What's traditionally been a sport dominated by Japanese imports is finally having to take notice of the Europeans. Here at european car Magazine as well as eurotuner.com we've been involved in a Time Attack event known as Super Lap Battle for several years. The competition is organized by ourselves and sister publications Super Street, Modified, Honda Tuning and Import Tuner Magazines. It generally sees a host of cars like the Mitsubishi Evo, Subaru STI and various Frankenstein Honda or Scions taking the podium. This year, however, a quartet of European tuners showed up to steal several class wins.
Each year we seem to find ourselves following two or three European cars as they attempt to tackle the well-funded Japanese imports. And while this year was no exception, thankfully a few refugees from our Tuner GP (EC 2/13) came out to defend our collective honor.
This year, we were well-represented by Berk Technology and European Auto Source (EAS) who had joined forces, as well as Platte Forme AG, Renner Motorsports and R's Tuning. Each brought M3 racers and each made it to the podium by day's end.
Platte Forme had been clever and hired the services of Time Attack legend Eiji "Tarzan" Yamada to pilot their E46 M3. The car was on a set of racing tires rather than the street tires for our Tuner GP, which gave Tarzan the edge he needed to take first place in the Limited RWD category, setting a lap time of 1:50.755.
Tarzan also set a new Buttonwillow track record in the GTA Time Attack series that was running concurrently with ours. Not to be outdone, Terry Liu took the Platte Forme BMW Z4 Coupe to third place in the Street RWD category.
Our friends at European Auto Source were receiving assistance from Berk Technology to improve the performance of its E92 M3. With upgraded Clubsport suspension and sticky Hankook tires, it proved to be worth third place in Limited RWD when driver Dez Ballard set a time of 1:56.841.
Meanwhile, Renner Motorsport stole second place in the Unlimited RWD class with a 1:51.860 lap. Piloted by Don Pastor, the 600hp widebody
M3 turbo was consistently in the top five during the day, finding more speed in each session.
Better known for working on the Nissan GT-R, R's Tuning brought a VF-supercharged E92 M3 "shop car" and claimed a credible fifth place in the Limited RWD class. In fact, they were typical of a growing number of Asian import tuners turning their attention to the European platforms. Chris Rado, for example, turned up with his bonkers Scion TC but was roaming the grounds in his latest SEMA project, a Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG. It was constructed by his company World Racing with the objective of breaking into the European market.
For more information about the 2013 Super Lap Battle series and finals, visit superlapbattle.com