New records at Global Time Attack x Super Lap Battle 2017

Lately in US time attack, it seems all the progress has been happening in street class and FWD. Part of that I think is due to the high bar set in unlimited and rule changes in mod/limited. When the Hankook Ventus TD came out, there was a huge drop in ltd class lap times, with a bunch of cars going between 1:44 and 1:48 in 2014-2015. The one that really stands out is Professional Awesome with a 1:42.694 in 2015. After that, the TD and flat botttoms were banned, and we’ve seen a definite slowing down of times. They’re pretty much back to where they were 10 years ago and now street class is going that fast.

Unlimited class teams like Sierra Sierra, Lyfe Motorsports, FXMD, and GST built incredible cars, set records, and then have not been back to superlap for years. The new crop of cars have been getting closer to the overall, but at Buttonwillow, and many other tracks, old records still stand. This year the stage was set for a potential new fastest time and a great AWD battle between Jager Racing/Yimisport, Andy Smedegard, and Professional Awesome, But Jager and ProAwesome were plagued with mechanical issues during the event. Andy appeared to be able to run consistently and reliably both days and put down a best time of 1:40.051, which was enough for the overall win and is the 3rd fastest time ever. Mark Jager and Jeff Westphal in the Pro Awesome Evo both managed a few good laps after installing new engines overnight, but were not able to improve on previous times. I hear Jeff was on pace for a sub-40 when engine 2 blew up and the evo burst into flames coming out of the esses.

photos by Yia Lor

Street, like ltd/mod, is another class where tire technology resulted in big jumps in lap times. First, it was the Advan AD07 and 08. Then the Hankook RS-3 came out we saw a few seconds of improvement. Now we have the Bridgestone RE-71R, which might be sticky enough to be used competitively in limited. In 2015 Tony Fuentes went 1:48.802 on a set in an S2000, which is still the overall time to beat in street class. Street AWD has been a little more exciting, with the record changing hands every year since 2012. First it was Alex Peng with a 1:54 beating the 2010 time set by Martin Musial’s no-expenses-spared AMS evo X. Then Brian Bengali improved on Alex’s time in the same Massimo Power evo. 2014 saw Mark Jager take the record in a Subaru after a long line of evos, and then last year it was Cody Miles in his Airlift Performance STI. This year, Markos Mylonas edged out the old time by half a second with a 1:49.353 in his Snail Performance WRX.

FWD is another category where a lot has been happening, with new records in unlimited and ltd the last few years. In unlimited, Chis Rado’s time from 2010 in the wild, front winged, 1000hp Scion seemed untouchable. Then, in 2015, Dai Yoshihara managed to top that by over a second in the fairly mild Spoon Sports Civic. That Civic got a pretty big overhaul, going to a center drive position and bigger turbo among other things, and while they improved by a second, did not quite get a lap at their full potential. Last year, William Au-Yeung brought his Civic from Canada and set an even faster time of 1:43.3 which is notable as the first FWD car to go faster than the HKS EVO. This year he took that car (with some pretty significant improvements, especially in the aero department) to WTAC in Australia and finished 2nd in Pro-am. We’re looking forward to seeing what it can do at Buttonwillow.

James Houghton, another Canadian, was last year’s runner up and only a few tenths behind Will in his Integra. He was back this year, got the win, and took a full second off Will’s time with a lap in 1:42.288. Only about 6 cars have ever gone faster than that. This Integra does more with less and proves there’s much more to going fast than sticking a huge wing and splitter onto a 1000hp car (although those things all certainly help).

Going down to mod/ltd FWD, we’ve seen a similar story. Tim Kuo and Sportcar Motion held the top spot for years until a Canadian came down and took the win. That was also Will Au-Yeung, but in his other really fast fwd time attack car, an Acura RSX. Then Chris Boersma has won and set a new record the last two years, which now stands at 1:48.424. That’s not just fast for FWD- excluding the Ventus TD times it’s among the fastest limited cars regardless of drivetrain.

So here’s a roundup of all the class records at Buttonwillow, with new ones in bold

URWD: 1:37.520* – Billy Johnson – FXMD NSX – 12/8/13 ETA
UAWD: 1:38.967 – Jeff Westphal – GST Impreza – 11/14/14 SLB
UFWD: 1:42.288 – James Haughton – K-tuned / Lavigne Integra – 11/10/17 SLB

LRWD: 1:44.456 – Cody Kishel – Excelsior Corvette – 11/14/14 SLB
LAWD: 1:42.694 – Jeff Westphal – Pro Awesome EVO – 11/12/15 SLB
LFWD: 1:48.424 – Chris Boersma – Boersma Racing Civic – 11/10/17 SLB

SRWD: 1:48.802 – Tony Fuentes – Honda S2000 – 11/12/15 SLB
SAWD: 1:49.353 – Markos Mylonas – Snail Performance WRX – 11/10/17 SLB
SFWD: 1:52.122 – Chris Boersma – Boersma Racing Civic – 11/14/14 SLB

ERWD: 1:55.518 – Dom Bautista – Honda S2000 – 11/12/15 – SLB
EAWD: 1:56.325 – Craig Peyron – Outlaw STI – 11/14/13 SLB
EFWD: 2:01.314 – Pradana Wilianto – Godspeed CSX – 11/14/13 SLB

 

History of the Buttonwillow Track Record

The first Super Lap Time Attack event in the US was way back in 2004 at Buttonwillow raceway. I wasn’t there, but if you were to track down an old guy like John Naderi and get him liquored up I’m sure he would tell you all about it.

Since then Buttonwillow has been the benchmark for fast time attack cars in the US. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened to time attack if they had picked a different track. Something not in the middle of nowhere, with better facilities and nearby hotels and entertainment (spring mountain?). Would we have something more like WTAC by now or would RTA have imploded earlier and set things farther back. Maybe the cheap track rentals and $40 motel 6 rooms help keep things accessible. It’s not Eastern Creek or Tsukuba, but  Buttonwillow is what we have.

Ok back to that first Superlap in 2004. The Sun Auto Cyber Evo was there with Tarzan driving, and crushed the competition with a time of 1:48.906. The next fastest time was 1:54.2 (also by Tarzan, he was driving a bunch of cars that day).

cyber_evo
1:48.906 – Tarzan Yamada – Cyber Evo – 2004-2007

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Top Times at Buttonwillow CW13

Yeah, I know I have the top 40 already, but that leaves out many of slower categories and class records. So here are the top 5 in each class. Some of them go way back

Unlimited AWD

1 – 1:38.967 – Jeff Westphal – GST Impreza – 11/14/14 SLB
2 – 1:40.051 – Andy Smedegard – Gridlife / RSMotors Evo – 11/10/14 SLB
3 – 1:40.417 – Cole Powelson – Lyfe Motorsports GTR – 11/14/14 SLB
4 – 1:41.046 – David Empringham – Sierra Sierra EVO – 11/9/10 SLB
5 – 1:41.309 – Mark Jager – Jager Racing/ Yimisport STI – 11/11/16 SLB
Continue reading

Buttonwillow time attack track records

Updated for 2017

Unl RWD: 1:37.520* – Billy Johnson – FXMD NSX – 12/8/13 ETA
Unl AWD: 1:38.967 – Jeff Westphal – GST Impreza – 11/14/14 SLB
Unl FWD: 1:42.288 – James Haughton – K-tuned Lavigne Integra – 11/10/17 SLB

Ltd RWD: 1:44.456 – Cody Kishel – Excelsior Corvette – 11/14/14 SLB
Ltd AWD: 1:42.694 – Jeff Westphal – Pro Awesome EVO – 11/12/15 SLB
Ltd FWD: 1:48.424 – Chris Boersma – Boersma Racing Civic – 11/10/17 SLB

Str RWD: 1:48.802 – Tony Fuentes – Honda S2000 – 11/12/15 SLB
Str AWD: 1:49.353 – Markos Mylonas – Snail Performance WRX – 11/10/17 SLB
Str FWD: 1:52.122 – Chris Boersma – Boersma Racing Civic – 11/14/14 SLB

Ent RWD: 1:55.518 – Dom Bautista – Honda S2000 – 11/12/15 – SLB
Ent AWD: 1:56.325 – Craig Peyron – Outlaw STI – 11/14/13 SLB
Ent FWD: 2:01.314 – Pradana Wilianto – Godspeed CSX – 11/14/13 SLB

*some people don’t like that FX did it at an extreme speed time attack event instead of SLB/GTA or RTA. Their next fastest time is 1:40.379 at SLB 2012, which would also be a URWD record.

Unlimited Class at Superlap Battle

Unlimited Class is where the shops, race teams, and manufacturers go to see who can set the fastest overall lap time, with very few rules- basically, it has to be a car with a vin number (no track day specials like a radical), and depending on the event you may have to use a DOT approved tire. Way back in 2007 Nob Taniguchi took the HKS EVO out for a 1:43.523, which really kicked off the unlimited class arms race. Sierra Sierra Enterprises built their EVO and Factor X upgraded the NSX with the goal of re-taking the record. SSE finally beat that time in 2010 (1:41.046), only to have it taken away by Factor X the next year. FXMD is the current overall record holder, with a time of 1:37.520 they set last year. Right now I’d say there are very few cars capable of beating that time, and most of them are overseas. Well, that’s enough history for now, here’s what happened this year: Continue reading

SLB x GTA Limited Class Recap

This year SLB had a great turnout in Limited class, with a good mix of new cars and familiar faces, including the return of Professional Awesome to time attack with a newly built EVO after a bad crash last year.

In front wheel drive, Tim Kuo has reigned supreme in the Sportcar Motion Integra, having won SLB and reset the record three years straight. This year William Au-Yeung of PZtuning brought an Acura RSX all the way from Ontario, Canada, and the results came down to less than 2/10 of a second. Both cars beat the existing record of 1:52.886, and Au-Yeung took the win with a time of 1:51.789. I kind of like the LMP style fin:

pztuning

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Three New Street Class Records at GTA x SLB Finals

Last week’s Super Lap Battle saw plenty of records fall, some of them years old. In street  front wheel drive, Ken Suen improved his previous time of 1:58.9 set at a Redline event in 2013 with a 1:55.602, driving the “hellahellafunctional” Godspeed/Sportcar Motion Big Red Honda Civic:

bigred2
photo by Kyle Lewis

Only three other street FWD cars have ever gone sub-2:00 in a time attack event, with Clint Boisdeau holding the previous record of 1:59.0 in his Ford Focus for two years until Ken came along. Continue reading

Buttonwillow CW13 Time Attack Track Records

This post is out of date. Please see the new version here

Buttonwillow time attack track records

Overall:
1:37.520 – Billy Johnson – Factor X Motorsports Development NSX

Street
AWD – 1:50.206 – Mark Jager – Jager Racing / Yimisport 06 STI – 11/14/14
RWD – 1:51.259 – Rif Dagher – Plattform A.G. C7 Corvette – 11/14/14
FWD – 1:55.602 – Ken Suen – Godspeed/SCM Civic – 11/14/14

Modified/Limited
AWD – 1:44.062 – Jeff Westphal – Professional Awesome EVO – 11/14/14
RWD – 1:44.456 – Cody Kishel – Excelsior Corvette – 11/14/14
FWD – 1:51.789 – William Au-Yeung – PZtuning Acura RSX – 11/14/14

Unlimited
AWD – 1:38.976 – Jeff Westphal – GST Motorsports Impreza – 11/14/14
RWD – 1:37.520 – Billy Johnson – FXMD NSX – 12/8/13
FWD – 1:46.736 – Chris Rado – World Racing Scion – 3/28/10

Buttonwillow CW13 top 50 times

A few people asked for more times, so I added some.

Updated 12/4/17

01 – 1:37.520* – Billy Johnson – FXMD NSX – U RWD – 12/8/13
02 – 1:38.967 – Jeff Westphal – GST Motorsports Impreza – U AWD – 11/14/14
03 – 1:40.051 – Andy Smedegard – RSMotors/ Gridlife Evo – U-AWD – 11/10/17
04 – 1:40.417 – Cole Powelson – Lyfe Motorsports GTR – U AWD – 11/14/14
05 – 1:40.742 – Steven Aghakhani – Steven Eacing Lambo – pro/comp – 4/15/17
06 – 1:41.046 – David Empringham – SSE EVO – U AWD – 11/9/10
07 – 1:41.309 – Mark Jager – Lost Art/Yimisport/Jager STI – U AWD – 11/11/16
08 – 1:41.853 – Elliot Skeer – Savvy / SP GT3 cup – pro/comp – 11/10/17
09 – 1:41.925 – Cody Kishel – Corvette – U RWD – 11/11/15
10 – 1:42.258 – David Haagsma – SP Engineering GTR – U RWD – 4/15/17
11 – 1:42.288 – James Haughton – K-tuned / Lavigne Integra – U- FWD – 11/10/17
12 – 1:42.594 – Ken Dobson – Professional Awesome EVO – L AWD – 11/11/16
13 – 1:43.365 – William Au-Yeung – Vibrant/PZ tuning civic – U FWD – 11/11/16
14 – 1:43.523 – Nob Taniguchi – HKS EVO – U AWD – 11/7/07
15 – 1:43.923 – William Au-Yeung – PZ tuning RSX – 11/10/17
16 – 1:44.372 – Tarzan Yamada – Cusco STI – U AWD – 11/12/08
17 – 1:44.456 – Cody Kishel – Excelsior Corvette – L RWD – 11/14/14
18 – 1:44.589 – Daijiro Yoshihara – Spoon Sports Civic – U FWD – 11/10/17
19 – 1:44.788 – Anthony Szrika – UMS Tuning EVO – U AWD – 11/11/16
20 – 1:44.984 – Emilio Cervantes – Supermiata – U RWD – 11/10/17
21 – 1:45.262 – Cameron Rogers – Donate Life RX7 – U RWD – 11/10/17
22 – 1:45.541 – Graham Downey – Blacktrax S2000 – U RWD – 11/11/15
23 – 1:45.552 – Tarzan Yamada – Crawford Performance STI – U AWD – 11/10/09
24 – 1:46.119 – Mark Jager – Lost art/Yimi/Jager STI – L AWD – 11/11/16
25 – 1:46.370 – John Carson – JD Motoring EVO – L AWD – 11/11/15
26 – 1:46.736 – Chris Rado – World Racing Tc – U FWD – 3/28/10
27 – 1:46.829 – Paul Gerrard – AMS Performance EVO X – U AWD – 11/10/09
28 – 1:46.868 – Paul Brown – JIC Magic GT2 – U RWD – SLB 11/12/08
29 – 1:46.893 – Tyler McQuarrie – C-West S2000 – U RWD – 11/12/08
30 – 1:47.248 – Casey Dennis – United Agencies BMW M4 – U RWD – 11/10/17
31 – 1:47.295 – Mike Chang – Evasive GTR – U AWD – 11/11/16
32 – 1:47.425 – Emilio Cervantes – Angry Panda Racing EVO 9 – L AWD – 11/11/14
33 – 1:47.472 – Rob Walker – Evasive FRS – L RWD – 11/11/15
34 – 1:47.758 – Ivo Mitkov – Renner Motorsports RS – L AWD – 11/11/15
35 – 1:47.791 – David Haagsma – SP Engineering GTR – L AWD – 11/11/16
36 – 1:47.987 – Tim Kuo – Evasive EVO 9 – U AWD – 3/28/10
37 – 1:48.038 – Tyler McQuarrie – Platte Forme AG M3 – L RWD – 11/14/13
38 – 1:48.072 – Kip Olson – Driving Ambition NSX – U RWD – 11/10/09
39 – 1:48.424 – Chris Boersma – K-Tuned Civic – L FWD – 11/10/17
40 – 1:48.430 – Will Wattanwonkiri – WWR Racing 240SX – L RWD -11/14/14
41 – 1:48.464 – Tony Fuentes – Honda S2000 – L RWD – 11/11/15
42 – 1:48.471 – Billy Johnson – M-Workz 350Z – U RWD – 11/12/08
43 – 1:48.483 – Ryan Passey – Goodwin Racing Miata – L RWD – 11/10/17
44 – 1:48.550 – JC Meynet – AQ Motorsports STI – L AWD – SLB 2010
45 – 1:48.597 – Jack Mardikian – Twins Turbo RX-7 – U RWD – SLB 2007
46 – 1:48.766 – Tyler McQuarrie – JIC Magic 240SX – U RWD – RTA 2007
47 – 1:48.772 – Paul Gerrard – AMS Performance EVO 8 – U AWD – SLB 2007
48 – 1:48.802 – Tony Fuentes – Honda S2000 – S RWD – SLB 2015
49 – 1:48.817 – Graham Downey – Blacktrax S2000 – L RWD – SLB 2014
50 – 1:48.897 – Brian Lock – COBB Tuning GTR – L AWD – RTA 2010
51 – 1:48.906 – Tarzan Yamada – Sun Auto Cyber EVO – U AWD – SLB 2004

*some people don’t like that FXMD set their record at an extreme speed time attack event instead of SLB, GTA or RTA. Their next fastest time is 1:40.379 at SLB 2012.