While everyone else was shut down at an end to their seasons, Global Time Attack still had one more race. It's the classic American Time Attack event—Super Lap Battle. This time around Andy Smedegard and the RS Motors/365Racing Mitsubishi Evo IX took everyone by surprise to pick up the overall fastest lap, but that wasn't the only drama to hit the event.
Super Lap Battle—just saying the name triggers memories and mental images of GT-Rs, Evos, Civics, and other fast vehicles we all would love to build and drive. It also tends to bring out the best in North America, as we saw teams come from Canada, the East Coast, and the Midwest to take home the trophy and bragging rights that come with the Overall Fastest title. There was a couple of regular names that were present, but not in their normal cars.
First up was the LYFE Motorsports team, who brought out two Nissan 350Z in Spec Z trim. At an event before Super Lap, the LYFE GT-R was badly damaged due to a crash and couldn't be repaired in time to make it. Nevertheless, the team was in attendance in the Unlimited RWD class with Corey Brand and Kyle Schick. Despite taking the final two spots in the class, they were happy with the cars as they used SLB as a testing session before the 2018 Spec Z season just a few months out.
The PZTuning team was also just back from Australia where they took their Vibrant Performance/PZTuning Honda Civic to compete in the World Time Attack Challenge (WTAC). In doing so, the car hadn't come back in time for Super Lap Battle, but Will Au-Yeung and team were. So, instead of sitting on the sidelines, they brought out their old Acura RSX Type-S to compete in the Unlimited FWD category. Many of the lessons learned from the Civic were applied to the RSX and it showed in his results. With little time to build it, Will just finished a mere 1.635-seconds off the winning and longer developed K-Tuned Acura Integra Type-R of James Houghton.
A somewhat surprising entry that was so low key, not many knew he would come out. However, Global Rallycross driver and former Formula 1 pilot, Scott Speed, was in attendance and racing in a Limited FWD Class Remark X GReddy Racing built Volkswagen Golf GTI. It was an impressive run, considering the limited time behind the wheel of this car and limited time to get used to the track. His 1:56.899 was enough to get on the podium, however, Chris Boersma's 1:48.424 was too much even for veterans like Dai Yoshihara in the Spoon Sports 2018 Civic Type-R (fourth place, 1:58.361) and Jonathan Lugod in the OS Giken USA Ford Focus ST (third place, 1:57.335).
If you wanted vehicle drama, you were in for a story at SLB. Professional Awesome, James Houghton, and Yimi Sport Tuning had engines let go during Day 1 of the two-day affair, while Chris Boersma had clutch failure that very same day. Professional Awesome had to source a full block as a rod let go and went through it. They were able to find one and get it back in to compete late on Day 2 but would eventually catch fire after their second session. James Houghton utilized a rideshare app to get parts delivered from Los Angeles to Buttionwillow Raceway Park. James and his team rebuilt their Civic by flashlight and were able to compete by late morning.
Yimi Sport Tuning quite possibly had the most affected rebuild session. Instead of rebuilding at the track, the team packed up the car and went back to their shop in Santa Clarita, just over one-and-a-half hours south of Buttonwillow. The overnight thrash session at the shop paid off as Mark Jager was able to take the Yimi Sport Tuning STi out for a couple of laps to get himself on the podium in Unlimited AWD.
If there is one drivetrain classification that continues to grow, it's Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD). Unlimited, Limited, and Street were all dominated by the RWDs in attendance and only Enthusiast FWD beat the attendance numbers in that classification. In total attendance, 45 of the 79 total vehicles racing that day were RWD including the Pro Comp cars—an Elan NP01 and a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. What's even more amazing is that it's not really a single car you can point to and say, "that's the car of this class" in RWDs. AWDs are usually Subarus, FWDs are usually Hondas. RWD, on the other hand, ranged from the Miata to the BRZ to the Mustang to the S2000 to the 3-Series. It's easy to point out that, as more and more RWD cars become cheaper and older, this classification will just continue to get bigger.
Now that we got some of the stories out of the way, let's get on to those results. The numbers you guys are here for. For the sake of keeping this article from getting too long, we'll only talk about the podium finishers and their times from each class, starting with Enthusiast FWD. We'll also mention the points champions in each class after naming the SLB winners, so keep reading after the winners of the event.
Enthusiast FWD was one of the classes that bucked the single vehicle dominance trend as the Ford Fiesta ST took the two top spots with a Chevrolet Cobalt SS rounding out the podium. Efrain Flores took the win with a 2:06.762 followed by Julio Gorge with a 2:07.354. Jamil Fields took third with a 2:07.898.
Enthusiast AWD was Class WRX with all three entries being versions of the Subaru. Morgan Nichols won this class with a 2:03.809 while Jamie Moreno finished second with a 2:05.297. Chris Hain would be the guy on the bottom step with a 2:05.520.
Enthusiast RWD had a domestic sandwiched between two Japanese marks with Mike Kang winning the class in his Subaru BRZ. His 2:00.575 was enough to beat Scott Boatwright in his Ford Mustang GT, who turned in a 2:02.392. Bret Nicoletti in the "Roonster" Mazda MX-5 finished out the class with a 2:15.904.
Street FWD also only had three cars, but not all of them were Hondas as Chris Hofmann came out to represent the Chevrolet Cobalt crowd in this class. However, Cooper Pierce and his Civic Si were just too fast as he turned in a 1:56.300. Elton Lo brought out Clement Kwong's Honda Civic Type-R, just coming from FF Battle, and turned in an impressive 2:01.125. Hofmann finished out the event with a 2:04.269.
Street RWD saw quite a bit of competitors, including two Hoonigan drivers of Brandon Kado and Alex Bernstein, but it was Ken Xu in his Diamond Hills Collision Center Mazda RX-7 that took the win with a 1:52.395. Kenny Chieu, better known for drifting the HPS Toyota MR-2 Spyder, came out with Design Craft Fabrication's Honda S2000 with a 1:56.492. Jerome Silvers kept it from being all JDM with his Snail Performance Chevrolet Camaro SS with a 1:57.502.
Street AWD is where the magic seems to happen when Markos Mylonas comes out to play. His street driven Snail Performance Subaru Impreza WRX spanked much of the field with a 1:49.353, setting a new track record for Street AWD. Johnny Hernandez in the Lido Labs STi was just behind him with a 1:51.247. Rounding out the Subaru podium was Sally McNulty in her Impreza WRX with a 1:56.795. Honorable mention goes to Tony Szirka who will be partnering up with GST Motorsports in a future race project but celebrated it by driving the GST Outback Sport to a 2:00.585.
Limited AWD brought out the GT-Rs but a few Subarus and a Mitsubishi came out to challenge the field. It would be tough because Roy Narvaez brought out his Godzilla and finished out on top with a 1:49.933. Steven Chan in the RD Engineering GTR was a close second with a 1:50.336. Finishing the podium and preventing it from become nothing but GTRs was Cody Miles and his Air Lift Performance STi with a 1:50.530.
Limited RWD was the largest class with 16 competitors which also included another Hoonigan driver, Vin Anatra and his BMW M3. However it would be a Mazda Miata taking the top spot with the Goodwin Racing team and brining home a 1:48.483. Adam Knapik, a Formula Drift Pro 2 Competitor, came in with the Savvy/SP Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 and returned a 1:51.426. Finishing out the podium was Dustin Dessero in the Rockstar Garage Honda S2000 (AP1 chassis) with a 1:51.873.
We mentioned Limited FWD earlier, with another debut from Spoon Sports USA and their new Type-R Project. However, Chris Boersma was the talk of the group as he laid down that blistering and class record setting 1:48.424 on Day 1 just before his clutch let go. Scott Speed in the Remark X GReddy Racing Golf GTI was second with the 1:56.899 and Jonathan Lugod took home a third-place plaque with a 1:57.335.
Pro Comp, where the racers come out to play, were also in attendance with Elliot Skeer in the Savvy/SP Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and Richard Gray in the Rangers Elan NP01. Elliot almost stole the overall show setting a 1:41.853 but the time attackers weren't deterred by the race car. The top spot went to a GTA driver. Richard Gray took the Elan NP01 and turned in a 1:51.670, so he was no slouch, either.
With 13 entries, Unlimited RWD was the second largest class at Super Lap Battle. Never thought we'd see the day where we'd ever write that. While the best cars built in Europe came out to play, it would be Emilio Cervantes and Dan Howard in the Supermiata Miata taking home the win with a 1:44.984. Cameron Rodgers also helped make Mazda proud with his Donate Life Racing RX-7 turning in a 1:45.262 for second place. Finally, it would be the United Agencies/PayGo1 BMW M4 to round out the podium with Jeff Bader and Casey Dennis turning in a 1:47.248. However, the Unlimited RWD record is still held by Billy Johnson in the FXMD NSX—a record that hasn't been broken since 2012 at 1:40.379.
Unlimited FWD had only three competitors in its class, but it did not disappoint. James Houghton, despite having to rebuild his engine in the dark of Buttonwillow, came out and reset the class record in the K-Tuned/Lavigne Motorsports Acura Integra Type-R. His 1:42.288 was in jeopardy, though, but Will Au-Yeung was just beat in the Vibrant Performance/PZtuning Acura RSX Type-S with his 1:43.923. Dai Yoshihara gave the Spoon Sports USA Honda Civic Type-R its swan song as a new project will be debuted in 2018. He was able to bring home third place with a 1:44.589.
The fastest time of the day was done in Unlimited AWD. While Andy Smedegard couldn't bring home a new class record (the 1:38.967 by Jeff Westphal in the GST Motorsports Subaru L in 2014 is still the fastest UAWD car), he did take the overall with his 1:40.051 in the RS Motors/365Racing Mitsubishi Evolution IX. Mark Jager, in a Hail Mary run, set a 1:42.306 in the Yimi Sport/Jager Racing Subaru WRX STI. Jeff Westphal, in an amazing run after all the trouble the Professional Awesome Racing team had with that car, was able to finish in third place with a 1:42.682 in the Fortune Auto Mitsubishi Evolution VIII.
Of course, Global Time Attack is more than just a single race as there is a points championship. Taking home the Enthusiast AWD Championship for 2017 by only two points was Morgan Nichols. The Enthusiast FWD championship went to Jamil Fields. Enthusiast RWD's champion for 2017 is Mike Kang.
The Limited AWD championship went to Tony Calabrese by only three points over Roy Narvaez. The Limited FWD championship went squarely to Chris Boersma with his record setting runs in Atlanta and Buttonwillow. Ryan Passey and Tony Fuentes tied for their championship in Limited RWD at 12-points apiece.
Markos Mylonas smashed the Street AWD championship by 19-points over Sally McNulty. Cooper Pierce is your Street FWD champion for 2017 with 14-points over Douglas Wind. Ken Xu is your 2017 Street RWD champion.
In Unlimited RWD, Jason Sharek was able to take the championship by only two-points over Dez White. Will Au-Yeung battled James Houghton to see who would bring the Unlimited FWD championship to Canada, but it would be Will edging out James by three-points. Unlimited AWD went to Andy Smedegard by three-points over Rick MacPherson. While there isn't one officially awarded by GTA, you can classify Chris Boersma and Markos Mylonas as the overall champions as they scored six-more points than Unlimited FWD's Champion, Will Au-Yeung at 33-points to close out the 2017 season of GTA.
I don't think you could have created a more storied event if you hired the best in Hollywood. You had tragedy in the same vein as triumph. You had people struggle at the same time as you had people cruising along. However, best of all, you had several records set but one of the oldest remains. What will 2018 bring for GTA and Super Lap Battle? Well, 2017 will be hard to beat, but that's been said before. More rumors are about, as usual, but there are familiar names that continue to talk. No matter, we'll be there for it and more time attack as the season is set to kickoff. We look forward to bringing it all to you once again.
2017 SUPER LAP BATTLE x GLOBAL TIME ATTACK
Buttonwillow Raceway Park, Buttonwillow, Calif.
|1:40.051||Andy Smedegard||21||Mitsubishi Evolution IX||RS Motors / 365Racing|
|1:42.306||Mark Jager||149||Subaru WRX STI||Yimi Sport / Jager Racing|
|1:42.682||Jeff Westphal||777||Mitsubishi Evolution VIII||Professional Awesome Racing|
|1:43.176||David Haagsma||422||Nissan GT-R||SP Engineering|
|1:57.095||Cory Davis||155||Subaru WRX STi||DRC Racecraft|
|2:01.893||Tadd Rigsby||42||Subaru Impreza L||Gripwell Garage|
|1:42.288||James Houghton||41||Acura Integra Type-R||K-Tuned/Lavigne Motorsports|
|1:43.923||William Au-Yeung||13||Acura RSX Type-S||Vibrant / PZTuning|
|1:44.589||Dai Yoshihara||9||Honda Civic Type-R||Spoon Sports USA|
|1:44.984||Emilio Cervantes / Dan Howard||47||Mazda Miata||Supermiata|
|1:45.262||Cameron Rogers||67||Mazda RX-7||Donate Life Racing|
|1:47.248||Jeff Bader / Casey Dennis||75||BMW M4 F82||United Agencies, Inc. & PayGo1|
|1:49.557||Gabriel Shadid||881||BMW E90 M3||Epic Score|
|1:49.909||Rhett Panter||44||Honda S2000||Powerneedy Motorsports|
|1:50.338||Rocco Bocchicchio||22||BMW E30||Level Motorsport|
|1:50.667||Jason Sharek||63||Mercedes C63 AMG||J63 Racing|
|1:51.553||Bassam Michiel||559||BMW 318||Caliber Customs|
|1:52.772||Cuong Tran||128||Mazda Miata MX-5||Hillside Auto, Inc. / Edwin performance|
|1:58.119||Moti Almagor||222||Mazda Miata||Blackbird Fabworx|
|1:59.860||Aaron Hiar||83||Mazda Miata||HMR Factory|
|2:02.993||Corey Brand||176||Nissan 350Z Spec Z||LYFE Motorsport|
|2:03.241||Kyle Schick||122||Nissan 350Z Spec Z||LYFE Motorsport|
|1:41.853||Elliott Skeer||64||Porsche 911 GT3 Cup||Savvy/SP Motorsports|
|1:51.670||Richard Gray||100||Elan NP01||Rangers|
|1:48.424||Chris Boersma||33||Honda Civic SiR||Boersma Racing/K-Tuned|
|1:56.899||Scott Speed||1||VW Golf GTI||Remark x GReddy Racing|
|1:57.335||Jonathan Lugod||94||Ford Focus ST||OS Giken USA|
|1:58.361||Dai Yoshihara||95||Honda Civic Type-R||Spoon Sports USA|
|2:01.417||Tyler Mikesell||19||Acura Integra GS-R||Stygma Fabrication|
|2:05.510||Cory Wells||76||Honda Prelude SH||WRD Racing|
|2:13.881||Nick Bocchicchio||86||Mini Cooper S||NB Custom Metal Works|
|1:48.483||Ryan Passey||113||Mazda Miata||Goodwin Racing|
|1:51.426||Adam Knapik||56||Porsche 911 GT3||Savvy/SP Motorsports|
|1:51.873||Dustin Dessero||2||Honda S2000 AP1||Rockstar Garage|
|1:51.878||Jeff Bader / Casey Dennis||991 Porsche GT3||United Agencies, Inc. & PayGo1|
|1:51.970||Roy Narvaez||55||Dodge Viper ACR||Narvaez Racing|
|1:52.004||Sonny Watanasirisuk||48||Ford Mustang GT350||949 Racing|
|1:52.172||Amir Bentatou||43||BMW M3||Motorsport Hardware X Motorsport Fluids|
|1:53.673||Khanh Hoang||84||Honda S2000||BlackAprilmotorsports|
|1:54.355||Daniel Leavitt||0||Nissan 240SX||Stuntmen's Association|
|1:54.479||Joshua Haddox||20||BMW E90 M3||Racewerkz Engineering|
|1:54.820||Ryan Novak / Clint Boisdeau||310||Porsche 911 GT3||Novak Racing|
|1:57.558||Alex Peng||130||Honda S2000||Ballade Sport momofoolio Racing|
|1:57.701||Ken Pham||99||Honda S2000||BlackApril Motorsport|
|1:59.123||Kevin Panter||28||Acura NSX||Powerneedy Motorsports|
|2:01.724||Daniel Tran||745||Mazda Miata||Hillside Auto, Inc.|
|2:06.762||Vin Anatra||8||BMW M3||Hoonigan|
|1:49.933||Roy Narvaez||50||Nissan GT-R||Narvaez Racing|
|1:50.336||Steven Chan||720||Nissan GT-R||RD Engineering|
|1:50.530||Cody Miles||26||Subaru Impreza STi||Air Lift Performance|
|1:51.794||Mike Chang||35||Nissan GT-R||Evasive motorsports|
|1:54.255||Daniel Albrecht||117||Subaru Impreza RS||Albrecht Racing|
|1:55.796||Matthew Coon||60||Mitsubishi Evolution X||MRC Racing|
|2:06.352||Rob Campbell||80||Subaru WRX STi||Yimi Sport, Feal Suspension, Radium Engineering|
|1:49.353||Markos Mylonas||555||Subaru Impreza WRX||Snail Performance|
|1:51.247||Johnny Hernandez||79||Subaru Impreza STI||lido labs|
|1:56.795||Sally McNulty||412||Subaru Impreza WRX||Snail Performance / IAG Performance|
|2:00.585||Tony Szirka||69||Subaru Outback Sport||GST Motorsports|
|1:52.395||Ken Xu||88||Mazda RX-7||Diamond Hills Collision Center / LMR Development|
|1:56.492||Kenny Chieu||72||Honda S2000||Design Craft Fabrication|
|1:57.502||Jerome Silvers||427||Chevrolet Camaro SS||Snail Performance|
|1:58.286||Son Vo||91||Honda S2000||Trackspec Autosports/SSR-Yokohama-KOYORAD|
|1:58.481||Dan Howard / Emilio Cervantes||49||Mazda Miata||Supermiata|
|1:59.247||Ariel Salazar / Justin Casey||5||Mazda Miata MX-5||SBGARAGE LLC|
|2:00.361||Alex Bernstein||11||BMW 135i||Hoonigan|
|2:00.567||Shilun Wu||666||Ford Mustang V6||Revomotive WushRacing|
|2:06.765||Sean Thomson||200||Mazda Miata MX-5||Goodwin Racing|
|2:08.981||Tim Schoeppner||14||Mazda Miata||True Form Racing|
|2:14.836||Brandon Kado||12||Honda S2000||Hoonigan|
|1:56.300||Cooper Pierce||4||Honda Civic SI||Guess Work|
|2:01.125||Elton Lo||87||Honda Civic Type-R||Raceline USA FK8|
|2:04.269||Chris Hofmann||501||Chevrolet Cobalt LT||Foximus Motorsports|
|2:00.575||Mike Kang||248||Subaru BRZ||Counter Space Garage|
|2:02.392||Scott Boatwright||550||Ford Mustang GT||Scott Boatwright Racing|
|2:15.904||Bret Nicoletti||10||Mazda MX-5 Club||Rooney Speed Racing / R1 Concepts|
|2:03.809||Morgan Nichols||211||Subaru WRX||Corner Speed Tuning|
|2:05.297||Jamie Moreno||18||Subaru Impreza WRX||The Racing Chica|
|2:05.520||Chris Hain||813||Subaru Impreza WRX||Hain Racing|
|2:06.762||Efrain Flores||17||Ford Fiesta ST||Flores Racing/R1 Concepts|
|2:07.354||Julio Gorge||34||Ford Fiesta ST||CSG|
|2:07.898||Jamil Fields||66||Chevy Cobalt SS||Slow Patrol Motorsports/Order 66 Racing|
|2:10.799||Gabriel Ronquillo||32||Honda Civic Si||Square One|