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Cusco & Team Tarzan Subaru Impreza - Super Lap Battle 2008

Shattering Records At Button Willow

Scott Tsuneishi
Mar 1, 2009
Photographers: Staff, Marc Masuda

Come November, a sense of excitement fills the air as Super Lap Battle holds its annual time-attack competition at Buttonwillow Raceway, in the heart of the California desert. Internet forums are at abuzz prior to what many call the premier Stateside time-attack event of the year; this year, with speculation that Japan's newly debuted Cusco/Tomei/Voltex/Team Tarzan Impreza looked ready to snatch last year's 1:43.523 all-time track record set by another Japanese favorite, the HKS CT230R EVO 8. As such, the largest turnout in Super Lap history was recorded under an uncharacteristic Autumn heat wave this year, as 76 registered vehicles were poised to prove once and for all which would reign supreme in each class, and who would take home ultimate bragging rights. Of the 67 machines that made the long trek to the track, an impressive 65 managed to post official lap times.

Within the mix of contenders stood numerous drivers and cars capable of setting record runs, such as Tyler McQuarrie and the Brian Crower/C-West Honda S2000, Gary Sheehan and the GST Impreza, and Tim Kuo piloting the Evasive Motorsports Mitsubishi EVO IX. 5Zigen Japan represented the land of the rising sun with a full staff of mechanics and engineers providing track support for their Formula Nippon driver Katsuyuki Hiranaka in the company's infamous Unlimited FF class '04 Accord Euro R. The K24A-powered machine didn't disappoint, as the team recorded a fastest lap time of 1:54.987, taking home the trophy for the fastest lap in its class.

Track conditions remained ideal for this year's event, and the Unlimited AWD class Cusco/Tomei/Voltex/Team Tarzan Impreza looked ready to etch their names in the record books with a quickest lap time of 1:45 during practice sessions, less than seconds off the HKS record. The Impreza showed promising results as its first round of time attack sessioning stopped the clock at 1:44.372, nearly three-seconds faster than the second place qualifier. Spectators and racers alike braced themselves to witness history in the making, hoping the Impreza would eclipse HKS's record that was once thought of as unbreakable for years to come. Unfortunately for all, the car limped off the tracks and was pushed into the paddocks with a blown transmission. In talking with Mr. Hara-san, Carrosser/Cusco Japan's marketing rep, we learned that the car had something special planned for its next event, which he would only divulge as a smile and a pat on the back. The quest for the track record would be put on delay until next year, as Hara-san and the team quietly called their day to an end.

Tyler McQuarrie and the Brian Crower/C-West Honda S2000 won our award for perseverance after grenading their engine the night before the event, while tuning the vehicle on the dyno. A dropped valve could have ended a possible record run for the carbon-bodied machine, but with the aid of Gary Castillo, BC, and the Design Craft crew, they were able to salvage their ride and run on the less than perfect engine. With a questionable piston sleeve due to the valve mishap, the S2000 rocked the CW13 course with a lap time of 1:46.839-quick enough to claim a new Unlimited FR class record previously set at 1:48.839 by the Twins Turbo FD3S at last year's event.

While the S2000 was busy busting records, Tim Kuo and the Evasive Motorsports EVO IX improved their own previously record-setting Limited AWD class run of 1:53.916 with a blistering 1:50.003 pass. But Kuo's day wasn't complete, as he campaigned the Sportcar Motion EG hatchback in the Limited FF class, and erased Tage Evanson's record holding Civic EG lap time of 1:58.366 with a time of 1:55.948. In a year's time, three records had quickly been reset during this year's '08 SLB Finals. Another interesting fact: over 50 percent of the field ran under two-minute lap times.

The street class' fastest lap recorded was 1:56.672, run by Nils Leufven and the Factor X/ Robispec EVO VIII, edging out Ryan Gates and his EVO X's time of 1:56.726-a mere 100th of a second difference between the two. Compare Nils' time to the Signal Auto R34, piloted by Tarzan Yamada, which captured the overall SLB '04 Unlimited AWD class with a time of 1:55, and you'll appreciate how fast these vehicles have become over the past few years.

Speaking more on the abilities of Stateside tuners, Crawford's '08 STI, with Tanner Foust behind the wheel, became the first completely domestically built machine to run deep into the 1:47 mark, with a 1:47.052.

And what about the Import Tuner/Rockstar/Tein '08 IS F project car, you ask? With Rockstar Energy Drink's very own Tanner Foust behind the wheel, the blue sled managed to clock an impressive 2:02.738 in the Street FR class-an impressive feat, considering the car's 3,600-pound curb weight and full interior with audio. Look for this IS F flossing at a club near you.

This year's Super Lap Battle became one of the stand-out series of '08, as seven cars from the Finals made it into Top 10 record books. You can bet next year's event will be filled with more record breaking runs and even faster vehicles than ever before. If you missed out this time around, be sure to check www.superlapbattle.com for more information and upcoming schedules.

1 Team Tarzan Eiji Yamada {{{2007 Subaru Impreza}}} WRX Unlimited AWD 1:44.372 Hankook
2 C-West/ BC Tyler McQuarrie {{{2000 Honda S2000}}} Unlimited FR 1:46.893 Hankook
3 Crawford Performance Tanner Foust {{{2008 Subaru Impreza}}} STI Unlimited AWD 1:47.052 Hankook
4 JIC Magic USA Paul Brown 1996 {{{Porsche}}} GT2 Unlimited FR 1:47.868 Hankook
5 Factor X Motorsport Development Billy Johnson {{{1991 Acura NSX}}} Unlimited FR 1:47.965 Yokohama
6 GST Motorsports Gary Sheehan {{{1996 Subaru Impreza}}} L Unlimited AWD 1:48.038 BFG
7 {{{M}}}-Workz Steve Mitchell {{{2003 Nissan 350Z}}} Unlimited FR 1:48.471 Hankook
8 Evasive Motorsport Tim Kuo 2006 {{{Mitsubishi}}} Evo IX Limited AWD 1:50.003 Toyo
9 Driving Ambition Kip Olson 1991 {{{Acura NSX}}} Unlimited FR 1:51.847 Hoosier
10 Speed {{{Element}}} Andrie Hartanto 2006 Mitsubishi Evo 8 Limited AWD 1:53.229 Toyo
11 MFQ Motorsports Robispec Dieter Heinz 2006 Mitsubishi Evo 8 Limited AWD 1:53.981 Toyo
12 5Zigen K. Hiranaka {{{2004 Honda Accord}}} Euro-R Unlimited FF 1:54.987 Falken
13 N1 Concepts Andrie Hartanto 2000 {{{Honda S2000}}} Unlimited FR 1:55.067 Toyo
14 Sportcar Motion Tim Kuo {{{1995 Honda Civic}}} Limited FF 1:55.948 Toyo
15 World Racing Chris Rado {{{2006 Scion tC}}} Unlimited FF 1:56.126 Hoosier
16 HASport/ Kaaz Tage Evanson 1995 {{{Honda Civic}}} Limited FF 1:56.186 Nitto
17 Robispec/ Flying {{{Miata}}} Matt Andrews {{{1995 Mazda Miata}}} Limited FR 1:56.187 Nitto
18 Science of Speed Brady Dohrmann {{{2002 Honda S2000}}} Unlimited FR 1:56.268  
19 Eastside Muffler Joe Santiago 2006 Mitsubishi Evo 9 Limited AWD 1:56.288  
20 Factor X/ Robispec Nils Leufven 2004 Mitsubishi Evo 8 Street AWD 1:56.672 Yokohama
21 Gates311.com/ AMS Ryan Gates 2008 Mitsubishi Evo X Street AWD 1:56.726 Nitto
22 AMS Martin Musial 2008 Mitsubishi Evo X Street AWD 1:{{{57}}}.067 BFG
23 UMS Tuning Anthony Szirka 2003 Mitsubishi Evo VIII Limited AWD 1:57.134 Nitto
24 E- Autosports Toshiki Yoshioka {{{2006 Honda S2000}}} Limited FR 1:57.169 Nitto
25 Harmon Motive JC Meynet {{{2006 Subaru Impreza}}} STI Street AWD 1:57.372 Yokohama
26 Yokohama/ Boost Logic Matt Andrews {{{1995 Toyota Supra}}} Street FR 1:57.711 Yokohama
27 Mishimoto/ Motorworld Hype Andy Hope {{{2002 Acura RSX}}} Unlimited FF 1:58.098 BFG
28 Evasive Motorsports Robert Walker {{{2006 Honda S2000}}} Street FR 1:58.364 Dunlop
29 Robispec Robert Fuller 2005 {{{Mitsubishi}}} Evo VIII Street AWD 1:58.542  
30 trackHQ.com/ APR Performance Manly Kao {{{2005 Lotus Elise}}} Street FR 1:58.752 Dunlop
31 Tein USA Robert Walker 2006 Mitsubishi Evo 9 Street AWD 1:58.989 Hankook
32 Ksport Brady Dohrmann 2005 {{{Honda}}} {{{Integra}}} Type-R Unlimited FF 1:59.481  
33 SPEC Clutch David Norton {{{1995 Nissan 240SX}}} Limited FR 1:59.667 Toyo
34 Stop Tech Steve Ruiz 2008 Mitsubishi Evo X Street AWD 1:59.853 Yokohama
35 Renspec Ryan Hampton 2007 {{{Porsche}}} GT3 Limited FR 2:00.568 Toyo
36 {{{Canyon}}} Motorsports Bob Scheer 2002 Mini {{{Cooper}}} S Unlimited FF 2:00.605 Hankook
37 Endless USA Murata 1999 {{{Nissan}}} Siliva {{{S15}}} Limited FR 2:00.798 Yokohama
38 Kel’s Garage Kelvin Yong {{{2003 Honda S2000}}} Street FR 2:01.027 Dunlop
39 M1 Fabrication Russ Warr 2005 Mitsubishi Evo 8 Street AWD 2:01.154 Yokohama
40 Robispec/ EDO Performance Scott VanderHeide {{{2005 Subaru Impreza}}} STI Street AWD 2:01.541 Yokohama
41 Toda Racing USA   {{{2006 Acura RSX}}} Unlimited FF 2:01.617 Yokohama
42 WRD Paul Bonaccorsi 2006 VW {{{GTI}}} Limited FF 2:02.652 Dunlop
43 K&N/ Autocannon Dennis Caco 2006 Mitsubishi Evo IX Limited AWD 2:02.705 Toyo
44 Top Setup Charlie Rhyu {{{1988 Honda CRX}}} Unlimited FF 2:02.708 Toyo
45 Import Tuner/ Tein USA Tanner Foust {{{2008 Lexus IS-F}}} Street FR 2:02.738 Yokohama
46 Project Car Magazine Jeffrey Hosee {{{1994 Sentra}}} SE-R Limited FF 2:02.811  
47 Seat Time Performance Driving Jon Krolewicz 2008 Mitsubishi Evo X Street AWD 2:02.971 Conti
48 Nitto Tire Dan Gardner 2007 {{{Scion}}} tc Limited FF 2:03.132 Nitto
49 Evolution Racewerks V.J. Mirzayan 2008 {{{BMW}}} 135i Street FR 2:03.393 Yokohama
50 Evasive Motorsport Michael Chang {{{2008 Honda Civic}}} Si Street FF 2:03.557 Dunlop
51 Berk Technology Jeff Tyler 2008 BMW 135i Street FR 2:03.964 Toyo
52 JHP USA Tom Liang {{{1991 Honda Civic}}} Si Limited FF 2:04.256 Nitto
53 Crawford Performance Tanner Foust {{{2008 Subaru Impreza}}} STI Street AWD 2:04.579  
54 Boxer 4 Racing/ {{{Continental}}} Steven Rankins {{{2006 Subaru Impreza}}} STI Street AWD 2:04.722 Conti
55 Windspeed Motorsports/ Continental Douglas Wind {{{2004 Dodge SRT-4}}} Street FF 2:04.912 Conti
56 Special Projects Jeff Owen {{{1996 Acura Integra}}} DCZ Unlimited FF 2:05.050  
{{{57}}} Cobb Tuning Eric Bizek 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 Street FF 2:05.254 Dunlop
58 HB Speed Matt Andrews 2008 {{{Mitsubishi}}} Evo X Street AWD 2:05.875  
59 P/1 Auto/ Continental Don Hill {{{1992 Honda Civic}}} Street FF 2:05.907 Conti
60 AP Boss USA   {{{1999 Honda Civic}}} Street FF 2:05.991 Falken
61 S Hubinette Racing Stina Hubinette 2003 DodgeSRT4 Street FF 2:06.711 Michelin
{{{62}}} Autocannon. com Dennis Caco 1992 {{{Honda Civic}}} VX Street FF 2:08.608 Falken
63 Hasport Bob Endicaott {{{1988 Honda CRX}}} Street FF 2:10.115  
64 Yokohama Matt Johnson {{{1991 240SX}}} Street FR 2:10.669 Yokohama
65 HG Motorsports Dieter Heinz 2008 Mercedes C300 Street FR 2:12.892  
By Scott Tsuneishi
247 Articles

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