THE World Time Attack Challenge at Sydney Motorsport Park had everything; heavy crashes, drift demonstrations, classic touring cars, and one amazing lap time; 1 minute 19.85 seconds, set by Barton Mawer in the PR Technology Porsche RP968.
Taking on teams and drivers from all over the world, Mawer set his quick time in one of the morning sessions, stunning the field with the fastest time of the event (at that point), in a lap he said wasn’t quite right.
“I ran wide at Turn 9 and there’s still some improvements in the brakes,” he said. “There’s more, there’s more.”
Having simulated faster times, the team believed there was more in the Porsche 968 and went to work to find it.
Just before lunch, Mawer backed up his 1min 19.825sec lap with a 1min 19.911 second lap to maintain his spot at the pointy end of the Pro field, that also included Warren Luff and legendary Japanese drivers Fire Ando and Under Suzuki.
The goal was the outright track record, 1min 19.142sec, set on 4 February 2007 by German driver Nico Hülkenberg in the A1 Team Germany prepared Lola-Zytek. But alas it was not to be.
Engine issues, which we believe to be a damaged valve or bent valve rocker arm, eliminating any chance of breaking that mark. Rain played havoc throughout the afternoon with times and racing as well.
And while the disappointment showed, Mawer said he was more than happy to take the fastest ever WTAC time in the insane looking Porsche RP968. “As wild as it looks is as wild as it is to drive,” he said.
Warren Luff finished second in the Pro class, ahead of Team Japan; a story in itself. Escort Racing driver Fire Ando found he couldn’t continue due to pain in his hands, putting Under Suzuki in his car for a joint third place finish, and a demonstration of true camaraderie.
In Pro Am, Kosta Pohorukov came out on top in the Royal Purple/Tilton Racing Evo 9, despite a car destroying crash that broke ribs, ahead of William Au-Yeung in a Honda Civic and Serse Zeli in an Evo X.
In the Open Class, Adam Casmiri and his JDMYard/Hardrace Honda Civic took out the biggest trophy for the second year in a row, in front of Josh Coote in a Toyota 86 and Matt Longhurst in a Nissan R34 GT-R.
Clubsprint was taken out by Brett Dickie in a Honda Integra, ahead of Stephen Wan in a Civic and Jim Tu in a Mitsubishi Evo 9.