Super Lap Battle-Global Time Attack Final 2013 Details:
- Tyler McQuarrie in Platte Forme AG BMW M3 fastest of the day, setting new record in Limited RWD
- Records also broken in Limited FWD and Street AWD Classes
- 60 competitors across 12 classes
- Second year for event organized by Super Lap Battle and Global Time Attack and presented by Continental Tire
The biggest time attack event Americans can muster - namely the co-branded Super Lap Battle (SLB) and Global Time Attack (GTA) season finale, presented by Continental Tire, that happens each year at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in California - saw some resurgence at its 2013 closer on November 14. Numbers were up, as a general rule, with more entries and more interest, if we're to gauge from all the media at the trials, than the past few events. Records fell, which in the framework of time attack is a good thing, although all of the elite Unlimited category times remained untouched (a fact that would change just a few short days later - more on that later).
Five-dozen or so cars came out to run Buttonwillow's clockwise 13 configuration, a 23-turn, three-mile version of the road circuit. One of the rarer ones was Chris Hamer's Unlimited FWD Forge Motorsports Volkswagen Mk1 GTI.
Hamer shipped the Volkswagen to the States from the U.K. - both for the time attack and the SEMA Show in Las Vegas a week earlier - but wasn't able to make the SLB/GTA finale, which is why Angel Robles stepped in. Unluckily, Robles had an off in the car after entering a turn too hot, incurring enough damage to take himself out of the running. This allowed Craig Utter in the JDM Speedshop Honda Civic hatch to win the class with a lap of 2:05.072.
Unlimited AWD was a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution shootout, with Tony Szirka taking top honors in his UMS Tuning EVO with a 1:52.781 flyer. Texas Dave in the ODR Fab EVO went 1:58.663 for second and Coco Zurita in the Continental Tire EVO X orbited in 2:00.492 for third.
The most blazing times came out of Limited RWD. Driven by professional drifter and racing instructor Tyler McQuarrie, the Platte Forme M3 has been to this event before - sporting traditional Laguna Seca Blue - and in fact set the previous L-RWD class record in 2012 with a 1:50.755 lap at the hands of the inimitable "Tarzan" Yamada.
For the 2013 event, it came rocking a new look, a unique John Player Special gold wrap, and new driver, McQuarrie, who's no stranger to setting records at the track, having done it at least twice previously (in the C-West Honda S2000 and the FXMD Acura NSX). He started off the day on fire, smashing the class high mark by over two seconds with an orbit of 1:48.472. Unfortunately, the day got a little rougher after that, when the M3 suffered a drive issue and had to be towed off course. In that normally innocuous process, Buttonwillow safety managed to pull the lowered coupe over some raised curbing, a bone-headed move that basically led to the BMW's front bumper cover and splitter getting ripped off.
The team spent the third of four timed sessions thrashing on the car, getting it drivable for the group's final go-around. When McQuarrie climbed in for the last session, he remarkably produced another record-breaking flyer, this time an orbit of 1:48.038, clocking the fastest lap of Limited RWD and of the entire 2013 event. For the feat, McQuarrie scored 600 bucks plus 250 for setting the record, a Meister watch and a QStarz GPS lap timer for the overall fastest lap of the day.
The top Limited AWDs were also in that ballpark, Michael Chang's Evasive Motorsports EVO winning the group with a 1:49.102. Clint Boisdeau in the Novak Racing Subaru Impreza was less than a second behind, at 1:50.029, for second and Ryan Gates in his Gates 311 EVO X finished third with a lap of 1:51.791.
In Limited Front-Wheel Drive, Dr. Tim Kuo took out the SportCar Motion Acura Integra Type-R in the first session of the day and erased the record he set just 12 months earlier. Lapping the circuit in 1:52.886, he crushed his old high mark of 1:55.222 to ace the category. James Houghton in another DC2 Integra finished second with a 1:55.685, while Kevin Courtney came home third in his seventh-generation Accord coupe with a 1:59.158, just edging Tony Jackson's time of 1:59.273 in his fifth-gen. Civic hatchback.
A final record fell in Street AWD, where Brian Bengali in the Massimo Power Mitsubishi clocked a 1:53.068 to ace the category and reset the high mark. Mark Jager in the Yimi Sport WRX STI was an amazing 0.1 seconds off that pace, nabbing second with a 1:53.207, while Breckinridge Haggerty was another couple ticks behind for third in the AQ Motorsports Subie with a 1:55.398.
While his efforts didn't produce a class record, Will Wattanawongkiri still clobbered the Street RWD field in the Wattanawongkiri Racing Nissan S13 240SX, clearing his closest challenger by over three seconds with a 1:54.969. Uncle Big in The R's Tuning BMW E92 M3 secured second with a lap of 1:58.181, and Mike Kang took third with a 1:59.504 in the CounterSpace Garage BRZ.
Street FWD saw an all-Civic podium, as Chris Boersma won with a 2:01.695 from his sixth-gen. coupe, easily gapping second-place finisher Jason Lee's 2:03.654 in his eighth-gen. sedan. Ken Suen's ninth-gen. sedan registered as third with an orbit of 2:06.271.
Craig Peyron had the best orbit of the entire Enthusiast group, winning the AWD class with a 1:56.325 in the Yimi Sport Robi Spec STI. Tony Fuentes was of little threat from second with a 1:59.228 in his EVO, while another three ticks behind him sat Michael Jantz in his STI with a 2:03.895 for third.
In Enthusiast RWD, BMW M3 didn't simply own the top spot - they claimed the entire podium. Rif Dagher won the group in his E92 with a 1:58.239, just edging the 1:58.458 put down by Amir Bentatou's Stanceworks E36. PoWei Huang in the AutoLogic Bob's Donut E46 M3 lapped in 2:01.680 for third place, putting three generations of the beloved M on the Enthusiast RWD podium.
Finally, Pradana "Ping" Wilianto took E-FWD with a 2:01.314 in his Canadian Domestic Market Acura CSX Type-S.
We mentioned how all of the Unlimited Class records were left unmolested for this edition of SLB, and in truth the era of the big-budget time attack team seems over (if it ever really existed). But one rag-tag group - the team from FX Motorsports Development - has refused to give up, in spite of the mounting costs of continuing to compete.
While they couldn't make our event, they did go to a time attack at Buttonwillow some weeks after it and triumphantly reset the track's overall production car based record in the team's Acura NSX, driven again by pro hot-shoe Billy Johnson. His amazing 1:37.520 smashed the old mark of 1:40.981 (that Johnson also set, in the same car, just a year earlier) by over three seconds. And just like that, the bar is set higher.
After a handful of off years, this was the biggest turnout for one of these things in some time, certainly the biggest since America's two premiere time attack bodies joined forces last year to stage the event. We wouldn't be surprised if this was the beginning of an upswing for the SLB-GTA finals, and expect even more racers to show up next year's battle royale.
2013 Super Lap Battle/Global Time Attack Final
Buttonwillow Raceway Park, Buttonwillow, CA*
Pos. Driver, Car - Best Time
1 Tony Szirka, UMS Tuning Mitsubishi EVO - 1:52.781
2 Texas Dave, ODR Fab Mitsubishi EVO - 1:58.663
3 Coco Zurita, Continental Tire Mitsubishi EVO - 2:00.492
1 Robert Walker, Evasive Motorsports Scion FR-S - no time
1 Craig Utter, JDM Speedshop Honda EG Civic - 2:05.072
2 Angel Robles, Forge Motorsport Mk1 Golf - no time
1 Michael Chang, Evasive Motorsport Mitsubishi EVO - 1:49.102
2 Clint Boisdeau, Novak Racing Subaru Impreza - 1:50.029
3 Ryan Gates, Gates 311RS Mitsubishi EVO - 1:51.791
4 JC Meynet, AQ Motorsports Subaru STI - 1:53.079
5 Zhong Cheung, FFTEC Motorsports Mitsubishi EVO - 1:53.396
6 Tim Pu, The R's Tuning Nissan GT-R - 1:54.287
7 Alex Lewandowski, JDM Factory Mitsubishi EVO - 1:55.242
8 Roy Narvaez, RD Engineering Nissan GT-R - 1:57.812
9 Ivo Mitkov, Renner Motorsports Subaru RS - 1:58.192
1 Tyler McQuarrie, Platte Forme AG BMW M3 - 1:48.038
2 Adam Knapik, FR Sport Knapik Racing Nissan 240 - 1:50.152
3 Cody Kishel, BMW M3 - 1:53.639
4 Ricky Kwan, The R's Tuning Honda S2000 - 1:54.565
5 Tom Tang, Tuner Playground Honda S2000 - 1:56.274
6 Derrick Lee, A & J Racing Subaru BRZ - 1:58.820
7 Kevin Parlett, SOHO Motorsports Infiniti G35 - 2:03.165
8 Larry Chen, Speedhunters Datsun 240Z - 2:08.784
9 Dai Yoshihara, Street Set Up Lexus Tuned - 2:09.531
10 Reid Yoken, Whiteline Flatout Corvette - 2:15.971
1 Dr. Tim Kuo, Sportcar Motion Acura Type R - 1:52.886
2 James Houghton, R-Division Acura Type R - 1:55.685
3 Kevin Courtney, Bobby Lane Racing Honda Accord - 1:59.158
4 Tony Jackson, Eibach Springs Honda EG Civic - 1:59.273
5 Doug Wind, Modern Performance Dodge SRT4 - 2:00.081
1 Brian Bengali, Massimo Power Mitsubishi EVO - 1:53.068
2 Mark Jager, Yimi Sport Subaru STI - 1:53.207
3 Breckinridge Haggerty, AQ Motorsports Subaru STI - 1:55.398
4 John Carson, KT Motoring Mitsubishi EVO - 1:56.734
5 Spencer Li, The R's Tuning Nissan GTR - 1:56.835
6 Taylor Wilson, SNAIL Performance Subaru STI - 1:57.031
7 Matt Dennison, Road Race Engineering Mitsubishi EVO - 2:01.468
8 Istvan Klag, Nightmotorsport Subaru STI - 2:01.898
9 Todd Earsley, My Shop Assist Mitsubishi EVO - 2:03.882
1 Will Wattanawongkiri, Wattanawongkiri Racing 91 Nissan 240 - 1:54.969
2 Uncle Big, The R's Tuning BMW M3 - 1:58.181
3 Mike Kang, CounterSpace Garage Subaru BRZ - 1:59.504
4 Ron Chang, The R's Tuning BMW M3 - 2:00.041
5 Terry, Platte Forme AG BMW Z4 - 2:00.461
6 Ashton Stander, Hillbank Motorsports Ford Mustang GT - 2:04.794
7 Andrew Nier, Nier Racing Group Ford Mustang GT - 2:04.994
8 Terry Liu, Air Rex Nissan 370Z - 2:15.587
1 Chris Boersma, Boersma Racing Honda Civic - 2:01.695
2 Jason Lee, Godspeed Sportcar Motion Honda Civic - 2:03.654
3 Ken Suen, Godspeed Sportcar Motion Honda Civic - 2:06.271
1 Craig Peyron, Yimi Sport Robi Spec Subaru STI - 1:56.325
2 Tony Fuentas, Mitsubishi EVO - 1:59.228
3 Michael Jantz, Subaru STI - 2:03.895
4 Michael Cruz, Massimo Power Mitsubishi EVO - 2:09.503
1 Rif Dagher, BMW E92 M3 - 1:58.239
2 Amir Bentatou, StanceWorks BMW M3 - 1:58.458
3 PoWei Huang, AutoLogic Bobs Donuts BMW M3 - 2:01.680
4 Chris Reber, Ford Mustang GT - 2:02.677
1 Pradana Ping Wilianto, Acura CSX-S Evasive Sportcar Motion - 2:01.314
*Results provided by GTA