The 2016 World Time Attack Challenge proved that you can have quantity and quality in one place. It is arguably Sydney’s JDM Mecca and I was lucky enough to be selected to be part of the Downshift Aus team to experience it
Being such a big event there are several practice days prior to the main event on Friday & Saturday.
Under Suzuki learnt from previous years that too many changes in a short period don’t end well. There are many elements in a time attack car that rely on each other. Perfect balance takes time and each modification must be tested extensively.
During practice laps on Thursday, the hood of the Porsche from RP-968 flew off at 250km/hr (155mph) on the main straight. To repair the damage the team had to get the mould from the workshop and do overnight repairs in time for the next session.
It was impossible to predict the Pro Class winner as there was no standout lap time.
For several teams the main engine ingredient was a billet SR20 block to retain the high boost levels. MCA Suspension’s Hammerhead was pumping out approximated 35-45 pounds of boost!
Pro Class consisted of rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive platforms. This year it was dominated by RWD finishing in 1st, 2nd & 3rd places which surprised many people seeing the now retired AWD Tilton Racing Evo won the last 3 consecutive years.
It wasn’t just the times that broke records. This year saw the most entrants, spectators, biggest show ‘n’ shine and even a higher number of media recording the event. The Downshift team were too happy to be a part of it.
The research and engineering that goes into these cars are absolutely astounding. Travelling around some corners, the Pro Class cars are able to produce over 2 tonnes of downforce. It just goes to show what these wings and diffusers can do. Without a doubt, when it comes to Time Attack cars the most noticeable feature is the Aero.
The 2015 record time of 1:23.7770, set by the Tilton Racing Evo was broken this year by Tim Slade in the Hammerhead Nissan Silvia S13 with 1.22.1920. In fact, the top 3 Pro Class cars broke the 2015 record. It just goes to show how tight this year’s competition was.
Barton Mawer finished in 2nd place with a best time of 1:23.0380 in team RP 968’s Porsche 968.
Under Suzuki finished in 3rd place with a time of 1:23.1310 in the Scorch Racing Nissan Silvia S15.
Congratulations to Nathan Morcom and Matt Longhurst for breaking the Open Class record of 1:30.
After chasing Time Attack cars each day, there was nothing better than watching the International Drift Challenge entrants pour out of the sunset.
Drifting saw a fair few entrants including the one and only Mad Mike with his Humbul, and Daigo with his wild Murcielago.
Congratulations to Michael Rosenblatt for winning the International Drift Challenge.