Remember when you were a kid and for your birthday parties you'd always have to invite your entire class so no one felt left out? Well folks, we're all grown up now and the truth is, you never get everything you want. The Super Lap Battle (formerly called Time Attack) Finals in November is an invite-only event; we're not trying to make anyone feel left out, but we're looking to get the best of the best to compete in our event. So that's where our qualifying rounds come into play: If you think you have what it takes to play with the big boys, come out and put your money where you mouth is.
Starting last year we traveled across the country to select NASA events inviting the fastest guys to compete in our Finals. This year we went out to NASA's Virginia International Raceway event to see what the East Coast has to offer. This was our first time coming out to VIR and it truly is one of the nicest tracks in the country, albeit a little too far from civilization for our liking. Driving to the track, you actually go into North Carolina and then back into Virginia. The competition was pretty fierce over the weekend but Subaru's seemed to be the dominant AWD platform, with the first place finisher going to Element Tuning's STI driven by Phil Grabow, who beat out David Fazzino's Mitsubishi Evo 8. On the FF side of things, there was a K20 swapped DC2 Integra and EK hatches tearing it up, but at the end of the day the top three spots went to AWD cars.
Our Super Lap Battle event was designed to be like an All-Star game; get the biggest name tuners from the U.S., Japan and Europe to come together and show the world what they can do. Since 2004 when we held the first event, it's grown to the point where it's not just tuners wanting to compete--it's readers like you wanting to get involved. It really is a lot easier than you might think. If you're someone like me with little to no track experience, all you need to do is sign up for NASA's HPDE program. NASA is a nationwide organization so wherever you live, they'll have events for you to run in. You'll start off in HPDE 1 with an instructor to ride along with you and, once you get some more experience, you can graduate to the HPDE 4 and Time Trial group, which makes you eligible to run in our qualifying rounds with NASA.
Our Super Lap Battle Finals will bring out the fastest tuner cars in world; spaces are very limited and this isn't like when you were a kid. If you don't qualify you're not going to get an invite.