Time attack, the form of motorsport responsible for producing the fastest modified, production-bodied cars around a racetrack, has often been described as "not a spectator sport." Sans the package-able sensory overload of drifting, devoid of the death-defying spectatorship of rally, and without wheel-to-wheel racing's competitive hysteria, time attack appeals to the racers, engineers, tuners and builders that are part of it, yet has had a tough time communicating its vast motorsport contribution to run-of-the-mill onlookers. But it seems that Global Time Attack may have figured out a way past that.
Joining forces with three larger events for 2015, GTA invites the world's fastest time-attackers to compete before a broader fan base of related motorsports. Held once again in conjunction with Formula D Atlanta (running between FD practice and qualifying heats over the two-day weekend), the first 2015 round of GTA saw drivers in all classes reset records and outpace rivals sometimes in faster classes, and gave drift fans the opportunity to see up-close the similarities and differences between some of the world's best grip and slip machines.
The fastest lap of the weekend was clocked by Unlimited AWD's Cole Powelson, with a 1:23.796 from the insane Lyfe Nissan GT-R-about 2.5 seconds ahead of next-closest competitor Rick MacPherson in the TSM GT-R, and just barely off Jeff Westphal's standing track record of 1:23.628 in the GST STI back in 2012.
Unlimited RWD got shaken up by - gasp! - a Chevy Corvette, driven by Cody Kishel to a 1:27.113. But not to worry. Formula D crossover and people's champ Danny George has him in his sights, finishing third this time with a 1:32.548 from his Corvette-powered, aero-laden Miata (crew chiefed by the one and only Bill Baldwin), with lots of room to grow, we're told.
But even faster than second and third place Unlimited RWD was Unlimited FWD's Will Au-Yeung and his PZtuning.ca Honda Civic Si, with a 1:30.223. Will previously held the track record for Limited FWD, earned in the PZtuning.ca Acura RSX, but surrendered that title to James Houghton in the R Division Integra Type R, who this year clocked a 1:32.613 for the in-class win-faster than Limited RWD's winning 240SX (Vince Strati, 1:33.875) and less than a second off Limited AWD's winning Subaru STI (Tony Calabrese, 1:31.917).
Street RWD saw Rob Eskew reset his class's record with a 1:36.593 from the Market Motorworks BMW M4, nearly five seconds ahead of his next-closest class competitor. But holding true to the upset form of the event, Street FWD's Chris Boersma was faster, wringing a 1:35.848 from his impressive Boersma Racing Honda Civic. And finally Enthusiast classes also saw two new records emerge for Road Atlanta: Aaron Byram with a 1:41.764 from his brand-spankin'-new '15 Subaru WRX in AWD, and a 2:01.776 by Jason Owens and the "little Fit that could" in FWD.
GTA's next pro competition is a full five months away at NOLA Motorsports Park's "NOLA Speed & Style" event October 17-18, but Pro-Am West competition continues throughout the summer months at California's Willow Springs Raceway. Visit www.globaltimeattack.com for more.