Throughout the 2012 season, the Super Lap Battle time attack series enjoyed one of it's most successful seasons ever. The joining with Global Time Attack, a sanctioning body that brings enthusiasts together for the single purpose of driving fast and safely on track, has proved to be invaluable for everyone involved. The sport of time attack is on the incline, and if the 2012 season is any indicator, should make for some very interesting racing next season. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. At the final event of the 2012 season at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, a fantastic turnout brought a total of 54 drivers and cars, almost double the amount of entires from 2011. Spirits were high, along with nerves; with many drivers hanging close in the point standings for the season, this event is truly do or die. The fact that the Super Lap Battle finals are also the biggest time attack event in North America probably adds to the tension for some, but others thrive off the pressure. Make no mistake, this is a big day for everyone.
The Super Lap Battle series is broken up into three classes, separated by drivetrain (FWD, RWD, AWD). Street class is the most modest class (as the name suggests) consisting of cars that must be registered for legal road use, have full OEM glass, etc... This class is primarily inhabited by grassroots level privateers, with a few exceptions of course. The mid level Limited class steps everything up a notch, allowing for more weight reduction, power adders, stickier tires, and of course safety equipment. Limited class has a wide variety from modest to wild, due to the loose rules and liberal interpretations of them. On the top is the Big Daddy class, Unlimited. In this class, you can do almost anything you want to your car, but you must run a DOT-approved tire, so a racing slick with at least two grooves is required. (For full rules, log on to superlapbattle.com)
The biggest news of the weekend had to be the Factor X Motorsports NSX fiasco. The FX car was at Buttonwillow for a few days prior to the event doing testing, and unfortunately (but not entirely unsurprisingly) the motor blew the afternoon before the official day. Never to be held down, the FX team packed it up, drove a few hundred miles up I-5 and managed to rebuild the motor (or possibly sourced a new motor, we're not sure specifically) and not only got the car done and back to Buttonwillow in time to run, but run well enough to beat their own standing record from last year by over half a second. "Intense" would be an understatement! This accomplishment is incredibly impressive, we have to hand it to these guys for their dedication.
Another piece of interesting news from the weekend came from the GST Motorsports camp, although they were not as lucky as Factor X. GST managed to take a total of one out-lap, and then suffered some sort of major mechanical failure which resulted in a fire. Sadly, the car that looked in the morning like it would be the fastest of the day ended not turning up a single hot lap, and therefore finished with no time recorded.
In the Street RWD class, Rob Walker piloted the Evasive Motorsports S2000 to a new record-setting time of 1:53.990, almost 4 seconds faster than the time set last year by the same team and driver. This is due largely in part to the addition of an HKS supercharger to the car, the setup remains very similar aside from that one (admittedly major) change. Rob wasn't driving just one HKS supercharger equipped car that day though, the Evasive guys also brought out their brand spankin' new race-prepped Scion FR-S. This car is interesting because it was unveiled only a short while before SEMA, and the Super Lap Battle final was actually the very first shakedown the car had on track, ever. This FR-S literally came from SEMA to the track, and the verdict is that the car is actually pretty damn good. Rob managed to turn a time of 1:59.272 in the untested car, a time which earned a 3rd place podium. The big thing about this car being classified as Unlimited is the fact that it has Lexan windows and grooved slicks, as well as a few other modifications that pushed it up from Limited. Either way, Evasive is going to have to figure out a way to make a lot more power if they want to hang with either the Limited or Unlimited class leaders-the gap between them and the Unlimited class winner was almost 19 seconds, an eternity in racing terms.
Other noteworthy accomplishments of the day include Alex Peng's Street AWD record setting time of 1:54.725, and Tarzan Yamada's Limited RWD record setting lap of 1:50.755 in Platte Form a.g's BMW M3. Everyone had a good day for the most part, many personal bests were made and sometimes those are the most important records of all.
We were very pleased to see such a big turnout this year, and everyone seemed to enjoy the partnership with GTA. We can't wait to see what next season has in store for us!
||FX Motorsports Development Acura NSX
||Renner Motorsport BMW M3
||Evasive Motorsports Scion FR-S
||Team Need for Speed WORLD Racing Scion tC
||RaceKern.com Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII
||Snail Performance Subaru Impreza WRX
||GST Motorsports Subaru Impreza
|Eiji "Tarzan" Yamada
||Platte Forme a.g BMW M3
||City Tire Online/Progresson/Hankook Tire Nissan 350Z
||European Auto Source BMW M3
||Sportcar Motion Acura Integra Type R
||Novak HVAC Honda Civic
||Donkey Bop/JRZ/JHPUSA.com Honda Civic
||Professional Awesome Mitsubishi Evolution VII
||AQ/Meynet Racing Subaru Impreza WRX STi
||RD Engineering Nissan GT-R
||Evasive Motorsports Honda S2000
||Momofoolio Racing Honda S2000
||Platte Forme a.g BMW Z4 M
||Acura CS-X Type S
||Godspeed x Sportcar Motion Honda Civic Si
||Circuit Dreams Acura RSX Type-S
||Massimo Power/Sector Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX
||Snail Performance/Forced Air Technologies Subaru Impreza WRX
||Thomas Smith Racing Subaru Impreza WRX STi
**New overall record *New class record