My first world time attack was a magical experience. The roadtrip up from Melbourne could not have been a better day, perfect conditions and my mate Alex’s CL9 was sporting a new exhaust which purred for the whole trip up.
Thursday night consisted of pre-track hype and copious amounts of drinking.
Friday morning began and I jumped out of bed, camera charged and ready to rock.
Melbourne sports regular drift trackdays on the reg, but tuning and grip related racing is harder to come by, safe to say I was watering at the mouth for some carbon fibre and cnc billet bits.
We rolled in at the beginning of the perfect Friday afternoon and were immediately satisfied by the contents of the huuuuuge carpark. Nic’s beautiful metallic bronze-brown JZX-100 was pulling in at the gate in front of us which instantly primed my excitement for a grand day ahead. “SLO-100” is his plate, hahahaha Nic you liar.
Alex and I had no idea where we were going and we missed the tunnel first time around, and happily went for a walk around the tracks northern side, snapping as we went and enjoying the insane entry speeds into turn 2.
The evos in the open class at this point were really shining and the entry speed was jaw dropping. Sparks flying from the combination of the front splitters and body roll from the insane entry g-force was enough to plaster massive smiles on both our faces and was the cause of a few uttered choice words.
As we worked around towards the main grand stand the Link JGTC FD RX7 was hauling ass on its warm-up laps before qualifying and the sound of its peripheral port 20B screaming through turn one made me weak at the knees. Undoubtedly louder than the 767B which showed it’s horns later in the afternoon, the flames it was spitting were easily over 2 meters long and being a rotary enthusiast I took absolutely zero issue with it.
It had been cold, miserable and raining in Melbourne the week prior and the heat by this stage was getting murderous. We hustled to some shade and linked up with Justin and the other crew at the Zen stand.
Justin and I had been talking for a few months prior and as soon as I rocked up I was greeted with beaming smiles and open arms. We chilled out for a bit and had a good yarn, then I chucked on a Zen shirt and really got to business with the camera. The first stop was Nigel Petrie’s gorgeous Engineered to Slide S13 (really makes me wish I didn’t sell mine!!) was parked next to our stand, and delightfully he was there enjoying some conversation with some fans come to look. We had a good chat about future plans and endeavours, he’s been building some custom bikes in Europe so keep an ear to the ground on his blog for that, and then I proceeded to smash the depth of field on all the delightful and well thought out part selections.
Nigel has always been a less horsepower, more precision kind of guy and every part on his S13 was a shining reflection of that. Quad throttle bodies with velocity stacks isn’t something that you see on an SR20 very often, but it sounded incredible and has enough power for him to comfortably slide it when he chooses to.
The afternoon consisted of gawking at amazing rides like Keiichi Tsuchiya’s AE86, Mad Mike’s BADBUL RX8, and one of the three legendary LeManz Mazda 767B’s (also driven by Tsuchiya later in the afternoon), and probably one of my favorites from the weekend, Joel Dimmack’s incredible VR38DETT powered Datsun 240z. Built to be a competitive drift car, there has been absolutely no expense spared on this beauty top to bottom. Remarkably it was still in pieces and didn’t even have a motor in it a few weeks prior, I was stoked to see Joel make it down with the car fully operational, and he even took it out for a cheeky lap during the drift display later in the evening.
With the weather deteriorating on the Saturday, many of the drivers were absolutely gunning their cars for all they were worth on the sweltering Friday afternoon, with rows upon rows of Advan A050’s lining the pits.
Time flies when you’re having fun, and before we knew it, the sun was setting, and the drift competition began at the top end of the main straight. Seeing Mad Mike, Keiichi Tsuchiya and many others whipping from side to side was a great way to cap off the day as the sun dipped down. Bathing in golden sunlight, with the sound of turbochargers, superchargers, v8’s, inlines and a handful of amazing rotaries singing (the quad rotor twin turbo GS300 was a solid favourite), World Time Attack really did show that it has a flavour for everyone, uniting petrolheads from across the country and many from overseas as well.
Saturday really pulled in the numbers and I was glad I’d taken so many on the Friday afternoon, as there was a bit of rain and people everywhere. None the less the vibes were still great and I was stunned at the entry speeds of the time attack cars despite the wetter conditions. The highlight of the day was seeing Robert Nguyen (pro-am class winner) absolutely flogging his 101 motorsport CRX down the main straight and into turn one at a speed so quick, he actually tore off the side plate on his front splitter from g-force contact with the track. I couldn’t have gotten luckier and took a 15 image sequence of the whole affair.
A bit of space began to open up in the show and shine area so I mosied across to really put my Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 to work. This lens always stuns me with its vibrance, clarity and sharpness, and picked up all the beautiful details of the many loved cars parked up. Airbags & coilovers, dished wheels, loads of camber, custom headlights, candy speckled paint, the show and shine had it all.
With 1500+ photos under my belt, I was ready to go back to my mates, have a drink and get stuck into editing.
The weekend was unlike any motorsport experience I’ve ever had, and I can see why it draws so many passionate enthusiasts from such wide expanses. World Time Attack 2017 was the beginning of a new love affair, and I cannot wait to road trip up for the next installment in 2018.
Massive thanks to Curt & Liv, Alex and Justin for making such an incredible weekend possible.
Find your Zen!