Time At­tack

We play fly on the wall as the world’s fastest tin-tops pour into Sydney’s Mo­tor­sport Park

Motor (Australia) - - CONTENTS - by NICK GREEN pics ALAS­TAIR BROOK

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.

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