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2007 Subaru Impreza WRX - Super Lap Battle '08 Finals

Andy Hope
Mar 1, 2009
Photographer: Henry Z. DeKuyper

The day of the annual Super Lap Battle finals is my favorite day of the year. Like Christmas or Valentine's Day, it can easily be the most heartbreaking, but still it's the day that I look forward to most. Other events may come close, but when it comes to innovation, power under the curve, roll centers, downforce, threshold braking, unsprung weight, slip angles, camber settings, boost maps, tire compounds, the Dave Point, and everything else that is SCC in that balls-out, no rules, just go as fast as you can with what you've got sort of way, Super Lap is where it's at.

I remember the first time attack that SCC and Super Street teamed up to host. It was in April 2004. The staff members at SCC were the masterminds behind the event. The Ultimate Streetcar Challenge was already a success, but they wanted to see how fast people could go without worrying about fuel economy or grandma's nit picking. The only thing that mattered in the competition was how fast a car could get around the track. The Super Street staff heard that time attacks were JDM approved and wanted to see shiny things on a racetrack. It was like mixing peanut butter and chocolate.

To really appreciate what made it so good, you need to understand what track days were like back then. Today, on any given weekend, there's at least one local track event welcoming sport compact cars. But five or 10 years ago things were different. To get on track you needed to slip into a snooty Porsche or BMW event. Either that or tag along with a club racing organization that may have a run group for streetcars. But the commonality between the Euro heads and racers was that inexpensive streetcar drivers were treated as being second class.

On occasion you'd find small groups of brothers you could pit with. And don't get me wrong, some of the cars were nicely prepared and seriously fast, but as a driver, you usually felt like an outsider. On the other side, tryingto explain what track days were to drag race and show car guys was a lost cause. We might as well have had shaved heads and little pamphlets.

That first time attack changed all of that. All of the best sport compacts and most dedicated drivers were there at the same track on the same day. The only outsiders at the event were Samuel Hubinette, driving James Chen's USCC winning Ferrari 360, and some guy who showed up with a Mustang Cobra, no doubt invited by my predecessor Jared Holstein who secretly had Mustang Cobras on his long list of fetishes. Eiji "Tarzan" Yamada took First overall with a 1:54.2 in the Signal Auto R34 GT-R, the only Unlimited AWD entered. I was listed last since I grenaded my CRX before the competition started.

Not long after the results were released, the movement toward track days gained momentum. Sport compact-oriented organizations began selling out events. Time attacks have started springing up across the country for professionals and amateurs to go head to head, but the original U.S. Time Attack, now known as Super Lap Battle, will likely remain as the premiere event for the sport. It is intentionally scheduled just after the SEMA Show to attract the top cars, both domestically and internationally. For each class there is one time to beat on Buttonwillow Raceway's clockwise configuration 13, and those lap times have been falling.

This year, Yamada returned to set the fastest lap time of the event, running a full 10 seconds faster than the original record. Still that wasn't enough to beat the standing record set last year by Nobuteru "NOB" Taniguchi in the HKS Evo VIII CT230R. However, despite the appearance of Japanese teams dominating, several American companies and drivers have been making names for themselves with some previously unimaginable lap times. Tyler McQuarrie and the now U.S.-operated C-West/BC S2000 team have been setting records across the country all year. The show continued at the Super Lap with them breaking into the 1:46s in the Unlimited FR class. Then there's Tim Kuo who reset both the Limited AWD and Limited FF records while piloting the Evasive Motorsport Evo IX and Sportcar Motion Civic.

With the way things are going, I'd dare say that aftermarket manufacturers and shops are gaining more exposure and credibility at this venue than at any other event in the country, and that includes SEMA. But that's not to imply that there isn't room for individual efforts. The relatively new street classes accounted for nearly half of the entries this year. The top three times in the Street AWD class were all within half a second of each other. Nils Leufven in the Factor X/ Robispec Evo VIII took the top spot with Ryan Gates and AMS owner, Martin Musial, right behind in their AMS-equipped Evo Xs.

The lap times in each class are going to have to taper off here soon. The wall that is physics can only give so much-but then again few believed a sport compact car would ever run a 10-second quarter-mile pass. It's hard to say if we're in the low 6s or the high 13s right now, but we can't wait to see how far this thing goes. On behalf of the SCC staff both past and present, aim for the 5s.

Buttonwillow Finals

1 Team Tarzan Eiji Yamada 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX Unlimited AWD 1:44.372 Hankook
2 C-West/ BC Tyler McQuarrie 2000 Honda S2000 Unlimited FR 1:46.893 Hankook
3 Crawford Performance Tanner Foust 2008 Subaru Impreza STI Unlimited AWD 1:47.052 Hankook
4 JIC Magic USA Paul Brown 1996 Porsche GT2 Unlimited FR 1:47.868 Hankook
5 Factor X Motorsport Development Billy Johnson 1991 Acura NSX Unlimited FR 1:47.965 Yokohama
6 GST Motorsports Gary Sheehan 1996 Subaru Impreza L Unlimited AWD 1:48.038 BFG
7 M-Workz Steve Mitchell 2003 Nissan 350Z Unlimited FR 1:48.471 Hankook
8 Evasive Motorsport Tim Kuo 2006 Mitsubishi Evo IX Limited AWD 1:50.003 Toyo
9 Driving Ambition Kip Olson 1991 Acura NSX Unlimited FR 1:51.847 Hoosier
10 Speed Element Andrie Hartanto 2006 Mitsubishi Evo 8 Limited AWD 1:53.229 Toyo
11 MFQ Motorsports Robispec Dieter Heinz 2006 Mitsubishi Evo 8 Limited AWD 1:53.981 Toyo
12 5Zigen K. Hiranaka 2004 Honda Accord Euro-R Unlimited FF 1:54.987 Falken
13 N1 Concepts Andrie Hartanto 2000 Honda S2000 Unlimited FR 1:55.067 Toyo
14 Sportcar Motion Tim Kuo 1995 Honda Civic Limited FF 1:55.948 Toyo
15 World Racing Chris Rado 2006 Scion tC Unlimited FF 1:56.126 Hoosier

16 HASport/ Kaaz Tage Evanson 1995 {{{Honda Civic}}} Limited FF 1:56.186 Nitto
17 Robispec/ Flying {{{Miata}}} Matt Andrews {{{1995 Mazda Miata}}} Limited FR 1:56.187 Nitto
18 Science of Speed Brady Dohrmann {{{2002 Honda S2000}}} Unlimited FR 1:56.268  
19 Eastside Muffler Joe Santiago 2006 Mitsubishi Evo 9 Limited AWD 1:56.288  
20 Factor X/ Robispec Nils Leufven 2004 Mitsubishi Evo 8 Street AWD 1:56.672 Yokohama
21 Gates311.com/ AMS Ryan Gates 2008 Mitsubishi Evo X Street AWD 1:56.726 Nitto
22 AMS Martin Musial 2008 Mitsubishi Evo X Street AWD 1:{{{57}}}.067 BFG
23 UMS Tuning Anthony Szirka 2003 Mitsubishi Evo VIII Limited AWD 1:57.134 Nitto
24 E- Autosports Toshiki Yoshioka {{{2006 Honda S2000}}} Limited FR 1:57.169 Nitto
25 Harmon Motive JC Meynet {{{2006 Subaru Impreza}}} STI Street AWD 1:57.372 Yokohama
26 Yokohama/ Boost Logic Matt Andrews {{{1995 Toyota Supra}}} Street FR 1:57.711 Yokohama
27 Mishimoto/ Motorworld Hype Andy Hope {{{2002 Acura RSX}}} Unlimited FF 1:58.098 BFG
28 Evasive Motorsports Robert Walker 2006 {{{Honda}}} S2000 Street FR 1:58.364 Dunlop
29 Robispec Robert Fuller 2005 Mitsubishi Evo VIII Street AWD 1:58.542  
30 trackHQ.com/ APR Performance Manly Kao {{{2005 Lotus Elise}}} Street FR 1:58.752 Dunlop
31 Tein USA Robert Walker 2006 {{{Mitsubishi}}} Evo 9 Street AWD 1:58.989 Hankook
32 Ksport Brady Dohrmann 2005 {{{Honda}}} {{{Integra}}} Type-R Unlimited FF 1:59.481  
33 SPEC Clutch David Norton {{{1995 Nissan 240SX}}} Limited FR 1:59.667 Toyo
34 Stop Tech Steve Ruiz 2008 Mitsubishi Evo X Street AWD 1:59.853 Yokohama
35 Renspec Ryan Hampton 2007 {{{Porsche}}} GT3 Limited FR 2:00.568 Toyo
36 {{{Canyon}}} Motorsports Bob Scheer 2002 Mini {{{Cooper}}} S Unlimited FF 2:00.605 Hankook
37 Endless USA Murata 1999 {{{Nissan}}} Siliva {{{S15}}} Limited FR 2:00.798 Yokohama
38 Kel's Garage Kelvin Yong {{{2003 Honda S2000}}} Street FR 2:01.027 Dunlop
39 M1 Fabrication Russ Warr 2005 Mitsubishi Evo 8 Street AWD 2:01.154 Yokohama
40 Robispec/ EDO Performance Scott VanderHeide {{{2005 Subaru Impreza}}} STI Street AWD 2:01.541 Yokohama
41 Toda Racing USA   {{{2006 Acura RSX}}} Unlimited FF 2:01.617 Yokohama
42 WRD Paul Bonaccorsi 2006 VW {{{GTI}}} Limited FF 2:02.652 Dunlop
43 K&N/ Autocannon Dennis Caco 2006 Mitsubishi Evo IX Limited AWD 2:02.705 Toyo
44 Top Setup Charlie Rhyu {{{1988 Honda CRX}}} Unlimited FF 2:02.708 Toyo
45 Import Tuner/ Tein USA Tanner Foust {{{2008 Lexus IS-F}}} Street FR 2:02.738 Yokohama
46 Project Car Magazine Jeffrey Hosee {{{1994 Sentra}}} SE-R Limited FF 2:02.811  
47 Seat Time Performance Driving Jon Krolewicz 2008 Mitsubishi Evo X Street AWD 2:02.971 Conti
48 Nitto Tire Dan Gardner 2007 {{{Scion}}} tc Limited FF 2:03.132 Nitto
49 Evolution Racewerks V.J. Mirzayan 2008 {{{BMW}}} 135i Street FR 2:03.393 Yokohama
50 Evasive Motorsport Michael Chang {{{2008 Honda Civic}}} Si Street FF 2:03.557 Dunlop
51 Berk Technology Jeff Tyler 2008 BMW 135i Street FR 2:03.964 Toyo
52 JHP USA Tom Liang {{{1991 Honda Civic}}} Si Limited FF 2:04.256 Nitto
53 Crawford Performance Tanner Foust {{{2008 Subaru Impreza}}} STI Street AWD 2:04.579  
54 Boxer 4 Racing/ {{{Continental}}} Steven Rankins {{{2006 Subaru Impreza}}} STI Street AWD 2:04.722 Conti
55 Windspeed Motorsports/ Continental Douglas Wind {{{2004 Dodge SRT-4}}} Street FF 2:04.912 Conti
56 Special Projects Jeff Owen {{{1996 Acura Integra}}} DCZ Unlimited FF 2:05.050  
{{{57}}} Cobb Tuning Eric Bizek 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 Street FF 2:05.254 Dunlop
58 HB Speed Matt Andrews 2008 Mitsubishi Evo X Street AWD 2:05.875  
59 P/1 Auto/ Continental Don Hill {{{1992 Honda Civic}}} Street FF 2:05.907 Conti
60 AP Boss USA   {{{1999 Honda Civic}}} Street FF 2:05.991 Falken
61 S Hubinette Racing Stina Hubinette 2003 DodgeSRT4 Street FF 2:06.711 Michelin
{{{62}}} Autocannon. com Dennis Caco 1992 {{{Honda Civic}}} VX Street FF 2:08.608 Falken
63 Hasport Bob Endicaott 1988 {{{Honda CRX}}} Street FF 2:10.115  
64 Yokohama Matt Johnson {{{1991 240SX}}} Street FR 2:10.669 Yokohama
65 HG Motorsports Dieter Heinz 2008 Mercedes C300 Street FR 2:12.892  
By Andy Hope
29 Articles

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