6. Advan/Hi-Octane Racing BNR34 GT-R, driven by Mark Berry, fastest lap 1:31.905
While the new aero work on the Advan/Hi-Octane Racing BNR34 may not be the prettiest, it definitely works. Mark went 2.2 seconds quicker than last year with the only other change being a single BorgWarner EFR turbo. Last year the car had twin Garrett GTs. But due to the lack of availability, Mark wasn’t able to run the larger EFR that would have made more power. He is still running the same Hi-Octane RB30 engine and Hollinger sequential transmission from last year. Due to the floods in Queensland earlier this year, the team wasn’t able to finish the car earlier and get in some testing. Mark thinks with some more track time, development, and the larger EFR turbo, the car definitely still has more in it. He also mentioned he needs more time behind the wheel since the aero makes the car a whole different animal. If the team can get the car sorted, look for this car in the podium fight for 2012. The car’s only disadvantage would be the big heavy iron straight 6 and the heavy AWD drivetrain (total weight 1300+kg) which is the weakness of any BNR GT-R. But then again, Yokohama’s 295 wide A050 tires should help in that department. I think Richard, part of Mark’s crew, might even pick up a new sponsor for the team next year.
Mark Berry’s front bumper: WOW, how’s that for a splitter?
7. Prep’d Motorsport Lotus Elise GT3, driven by Warren Luff, best lap 1:31.916
Last year the Prep’d Lotus Elise was Australia’s quickest entry. It’s important to know that this car isn’t actually a Time Attack car. It normally competes in Australian FIA GT so it cannot really be developed beyond how it sits normally since it is a homologated race car. But when it’s WTAC time, Lachlan and the guys at Prep’d are able to turn up the boost some and remove any ballast (I’m guessing). Of course it gets to benefit by….well really just being a Lotus and weighing only 750kg. The Lotus of today still designs cars using Colin Chapman’s ideology that low vehicle weight is paramount.
Two days before Thursday practice, Ian and I dropped by Prep’d to see how the Elise was doing. What I saw was an Elise with virtually nothing behind the rear firewall:
Apparently the car was in a major accident in a GT race and the whole rear end had to be rebuilt. The Hewland transmission case cracked it was such a big collision. Prep’d just got the car back that morning and started to reassemble the car with a new engine, transmission, suspension, etc. Despite the massive rush to get the car ready the car was still able to do a 1:31.916 which is about 0.4 seconds quicker than its 2010 lap time. Warren Luff, an Aussie V8 Supercar driver, handles the driving duties for the Prep’d Elise at WTAC. For more information on this car, CLICK HEEERRREEE. The WTAC website has this car at 500hp at the wheels, but it actually was only making 400 on the dot at the wheels at WTAC 2011 (I saw the dyno sheet). On paper the Lotus certainly has the most potential, but the fact that this particular car is a homologated race car prevents Prep’d from building it as an all out Time Attack car. Will somebody else build an all out Time Attack Elise for WTAC 2012? We’ll have to wait and see. Expect to see this car in the top 10 again next year unless Prep’d preps a special Time Attack engine and they try to fit some bigger rubber under those already huge fenders. Or maybe some modular modifications that allow the car to go back and forth between a Time Attack special and a FIA GT homologated race car?
If anybody has plans to build an Elise, contact Lachlan at Prep’d for carbon widebody fenders, doors, roof, etc. And if you’re looking for a sequential shifting box that replaces the factory gearbox, you can also give Prep’d a call for that also as they’ve got Hewlands boxes in stock.
8. Panspeed FD3S RX-7, driven by Kouta Sasaki, best lap 1:32.0340
The brightest and most colorful car on the track this year was the Pan Speed FD. Everytime Sasaki came out for a timed lap, he just kept running 1:32’s all day long for both days. They definitely win the award for the world’s most consistent Time Attack car. Sasaki managed a best of 0.4 seconds quicker than last year. I’m guessing this is because the Japanese are generally quite conservative with their rotaries. The Aussies run their therdeen B’s closer to the edge and most American FD owners only race their FDs on a forum (or if they can’t even handle that, they install a Chevy LS engine). Pan Speed have expressed interest to Ian about returning to Sydney next year for WTAC 2012. Hopefully they either turn up the horsepower, add one more rotor into the mix, or Dunlop gives them a softer tire. Since this is probably my favorite car at WTAC outside of the Sierra Sierra EVO, I hope they do ALL THREE. Pan Speed has proven they have the most reliable time attack car. Now they need to prove they can go faster.
Look out for an in depth feature coming up soon on the Pan Speed FD on MotoIQ.
DAMN, this car looks good doesn’t it?