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2017 Global Time Attack - Road Atlanta

by Erik Jacobs

 

For the past few years, Formula Drift weekend at Road Atlanta has brought the Global Time Attack series in tow as a support event. By day, Road Atlanta sees lap after lap of GTA's classes pounding the pavement in pursuit of fractions of a second. By night, the machines of Formula Drift take the stage.

Road Atlanta is no easy drive. With 47 years of storied history, including Can-Am, Trans-Am, the infamous Camel GT series, and, more recently and regularly, the Petit Le Mans, this technically difficult track rewards cars with power and grip. How did these lap battlers do? Starting with the slowest cars, which are no slouch:

 

2nd place in Enthusiast FWD with a 01:52.308 -- Anthony Cuthbert, #94 Dodge Dart GT, Baby Ferrari Racing

 

1st place in Enthusiast FWD with a 01:47.069 -- Jamil Fields, #66 Chevrolet Cobolt SS, Slow Patrol Motorsport.

 

2nd place in Enthusiast RWD with a 01:44.914 -- Nick Stentiford, #87 Nissan Silvia, Terrible Buddies.

It's not often that you see an S15 in the wild as a competitive track car here in the states. At least not in the South East. There are a few S15 drift cars roaming around, but it's nice to see the car in its natural habitat, so to speak.

 

1st place in Enthusiast RWD with a 01:44.280 -- Erin Sanford, #29 Pontiac GTO

Erin has quite an amazing and extremely well-built S13 car that he uses for track duty. Unfortunately, due to a machining issue on a recently-installed transmission adapter, the LS-power in his 240SX was taken out. Since the entry was already paid for, Erin decided to wheel his GTO to a victory. You know, because why not?

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Comments
nissannx
nissannxlink
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 7:55 AM
Congratulations to Chris Boersma, James Houghton, and Will Au-Yeung on their fantastic weekend at Road Atlanta. That James and Will both broke Rado's 2012 Unlimited FWD record is outstanding. And a FWD car capturing the FTD is simply awesome.
ginsu
ginsulink
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 8:06 AM
@Phil Grabow - Sorry to say, but that rear diffuser needs to be aligned with the rear wing endplates to work effectively with the underbody of the car. I really doubt that the current mounting place is the most effective location. Not to mention, it looks ridiculous.

Also, it looks like he's oversteering in that picture, so you can tell he's suffering from a lack of rear grip.
rawkus
rawkuslink
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 2:35 PM
@ginsu,
Even if the vertical alignment was better, there's very little interaction when the wing is that much higher than the rear diffuser. They very much need to be in line. With his design he really needs to focus on the rear wing performing well separate from the diffuser and visa versa. As is, it might be working fairly well. A 1:31 isn't exactly slow at Road Atlanta.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 2:59 PM
I feel like the vertical separation will still allow the wing to enhance the diffuser action.
SM_Clay72
SM_Clay72link
Thursday, May 18, 2017 7:59 AM
I will never understand time attack other than as a showcase for products I suppose. For the money that most of these cars have into them you can go faster in a TA2 car and be racing door to door with other drivers!
thoraxe
thoraxelink
Thursday, May 18, 2017 8:07 AM
For the amount of money I have in Project SC300 I could buy a 911 cup car...
SM_Clay72
SM_Clay72link
Thursday, May 18, 2017 3:08 PM
Hahaha damn @thoraxe

I also understand the drive to build something that can do far more than it was designed to do and surprise people. Like that Vibrant Civic!
ginsu
ginsulink
Thursday, May 18, 2017 10:23 PM
@rawkus - I'm not just saying that because of wild-ass guess. I've personally read a lot of research on aerodynamics (besides the Fluid Mechanics classes I took to become an ME), and I've also seen a lot of CFD simulations that prove that the diffuser works in conjunction with the rear wing.

https://www.reverie.ltd.uk/wing_faq.php

Q.How high up and how far back should my rear wing be?

A. ....
"However, there are instances where a lower and possibly more forward position can interact with a rear diffuser exit and help to generate more efficient downforce from the underbody even though wing downforce might decrease in such a modified location.
....With closed saloons/sedans and GT cars with no limit to the rearward location of the wing, it can be of benefit to mount the wing further rearwards so that it’s leading edge is between just overlapping the rearmost part of the car’s boot/trunk by a few centimetres to about roughly in line with it. Two benefits can accrue here; first, the low pressure region that develops below the wing is moved behind the rear ‘deck’ area, which means it all goes towards sucking the wing downwards instead of also sucking the rear deck upwards; and second, that same low pressure region may interact with any rear diffuser that may exist now or in a future development."

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Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Thursday, May 18, 2017 11:14 PM
I was looking at a beautiful lightly used 996 cup car and it was for sale for only 49k. The E46 M3 I am building as a track day and RWD limited car is costing me way more than that....
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