We play fly on the wall as the world’s fastest tin-tops pour into Sydney’s Motorsport Park
WORLD TIME Attack Challenge (WTAC) has graduated from a tuner sideshow to an annual motorsport and car culture event.
The centrepiece of this event-cum-motoring festival is mega-kilowatt, nitroussucking, boost-gulping race machines, purposely designed for war with the Sydney Motorsport Park tarmac. Built by tuner heroes, their panels are festooned with delicate carbon-fibre aero and enormous diffuser packages that make GT3 racecars look just a bit quaint.
In the hunt for one perfect lap, the cars are turned up to 11. Strategies are devised, with preservation secondary to finding another tenth. In each of the seven years since the inaugural 2010 event, Pro Class has broken the Gardner Grand Prix Circuit’s tin-top lap record, such is the rate of progress.
This year was no exception. The MCA ‘Hammerhead’ S13 Silvia with Supercars’ wheelman Tim Slade took the event’s top step with a record-shattering 1:20.97.
At Supercars’ Sydney SuperSprint in August, Slade’s fastest qualifying lap was 1:28.9 and Scott McLaughlin earned pole position with a 1:28.3. Time-attack cars contend on road-legal semi-slicks, a fact eagerly repeated by the category faithful.
“Its extremely tricky compared to any other circuit racing,” a champagne-drenched Slade said. “The cars have a huge amount of potential with the grunt, and more so the aero grip. You don’t get a whole session to build up. You only have one lap before the temps are through the roof. You have to have a lot of trust.”
His finish is an immense 1.23 seconds faster than his record-setting, event-winning effort in 2016. More importantly, it narrows the distance to the outright lap record. He’s now 1.83 seconds away from Nico Hulkenberg’s (Formula 1 driver) 1:19.14sec lap, set in an Lola Zytek during the 2007 A1GP.