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American Time Attack's Greatest - The 10 Fastest Unlimited Cars in Super Lap Battle History

Buttonwillow Raceway’s best time attackers from the no-holds-barred class

Sam Du
Jul 8, 2020
Photographer: Super Street Archives

Updated July 2020: My, how much has changed in six short years! When we first published this list in 2014 of the 10 fastest Unlimited Class cars in Super Lap Battle time attack history, it looked a whole lot different. Since then, the previous bottom six have been knocked off the tally completely (a few icons among them), including the HKS CT230R Evo 8 (2007), Cusco/Tomei/Voltex/Tarzan Yamada STI (2008), Crawford Performance STI (2009), AMS Exo X (2009), C-West S2000 (2008), and the World Racing Scion tC (2011). The remaining four have been displaced by some new, faster times that came in the intervening years.

If you're a time attack nerd (guilty as charged), probably the most interesting thing to change about this collection is how close number 1 and number 10 have gotten. That time gap went from about 8 seconds in 2014 to roughly 4 seconds as of the 2019 Global Time Attack (GTA) x SLB season finale. What does that mean? Simply, everyone is getting faster and closing in on that Buttonwillow Raceway golden lap.

Of course, there is an enormous caveat to this list, that being Canadian William Au-Yeung's record lap at Buttonwillow in 2018. Will is a Super Lap Battle alumnus and possibly the closest thing North American time attack has to a "globetrotter," having lugged his record-setting Vibrant Performance PZTuning 2012 Civic Si to the World Time Attack Challenge in Australia in 2017. He's also somewhat of a regular at GTA's other US events, which is where he broke the Buttonwillow time attack record, at a GTA pro-am in April (and not SLB in November). While the Can-Jam STI's time is tops, and the list is replete with AWD and RWD cars, it is a FWD Honda that is the fastest time attack car at Buttonwillow.

As we celebrate almost 16 years of Super Lap Battle history, we take a moment to pay homage to some of the best teams and drivers that have been part of the event. This list compiles the 10 fastest Unlimited Class time attack cars from a decade and a half of competition at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, a collection that includes three Mitsubishi, two Subaru, two Nissan, one each Honda and Toyota (well, technically, Scion) and even a Chevy.

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1:38.281-Can-Jam Motorsports Prestone Subaru WRX STI

Fastest Super Lap Battle Unlimited Class Cars Can Jam WRX STI 01 Photo 47/47   |   American Time Attack's Greatest - The 10 Fastest Unlimited Cars in Super Lap Battle History

In a year where everyone was talking about the disqualified Tesla from the Enthusiast Class, Richard Boake drove the Can-Jam Hawkeye GD STI to a Super Lap Battle record, breaking the four-year-old fast lap set by Jeff Westphal and the GST Motorsports Impreza L in 2014. Boake joins Will Au-Yeung as one of the fastest Canadians around Buttonwillow.

1:38.454-Professional Awesome Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII

Fastest Super Lap Battle Unlimited Class Cars Professional Awesome Evo VIII 01 Photo 47/47   |   American Time Attack's Greatest - The 10 Fastest Unlimited Cars in Super Lap Battle History

We have always loved the name of this team and they proved their "awesomeness" in 2018 when they also broke the GST-L's record lap, the same year the Can-Jam STI did. Amazingly, after driver Tom O'Gorman turned in his remarkable time, the car caught fire in a later session; luckily, he escaped harm—but not before etching the car's name in the record books.

1:38.967-GST Motorsports Subaru "GST-L"

Fastest Super Lap Battle Unlimited Class Cars GST Motorsports Impreza L 01 Photo 47/47   |   American Time Attack's Greatest - The 10 Fastest Unlimited Cars in Super Lap Battle History

As longtime watchers of Super Lap Battle, we've seen years stand out where the fastest Unlimited cars are noticeably faster; 2018 stands out, for sure, but so does 2014. That's the year builder Mike Warfield and driver Jeff Westphal brought out the historic GST Motorsports Subaru "GST-L"—a 700-plus hp, chop-top, widebody Impreza L. The unique looking machine's time set the standard for the next four years.

1:40.051-RS Motors/365Racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX

Fastest Super Lap Battle Unlimited Class Cars RS Motors Evo IX 01 Photo 47/47   |   American Time Attack's Greatest - The 10 Fastest Unlimited Cars in Super Lap Battle History

Andy Smedegard and this RS Motors-built, GridLife-liveried Evo 9 took everyone by surprise to pick up the overall fastest orbit at Super Lap 2017, concluding a two-year journey for Team 365 Racing. His entry rounds out an all-AWD sweep of the top 4 spots on this list.

1:40.379-FXMD Acura NSX

Fastest Super Lap Battle Unlimited Class Cars FXMD NSX 01 Photo 47/47   |   American Time Attack's Greatest - The 10 Fastest Unlimited Cars in Super Lap Battle History

In 2011, Tyler McQuarrie set the Unlimited RWD record in the FXMD NA1 NSX. The next year, Billy Johnson reclaimed the high mark with a new overall record. The car still holds the Unlimited RWD record - 8 years strong! - but GST Motorsports beat the car by more than a second in 2014.

1:40.967-Lyfe Motorsports Nissan GT-R

Fastest Super Lap Battle Unlimited Class Cars Lyfe Motorsports GT R 01 Photo 47/47   |   American Time Attack's Greatest - The 10 Fastest Unlimited Cars in Super Lap Battle History

Lyfe Motorsports Nissan R35 GT-R seemingly came out of nowhere in 2014, clocking the Unlimited Class's third-fastest lap ever in just their first SLB outing. Co-piloted by Cole Powelson and Kyle Schick, these engineers and fabricators out of Salt Lake City, Utah, quickly made their impact felt, ultimately taking the car to both the Pikes Peak hill climb and World Time Attack Challenge.

1:41.046-Sierra Sierra Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII

Fastest Super Lap Battle Unlimited Class Cars Sierra Sierra Evo VIII 01 Photo 47/47   |   American Time Attack's Greatest - The 10 Fastest Unlimited Cars in Super Lap Battle History

All Evo fans will remember the Sierra Sierra time attack Evo 8; in 2009, the car won Super Lap's Unlimited AWD class. The next year, in the hands of Canadian driver David Empringham, Sierra Sierra followed up their success with the overall event record, beating the FXMD NSX (which of course would get the last laugh in 2012).

1:41.092-Evasive Motorsports Toyota 86

Fastest Super Lap Battle Unlimited Class Cars Evasive Motorsports 86 01 Photo 47/47   |   American Time Attack's Greatest - The 10 Fastest Unlimited Cars in Super Lap Battle History

The 2JZ-GTE-powered Evasive 86 is the newest entry to this list, thanks to Dai Yoshihara's victorious drive in the 2019 edition of the fall time attack classic. In the ex-FR-S built for Pikes Peak, Dai benefitted from several previous outings at Buttonwillow, including his 2015 campaign in the Spoon Sports USA FD2 Honda Civic Type R (pre-center seating arrangement) that carried him to an Unlimited FWD record.

1:41.520-H&M Motorsports Nissan GT-R

Fastest Super Lap Battle Unlimited Class Cars HM Motorsports GT R 01 Photo 47/47   |   American Time Attack's Greatest - The 10 Fastest Unlimited Cars in Super Lap Battle History

To illustrate how fast everyone was in the Unlimited AWD Class at the 2018 SLB, David Haagsma's 1:41 in his R35 was fourth fastest of the day and is still among the 10 fastest orbits ever for Super Lap. His aggressive looking,David's SP Engineering-built Godzilla makes an impressive 800hp.

1:41.925-Limitless Racing Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Fastest Super Lap Battle Unlimited Class Cars Limitless Racing Corvette Z06 01 Photo 47/47   |   American Time Attack's Greatest - The 10 Fastest Unlimited Cars in Super Lap Battle History

Super Lap Battle 2015's fastest was Cody Kishel and this C6 Z06, the only domestic American brand represented on this list - indeed, the only non-Japanese marque in the top 10. Lapping in the 1:44 range a year earlier from the Limited RWD Class, Cody slapped on some slicks and traded up for a sequential gearbox for Unlimited RWD and found himself in a very elite club of extremely fast time attack cars.

By Sam Du
981 Articles

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