10 Fastest Cars of the World Time Attack Challenge Pro Class
by Eric Hsu
Now that the dust has settled from WTAC 2011 itself and the thrashing to prepare in the weeks prior to the event, I'm going to attempt to do an overview of the 10 fastest cars @ WTAC 2011. It seems there was plenty of coverage of the event and the cars on sites, blogs, picture hosting sites, etc. but nowhere could I find a summary of the 10 fastest cars in one place. I'll also include some info I got from talking to team members, drivers, and owners or from what I heard second hand in the paddocks.
This summary needs to be done because 1) Time Attack at this point in time is getting serious on a global level and the 10 fastest cars were all seriously fast cars, 2) you as a Time Attack enthusiast need to know which cars to watch next year, 3) it's interesting to know the back story behind some of these cars, and 4) if a team is planning on building or bringing a car to Oz for WTAC 2012 (I know of a few already), this article can be referenced to see what they'll be up against. The guys at Superlap Australia, who run the Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge, have not announced a date for WTAC 2012 yet, but make sure to check out the WTAC website for updates.
If for some reason you missed the article on the Pro Class controversies, CLICK HEEERRREEE. Or if you're building a Pro Class EVO for 2012 and missed my pre-WTAC 2011 article on the Sierra Sierra EVO, CLICK HEEERRREEE.
Here's a quick overview video of Saturday.
The Pro Class at WTAC is definitely the class to be in since you have the world's fastest time attack cars competing against one another all on the same track. In the USA, the Unlimited class (equal to the Pro Class) isn't doing very well with all the event promotor splits and their rule differences, but at WTAC 2011 the Pro Class entries sold out 20 entry spots in 2 hours at AU$1199 per spot. Remember that Sydney is an expensive city and the cost of Time Attack entries are no different. It sounds like the Pro class might need to be expanded to 25+ cars perhaps. For more information on competitor entires, CLICK HEEERRREEE.
1. CyberEVO, driven by Tarzan Yamada, best lap 1:28.8510
As most of you already know, Tarzan and the CyberEVO ran the quickest lap of the event. According to Tarzan, the only gains in the car are going to be from him as the driver. He believes the car is maxed out in its current configuration. This car gets it done with very little weight (1040kg), moderate horsepower (550hp at wheels at 2.3 bar Tarzan speculates), and a responsive Tomei engine. If you watch in car video, it appears that Tarzan never shifts above 7500rpm. As it is, the owner of the car Mr. Takizawa the dentist, is having to scrounge up parts where he can find them to assemble IHI RX-6 turbos since they are no longer in production. Why does he stick to the IHI RX-6 turbo? I'm guessing because it was the lightest off the shelf (via Apexi and Power Enterprises) turbo since its origins come from the old Honda F1 turbo program . The bearing section is nearly indestructible and all of the RX-6 compressor sections are designed for high pressure ratios (aka high boost). This way Takizawa can run a small RX-6 turbo for good engine response and then crank up the boost for good power. Looking at the turbo in pieces (they had a failure), the first thing that surprised me was that it was only a TCW10 or TCW15 compressor section which are the two smaller of the four available RX-6 compressor sections. I'm not 100%, but I think Tarzan couldn't get a good lap the last session because of a hurt turbo.
Unfortunately I've heard that Unlimited Works, the shop that was maintaining the CyberEVO, and Voltex have recently severed ties with the CyberEVO team. Hopefully Takizawa can find some other partners to work with that will allow the CyberEVO to return to WTAC 2012. [EDIT: I have just heard from Ian from WTAC that things are patched up between Takizawa, Unlimited Works, and Voltex.] Tarzan also mentioned something to me about Takizawa possibly retiring the CyberEVO soon and something about a CyberGT-R??? I don't think it will happen for 2012, but that was interesting to hear.
Look out on MotoIQ for an in depth feature in the near future on the CyberEVO.
2. Sierra Sierra Enterprises EVO 8 (Christine), driver David Empringham, best lap 1:29.0240
A transmission failure via destruction of 5th gear on the front straight didn't let Emp finish the last session with the boost turned up. I guess we finally found the limit of the gearbox, but we were probably feeding it twice its rated torque. That's too bad because we were quite sure Emp would have gone considerably quicker than a 1:28.8510. Like I've said many times before, Emp and Christine lay down the lap times with brute power (800+ at the wheels) since she weighs so much (1270kg). The question I commonly get asked about Christine is, “Are there plans for Christine to go on a diet?” The answer is that I'm not sure because I'm the powertrain guy. At this point in time, we aren't too sure of Christine's future without sponsors. While we were able to get to WTAC 2011 with help from Royal Purple, Hankook, Turbosmart, Okada Projects, Cosworth, and Full-Race, testing and development back at home still costs plenty of $$$. The cheapest way for Christine to go faster is to go on a 200kg diet (reading this Richard?). As for Sierra Sierra, they are busy taking care of business that keeps the lights on: running a Ferrari Challenge team. There's plenty of time to figure a plan for the future since Christine's still on the water. Whether or not Christine will return to Sydney for 2012 is still up in the air, but we will sure as hell try.