Event: Super Lap Battle 2015

This past Thursday, Global Time Attack, in conjunction with Super Street, held the Super Lap Battle event at Buttonwillow Raceway Park.  SLB is the last event of the GTA series and as usual, the most looked forward to of the season.  Teams from all over North American arrived with hopes of breaking records and clinching titles.  This was the first time I’ve attended SLB in quite some time, and it was interesting to compare it to the events I’ve been going to both here and in Japan.  SLB is a two day event, and it’s much more expensive than your run-of-the-mill track event, so you know that those competing are putting everything they have to be on top; not to mention the cost of those traveling across country.  It all makes for a very vibrant feeling around the pits and on track.

I usually work during the weekdays, but I was able to slide out for a little while to attend on Thursday.  I had a handful of friends that were competing and I wanted to go support them, as well as grab some shots for the site; not to mention there isn’t a much better way to spend time than with friends on circuit.  I enjoyed myself and found it to be very similar to just another track day in Southern California (which isn’t a bad thing).

NDF_6624-EditI wasn’t particularly interested in any specific car, but there were a handful of competitors that I wanted to take a closer look at.  Among them was one of the many Fortune Auto backed cars; the ‘Professional Awesome’ EVO.  Mainly because, and sorry if this is superficial of me, it was one of the better looking cars there.  These cars are very fast, but in all honesty they really haven’t come far in the aesthetics department – you can have both! 

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NDF_6622-EditI talked a bit to one of the support staff there and it seems like they were having electrical troubles all afternoon.  They were able to figure out the issues however, and they went out one last time on some brand new tires and were able to set a new record in Limited AWD with a 1’42.694.  I don’t know much about class regulations so your guess is as good as mine as to why this car is limited in anyway…

NDF_6642-EditThe other car I was interested in seeing again was the Spoon FD2.  Spoon Sports USA/GO Tuning brought the car out, piloted by Dai Yoshihara, with the goal of taking back the Unlimited FWD record from Christian Rado and the monstrosity of a car that he set it with some time ago.

In 2014, Dai was able to get a 1’48.016 out of the car; still quite shy of the 1’46.736 that was Rado’s record.

NDF_6646-EditLike some of the other teams, Dai was having issues of his own with the car.  The car is getting pretty old now, and some parts were recently replaced by untested counterparts.  Initially the wastegate piping broke in half, then the exhaust cracked and fell off, melting the wiring harness, and as a result lost the alternator.  Then the exhaust manifold developed a crack and blew straight onto the crackcase vent hose and melted it, and to top it off towards the end of the day they completely lost 4th gear.

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NDF_6643-EditDai partaking in some social media meditation.

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NDF_6780-EditDespite the plethora of issues though, he was able to rip an amazing 1’45.5 – taking the record  and looking good doing it (see what I mean; you can have both).

NDF_6820-EditA well deserved win for the team who worked very hard that day.

NDF_6677-EditSince Yuta’s sedan wasn’t going to be finished for the event, he hopped behind the wheel of Angel’s (Nemo’s Garage) EG6.

NDF_6700-EditThe Street FWD class was dominated early on by Chris, who brought his coupe down from Canada, but the race for second was still on.  Yuta managed to take it home with a 1’56.5.

NDF_6661-EditWill was on deck making some mean grilled cheese.  Clutch.

NDF_6674-EditDom was out competing in the Enthusiast RWD class in the supercharged Auto Function S2000.  This car was built just for SLB and did rather well with a 1’55.5, although they were shooting for a 54.  It was still good enough to take home first place.

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NDF_6799-EditKoyorad was on board with nearly all the cars there providing some major cooling assistance.  I actually ran into Scott from Koyorad on Thursday – that guy gets around!

NDF_6713-EditCongrats to Dom for grabbing another trophy for the shop.

NDF_6735-EditTony Fuentes, driving the other S2000 they brought out, was able to double up and take first place in Street RWD with a 1’48.8.  Amazing time!

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NDF_6594-EditRomax Auto Group S2000 was able to grab second place in Unlimited RWD, behind Cody by a good 3.5 seconds.  Tough class…

NDF_6616-EditAnother Fortune backed EVO that did very well that day setting a new record in the Unlimited AWD class.  Driver Tony Szirka was able to pull off a 1’46.5 in the class, taking home first.

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NDF_6638-EditYuta Blonde Ver. 2 and Allan chatting about stuff.

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NDF_6747-EditCody’s Z06 is pretty insane.  There’s a lot that has gone into this car that is invisible to the eye (full under body, blown rear, etc.).  He was able to destroy the Unlimited RWD class (and literally everyone there that day) with an incredible 1’41.9.  Makes me want a Corvette…

NDF_6593-EditThis GT3 was probably the nicest car at the track (haha).  Glad I took the opportunity to explore SLB a bit this year, I had a good time despite not driving; which usually is a recipe for boredom.  Congratulations to everyone who participated and bested their personal times, as well as broke class records.

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GTA doesn’t have results posted on their site yet, but these are the official results as per their FB page:

UNLIMITED RWD | 01:41.925 | Cody Kishel | Corvette Z06
UNLIMITED RWD | 01:45.541 | Graham Downey | Honda S2000
UNLIMITED RWD | 01:49.958 | Tom Tang | Honda S2000
UNLIMITED RWD | 01:57.468 | Danny George | Mazda Miata

UNLIMITED FWD | 01:45.585 | Daijiro Yoshiara | Honda Civic Type-R
UNLIMITED FWD | 01:49.245 | James Houghton | Acura Integra
UNLIMITED FWD | 01:51.617 | Edo Stepanyan | Acura Integra
UNLIMITED FWD | 01:52.645 | William Au-Yeung | Honda Civic Si
UNLIMITED FWD | 01:54.760 | Clint Boisdeau | Honda Civic
UNLIMITED FWD | 01:55.975 | Ryan Novak | Honda Civic

UNLIMITED AWD | 01:46.590 | Tony Szirka | Mitsubishi EVO
UNLIMITED AWD | 01:53.482 | Jean Pierre Amor Rombaut | Mitsubishi Evo
UNLIMITED AWD | 01:55.971 | Roy Narvaez | Mitsubishi EVO 8
UNLIMITED AWD | 02:09.877 | Rick MacPherson | Nissan GTR

STREET RWD | 01:48.802 | Tony Fuentes | Honda S2000
STREET RWD | 01:52.487 | Rif Dagher | C7 Z51 Corvette Stingray
STREET RWD | 01:56.584 | Karla Pestotnik | Honda S2000
STREET RWD | 01:58.135 | Armen Pezeshkian | 93 Mazda RX7
STREET RWD | 01:59.163 | Matt DeReus | BMW M3
STREET RWD | 01:59.905 | Johnson Chen | BMW M3
STREET RWD | 02:00.938 | Kenny Chieu | Ford Mustang
STREET RWD | 02:02.420 | Matt Johnson | Lexus RC F

STREET FWD | 01:52.122 | Chris Boersma | Honda Civic SiR
STREET FWD | 01:56.549 | Yuta Akaishi | Honda Civic
STREET FWD | 01:58.463 | Robert Choo | Honda Civic
STREET FWD | 02:04.860 | Chris Hofmann | Chevrolet Cobalt
STREET FWD | 02:08.846 | John Lindeman | Acura Integra
STREET FWD | 02:13.078 | Anthony Cuthbert | Fiat 500 Abarth
STREET FWD | 02:16.687 | Jason Owens | Mazda 2

STREET AWD | 01:55.164 | Ken Kasitz | Subaru WRX
STREET AWD | 02:00.278 | Istvan Klag | Subaru STi
STREET AWD | 02:00.286 | Travis Barnes | Subaru WRX
STREET AWD | 02:01.289 | Sally McNulty | Subaru WRX
STREET AWD | 02:02.050 | Daniel Albrecht | Subaru Imprezza

LIMITED RWD | 01:47.472 | Robert Walker | Scion FR-S
LIMITED RWD | 01:50.854 | Will Wattanawongkiri | RX7
LIMITED RWD | 01:54.457 | Toan Nguyen | BMW M3
LIMITED RWD | 01:56.068 | Matthew Lambrecht | Ford Mustang
LIMITED RWD | 01:56.742 | Kevin Parlett | Infiniti G35
LIMITED RWD | 01:56.793 | Tony Jackson | BMW M3

LIMITED FWD | 01:57.841 | Mike Hatten | Acura Integra GSR
LIMITED FWD | 02:06.154 | Cory Wells | Honda Prelude

LIMITED AWD | 01:42.694 | Jeff Westphal | Mitsubishi Evolution 8
LIMITED AWD | 01:46.370 | John Carson | Mitsubishi EVO
LIMITED AWD | 01:46.970 | Mark Jager | Subaru STI
LIMITED AWD | 01:47.758 | Ivo Tuchi | Subaru RS
LIMITED AWD | 01:49.885 | Andy Smedegard | Mitsubishi EVO
LIMITED AWD | 01:50.442 | Brandon Ranvek | Mitsubishi, EVO IX RS
LIMITED AWD | 01:51.503 | Rob Campbell | Subaru STI
LIMITED AWD | 01:51.819 | Scottie Burrough | Nissan GTR
LIMITED AWD | 01:52.274 | David Haagsma | Nissan GTR
LIMITED AWD | 01:52.603 | Ronnie Soliman | Mitsubishi Evo IX RS
LIMITED AWD | 01:54.005 | Mitch Fagundes | Audi R8
LIMITED AWD | 01:54.555 | Roy Narvaez | Nissan GTR
LIMITED AWD | 02:05.146 | Scott Santellan | Lamborghini Gallardo
LIMITED AWD | 02:11.934 | Lars Wolfe | Nissan Juke
LIMITED AWD | 02:21.897 | Bob Apodaca | Subari STI

EXHIBITION RWD | 01:56.700 | Ryan Novak | Ferarri

ENTHUSIAST RWD | 01:55.518 | Dom Bautista | Honda S2000

ENTHUSIAST FWD | 02:21.911 | Bret Nicoletti | Mazda Speed 3

ENTHUSIAST AWD | 02:03.924 | Cody Gilbert | Subaru STI
ENTHUSIAST AWD | 02:05.738 | Markos Mylonas | Subaru WRX
ENTHUSIAST AWD | 02:21.910 | Jessi Lang | Subaru WRX