The season finale for the 2013 Super Lap Battle (SLB) and Global Time Attack (GTA) was an exceptional event for fans of European cars. Presented by Continental Tire at taking place Buttonwillow Raceway Park in California last November, it was a virtual rout for BMW and the M3.
Using configuration CW13 on the famous North American road course, more than 60 competitors in many makes and models registered to beat the clock across a dozen classes. From that mix, six podium spots were occupied by BMW 3 Series, among them Platte Forme AG's E46 M3.
Driven by professional drifter and instructor Tyler McQuarrie, the Platte Forme M3 was a familiar sight at this event. In its traditional Laguna Seca Blue paint, it set the previous Limited Rear Wheel Drive class record in 2012 with a 1:50.755 lap in the hands of "Tarzan" Yamada.
For 2013, the car was rocking a new look - a unique John Player Special gold wrap - as well as a new driver, McQuarrie, who's no stranger to setting records at the track. He started the day on fire, smashing the Limited RWD benchmark by over 2sec with an orbit of 1:48.472.
Unfortunately, the day got tougher after that. The M3 suffered a problem and was towed back to the pits. In the process, the safety team managed to pull the lowered coupe over some raised curbing, ripping off the BMW's front bumper cover and splitter.
Consequently, the team spent the third of four timed sessions thrashing on the car, getting it drivable for the final go-around. Remarkably, when McQuarrie climbed in for the last session, he produced another record-breaking flyer. This time it was 1:48.038, clocking the fastest time in Limited RWD and the entire event!
For his feat, McQuarrie scored $600 plus another 250 bucks for setting the record, as well as a Meister watch and a QStarz GPS Lap Timer for the fastest lap of the day.
"Right now, with the times we're doing, we're around 550-600hp, so we could turn up the boost a little bit more if we had to," McQuarrie told us after the first session. "The car [the team has] set up is awesome; pretty easy to drive. We lost the diffuser in the first session, but other than that it's been pretty straightforward."
In Enthusiast RWD, the BMW M3 didn't simply own the top spot - it 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. Meanwhile, 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 all three steps of the Enthusiast RWD podium.
The E92 also took second in Street RWD and third in Limited RWD, but they weren't the only Euros representing at the year-end time attack. Platte Forme also campaigned its Z4 M Coupe in the event, after previously campaigning it in our EC Tuner GP (EC 2/14).
Outside the BMW sphere, Angel Robles piloted the Forge Motorsport Mk1 VW GTI in the Unlimited FWD class. The car was shipped to the States from the UK both for SLB and the SEMA Show in Las Vegas (see our report elsewhere in this issue). However, Robles had an unfortunate off-road excursion after entering a turn too hot, inflicting enough damage to take himself out of the running.
After many years, this was one of the biggest Euro turnouts, and 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.
2013 Global Time Attack Super Lap Battle Buttonwillow Raceway Park Official Results
|1||Tony Szirka, UMS Tuning||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo||1:52.781|
|2||Texas Dave, ODR Fab||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo||1:58.663|
|3||Coco Zurita, Continental Tire||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo||2:00.492|
|Robert Walker, Evasive Motorsports||Scion FR-S||DNF|
|1||Craig Utter, JDM Speedshop||Honda Civic||2:05.072|
|2||Angel Robles, Forge Motorsport||VW GTI||DNF|
|1||Michael Chang, Evasive Motorsports||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo||1:49.102|
|2||Clint Boisdeau, Novak Racing||Subaru Impreza WRX||1:50.029|
|3||Ryan Gates, 311RS||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X||1:51.791|
|1||Tyler McQuarrie, Platte Forme AG||BMW M3||1:48.038|
|2||Adam Knapik, FR Sport||Nissan 240SX||1:50.152|
|3||Cody Kishel||BMW M3||1:53.639|
|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 Kiet Le||Honda Accord||1:59.158|
|1||Brian Bengali, Massimo Power||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo||1:53.068|
|2||Mark Jager, Yimi Sport||Subaru Impreza WRX||1:53.207|
|3||Breckinridge Haggerty, AQ Motorsports||Subaru Impreza||1:55.398|
|1||Will Wattanawongkiri||Nissan 240SX||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|
|1||Chris Boersma, Boersma Racing||Honda Civic||2:01.695|
|2||Jason Lee, Godspeed Project Sportcar Motion||Honda Civic||2:03.654|
|3||Ken Suen, Godspeed Project Sportcar Motion||Honda Civic||2:06.271|
|1||Craig Peyron||Yimi Sport Robi Spec||1:56.325|
|2||Tony Fuentas||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo||1:59.228|
|1||Rif Dagher||BMW M3||1:58.239|
|2||Amir Bentatou, Stanceworks||BMW M3||1:58.458|
|3||PoWei Huang, AutoLogic Bob's Donut||BMW M3||2:01.680|
|1||Pradana Wilianto, Evasive Sportcar Motion||Acura CSX Type S||2:01.314|