Day 2 of the World Time Attack Challenge 2012 continued with the excitement and controversy following Day 1. Two-time consecutive World Time Attack Challenge winners Team Cyber Evo were at a great disadvantage coming into the 2012 event. They did not get a chance to post a time on Day 1 and so were hindered with the reality of having only one day to essentially test and post a time to rival everybody else who had over 2 days prior to practice. With Warren Luff and the Team Nemo Racing Evo smashing Tarzan Yamada-san’s 2011-winning time of 1:28.851, it was quite literally a race against time for everybody else in the Pro class field to attempt to better Luff’s time. His 1:25.020 lap time was now looking difficult to beat.
Even with one hand on the trophy, Team Nemo pushed hard throughout Day 2 to see if even they could record a faster time. Watching the carbon fibre-clad Evo circulating Sydney Motorsport Park was truly a spectacle in itself.
Fighting mechanical gremlins throughout the day and seemingly having an aerodynamic disadvantage as Voltex had shifted camp to Top Fuel, the odds were against Yamada and Takizawa-san to complete a World Time Attack Challenge trifecta in 2012.
The most major of problems was a broken oil seal which subsequently engulfed the Evo’s engine bay in flames. The deflation of Team Cyber Evo could be felt across pit lane and the paddock following the disaster which all but spelled the end of Cyber Evo’s 2012 campaign.
Team Redbrick Racing from the UK had a little trouble with their front splitter giving a little more downforce than they opted for after a high speed off-track excursion at Turn 1 in the first session of the day.
Panspeed were pushing hard in their NA 20B-powered RX-8, relying on power-to-weight ratio and the balanced nature of the rotary to secure a top 5 position as were Kinoshita-san in the Australian-backed Just Jap R35 GTR and Team RevolutionNZ in their Evo.
The final sessions of 2012 saw most rushing to edge as close as they could to the top spot. With no Japanese contenders with a podium position, Taniguchi-san used the RE-Amemiya RX7 and the Top Fuel S2000 to the best of his ability but only managing a 6th and 5th position respectively with 1:29s lap times.
Adament on bettering their time until the last wave of the chequered flag was Panspeed, who went out for one final run as the sun was setting. It wasn’t the dream run they were hoping for but it was definitely a solid effort from the NA campaigner, finishing 14th with a 1:35.5750s best lap time.
The top Japanese finisher was Under Suzuki-san who narrowly missed out on 3rd place by just over half a second to Earl Bamber’s 1:27.8080s time in the Australian-built MCA Suspension S13 and Garth Walden in the Tilton Interiors Evo improved on his 2011 4th placing by finishing in 2nd.
But for almost the whole of WTAC 2012, nobody was able to stop the Nemo Racing Evo with it’s sophisticatedly-engineered aerodynamic package complimented by the experience of Warren Luff in the driver’s seat. Chris Eaton and his team have raised the bar for time attack racing in Australia and internationally with his machine and with aspirations to take on the birthplace of time attack racing, Tsukuba Circuit, in the near future we are sure that the Nemo Evo will continue to raise eyebrows and push boundaries worldwide. How will World Time Attack Challenge and the sport of time attack racing change in the next year and who can possibly match Nemo Racing in 2013? Be sure to stick around and find out with us at Cars For Hope.