GTA and MPTCC Round 1
Global Time Attack & MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championship - Round 1

By Justin Banner


Time Attack here in the US has certainly not taken off like many had hoped or even anticipated. At least up until this point, with Global Time Attack and the MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championships teaming up for several rounds, Time Attack now has a new hope once again this year. Can John Naderi, Jason Dienhart, and the guys from the MPTCC save Time Attack and bring it to the forefront of Automotive Racing like it is overseas? Only time will tell and if Round 1 at Buttonwillow shows anything, it's that the future looks very bright for both parties!


 MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Challenge
Fighting dirt, heat, and other racers, the MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championship was truly a challenge this weekend!


Let's start with the action in the MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championship, the premiere series for wheel-to-wheel, true Tuner Car racing! Round 1, Race 1 started on Saturday as the drivers qualified to see who would end up on pole! The APM Racing Acura RSX driven by Richie Ho was able to qualify fourth, while Michele Abbate brought in the Gruppe-S Scion tC in third. Edik Stepanyan in the Motul/Hondata Acura Integra was able to start second while Andrie Hartanto would start the Prima Racing/TunerPlayground Acura TSX on Pole Position by nearly 2 seconds! Pole Position might not have been where anyone would have wanted to start as they were also forced to navigate a sea of Spec Miata, Honda Challenge, and other NASA classes all weekend!


GTA and MPTCC Round 1 - Buttonwillow

While he was running more weight than the Motul/Hondata Integra of Stepanyan, Hartanto was able to qualify nearly 2 seconds faster!


Race 1 started off cleanly and Andrie would pull off to an early lead in the more powerful TSX. However, soaring temperatures, the weight of the car, and other classes to navigate would make keeping that lead very difficult. It also didn't help that Hartanto's tires were at the end of their lifespan, either! Hartanto did what he could to keep the tires going, but the 2011 spec Hankook slicks wouldn't be able to hold off the light weight, B20-powered Acura Integra of Stepanyan!


The start of Round 1, Race 1 of the MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championship. On Board with Richie Ho in the APM Acura RSX.


GTA and MPTCC Round 1 - Buttonwillow

Despite the power advantage of his TSX, the weight and the older tires meant that Hartanto couldn't pull off a large lead on the rest of the field like he wanted to. Tire management was in full force for him in Race 1!


 GTA and MPTCC Round 1 - Buttonwillow

Michele Abbate in the Gruppe-S Scion tC was not only the heaviest car on the grid, but also using street tires and dealing with a broken shock! Which made her Third Place all that much more impressive!
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Friday, April 27, 2012 4:33 AM
The cars are looking great! Nads needs to get someone to put together a video highlight reel for the weekends. Looks like there was some really cool stuff happening on track. Can't wait till GTA gets to NJMP in the summer. And DEFINITELY looking forward to a peek under Chris Rado's tC.
Friday, April 27, 2012 5:57 AM
What happened to FXMD? 8+ seconds off their track record? They should walk all over that fwing thing.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Friday, April 27, 2012 6:36 AM
FXMD had mechnical problems and only ran a warm up lap.
Friday, April 27, 2012 9:08 AM
95F ambient temps was doing no one any favors either.

Great racing between Edo and Andrie. I've been on track with Michele before too; girl got skillz.
Friday, April 27, 2012 10:22 AM
I thought you guys were verifying power for the MPTCC cars on a Dynapack dyno. That looks suspiciously like a Dynojet dyno. How did you handle the difference between the types of dyno? I don't know how close the winners were to their limit and maybe it didn't matter.
Martin Gonzales
Martin Gonzaleslink
Friday, April 27, 2012 11:29 AM
Dynapack is the preferred dyno, but Buttonwillow does not allow outside dynos. Our only choice when we run at Buttonwillow is to use the 7's Only dyno.

Btw, Edo's car is leaving 27whp on the table!
Friday, April 27, 2012 1:41 PM
Funny that it says we have a poor handling car, when we went 1:53.4 on NT01's at 2011-SLB.

What the real problem is that we were having a few electrical bugs/ignition problems. We were shifting at 6000rpm during the event and still had problems and managed to pull off a 1:54.1.

We'll be back there in November with everything figured out and see what the car does.

Video shown here: http://youtu.be/IOJZtu3camI
Friday, April 27, 2012 1:55 PM
Did GST really go from Alcon brakes to ksports? Please don't tell me they got rid of the JRZ dampers also...?
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Friday, April 27, 2012 2:25 PM
I watched as much as I could on the Livestream!

I love me some Time Attack and am so glad Nads aka John(as I hear he prefers to be called nowadays) spearheaded this in conjunction with MPTCC. Thanks gor the recap Justin!

Just an observation but I couldn't find the MPTCC official season schedule anywhere on the MPTCC page or GTA website, when I was trying to confirm last week that MPTCC was going on last weekend....
Martin Gonzales
Martin Gonzaleslink
Friday, April 27, 2012 6:48 PM

Its right on the top right hand side of the page.
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Friday, April 27, 2012 6:58 PM
OK, that's embarrassing, but I SWEAR I didn't see it last week! I MIGHT have to finally use my reading glasses, eventually, but I SWEAR...
Friday, April 27, 2012 8:17 PM
Was MPTCC running the same track configuration as GTA? If so, it'd be interesting to learn what the best times the MPTCC drivers were putting down.
Friday, April 27, 2012 9:03 PM
Yeah same track config. Clockwise #13 is the most popular config at Buttonwillow.
Saturday, April 28, 2012 5:52 AM
What's to stop a competitor using switchable maps. i.e. race on 215hp and with the flick of a switch dyno at 185 hp?
Saturday, April 28, 2012 1:25 PM
Awesome coverage, thanks for posting. It is no fun to read about the Berk tec car, and its lack of comparable competitors. Bummer about the AP Focus and FXMD. Can't wait for more 2012 TA coverage! Hope GST, WR, and FXMD finally make the trek to WTAC this year.
Monday, April 30, 2012 12:07 PM
@ Wrecked: not a huge amount. That being said, while it's plausible to do, it'd be hard to hide on the track. Dai, Johnathan's TSX, and our G20 have VERY different powerbands, but once we out on the oval at LVMS, none of us could pull away. If someone cheated an extra 30hp into their cars, everyone would notice every time we got out on the straightaway.

That being said, someone could still get away with it, but we've got a number of tools available to us that could ferret out a cheater rather quickly.
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