Anyone who left before the Superlap Shootout is probably kicking themselves right now as the podiums for all the classes were settled during the final minutes of the event. The finish to the 2014 World Time Attack Challenge was one of the best in memory. It was a case where you could not have scripted all the goings on that happened over the weekend. There was drama on the track and in the pits and the event was won by 0.04 seconds on the last lap of the weekend.
As soon as the Clubsprint cars came out for the shootout, it became clear the teams left their best for last. Coming from behind, David Lord dialed in a quick lap of 1:40.60. Not quite fast enough to take out the class but enough to push a wedge between the leader Dan Farquar and Jason Naidoo, pushing Scott Steward off the podium.
1st Dan Farquar 1:39.97
2nd David Lord 1:40.60
3rd Jason Naidoo 1:40.88
The Open Class shootout proved a challenge for Dean Lillie who was piloting two of the fastest cars in the class. Dean took a gamble to squeeze a hot lap in each car which meant a lightning quick car swap between the cars and thankfully for Dean the gamble paid off.
1st Dean Lillie, Powertune R34 1:30.43
2nd Dean Lillie, Powertune R34 1:30.98
3rd John Boston, RTR Evo 10 1:31.39
The battle between two of Japan’s tuning heavy weights raged over the course of the event, HKS and Top Secret battled it out on the track. In the end, Nob Taniguchi prevailed despite Tarzan improving his lap time during the shootout by over half a second. Nick Streckeissen was a distant third in the Willall Racing car.
Without a doubt one of the biggest highlights and surprises was Mick Sigsworth and his PMQ Evo. It was speculated he was going to be quick and he was the favorite to secure the Pro Am Class, but no one believed a Pro Am car would be leading the field for a full day and to finish third outright overall it was a great achievement from the privateer. Unfortunately Mick’s car suffered from engine problems during the shootout and he didn’t get to improve on his time.
1st Mick Sigsworth 1:25.27
2nd Wayne Sutton 1:30.47
3rd Miyata Sumishiko 1:31.68
The roar of Pro cars had all the hardcore time attack fans on their feet. Shane Van Gisbergen was pushing all the way to the end and shaving almost a second of his previous lap time and bettering Under Suzki by a mere 0.01 second. For a moment it looked like a repeat of last year’s scenario when Earl Bamber put MCA’s car ahead of Suzuki’s in the last session of the event.
But Suzuki was not done. His final hot lap was near-perfect and when the car roared past the finish line, the fans erupted in loud cheers. With 1:24.88, Suzuki was now back in second and having a good look at an outright win!
There was only one car left on the track now and it was the defending champion, Tilton Interiors Mitsubishi Evolution with Garth Walden behind the wheel. Garth was already on a flying lap and it certainly looked like he was giving it his all. Shooting sparks as it lined up the main straight, as the low growl of Tilton’s car faded, the final timing came up on the screen: 1:24.84.
Tilton not only defended his title but he also managed to better the previous lap record, setting a new tin top track record in the process. Now with all eyes on 2015 it is back to the garage for the next attempt at the World Time Attack Challenge.
Photos courtesy of MDE Photo