Round 4 of the 2012 Global Time Attack marked the first time the series has returned to the same track. In this case the 1.9-mile, 10-turn New Jersey Motorsports Park Lightning Raceway. Our twenty-four-car GTA field was part of a larger NASA Northeast Region event. What the field lacked in quantity it more than made up for with quality, as five separate class records were broken.
At NJMP Nelson Velez and his Nelson Racing Evo ran a 1:22.027 to take home Second place in Enthusiast AWD.
Chieu “Kevin” Nguyen in his Nguyen Nguyen Racing Mitsubishi Evo went 1:17.520 to win Enthusiast AWD. With true street-driven cars and reduced entry fees the Enthusiast Class is quickly proving to be a place for entry-level drivers to dip their toes in the time attack waters.
Continuing his streak Doug Wind took yet another Street Class FWD record in his Modern Performance Dodge SRT-4 with a 1:12.210. In addition to setting a new class record Wind’s time was also the Ninth fastest of the entire event and faster than the entire Limited Class field. Not bad at all for a FWD Street Class car.
Bryan Hedian missed all of Day One at NJMP waiting on a replacement ball joint to be delivered and installed. He brought his Wired Race Team Honda S2000 to the track in time for Day Two. One day on the track was all Hedian needed as his 1:17.179 took the Street Class RWD record by a scant 0.247 of a second!
Marc Cantor came in Second place in Street AWD in his RT/Tuning Mitsubishi Evo with a time of 1:15.414. Cantor put up a good fight but he needed much more to take the Street AWD crown from the repeat winners.
Professional Awesome was not supposed to come to NJMP. Scheduling conflicts almost prevented driver Daniel O’Donnell and team member Michael Lewin from attending. But they did make it and then proceeded to do what they do best. First place in Street AWD and a new class record with their 1:10.694 blast.
Last year Todd Reid entered his Reid Speed/Fortune Auto Honda Civic in the Unlimited FWD Class at the GTA NJMP event. For the 2012 season Reid reconfigured the car to meet the Limited Class rules. Even with the more restrictive Limited Class equipment (namely tires) on the Reid Speed/Fortune Auto Honda Civic Reid managed to go only .684 of a second slower than last year and his 1:13.794 was a new class record as well.
Two separate drivers entered the S-Max Performance Nissan S14 Silvia in two different classes. Dave Hary, the car’s owner came in Second in Limited RWD while a tire and transponder change helped Frank Hart put down a 1:13.026 to come in Fourth in Unlimited RWD. Image Credit: Aaron Lundgren
After Mark Forenbaher competed at NJMP last year he picked up some sponsors and made some improvements to his Team Foren Mitsubishi Evo 9. Forenbaher’s upgrades on his Team Foren Evo showed in the time, as his 1:13.970 was some 1.559 seconds faster than year and more than enough to give him the Limited AWD Class victory.
Rafal Listopad and his Bergen Woodworks Dodge have run at NJMP, but not in a time attack. Listopad’s Bergen Woodworks SRT-4 was built as a Rally America RallyCross car. Listopad’s Dodge is like some sort of Swiss Army Knife pulling double duty as a RallyCross machine and a Global Time Attack car. Second place in Unlimited FWD with a 1:20.878.
Last year at NJMP Chris Rado set the FWD time attack record in version one of his Team Need for Speed WORLD Racing Scion tC. For 2012 Rado came back with a new and improved tC known as Fwing 2.0. While Rado took the Unlimited FWD win a small crack in the block prompted a frenzied engine change on Day Two in the Team Need for Speed WORLD Racing Scion tC. An incredible effort from the WORLD Racing team and the resultant 1:06.232 was short of breaking their own record by a mere .751 of a second.
Were it not for the Hoosier tires on Alan Cohen’s CTSV Racing Cadillac CTS-V this car could pass for a mild Street Class car but he didn’t let that stop him from entering the V in Unlimited RWD where he netted Fifth place with a 1:15.051.
Michael Ellis really wrung the most out of his rather unassuming looking Chevrolet Corvette. His 1:09.212 was more than enough for Third place in Unlimited RWD and also the Seventh fastest time of the event.
Whit Staples and his Atlantic Motorsports/Fortune Auto team were fighting for grip all weekend with their Unlimited AWD Evo 9. After a big off-track excursion as a result of the loose handling the crew discovered that the rear wing was cracked and delaminating causing a huge reduction in downforce. The Atlantic Motorsports/Fortune Auto team was able to repair their Unlimited AWD Evo’s wing with a strip of hardware store aluminum and epoxy. Staples overcame handling issues all weekend and made it count in the last session in his Evo. His 1:06.916 put him in Third place in Unlimited AWD and Fifth overall.
The last time Tony Wiesenhahn and the TurninConcepts Subaru competed at a Global Time Attack was last year at Autobahn. Since that time the team has made a raft of changes to the WRX not the least of which involved relocating the radiator to the rear in order to improve the weight balance. NJMP only marked the second event for Wiesenhahn and the TurninConcepts Subaru WRX but the 105.903 did not reflect the newness of the team’s revisions. TIC took Second place in Unlimited AWD and the Third fastest time of the event. Once this car gets dialed expect to see the times fall even more.
All eyes were on Jeff Westphal and the GST Motorsports Unlimited AWD Subaru Impreza L to improve upon the 1:02.460 overall production car record the team set last year. GST team principle Mike Warfield is always the first to downplay the performance of his venerable Subaru but at NJMP the fatigue of the car was starting to show. The car had been on Chris Rado’s WORLD Racing rig since the GTA event at Road Atlanta in early May and the lack of access to the car between events bore itself out in damaged drivetrain parts. Somehow in the face of a catastrophic failure Warfield and his GST Motorsports team gave Westphal a car that he managed to hold together to post the fastest lap of the event a 1:03.267, only .0807 of a second away from their record time. As the car was being pulled into the trailer the shift lever literally broke off and a post-race inspection revealed a center differential that was nearly seized. The GST team is quickly proving themselves as a prime example of triumph over adversity.
The next round of the 2012 Global Time Attack will take place in conjunction with the Xtreme Drift Circuit and Hot Import Nights at the Texas Motor Speedway on September 21-22. You can see the complete results from NJMP here as well as an image gallery and video playlist. Updated Championship Chase points standings are here. See you in Texas!