Global Time Attack “Super Lap Battle” 2015
I’ve joked in the past that “Time Attack” is the “Professional Wrestling” of Motorsports. Not in the sense that it’s questionably real or has obnoxious intro music. More so, that it’s over the top, a great show, and takes a high level of skill, guts, and charisma to be successful. As well as being dramatic, full of characters, and having a core fan base that truly respects and enjoys the sport, even if others just think its nothing more then “qualifying” (which I don’t agree with at all). Having been on both sides of the coin with time attack and wheel-to-wheel racing, without having done both at a high level of competition, judgements cannot be made.
Global Time Attack “Super Lap Battle” brings out the top of the crop for the North American time attack scene every year. It is incredibly important to the west coast track community, since the event always takes place at Buttonwillow Raceway Park using the famed (or infamous) Clockwise #13 configuration. So with a readily available road course for both southern and northern California, in a configuration that is often ran, the health of time attack continues to grow with every annual Super Lap Battle setting new bench marks.
By now, the results of the quickest finishers have circulated the Internet through both social media and coverage from respectable outlets. This article is going to dig deeper into what made for such a great competition and the stories associated with many of the fastest drivers, teams, and cars that may not have received much recognition despite how deservedly they do. Being the largest turn out for Super Lap Battle to date, the quality of lap times out of the entire field was exceptional. Many records were broken, which is what Time Attack is all about. This year’s Super Lap Battle adopted a 2-day format for the first time to allow for less traffic for the high amount of cars and also a night of repairs in case any teams had large failures. Running both days was not required, but it definitely provided an advantage to those who did.
The morning’s mostly consisted of cars getting prepped for the first sessions within run groups, which were broken up into 4 different brackets based on time. Day 1’s first session did not count for time as to just get an idea of the pace of the competitors in order to fit them into accurate run groups. Global Time Attack staff kept a close eye on the pace of the competitor’s lap times and adjusted accordingly to make for the proper spacing for fast laps. In this photo, we also spy MotoIQ’s Mike Kojima and Chris Marion of KW suspension who were doing setup work on both the Evasive and Spoon cars.
Mike Kojima was working specifically with Spoon Sports USA/ Go Tuning and Dai Yoshihara to get the most out of the Unlimited class JDM Honda Civic Type R. The camaraderie seen above between Dai and fellow in-class competitor, James Hougton in the R division Integra Type R, is as big part of what time attack is all about.
Even the grassroots efforts, such as myself and Karla Pestotnik Racing, shelled out for pit garage so as to have the best working environment for such a serious competition. This came in especially handy, which will be explained later in the article.
Safety and classing tech inspection took up the first couple hours in the morning of day 1. With how tight-nit the community is, most of the owners and teams are upfront about the builds come day of competition. Of course in the name of accuracy, Tony Szirka of UMS Tuning and chief tech steward for Global Time Attack, the field is checked out with a fine tooth comb. Pictured here is Ryan Novak’s exceptionally clean and quick EK hatch Civic complete with a supercharged K20 engine making well over 400whp.
With the MotoIQ Project EF Race Car running in Unlimited class, few things needed to fit the criteria to be legal for the class. Despite being underpowered and a wheel-to-wheel racecar against purpose built time attack cars, I set out to try and turn some heads with a modest package. The only upgrades for the event consisted of higher grip tires, a larger splitter, and removing all of the car’s race class weight ballast.
The field gathers for the drivers meeting before the track goes hot. Specific safety and organizational information gets addressed to make for a smooth and fun event. It’s also fun running into all your friends from the community before the competition begins.
Bob Apodaca, Jason Dienhart, Tony Szirka, and Paul Kuzma (right to left) of Global Time Attack give collective input and take roll call from the competitor list to make sure everyone who needs to be aware of the important information for the event is in attendance and listening. These guys are a big reason the health of Time Attack in the West is still growing and alive.
Jon Via of NASA Arizona region was in charge of timing and scoring for SLB this year. With his experience as Time Trial director back in AZ, he was the perfect candidate for making sure everyone was clocked off accurately come competition.
Having some of the best corner workers around made for a smooth and safe event.