They call her salty—which seems like it couldn't be further from the truth. Time attack driver Sally McNulty isn't exactly habitually angry, or constantly bitter, or even unapproachable (at least we didn't think so). But if you were to read her name quickly, you wouldn't be blamed if at first glance it looked like "Salty McNutty." "My [Global Time Attack] fam started calling me that and it stuck," she tells us. "I am far from a salty person—I genuinely love everyone—but the nickname is pretty funny."
Something tells us that "love" gives way to all business when she throws on a helmet and straps into her Street Class 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX. Since she began racing the clock with GTA in 2013, and with the help of Snail Performance and Bobby Lane Racing to whip Sally and her racecar into shape, she's earned 17 podium finishes in the Street All Wheel Drive (AWD) category. Before time attack entered her life, there was National Auto Sport Association (NASA) club racing and instructing, and before that, the incident that crystalized the fire in her belly to go fast was taking her now long-gone Chevy Cobalt out to a track day. "I was terrible," she remembers, adding, "but I had a fantastic time."
If she looks familiar, or the name rings a bell, you may have seen her circuit achievements pop up in the coverage of our annual GTA-hosted Super Lap Battle. But in all likelihood if you know of Sally, it's probably because you saw her on Hoonigan's female driver search, #HoonigansWanted, a program that pitted hot shoes from different disciplines against one another in Fiat 124 Spider Abarth. "That was a blast, and really cool to learn a different drive train with much less power."
The step down in grunt was from her usual racecar, her GDF WRX, a beast of a build that puts out more than double what the car made in stock trim and more than triple what those measly Fiat roadsters can do. At its heart is a EJ257 2.5-liter flat four that's been fortified six ways to Sunday, with an IAG Performance-spec package that includes a Stage 2.5 closed deck short block, OEM STi Nitrided crankshaft, H-beam connecting rods, CNC'ed, ported, and polished cylinder heads, and the tuner's "Secret Sauce" valves, springs, and retainers. Stage 3 272 cams were sourced from Brian Crower, while the intake manifold and head studs come from Cosworth, and this EJ has been converted and tuned to guzzle Ignite Racing Fuel's E85. The cherry on top of this power-plant sundae is the Garrett GTX3076 Generation II V-band single scroll turbo, which is secured to an IAG equal length V-Band turbo manifold and supported by a Turbosmart Hyper-Gate 45 external wastegate and dual-port blow-off valve, in addition to a COBB Tuning front-mount intercooler. The system peaks at 23psi of boost pressure, and the entire suck-squish-bang-blow show is managed by an Accessport-equipped stock ECU tuned by Snail Performance.
One of our favorite parts of Sally's car is the exterior, no doubt a nod to the birthplace of time attack, Japan. AZ Auto Graphics-designed flames lay on a Nardo gray wrap applied by Praxis Motorsports, a perfect canvas for the KSR Aero louver kit, Seibon carbon fiber hood and trunk lid, and Ganador Aero Super side mirrors. A Voltex GDF front bumper, custom KSR Aero chassis-mounted splitter with Professional Awesome splitter diffusers, and Kognition Subaru rear wing chassis-mount kit keep aerodynamic grip a priority, and tying everything together are a set of Volk Racing TE37SL 18x9.5-inch wheels—white in front, pink in back. Says Sally of the WRX's appearance, "I wanted the car to look like it rolled out of Tokyo Auto Salon, or off the track at Tsukuba." We'd say mission accomplished.
While advancement into the upper levels of Limited and Unlimited Class racing may be in her future, for now Sally is focused on being the best she can be with her WRX in Street Class, where among her goals is to one day unseat her boyfriend Markos Mylonas's lap records. But her most admirable aim is to be a good role model for others looking to enter the sport. "I really would like to see more women in [time attack] ... I want to show the ladies they can go fast, too, and not to be afraid." (See? We told you she wasn't actually salty.)
Get ready to see more of Sally and her Subie throughout 2018. She plans to do Gridlife and Ultimate Track Car Challenge events, in addition to a schedule of GTA rounds (and if you happen to be at the upcoming Road Atlanta time attack on May 11th and 12th, be sure to pick up a "Team Sally" poster from the Garrett Turbo booth, also available at her website as well as on Motolyric's). You will also find her on her YouTube Channel where right now she's elbows deep into Project Daily 2017 WRX STI, a budget-friendly build to illustrate you don't have to go overboard to have fun and be fast.