MXP exhaust

Remember when you used to see all the cars in time attack before the event even happened? An allure about the winged, turbo tuner-cars brought a certain ‘tingly’ to us as we flipped through a magazine at the grocery store. We knew the stories of these people & shops before the event ever took place. Since most magazines have gone under, filling that role is my new self-appointed job. So let’s look at what’s going on at Super Lap Battle… an event that’s going down at Circuit of the Americas in a few weeks. 

What and Where? 

Super Lap Battle (SLB) is the annual Time Attack event at Circuit of the Americas. The goal for SLB is to be the Superbowl for Time Attack in North America. Similar to how World Time Attack Challenge (WTAC) is the premier event in Australia. Like WTAC, SLB hopes to lure-in international competitors as well. This is one of the reasons Circuit of the Americas was chosen. The COTA facility is truly unique. You can tell it was built to host F1 races. Everything is the elite… best of the best. Lots of bathrooms, TVs, easy access, easy parking, and many seats for spectators. Anyway, there are six classes in SLB…

1) Enthusiast class

The most restrictive class is Enthusiast. Enthusiast is the entry-level class – which is designed to be a way for competitors to enter a timeattack in a lightly modified car. Enthusiast also doesn’t have a spec tire, but the tires must be 220 treadwear or higher. If a competitor should win 50% of their entries in Enthusiast (or win a class championship)… they can no longer compete in the enthusiast class for the upcoming year.

Enthusiast AWD – 02:28.484 Jenson Little TK Mitsubishi EV0 – (2020)

Enthusiast RWD – 02:30.330 Thomas Thompson Team NAXN Cadillac ATS-V – (2021)

Enthusiast FWD – 02:37.987 Stephen Busler Honda Civic Type R – (2022)

2) Street Class

Street is where the fun happens for car builders. It has just enough restrictions to breed some clever interpretations of the rules. Some of the critical differences from Enthusiast is that: You are allowed to have engine swaps that add up to 2 cylinders… but must be from the same manufacturer. For example, you can put a VQ35 (Nissan V6) in your 240SX (the factory engine is a KA24 Inline 4). Street also allows for bigger splitters, wings, diffusers, E85, Yokohama 052 tires, and wider tire sizes based on your drivetrain configuration. 

Street AWD – 02:19.879 Thomas Smith Subaru STI Thomas Smith Racing – (2022)

Street RWD – 02:13.894 Amir Bentatou Acura NSX NA1 RS Future X Koyorad – (2022) On Yokohama Tires

Street FWD – 02:25.664 Nicholas Kohrs | Alex Artayet Honda Civic SI PRL Motorsports – (2022)

3) Limited Class

Limited class is a tricky one to get right. If you look at the ruleset for this class on paper, the polarizing optics say they should be faster than Street… but slightly slower than Unlimited. Unfortunately, this also puts the class in no man’s land for most builds. People tend to prefer to stay in Street… or jump straight to Unlimited. However, this is the base class for supercars/hypercars, such as a Mclaren 720S. The list of things you can’t change is far shorter than what you can. You must keep the OEM front windshield, the dashboard must be installed, the area from the front shock tower to the rear shock tower must not be altered (unless you are hammering a trans tunnel to make a transmission fit or for safety purposes). And Limited’s spec tire is also the Yokohama 052s,  but with an unlimited width limit. 

Limited AWD – 02:18.590 JC Meynet Boomer Racing Subaru WRX STI – (2020) On Yokohama Tires

Limited RWD – 02:14.754 Andy Hollis McLaren 720S Performance One Lap McLaren – (2022)

Limited FWD -02:19.368 William Au-Yueng PZ Tuning Acura RSX – (2020) On Yokohama Tires

4) Unlimited Class

Unlimited class is just like it sounds – unlimited. Anything goes… so long as it’s not a tube-chassis, not a factory race car, and still has floorpans & a natural car’s silhouette.

This year’s Unlimited showdown is stacking up to be a special one. Some top cars to pay attention to – will be Feras Q‘s C6 Corvette, sporting many new components this year. Feras’s C6 has the potential to make over four digits to the rear tires, thanks to a pair of Garrett turbos. As of now, Feras is the current overall record holder and will return to get into the sub 2-min mark.

Lyfe Motorsports will bring their R35 GTR… with a killer engine developed by AMS, and an aero package from Andrew Brilliant. They held the Unlimited overall record in 2021. And the R35 still has the drivetrain record for all-wheel drive in Unlimited.

Then you have RSFuture‘s NSX. This car is one of my favorite builds of-all-time. It’s an NSX with a turbo K. Amir takes inspiration from Japanese timeattack, which is all about function & form. The car has to be fast… but also look great. (This is the same car and driver mentioned above in the Street Class overall record.)

5 & 6) ProComp & International Unlimited

Then there’s ProComp. I’ll be honest; no one cares about this class. It’s basically for cars that don’t fit within the GTA rules, like Porsche Cup cars or Radicals. Things that are tube chassis or factory race cars. International Unlimited is a ruleset that makes it easier for people competing to find a home. Think of it as a bridge for vehicles to come over from Australia to try SLB.

 

Getting the Attention They Deserve…

I hope you’re like me and enjoy seeing cars built to go as fast as humanly possible within a given ruleset… all while reflecting a certain style & presence. The quest of man conquering machine. Timeattack is not a cost-effective hobby, but its great to see cars built for a purpose. So let’s take a moment and give ’em a thumbs-up on the live stream on March 10th. And if you’re in the area, stop by & enjoy the festivities. Something tells me this event will be one you don’t want to miss annually. 

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Special Thanks to Global Time Attack for providing the Photos for this article!

 

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