tweaks to the car, including the addition of a Cosworth-spec engine and the switch to Hankook tyres, had paid off.
In third position the Hankook-tyred MCA Suspension Silvia S13 from Queensland, driven by Kiwi Earl Bamber, showed what can be done with good race car engineering know-how and what Bamber described as “an amazing team effort”.
“We didn’t have a huge budget, just the knowledge of how to do things right and where to spend our effort,” said MCA team co-manager Joshua Coote.
The MCA Silvia’s best time of 1:27.8080 is even more impressive with the knowledge that its rear-drive platform was up against numerous four-wheel-drive competitors, and that it wasn’t in top mechanical condition by the time it achieved its best result.
In the Open class, the result of Steve Glenney in the Hankook-tyred Dominator Mitsubishi Evolution from Queensland is also an eye-opener.
Glenney’s lap time of 1:30.7260 was good enough to have put them into seventh place in the Pro class.
Team manager James Willard says that the result came from thorough preparation, and because he chose to “put the absolute best of everything out there” into the car.
Article submitted by The Project Group.