World Time Attack Challenge Final Report

World Time Attack Challenge 2011: Final Report

by Martin Gonzales


Good day mates!  We're back with one last World Time Attack Challenge report.  I'm sure by now everyone is well aware of the excitement and drama that went down on the final day of competition as the rivalry between Sierra Sierra and Cyber Evo heated up.  The now infamous Cyber Evo protest happened right after SSE's Saturday morning run of 1:29.0240 and from that moment everyone's attention at Eastern Creek Raceway was focused on these two power houses.  There is a lot of speculation regarding EXACTLY what happened, what was said, what tires were used, yada yada, but only one thing matters - the official lap times.  Regardless of which side of the gossip circle you're on, both teams deserve our gratitude for continuing to push the limits of their cars and bettering the sport.  They completely annihilated last year's times and both Tarzan and Emp drove the shit out of those cars.



And let us not forget the other 100+ cars who contributed to making this year's World Time Attack Challenge a complete success.  As if the sheer number of fans at Eastern Creek Raceway wasn't enough to solidify this event's place in your "must attend" list, both the Open and Clubsprint classes were completely sold-out! 

Sit back and enjoy yourself as we take you on one last visual walk through of the World Time Attack Challenge.


The grand stand overlooking the front straight - these seats were filled on Saturday as everyone anxiously awaited to see if Sierra Sierra would be able to top Cyber Evo's 1:28.8510 in its last session of the day.



The 1:34.8260 Nicholas Kalis put down early in the competion was good enough for 1st place in the Open Class.  His fast lap was over a full second faster than anyone else and it allowed him and the team to put it in cruise control for the majority of the weekend.  The car was out there so little time, that we didn't even get a chance to get a good shot of the car!  Thank you to www.the-lowdown.com for the great snap!

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Tuesday, August 09, 2011 8:12 AM
Thanks Martin (and Jeff) for wrap things up about the WTAC, but I have few things I'd like to say.

First of all, I hate to beat on a dead horse but, few people mentioned it a while ago and it kinda "slipped off" people's mind just because....
The Revolution FD RX-7, the car is basically a tube chassis. It's an awesome machine, but it does NOT belong in the class just for the simple fact that it's all hacked up and doesn't have any sheet metals intact (from the factory).
Now, this issue was brought up last year when the WTAC organizers were starting to gathering the teams and gauge who would come to Australia. The WTAC organizers turned down the Revolution Team's application because (like I said) the car did comply to the rules. There were lots of speculation. Maybe the Team Revolution did not understand the rules clearly.
Maybe they did not read the rules.
Maybe they just did not care about the rules.
We can all assume, but we will never know exactly what happened.
With that said, several months after that, "someone" decided to let the Team Revolution slip by, and let them race for the sake of "more sick cars at the event = bigger turn out".....well some people got upset, rightly so. (as tube-chassis are not allowed).
Now, I am in no way bitching, I'm just stating the facts; but since the FD Revolution did not take the spotlight at the event, people "forgot" about the car and moved their attention to other teams.
I still think it's messed up that they let it slip by (regardless of how well it performed).

2nd point I'd like to make: if Cyber EVO did indeed accuse the SSE Team for using NOS, they should apologize to them and make it official. There were lots of eyes on those two Teams throughout the weekend AND lots of people watched the drama unfold; so it would be nice if the Unlimited Works Team would drop a line and apologize (since the Japanese are so honest).
Speaking of honesty, which brings me to point 3.

I would like (like many others I think) hear EXACTLY what happened with the tires-issue with the Cyber EVO. The tire's size they used supposely were not available to the public just yet. Is this fact alone enough to disqualify the Team? Or we should "slide it by" like we did with the Team Revolution?
Is the tire-issue relevant?
Were those Yokohama faster than the Hankook the SSE used? If I recall it, the rules for the WTAC did not state the tire size, they simply stated the tire model. (next year should the organizers also implement tire's availability?)

I REALLY would like to hear what Eric and the officials have to say in regard. You know why? Because if teams keep breaking/ bending the rules, than next year people are going to bring whatever to the WTAC.

....and I would hate to see the WTAC turn into a Redline Time Attack event where every top contender stop showing up because they are not satisfied with the series.
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 8:42 AM
I may be in the extreme minority here, but I was counting on MotoIQ to give me the full scoop of what happened this year at WTAC. The first two installments were great about the trip there, and then practice day. But the coverage of the final day is leaving me extremely lacking. The first article I understand was terse to get the scoop out, but this being the real follow-up article I was expecting to read it and "feel like I was there".

As it stands, I still know very little of who ran, what times they got, and what went on really at all. I honestly don't care much about the accusations and the drama. If you're not going to report on that juicy gossip and leave it on the editing room floor then at least give us a proper chronological accounting of the events of the day as they unfolded and attempt to bring the shores of Australia to us lowly reader.
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 10:14 AM
I think Eric will eventually chim in. (write a follow up with his colorful language :)
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 11:04 AM
Good to hear you have enjoyed the event Martin, I enjoyed having the chance to meet you and have a chat, I hope also that your meals have improved and if you haven't left already i still suggest you try the Golden Century! (that's of course if you haven't already tried it).

Keep up the good work and i might see you again next year.

Third times a charm for Christine maybe ?
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 11:18 AM
Any chance we will see Sierra Sierra or any other Time Attack teams representing Team USA with an American car next year... it would be interesting to see a ZR1 vs the Cyber Evo or Garage Revolution RX7 or will you guys just transition into an Evo X
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 11:26 AM
JDM, don't worry, Eric will have an insiders view of what happend with Sierra Sierra as soon as he recovers from the trip.

Ben your comments really piss me and the guys off. First off we spent about $6000 bucks to get that coverage which is a huge amount of money. Second we covered the event with only two people which is diffcult with an event this size. Third this is not an american event where motoiq is known and respecteed and on a first name bases with the top teams.

Third this is not TMZ, we won't print racer grousing as fact like people post on facebook. Things have to be substantiated and a lot of people won't go on record with their comments.

I suggest if you want to feel like you personaly are there to book your ticket next year and fly out. Then you can write about it yourself. Hell I will even pay you if it is good enough.
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 11:32 AM
@ Ben: I'm not sorry to say that you are in the extreme minority here. Martin's been the jack of all trades while out there not only growing the MotoIQ brand so readers like you could read articles like this sans subscription fees, but also to cover the event. Had MotoIQ sent a whole crew, or a full-time writer whose only job was to cover the event, then I might have a modicum of sympathy for you, but since these articles were written from the perspective of what Martin is: a fan, I feel your statement is unwarranted.

As mentioned, I'm sure Eric will have some more insight on what went on with the Sierra Sierra team once he's done with the job that puts food on his table and new cartridges in his smokeless cigarette. I'm also certain that we'll see a lot of features on the cars that competed in the event in the coming weeks/months, with details you won't see anywhere else.

As for the drama that happened in the pits, Martin mentioned the comments made by the Cyber EVO guys, but that's all they were: comments. Keep in mind that a lot of the people at this event are people that keep the lights on at MotoIQ, so shooting off rumors and such like TMZ or your local Orange County high school is not good for business unless you're sure you've got the facts straight. As they say in the electronics world: once you let the smoke out, you can't put it back.

Personally, I'm completely satisfied with the articles so far: they've amused me with the insight and things you don't usually see in a box score/recap. I do feel that more information would be cool, but I also know that there will be plenty of articles that will come out of this event.

In short: patience, young grasshopper.
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 11:35 AM
Damn, Mike, beat me to it. :)
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 11:56 AM
I think the coverage was great, between the clubwtac website, facebook, twitter and motoiq site, I felt I was almost there :) I was refreshing all the sites like a madman to find out who ran what when.

I think for just 2 guys, you did a great job. Photos look amazing! Jeff really takes bad ass action shots.

Keep on delivering the content, screw the haters.
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 1:04 PM
@Rockwood: I totally agree with you. My point earlier was. The field SHOULD be leveled and fair, and anyone breaking the rules gets kicked out or fined (or given a penalty). Why so harsh? Like Mike Kojima said, going to Australia to race is a HUGE investment. If Martin and Jeff spent $6K alone, I can only imagine what it would have cost to the SSE to fly Christine there, along with the spare parts and insurance. HUGE budget for sure. With that said; how would you feel if someone cheats the system because he thinks he's special? Not cool.
Enough with the rant.

Like I mentioned to Martin, Jeff and Mike early on this summer; I would be MORE than happy to pay for a subscription for this site. So far MotoIQ has dropped so much knowledge I don't even know where to start.
Wanna read all the juicy-tech features? Pay up ! They're doing one hell of a job, and nodoby thanks them enough.
Consider charging people for this site folks !
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 1:31 PM
Sorry for the poor writing, I can hardly see the screen when I do this on the my phone.

I don't belive in charging for our content. You can thank our sponsers for that, please patronize them!

The guys were bummed about the comments, they were working their asses off, sleeping one to two hours per day working at night after spending 16 hours at the track.

We don't have a big crew like speedhunters!
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 1:31 PM
I'd petition and await the results. I'm pretty sure that if one of the Sierra Sierra guys thinks they were cheating, there'd be a petition. In the meantime, I'd keep my mouth shut to avoid ruining my case. That may be happening here, don't know.

I wasn't harsh because I thought Sierra Sierra should just take it in the shorts, I was harsh because someone wanted more info when there likely isn't more to give. A simple "hey, what about XYZ?" or similar (like your post) would suffice. Being an armchair Quarterback about the article and calling it lacking wasn't necessary at all.

My comment was aimed entirely at BenFenner, with none of it meant for you, sir. :)
Marty Staggs
Marty Staggslink
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 1:34 PM
Moto IQ staff, excellent coverage as always
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 2:09 PM
great stuff folks. im anxious to hear another side of the story as far as the petition. this was a topic of conversation at the GTA event at NJMP. this wednesday night will be a GTA recap with John Naderi, Mike Warfield and Tony Szirka. 10pm est at www.talkshoe.com/tc/93799
Wes Dumalski
Wes Dumalskilink
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 2:43 PM
Having personally covered a Redline Time Attack event by myself in the midwest where the field was maybe a 3rd of this event with ZERO industry presence I can attest to the difficulty of coverage. it took me over a week to sort the photo's, write the article, and include times for the top 3 finishers in each class.

With an event such as this if you are NOT bringing up to the minute coverage you might as not cover it at all. This is what they focused on. They had times and information up before ANY other site that I know of WHILE the event was taking place. I was up until the wee hours of the night following and communicating them via Facebook. By that time the times people ran and who won is old news.

The reality is that it is nearly impossible to bring COMPLETE coverage for every class with 2 people in another country who have a travel itinerary as well as other things to work on while they are there. I am thankful for what the great coverage we have gotten thus far and I know that as we grow as MotoIQ grows the content will get even better.
Jeff Naeyaert
Jeff Naeyaertlink
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 3:00 PM
Hey Ben, sorry our Saturday coverage was a little light... lemme see if i can fill in some of the blanks.

9:00am: Wake up a little late cuz we were up all night putting together the friday update in the 24hr McDonald's across the street. Our hotel charges $20 PER computer PER day for shitty wifi.

9:05am: take shit followed by shower

9:20am: wait for Martin to do the same

9:45am: Wait in long queue at aforementioned McDonalds for sorta decent sausage and egg biscuit sandwiches and flat white coffee.

9:30am: Drive to track. Martin is playing some euro-techno garbage but it's his choice cuz he's driving. I'm the navigator and the "you're drifting into the left hand lane or brushing the curb because driving a RHD car is weird" warning system.

10:00am: arrive at track. Martin heads to media center, I try to schedule next photo shoot with one of the teams and subsequently miss shooting the #36 Piazza D'Oro EVO (1st place in the Open Class) the only session it went out for the rest of the day… this is why we have a picture up from the The-Lowdown.com

11:00am: Shoot the Clubsprint and Pro class sessions.

12:00pm: Shoot the Hankook Australia WRX that looks nearly identical to the GST car to me… Owner of car's dad asks why I'm taking pictures of every nut and bolt--what kind of magazine wants that kind of detail?? Can tell he's not that comfortable with me doing that, decides I can't shoot the suspension stuff underneath the car (so that's why it'll be missing from the upcoming feature)

1:00pm: no time for lunch, eat some Tim Tams we've got in the trunk of our rental corolla.

1:10pm: Shoot Open Class again, still no damn #36 EVO!

1:45pm: Walk to the back side of the track (Turn 5) where I'm getting the best light of the weekend thanks to the cloud cover that started rolling in, just in time for the Pro class sessions coming up (woo).

2:00pm: Notice the shudder actuator on my 70-200 lens is starting to hang on about every 5th shot resulting in an overexposed image--get pissed and contemplate purchase of the new VR II lens. Wonder how much I can get for my old one on Craigslist.

2:25pm: Scorch Racing S15 comes around turn 5 with a big bang and crunch mid-turn (sounds like gears or a diff) and comes to a stop right in track out--session halted to get it towed away

2:30pm: Get call from martin to walk back to the other side of the track to get a picture of him in the announcer tower. Get bummed cuz that's far to walk again and the Open Class is about to go out for the last time (still hoping i'd get a shot of the f#@&ing #36 Piazza D'Oro EVO).

2:50pm: Get back to media center, meet Martin and walk over to announcer tower.

3:00pm: Shoot Martin talking on the radio

3:30pm: Head back to start/finish to shoot last Pro class session, hoping to see Sierra Sierra get the win

3:50-4:30pm: Shoot pro sessions and don't see Sierra Sierra get the win

4:30pm: Hang out around Sierra Sierra pits and lament… See Steve Glenney (GT Auto Garage GTR) come over and exchange words with Emp--some misunderstanding resulting in Emp being in Glenney's way during his fast lap.

5:00pm: Shoot awards ceremony and drink a warm beer i had stashed in the boot of the Corolla from the night before

6:00pm: Get on the road for Sydney so we can get the quick results up in time for the east coasters to see it first thing in the morning (yes, we missed the drifting--the announcer was jusssst a little too much)

Oh, and @JDM, Cyber EVO guys did apologize to Sierra Sierra at the afterparty on Sunday in Sydney.. We didn't see it personally cuz we arrived 6 hours casually late (Aussies start drinking in the afternoon on Sundays and finish early (dually noted for next year)) that's just what I heard from Eric.
Wes Dumalski
Wes Dumalskilink
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 3:09 PM
^ I feel like I was there.... Thanks for that.... Did you have any other BM's during the weekend... What about Martin... OH WAIT, a Mexican in another country, don;t want to hear about them...
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 3:39 PM
Bummed about the Scorch Racing S15. Killing another trans!! I wonder how much faster it could have gone.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 5:13 PM
From prior experience, there are no Mexicans in Australia and the Mexican food sucks.
Wes Dumalski
Wes Dumalskilink
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 5:25 PM
^ there was when our team was there covering ;)
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 5:41 PM
Well done blokes, It's interesting to read a subjective assement of our Country and Motorsport culture.

A few tips for you next time...

1. They called "UTES", not 'pick-up-cars', or 'El Camino's'.
2. NEVER expect good food in Australia, even it is reasonably priced and served with a smile. The market for good takeaway is just not large enough and vendors can usually dish out utter crap without fear of losing thier business to the competition.
My advice...ask a local. They can usually point you in the direction of some awesome culinary delights.
3. Winners fly QANTAS!
4. Sorry that your internet experience was shithouse...I'm suprised you didn't just ask any of the local teams if you could use thier facilities (read: home internet).
5. Hire a bicycle for getting around the event. Having to walk everywhere is a real PITA.

Anyway, you've got a real fan base down under. I'm sure if you had put a notice up that you were coming sooner, you'd have found a whole bunch of people putting thier hands up to help you guys out.
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 5:58 PM
Martin and Jeff - Great coverage! I'm looking forward to the more that is to come. Loved the Saturday run down Jeff. Especially the part about Martin making you hike all the way around the track just to take a picture of him in the booth :)

Mike - It's that 5% I was telling you about. Burger King!

Steve - Hey, you used that "patience, young grasshoper" line on me once too! I think it was with regard to project TDI. Speaking of which....
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 8:45 PM
I found the food in Australia to be quite good, especially the Chinese food. It just depends where you go. I also enjoyed the local fast food. I was traveling with the guys from Whiteline and they helped pick my eating choices.
Micah McMahan
Micah McMahanlink
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 4:26 AM
@Jeff Naeyaert: I wish I knew you guys wanted to get coverage on Ben's car (the Hankook WRX) as I'd of let him know ahead of time. He would have been cool with it. As for his car, they have some sorting to do. Issues with the new Kaps trans and ignition cut tuning, as well as pretty much everyother last minute change they made. I'm hoping to be down there next year with some trackside support for what is shaping up to be two, possibly three teams. I'll have more than my fair share of data sorting and tweaking to do lol.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 5:56 AM
@ Jeff: LOL. Just need Smell-O-Vision to complete the experience, as they say your sense of smell is the most directly attached to memory...

@ Wes: Discriminatory generalizations are entirely regional, as I explained to Martin on the phone. In Australia, absent the Hipspanics, he's either an Aborigine or a terrorist. Might be a Filipino ("Mexicans" of the world outside the Americas).

@ DerBruce: Patience, young grasshoppa. ;-p

Seriously though, I'm writing the next installment as we speak, on top of some other stuff. Should see it soon.
Jeff Naeyaert
Jeff Naeyaertlink
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 12:54 PM
No worries, Micah! I pretty much shot everything except the suspension bits and the underside of the car. I'll hit them up once I get back and they see the site and can confirm I'm not a spy for a competing team--maybe they'll send me some pics of what I missed ;)
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 12:59 PM
I apologize if I ruffled any feathers or caused anyone any grief. My words were probably taken with more vigor than I meant them. That seems to be the case with me.

MotoIQ has spoiled me in the past with (sometimes nauseating) detail of events such as this. I should have readjusted my expectations.

The light budget, crew, tight time constraints and lack of huge name recognition you mentioned Mike are all good excuses. It is what it is. I don't mean to sound ungrateful.

Never been to TMZ. Had to look it up. =/

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 1:08 PM
I'm reading more of the comments. I guess I missed a lot of stuff that was reported on Facebook?
Like I said, I read MotoIQ (and Car and Driver) and that is it. That is the extent of my car media. Facebook is a glorified picture host to me. In my vacuum of just reading MotoIQ I missed apparently lots of Martin and Jeff's coverage. =(
That is maybe entirely my fault.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 1:21 PM
I forget that this isn't Car and Driver, and that I can ask in the comments for additional detail and I'll more than likely get enthusiastic replies straight from the horse's mouth.

I did say I loved the first two installments!

How many Hail Marys should I recite to repent?
Mark F
Mark Flink
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 3:54 PM
Thank you guys. I was glued to any and all updates. I actually spent my nights after my time at the Mid Ohio ALMS/IndyCar event checking updates and my mornings when I was heading back to the track checking what was going on down under.

Thank you MotoIQ. Thank you SSE. And thank you to anyone involved. It is one of only a few motorsports activities that truly catches my attention and keeps it until the end of the event.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 9:48 PM
I have a question,

I noticed that most teams (for example, the SSE evo) put a large emphasis on using a rear diffuser, however, the cyber evo team had elected to not put one on. I don't think they ever have, it seems they use something like a jdm evo bumper. voltex even makes a rear diffuser for the evo.

So why does the cyber evo team not use one? Did they find out through their wind tunnel testing that it would not help? or if they did use one would it help decrease their lap times?

Its hard to argue with the results they have with the car, but something seems wierd about this.
Micah McMahan
Micah McMahanlink
Thursday, August 11, 2011 4:28 AM
Without using a rolling road windtunnel, you really can't get realworld results for undertray development. There are a few bandaids to negate the effefects of a static floor but you can't study and get actual effect results without having the floor moving beneath the car.

Their tunnel was a static floor. If they tested with a line of pitot tubes for actual data pressure from doing a steady level pull donw a straiight road, I don't know. It is relatively easy to quantitatively get 'effects' from an undertray.
Micah McMahan
Micah McMahanlink
Thursday, August 11, 2011 4:30 AM
We use to impliment an orderly array of pitot tubes and pressure transducers when working on undertay work on DP cars. It works, is somewhat crude but from my understanding, ODU/VA Tech's VIPER program finally got the funding to build the rolling road kart that I designed when I interned their....years ago lol
Thursday, August 11, 2011 12:09 PM
Actually running a car can be very effective. The challenge is to isolate all your environmental factors; essentially like a wind tunnel.

Here is an another interpretation on the rolling road wind tunnel concept:

Of course, not all of us can do this!
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Thursday, August 11, 2011 12:43 PM
This was the best damn event to date....ever.

I think Ben's criticism could be taken as constructive (i.e. send more people next year). Not to draw a comparison, but I enjoyed Dino's pro class wrap up coverage: SH PRO CLASS WRAP UP. I used to think SH was a bunch of bad ass photographers, but after hanging out with them a bit this trip, I'd have to say they are true enthusiasts. Not nearly as technical as Mike and the bunch, but true enthusiasts nonetheless.

Food kicks ass in Sydney. Fast food generally blows anywhere in the world although Fish n' Chips are pretty good in Oz.

Quantas rocks the living shit out of United. NEVER fly United to Australia. I flew Quantas last year and it was many times better.

Cheating? Petition? We should actually, but what's done is done. There certainly was some rule stretching from the Japanese, but I'm writing about that now in another window. I'll be publishing an update that clears up all the speculation and rumors late tonight.
Jeff Naeyaert
Jeff Naeyaertlink
Monday, August 15, 2011 12:43 AM
Yup, I hafta agree with Eric... a lot of our good members compare us to Speedhunters in one way or another but those guys are legit--while they might not go into the technically exhaustive detail we do in our features, they go to a ton more events we could only wish we could get to and they cover the event side of it well. SH is a MotoIQ ally--they send us more traffic than nearly any other referral site out there. Dino does badass writing AND photos, Charles is fuckin' cool and Casey (the young mate from Oz) is an OK dude too cept he drinks Smirnoff Ice on PURPOSE (a $10 purchase a pop at that in OZ) ;)

Eric, you were probably definitely helped out by your hosts in Sydney but Martin and I weren't so fortunate with our random shopper street style sampling approach. I don't know what they're "beef" is in your standard hamburger there, but nonce was it the grade A beef i'm used to here in 'merica. Meat pies are a safer bet. I never tried the fish and chips cuz $9 for 1 fish strip is communist!

And fuck me.. $3 for a bottle of beer from the liquor store? ..I drank wine the whole time.

What's so good about Quantas? I've been pleasantly surprised with Virgin America... could only imagine international flights take BETTER care of you and our flight back was just about that.. I know Quantas has those new Airbus' and all but how's the service? I dig Virgin's more "hip" touch--an intercontinental airparty could break out any moment on one of those!
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 4:52 AM
Hey guys, I'm nik from Piazza Doro #36! I ran the last session 3pm but you might have gone to the dunny as we say in oz land and missed me. I'd like to do more laps for fans but hey, try to preserve the car, tyres etc. That's why I missed the middle session after taking the number 1 spot in the morning. Cheers for coming all the way down under, great stuff and keep up the great work. By the way, it's QANTAS, lol! More pics here https://www.facebook.com/Evangeline300 and my Winning Hot Lap is here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFUeodaJYkU&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Please note the time, where were u!!! Lol
Andrew Brilliant
Andrew Brilliantlink
Saturday, September 24, 2011 12:15 AM
I had some great meals in AUS. I didn't go anywhere fancy but I went with local recommendations and went with friends and came away happy. I really enjoy Aussie beef especially.

About cyber's diffuser or lack thereof, I actually learn a lot about peoples aero through their wind tunnels or learn about their wind tunnels through their aero. However you want to look at it.

Nakajima san uses Mie University's facility. Its sort of a "trainer" wind tunnel, it's really not professional grade although I'd probably say the same of some manufacturer tunnels I've seen as well. I think the big problems with it will be a large amount of turbulence and swirling flow so close to the fan, lack of flow straightening devices among other things. Stationary floor and an open test section without recirculation means they lose a lot of velocity by the time it gets to the back of the car and the underbody will be battling a growing boundary layer, there is just no way to get realistic underbody numbers near the rear of the car. I could never do a GT car in that tunnel, you battle for much smaller gains. With that said, they should get some "good enough" data on the frontal bits if the repeatability is even half decent. It's pretty easy to balance it out with a wing driver tells you when to stop. If you put a diffuser on the car in that tunnel I doubt you'd see much if any result to make you think it works.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that what they have is pretty characteristic of their tunnel, which is lacking technically. However in spite of that they built a winning package and it goes to show that aero is about ingenuity and understanding, probably more so than it is what tool you are using.
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