World Time Attack Challenge 2011 Pro Class Controversies

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Here you can see tubes galore, but the door sill, door frame/kick panel, and A-pillar are all still intact.

 

Controversy #4 – The Garage Revolution car is an ex-Super GT GT300 race car and/or it is tube frame.

 

Of course we already know this car has more tubes than a Metal Mulisha trophy truck, but it isn’t full tube frame (space frame for the rest of the world) car. Just like a Super GT GT300 car, it is a blend of tubes and a unibody. There certainly is a lack of steel unibody panels, but it does maintain the OEM shock towers and A/B pillars. It has parts of the factory sheet metal here and there too, but mainly it is a semi-tube frame car built within the remaining shock towers and A/B pillars much like a Super GT GT300 car is. So if the car isn’t an ex-Super GT race car, and I’ve been told by their translator that it was, then it is certainly built to mimic a Super GT FD RX-7. I can also say that if SSE built Christine to the rules that the Garage Revolution was built to, she would probably be around 400 lbs lighter (182 kg).  Technically, I would say it does not fall within the “spirit” of time attack, but it's close enough so it might. It depends on how the light hits the car I suppose…but damn is it a beautifully prepared car. If you are an RX-7 fan, you’d love this car. Ian thinks that the future might hold a split of the Pro class: tube frame and unibody sub-classes. Time will tell if time attack continues to get more and more hard core. Personally I don’t think I would like to see tube frame cars in time attack, but that’s just me. This car is one of those controversies that cannot be solved overnight. We’ll need to see how the sport continues to call this one. For now, we’re lucky it doesn’t have a 20B turbo engine in it. The combination side/peripheral port engine produces 600bhp at 1.5 bar Aoki claims.

 


Here you can see the firewall, shock towers, frame rails, and the sheet metal in between them are all intact. But the same cannot be said for anything on the outiside or in front of the shock towers. I was only able to glance at the rear when the team removed the hatch, but it's a similar deal in the back. Most of the sheet metal is cut out and replaced with carbon fiber panels and tubes.

 

Controversy #5 – Steve Glenney driving the HKS/GT Auto Garage R35 GTR was intentionally blocked by Dave Empringham in the Sierra Sierra EVO.

 

After last session, Steve Glenney (we call him Alonso) stormed into the Sierra Sierra pits with both hands up and says to Dave, “WTF Man?!? What was that?! WTF was that?!?” Alonso was PISSED OFF. Apparently when Alonso was on his 1st flyer, Dave decided to do his 2nd warm up lap. According to Dave, he had no idea Alonso was on a flyer. Then by the time Dave got back on the front straight and went for what was to be his hot lap, the transmission gave up near the top of 5th gear and spit out some gear chunks on to the track which hit the R35's carbon front splitter and bumper (sorry about that GT Auto). Learn from our lesson: never use a Group N rally gearset and apply twice the rated torque capacity to it. 

 


A furious Alonso bitches out Dave. Dave admitted he screwed up and apologized. The good thing was that Alonso got to go back out in the Pro B session. Alonso knew he wasn't going to win the event or anything this time, but his job as a hired gun was to go as fast as possible for the customer. In the previous TA session there was a red flag and Kinoshita blocked Alonso so you can imagine how frustrated he was. I spoke to Alonso at the party the next day and he was cool. He was just ultra frustrated at that point and Dave didn't help it.

 


Right above the T on the splitter is where the chunk gouged their bumper. The aero on this car was designed by Andrew Brilliant, but it didn't quite come out to plan. Andrew says he's going to be working on a version 2 pretty soon. This car had issues all week, but most of them were finally ironed out on Saturday and Alonso was making huge progress. The fastest lap Alonso clocked was a 1:32.413, but he felt a high 1:30 was definitely in the car. Not bad for a brand new car they just started building three weeks previous to the event. Keep your eyes peeled on this car for next year. With Alonso behind the wheel, it will be a serious contender.


So there you have it. I think I’ve covered all of the controversies here. Despite these items, it was still a damn good event. I’m sure the guys at WTAC are taking a break now from all of the craziness from the last three weeks, but I’m sure WTAC 2012 will be even better. The Aussie cars will step it up again and I suspect it will be a four or five way battle for the top spot next year.

Stay tuned for an article next week covering some of the Pro cars in greater detail.

 

 

World Time Attack

 

 

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