Global Time Attack Round 3: Willow Springs International Raceway

Global Time Attack Round 3: Willow Springs International Raceway

by David Kim

Big Willow at Willow Springs International Raceway is an unforgiving 2.5-mile road course that favors high powered vehicles and significantly rewards those with the finesse and confidence to push the limits of speed. Unsurprisingly though, this exhilarating track has claimed some of the finest engineered race vehicles throughout its creation since 1953. The first turn 1 and last turn 9 is unforgivingly quick to dish-out punishment for any driver error, and does not play nice with any chassis that is improperly setup for the high-speed corners. However, it is a challenging battlefield that is a favorite among many drivers that appeared at Global Time Attack’s 3rd Pro Am round of the 2017 season.

Another challenge for many drivers with both modified and “unmodified” cars was the blazing heat that arrived on this race day. Temperatures quickly went from normal 70s to the power, speed, and grip robbing high and dry upper 90s. Though it felt like we were standing on the devil’s playground, this was only a taste of the impending summer heat wave. Either way, “the show must go on” and indeed it did at full throttle.


Sadly, the heat did claim at least one victim, Justin Wesseling’s J-swapped Civic. Once again, a personal FF favorite of mine at this Global Time Attack event, Wesseling found himself with overheating issues after the first hot session. According to Wesseling, he pointed to a possible head gasket issue that required him to retire for the day. Thankfully, he already has plans for a fix to get back out for another race. Race it, break it, fix it, and do it all over again!

Although the quickly rising heat throughout the day took its toll on many drivers and their cars, the spirit of competition and the love for racing allowed almost everyone to successfully put down fast laps each session. However, there was definitely a trend of dwindling times as the temperature kept creeping towards the triple digits, but it didn’t stop these full-hearted enthusiasts from setting new personal bests and even setting new class records.


Bradley Herrock’s Civic SI makes another appearance to throw down quick times in the street FWD class.
As the Morpheus Miata is undergoing an engine transplant, Moti Almagor, converted his older Creampuff Miata to Morpheus spec so he could have something to compete in while Morpheus is under the knife. Creampuff like Morpheus is a very lightweight, very quick, and very sweet looking Miata.  Creampuff returned to play with the unlimited group.
Joshua Haddox and his LeMans Blue E90 M3 doing some last minute inspections under and away from the scorching rays of the sun.

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