Super Lab Battle is no stranger to et. Just like our Tuner GP (elsewhere in this issue), the SLB Finals also happens annually. It's basically a one-day balls-out race to set the fastest single lap time at Buttonwillow Raceway. And with sister mags Super Street, Import Tuner and Modified involved, the Japanese imports dominate the playing field.
Classes are divided into front-, rear- and all-wheel drive categories, as well as by tire compounds - there's a street class for competitors with minimal modifications and street tires. Each team has multiple sessions to make their fastest lap. There's no need to run every session - you simply go all-out until you're satisfied with your lap time.
Unfortunately, this is the third straight year European cars have failed to perform well in the event. A lack of competitors made it disheartening to watch, with only four Euros in contention.
Perhaps the reason for this decline was following a rule change when a Porsche won the event in '06. "Purpose-built" racecars were banned, effectively penalizing the Euro crews and giving the advantage to the Japanese imports, where teams can spend $100,000 on "purpose-built" cars with VIN numbers. The consequence of this rule change took its toll again this year as fully-prepped Mitsubishi Evos and Subaru STIs lit up the track. Whereas the Euro competitors often start with heavier cars and make fewer mods since our scene isn't geared towards building a car specifically for this type of event.
Eternally optimistic, we hope to reclaim the championship next year. If you think you have what it takes, visit www.superlapbattle.com for information on registration and schedules.
|TOP FIVE LEADERBOARD|
|1. Sierra Sierra Enterprises||'04 Mitsubishi Evo||Unlimited AWD||1:45.061|
|2. Cricket/FX Motorsports||'91 Acura NSX||Unlimited FR||1:45.247|
|3. Crawford Performance||'09 Subaru STI||Unlimited AWD||1:45.552|
|4. AMS/NOS Energy Drink||'08 Mitsubishi Evo||Unlimited AWD||1:46.829|
|5. Driving Ambition||'91 Acura NSX||Unlimited FR||1:48.072|
|20. BuddyClub/trackHQ.com||'05 Lotus Elise||Limited FR||1:56.640|
|37. Evolution Racewerks||'08 BMW 135i||Street FR||2:00.994|
|39. Berk Technology||'08 BMW 135i||Street FR||2:01.534|
|47. SPEC Clutch||Porsche 911||Street FR||2:06.051|