This year’s World Time Attack Challenge 2016 came and went in no time at all. Almost mimicking the nature of the racing, the two-day event was all action, then abruptly nothing.
Time was spent ogling cars, watching on-track showcases, mingling with race teams, buying merchandise, and cheering the wild time attack cars as they race by. With barely enough time to enjoy all aspects on offer on the Friday and Saturday of the once-yearly event, we still managed to cram in as much as possible.
For those unacquainted, the World Time Attack Challenge is a congregation of some of the fastest cars from around the world, all battling each other to compete for the quickest lap time around Sydney Motorsport Park. There’s an extremely diverse mix of styles and cars that come together – and that’s just on the track. There’s also several other attractions like drifting, a Show’n’Shine, top speed runs, and a range of aftermarket stalls and displays.
The event was graced by the presence of special guests like Keiichi Tsuchiya, the father of modern drifting, current drifters including ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett, Chris Forsberg, and Daigo Saito. Pagani were even kind enough to send over their jaw-droppingly beautiful 2.3 million euro Huayra BC. Talk about a special guest…
Fortunately for us Australians, though, it was our very own Tim Slade, who usually races for team Team BOC and Freightliner Racing in the Supercars Championship, who took out the WTAC title for the year, with a stonking 1:22.19 lap record in the MCA Suspension Nissan Silvia S13. That’s more than 7.0 seconds faster than a V8 Supercar… in a 25-year-old Nissan.
With WTAC 2016 now in our wake, take a look back at some of the sights and moments from the one of the fastest weekends of motorsport in Australia.
The 588kW Pagani Huayra BC with its Mercedes-AMG-sourced twin-turbo V12 is the latest car to come out of Pagani’s factory in Modena, Italy. Yes, that town does sound familiar…
The interior of Beau Yates’s latest creation, his lovingly restored 1984 Toyota AE86.
You wouldn’t trust anyone else but Keiichi Tsuchiya behind the wheel of a 2.3 million euro Pagani Huayra BC…
The Toyota 86 was a popular choice of base car at this year’s event. Not to mention the hundreds of modified examples strewn throughout the carpark and Show’n’Shine.
The absurdity of aerodynamics. All functional, of course…
Fan favourite, Tomohiko ‘Under’ Suzuki had his eyes on a victory for the weekend, having held several lap records at Japan’s Tsukuba circuit.
You wouldn’t imagine it, but teams were using the front splitters on their cars as benches while waiting for the weather to cool down.
Beau Yates’s current competition drift car, a 2Jz-powered Toyota 86.
Time attack car or Show’n’Shine entrant? You decide.
Plenty of exotic cars to be seen around Sydney Motorsport Park, not only Japanese imports.
You know you’ve got too much money when you decide to build a V12-powered Lamborghini drift car. Daigo Saito is currently in the process of converting a Ferrari 599 into a tyre-slaying monster as well.
Motorsport legends were on display throughout the weekend, some even managing to make it onto the track, including this Nissan R88C which finished 15th overall in the 1988 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Having dominated Bathurst in its day, our ‘Australian’ Godzilla was happy to sit back and relax over the weekend in the same garage as the R88C.
Keiichi Tsuchiya’s ‘enthusiastic’ takeoff from pit lane in Beau Yates’s AE86. Again, you wouldn’t trust anyone else…
All-wheel drive has always been a favourable choice for teams competing in time attack, but it was rear-wheel drive that excelled this year.
Tim Slade in the MCA Suspension Nissan Silvia S13 on a cool-down lap after setting the event’s quickest time.
There can never be too much wing.
‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett’s twin-turbo quad-rotor Mazda RX-7 being carried to its pit garage after suffering an engine bay fire during qualifying.
Old and new hachi-rokus competing in the WTAC International Drift Challenge.
Widebodies, widebodies everywhere.
Last year’s title winning car, the Tilton Racing Mitsubishi Evolution IX.
Competitors come from far and wide to compete in the event, this RX-7 comes from Car Shop Dream in Japan.
Two very similar all-wheel-drive turbocharged Audi S1s. But so very different at the same time.
World Time Attack Challenge 2016 was the first appearance of Beau Yates’s restored Toyota AE86.
So beautifully crafted, it almost seems a shame to drive it.
Two of the biggest names in drifting currently, ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett (above) and Daigo Saito (below).
Poster legends of the 1980s – the Ferrari Testarossa and Lamborghini Countach.
An AU Ford Falcon time attack car, because why not…
Click on the Photos tab for the full gallery of WTAC 2016 images by Tom Fraser.