Completed just days before WTAC 2015, MCA’s Hammerhead version 2.0 finished in second place with Shane Van Gisbergen behind the wheel. If the rumours flying around pitlane at the end of the event are anything to go by, its best time of 1:25.37 was a long way from the car’s true potential. With another year of testing and development under its belt this car will certainly start as one of the red hot favourites in 2016.
With SVG heavily committed this year to both Triple Eight and McLaren the team has opted for a new driver in the form of another V8 Supercars hotshot Tim Slade.
“Tim is a fantastic young driver” said team principle Murray Coote. “We already have had him at one test day and plan on getting him a fair bit more seat time before October.”
“Tim lives locally which plays into our hands. With more test days Tim can really push the limits of the car well in advance and we can get it dialled in to his driving style.”
“Murray has a knack for finding just the right driver” said Superlap CEO Ian Baker. “You only have to look at the history here. First he brought along a young guy named Earl Bamber who a couple of years later went on to win Le Mans outright with Porsche. Then he employed the talents of Shane Van Gisbergen who has already made a mark on the world stage.”
“You can see a pattern forming here. Slade had his first V8 round win earlier this year and is a young guy on the way up. Murray will be able to see that and put it to the team’s advantage. I have known Tim Slade’s father Gill personally for 20 odd years so it is great to see his son grab a drive in what is potentially an event winner.”
Lighter, more powerful and with an improved aero package designed by ex McLaren engineer, Barry Lock, Hammerhead v2.0 is a more manageable and better handling vehicle than its predecessor.
“The old car was way too heavy and this was something we had been aware of for quite some time.” said Murray Coote “As we sat down and did the sums we also realized that the aero could also be improved greatly. So whilst it was not a cheap exercise it really was the only way for us to move forward and be where we want to be.”
“We didn’t really have time to properly test it before the event.” recalls Murray. “We were still making changes on Saturday. The car definitely can go much faster than it did in 2015. It was literally off the trailer last year and straight into competition with zero test time. To be honest it was surprising it went as well as it did but let’s just say that was also a long way from where it should have been.”
[pullquote]This is probably the most advanced S13 Silvia ever built.[/pullquote]
Despite the limited pre-event testing, the new car still managed to improve on its previous year’s best, finishing WTAC 2015 with the 2nd fastest outright lap time of 1:25.37.
“The Pro cars of today are a long way from where they were 5 years ago and we are well aware of that” said Murray. “We have to be competitive or we wouldn’t even bother. We are not here to make up the numbers, nor are we satisfied with being runners-up I can assure you of that.”
“We’re certainly aiming for the top spot. This year will be interesting as there are quite a few teams who will be in the ball park, including our arch-rival, Under Suzuki. We will be a lot better prepared this year that is for sure. Our goal is to reset the record and take the outright victory and that is the mindset we are going in with.”
With the billet SR20 now making close to 1000hp in full attack mode and a new driver in the form of the highly skilled Tim Slade, 2016 could be the year MCA finally moves to the front of the pack. We’ll all have to wait till October to find out, but with MCA’s runs on the board and the car’s tried and proven performance the team will definitely be going in as one of the red hot favourites!
MCA’s WTAC results to date:
2011: 10th place 1:33.06
2012: 3rd place 1.27.80
2013: 2nd place 1.27.36
2014: 3rd place 1:25.70
2015: 2nd place 1.25.37
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