For those not familiar with time attack, it’s a competition to set the single fastest lap time around a particular racetrack. For our 2011 Super Lap Battle Finals at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in Southern California, we went along with sister magazines Super Street, Import Tuner, Modified and Honda Tuning. We get to invite the fastest tuners in the country to come out and compete, although inevitably the import titles are numerically dominant.
This year we saw an unprecedented five class records broken, including a new overall lap record set by the FXMD Acura NSX, which set a time of 1:40.981.
One of the closest battles on the day was between two veterans of our own 2011 eurotuner GP (et 2/12). We again saw the E46 BMW M3 from Platte Forme AG going head-to-head with Berk Technology’s BMW 135i for top spot in the Limited FR Class for rear-wheel drive cars with limited mods and street tires.
For both teams, the story actually began last year. The Platte Forme crew made their time attack debut in 2010 with the same M3, where they took the class win with a time of 1:53.481.
Setting their sights on defending their Limited FR title in 2011, they added Voltex aerodynamic aids and recruited infamous Japanese time attack driver, Tarzan Yamada.
In 2010, the Berk team had campaigned their 135i in the Street class of various time attack events, but during etGP that year they suffered an electrical fire and weren’t able to get it fixed in time for the Super Lap Battle Finals. In the off-season, however, Berk ironed out any wrinkles, emerging in 2011 with a fast, reliable car on the road course (claiming the fast lap time in etGP11).
With both teams having updated setups, it was time to see if the changes would produce faster lap times. After the dust settled, Berk Technologies was able to post a best time of 1:53.221, while the Platte Forme M3 was only two tenths of a second behind with 1:53.457.
Berk’s time was fast enough to win Limited FR and set a new record for the class, which had previously been held by a Porsche GT2.
As the sun dropped behind the hills we had five new lap records in their classes: the FXMD NSX established a new overall and Unlimited FR record; the World Racing Scion tC ruled Unlimited FF; Berk’s 135i won Limited FR; Sport Car Motion’s Integra was top of Limited FF; while Apollo Racing’s Ford Focus broke new ground in Street FF. With so many new records, it’s proof that tuners are still getting faster. And who knows, maybe next year we’ll see another European car set a record or even win overall!
For information about the 2012 finals, visit superlapbattle.com