Global Time Attack Round 3 - The Chicago Recap
By Wes Dumalski
Photography by Connor Harrison
Let’s get something straight…. I am not a professional journalist nor do I play one on TV, hell I didn’t even stay in some second rate hotel’s third rate counterpart last night. The reality is that I am just a dork that appreciates fast cars that turn both left and right. This trait coupled with my mediocre social skills afforded me the opportunity to cover the 3rd round of the Global Time Attack series this past weekend in Chicago Illinois. Unless you have been the victim of blunt force head trauma lately, you likely are aware that Global Time Attack is one of the newest time attack sanctioning bodies. What may not be realized is that with the recent announcement by Redline to cancel it’s remaining 2010 events GTA has moved in to the limelight as the sports premier organization.
After having attended many other time attack and trial events it was obvious to me that the people behind GTA are quite simply the MOST passionate about the sport. Having had the opportunity to be a fly on the wall all weekend, I was able to witness first hand where their priorities lie and let me be the first to say; they are certainly in the right place! GTA puts the teams and fans FIRST. They offer SERIOUS accolades and pay out real $$$ for the top finishers and I certainly wouldn’t mind finishing third at one of their events to claim the steak knives and off label beer! And for the fans they feature a live stream of every event as well as an on-site car show that ALSO pays out $. Seriously, had I known we would have parked in the car show just for a chance at some of the $ and prizes.
Insert trippy music and spiraling vortex of tie dye…. Let’s backtrack to the end of last week Wednesday when towards the end of MotoIQ radio our own Will Cannady was getting ready to wrap up the show when he received a call in from a “dodgy brit”… none other than Mike Warfield from GST. The call was to discuss some of the upcoming expectations for the Team’s efforts at GTA Chicago and since Mike is not known for beating around the bush, overall records were called out. In fact there were high expectations for the entire weekend, from GST to Professional Awesome looking to beat their previous record, to the debut of the FWING 2.0 from Chris Rado and the World Racing crew
|GST contemplates strategy for the day as Westphal supervises.|
This years Chicago event was held at the Autobahn Country Club’s South circuit. it is a 2.1 mile 15 turn road course that has proven to be somewhat technical and rewards mechanical grip over raw horsepower. Those were words that seemed to be the buzz around the paddock after the competitor’s Saturday morning shakedown runs and having ran there several times in Project 200SX I would have to agree. One thing that the teams seemed to be adjusting for were the bumpy areas of the track and after coming off of an event held at New Jersey Motorsports Park they may have found themselves surprised if they started off with car setups from the previous event.
The first session of the morning proved to be a test and tune for those that were unfamiliar with the track while mid-west local Ryan Gates blasted around the course. In fact Ryan’s fastest time for Saturday was posted in the first session of the day, a testament to his knowledge of the circuit and how to get around it quickly. Ryan posted up the 3rd fastest time of the weekend in his Limited AWD EVO X with a 1:30.692. Ryan has run some 4+ seconds faster here in testing however this was Ryan’s first time out with the car in some time. We look forward to seeing more of Ryan as his EVO X is always hauling ass. In fact not all of the 15 cars were out for the first session. One of my personal favorite teams, Professional Awesome, had unseated a head gasket on their Street AWD class Evo VII when tuning the car for the event. In typical PA style they thrashed on the car to get the gasket fixed only to grenade 4th gear just before departure. They frantically searched for a trans. and got it installed and made it to Autobahn to race for the weekend! The World Racing Scion came out of the trailer early in the morning looking largely uncompleted, I personally wondered if the car would even move under it’s own power during the race weekend…
|We were pleased to see Ryan Gates back on the circuit after an extended absence. His EVO X was looking clean in the paddock and fast on the track. I much prefer the car with the vinyl wrap removed.|
Walking around the GTA pits after session 1 it was clear that some of the teams were adjusting. GST’s “untamed soccer star” Jeff Westphal described the course as “bumpy” (among other adjectives). It was clear the Impreza was not setup to handle the less than perfect surface at Autobahn. Because the GST Impreza travelled in the World Racing rig for the mid-west event, they were limited in the spares they could bring. No shit nearly EVERYTHING they brought for the race weekend fit INSIDE the Impreza. These guys are hardcore and they didn’t let their lack of spares stop them. Having softer spring rates would have been the ideal change to make on the G Sled, however not having them resulted in Mike and crew lowering the can pressure in the dampers. Would that really work though?
|Jeff W- “Holy Sh!@ it’s bumpy” – Mike W “How do we fix that?” – Jeff W “Go to another track?”…|
|TurninConcepts goes through the car before the days action unfolds.|