World Time Attack Challenge 2017 Coverage… Part 1 (of many)…


I’ve been doing this for a very long time and I have no problem telling you that the World Time Attack Challenge event in Australia was (easily) one of the top 5 best events I have ever attended. It truly is a one-of-a-kind experience. Nobody paid me to say that, I have no direct affliation with WTAC or its creator, Ian Baker. It was just one hell of an event. Now I think some people will argue that I don’t go to very many race or track events, but I’m not even saying that it is just directly related to racing, I’m talking about car shows, car meets, time attack events, drifting, drag, etc. All of that considered and accumulated, this is still one of the best experiences I have ever had…

I rival my excitement for this experience with that of the old D1 Grand Prix events when they first attempted to make a footprint here in North America. The first D1 event in Irwindale was spectacular and the D1/Super GT event that followed a year later was even better. My first time going to Tokyo Auto Salon was pretty amazing as well, just because of how much build-up there was in terms of my own anticipation for it. I’m a little bit older now of course, and I don’t necessarily dive into things with crazy expectations anymore but WTAC surpassed everything I imagined it would be. Going into my trip to Australia, I think I was more stressed out than anything, being pressed for time trying to plan my Year9 Anniversary Meet, as well as trying to be fully prepared to shoot a time attack event in a country that I have never been to. I was just cramming as much as I could before I left knowing that when I came back, I’d have just a little over a week before my own event was set to take place and being fully prepared to host a lot of Japanese guests who were in town for my meet and SEMA 2017. This time around, I didn’t even have a full crew going along to help me out in Australia. Everyone was pretty busy with SEMA projects and what not so the only person I could bring along was Tiffanie. She’s used to traveling with me by now so she was also prepared to shoot any and everything at WTAC. I think I told her on the plane to just shoot EVERYTHING she saw. Whatever caught her eye, just shoot it. Don’t even ask me if it is something relevant or not, just shoot it and I’ll figure it out later. I was just looking into it thinking that we’d be overwhelmed and though we were, I think we handled it quite well…

When I got back from Australia, beautiful place by the way, I wanted to get all the Vlogs up on the web first so that people could get a better understanding of what it felt like to actually be there. That first-person-perspective provides as close of an understanding of actually being there as humanly possible. The only thing you’re really missing is that smell of race fuel and tires. Oh, and the soreness of having to run around for two-straight days at the track. I also wanted to show the Vlogs to the world first because I don’t think anyone else would have the same type of experience that we had because they wouldn’t have an “in” to WTAC like we had thanks to the guys from JDMyard. I’ve known Yonas Liu from JDMyard for many years now but only through communication on the interwebs. I don’t even think I actually “met” the guy until last year when he and his friends came over from Australia for SEMA. He didn’t know too much about me other than what he saw on various social media outlets but he went out of his way to help facilitate my trip to Australia. That comes with a whole lot of faith and trust for someone from across the Earth to be so kind as to host complete strangers, but he was willing to do so and I appreciate his efforts deeply. This trip would not have been what it was if it wasn’t for his willingness to lend a helping hand. JDMyard, for those unaware, is one of the premier tuning shops out in Australia. I liken them to Evasive Motorsports here in the U.S. They sell product to consumers and have done so for 15 years now, but they also build their own race vehicles for both drag and time attack. Their success in racing shows that they know what they are doing there and it has translated to a very successful business operation. I originally learned of JDMyard when Yonas’ gray EG Civic popped-up on the internet and I even had the opportunity to write his feature for Honda Tuning magazine some 6-7 years ago. Since then, we’d been in communication here and there so going to Australia was a real pleasure for me because I finally got to see everything that I had written about…

Our experience at WTAC was unique because we not only went into it as media but being with the JDMyard crew presented us with a completely new layer. We had access to things that most normal spectators wouldn’t otherwise have AND we got to be with a successful team of enthusiasts who have had success at WTAC in the years prior. JDMyard had won the “Open Class” championship in 2015 but after a rough 2016, were looking to challenge for the title once again this year. Going into it, I didn’t really think much of the actual competition-side of it. I think I was so consumed from a media perspective and trying to capture as much as I could that I didn’t really even consider how JDMyard would do in the competition. There was an understanding that they were successful in their endeavors in the past but Yonas and I never spoke of what his expectations were for this year. I’ll speak more on this in the later posts but you guys already know how they did if you watched the Vlogs. These guys are good at what they do and being able to be in the middle of it was pretty fucking cool…

Being with the JDMyard guys meant that I didn’t even have to wait for a media pass to get access to everything. Tiffanie and I got to roam around the event on the practice/test day before the event opened to the general public and I think that freedom gave us the window to see and shoot really amazing stuff. World Time Attack Challenge is a two-day event on paper but for us, it was actually three days in total because of the test day. This is the day when the teams really get to see what the track conditions are like and to have the chance to put their cars on the track to see how they could potentially do. It was generally closed to the public and only people who were there with the competing teams could be present. While the guys at JDMyard were prepping, we just went everywhere we could to see all the crazy time attack vehicles before the venue was engulfed with spectators in the days to follow. I think some of our best work came from this day of shooting, and below are some of the photos you’ll see today…

For myself, I truly believe that the photos you’re going to see today and in the coming days are some of the best photos I’ve ever produced. I think just being there and seeing all this crazy stuff really inspired me to shoot. So often I get used to seeing the same cars over and over again but any time I dive into a new country, a new event, with new cars, I’m re-invigorated. Not even being stuck on a plane for 16-18 hours and with a whole lot of jetlag could kill our creative process. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, I’d love for you to share it so the rest of the world can see it. Thanks.

Oh and please come back to see the rest, haha. It’s worth it, I promise. The cars just get better and better as the photos come…

WORLD TIME ATTACK CHALLENGE 2017

SYDNEY, NSW, AUSTRALIA

PHOTOS BY STICKYDILJOE & TIFFANIE MARIE

WORDS BY STICKYDILJOE

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The talk of this year’s event was mainly concentrated around the MCA Suspension team and if their “Hammerhead” PS13 could once again reclaim the throne as the fastest ever to compete in the WTAC competition. Driver Tim Slade and the Hammerhead bested their competition in 2016 with a blistering lap time of 1:22.1920…

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Jason Wright and the Autotech Engineering Subaru WRX competing in the Pro-Am Class…

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One of the demo cars on display which would later do exhibition runs during the two-day span of WTAC was the this Taisan BNR32 Skyline GT-R…

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The team that we would be following around during the WTAC was Yonas Liu and the JDMyard/Hardrace Civic…

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2016 was a bit of a rough stretch for them as they ended the competition in 6th place in the Open Class bracket, a far cry from their 2015 championship. They looked to regroup in 2017 with a new engine set-up and visual livery…

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Topstage Composites custom carbon front end holding a massive 18×11 +18 Volk Racing TE37 wrapped in 295/35-18 Advan A050 rubber…

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The center-exit exhaust of the JDMyard Civic. WTAC follows very strict regulations that require their competitors to have complete exhausts which exit out of the under-carriage of the vehicles. Without them the teams would not complete “Scrutineering”/tech inspections and would not be permitted to compete…

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A look at the carbon front face of the Civic with a look at all the venting in the carbon hood. Also make note of how the Skunk2 Ultra Race Series intake manifold has been flipped and reverse mounted…

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The Evolution Motorsport 944 Turbo looked great in all black but didn’t make it into competition as mechanical failures and a fire forced them out early in the day…

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The Integrated Motorsport BNR34 Skyline GT-R looked awesome and was just a few feet away from us during WTAC as they shared a paddock with the guys from JDMyard…

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Driver Tetsuhiro Kurokawa waiting for practice runs in the Car Shop Dream RX-7…

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The Car Shop Dream FD was probably one of the better-looking vehicles of WTAC as its aero components were designed and crafted by Voltex Suzuka and looks the most “Japanese” because well, that is where it comes from…

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At this point I was still trying to absorb all the craziness that I was witnessing at WTAC so I snapped a ton of photos of everything any chance I could…

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The Keeley Motorsport Lancer Evolution VI competing in the Open Class…

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Nicholas Bates and the GoPro/V-Sport Toyota 86…

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Directly next to the JDMyard Civic was this R32 Skyline GT-R which had exterior panels and components completely made in carbon fiber from Topstage Composites…

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The carbon front bumper…

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…front fenders…

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The R32 was actually in pieces that morning as the crew was busy putting the engine together at the track. It was pretty awesome to see it come together throughout the day. By the next morning the car was complete and ready to run…

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The biggest competition the JDMyard Civic faced during this year’s WTAC was Nathan Morcom and the Global Aircraft Services Evo…

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The Vic Time Attack widebody FD3S piloted by Jason Dorrington in the paddock…

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A glimpse inside the Car Shop Dream pit garage with technicians from Voltex Suzuka on hand…

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A better look at the Dream FD as it was cooling down after a few laps of testing….

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The famed RE-Amemiya/Bomex GT300 RX-7 was one of the cars I was looking forward to seeing in person at WTAC. During this day I was still pretty nervous to walk inside the garages to get a better look at the cars so I didn’t approach certain cars until later in the afternoon when I saw others roaming around freely…

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One of the coolest names of the WTAC competition was Fire Ando, who piloted the Vivac Mitsubishi Evolution with this wild aero package…

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Under Suzuki and the Scorch Racing S15 Silvia was one of the more recognized competitors of WTAC and people were flocking to it all two days of the event to catch a glimpse of it…

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One of the other notables of WTAC was Rob Nguyen and the Mighty Mouse CR-X. Crazy to see just how fast this car is as it was the competition’s fastest FWD ever…

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During breaks in-between competition, they had exhibition runs with some of the cars being “Japanese Motorsport Classics” like this Mitsubishi Starion narrow body…

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The Tunehouse Racing Toyota 86 driven by David Lord…

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This S2000 running Circuit Garage over-fenders was from Lone Wolf Racing which competed in the Club Sprint Class…

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Wherever I was that day, I was somehow always around this Japanese guy wearing his Voltex jumper. Like myself, he was also walking around studying the cars of WTAC…

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I eventually mustered-up enough courage to actually walk into the other pit garages and was able to get a better look at the GT300 FD. This car is actually privately owned now and was fully restored by tuning shop MotorElite…

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This was one of those cars that I had only seen in photos in the decades prior so it was pretty amazing to be around it. I particularly liked the “Desmond ‘The Production of Racing Wheels'” decal, haha. Odd ball Japanese English always makes for interesting branding…

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Here’s a quick glimpse inside the cockpit of the RE FD, with its carbon dash and modern MoTec display…

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Amazing to see so many RX-7s all week that actually still utilized the Rotary engines that they were intended for. All the space inside the bay allowed for a lot of ducting and shrouds for cooling, as seen here in the GT300 FD…

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The absolute coolest thing about the RX-7 is the centerlocking Desmond Regamaster EVO wheels…

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During one of many breaks throughout test day, I was able to get some more detailed shots of the JDMyard EG…

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A peek inside Adam Casmiri’s office through the acrylic driver’s side window…

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MoTec PDM mounted next to the Hollinger sequential transmission….

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Mounted on the floor of the passenger-side next to the fuel cell was the MoTec M150 engine management system…

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The concave face of the 11-inch wide TE37 on the JDMyard/Hardrace Civic…

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Dorrington cooling down as he came back into the pit area…

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Josh Coote and the MCA Suspension Toyota 86 looked to be running a customized variation of an Aimgain GT aero kit. Cool to see a traditional Japanese VIP company’s aero components used on a race car…

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The World’s Best Technology R33 GT-R was one of a few 33 Skylines competing in WTAC…

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I thought this was a cool overhead shot of the V-Sport/GoPro 86…

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I think the World Time Attack Challenge is one of the few events in the world where an R34 Skyline would compete in the same class as an EG Civic…and the Civic is actually faster, haha. Insane…

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I have to admit that it was really cool to see this car come together and compete all week. The sound of this RB26 was pure music to the ears…

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Here’s the interior of the BNR34 also running the latest in MoTec technology…

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The cooling duct was so huge at the front of this Skyline that it was almost difficult to see the RB behind it…

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Under Suzuki heading out onto the track in his carbon-clad S15…

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Not too far behind it was the fastest vehicle of WTAC, the MCA Hammerhead. How crazy is it to think that this is essentially an early 90s S13 coupe?…

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Big wing and huge rear diffuser on the Skyline GT-R driven by Matt Longhurst…

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Here’s how that RB looks with that huge duct removed…

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When you get the opportunity to get up-close and personal with the MCA Hammerhead, you fire off as many shots as possible. Who knows if I’d ever get another chance to see it again or hell, what if something happened to it in the days to follow. The amount of speed this thing operates at, you just never know…

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While Tiffanie and I were hovering around the MCA Suspension team, they offered to let us go into their pit area to get an even closer look at the Hammerhead…

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What makes the Hammerhead the “Hammerhead” are the front wings on this S13. While parked, it actually has those foam bumper looking things that you normally see in the swimming pool attached to the ends of it so people don’t accidentally kick or get caught-up walking into it. I don’t remember exactly but I think one of the ends actually broke eventually on the track as well…

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Looking into the interior with the doors removed, you can see the S13 is not so much an S13 anymore with all the early 90s creature comforts deleted. It’s just filled with only the necessary technology and safety equipment now…

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I walked by this thing and was distracted by the front aero, as it is very much reminiscent of the Hammerhead, not even noticing what type of vehicle it is. I actually thought it was an Mitsubishi Evolution at first…

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…and then I noticed the K-series valve cover and thought, ‘what the fuck, is this a K-swapped Evo?’, so I then proceeded to walk inside to look at the rest of the car…

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…and came to the conclusion that it was an EK Civic hatchback with crazy aero, which turned-out to also be wrong…VERY wrong. It’s definitely Honda-powered but it isn’t a Evo, or an EK. It turned out to be an Holden Astra, which in my defense, was a car I had never before seen in my entire fucking life. I then Googled “Holden Astra” and discovered how the factory version of this now-race car looked nothing like this. I guess you can say it looks…

Astra-nomically different.

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What an awesome sight it was to see William Au-Yeung and the PZTuning Civic in Australia, competing in its first-ever World Time Attack Challenge. Will and the guys from Vibrant Performance finished the car months in advance before the car was sent over via boat (for 44 days) to Australia to compete…

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Will went into it not really knowing what the competition was like or how the car would do but set specific personal goals for himself at the Sydney Motorsports Park…

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By the time the WTAC event ended, Will had reset the record for fastest North American driver and team at WTAC. Congrats to him for not only making the trip, but doing a hell of a job competing…

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Barton Mower and the RP968 Porsche on grid waiting to head out for some practice laps. The 968 would prove to be the toughest competition in the Pro Class against the Hammerhead, with Under Suzuki not too far behind…

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The fastest FF ever at WTAC, the 101 Motorsport “Mighty Mouse” K-powered CR-X…

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Amazing to see it in person finally, unfortunate that I did not get a chance to chat with Nguyen and crew…

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Australian V8 Supercars-driver Tim Slade inside the Hammerhead…

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Cooling-down under the hot Australian sun…

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Even the guys from Voltex couldn’t help but appreciate the Hammerhead and its brilliance. Aren’t S13s supposed to go sideways?….haha….

That’s a wrap on Part 1. Much more to come, much much more… Stay tuned and as always, thanks for looking…

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1 comment

  1. Great coverage Joey! I already watched all the Chronicles vlogs as soon as they came out and they really get the vibe across! However I enjoy looking at the more detailed pictures and reading your comments of the coverage as well 🙂

    It’s really fun to see Americans first reaction to Opel/Vauxhall/Holden’s lol Here in Germany they are called Opel Astra’s and they make for great commuter vehicles. I never liked the look of the compact version you saw at WTAC but my mum drives an Astra G convertible and that thing doesn’t look half bad. The Astra even came with a 2 liter Turbo that can make great power. Sadly the Opel community is somewhat…special and finding clean, tastefully modified examples is rather difficult.

    Hope we’ll get to see some shots of the link ECU 3 rotor FD too, as this thing looks and sounds incredible.

    Lookin’ forward to part 2 😉

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