Every November, the best time attack teams in the country make a pilgrimage to the small central California city of Buttonwillow for one purpose. Barely a blip on the southbound Interstate 5 truck stop radar, this small town is known for only one thing. Sorry, but no, it's not for the BBQ ribs, nor the Indian food. It's not even for the lesser-known Mexican gem right next to the old Red Roof Inn (try it, you won't be disappointed) - shockingly, it's entirely unrelated to cuisine all together. The reason why everyone who's anyone in the world of time attack convenes at this small Podunk town in the late fall season is because there happens to be a racetrack there. Buttonwillow Raceway Park plays home to the now famous Super Lap Battle Finals, the biggest and most important time attack event this side of the Pacific.
In 2010, we saw some amazing showings by everyone involved. This year, five long-standing records fell, a feat rarely witnessed in a single event. First off, the big one. The famous HKS CT230R EVO held the title for fastest overall lap for five long years, a time of 1:43.523 with no challengers in sight. That was, until a team with roots in aeronautical racing, Sierra Sierra Enterprises, burst onto the scene a few years ago, taking everyone by surprise in its EVO VIII race car. After refining the setup and dialing in the car over the better part of two years, SSE pulled it off. Putting down a ridiculously fast time of 1:41.046, the HKS record fell!
Another shocking development came in the form of Billy Johnson and the FX Motorsports Development NSX. Holding the record for Unlimited FR wasn't enough for these guys, so they spent the off season and early part of 2010 refining the mid-engine monster. With the new setup, Billy drove a 1:41.949, fast enough to shatter his own previous record. It's also worth nothing that this time is also faster than the previous overall record held by HKS. Record-setting times by AQ Motorsports, AMS Performance and another class record for FX Motorsports riddled the day, and what a day it was!
All times listed are for configuration 13, clockwise, and track conditions were mild and cooler than average - about 60 degrees Fahrenheit with light winds.