Team America World Time Attack – ARK Design's BNR32 Skyline GT-R Part 1
by Eric Hsu
When Richard from Sierra Sierra last year told me that the Sierra Sierra EVO was going to unofficially retire, I knew I had to find a way back to Sydney's World Time Attack Challenge for 2012. Ian Baker, CEO of Superlap Australia which is the promoter of the WTAC, already told me last year at 2011, “Mate, you are coming back in 2012 no matter what. Worse case, we're going to make you an eligibility scrutineer and all the teams are going to fucking hate you because you know your shit!” While happy to be a part of the WTAC staff, I think my home is in the pits with a team. That's not to say I might not take Ian's offer in the future of course.
While the BNR32 Skyline GT-R you see here has been resting underneath a car cover in a warehouse with it's engine turned 60 degrees once a week for the last 5 years, I also saw it as a ticket back to WTAC 2012.
I did pull it the car out of the warehouse once in five years and took the BNR32 to the 2008 IDRC Finals and won the GT-R Challenge. Luckily my competitor in the finals red lit and I took the win. Untouched from time attack form, the car ran a 10.3 second 1/4 mile ET with a mis-shift into 4th. I could not get the thing to shift into 4th gear with the stock transmission mounts moving all over the place. The run above is against Sean Morris in the RB Motoring BNR32.4 GT-R where I ran a 10.48 @ 137. I think this was the only run I didn't mis-shift, but I did short shift it for some reason.
Back to the ticket to WTAC 2012: Coincidentally around October/November of 2011, my friend Andy who is the owner of ARK Design, also asked me about what I thought about him building a Time Attack car to take all over the world for marketing purposes. Naturally being the Time Attack junkie that I am, I loved the idea. You see, the rest of the world outside of the USA actually gives a shit about road racing and people actually attend Time Attack events. If you break it down further: Time Attack is drag racing with turns except it's better. Drag racing is hard on the drivetrain, is ultra expensive to be fast at, and is too short in duration. While I enjoy the occasional drag race myself, I find Time Attack levels the playing field since there's a whole lot more skill involved for drivers, engineers, and mechanics alike. Plus Time Attack naturally filters out the shit talking rednecks who only know how to drive straight or in circles, separates the FFF forum shit talkers from the truly hardcore, and rich Supra/GT-R dynosheet racers all at the same time. An actual road race event is fine, but then there's too many possibilities of running into traffic, crashing etc. So therefore I believe that Time Attack is the ultimate platform to showcase a car, driver, and team's ability since it already includes many aspects of racing within it: drag racing (trap speed on the front straight), road racing with lap times without potential traffic or crashing, driver ability without the torture of an endurance event, tuning with the requirement to lay down full throttle big power for a sustained amount of time, and finally the oval trackish short attention span (it's only one lap).
Anyhow, so Andy and I made a deal where ARK gets the car and I am commissioned to build the car into the ultimate BNR32 Time Attack car within an allotted budget. Of course, a team of people are needed to build a race car so here are the guys I got together: