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).
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 →
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:
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:
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 →