The first ever Global Time Attack event happened about a month ago at Willow Springs raceway and I’m finally getting around to talking about it. Global Time Attack, or GTA, was started by John Naderi and Jason Dienhart with help from World Racing, AFI Turbo, and many others. It came about as an alternative to Redline Time Attack for the many teams who refuse to attend another Redline event (I’ll save those details for another post). The inagural event took place during a NASA weekend and teams had four dedicated sessions each day to go out and set their best time. There was no practice, no qualifying, and no super session race at the end of the day- just time attack. While details of the event were a little rushed, GTA still managed to attract some of the fastest cars in the country, if not world.
First on the list is GST Motorsports with their completely re-vamped Impreza L:
The car is radically different after their last outing (where they set the track record at the Cal Speedway Roval), with a chopped top, re-built roll cage, dry sump oiling system, relocated driver with a new pedal box, and a drivetrain that’s been moved down and farther back. Their debut weekend at GTA was spent chasing down gremlins such as inadequate crankcase oil scavenging. The suspension was also setup for a heavier car with a different weight distribution. All and all only two hotlaps were made over the course of the weekend and they still managed an overall win and new AWD track record with a 1:19.397. On low boost to boot. They also have less than a month to get the car as well sorted as possible before it goes on a boat to Australia for World Time Attack. The car went straight to Kognition after the event for some new aero work which I’m looking forward to seeing. WTA is going to be a good one, with cars such as the Sierra Sierra EVO (which unfortunately couldn’t make it out due to a scheduling conflict), the Cyber EVO, and the Tomei/Cusco Impreza all making the trip to see who is the fastest time attack car in the world.
The next big name out there was Christian Rado, who brought both the FWD and AWD Scions out to race in GTA and the NASA TT event.
Chris managed to win the TT Saturday, set a new best time and FWD lap record of 1:22.3, blow up a turbo, lose a headgasket, and have an intense champagne fight with Loi Song of Sportcar Motion. The World Racing Scions never fail to impress me and I spent plenty of time poking around their pits. Check out their video from the event here.
The third fastest driver of the weekend was JC Meynet in the OMG Racing/ AQ Motorsports STI. In the first morning session JC went around in 1:23.141, knocking off the record set last year by the Cobb GTR and making himself the man to beat for the rest of the modified class. It seems like well prepared teams tend to do their best in the morning, when the air is cooler and track conditions are the best. This was also the case last November at Superlap Battle, when Sierra Sierra and JC both set their respective Buttonwillow track records in the first timed session.
AQ’s closest competition came from LIC Motorsports, who have an incredibly nice looking and well put together car. I don’t think they even use zip ties or duct tape! We were all very glad to see them out racing after their recent family medical problems and the way last season went for them (check out their documentary, The Underdogs, for details). They clocked a 1:25.423 for 2nd place in Limited AWD and 4th fastest time of the weekend. They also went out for the NASA time trials, placing 2nd behind Rado Saturday and winning overall Sunday. Now all these guys need to do is quit being sissies and turn up the boost.
Next fastest was Tony from UMS tuning in his EVO followed by two closely matched BMWs from Berk Technology and Evolution Raceworks.
Mike Bonanni and VJ Mirzayan traded places for the lead in Street GT class all weekend, and at the end of Sunday it was Bonanni in the Berk Technology car who edged out VJ by less than two tenths of a second, breaking the Street RWD track record in the process with a time of 1:29.041. Congrats Mike and thanks guys for rocking the hellafunctional sticker.
Going down the list we have a pair of Sportcar Motion Hondas driven by Oscar Jackson Jr. and Renzo Marsano, two S2000s, two RX8s, three more Subarus, another EVO, and a Ford Focus.
AFI Turbo was out as a major sponsor of the event, setting up the live stream, giving away prizes, and providing free beer to everyone. They made some big changes to the S2000 in the weeks prior to the event which included a lot more horsepower (700), a new drivetrain straight out of a nascar, and a massive front splitter:
Unfortunately, the shift linkage for the transmission wasn’t working quite right and the car spent most of the weekend on jackstands. Jeremy Renshaw still managed to put down a 1:31.336, good for 2nd place in Unlimited RWD but far off the potential of the car and the overall lap record set two years ago by FXMD. The winner of the class was Casey Dennis in the GMR S2000 with Dennis Holloway taking home the steak knives.
Limited GT AWD was a class of four Subarus, with Travis Barnes in the Snail Performance WRX and Adam Aquino filling the rest of the field.
Adam was one of the few privateers out there with most other cars being shop owned or heavily sponsored. Adam built the car himself mostly out of pocket and this was his first outing with it. He also repaired a sticking oil pump at the track and was able to get it running again for Sunday. Nice work Adam, see you out at the next one.
Moving on to street class there was a close battle between Matt Dennison in another privately ran car and the Apollo Performance Subaru WRX. Apollo had the edge in horsepower, and in time attack I’ve found that the more powerful car will win a good 99% of the time. The fact that Matt ripped off his front lip in a pretty spectactular trip off track and through a ditch at about 100mph didn’t help things for him either, as Big Willow heavily favors cars with power and downforce. The driver of the Apollo car was Clint Boisdeau, once again doing double duty in the WRX and his personal turbo charged Ford f***ing Focus, and once again winning Street AWD and FWD at the same event. Clint and Matt were also some of the first supporters of hellafunctional, so thanks guys for showing people what we’re all about here.
All in all the first GTA event was a good one and there were plenty of hellafunctional stickers on display. thanks to John, Jason, Mike Kenney, and all the competitors for making it happen. The next one is in New Jersey and should have a great turnout of east coast time attack cars. Then Chicago where an east vs west Subaru shootout will take place, with Turn in Concepts, Element Tuning, AQ Motorsports, Top Speed, and GST Motorsports among the teams scheduled to be there.
For more info check out the Global Time Attack website.