As I (finally) look back on Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge 2018, through the plethora of images captured, I’m reminded of the stories that came out of the event.
There were plenty of big stories that came out of this 10th year; Barton Mawer taking the outright WTAC lap record in the RP968, Under Suzuki taking Fire Ando’s Escort Evo out in the Superlap shootout, or Adam Casmiri adding a third class cap to his portfolio.
I guess the biggest story of WTAC2018 was PR Technology’s RP968 breaking the 1:20 mark, clocking in at 1:19:825; just 0.7 seconds off of the outright track record.
Here’s the in-car footage for those of you who haven’t yet seen it.
Despite his S15 not being ready in time to race WTAC, the peoples champion: Under Suzuki, still made it over for the event! He even got some seat time in Fire Ando’s Escort Racing Evo during the superlap shootout, as a pre-existing hand injury meant that Fire couldn’t drive.
2018 was a little bittersweet for JDMYard\Hardrace and their driver Adam Casmiri. Their civic; a multi-podium winning car, put in its final laps this year.
But as much as the top end stories rang out across Sydney Motor Sport Park (and the world), I was treated to some smaller, just as impressive stories.
So come for a wander around the Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge 2018 with a Sniper and meet some people along the way.
The Superlap shootout was definitely a busy time over the weekend with Brett Dickie in the Elusive Racing Honda Integra managing to find 2 seconds in the lap to shoot him from third place to first in Clubsprint class.
Their team definitely worked hard over the weekend with the car catching a fire earlier in the day, which they fixed up and got back out on track.
The Tilton Interiors Evo is pretty synonymous with WTAC, having won a number of years with Garth Walden taking 3 wins in a row from 2013 – 2015.
Sadly he became unstuck around turn 1 and hit the wall leading into turn 2 in a pretty bad crash, but luckily was able to walk away fairly unscathed, and also with 1st place honors.
We are definitely privileged to see racing & drifting royalty Keiichi Tsuchiya year on year at World Time Attack.
The leadup to the weekend for the DM Motorsports team was plagued with problems. As they were doing some last minute dyno testing on their GT300 S15 Silvia, an long-running issue surfaced and took out the engine. They spent the Thursday and Friday of the event, in between day jobs, rebuilding the engine to GT spec and finally making it on track Saturday morning, thanks to a great pit crew and helpful friends and suppliers. Despite the engine not being bed in, and plenty of track stoppages all day, Dale still managed to put in a time to qualify him for a Superlap shootout run whilst babying the car.
It was a true sight to see the response when Olivia and Serse of J-Spec Performance, all the way over from Switzerland, put the call out for hands to help them change the engine over in their Mitsubishi Evo X after it caught fire down the main straight. People from all over the place came in to swing spanners and assist with the change and help them get back out on track.
With so many international competitors in 2018, it was easy to miss some of them. Probably the most overlooked of the pack was the Swiss team from R-Performance with their pairing of Hondas; a DC8 in open class & a Civic in clubsprint class, both sporting B18 engines. They came as a test year; to gain experience and make contacts, and having JDMYard as a contact is a pretty good place to start. On Thursday practice, Adam Casmiri led them around the track to help familiarise them.
After a number of runs, in their Integra with the engine still performing well, they came to the realization that their times would not be competitive in open class, and banked it all into clubsprint with their Civic.After an overnight engine out of the Integra and into the Civic, they managed to make the top 5 fastest laps, but a couple of track incidents saw them unable to reach the podium in the end, but gain some decent experience over the weekend.
The other car that probably didn’t receive the attention that it deserved over the weekend was the JUN “Hyper Lemon” 350Z R, piloted by the legendary Tarzan Yamada; no stranger to Sydney Motorsport Park and WTAC having won in the Cyber Evo in 2010 & 2011, and driving a number of different cars over the years.
Nobuteru Taniguchi was another feat that we got to see, not only piloting the HKS TRB-03 around the GP circuit, but also competing in the HKS Drift Toyota 86 in the Garrett International Drifting Cup.
Downshift were given the keys to host the show n shine, taking on the fantastic beast that The-Lowdown had the helm of for so many years; not an easy machine to manoeuvre. The team did a pretty decent job despite the weather scaring off a number of entrants.
Whilst wandering the event with Candii Banks, we ran into this guy – Tony Lam. As they caught up, Tony let us in on his journey into the Dry Lake’s Racing 200MPH Club, with a tidy 204.267mph, which is just under 329kmph, on his 2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2. Going that fast would definitely require some balls of steel, but Tony also told us that in the process of getting there, his suit got sprayed with oil, and to come to a stop, you just gotta hold on…
Promo models seem to be an endangered species with the world following suit from the F1.
Plenty of people would know Grub from Impossible Fabrications and the engineering feats that he is able to come up with, but when he turned up with this dingy at the Nulon stand, there was definitely 2nd and 3rd looks at it.
The International Drifting Cup, presented by Garrett Advancing Motion, debuted at WTAC, which saw drivers randomly grouped into pools to compete.
Over the course of 2 nights, the field shrank further and further until we saw Japanese driver Naoki Nakamura come away with the win over Luke Fink, and Michael Prosenik clenching third place from Dale Campaign.
I’m sure there are plenty plenty more stories that took place over World Time Attack Challenge. We’d love to hear them!!!!
For now, we’ll leave you with an extended gallery of Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge 2018!!!