Global Time Attack Round 5 – Texas Edition
By Wes Dumalski
“Everything is bigger in Texas!” At least that's what they say. When I stepped off the plane my first destination was the bathroom. I unzipped with nervousness and as I relieved myself I realized that so far, the above cliche was completely untrue. After leaving the facilities with my head hung in shame I decided it was time to find MotoIQ's rental transportation for the weekend, the only issue was that something WAS bigger in Texas… DFW Airport is a sprawling affair and laid out about as well as… Umm.Err. Think of something that makes very little sense (poke stance perhaps?), multiply that by eleventy hundred and you have an idea of about how simple it was to navigate! I was beginning to worry I might not make it to the track on Friday just based on trying to get to the rental car facility! I finally took a tram, to a shuttle bus, hoofed it, and rode my skateboard a bit and made it to the budget car slingers of DFW. We lucked out with a free upgrade to a small SUV that made it handy to throw all of our crap in the back without getting shoved in to some economy piece. Upon driving to the hotel we realized that Texas is quite proud of how big their state is. EVERYTHING here is sprawling and spread out and I realized that we might actually go through a bunch of gas this weekend! After arriving at our luxurious accommodations we set out to get the lay of the land and check out the track.
|GTA Texas would play out on the infield 1.3 mile road course. Which layout they used should be evident if you watch our new in car video. #shamelessplug|
Coming in we KNEW that the 1.3 mile racing surface on which Global Time Attack Texas would be settled was NOT going to rival the Nordschleife; yet we were eager to see the GTA cars take to the track and launch their assault. As the fields continue to grow GTA has now divided their sessions in to two groups to place cars of similar pace in their own timed session. This would be even more necessary on the short track of the Texas Motor Speedway infield as the times were expected to fall somewhere between the high 30 second range for the Limited and Unlimited classes and up to high 40 seconds for the more mildly prepped enthusiast class. I for one was certainly curious to see how the difference in pace on such a short course would impact clean laps! Prior to the event I was looking for lap record information to try and form a basis by which to judge the times for the weekend; alas in both our research as well as the research by the Global Time Attack brains we could not find any previous lap records. TIME TO WRITE THE BOOK; GTA STYLE!
|Yes this IS the Texas edition of global time attack. Yes this IS a real badge on a vehicle we spotted while around town. Yes the first person to guess it correctly will win one of my used MotoIQ shirts worn for the making of this editorial, of COURSE it will not be washed!|
Heading to the track on Friday was a different feeling for us as in most cases GTA events are held over a Saturday/Sunday; for this particular outing Global Time Attack was partnered with Xtreme Drift Circuit and on Saturday Hot Import Nights was in full swing with their show festivities. Getting to the track on Friday was like heading to a family reunion, all of the amazing people that are regulars at these events were smiling around the paddock and prepping their cars for the first session. One thing Texas does bring is some HEAT. Arriving early in the day we expected to get some nice paddock shots before the sun set overhead and we were subjected to a healthy case of swampass. Wrong! 90 degrees at approximately 9:30 AM was a big departure from the weather we just came from. But for the sake of true motorsports journalism we took one for the team, packed our gear, and hauled our sweaty cracks around the track to get a good feel for our vantage points. We were worried that because the track was quite flat it might be tough to bring you decent pictures of different sections; this was offset by how close we could get to the action with some nicely placed concrete barriers around the track to protect our frames.
Something that we took notice of right away Friday were the changes made to the UMS tuning Evo. The car is sporting a brand new livery as well as some weight reduction and distribution to try and catch the boys from GST. One of the changes that is quite obvious is the major change to driver position. When I photographed the car and started to edit my shots something looked quite odd, the driver's head was visible through the back window of the revised 4 door. I was looking for them to do big things and run some very fast times however a slew of issues kept them wrenching on Saturday. An oil pump failure caused them to remove the pan and pump cover in the pits. In looking for parts they were able to source what they needed from Local Evo master Kevin Dubois at Evolution Dynamics.
|The newly revised UMS Evo looks quite good with its new livery. In talking with the team the driver's seat position was moved some 14″ rearward and they removed a significant amount of weight from the car.|
If this name sounds familiar it is because Kevin and his shop are the Owners and Builders of the now famous “Pikes Peak Evo”; Yes THAT evo, the one that flew off the side of the mountin and the occupants came away with very MINOR injuries. The Evolution Dynamics crew also had two customer cars at the event this past weekend. Joshua Dunn brought out his Evo IX to compete in the Street AWD class while Jeff Tan campaigned his Evo X in the Enthusisast AWD class; both of these cars normally being prepped for TTA in NASA competition. I also noticed an abundance of 500's flying around the paddock area. Fiat of Ft. Worth had them out in DROVES and on the grid for the event was Richard Dickey in the Fiat of Fort Worth/ Redneck Racing 500 Abarth.
|The Redneck Racing 500 Abarth was brought out to do battle in the enthusiast FWD class.|