Round 5 of the 2012 Global Time Attack Championship went down at Texas Motor Speedway on Sep 21-22. Some of the world’s fastest time attack cars helped make up the 18-car field.
At TMS the GTA field shared the stage with a drift event and car show. This multi-faceted event put our GTA teams in front of some 6,000 spectators! The TMS infield road course was short at only 1.36-miles and 8-turns but the long front and back straights allowed the cars to build speed making the transitions into the two opposing far end turns critical to netting fast times.
James Lopez came in second place in Enthusiast FWD in his Scion tC with a time of 46.706.
Fiat of Ft. Worth came on board as a promotional partner at this GTA round in a big way putting up a special $400 cash purse to the Enthusiast FWD winners. The first place prize money didn’t go far as Richard Dickey took the division win in the Fiat of Ft Worth Redneck Racing Fiat Abarth Assetto Corse with a 46.317 lap.
Jamey Beck pushed his big Whiteline Dodge Challenger hard at TMS and his 49.519 put him in fourth place in Enthusiast RWD. The Challenger is not the ideal time attack platform but some suspension upgrades from Whiteline Performance helped Beck hustle his modern musclecar around the track.
One of the Barnes boys entered a Ford at GTA Texas. It wasn’t our Unlimited AWD regular, Travis, but his father Dale. Mr. Barnes went 46.744 in the Snail Performance Ford Mustang GT to nab third place in Enthusiast RWD.
Douglas Bell went fast enough in his Out Performance Ford Mustang to take home second place in Enthusiast RWD with a 43.972. Unfortunately his weekend ended early when a front left rotor failed sending him into the wall hard. While the car may be done Bell walked away unscathed.
Ken Orgeron is a NASA time trial regular and with his Vorshlag / AST-USA BMW M3 he took first place in Enthusiast RWD with a 41.862. Orgeron’s 41.862 was also the 11th fastest time of the event. Not bad at all from a true street car.
Markos Mylonas pushed his daily-driven Snail Performance/Forced Air Technologies Subaru WRX hard lap after lap and his 41.375 put him in second place in Enthusiast AWD. Mylonas was out for the entire time of almost every session but in the end he could not make up the deficit to reach the top spot of the podium.
The honor of the Enthusiast AWD win went to Jeff Tan and his Evolution Dynamics Mitsubishi Evo X who took the victory with a 41.267 lap, a mere .108 of a second faster than Mylonas’ best lap. If you recognize the title sponsor on Jeff Tan’s Enthusiast AWD Evo it’s because this is the same crew who built the cage that saved the lives of Jeremy Foley and his codriver, Yuri Kouznetsov when their Evo went off the side of Pikes Peak in that now infamous crash earlier this year. It’s safe to say that these Evolution Dynamics guys know what they’re doing.
Once again Doug Wind put his little Modern Performance Dodge SRT-4 that could atop the Street FWD rankings with a 40.597 blast. Wind’s 40.597 was faster than some of the Limited Class cars and put him in seventh overall at Texas. The victory puts Wind firmly in the lead of the Street Class Championship Chase, breaking a long-standing tie with Daniel O’Donnell and his Professional Awesome Evo 7. Both of these teams should be in Buttonwillow for our 2012 Championship finals with the Super Lap Battle so this Street Class Championship could come down to the wire.
Another hard fought battle was in the Street AWD division where Joshua Dunn and his Evolution Dynamics Mitsubishi Evo 9 led for most of the weekend. It wasn’t until the final lap of the final session when Dunn would be displaced from atop the leader board. In the end Dunn’s 41.078 was only good enough for second place.
The man who took the last lap win in Street AWD? Taylor “Dr. Koby D. Kone Killa” Wilson and his FAT Snail Subaru WRX. In the very last lap of the very last session Wilson put down a 40.493 to take the win. It was only a .585 differential but that was good enough for the win. On the heels of his Texas win Wilson has plans to return to Buttonwillow for the GTA finals with the Super Lap Battle in a bid to improve on his 2:00.746. The two-minute mark is a benchmark of sorts for the Street class cars and we expect Wilson to make changes in order to break into the sub-two minute club in November.
Texas time attack fans were hoping to see Dave Norton and his Limited Class Championship Chase-leading Spec Clutch S14 at TMS until a pre-race service revealed irreparable damage to the car’s coilovers prompting Norton to bring a back up. His supercharged Z06 was a last minute replacement. But the daily-driven street car was not the ideal time attack platform. The Corvette’s FMIC blocks the radiator and while fine on the street it caused overheating issues on the track. GM’s electronic nannies also prevented Norton from completely disengaging the traction control, again good for the street but not for the track. While Norton’s 42.485 is fast for this street-driven Chevrolet the Limited Class driver has promised that his S14 will be back on track in time for Buttonwillow.
Tim Schoeppner brought his True Form Racing Mitsubishi Evo 9 out to Texas from Las Cruces, New Mexico. Schoeppner tells us his 4G63 makes about 475hp drinking E85 on a low boost setting. On high boost the car can make well over 500hp although the nine is on the portly side at a touch over 3,000lbs with Schoeppner inside. Schoeppner runs Nitto NT01s because he says it’s the only tire he’s ever used. What does all this mean? How about a 39.439 lap time to win Limited AWD. Shoeppner’s 39.439 was also the fourth fastest time of the entire event. A mighty feat given the outlandish Unlimited class field at Texas.
Terry Fair’s Vorshlag Motorsports specializes in European cars but recently he’s begun to push into the domestic market. After watching his Ford Mustang go 39.975 to win Unlimited RWD and set the Fifth fastest time of the event, we’d say he’s starting to get the hang of these modern musclecars. In keeping with the trend of making musclecars handle beneath their weight class Fair credits Whiteline Performance for keeping his big Mustang planted at TMS.
The Sauce Bauce himself, Travis Barnes and his Snail Performance Subaru WRX went 38.967 for the third fastest time of the event and third place in Unlimited AWD. Barnes’ WRX was a Limited class car last season and each passing event sees him going faster and faster in the world’s most elite time attack division. Barnes’ has already entered the GTA finals with the Super Lap Battle at Buttonwillow and the only question is can he improve on the 1:59.367 time he set at that track earlier this season? Given the cooler conditions and additional development on this car, we expect to see an improved personal best from the man from Surprise, Arizona.
Texas saw a long-awaited debut in the form of Tony Szirka’s UMS Racing Evo 8. Szirka removed some 200lbs from the Unlimited AWD car and shifted some of the mass rearward. While Szirka and his UMS Racing team were still working out some of kinks on his heavily revised Evo constant tweaking over the weekend saw Szirka make steady gains ending the weekend with a blistering 37.858 to put him in second place in U-AWD and also give him the second fastest time of the event. At the last GTA event we saw this UMS Racing Evo, it was gray, some 200lbs heavier and lost an oil pump. At Texas we saw the return of the UMS Evo in Blue By You, without some 200lbs and it lost an oil pump on Day One. This time Szirka and his UMS Racing team were able to source a replacement and get within striking distance of the overall win. Persistency in action.
Once again it was Jeff Westphal and the GST Motorsports Subaru Impreza that topped the timing charts at Texas. Westphal’s 35.079 blast was the fastest time of the entire weekend by a large margin. GST team principle Mike Warfield was hard at work on the L adding aerodynamic tunnels to the Unlimited AWD car’s undertray in advance of this round. Westphal reports that the car felt noticeably more stable at speed. Warfield promises that his car will have an even more potent powerplant to match the improved aero in time for our GTA Finals at Buttonwillow. Watching Westphal’s seemingly effortless fast laps lent everyone to believe that there is much more time in this car.
At Texas another treat came from the good people at Fiat of Ft Worth who presented The Fiat Driver’s Cup Challenge. The dealership, which boasts the largest inventory of Fiat Abarths in the country offered up a sharp little Fiat 500 in which some invited drivers were let loose on the infield road course. Think of it as a Top Gear Star in a Reasonably Priced Car knock off only with a much, much better car. In addition to his Unlimited AWD victory Westphal also took this win with a 52.586 lap. Here are the all of the times from the Fiat Driver’s Cup Challenge: P1 – Jeff Westphal – GST Motorsports – 52.586; P2 – Chris Forsberg – NOS Energy Drink – 53.197; P3 – Doug Wind – Modern Performance – 53.349; P4 – Tony Szirka – UMS Racing – 53.722; P5 – Chris Mills – Deatschwerks – 53.891; P6 – nads – GTA – 55.456; P7 – Patrick David – Synergy Turbo – 57.326; P8 – Bob Apodaca – GTA – 58.857.
In addition to the Enthusiast FWD bonus purse and Fiat Driver’s Cup Challenge Fiat of Ft. Worth also gave up a pair of Oakley sunglasses to the winners in each division! The Ft. Worth Fiat dealer brought a trio of 500s to display since it boasts the largest inventory of Abarths in the country. That’s a lot of stingers!
While the Abarth comes from the factory with 160hp and a curb weight of 2,363lbs (making for a 15.8lb/hp power-to-weight ratio!) the Fiat of Ft Worth Redneck Racing Fiat Abarth Assetto Corse gains 40hp for a cool 200 ponies to the wheels.
The Snail Performance/Forced Air Technologies contingent rolled hard into Texas with four cars, three of which were from Arizona. That’s some hood rat stuff right there.
This is what happens when you have a front brake rotor fail at the end of the TMS front straight. Douglas Bell will live to time attack another day. Unfortunately we don’t think we can say the same for his Out Performance Mustang.
Our official Global Time Attack tech inspector Tony Szirka from UMS Tuning goes over each and every entry for rules compliance. That or he’s either trying to cop the wheel color on Joshua Dunn’s Evo.
As part of his radical weight loss/relocation plan Szirka moved the seat back some 14-inches in his UMS Racing Evo!
Our GTA Live! web broadcast on Saturday from Day Two. Here Nads interviews Patrick David from Synergy Turbo.
Snail and UMS make a V for victory! Or maybe an A for awesome. Or if you look at it another way maybe they’re trying to say that the paddock is greater than GTA.
The lovely Lauren from Synergy Turbo served as our official trophy presenter at Texas.
The Enthusiast class winners letting the cheap champagne fly.
When Taylor Wilson learned he was getting a DeatschWerks gift certificate for winning Street AWD he popped his bottle prematurely. Don’t worry, Taylor, the same thing happens to us when we get excited.
Our GTA Unlimited Class podium.
Our Global Time Attack without any time would just be a Global Attack and that sounds too much like terrorism. Special thanks go out to the NASA AZ region and Ksport USA for providing our timing and scoring equipment and Eric Dayton for making it all work flawlessly.
Now that our Nads are completely soaked we can close out Round 5 of the 2012 Global Time Attack Championship. Stay tuned for the GTA Championship Finals at Buttonwillow with the Super Lap Battle at Buttonwillow Raceway Park on November 7. Click here for the complete results from Texas as well as the updated Championship Chase standings, an image gallery and video playlist.