And now it's time to talk about the big boys…the Pro Class. This is a by invitation only class where almost all rules are thrown out the window. Engine modifications and engine position is completely unrestricted. Composite and carbon materials are allowed, and not a single piece of stock glass needs to remain. Basically the only original part of the car that must remain intact is the floor pan. So yes, suspension pick up points, control arms, subframes, anything and everything you can think of can be modified. There is a minimum weight of ~2,645 pounds (1,200kg) or a 20% maximum weight reduction from stock. Professional drivers are welcomed and are used exclusively by the vast majority of teams. Like the other classes that allow professional drivers, the spec tire for the Pro Class is the Advan A050.
With professionally engineered aero packages, this is not an easy class to be competitive in. Every aspect of these cars is carefully thought out and it is simply not attainable for a privateer team. Speed is money…how fast do you want to go?
The first day of WTAC competition did not disappoint one bit. Previous events have proven that the best has always been saved for last. Meaning the real fireworks are seen on the final day of competition, but there was plenty to talk about after day one. Wheels off track, mechanical failures, and some surprising and unexpected lap times kept spectators on the edge of their seats.
One of my personal favorite driver/car combos is the Scorchin S15 piloted by Under Suzuki. The S15 has gone through a major transformation for 2014. An Andrew Brilliant aero package, larger 2.3L engine, widened track and a redesigned suspension, are just a few of the highlights that helped propel the S15 to the top of the Pro Class leader board after the morning sessions with a time of 1:25.71. The upgrades had definitely paid dividends, as this was more than 2 full seconds faster than his 2013 time. It's really hard not to root for this program, Suzuki-san is NOT a professional driver. Heck, he's not even a mechanic or engineer. He is simply a guy who loves cars and the sport of time attack. He is an inspiration and a perfect example of what can be accomplished with dedication and desire.
After the fist couple sessions of the day Scott Stewart found himself at the top of the Clubsprint leader board in his Mitsubishi Evo. In the afternoon session he was dethroned by Dan Farquhar in the Royal Purple/IS Evo who ran a 1:40.56…which was less than half a second quicker than Stewart's time. The margin between the top three drivers in the Clubsprint class was less than one second!
One of the first major mechanical failures in the Pro Class happened to the Top Fuel S2000. I think it's safe to safe the rear wheel is not supposed have that much toe-in!