With the 2019 Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge only a few days away, we thought we might have a look at who the hottest contenders across our classes are. This year we see the most exciting and competitive field ever in our ten years of operation and picking a winner in any of the classes is virtually impossible!
We have studied as hard as we could and came up with what our staff think the odds of winning each class are from the information we have, which in many cases is more limited than you think as many teams go into almost ‘total media lockdown’ as to not give too much information out to their rival teams. Also remember this is TIME ATTACK and anything can, and often does, happen. As prepared as you may be, you have to put it down ON THE DAY!
RP 968 – Barton Mawer – AUS – 3:1
Now in their fifth year of competition, the RP968 team have spent the last 12 months refining what was already an extremely potent weapon. The engine is now lower and sits further back and sports a monster cam driven fuel pump indicating the team are likely to explore the power potential of the billet Elmer engine. Bart Mawer knows how way around Sydney Motorsport Park as good as any other driver in the field, ensuring the guys start 2019 as the favourite.
MCA Suspension – Andre Heimgartner – AUS/NZ – 4:1
Never underestimate the MCA team with team mastermind Murray Coote well and truly making up for a lack of comparative funding with engineering smarts. After being plagued with setup issues last year, the car is now “as close to spot on as you will ever get it” according to Murray, and new recruit kiwi V8 Supercar ace Andre Heimgartner showing his prowess by smashing a long held outright lap record at Queensland Raceway within ten minutes of sitting in the seat.
Scorch Racing – Under Suzuki – JPN – 5:1
Firstly, let us say, if Under Suzkuki wins WTAC in 2019 you can virtually guarantee the internet will crash! He has spent the past two years bringing his Tsukuba record setting Silvia up to ‘current Pro-spec’ with cantilever suspension, third spring adaption and a whole bunch more including now being right on weight limit. His biggest drawback is a lack of time for testing with the car doing one small shakedown at Ebisu before being loaded in the container. That being said he has some really smart engineering minds in his garage now that should help him hit the ground running and anything is really possible here.
Tilton Racing – Garth Walden – AUS – 6:1
There are very few people on this planet as passionate about time attack racing as Kostinken Pohurukov. With three outright victories to the teams name with Walden driving last year Kostya “the boss” jumped in to take the Pro Am victory. After the car was badly damaged in a crash Kostya decided to go “all out” and just like Suzuki has built a “current spec” car with latest Voltex aero designs, extreme light weight techniques and Walden is certainly well and truly at home in an Evo at Sydney Motorsport Park. Like Under Suzuki the lack of any test time is the team only real downside with the vehicle likely to be finished just days before the event from what we hear.
Revline Racing – Alx Danielsson – SWE – 6:1
This is another team that may well surprise!! The car is very well sorted and has been smashing records across Scandinavia and will be interesting to see it on the world stage. Alx Danielsson is a pro driver with a big reputation in his home country having driven everything from Nascar to Formula 1 and should adapt very quickly to the different conditions in Australia. Certainly an each way bet and not here to make up numbers that is for certain.
LYFE Motorsport – Cole Powelson – USA – 7:1
Last here in 2015 the LYFE Motorsport team are back with a way sharper weapon in 2019. Last ran at Circuit of the Americas in Texas the team took the outright victory at the inaugural Superlap Battle and then committed to come back to Australia. With a bit of a weight penalty to the current crop of cars the R35 GTR will still be lightening fast but Cole has a seperate mission all of his own “we are chasing the time set by Will Au Yeung that will see us as the fastest time attack car from North America”. That said the team is still a shoe in for a possible podium if the ducks don’t all line up for the other teams which is often the case in time attack racing.
Pro Am Class
Audi R8 1.1 – Sami Sivonen – FIN – 4:1
With a twin turbo V10 punching out 1500 odd horsepower and fresh aero designed by Dr Sammy Diasonis the Finland entry starts as favourite for Pro Am Class. We have seen some of the data from this team and with a pro driver this car could well compete for outright lap times. Not a lot of test time on new build and Semi getting used to confidently driving this monster would be the only downsides.
B Active Racing – Kunihiko Bando – JPN – 5:1
Extremely well sorted package packing well over 1000hp. Bando-san is also extremely competent driver with many years experience. Car just underwent full rebuild to come to WTAC and is more potent than ever. Has good relationship with Under Suzuki and he has helped with development, and no doubt data, relative to Sydney Motorsport Park so we expect this team to come out punching hard from the get go. Definitely one to watch for certain.
Revline Racing – Gustaf Burström – SWE – 5:1
This little team from Stockholm may surprise everyone. With 950 horsepower and Andrew Brilliant designed aero the car is certainly a weapon. Gustaf has had a fair amount of seat time back in Scandinavia and will be pushing very hard for the win in Australia. Doing double stints in Pro and Pro Am will certainly test reliability but they have certainly a lot of experience with this platform and are a very strong chance of a podium
Tilton Racing – Kostinken Pohurokov – AUS – 6:1
Now this is a team that would be starting a the clear favourite except for one thing. The car will likely be finished the week of the event meaning shakedown will be on practice day and then straight into it meaning they will have to hit the ground running. In saying that the team have a huge amount of experience and data with the Evo chassis and will be working around the clock to ensure they have the absolute best chance of defending the Pro Am title that they won last year
Lyfe Motorsport – Rob ‘Chairslayer’ Parsons – USA – 7:1
This one is a bit of an unknown but anyone that packs their wheelchair on a plane to travel to the other side of the world and jump straight into a pro car at the biggest time attack event in the world with hand controls deserves some sort of a mention! And according to LYFE Motorsport boss Cole Powelson “he will not be there to make up the numbers I can assure you, he will be fast or we wouldn’t have put him in there. He is fast in everything he drives.”
Integrated Motorsport – Matt Longhurst – SA – 3:1
Extremely well sorted car and well resourced team that have had an extensive test program this year. Has been runner up before and is certainly coming to try to take the win this year. Despite being ametuer driver Longhurst has proven he can mix it with the best on many occasions. Extensive spares inventory will ensure they will be running hard right to the end despite running 1200+hp during competition.
Xtreme GTR – Brad Shiels – ACT – 4:1
Now with several years WTAC experience this husband and wife team have certainly moved ahead in leaps and bounds in recent times. Securing Tasmanian engineering whiz Brad Sherrif along with pro driver Brad Shiels along with an extensive test and development program see the team become a serious threat in Open Class in 2019. Don’t let the show car looks fool you this is a serious piece of kit coming into battle this year that is for certain.
Dream Projects – Rob Nguyen – QLD – 5:1
One of the most anticipated builds of 2019 with entire car designed by ex McLaren engineer Barry Lock. Running a billet SR20 with 950 odd hp and the hugely experienced Rob Nguyen (Mighty Mouse) behind the wheel these guys are dead serious.It is a purpose built Open Class car that is designed to win. The only downsides are a lack of extensive testing many other teams have had and also a lack of spares inventory meaning any problems could put them out of contention.
WBT Skyline – Steven Johnson – QLD – 6:1
This is another insane build that will blow peoples minds when they see it! Built by DJR and Pace Innovations it is another car “being built to win” showing the enormous growth of Open Class. Now with a 1500hp billet RB30 the car is now entered as a GTST being converted to rear wheel drive in an effort to bring the weight right down. Will be once again driven by Steven Johnson with a bunch of DJR crew handling data and engineering. Another car that the build will go “right to the wire” but there is a team working around the clock to finish it right now
Global Aircraft Services – Nathan Morcom – NSW – 7:1
Never far from the front Nathan Morcom has had a very busy year in TCR and we hear the Evo is copping some upgrades in the lead to WTAC. Without knowing what is actually happening we can only take a guess but what we will stay is that this year we expect the winning time in this class to drop and possibly fairly dramatically so what was fast last year may well not be this year. If the GAS team are like everyone else and chasing this we certainly expect to see them in the game for sure.
Car Mods Australia / Cusco – Tarzan Yamada – Japan/Australia – 8:1
The Car Mods WRX will see Japanese legend WTAC veteran Tarzan Yamada back behind the wheel in 2019. Having undergone an extensive rebuild that included an 850hp engine paddle shift transmission and a whole bunch more with support of Cusco Japan. The team are confident the car is ready and by all accounts this looks like the most competitive car Yamada will have competed in recent times.
BDY Motorsport – Keiichi Tsuchiya – Japan/Australia 8:1
Last year this car debuted with Tsuchiya putting it through its paces at WTAC but with another year of development the car will be a different animal this year for sure. Sporting much larger rubber and a bunch of suspension refinements the team are expecting to take many seconds off the lap time recorded last year and are “chasing a podium”
CRD GTR – Andrej Pavicevic NSW – 10:1
Built as a sister car to the Integrated Motorsport GTR the “Carbon Warrior” is set to debut at WTAC 2019. Running a CRD built RB28 and the chassis built under the watchful eye of Matt Longhurst Hall has extensive time attack experience and will be eager to get behind the wheel in competition. Still running a “steel engine” may hamper higher horsepower figures and also give a weight disadvantage but still an each way bet.
Elusive Racing – Brett Dickie – VIC – 3:1
After a convincing win in Clubsprint 2018 the Elusive Racing team have told us they will be back with a far more refined and faster weapon in 2019 with another year of development up their sleeves. There was much conjecture amongst several other competitors regarding the legality of this car but our technical team went over it with a fine tooth comb and it is certainly built well within the rulebook and for this reason they start as the favourite for 2019.
Hyundai N Performance – Timothy Rodgers – NSW – 4:1
After seeing how easy Jordan Cox did a 1.44.9 in a mildly fettled i30N last year we can only imagine whats possible when the manufacturer enters a car. To start with the aero package by Dr Sam Diasonis we believe will be at a level not previously seen in Clubsprint Class. They have a whole engineering team coming from Korea and a manufacturer rarely enters anything if they do not think they have a chance of winning. Despite claims the engine will remain internally standard we believe they should make enough power to be very competitive particularly with an aero advantage.
Steven Wan – BYP Racing – NSW – 4:1
The fact that BYP Hondas have won or been on a Clubsprint Class podium more times than any other workshop must count for something and this car we believe is the same spec as the BYP car that won in 2016 and 2017 with a few advancements that come as things progress. Not to be underestimated ever
Idin Ahanger – GotItRex – VIC – 5:1
Another very fast WRX that was potential winner last year before being excluded for a major rule breach. We assume the car will be made legal for this year and Ahanger will certainly be looking to make amends.
Team Metropole – Nik Kalis – NSW – 6:1
The first ever winner of Clubsprint way back in 2010 is back for our team year anniversary! “The Spartan” went on to win the Open Class title in 2011 in doing so being the only ever multiple class winner. He will be fast for sure but whether the much heavier Evo X can match the lightweight Hondas will remain to be seen. Certainly an each way bet though!