On June 1-2 GTA partnered with Formula Drift to produce Round 3 of the 2012 Global Time Attack Championship at Palm Beach International Raceway.
In addition to being a Street FWD record, Doug Wind’s Modern Performance SRT-4 1:30.558 lap time was also faster than the Limited FWD field. This was not the same SRT-4 that Doug fielded at Road Atlanta. That one belonged to his crew chief, Danny Fahr and is a far less potent machine. On Day One a faulty battery switch caused a parasitic drain on the battery leaving Doug Wind stranded on PBIR’s front straight and the guys were able to fix it. After Doug’s record-setting lap the SRT-4 lost a timing belt. Fortunately the 2.4L turbocharged mill is a low interference engine, which means this was not a catastrophic failure. The Modern Performance team is scheduled to compete in the remaining GTA events in Texas and Buttonwillow in a bid for win the Street Class Championship Chase. The team is currently tied for the lead.
Jon Miller came in Fourth place in Street RWD in his Arsenal Autosport Scion FR-S with a 1:35.744 lap. The Arsenal FR-S was mildly modified with only a set of 17-inch Enkei RPF1 wheels. Supra-specialists Titan Motorsports prepared the car. To our knowledge this is the first time attack FR-S in the world. This GTA event was the first of many for the Arsenal Autosport FR-S. The team plans to develop track-focused upgrades and eventually transform the Scion to a Grand-Am ST car.
After Road Atlanta Bryan Hedian had his car shipped to Florida for PBIR. It wasn’t until after this event that Bryan could get the car back to New Jersey. He normally brings his father to serve as the crew chief on his Wired Race Team S2000 but at PBIR Bryan was a lone wolf without a pack. Bryan’s 1:33.948 was an impressive time. His Third place in Street RWD was only a few ticks off the Renntech C74’s lap time, a car with three times the horsepower! Bryan put up a good fight but his naturally aspirated F Series was no match for the Renntech and M cars.
Whit Staples normally drives the Fortune Auto Unlimited AWD Evo but engine damage at GTA Road Atlanta sidelined the car for Palm Beach. Whit brought his daily driven M3 and his 1:31.779 put him in Second place in Street RWD.
This was a treat. At PBIR Hartmut Feyhl entered a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. But this was no ordinary C63. It was a Renntech C74 version of the C63. Hartmut took the win in the Street RWD class with a 1:30.208. Renntech’s C74 is named because of the max 74-inch rear track width courtesy of the DTM-inspired, carbon fiber widebody kit. The NA V8 makes 605hp and the car will go 11.4 @ 126mph in the quarter with a top speed of 204mph?! All will a full interior, AC, the works. This is one serious, tuned street car and not even a dedicated time attacker in the least. The best part is that Hartmut actually drove this one to the track and then took top Street RWD honors.
Daniel O’Donnell and his Professional Awesome Evo may have been the only car in Street AWD but his 1:25.016 was faster than the entire Limited class field and the Third fastest time of the entire event. Professional Awesome has competed in four previous Global Time Attacks and set new class records at each one. Palm Beach was no exception giving the team five AWD Street class records. Much like at Road Atlanta the Professional Awesome Evo ran flawlessly at Palm Beach. Following their record at Palm Beach Daniel O’Donnell and his Professional Awesome team are tied for the lead in the Street class Championship Chase.
Andrew Meek came in Second place in Limited FWD in the WTDR Civic with a 1:38.410 lap. Meek’s WTDR Civic is actually a Street Class car, however the lack of a catalytic converter up-classed the car to Limited. Meek told us that WTDR stands for We Todd Did Racing. We don’t get it. Wait, now we do. Andrew drove his WTDR Civic all the way from Ft. Mill, SC to Palm Beach for this GTA event. Andrew was originally supposed to enter an authentic Integra Type-R that he also planned to drive to the event but a broken motor mount forced him to bring his back up car, this EG Civic.
Louis Murphy and his IPGParts.com Integra won Limited FWD with a time of 1:34.074. The IPGParts.com Integra features a naturally aspirated K series engine swap. Murphy’s 1:34.074 in the IPGParts.com Integra is a new Limited FWD track record at Palm Beach International Raceway.
Dave Norton went 1:25.186 in his Spec Clutch 240SX on his way to win the Limited RWD class. This time was also a new class record at PBIR. As fast as he went at PBIR Dave was not satisfied with the handling of his Spec Clutch S14 as the car was not able to rotate properly in the corners. Following his win at PBIR Dave currently has a commanding lead in the Limited Class Championship Chase standings.
On Day One Chris Rado struggled with power steering issues but by Day Two he was back to form with a 1:20.810. Rado’s time in his WORLD Racing tC was the second fastest time of the event as well as a new FWD track record. Strangely enough Rado’s WORLD Racing team does not adjust any of the many wings on the tC from a high downforce track like Buttonwillow to a low downforce one like PBIR choosing instead to use brute power to punch through the air.
Cameron Worth and the Pettit Racing RX-7 ran a 1:28.698, which was a new Unlimited RWD record. The Pettit Racing crew struggled to prep the car on Day Two after missing Day One. The Pettit RX-7 met all the requirements for the Limited class except the Hoosier R6 tires moved the Mazda into Unlimited RWD.
Second place in Unlimited AWD went to Ramin Abdolvahabi in the PROS Tuning Evo 8 with a 1:28.685. Abdolvahabi’s PROS Tuning Evo is not even a time attack car as it was built for wheel-to-wheel racing. Ramin was steadily improving until a piston let go as a result of turning up the boost in an effort to build more power. The 4G63 in the PROS Tuning Evo 8 was built for wheel-to-wheel endurance and not time attack-style quick bursts of big power.
At West Palm Beach Jeff Westphal and GST Motorsports continued their record-crushing streak. Their 1:16.709 was the fastest time of the weekend, a new Unlimited AWD record and an overall time attack track record too. Because of transmission problems the team did not go out at all on Day One. GST team principle Mike Warfield worked single-handedly on the GST Impreza to replace a throw out bearing in the car’s gearbox. In the ultimate show of sportsmanship Tony Szirka from UMS Tuning, Scott Stanwood from WORLD Racing and Bryan Hedian from the Wired Race Team all lent a hand to help finish the car in time for Day Two. Part of the reason Warfield needed Day One to work on his car was because WORLD Racing transported the car from California to Road Atlanta and then to Palm Beach, which did not allow it to come back to the team’s Hayward, California shop between rounds.
With the conclusion of the third round of the GTA Championship Chase at West Palm Beach there are only three remaining rounds at New Jersey Motorsports Park on August 4-5, Texas Motor Speedway on September 21-22 and the finals at Buttonwillow Raceway Park on November 7 with the Super Lap Battle. You can see the complete results from PBIR here as well as an image gallery and video playlist. Updated Championship Chase points standings are here.