This article is part of our World Time Attack Challenge 2022 series.

It had been almost three years since Time Attack teams and their machines had driven in anger in front of a huge turnout of enthusiasts at Sydney Motorsport Park and the international motoring world.

With years of development and patience put into the cars before this event, records were expected to be broken, including the official lap record, which PRTech came so close to claiming back in 2019.

Unfortunately, as it so often is in motorsport, things don’t quite go to plan. Teams would not only be racing the clock on track, but off track too during the two days of competition.

Many of the Pro teams suffered dramas throughout the event, with many having to call it quits before the final shootout on Saturday night. Two-time WTAC champion MCA Hammerhead blew an engine on Friday taking it right out of contention.

Both Tilton Evo and RP968 suffered tyre delamination’s, destroying the front aero of the Tilton Evo, causing them to retire the car. The RP968 would also retire minutes before the final shootout with previous transmission woes and collecting damage in the last session.

Despite a challenging two days for the team, RP Technology, Barton Mower and their radical Porsche 968 would grab their third straight WTAC title with a time of 1:20.1. The team at GotItRex would be the only Pro team to compete in the final shootout, grabbing third and coming incredibly close to the Subaru lap record at SMSP. Not bad for their first time at WTAC.

Tim Slade driving the Xtreme GTR would put in a mega lap during the first session on Saturday to break the Open Class record with a 1:27.379. However, they would end that session with mechanical troubles and would have to wait ten hours to see if they would hold onto the class win. In the dying stages of the final shootout for Open Class, the moment of the event would occur as Nathan Morcom, piloting the Insight Motorsports Mitsubishi Evo snatched the record with a 1:27.247!

The Pro-Am class would also come down to the wire. Kostinken Pohorukov in the Tilton Evo would comfortably grab the win with an early 1:26.071, but there would be an intense battle for the final podium places. Richard Perini in the VR38 powered Ginetta would lead the rest of the Pro-Am field for most of Saturday, until Jay Davidson put in a storming lap to grab second place by six hundredths of a second, after only sorting out the engine gremlins of the Subaru WRX the day before.

An honourable mention in Pro-Am must go to DM Motorsport, who brought their Super GT Nismo GT300 Z33 to attack the Sydney circuit in anger. It was awesome to see a wild Super GT car in the flesh on Australian soil, mixing it up among time attack monsters.

The Clubsprint class would pit modern production cars like the A90 Supra, new BRZ and GR Yaris against popular time attack platforms such as the Evo and WRX. This marked just the beginning for these modern machines, and it will be fascinating to see how these new performance platforms evolve over time.

Jamal Assad driving the Evolution Racing Spares Mitsubishi would crush the Clubsprint lap record by three seconds with a 1:33.7. The GotItRex team would grab another podium with their Clubsprint WRX STI whilst Trent Grubel would grab third in his DC Jap Automotive Subaru.

Every year at WTAC is an evolution of the previous years. Getting to witness these  cars loaded with precision engineering and amazing aero from front bumper to rear wing is like nothing else. Time Attack is exciting because of its unpredictability. Only the teams know how these production cars will be developed and can predict the lap times they can achieve. To be able to witness these machines, their achievements and the hours of work put into making them as fast as possible is incredible.

Words & Images – Noah Thorley

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