Global Time Attack at Road Atlanta

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

Road Atlanta and Global Time Attack are a match made in heaven. If you combine a 2.54 mile road course that rolls through the green hills of Georgia with an open rule set where maximum speed and minimum lap times are all that matters, you’re bound to have an incredible event.

Thanks to GTA series sponsors like Continental Tire, Whiteline Suspension, Garrett Turbo, Spec Clutch and Meister Watches, the battle for Road Atlanta certainly did not disappoint, with new competitors in the mix, newly set fastest lap records, and even big crashes!

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 Evo7 Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

From the perspective of Professional Awesome Racing, Road Atlanta was a shakedown and tuneup for the heavily revised 2001 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII. Gone were the Active Center Differential and Super Active Yaw Control rear differential, replaced with mechanical differentials front, center and rear.

Having switched from Street Tire to Limited class at the Global Time Attack finale in November 2012, it was also a time to learn the nuances of driving differences of the Hankook Ventus TD in comparison to the Ventus RS-3.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 Evo7 Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

Unfortunately, Day 1 proved to be a challenge from start to finish. Chasing issues of excessive oil consumption, the car would not run consistently enough to put together one flying lap. Having a never-say-die attitude, team members Grant Davis, Mike Lewin and Jordan Gilsinger embarked on a parts search throughout the greater Atlanta area, devising a solution that proved to work extremely well by the end of the day.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Tony Szirka Unlimited Class Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Jason Dienhart Kyle Lewis

With the problem solved, the crew proceeded to help fellow competitor, Tony Szirka, replace a transmission in his Unlimited Class Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Tony Szirka Unlimited Class Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Jason Dienhart

Szirka and Professional Awesome have a long history of working together under the most adverse circumstances to fix record breaking cars at the last possible moment!

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 Evo7 Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

A threat of rain was in the forecast for the second day of competition, but feeling confident that all major issues had been addressed, Professional Awesome hit the track hard looking to gain lost time from the previous day.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 Evo7 Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

The car performed flawlessly in the first sessions of the day, and I with became even more comfortable with the vehicle changes as the day progressed. Minor tire pressure and alignment changes were all that was needed to maximize grip and to dial in the balance for optimal performance, though a new issue had peaked its head.

The car was running perfectly, but low on boost at only 22psi. The car had already set the new limited record with a time of 1:31.717, but quick adjustments were made to the tune to see if more power could be coaxed from the Evolution. Based on the previous year’s data, the team believed a 1:29.xxx  lap was possible and expectations were high for the fifth session.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 Evo7 CRASH Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart Kyle Lewis

The fifth session proved to be the final session of our 2001 Evolution’s life.

Following another 1:31 second lap, I entered turn 1 and lost control of the car after an outside tire dipped into the Georgia clay. A hard crash ensued, but luckily I walked away with only minor bruising and a good headache.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

Following the crash, the final session ran and everyone prepared for the awards ceremony.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

At the podium ceremony, champagne was sprayed, big checks collected and fast lap Meister watches given to competitors.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

Much to the surprise of Professional Awesome, new Limited Front Wheel Drive record holder Doug Wind (left) gave his event winnings to the team to help the rebuilding process and Tony Szirka (right) followed suit, also donating his winnings.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

It was an incredible ending to an incredible event which saw competitors from the West Coast, East Coast and everywhere in-between.

New lap records were set in Street Rear Wheel Drive, Front Wheel Drive, Limited All Wheel Drive and Limited Front Wheel Drive which will give new goals for 2014 competitors to strive for.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

At the end of the day, it was amazing to see how tightly knit the time attack community is, helping out fellow competitors from start to finish! We look forward to seeing what will happen in November at the Global Time Attack Finale in Central California’s Buttonwillow Raceway on November 15, 2013.

MotorMavens has thousands more photos from GTA Road Atlanta! Stay tuned to MotorMavens for the next GTA photo update!

:: Dan O’Donnell

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TAS2013: THE TUNER SELECTION

It’s time to dedicate a bit of time to the true tuner cars that were dotted around the vastness that was the Tokyo Auto Salon this year. Performance is the name of the game here and if there is a bit of style thrown in for good measure you can rest assured it’s all driven by functionality. Ever since my first TAS I have always started shooting show from the RE-Amemiya booth. If you enter the Makuhari Messe from the parking lot side of the the exhibition centre the rotary tuner’s stand is the first one you will find and always a great spot to get started from as “Ama-san” always seems to surprise.

He swore that last year’s NA Super 7 would be his final full-blown conversion based on the FD and most assumed this meant no more wild cars from him all together, but of course that is just not going to happen, not from Amemiya-san! Instead he used an old Lotus Europa project he started years ago and decided to finish it. The result is this FD-faced, 911-headlight wearing, Lotus hybrid creation thing. It’s strange and cool at the same time and if the looks don’t do it for you then what is under the engine cover should…

…because this vintage Lotus chassis is powered by an NA 20B!

Kei cars have always made the streets of Japan all the more unique, and it’s been a while since a new yellow-plated car has been such a hit with tuning shops. The Honda N-One, which borrows its retro-ish front design from the Honda N360, is obviously the Kei car of 2013 and there were lots of modified versions around like this particular example built by Endless and running their compact 6-pot front calipers.

As you probably saw in our team spotlight-o-rama post Mugen came up with the coolest one of the lot but I also like the Blitz one, slammed on a set of BRW Profile 16-inch rims, matte black of course to match the grille and blacked out headlights. It will be cool to see what kind of engine tuning parts will be developed for this car.

I have a feature coming of the Pit Road M Mitsubishi GTO, so I won’t say much except it’s one of wildest GTO’s ever built.

Phoenix’s Power has established itself as one of the must-go-to shops for R35 upgrades. On top of a ton of bolt on goodies they will cater to your every need…

…including shipping your car to Italy so it can participate at the Option Magazine organized Nardo’ top speed challenge later in the year. That’s exactly where this 1200 HP customer R35 has been sent off to today! Sounds like a cool event!

Art Tech Hanatsuka may not be the most well known name in JDM tuning but since having surfaced at a few other events in the last few years it has quickly stood out for coming up with some cool cars, much like this awesome Z-tune kitted BNR34. I really must make the trek up to Tochigi and shoot this beast!

There was plenty on show at the RH9 area, like the T-get san-yon above and the Marche BRZ.

We will be seeing more of the HKS Kansai Service R35 track car at the Premium Day at the end of the month but I thought I’d show you at least one picture of this awesomely tuned GT-R. It’s hard not to like the 20-inch white Yokohama RCs

Unlike SEMA there were only a few of GT-Rs wearing the BenSopra kit at TAS, but seeing it painted in yellow and fitted to a JUN customer car certainly gave it a very different feel to the white and bronze demo cars that BenSopra had on show last year.

I know I keep saying this, but if Mizuno-san and his team at Nissan don’t make a limited edition version GT-R wearing a GT-3 inspired widebody…

…they will have failed the GT-R brand as a whole. The “R” in the GT-R stands for “racing” and aside from a sort of failed attempt with the SpecV I feel every version of the GT-R has been too much “GT” oriented. So more “R” means a more spartan interior, half a roll cage…

…and of course slight blisters around the fenders as well as race inspired styling. Hell even RWD to make it more like the race car! It’s what Porsche does with the GT3 and the GT3 RS, or the GT2 and GT2 RS so Nissan PLEASE, this is something you have to do.  Maybe the soon to be opened, all-new Nismo might be able to give a few ideas!

I mean come on, even a Suzuki Twin comes in an RS version…thanks to Ducks-Garden.

Impulse as ever had some impressive AE86s on display like this spotless street example…

…running a highly tuned 4AG.

More cool Kei car tuning thanks to Prest with this Mira slammed on a set of green Meisters.

Garage G-Force has worked wonders with the CZ4A and the 4B11 that powers it. On top of building the fastest time attack Evo X in Japan, it has recently put the finishing touches to this more street oriented car. Highlights include a 500+ HP tune, SST dual-clutch transmission for everyday drivability and a set of the brand new Volk Racing TE37RTs.

These “Rigid Tuned” rims are actually 16 grams heavier than the popular TE37SL but 6% stiffer for better performance all round. These wheels will initially be available in red but more colors will follow.

They were also joined by the TE37TTA “Tokyo Time Attack” which now feature a machined Volk Racing logo, a great way to make it harder for suspect companies to copy the real thing.

Joining the top of the line forged monoblock Volk Racing wheel are the more affordable cast Gram Lights with this new 20-inch 57FXX wheel…

…as well as the multi spoke Volk G25s which were a big hit with tuner cars last year.

Now here is a car that really made me smile. Built in Italy by Team Ciociaro Corse this racing Fiat 500 shares only a few parts with the actual car it’s based on…

…as it’s built around a bespoke tubular frame chassis, FRP removable body…

…and powered by an Aprilia RSV4 V-4 bike motor. It kind of reminded me of the Mini Quattro I shot at Gatebil! What an awesome little car!

There are no doubts that the BenSopra 380SX stole the show this year, much like their GT-R did in 2012. The project has been put together by Ueta-san in order to compete in the Option top speed challenge in Nardo’. On top of an all-new aero created for BenSopra by our good friend Miura-san of TRA Kyoto…

…Ueta-san and his mechanic made sure that it would have enough power to reach their goal of getting as close as possible to the 400 km/h mark (248 mph). More on this car soon.

Another 180SX that really stood out at the Option area in the North hall was this beautifully widened example built by Spirit and sitting on a set of Work Meisters…

…with plenty of aggressive offset. It looked especially good form the rear!

The 13B is renowned for requiring regular and at times expensive maintenance, not to mention having questionable reliability when highly tuned. So, for a dedicated drift car a more reliable option may be a better choice…

…as this Sexy Knights, Chiba Damashi team FD shows with its 2JZ swap.

For those into Honda, and in particular S2000s there were certainly some pretty inspiring cars to feast one’s eyes on starting off with this carbon masterpiece built by J’s Racing.

Under the hood this AP1 sports a 2.4L bottom end and a highly tuned head good for 320 HP.

Check out the rear view of the J’s Racing GT widebody conversion! Plenty of aero to keep this beast glued to the track.

Not too far from the orange carpeted Option and Option 2 areas was this Racing Factory S2000, a little more street-oriented than the J’s Racing demo car…

…but with plenty of attention having been given to the performance side of things too.

And to finish up a this third S2000 built in collaboration with Evasive Motorsports, running Gram Lights 57Xtreme and a superb aero package that gives the car a very modern feel.

Next up from Tokyo Auto Salon will be a look at the VIP and Vans side of things, a very important part and growing aspect of the show. Make sure you check back soon!

 

Tokyo Auto Salon 2013 coverage on Speedhunters

 

-Dino Dalle Carbonare

 

 

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Video : 2013 Pro Winter Top Fuel Drag Race

Exclusive BangShift.com VIdeo from the 2013 PRO Winter Warmup Top Fuel and Funny Car Event at Palm Beach International Raceway. John Force, Courtney Force, Jack Beckman, Ron Capps, Cruz Pedregon, Robert Hight, and all your favorite professional NHRA Nitro class drivers running record breaking ETs and Speeds.

EVENT: Cody’s D1NZ 2013 Round Three

It was hard to find a fault with the plan for Round 3 of the Cody’s D1NZ National Drifting Championship. Held in sunny Tauranga on another technically challenging, custom built circuit it was bound to be a success from the get go. However it was the first time a drift event had been held in Tauranga city and nobody was sure what kind reaction the event would receive.

D1NZ Tauranga

Any thoughts of a low turnout were quickly put to rest on the morning of Friday practice. It was just after 8am and there were already crowds of people waiting to get through the doors for the 9am opening!

Along with huge crowds and perfect weather the track layout was top notch. It reminded me of a miniature Irwindale speedway out of Formula D. Essentially a large ‘S’ layout, the track began with a long left entry and switched into a right turn with outer clipping points. Littering the edges of the track were plenty of concrete barriers which would no doubt cause some carnage over the weekend.

Toyota GT86

New Zealand only received a small initial shipment of the Toyota GT86 so it was quite nice to spot this one parked near the track.

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I spotted current series leader Fanga Dan talking to Achilles/ NAC driver Daynom Templeman in the pit area. Drifting has a great atmosphere and it’s cool that the different teams get along with each other.

Mad Mike RX7

Mad Mike Whiddett was on top form in the ‘Madbul’ RX7 during the Friday practice. In the shot above you can see the rear tyre perfectly lined up with the yellow paint marking the edge of the circuit. It didn’t stay yellow for much longer!

Gaz Whiter S14

Gaz Whiter looked like he was really enjoying the track setup, tapping the wall on entry several times throughout practice.

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I always enjoy attending the practice day before the main competition. These laid back drift sessions give you a chance to experiment with different styles of photography.

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Speaking of photography – it’s always cool to see what gear people are using out on the track. I spotted this little Fuji X100 hiding away here, it’s a superb camera!

Fanga Dan

Fanga Dan was another driver using up all of the available space on the track, pushing right to the outside clip points.

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There was a lot of discussion going on in the pits about the new track layout and different styles of entering the first corner. Many drivers were taking a wide line early on which meant the car was too shallow in the following turn.

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The R33 driven by Zak Pole was looking in much better shape this round, having repaired the damage from Whangarei.

Daynom Templeman

Daynom Templeman and the team decided to cut the rear end off the RX7 just three days before the event to add tube framing. Luckily everything was finished in time and he went on to qualify 14th.

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Both Shane Allen and Shane Van Gisbergen were sharing piloting duties of the big ‘Rattla’ Falcon over the weekend. This huge horsepower car isn’t really suited to small tracks and both drivers had to fight to control it.

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Andrew Redward was looking calm and collected in pit-lane. His driving has been spot on lately, landing him in 4th place in overall championship points. There’s no doubt he would be aiming to improve on that this weekend however.

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Hugo Maclean seemed to have solved the engine problems he was having last round and was throwing the little Corolla around with confidence.

Mad Mike RX7

One of the loudest cars of the day – Mad Mike had to add extra muffling to the quad-rotor Madbul to meet noise restrictions before battles started the next day.

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Local Tauranga driver Cole Armstrong was looking to put on a good show for his home crowd and he did just that, maintaining a good amount of angle all the way to the end of the circuit.

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Bruce Tannock had an unfortunate incident with the wall in his battle with Hugo Maclean, damaging both the Rocket Bunny kit and Work Meisters. Sadly this wasn’t the last accident we would see today.

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Gaz Whiter came up against Sean Falconer which looked like an easy pass for Whiter until his chase run…

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…When he tapped the wall on entry sending the car spinning around and smashing into the wall. A catastrophic collision for the Silvia but luckily Whiter was not injured. You can actually see him floor the gas pedal once the car was heading backwards – knowing he would hit the wall but aiming to reduce the impact.

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Hugo Maclean surprised everybody by taking down current champ Curt Whittaker in the top 16.

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The judges had a good spot above the sweeping entry point to keep an eye on everything.

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Consistent and skilled driving from Fanga Dan saw him into the top 8 in his battle against Daynom Templeman.

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Troy Forsythe out-drove the C33 Laurel of Jason Sellers but was eventually knocked out by Andrew Redward.

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Event director Brendon White and commentator Warren Sare were both out manning the microphones and running an awesome show for the crowd.

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Andrew Redward was charging fast in the RX7, beating Bradley Lauder in a repeat battle of last round.

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Fan favourite Cole Armstrong was beaten by Nico Reid in one of the best battles of the day.

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Zak Pole eliminated both Robee Nelson and Shane Van Gisbergen before going on to battle Fanga Dan. Check out that wall rub! It wasn’t enough to win however and Fanga Dan moved through to the top 4.

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The next battle of the top 8 saw Andrew Redward take down south-islander Troy Forsythe and move on to the top 4.

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The spotters had a good spot high up in the second floor of the arena to relay info to the drivers.

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Mad Mike was another to fall victim to the wall on the second turn. Surprisingly he was able to repair the car for his battle against Nico Reid but the damage was still affecting the car and he spun, giving Nico the advantage.

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The top 4 gave Fanga Dan a tough battle against up and comer Nico Reid, but Woolhouse showed his experience and was given the win.

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Hugo Maclean had really stepped up his game this round, beating Tannock, Whittaker and Falconer to show he really was on a roll.

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So there was no saying what would happen going in to his top 4 battle against the more experienced Andrew Redward. An excellent chase run swung the battle in favour of Redward who moved on to battle Fanga Dan in the final battle while Hugo would come up against Nico Reid for the 3rd spot decider.

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Nico Reid drove well in the Luxury Sports S15 – giving the wall a tap as he entered the corner. Hugo Maclean put on an amazing chase run however and was right alongside Nico throughout the track, earning him the win and 3rd place overall.

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Onto the final battle of the day with Fanga Dan versus Andrew Redward.

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Both drivers had performed outstandingly over the weekend and there was no telling who would take the win. A small mistake at this point would give a huge advantage to the other driver. Unfortunately that’s exactly what happened for Redward, who was door to door with Woolhouse until the final corner which sent him spinning.

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With a 10-0 lead to Fanga Dan it meant he could simply sit back on his chase run and take it easy. On another day though I’m sure this battle could have gone OMT more than once, as both drivers have a great deal of skill.

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Daniel Woolhouse claimed 1st, with Andrew Redward a close 2nd and an absolutely stoked Hugo Maclean taking 3rd place, earning his first podium!

This round of D1NZ will definitely go down as one of the best in recent years. With a crowd so large they literally had to close the gates for the first time ever, and a superb track to throw down some awesome drifting – it was an epic weekend and I’m sure D1 will return to Tauranga next season! Here is the championship points table after this round:

1: Daniel Woolhouse – 312
2: Andrew Redward – 237
3: Curt Whittaker – 230
4: Nico Reid – 217.5
5: Gaz Whiter – 193
6: Mike Whiddett – 185.5
7: Daynom Templeman – 184
8: Brad Lauder – 170
9: Zak Pole – 153
10: Troy Forsythe – 152

Words & Photos:
David Atkinson

 

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