Everything you ever wanted to know about WTAC classes

At World Time Attack our motto has long been we have “something for everyone and everything for someone” and we thought it was about time we explained how each of the four current time attack classes work in detail. The classes we run are Clubsprint, Open, Pro-Am and Pro and this provides a diverse range of vehicles and drivers from backyard built amateurs right up to professionally built vehicles with teams of data and aero engineers, mechanics and drivers from the highest levels of the professional motorsport arena world-wide. This is part of the appeal of what we do. You could turn up in your modified street car and find yourself pitted next to a Japanese racing team with one of the leading Super GT drivers behind the wheel!


Over the years the competition in ALL classes has gotten so fierce that turning up in a mildly modified road car and thinking you will take home a swag of trophies would be extremely optimistic to say the least. But also in saying that there are a whole bunch of people that make the trip to Sydney Motorsport Park every year just to be a part of the event and to compete in a particular class despite the fact they would have little chance of a victory. This is what we refer to as “World Time Attack Fever” and for many once you catch it – you may never get rid of it!


The chart above shows the differences in the fastest lap times in each class (based on 2013 results). The 14 seconds gap between the top Pro and the top Clubsprint car shows just how big and varied the WTAC field is. While the Pro Class will always get most of the spotlight, don’t miss out on watching some very close and very intense battles in the lower classes. The guide below explains the restrictions placed on cars in each class and what you can expect to see from each class as a spectator.

Clubsprint Class

The Clubsprint Class was originally designed as the “street” or “entry level” class but over the years it has become highly competitive with many competitors taking a much more serious approach and building their cars specifically to suit this class. The cars in this class must run a Yokohama Advan Neova R street tyre with AWD vehicles restricted to a 265 tyre and 2WD vehicles allowed to use a 295 tyre. Minor modifications are allowed to aero and body panels but strict restrictions are in place to minimise costs. Vehicles can lose no more than 5% from their original tare weight making carbon fibre components almost redundant .


Jason Wright claimed the fastest Clubsprint time of 1.39.24 in the Autotech/Process West Subaru WRX.

Engine modifications are free which results in some very high powered cars belting around on true road tyres, but the engine must remain from the same manufacturer and the same number of cylinders as the stock car. Sequential gearboxes are not allowed, nor are any cars on the Supercar List (Ferraris, Porsches R35 GTRs etc). The vehicle must also have some form of registration ie rally rego or unregistered vehicle permit meaning lights etc must work. And most importantly, professional drivers are not permitted to drive in this class. So if you have a car you regularly take to the track and you want to tick WTAC off your bucket list, Clubsprint is more than likely the class to look at.

[pullquote]If you have a track day car and you want to tick WTAC

off your bucket list, Clubsprint is the class for you.[/pullquote]


Note: The minimum weight limit (in kg) is intended for heavy cars. This allows heavier cars to remove more than the % weight to make them more competitive. So in the Clubsprint Class it’s the factory weight minus 5% – OR – a minimum weight of 1425kg, whichever is lighter.

2013 Clubsprint Top 3:
1st Jason Wright 1.39.24 Autotech/Process West WRX
2nd Benny Tran   1.41.03 BYP Racing Honda S2000
3rd Jason Naidoo 1.41.25 Superpro Racing Evo 9 

Open Class

The Open Class is by far the biggest class at World Time Attack Challenge and this is where you see serious privateers mixing it up with the big tuning houses and often talented amateur drivers taking on the big boys in some seriously modified weaponry. This class also has restrictions on aero but is far less restrictive than the Clubsprint class. This is where you will find many of the tuning house demo vehicles and serious track weapons from around the country. Sequential gearboxes are permitted as are pro drivers and the cars run on a sticky Yokohama Advan A050 semi slick tyre.


Dean Lillie in the BC Automotive Nissan R32 GTR was the 2013 Open Class winner with an amazing lap time of 1:31.79

Cars range from insane high powered GTRs, Evos, RX7s, Hondas and WRXs to old school 240Zs with crazy engine conversions. Many notable Australian motorsport identities often feature on the drivers list as the event keeps attracting some very high profile racers. The permitted aero mods make this “mechanical grip” class exciting to watch with lap times at the pointy end getting close to what the V8 Supercars are doing around Sydney Motorsport Park. Weight reduction plays a big part in this as these cars can reduce their tare weight by up to 15%. As it happens every year, we expect this class to sell out very quickly.

[pullquote]Expect high powered GTRs, EVOs, RX7s, and WRXs

racing against old school cars with crazy engine conversions[/pullquote]


Note: The minimum weight limit (in kg) is intended for heavy cars. This allows heavier cars to remove more than the % weight to make them more competitive. So in the Open Class it’s the factory weight minus 15% – OR – a minimum weight of 1257kg, whichever is lighter.

2013 Open Class Top 3:
1st Dean Lillie 1.31.79 BC Automotive R32 GTR
2nd Rick Bates 1.32.42 V Sport/ Go Pro Evo X
3rd  Benny Tran 1.32.42 BYP Racing Honda Integra

Pro-Am Class

The Pro-Am Class is the first of the “aero classes” and consists of Pro Class spec vehicles with the big exception being that there are professional drivers are NOT allowed. Because of that restriction this is a very popular class for “owner-drivers” who want to race against other like-minded enthusiasts on a level playing field without the pressure of competing against seasoned, professional drivers.


The Pro Am Class record of 1.30.95 belongs to Mick Sigsworth and the Precision Racing Evo.

Expect very close and intense racing are the cars and the drivers are fairly evenly matched. Introduced in 2013, this class proved so popular it even attracted a number of international entries. We are expecting the entry numbers to swell this year with many international entries already expressing interest.

[pullquote]Pro-Am is essentially a Pro Class for owner-drivers[/pullquote]


Note: The minimum weight limit (in kg) is intended for heavy cars. This allows heavier cars to remove more than the % weight to make them more competitive. So in the Pro-Am Class it’s the factory weight minus 20% – OR – a minimum weight of 1200kg, whichever is lighter.

2013 Pro Am Top 3:
1st  Mick Sigsworth 1.30.95 Precision Racing Evo
2nd Andrew Sutton 1.31.83 Sutton Bros Racing Silvia
3rd Jason Wright 1.32.40 Autotech Racing WRX

Pro Class

This is the domain of the “big guns” and is the premiere class of World Time Attack Challenge. This is the class that currently holds the outright tin top lap record at Sydney Motorsport Park and is not for the faint of heart. The vehicles are largely of carbon fibre construction although they must retain the original floor pan making tube frame sport sedan style vehicles ineligible. These cars often boast horsepower levels near 1000hp and with up to 20% reduction of their original weight allowed have a frightening power to weight ratio. But the real key to their speed is in the aerodynamics. All of the fastest cars have professionally designed aero kits often by ex-Formula One or Indy Car engineers that allow for corner speeds that are virtually impossible in any other form of sedan racing.


The Pro Class record – 1.24.85 is held by the 2013 WTAC Champion Tilton Racing Evo driven by Garth Walden.

In fact, V8 Supercar driver Warren Luff commented in 2012 when he drove NEMO to victory that he was travelling through many of the corners around 40km/h faster than he could in a V8 Supercar despite the Evo being on semi slick tyres. This was also a car that forced a rewrite of the rulebook as it blitzed the field by two full seconds! As is the nature of time attack racing, Team Tilton returned in 2013 and snatched the record back despite the rule changes.

[pullquote]Pro Class is full of cars pushing 1000hp

with a frightening power-to-weight ratio[/pullquote]

Most of the drivers in this class come from the highest levels of motorsport with many competing professionally in Japanese Super GT, Indy Car, V8 Supercar and American Le Mans. Like any form of professional motorsport, to compete at this level is not a cheap exercise with many of the fastest vehicles costing up to half a million dollars and requiring a team of engineers and mechanics to keep them running. This is the fastest, most prestigious class at the World Time Attack Challenge and one that will have the eyes of the world on it in October.


Note: The minimum weight limit (in kg) is intended for heavy cars. This allows heavier cars to remove more than the % weight to make them more competitive. So in the Pro Class it’s the factory weight minus 20% – OR – a minimum weight of 1200kg, whichever is lighter.

2013 Pro Class Top 3:
1st Garth Walden 1.24.85 Tilton Racing Evo
2nd Earl Bamber 1.27.36 MCA Suspension Silvia
3rd Warren Luff 1.27. 70 Nemo Racing Evo

So these are, in a nutshell, the four classes of racing at the World Time Attack Challenge. Expect times to tumble in 2014 as the level of development continues to escalate. Each class gets three sessions per day and this year we are also bringing back the Superlap Shootout as a finale. We will also be introducing one more exciting new class but more on that later.

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