The Superlap Australia event format is slightly different than US and Japanese formats. I’ve never been to a UK Time Attack so I’m not familiar with their schedules. The Redline Time Attack and US Superlap events combine an open test day on the first day with morning test and 3-4 time attack session on the second day depending on the event schedule. It can be a bit of a clusterfuck sometimes because a “time attack” session is really just another session so sometimes you have to deal with traffic and starters who just don’t understand and/or give a shit about letting a car out on track that is going to ruin your hot lap. The Japanese events (Option Vid/Mag) are pretty much only for the magazine, DVD, and the shops so there generally are no spectators. There are also less cars at a Japanese time attack so they properly space the cars by only letting out two cars at a time with approximately a half lap spacing between which is only 30 seconds at Tsukuba. After three laps (warm up, hot, cool down) the cars come off and another two cars are up. The Japanese way is the best, but isn’t really going to work for a promoter who needs to generate a profit. However, it’s the absolute best way for the competitor and the purest form of a time attack. The Australian Superlap rules are a pretty decent combination. First of all, the Superlap event is combined with a track day that happens for two days before the event. So this Wednesday and Thursday were basically open test days thrown by another organization. The actual Superlap event occurs immediately after the open track days and lasts for two more days with three time attack sessions per day for a total of six time attack sessions. The cars are released with a 15 second gap and the sessions last only 15 minutes. In classes with a lot of competitors there are multiple sessions (e.g. Pro Class 1, Pro Class 2, etc.). A competitor has enough time for a single in/out and the starter will make sure that you go back on track with ample space in front and behind you. I thought that the Aussie system actually worked out pretty well.
Anyhow, here are the times as of the end of Friday. Click to enlarge. Note that the CyberEVO DID NOT run today. For some reason the teams swapped transponders. The two listed times are actually two different times for the Tomei/Cusco STi.
As I said the CyberEVO did not run today. After a JUN MIVEC intake cam broke and destroyed quite a few parts, they discovered more damage this morning and had to wait for parts. I am unclear on why they are using a Tomei engine with JUN cams, but I’m sure they have their reasons. I believe the team borrowed a cylinder head locally from an Aussie shop and had some JUN cams shipped same day via commercial airliner. Back in 2004, Mr. Takisawa “The Dentist” and owner of the CyberEVO saved my ass and gave me a couple of igntion coils that allowed me to continue running the XS Engineering EVO 8 at an event at the Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona. So I got permission from Dennis and we went over to the CyberEVO garage offering some spare parts from SSE’s parts bin in case they needed anything. Sierra Sierra ended up hooking up the Cyber team with 8 liters of Royal Purple Racing 51 engine oil.The CyberEVO runs an EVO IX head so they couldn’t use any of Sierra’s EVO 8 cylinder head, cams, etc. Anyhow after all the drama, the guys at Haltech brought over their giant tow truck, transported the car over to Haltech, and the Dentist re-tuned the ECU for the new parts and the Elf racing fuel on Haltech’s dyno. Ian from Superlap texted me earlier tonight and said the CyberEVO is good to go for tomorrow morning.
Emp cranked out a 1:32.248 in the SSE EVO 8 in the very first morning session. The Wynn’s pace car was going a little too slow so Emp cranked out the lap on half cold tires and brakes. We skipped the mid day session and went back out in the late afternoon session with the boost turned up a little, but a misfire surfaced. It seemed to have cleared up a little so Emp went for the hot lap, but on the front straight there was the loudest sounding backfire I have heard to date at the top of 5th gear. Afterwards the car kept misfiring even during cruise. Looking at the logged data I concluded it was a bad crank angle sensor. Mike from SSE replaced the sensor and it seems to be fixed after a quick and dirty test drive down pit lane in the dark. Tomorrow morning’s session will be executed at max boost.
I have to admit I am a little surprised the Panspeed FD is right there behind us with a 1:32.454, but Eastern Creek is a big enough track where a light weight car with a good power to weight ratio has the potential to rock an AWD car. The Panspeed FD is a damn nice car too like I said before. It sounds mean as hell at full boost down the front straight with Sasaki (a Super GT driver) banging the Hewland sequential through the gears. I nearly forgot how much I used to love rotaries, but RB26s are better.
The Cusco/Tomei STi is also right there behind the Panspeed FD with a 1:32.494. The car’s excellent power to weight ratio and AWD makes this car pretty damn fast. Tarzan says he thinks it will only go slightly faster since it is a little short on power (516bhp at the crank).
The R-Magic FD is a little ways back at 1:33.505, but who knows what they have up their sleeve? haven’t had the chance to dig a little deeper so I’m not sure what is going on with them. I’m not very worried about this car though.
The 5th fastest car is the factory Lotus GT-3 car with a 500bhp at the crank 2ZZ engine. It is the first time the car and driver have driven on treaded tires and a new suspension. The car is actually set up for one hour races in Australian GT except that during GT competition the car runs on full slicks. The guys at Prep’d Motorsport are way cool so I shoot the shit with them a little here and there. I met the owner of Prep’d at a pub (with guess who? Ian of course) and they too have offered us help if SSE needs a shop to work out of. Aussies are awesome.
The Hi Octane BNR34 GT-R had issues throughout the day. They had the cylinder head off when I left the track tonight. They’re confident they will get it all back together for tomorrow morning.
The Holden Commodore is an ex-Australian Supercar, but is set up for endurance racing and this is the first time the car has been on treaded tires. The car ran the 24 hours of Nurburgring in 2008 and the 24 hours of Dubai in 2009. I’m not sure how it does in endurance racing if it spits out flame like below. The guy, Mal Rose, ended up being pretty cool too. He’s pitted right next to us.
So far America #1 with Japan close behind with spots 2-4 and Aussies from the 5th spot and on. All the Aussies I talk to are very impressed with the Japanese and American cars. The crowds were spectacular today for a Friday. I don’t think anybody goes to school and work when Superlap throws an event. The track reported that they there were more spectators today than there were at past Australian Supercar events at Eastern Creek.
That’s it for now. I need to meditate for tomorrow.