Day One of Round 1 of the 2012 GTA season is in the books. Thirty five of the country’s top time attack teams were out on the 13CW configuration trying to earn a spot in the record books. With ambient temps hovering in the mid-90s the heat was playing a huge factor as many of the times were not at record pace.

In the Unlimited ranks Travis Barnes spent the off-season upgrading his Limited class Snail Performance WRX to Unlimited specs and his efforts were rewarded with the leading time. GST Motorsports unveiled some big changes to their infamous Subaru Impreza L but the car is not yet sorted and driver Jeff Westphal was some 30 seconds off pace! Billy Johnson returned to helm the FX Motorsports Development NSX and while he posted the fastest time of the day his 1:49.241 was still 8.2 seconds away from the overall time attack track record held by Tyler McQuarrie in the same car. Chris Rado and his WORLD Racing team fought back from a potentially catastrophic spindle failure on their Unlimited FWD tC during testing Friday to come within 3.2 ticks of his own class record.

In Limited AWD Michael Chang is knocking on the door of JC Meynet’s 1:48.550 class record time with his 1:49.546. Other big news was the appearance of the Berk Technology BMW 135i in the Limited class. While the Bimmer is still a Street class car the team entered it in both classes with a simple swap between UTQG 140 Street class Hankook RS-3 rubber and the new UTQG 80 Limited class Ventus TDs also from Hankook. Driver Carl Rydquist leads both classes and as of this point he also holds both track records. Rydquist broke his own Limited class record at the Super Lap Battle this past November with a 1:52.487 lap and today his 1:56.591 in Street guise barely nipped the longstanding Street RWD record set by Rob Walker back in ’09 (1:56.762). In the Evolution Racewerks 1 Series VJ Mirzayan pushed hard to come within nine tenths of Berk’s 1. The Platte Forme a.g. M3 moved up from Street to Limited class but the car is not yet fully developed. Tarzan Yamada struggled with it throughout the day. And Jacob Tanaka’s event ended early as the Tanaka Racing team lost a head gasket on their Corvette.


Tim Kuo leads Limited FWD with his 1:56.214 and he also holds the class record with a 1:55.316. However Kuo will not get a chance to pursue that time as an off today at the Bus Stop turn resulted in a damaged splitter and front end. The car is not repairable and will not run tomorrow. Challenging Kuo in Limited FWD is Alex Peng driving the Novak Racing Honda Civic which is essentially a Street class car with Limited class tires. Peng is also driving his own momofoolio Racing/ Novak Racing/ JRZ USA Honda S2000 in Street RWD. Another driver pulling double duty this weekend is Clint Boisdeau as he leads Street AWD in the Apollo Performance WRX. His Apollo Performance Focus currently holds the Street class record with a 1:59.086 but he did not turn a time today as engine problems kept it off the track. Ken Suen leads this class in the Godspeed X Sportcar Motion Honda Civic Si. And our boy, Mike Bonanni is back in the Street Class driving none other than Chris Rado’s daily driver, a Scion tC with a Descendent Racing turbo kit and loads of power. This is a true Street class car with a respectable 2:6.899 considering its full interior and Continental tires with a 320 UTQG rating.  Roy Narvaez put 255 cross section tires on his RD Engineering R35 in order to meet the Street Class rules and he’s currently in third place.

GTA Round 1 Buttonwillow Event Images Link

Ultd AWD 1st Sauce Bause (Travis Barnes) Snail Performance Subaru WRX 2:00.603
Ultd AWD 2nd Russ Taylor Mitsubishi Evo X 2:09.970
Ultd AWD 3rd Jeff Westphal GST Motosports Subaru Impreza L 2:16.147
Ultd RWD 1st Billy Johnson FX Motorsports Development Acura NSX 1:49.241*
Ultd RWD 2nd Thomas Merrill AM Racing Nissan 370Z 1:57.520
Ultd RWD 3rd Will Faules EDGE Motorworks BMW Three Series 1:57.756
Ultd RWD 4th Taoby Aleman Mazda RX-7 2:23.020
Ultd FWD 1st Chris Rado Team Need for Speed WORLD Racing Scion tC 1:49.981
Ltd AWD 1st Michael Chang Evasive Motorsports Mitsubishi Evo 1:49.546
Ltd AWD 2nd Istvan Klag Nightmotorsport Subaru WRX 2:07.739
Ltd RWD 1st Carl Rydquist Berk Technology BMW 135i 1:52.487**
Ltd RWD 2nd Eiji “Tarzan” Yamada Platte Forme a.g. BMW M3 2:03.635
Ltd RWD 3rd Jacob Tanaka Tanaka Racing Chevrolet Corvette 2:05.137
Ltd RWD 4th Bryan Friday Project Import Honda S2000 2:07.397
Ltd RWD 5th Chad Boyles AM Racing Nissan 370Z 2:14.453
Ltd RWD 6th Patrick Tam DNA Motoring Honda S2000 2:16.731
Ltd FWD 1st Tim Kuo Sportcar Motion Integra Type-R 1:56.214
Ltd FWD 2nd Alex Peng Novak Racing Honda Civic 1:59.843
Ltd FWD 3rd Carlos Valenzuela Honda CRX 2:11.650
Str AWD 1st Clint Boisdeau Apollo Performance Subaru WRX 1:58.412
Str AWD 2nd Taylor Wilson Fat Snail Perfomance Subaru WRX 2:00.746
Str AWD 3rd Roy Narvaez RD Engineering Nissan GT-R 2:01.063
Str AWD 4th Thomas Smith Subaru STI 2:04.631
Str AWD 5th Matt Dennison Matt Dennison Mitsubishi Evo 2:05.239
Str AWD 6th Tony Brown Nightmotorsport Subaru WRX 2:07.071
Str AWD 7th Chris Frick Mitsubishi Evo 2:08.598
Str RWD 1st Carl Rydquist Berk Technology BMW 135i 1:56.591**
Str RWD 2nd VJ Mirzayan Evolution Racewerks BMW 135i 1:57.438
Str RWD 3rd Alex Peng momofoolio Racing/ Novak Racing/ JRZ USA Honda S2000 1:59.904
Str RWD 4th Andrie Hartanto Honda S2000 2:00.029
Str RWD 5th Kazuyuki Saegusa Honda S2000 2:04.720
Str FWD 1st Ken Suen Godspeed X Sportcar Motion Honda Civic Si 2:03.230
Str FWD 2nd Mike Bonanni Team Need for Speed Scion tC 2:06.899
Str FWD 3rd Kevin Courtney Project Import Honda Accord 2:07.281
Str FWD 4th Clint Boisdeau Apollo Performance Ford Focus NT

*Fastest time of the day
**New Class record

Tomorrow the first session will start at 10:00am and our GTA Live! web broadcast will start at 2:30. Stay tuned for more from Buttonwillow!