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World Time Attack, event coverage 

World Time Attack Challenge 2012 - Final Competition Day

By Martin Gonzales

 

The Australian teams kicked ass and took names on the first day of World Time Attack competition. Nemo Racing obliterated Cyber Evo's 2011 championship time and Tilton Racing was not far behind.  As soon as day one was over the pit-chatter started circling around the track regarding what the top teams were up to in preparation for the second and final day of the World Time Attack. The late afternoon arrival of Cyber Evo, after being absent all of day one, only added to the anticipation for the final day of competition.  

 

Read the rest of our 2012 WTAC Coverage:

WTAC 2012 - Practive Day

WTAC 2012 - Competition Day 1 

 

World Time Attack 2012, Team Cyber Evo 
It was all hands on deck in the Cyber Evo pit late Friday afternoon, as they prepared for what was to be a dog fight for the Pro Class 2012 championship.  The team and Tarzan were going to have to leave everything on the track if they were going to have a chance to catch Nemo. 

  

Tilton Interiors Racing 
Tilton Interiors' Garth Walden was confident of his team's late night efforts on Friday and was anxious to get on track to squeeze a couple more seconds out of their Evo IX.

 

This is now the third year of the World Time Attack Challenge and just like last year we were amazed at the level of participation and fan involvement. No doubt we can attribute this to the Aussie love for motorsports, but tons of credit has to be given to the entire WTAC staff. They have created an atmosphere catering to Motorsport buffs worldwide. If you can't find something that interests you at WTAC, then you're simply not a gearhead. With a full time attack entry list, packed vendor row,  historic racecar display, show-and-shine, drifting demos, and motorcycle stunt shows, there's something for everyone.

 

Whiteline, WTAC 
Plenty to do in the paddock in between time attack sessions.  The area behind the garages hosts a vendor row where fans can see the latests products being developed by the performance aftermarket.  The Whiteline crew was not only displaying their R35 competing in the Clubsprint Class, but they also brought out their FR-S test mule. Whiteline has been doing extensive on-track parts testing for their FR-S/BRZ line up and the parts will be released very soon! 

 

World Time Attack Challenge, drift demos, r32 
This blue R32 kinda reminded us of the ARK-Team America R32.  It was heading towards the drift competition as we were leaving ;)  

 

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Comments
Discotea
Discotealink
Monday, August 13, 2012 6:55 PM
Too bad about the cyberevo and team america but great coverage and more video's would be nice. Are you going to do an exclusive on the nemo and tilton cars? Hats off to Nemo for winning this years competition.
nissannx
nissannxlink
Monday, August 13, 2012 7:22 PM
The aero on these cars is awesome. I'd love to see more about what they're doing.
czubaka
czubakalink
Monday, August 13, 2012 7:53 PM
Great coverage! (as usual)

Several thoughts:
MCA suspensions has some serious ankle biters with that front aero setup.
That radical(?) makes Nemo look like a pickup truck (size wise) running around the track.
I'm wondering when more teams will be making the shift to the Evo X chassis. From a clean-sheet build, is the IX that much better of a platform, or does the CT9A just benefit from having so much development time?
Bach
Bachlink
Monday, August 13, 2012 10:12 PM
The driver of Nemo was Warren Luff, not Walden.

Great coverage, wish the ARK GT-R.
Bach
Bachlink
Monday, August 13, 2012 10:34 PM
Where I said "wish the ARK GT-R" , I meant "wish the ARK GT-R was there."
JDMized
JDMizedlink
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:14 AM
I think NEMO Racing did an outstanding job, but I'm not surprised one bit by the lap time they got.
There are rumors on the net (I'm not sure if they're true/ realistic) that NEMO cost about $600,000 to develop and run. Whether those numbers are true or not, it's easy to see that NEMO got the most amount of money invested into the car/ program. Chris (Eaton) hired great mechanics and engineers, and this is the result.
If someone else (X Team) would want to challenge NEMO's lap time, they better start saving the dough!

To be honest, I'm much more impressed with what MCA Suspensions guys achieved.
Grunt
Gruntlink
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:30 AM
3rd and 4th place RWD nissan run VE heads.
Bach
Bachlink
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:36 AM
According to a mate of Chris', he would be quite happy to sell it for about 600k as it cost around 300k.
rawkus
rawkuslink
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 5:22 AM
Does Tilton run AYC? With an ACD/AYC pump failure, the car would still be awd, the center differential would just be open and the rear (if it has AYC) would function properly without torque vectoring.
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 5:43 AM
I'm not hating on anything here because the cars are damn cool; I want that said from the start. But looking at things like NEMO, I wonder where and when the line in the sand is going to be drawn. Sooner or later someone is going to build something mid-engine with proper, developed tunnels (been done on a budget before) or pick the right car and build a carbon monocoque inside or around the OEM chassis, or move to a purpose built racing engine like the Cosworth XD. Or all three.

It's not like I'm sitting here shouting about the end of time attack or anything, but I can't help but look at NEMO and think "well crap, now what"
Wrecked
Wreckedlink
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 10:15 AM
Did the Cyber Evo team really not carry a spare diff?
spdracerut
spdracerutlink
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 11:36 AM
@Kenku, buy a used FIA GT1 car, ALMS GT2, German DTM, etc. car and unrestrict the engines :)
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 11:58 AM
I'm thinking of shooting more for the *old* GT-1 cars in concept, though sure the newer ones could work too. But really, you know, the ones from 96-98 or so but unrestricted and updated? Like that.

Seriously though, people like the WTAC stuff because it seems like tuner cars, but what happens when it's cheaper to buy race hardware that fits the letter of the rules than to develop one's own stuff?
Full-Race Geoff
Full-Race Geofflink
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:03 PM
Great article! To me this is an exciting time as 'Time Attack' matures, I am especially proud and excited to have a helping hand in the development of some of these cars' turbo kits. here is some Video of Nemo's winning lap:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzAE7BL4U9s
Full-Race Geoff
Full-Race Geofflink
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:27 PM
also - especially impressive is the Tilton Evo, that is a straightforward chassis with a journal Bearing S300SX borgwarner twinscroll turbo. simple and effective, great setup by Scott @ Insight
eeeen
eeeenlink
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 2:22 PM
I am super pumped to see U. Suzuki dip his times so low... very very cool.

Nemo was supposed to be that quick, it had better be running insane times, not a shocker at all. My jaw was on the floor when I saw the MCA and Tilton times. VERY impressive times considering the builds.
eeeen
eeeenlink
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 2:23 PM
... eh, no, I take that back... my jaw dropped when I saw 1:25
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 2:39 PM
Huh. Going to sound weird to say, but watching that vid, I would have expected the lateral G to be higher.
Full-Race Geoff
Full-Race Geofflink
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 6:28 PM
@kenku - this is only the beginning... these guys have some big plans in store
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 6:41 PM
Well of course! I'm just tempted to watch that quite a few times, pull up a spreadsheet and see what I can figure out about the car's aerodynamic performance.
Bach
Bachlink
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 10:59 PM
Nemo is still on low boost. And using the "small turbo". Nemo still has a lot of speed left in it.

I just hope that Nemo gives everyone a chance by not building an all-out 100% race engine ala Extreme Tuners.
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Wednesday, August 15, 2012 1:10 AM
A line will be drawn in the sand and not only for the pro class. There was a lot of "rulebook challenging" going on in the Club Sprint class too.
Nelson Ng
Nelson Nglink
Thursday, August 16, 2012 7:20 AM
The blue R32 on the first page had a pair of counter rotation tires on the rear, what's the purpose? or just random?
eeeen
eeeenlink
Saturday, August 18, 2012 1:17 PM
Eric.... regarding the "line in the sand" ... will you be expanding on that thought in a future write up?? Or do we just need to read between the lines? I'd love an inside scoop on that from your perspective.

Either way, I am super excited to see how the skyline turns out. Are you moving the turbo location, or did GTA give the skyline a free-pass to run as-is? (as I recall, you said the car did not meet certain requirements for GTA, due to the turbo location?)
Andrew Brilliant
Andrew Brilliantlink
Saturday, August 25, 2012 5:51 AM
Can someone please explain this to me because I just cant seem to understand. Why is it that HKS can go and spend huge money show annihilate everyone by 5+ seconds and nobody talks about rules. Nemo goes and bests cyber by 3.8 seconds, only a couple seconds ahead of Tilton and everyone comes running with pitch forks and talking about its time to draw lines in the sand. Really?

I look at whats been done on the Nemo car and I want someone to name one damn thing thats different conceptually (not in execution) than any other cars that preceded it in time attack.

Custom control arms and suspension? Thats the whole field.
Semi tubular chassis? Revolution didnt even bother with the gearbox in factory location or retaining a factory floor pan.
A full carbon body and an aerodynamicist? Competitors were out there with GT300 bodies that cost the better part of the entire Nemo build. With years of hardcore wind tunnel development.

What nemo did was to do it all a little bit better and put the right people on the job and manage them correctly.

Why can't everyone else just work as hard as we did? The car didn't build itself and if people had a clue what that car was built for, its less than other cars that proceeded it. That is a fact! I would even bet that over all the years of money spent, build and rebuild Cyber was more expensive than that.
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Saturday, August 25, 2012 7:50 AM
Personally, I say this from looking at how sanctioning bodies tend to work. Congratulations, NEMO set the new bar, doing nothing that was outside the letter of the rules, supposedly running on the lower power backup engine (I'm not involved so I don't know) and so on. And yeah, you guys didn't even exploit the rulebook to the full extent, while GR did to a much greater extent... but look who reset the lap time.

Right now there is no line anywhere preventing someone from entering essentially a prototype car with a purpose built race engine if they picked the right car to start with... it completely violates the intent of the series, but it could be done within the letter. I think that looking at where NEMO and the rest are progressing, the organizers, as more or less any other organizing body before them when people started playing with aero, are going to start trying to figure out where there's gaps between the letter and intent and what their intent was, because you've made it clear what people with imagination can do within the rules as written.
Andrew Brilliant
Andrew Brilliantlink
Saturday, August 25, 2012 1:07 PM
An LMP is definitely not legal with the current rules, but they can spell that out a bit more clearly would be good.
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Saturday, August 25, 2012 9:32 PM
Note I said "practically". Looking at the rule book right now, you you have to retain the shock tower locations and the stock firewall, except where you modify it for engine fitment. Let's give a hypothetical to demonstrate my point.

For the heck of it, let's start with a Lotus Esprit; backbone frame with a fiberglass body. Cut the firewall and parts of the fender wells out of the body and throw away the rest; for that matter probably cut away most of the backbone frame except the parts that contain the suspension mounts. Build a carbon monocoque including the portions of the original frame that hold the top portion of the shock mounts with whatever suspension you want, and the portions of the fiberglass body that would be considered to be strut towers. Build the rest of the body out of carbon, with whatever underbody and non-underbody aerodynamics you want, with whatever engine and transaxle you want. Personally, I'd be looking at something like a Cosworth XD with longer stroke and modifications to live with more boost and ethanol with intercoolers instead of methanol with none, but you get the drift. Just for fun, incorporate active suspension.

Looking at the Pro Class rules on the WTAC site right now, I can see no area where such a vehicle would not meet the letter of the rules. If you were fiddly - say, move the stock floor of the Esprit upwards a bit so you can fit tunnels but still retain it, and retain a few other parts of the stock fiberglass - you could probably squeeze it into the Open Class as well.

Now, it would cost the moon and violates the spirit of the event in any number of ways, but I'd argue that a car built thusly would be essentially a GTP car, and maybe it wouldn't be in the best interest of the event for something like that to be legal.

Fun to think about though. ;)
Andrew Brilliant
Andrew Brilliantlink
Saturday, August 25, 2012 10:01 PM
Yah of course I asked that question initially and the answer was that they simply would not invite such a car to the invite only pro class competition. They are now working on spelling things out more clearly.
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Sunday, August 26, 2012 9:32 PM
I don't think there's a whole lot of talk about lines in the sand. I know there's definitely some.

It's important to remember that HKS spent "a lot of money" over the entire duration of their EVO Time Attack program. They didn't just drop $2MM on the car all at once. They spent $2MM over 5 a year spread on the entire program which included two complete carbon fiber bodied cars. Don't get me wrong that's still a ton money, but it's important to make that distinction. On top of that, the HKS EVO is still 100% EVO and retains its entire unibody structure. Sierra Sierra was a slightly little deal regarding the budget. A lot of money was spent on their Formula Atlantic and Formula Mazda programs and that equipment carried over to their EVO program making their EVO program look much larger than it actually was. And of course the SSE EVO was also 100% EVO.

There isn't much difference between the NEMO EVO and the Revolution RX-7 conceptually. In fact, the NEMO EVO takes the concept a step futher. I'll discuss this further in the upcoming NEMO article coming on MotoIQ (it's not the aero that skirts the rules). But as you know, the Revolution RX-7 was already fairly controversial to the teams and organizers. The difference between the Revolution FD and the NEMO EVO is that the NEMO EVO broke records and the Revolution FD did not. Of course we can blame the controversy on the lack of rules and the importance of the "spirit" in Time Attack.

I think it's safe to say that the NEMO EVO is the baddest ass car in Time Attack at the moment. The execution of the details throughout the car is amazing. When I write articles on Time Attack cars, I'm always a bit critical and I express my opinions sometimes on how this or that could have been done better. In the case of the NEMO EVO the car is almost perfect. I almost have nothing critical to say about it because it is so bad ass. There's no doubt that the NEMO team worked hard to build the car. But at the same time, there's this thing that people keep talking about: the spirit of Time Attack. Like it or not, the "spirit" does exist and we all know what it is. It can be ignored because the rulebook doesn't explain it, but it isn't going away.

It's always a difficult for the race sanctioning body, or promoter in the case of WTAC, to enforce the rules. WTAC isn't a sanctioned race series. It is basically a Time Attack event not very different from the ones at Tsukuba that the JDM magazines put on with the exception of scale (WTAC being much larger). That being the case it's always going to be tough when one team comes out and demolishes the rest of the field with a controversial car while skirting the rules (and most definitely the spirit). The problem that the event promoter has to deal with is then will there even be a "rest of the field" in the future. If the Japanese teams and the fast Aussie teams don't show up, the Pro class will suck to watch and follow. The event promoter has to listen to the needs of the many competitors (and not the few) because he needs them all to be competing for there to be a successful event.

We can always looks back at the example of sport compact drag racing in the USA when looking for an example of what happens when a sanctioning body/event only listens to the needs of the few with the money (GM, Ford, Dodge, etc.).

Whatever the WTAC rule makers end up changing, if at all, Team America is always down to take the Pepsi challenge. We'll be at WTAC 2013 no matter what the rules.

Kenku: That was basically my original concept before we decided to build the Skyline. The difference was that it was going to be a stretched Elise (it needs a little more wheel base for big power) instead of a Esprit. We decided that it definitely wasn't it the spirit of Time Attack and decided not to build it. We figured what better car to build than the chassis that is responsible for the creation of Time Attack?
Andrew Brilliant
Andrew Brilliantlink
Sunday, August 26, 2012 10:49 PM
But Eric, all that changed forever ago. Nemo just built a car to the rules that were already established. Australia wasnt the only one to allow the revolution car to be "homolgated" it ran in Japan without question as well. Suddenly nemo builds a car that doesnt even push the rules as hard and now people are up in arms? Organizers in the US were willing to bend the rules for whoever built a car they thought was interesting as well. Every nation and ever sanctioning body was moving in the same direction.

There is a lot of stink being raised that you might not be aware of. I've been getting it from all sides since the before I even left WTAC.
pegleg
pegleglink
Monday, August 27, 2012 7:34 AM
Spirits don't set what one builds a car by. Rules do. If you don't build your car to the rules, that is no one else's fault but your own. $400,000 alone ($2MM over 5 years...) can build you a car very close to if not just like Nemo if you don't waste your money in unnecessary places. Making reliable power with a 4g is straight forward and simple and thus doesn't need the exotic blocks.
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Monday, August 27, 2012 8:10 AM
The important thing to remember is that WTAC is not a sanctioned event. Have you guys ever read the fine print on product specifications where it says, "Specifications are subject to change without notice"? I'm not speaking for WTAC here, but I suspect the same thing would apply here since it is not a high dollar, sponsor driven series. If they want to change the rules that would be tough shit for us competitors. We can choose to be a part of the event or simply not participate.

Just because Garage Revolution was allowed to run, that doesn't mean that the rules are set in stone either. Like I said, GR didn't set any records. Much like in legitimate forms of racing, competitors who skirt or go beyond the rules in the middle or rear of the grid don't get their hand slapped until they are at the front of the grid. NEMO is not only at the front of the grid, they won the event my a significant margin. There may or may not be some hand slapping.

And spirits do set what one builds the car by in Time Attack. It did for Team America, it did for Sierra Sierra, it did for Tilton Interiors and it should for all other Time Attack competitors. Like I said, teams can choose to ignore the "spirit", but it will always be there. Don't like it? Go race in FIA GT. Don't like racing in FIA GT? Try UK Time Attack then. Don't like UK Time Attack? Try US Time Attack. Don't want to come to the US? Then you'll have to simply STFU and deal with the spirit because it is prevalent in Australian and Japanese Time Attack. Still don't like the spirit? Don't run Time Attack. It's as simple as that. Once the "spirit" leaves Time Attack, it isn't Time Attack anymore. It'll be faux-qualifying time trials.
Andrew Brilliant
Andrew Brilliantlink
Monday, August 27, 2012 8:45 AM
But Eric, just think about it from my point a view for a moment? I don't want to argue with a friend. But i just want you to understand where we were coming from.

You got the Japan cars right, they have these little cage tubes might as well be made of rope or something. You give up a bunch of weight to them because you dont want to execute your driver in a crash. All these things are in their favor, the tire selection it favored them, so did a lot of things, none of the least of which is a 10 year head start on development. You have no idea what people are going to be building for next year. The letter of the law has shown they will let tube chassis run. I was standing there when revolution did a 54 at tsukuba on that tube chassis, it was a front running car, they won at Hyper Rev, so how infatuated with the spirit is Japan? Nobody was talking about banning it over there. Then a few months later Suzuki is getting right on that number with his traditional chassis. Nemo intended to race in Japan from day one as well.

Unless you want to chance building a car from the ground up with the intent of losing, you build to the best advantage the rules can give you. Thats what we did on Nemo. But even at that, we decided to leave the floor pan intact, that whole thing is dead weight and major interference for underbody tunnels. It was a design compromise. So was leaving the outboard suspension instead of pushrods. Everyone I think really wanted pushrods and thirds....

I dont know what the "spirit" is anymore, cyber had big huge aero getting built, cars in the field all had big aero... cars are being built all over the place with more and more tube chassis and all the global sanctioning bodies are allowing it. In the US look at Rado's car, its a gorgeous car, alot of very nice work. There are front runners on each continent with semi tube chassis. What choice does a team have at that point?

Is it in the "spirit" to have tires that are totally destroyed after one lap? Not really, but you gotta have those tires to win. Or aero like cyber evo that is so pitch sensitive and set up to run 20mm off the ground? It's not tuner car stuff anymore, its race car stuff.

this is my opinion, but I think what lead up to the win of Nemo, it wasnt the tubular bits. That car could be 100# heavier (thats probably all of the difference of adding in a whole lot of original chassis) and it would have still won by a healthy margin and especially will if it gets a high powered engine back in it.

I just think the car won because it was well built, well run and had a little bit of luck. I dont think any violation of the "spirit" of the competition that lead to the success even if you listed out what violated the spirit and we changed it all, it probably would still have won. The big question would be.... Who's opinion would we use about the "spirit" to define those changes?

I wouldn't even know how to build a car to "the spirit" its like theres always some little gray area and without a clear definition the only way to be sure you are following the spirit would be to build an exact clone of cyber evo since people seem to think that is in "the spirit"? Then on your maiden voyage you would get beat by revolution with a tube chassis. How does that make sense for us to decide to do that in the planning phase when you have all these resources that can build what you think is the ultimate car within the rules? What would we do submit every little thing and ask if its in the spirit? You need something concrete to build to, an ideal is very cool and I wish I understood what that was. I just dont know how to design a part for an ideal. Maybe its a mental block or something way too much time on the computer....
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Monday, August 27, 2012 9:07 AM
I think what we're all saying is that the people running the event need to spell some crap out in the rulebook if they want something other than everyone making tube frame (or worse) cars with tunnels and whatnot. From the outside, it seems like the current situation has to be frustrating as hell for everyone involved, because it seems like the organizers have something in mind for what they want there (comments about not inviting something going too far for the Pro class for example) but if they don't spell it out a bit better, how do you know until you're way past the line? And ye gods, the idea of building a car with all the time, work and money into it, and then being told you can't race it is not a good one.
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Monday, August 27, 2012 10:06 AM
Fuck I just typed out a long ass response and it didn't send through. FUCK, MOTOIQ PLEASE GET SOME BETTER FUCKING SOFTWARE!!! If I have the time, I'll try to reply later.
Sootfoot
Sootfootlink
Monday, August 27, 2012 10:41 AM
We're working on the upgrade Eric but as a precautionary measure anything over a couple of sentences that can't be easily duplicated should be copied before submitting. The technical nature of our site also goes beyond the intended scope of the comment box. Browsers play hell with this stuff also as IE (Internet Exploder as I like to call it) crashes which is ironic given the relationship between IE and the software this site is programmed in. Sorry Bud!
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Monday, August 27, 2012 9:44 PM
Aaron: No sweat and sorry for the outburst. It's a pain in the ass to rewrite responses on detailed debates like this. I hope you guys upgrade soon.

Andrew: I had meetings all day and then was testing some new COBB EVO X SST software (it shifts like a GTR!) out here in Texas and didn't get back until late. I don't know where you are in the world so I'll try you tomorrow.

Anyhow, I COMPLETELY understand where you are coming from. As an American, I completely understand building a race car to the letter of the rules (and sometimes beyond Smokey Yunick style). But the problem is that the WTAC rules were too loosely written to begin with and the Garage Revolution FD was allowed to run. I don't believe the GR FD should ever have been allowed to run, but at the same time it didn't set any records. The WTAC rule makers therefore didn't do anything about further clarifying the rules. I knew this kind of "line in the sand" situation was probably going to occur this year or next and I expressed my thoughts to Ian last year, but I think it was part of his master plan to deal with the situation when it happened.

Really it doesn't matter much of how this debate ends up because ultimately however WTAC decides to change the rules, if at all, will be the final word. All we can do is express our opinions to WTAC. If there are enough people who break out the pitchforks and threaten not to compete at WTAC, it is likely that they will rewrite the rules. If nobody complains, WTAC will likely become a tube frame class in several years and the pro class will likely fade into nothingness because there simply are not enough teams with enough funding to support that kind of motorsport without corporate sponsors. This is not the days of CAN-AM or 70's Stock Car racing. To compete at the potential performance levels of today's possible computer modeled FEA tube frame cars, computer modeled suspensions, CFD Aero, modern brake and tire technology, it will take BIG BIG money.

But coming from the tuning industry, I firmly believe that Time Attack cars should remain 100% what they began as. In other words, an EVO should remain and EVO, GTR a GTR, and so on. Not 70% and not 50% and sure as hell not a silhouette car. This keeps the cars more relatable to the spectators and fans AND it levels the playing field between ingenuity and big budgets. To me it is extremely simple:

- The unibody should be completely intact between the shock towers, with the A, B, and C pillars, roof rails, firewall and floor pan completely intact. Cutting for clearancing is allowed as per current WTAC rules for the firewall as an example. Cutting the floor pan behind the rear seats is not permitted. The floor must be intact.

- Subframes are open, but must bolt to the factory subframe mounting positions. Reinforcement to cage is allowed, but only reinforcement. Subframe must bolt to factory locations.

- Roof panel can be composite, but roof rails (that connect A, B, and C pillars) must remain factory.

- Limited driver position alteration (e.g. 4" maximum rearward of factory location or something like that).

- Aero is open, but there should be some rules regarding strength of fastening. There's guillotine out there waiting to happen with some of the dodgy mounting I saw this year. Perhaps some basic splitter shape requirements to limit pitch sensitivity (this is a safety thing as well).

- One engine allowed, any modification allowed including nitrous. Methanol fuel not allowed for safety reasons.

- Aside from the usual safety rules, a 6 point cage is absolute minimum with diagonal bar in main hoop. Tube diameter and wall thickness based on overall vehicle weight. No exceptions including the Japanese cars.

- Tires should come directly from the manufacturer trucks and cannot be softer than XX durometer. With XX referring to a chart based on atmospheric temperatures. This prevents the specials that ALL the tire manufacturers are guilty of producing. Yes, both of you guys. No tires can be pulled out of containers from Japan - no exceptions. Same deal as now: grooved tires with 2/3 of the surface covered with grooves. NO SLICKS ALLOWED.

- The current rules regarding no center steer cars, etc. to prevent non-production race cars from competing.

That is pretty much it. I believe these simple rules completely encapsulate the spirit of a true Time Attack car. These rules are taking a unibody car, a complete unibody car, to the absolute limit with whatever add-ons can be done within the rules. It is production car "tuning" at the absolute limit without converting it to a Super GT GT300 like race car. Want to build a Super GT GT300 car? Go racing in Super GT. This is Time Attack. Time Attack after all is an event where the tuning industry proves their abilities. Race engineers want to give it a try? Sure, just stick to the above rules. These rules alone will normalize the field and keep the competition healthy. Otherwise, in several years I guarantee Pro Class WTAC Time Attack will become much like Sport Compact drag racing in the USA....non-existent.

Like I said, whatever WTAC decides, Team America will be in Sydney for WTAC 2013. But if nothing is done about the rules after 2013, I'm out of WTAC even if Team America wins outright. I do not believe that anything beyond these rules is Time Attack any longer and I would no longer would wish to compete. The rules above are exactly how Team America is building the Skyline regardless of rules.

Perhaps I'm being too idealistic here, but this how I've thought of Time Attack for a very long time. Ask John Naderi; I got active race cars banned from the original Superlap series. Why? Because a race car doesn't belong in Time Attack. There's a theme here if you haven't noticed...

If a competitor wants to go faster, designing a better car within this envelope of rules would truly showcase a platform's, team's, and driver's abilities. Throwing money and race car engineers at something isn't going to showcase anything other than who's got the bigger budget and more technology. Throwing race car engineers at a true Time Attack car with unibody intact? No problem, have at it. That's fair game.

Just my $0.04.
Andrew Brilliant
Andrew Brilliantlink
Monday, August 27, 2012 10:52 PM
Eric, I appreciate where you are coming from I really do. I just disagree for the reasons I mentioned above. I think you have to be careful with how and when you grow. Do it at the wrong time and it will destroy everything, do it at the right time and it can become something bigger. It's a big roll of the dice. I can see both sides, I just have my opinions.
Chris Eaton
Chris Eatonlink
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 2:11 PM
Hi Eric/Andrew,

As you know I am the owner of Nemo Evo, and I guess as andrew can attest to I am also the Project Manager of her and probably also the person whom explored what could be in regard to her during the build. I also funded her myself with no Sponsors at all until just prior to the WTAC event.

As Andrew can attest to as well. I don't usually reply or respond to blogs etc. I decided i would in this case. More so because my car seems to have people talking around the world, and as i respect both Andrew and Eric's opinion I felt that as Nemo seems to be a catalyst for this debate as response and my commentary was probably worthwhile.

Before I start on some specifics discussed I did want to clear a couple of things up. Particularly about HKS Evo and SSE Evo.

Firstly can I say i have studied HKS EVO and SSE EVO for hundreds of hours. I was lucky enough to be allowed to spend almost an entire day studying HKS EVO in person. Neither were 100% EVO, not even remotely close to being 100%, its a nice story to say they are but is simply not correct. Neither retained 100% of there unibody. Both removed/ deleted and modified the body to suit there purpose, requirements and the rules. Both I agree didn't showcase this at all, HKS made a mistake in doing so with the TRB-02, so much so that followings it minor crash it was re-incarnated as the HKS 230R, with red livery etc to turn it down. Some suggest it was an all together new car. If it was they were bloody good, as on the structure they replicated there stuff up's in welding as well, including where they patched certain elements. But maybe it was a new one and one day they will roll out both. Or not.

Neither car IMO would meet the specific of the WTAC rules as currently written. Both cars removed completely the rear strut towers. Neither made an attempt to retain them in, they modified the area to suit there purpose. Same for the front strut towers. SSE not quiet as much as HKS at the front, but in the similar vane.

WTAC rules require them to be retained, but not used. I say IMO because really thats all these things are, each individuals opinion and it would come down as you have rightly said to the sanctioning body deciding, if in fact someone protested, which IMO would not be in the spirit of Time Attack, which is bring what ya race.

HKS evo went 1 step forward they removed almost the entire rear unibody area of the car. From the rear seat back. Including wheel wells rear body areas, floors chassis etc. Its rear subframe was welded in and not fixed anywhere near the factory locations. Its chassis work was amazing. At the front similar, they removed almost the entire front chassis items. Bits and pieces were retained, but essentially it was all there own revised metalwork and carbon.

I am not using these to justify Nemo, not at all, it will stand on its own feet in relation to how it is seen in years to come in TA and also how it is judged against the rules and against peoples view on the Spirit of the Time Attack rules.

What I am pointing out is at that point in the history of time attack those 2 Evo's decided where they wanted to go with them and what they considered appropriate in relation to rules and spirit etc and they will as well be judged in time against that. But it needs to be done in the sunlight.

I believe, again IMO that if in fact the rules are to follow your line eric of 100% unibody, it needs to be that, not cutting, no hacking, no clearancing, no moving etc. If you don't its again open for people to interpret it to how they see fit. A good example at this years was the Panspeed RX-8. It did modifications to the firewall. Hell it didn't have one almost. its engine was essentially a mid mount engine car.

So if its 100% unibody in tact its 100%. All those pockets cut for suspension adjustment etc go back in. All those holes for dampers go back in. Or maybe its not 100% but 100% for the rules as people perceive them based on there point of view.

But this isn't meant to be about the rules. I really don't mind about the rules per se. I am a realist in that regard. I will deal with whatever if we have to deal with and the rules will be what the promoters or sanctioning bodies want from there show. As that is what this really is, a show for the punters that we each are a part of.

So I won't i digress further on that aspect.

So why Nemo Evo? Why build it?

I wanted to, as most of us in Time Attack in Australia do now to compete in WTAC. Its the biggest and badest event in Oz and probably the world really for Time Attack racing. It has I would suggest the highest profile of any TA event in the world. No offence to the other series, its just the way it has gone and Ian has hit a winner in regard to the format and cars and in particular the Australian market. You can see by the clamouring for the Open and Clubsprint classes. Sold out in 23 and 42 minutes respectively. Those 2 classes are the backbone of the event, along with drifting and the trade show. The Pro Class cars are the women with the beard, or the strong man attraction of the circus.

I chose Pro Class to look at entering, as I considered it the easiest to actually enter as many cars that enter, including this year, either don't make it or don't even get to set a lap time. I thought I could compete there and had a chance to win. Alot of my mates laughed at that. SSE, Cyber were the top and no way could a privateer from brisbane compete on that stage. Let alone have any chance of success.

I will be honest that when we started building this car, it was never intended to be like it is today, it particularly never set out to cause this much hype and this much debate. Do i think this is a good thing? For me and Nemo, maybe not.. For Time Attack, hell yeah its a good thing. The profile of this sport has been lifted significantly by Nemo, around the world. It has polarised an enormous amount of people, and not just the sporting bodies. I know at my 10 year old son's school they know about the car. Not because it is his car, they had no idea it was, but because it has gotten to where many race cars and probably no Time Attack cars has, into the main stream media. So to me to promote the sport that way is an honour.

Only last weekend I saw how far this had changed this. All the V8supercar drivers used Wazza's lap on Youtube to study how to do a quick lap of the Creek. All the engineers studied his lines, his braking points etc. Drivers commented on websites on blogs on twitter. Not commentators, not media but drivers. They don't understand how a car from 2002 going so slow down the front straight at EC can lap 5 seconds a lap faster than a v8supercar, and it was done on street tyres, they respect it and respect the sport. Had they until now? I would say not, it hadn't hit the scene really. Was just a bit of interesting entertainment but not really a main show thing.

So to me, even in Australia the profile of Time Attack and the draw of it has been raised, significantly, a good thing as more people are wanting to come out and watch, compete and enjoy Time Attack. That is the Spirt of Time Attack, inclusion for everyman, again thats my opinion on it. Time Attack has always held that ability for anyone to rock up in there car, be it a 1970 corolla to a 2011 Lambo. Its there for anyone to have a crack at it. Seriously or not.

Firstly before I go into my thoughts on spirit, let me say now, I studied those rules daily for 2 years. My mates who know me understand my drive on things like that. I used to build sailing dingy's to race. I did the same with them and we won and they changed the classes we raced in, for the good and maybe for the bad as well. None of the classes have ceased to exist, though many said they would. One I know has flourished as a direct result of these experimenting the rules and I have little doubt Time Attack will be the same. I think your view eric that Time Attack may go the way of say compact drag is perhaps more a result of large corporates being allowed in to set the tone and scene and to sell there product to the punters. That is a part I think would go outside Time Attack, its not about the large corporate car dealers, its about the everyman.

So i understood what i was building and I understood it would polarise discussions regarding Time Attack. I understood some would argue for it and others against, and I really understood if it went well there would be hail and brimstone potentially.

I guess I also understood that when I have been so open for people to look, touch, photograph and ask questions about it. I had thought that may also polarise things both positively and negativley as people could really see the detail and what we had done. I do think many things people are not seeing, which are really why her speed is that quick. But that is a good thing for another day.

Prior to the event I had intended on driving Nemo at WTAC. We had tried to do 4 test days, due to engine issues we did a total of 23 laps, if you exclude warm up, cool down, when we blew up a motor and when we had one over heat we did a total of 6 real laps, non at any pace at all. Our first lap at pace was the Wednesday prior to the event.

On that Wednesday, Wazza offered to come down and help set her up and assist me in getting up to speed. I knew he wanted to driver her on Friday and Saturday. Till that Wednesday I was going to drive her myself.

I did my first session and my time was slow… Wazza did his first run and did a 1.29.6. I kept trying all day and my time came down, but still only to the point of being about 12th in Pro Class.

I sat down that afternoon, thinking about what to do for the event. I knew that if I drove it we would come mid fleet, it wouldn't be controvesial, everyone would go, yeah it looks like crap and goes similar. I also knew if I did that there would be no talk of limiting it, changing the rules, banning it etc, why would there..it didn't win.. ala Rev Rx7. Didn't win either.

I decided I had many people involved in the car. People whom have put there DNA into it. Andrew, Tony, James, Nathan, Brad etc. So i decided they deserved to see it do well. Win.. no we didn't think we would win. Even wazza thought we would only do a mid 1.28…. But it would be respectful.

I also knew there would be a risk if we won people would say, its too far.. Too out there. Taken it past Time Attack etc etc.

To be honest I have had that prior to it even running. I read the blogs…. Megatron.. Looks like crap it chews engines… Too Much.. Doesn't look like an evo.. Etc etc.. all that and it hadn't won, bloody hell it hadn't even been able to do a lap without some crap happening. So the decision to go hard to get a respectable position was made knowing we would face some form of criticism. But to me it was better to have that from up front than from being at the rear of the field.

So i did understand things would or could go to these discussions.

To me it seems everyone wants to articulate spirt of time attack to suit there relative positions, either what they think they can build or what they think should be built or what shouldn't be built. I am still struggling for someone to define the Spirit of Time Attack for me and then show me a car that embodies it completely. And everyone to agree on that. I doubt that could or would happen due to the reasons pick it for discussion purposes.

To me spirit of Time Attack is really what we collectively as a group of people intend to bring to the sport and make it during our time we are involved to improve it and ad our piece of history to it. To say we all know what it is, just cannot fundamentally be correct. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to mention cars which are, well are ok and in the spirit and then go, agh yeah they did chop the crap out of the front of it… so maybe they are not quiet in the Spirit but are well ok…

Rules won't ever be able to position a sport to live up to its intended spirit. Why, because people want to win, its in all competitors DNA, if its not we should all just go fishing and let the people whom care do the sport.

Also rules won't ever stop or control cars. Look at all forms of Motorsport with Rules, teams and people attempt to circumvent them for competitive advantage, all they will do is make people work harder and spend more to get around them. Motorsport is littered with this.

In regard to the rules you have mentioned eric.. I could build a Nemo to comply with those and it would be as quick as Nemo 1. Maybe quicker as I know more now. None of those rules control why its as quick as it is. I guess that might be the point? I am not sure though.

I am unsure how some aspects can be left and not looked at and this be in the spirit. How can an RX-7 be allowed to run a V8 engine, not really the spirt of the RX is it? How can cars be allowed to run suspension totally different from what they were manufactured to run and still be in the spirit. Macpherson strut to double a-arm? Shovel Nose cars? If a car needs to be 100% its original spirit to be 100% time attack spirit then these items are what void of discussion? Maybe the sanctioning bodies will decide, maybe. The public will whom come to the event more likely. They like the way out there cars and the testing of what can be and the controversy a little as well.

What I am sure is I probably wouldn't do it.. Because if you did it could again be changed if it was too quick. So i think that would probably be futile and continually a never ending spiral and probably would make Time Attack less appealing to people everywhere. Perhaps if the rules are to change its done over a period? To allow everyone to upgrade and modify there vehicles to fit. or at least test the validity of the changes.

On thing i can say is the likes of Nob Tanaguchi on his blog whom states he wants to come back with a big and better car to take on and beat the Monster Nemo is where i think people want to see Time Attack go. You have one of the peers in our sport wanting to take up the challenge not say I can win if its not allowed there, but we can build a quicker car than it. just bloody give it to me.

I am not saying all this because I built Nemo and want to run in the next WTAC. If the rules are changed to preclude Nemo, well that will suck, for us.. and for Fans of Nemo.. And for Sponsors of Nemo.. But not that much.. We will still go to EC and we will still post new lower times and we will attempt to get her to lap as close to the ultimate lap record as we can.. And really with Time Attack the good thing is you don't need 1000people watching to set a good time and have fun. You can do that with your mates and a VBox Pro… And that captures the Spirit of Time Attack.

Same we will do that at all the other tracks we want to conquer. As i have always said I built Nemo for me… For me to drive and enjoy and for my sons. So in years to come they can look back and go wow. And I know one thing. Its been a heck of a ride so far and I have a funny feeling its going to be a heck of a ride into the future as well.



Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 7:00 PM
Chris,

I did not get to congratulate you on the stellar performance of the car and team after the event so let me take a moment and congratulate you guys now. The car was nothing short of amazing!

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I also never respond on forums, blogs, etc. and I'm sure that's the same case with Andrew. We are all too busy for that kind of banter. You'll find that MotoIQ has many more intelligent readers generally and there are better discussions and debates. Much like this one here.

First some corrections. The HKS CT230R EVO's floor was not cut up behind the rear seats. The factory shock tower are exactly in their factory locations also. The sheet metal around the shock tower has been greatly altered and the wheel wells were altered, but the B and C pillars remain stock. So you are correct, the unibody is not 100% factory. In actuality, the subframe was used from an EVO 5 and it was moved up higher 50mm into the unibody to preserve it's suspension geometry at a lower ride height. I know an HKS engineer or three actually and this is genuine first hand information.

ct230r rear

You are also correct that it would not have 100% fit my description of an ideal Time Attack car, but it would be actually a whole lot closer than the Garage Revolution RX-7 or Nemo. To see an old article I wrote back in 2007, see here: HKS CT230R EVO - Up Close and Personal

The Sierra Sierra EVO on the other hand is 1000% (yes, a thousand percent) factory Mitsubishi unibody with unaltered shock towers, floor pan, B, and C pillars as well as an unaltered rear subframe mounting position. In fact, no sheet metal was actually cut off this car except for the front radiator support. Otherwise, all of Mitsubishi's sheet metal was in the car. There are some holes drilled in places, but it is otherwise all there.

sse evo


sse evo


sse evo

Sheet metal was laid over the factory shock towers to reinforce them.

sse evo

Here's another shot of the rear shock tower.

sse evo


sse evo

Here's the rear of the SSE EVO with intact floor pan.

Anyhow, it's important to know that I am not actively trying to ban Nemo from WTAC. I am merely explaining to Andrew (and other readers) what an ideal Time Attack car is to me. Having been a part of the tuning industry for as many years as I have, I feel I need to speak out. I am probably too idealistic in my thinking, but ultimately it doesn't matter what I think. It's what everybody else thinks and more importantly, what WTAC thinks as the organization who will be making the rules.

Like I said, I will happily compete with our Skyline against nop notch cars like Nemo for another year. I feel that Time Attack is a tuning industry competition and the car's unibody should 100% resemble the factory version of the car. My mind may change in a year and the team and I might cut out the rear end of the Skyline at that point and make it a tube frame car too. Who knows? But at the moment, I do not feel that the GR RX-7 and Nemo are technically Time Attack cars. They are technically even well beyond FIA GT1 cars. The team and I will be building the Team America Skyline to my ideal Time Attack specifications regardless.

I also applaud you for getting your hands dirty and helping to build the car. Most of the guys supplying the funding for an extreme project like this aren't into getting their hands dirty. Andrew told me that you were very active in the build of the car. I hope that you and your son will enjoy Nemo for many years to come.

The Nemo car has done a lot for Time Attack in Oz. The publicity it has gotten on mainstream TV, newspapers, etc. has been amazing. For that I am very glad as it will help WTAC grow by a good margin next year.

Lastly, I think we are all in agreement that a line in the sand needs to be drawn somewhere. Where should that somewhere be? I am 100% sure where it SHOULD be, but I'm not quite sure where it will end up. WTAC will need to draw up some firm rules very, very soon however for WTAC to grow properly. Or else we might as well bring LMP1 cars to WTAC in 2014.
Andrew Brilliant
Andrew Brilliantlink
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 3:24 AM
Hey Eric

One point. As far as retention of chassis, GT2 cars are allowed full back half, partial front half and no retention of factory floorboard. Which I believe is beyond nemo specification. GT300 is similar and GT500 is carbon mono with factory pillars. I'd have to check GT1, I never designed one of those.

Nemo is like a gt2 car with factory floor and more aero in my mind.
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 6:25 AM
Speaking as a fairly technical punter, I find a lot of the details really interesting no matter what the rules set. The GR car was really cool, Nemo and the SSE Evo were really cool, the Ark GT-R looks like it was shaping up to be really cool, probably the HKS car is too but I haven't seen it in near as much detail.

As an engineer with a hardon for ground effects, I find it really interesting to see all the attempts to shoehorn tunnels into stuff that looks more or less like production cars, and would honestly be fine if things turned more sillhouette-car-ey... except that it would be too easy in a way. Throw a tube chassis at things and build whatever aero you want is fast on track, but well treaded ground. As an engineer and fabricator running a (admittedly low level) club level roadrace car, I have a pretty good idea what would happen to costs and participation if things turned that way. And as a spectator (from a distance, albeit) all the technical sophistication and interesting tricks in the world are pointless if nobody can afford to build cars for it anymore.

There's got to be a balance somewhere with how the rules could end up.
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 7:44 AM
Andrew: I believe the retention of chassis depends on individual car's homologation record. The Corvette and Porsche GT2s retain their factory chassis and floors, but these are cars that are bred for racing. A less race bred example that retains its factory unibody and floor structure in GT2 is the Aston Martin Vantage GT2. Rules change so I'm not up to date.

Kenku: Exactly my point. Throw in tube frame anything and the costs skyrocket. Not only in fabrication costs, but in design costs. Costs aside it maybe fine for the technically capable teams, but if you get some DIY guy trying to build his own tube frame car, he might just end up kill somebody. The solution? Don't allow it.

Leave tube frames for professional racing. Time Attack is not professional racing. It will never be. Why? Because professional teams get paid and there is no money in Time Attack. If you aren't getting paid, you aren't professional.
Chris Eaton
Chris Eatonlink
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 10:32 AM
Eric,

And therein lies the problem. Time Attack is now professional racing. Time attack teams have been getting paid and there is money is Time Attack racing, Particularly pro class and unlimited class and the cars that fit into those categories.

Perhaps not to the same extent as some Motorsport categories but probably more than some as well.

SSE I am sure you willl agree was professional racing, the guys were all paid. Same as Cyber Evo, Same as Tilton Interiors, Red Brick Racing, hi octane r34 etc.msame as some of the guys on my team. The extent and budgets just differ. It's no longer in pro class an amateur sport. To be truthful I don't think it ever was, if it's background was tuner based the proffesionalism was as a result of what they wanted it to be. Its just the fundamental shift is the proffesionalism and budgets are no longer set by the tuning companies.

Now though you have privateers like the then owner of SSE, Dr Takazawa, Kosta, myself And many others including under etc deciding how they wish to tackle the sport based on budgets, rules, proffesionalism etc.

The amount of proves non thuner based entires I believe confirms the deviation in the direction of the sport.

I agree in open and club sprint classes generally they dont, but as you would have seen the budget on probably 10 of the open class cars matched or exceeded pro class cars. I know of 3 open class cars which exceeded my budget at least. Hell I know of one open class car that had spent over $200k on engines and engine development.

That i believe is what makes it magical. The rules are such that you can have a big mix of styles whom can come in and compete at them highest levels. Perhaps they may or,may not win due to maybe budgets but I personally think it has more to do with vision, drive and determination. Many, many said I could never build Nemo. Same number said it would never beat the top cars in the field.

I personally think restrict the rules too far, you will loose all the things you may love about the sport and it will happen a heck of alot faster than you think. The punters are attracted now due to the show. You remove the ability for that creativity, you potentially dumb down the show.

This doesn't mean that the tuner industry is suffering, quiet the reverse, I sat down and believe in just car development alone WTAC competitors are pumping probably between $5-$10m into the Australian tuner companies. And that I don't believe would be the ballooning affect of it either at a macro level.

Also I think the hail and brimstone stuff is perhaps too far. An LMP1 car could never fit into the current rules, nor could a sillohette car. You have to start with an OEM chassis and generally the chassis needs to be there. Both above are not.


Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 11:34 AM
Sorry, you may have misunderstood me. When I said "paid", I meant that the TEAM needs to be paid as in there is prize money or championship payout. If there's no prize money, it's not professional. It's just privateers paying those that help them. So while the mechanics, tuners, fabricators who work for the Time Attack teams are all professionals (they are the best after all), the form of racing is not.

I do agree with the need for creativity. That creativity can still be based on a 100% unibody car. I truly believe that there needs to be a strict foundation to build on. Creativity can grow from there. My ideal rules still allow plenty of creativity with the suspension, aero, engine, electronics, etc.

I'll respond more later. I need to go into a meeting.
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Thursday, August 30, 2012 9:40 PM
Chris: I agree with you that restricting the rules can prevent the sport of Time Attack from growing further. At the same time there needs to be a balance for sustainability and a future of the sport. The reality is that not every team is able to pump $300K+ into a Pro class car; especially if there is no financial return.

You are correct. The Austrailian tuning market definitely benefits from WTAC as a whole. I think the model that WTAC has generated is great for the tuning industry as well as the sponsors. I would just like it to be sustainable for the Pro class participants. The reality is that many of the team owners who can afford the $300k+ price of entry just aren't into Japanese cars. Yourself and Dennis from Sierra Sierra are several of the few. Most guys who can afford that price of entry would rather get themselves a GT3 Porshe Cup Car, a GT3 Nissan GTR, perhaps a used GT2 Aston Martin Vantage, or even a used GT2 Porsche Cup Car and go FIA racing. Not all of these owners are patient enough like yourself to deal with car development, engine unreliability, etc. They would rather fly a helicopter to the race, do their racing, and fly back to the real world. I sincerely hope there will be more big budgeted teams, but I simply do not see that as a reality.

We'll see what happens. I'm OK either way. Whatever happens, I just hope it is sustainable for the future of Pro class Time Attack.
JDMized
JDMizedlink
Friday, August 31, 2012 12:26 AM
Great debate Eric, Andrew and Chris.

My opinion is not important, but it's clear, as you Chris stated, NEMO created a bigger buzz than you expected.
It is safe to say that Ian Baker will sit down with his peers and reconsider rules for the next year WTAC. What's in's and what's not.

Like Eric said, if a line is not drawn, the spectators, the community, the enthusiasts, the tuning scene, they all will leave eventually (if teams show up with a half a million dollar car), those entitles will no longer relate to it.

Thinking outside the box and be creative is a must to keep the sport alive, but if the organizers don't dictates specific rules, this sport is bound to disappear.
Miles
Mileslink
Friday, August 31, 2012 2:21 AM
Id just like to post that im not sure how many people in teams were infact being paid, but i work for the RADICAL racecar series. I volunteered my time, money, fuel and car to travel (round trip) 2400+ kms to work on a time attack car. Eric knows who i worked for, but i wont say on here.
All i will say is that it will be sad if the "spirit" of time attack disappeares.
It has been a life long dream of mine to work in a time attack team. I can now tick that off. No matter the results.

When i was talking to the owner of Voltex Aero, Nakajima-san, and he said the origins of time attack racing, tuner shops building cars aiming to beat times, were faiding outside japan..
gtrjas
gtrjaslink
Friday, August 31, 2012 5:25 AM
As a fellow aussie and brissy boy and GTR nut.let me tell u the quality of builds out here is unbelievable these days.as a regular timeattacker an track day addict everyones view on this has great points.i watched as Nemo was comn along an was amazed at wat ws getting built.there are always guys with bigger pockets an greater knowledge.so be it.i admit i wasnt sur how quick nemo was going to b but that time of 125 and i was in sydney to watch it,was unbeleivable.and if i run into Chris at Lakeside or Q.R i would shake his hand.fukn top build. I hav to say i agree with a lot of Erics views,an again this is jus one mans opinions.but its amazing how the sport has growen.i started timeattackng my GTR in 2003 and have been doing ever since.boy has it growen since then.to me an my mates it has been about getting the Gtrs in the sheds many late nights tweeking an hitting track to then see how we go.all pitch in many late nights on each others cars.i can remember going down to then called Superlap in Sydney 09 to watch and it was mainly jus highly mofifed and tuned Gtr,Evo,lotus,wrx.silvia etc...fukn awsome.i hav then been to every WTA since it started an have followed it in Japan an Usa.I Have full respect for what Chris an the nemo team built an love watchn these big dollar cars in action.but i have to say my roots lie in watchn an buildn a highly modified tuff much simpler aproach,GTR,EVO.RX7 with som areo mods such as splitter.wing extracting som good power lots of suspension adjustments an going for it .I am a huge fan of the Hioctane 34 an 32.i hav to say Mark berry an Russell newmans orignal 32 GTR is a perfect example of wat i am talking about.looks like you could drive it to do the shopping.straight forward lookn.shit load of power,great handlng.very minimal aero an the most blistering raw sounding thing i hav heard.but still very fast.134.0 to me thats a timeattck car.But maybe if i had big dollars i would go to the extreme.dont no ?i just hope that it stays grounded.
Bach
Bachlink
Friday, August 31, 2012 5:41 AM
Um... English please?

Please use paragraphs. I'm not trying to be a grammar nazi, I genuinely have difficulty reading that.


And yes, I believe the line should be drawn somewhere. There will always be those who spend big though.

For example, beryllium alloys, mmcs, etc. have been banned to reduce costs in F1, but they just pour money into research for other materials.
Micah McMahan
Micah McMahanlink
Friday, August 31, 2012 6:35 AM
and now I'm pissed, just the same as Eric. Nice, long typed up response touching on all the aspects and it timed out (though still logged in) saying 'comment required'. DIAF!!!

Summarized response:

I was asking are we trying to keep cost down or stick to a unibody with all the 'bolt-on' parts that could be used.
Those high dollar bolt-on's; $40k sequential trannies, $50k race electronics, $30k engine packages, $10k dampers, etc, that bolt onto a unibody are far from the $3k in material that a 'spaceframe' will cost. So I don't see that being the budgetary item that will kill it off.

Likewise, if the 'spirit' is about what a tuner shop can build; where would it be fair to limit Eric's electronics expertise, tell Mike that he can't convert a McPherson setup to dual A-arms, tell me that I can't 'do' my engine stuff, or tell a chassis shop that they can't build a 'tube chassis' if that is the talent they bring to a customer?

And yes, I ask these questions as I'd finished my design (eerily similar to Nemo) last fall and shared them with Clint at Turn In Concepts (a team I started working with). I have since picked up my $50 Impreza chassis and tubing material and it's sitting in front of my friends two-car garage (in his backyard, talk about grass roots) where this build was to start this week. So where is the semi-tube chassis, while still allowed by the rules, the high dollar portion that will out expense the tuner shops and bring in major OEM's to corrupt the event?

Also to note some some redneck idiot doesn't build their own cage (I also hate the minimal Japanese cage thing as a safety nerd), a bit on my background. I'm a mechanical engineer that minored in motorsports (yes, they have that) and aerospace engineering. I spent my time at school between running the dyno and flowbench at the power and energy lab, my NASA langley windtunnel internship and the breeding ground of Formula SAE. I was lucky enough to do stints with Grand Am and Craftsman truck teams and turn down a position at Honda Performance Development shortly after graduation (a decision I still wonder about). I've been consulting to automotive OEM's since and running my own 'hobby' business...my friend's helping are monocoque designers, PI Data Aq trained, all around nerds like myself...but once again where is this 'spirit'/budget/tuner shop aspect argument heading?

So, what is this 'spirit':
1.) a high dollar stock unibody car with butt loads of money dumped into it to make it go faster?

or

2.) a lower budget car that a tuner shop could realisticially build but it's strengths are dependent upon the talents of the people at the 'shop'?

Micah McMahan
Micah McMahanlink
Friday, August 31, 2012 6:36 AM
^^^I guess I pretty much typed it back out, so ignore the part about summary lol
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Friday, August 31, 2012 6:40 AM
Word of advice for when you type out long stuff on this site; ctrl-a and ctrl-c before hitting add comment. From experimentation, what seems to cause things to mess up is when someone posts while you're typing.
duke
dukelink
Friday, August 31, 2012 7:03 AM
This is a very interesting discussion for sure. But I'm struggeling to see the differance in spirit between say the Team America GT-R and the Nemo Evo.
Seriously - the GT-R is way past the original spirit of a tuner shop that want to test their parts/setup against other shops.

As far as I can see the trunk floor has been removed, the floor pan has been cut, the engine is of another origin, the driver position is altered, the front suspension is a tubular setup with double a-arms instead of McPhersson etc and there is talk about making a new rear subframe from scratch in the future development.
Eric, what is the line you feel Nemo have crossed that your build has not? Is it the removal of b-pillars and making the body parts in larger, single clips?
As far as I can tell the fundamentals of the cars are altered to the same extent?
And if it's the outside that matters then the sport will truly promote silhouette cars, as long as they have the correct factory like silhouette.

Regards,
Gustaf
Sootfoot
Sootfootlink
Friday, August 31, 2012 7:11 AM
@Kenku - Yes exactly what you said about the editor I could explain why but it would put everyone to sleep.
Micah McMahan
Micah McMahanlink
Friday, August 31, 2012 7:17 AM
Oh, I also forgot to add in that part of the reason for going semi-tube chassis is to help alleviate the abuse to the stock STi 6-speed trans...so yeah, it's partially a driveline survival tactic lol
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Friday, August 31, 2012 7:24 AM
Now to comment (Hi Micah! We traded some PMs on the other site a while back; mekilljoydammit there) on that... I think the problem with the tube chassis thing (aside from philosophical ideas about what time attack should be) is what else it allows. I've got a mostly done tube chassis car at home too (not for time attack) so I know that the things themselves aren't necessarily that expensive. But allowed to an unrestricted amount, there's just so much more provision for development of other stuff, especially in terms of aero. Suddenly, hey, nothing in the way of tunnels, front diffusers, so on. I know and I'm sure you know of places that rent out full size wind tunnel time, or of ways to do the same sort of development work without tunnels, and so on. And that's to say nothing about nice easy suspension modification instead of uberbuck Dynamic suspension struts for example. So less money into manufacture and more into development.

...maybe. That's what I'd do anyway.

Thinking a little about the safety issue Eric brought up... yeah you could have a DIY guy doing something stupid in design or manufacture of a tube frame and killing themself. But I think there's ample scope for that with unibody cars too. Look at what was done to the ARK Design GT-R with the front suspension - you guys did it in a way that it was safe, but we all know that there's at least as much scope for, for example, someone putting suspension loads into cut up OEM sheetmetal that won't support it.

I don't know, man. I'm sitting at a position in club racing stuff where I'm tired of all the headaches with stuff based on unibodies... but on the other hand, if stuff is closer to spaceframe cars, it seems like you're just going to move to everyone adopting the same chassis and suspension solution, and welding the minimum required amount of the original car to that with carbon bodywork. I'm not sure that would be interesting and it doesn't seem to be what a lot of people want.
Micah McMahan
Micah McMahanlink
Friday, August 31, 2012 7:39 AM
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying full blown tube chassis here but where we are now requires stock 'floor pan' front firewall and strut towers; to summarize the GTA rules. From there, I can gut B-pillars (like some teams have done) or even chop them like Nemo did. GTA also allows chop tops, see the GST car for example or there was that chopped GD chassis in Japan. These are all things being done stateside, in Japan and in Australia.

As for someone making a dangerous 'tube chassis' and endagnering himself any different than letting the Cyber evo 'cage' which appears to made from conduit!! We at least have to meet NASA road race cage for Global. I'd spent a lot of time studying FIA, NASA, SCCA and most everyother sanctioning bodies write up for chassis rules. This is all a big cluster that does need to be sorted. My cage design is eerily similar to NEMO's and I actually laughed (in a good way) the first time I saw a pic of their car with the door (wing?) opened. Guess they just beat me to the punch ;)
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Friday, August 31, 2012 7:48 AM
Gustaf: There are substantial differences between the Nemo EVO and the Team America GTR. I won't go into details now (look out next week on MotoIQ for the Nemo feature), but primarily 1) the GTR is not tube frame at all, 2) the floor pan is not cut out within the confines of the front and rear shock towers (it is clearanced for the exhaust, but replaced with steel), 3) all of the subframes can be bolted and unbolted in their factory locations, 4) b-pillars are intact, and 4) the driver does not now sit where the the rear seat is. Tuning shops do engine swaps all day long and that's essentially what we did.
Jim
Jimlink
Friday, August 31, 2012 8:02 AM
As a "fan" of drag racing and time attack I'm going to give fan's perspective, which is your biggest market. I see how both sides have valid opinions but from my point of view the ideology seems to be going in different directions. There seems like there's a camp that wants to evolve TA from drags into the NHRA. The other wants to try to stay true to the spirit of the original OEM car.

As a fan, I loved to watch John Force race, but when the announcer say, "John Force in his Ford Mustang," I'm like, suck my dick. Ford Mustang my ass. I can no less tell if it's a Ford, or a Chrysler, or a Mopar. The tube frame dragsters bodies all look the same so I have no connection with that car. I'm just rooting for John Force. But do I like watching NHRA? Hell Yeah. Do I have any connection to the car they're driving, hell no, because those dragsters all look the same and have absolutely nothing to do with my production car. John Force could win in an Yugo and I still wouldn't care what car he won in. They all look the same.

I have a 92 Eclipse. John Shepherd's Eclipse was the fastest unibody production dragster. It made me feel good that I owned the same car, that I could relate and connect, whether allusion or delusion.

The majority of the sponsor's target customers are like me. Wanting to be able to be a part of what is going on the track.

If Those people are able to push TA to NHRA then more power to them. That will be one end of the extreme. But the beauty of TA is that it is production car based and that the most of the world can relate to it. When you start to leave that base by showing them $300,000 cars that they will never come close to in their life times then you will leave your base customers and people will get disinterested. When I saw tube frame honda civic dragster, boring. Uni body honda civic dragster, let see what it can do, fuck yead! I don't care who the fuck sponsored it.
Andrew Brilliant
Andrew Brilliantlink
Friday, August 31, 2012 8:05 AM
Eric,

I thought I posted this before but maybe not, I wanted to say that there are many cars in GT2 which retain significantly less original chassis than Nemo does. So I dont think its fair to say it is "beyond GT2" when there are many homologated cars in GT2 even far beyond it in terms of removing factory chassis.

I'll let Chris comment about the specifics but nemo is not a "full blown" tube chassis car. Thats jut not true at all. How much are you guys thinking was removed??? If you add a few extra tubes to a cage and cut out 2 ft of floorboard more than everyone else its a tube chassis now?

2 door cars dont even come with A/B/C pillars, they just have two. nemo still has two.
Josh@RE-Tuning
Josh@RE-Tuninglink
Friday, August 31, 2012 10:35 AM
What it seems like is the ultra rich and Contract engineers wish to have a hand at creating their own machines. Being that there seems to be people wishing to stray away from the roots that far, and wish to push the limits in another way.....make it simple.....have a Prototype or X-Class where you can just build whatever tube frame it.

The fans regardless WILL relate MORE to the True Spirited cars and there is money in the banana stand there. Sponsors will see that and it would work itself out. Mean while ya got the 2-4 X-class cars and more cars entering the Limited, street, and Unlimited classes because MORE shops with equipment and skills will have a better playing field with Less need of BIG BIG money and yet still opening the doors to innovate on existing and next generation chassis which will then generate trickle-down technology that shops/companies can market.

Just make a separate class for cars like Nemo and Revolution....if a rich guy/company wants to play ball...so be it...but from a small tuner shop owners perspective...we wont survive in the series nor get enough exposure to keep sponsors happy if we had to compete with Godzilla sized bank accounts. Global added the Enthusiast class just recently so creating an even further open class above unlimited will be just as simple.

Either way id say I support Eric's views and the feeling of the "Spirit of Time Attack" resonates deeply within my self, and the rest of the folks here at my shop....

Nemo DID do amazing things, its an amazing car and its built and driven exceptionally well...it skirted the rules and did so VERY well as well...we agree when you look at the rules on paper and you want to win you will push those limits, and sometimes do the best you can to get around them....we all wanna win i don't see the point in "racing" and blowing cash JUST for a good time....its to feed that craving for success above your peers.

Congratulations and I wish everyone the best on their endeavors.
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Friday, August 31, 2012 10:58 AM
Andrew: I know Nemo is not a tube frame car. Only the rear section is tube framed. I may have sounded confusing, sorry.

I am adamant about my views only because I believe if we are running Mitsubishi EVOs or GTRs, then they should 100% be EVOs and GTRs. And I understand my views are idealistic, but the foundation, in this case the chassis, should remain all factory between the shock towers (see my hypothetical rules above).

A separate class has been discussed (even well before WTAC 2012) for the Prototype class or whatever they will be called. I suspect that might be the only solution.
CWG66
CWG66link
Friday, August 31, 2012 12:13 PM
Gents I am an interested time attack racer. The reason I started with time attack is the fact that there are limited rules. The "spirit" of the event for me is that in an ever increasing over regulated world time attack is raw and primeval. All that will happen here is that as the event gets regulated and then sanctioned we as a racing group will start another unregulated event. If someone can go fast in what ever they want kudos to them, big congratulations to NEMO, hope to see bigger and faster next year. Will I go out and spend big bucks to try and bet the time not a chance, but I might go drop a holden 6L into an RX8 and have a go. Why because I can and no one really cares. I can then learn to drive work on race tatics suspension etc etc until I get as fast as I can. So I respectfully ask that we dont over regulate, leave the spirit of the event alone there are plenty of over regulated events around the world that can be raced in. Thakyou for your time.
purist
puristlink
Friday, August 31, 2012 1:53 PM
You know who I think was the most out of the spirit? The most anti grassroots team ever. Sierra Sierra.

Some disgustingly rich millionaire who parks the car next to his private jets. Got a full time race team, champions ofindy car.

That team used a lot of money...... I cannot dream what it cost exploding high dollar gearboxes and I would guess the most espensive thing was that cosworth engine program. That not grassroots at all! but some tube work is where we need to worry? Mike Warfield posted that those dampers are $80,000!

I think what Sierra Sierra had is not possible for the common man, not a back half car! I know people around where I live that built their own back half drag cars it was maybe $400 DIY.

I also read that RX7 was not allowed allowed at first then allowed last year.

So you people are OK to allow tub, but if it wins dont allow. Thats really messed up. I would be so pissed if i was on that team. I hope they leave this crybaby race behind and never look back.
Andrew Brilliant
Andrew Brilliantlink
Friday, August 31, 2012 3:48 PM
Eric, this is something that should probably be a PM between us but I feel Nemo is being crucified here and unfairly so.

Rewind back to USA Super Lap Battle 2010:

After I crashed out, apparently the SSE guys and FXMD had a chat together at the willow ranch. I retired early from that dinner because I was exhausted and I went to bed early after very little sleep for weeks on end preparing my own car to race. I think SSE was near the end of the program at that point. Rumors were flying ... they had already spoken of termination a couple times, it was questionable if they would make WTAC that year.

I wont speak in specifics but I was told the next morning that a number, a dollar amount was revealed for the SSE team. What they had spent to date on their race program

If Nemo was banned at this moment in time, if I understand your argument correctly... that Nemo will cause an escalation in cost..... If your argument succeeded at its aims.... You would have banned a car on the basis of cost when it cost a whole order of magnitude less than Sierra Sierra's build.

If you want to argue the spirit, I'm ok with that but its definitely not cost that is in question unless I misunderstood that number, but I doubt that. I can add up just the salaries for the full timers at SSE to be more than the entire nemo build cost.

If SSE is dubbed to have been in the true spirit, I dont think cost can be argued ... it cannot be insinuated that the issue with "the spirit" is cost. It seems easy enough to explode costs within that "spirit". Limiting that will not limit costs at all. I look at the landscape of motorsports and I think its easy to see that tubular chassis is cheap, dirt cheap. Look no further than circle track to see chassis that are 1/2 the weight, 1/4 cost and double the strength of OEM unibodies.

I never complained a peep about SSE when my job was to develop for FXMD, the second place team at that time (second to SSE) because I felt that fair is fair. There wasn't a budget cap in the rules... rules are rules.

Nothing in the rules stopped them from using $100k dampers or having more money in one year of salaries than the entire FXMD build. Or spending a huge amount of money on testing to dial them in. I just shut up and did the best I could with what I had. We were quicker on aero, SSE was quicker on power, more testing and being a very prepared, well sorted team. You could see that in a second watching the cars go around track.

I could make excuses and say that it was the money that caused that, but I dont think so, to be honest. I think the open rule set meant we could throw our best ideas out there, we could use any engine and that could overcome the idea that you had to be "in the spirit" or retain the engine meant for the car or use a gearbox that bolted onto factory locations or all those things that can drive up costs.

"The spirit" that SSE held to, seemed to drove costs up from where I stood. All MY best ideas were cheap ones, I come from a very practical background with "best of the rest" finishes, I never worked on a well funded team. In the end, I think on gearbox alone if we'd had the money to have a nice one we could have surpassed the lap time gap between the two cars. The FXMD car was still synchro shifted on a stock gearbox!

When I think about costs ... what costs how much, I dont see a bit of tube work as being a signficant cost over a roll cage. You can hire a fabricator for an entire year for the cost of a sequential hewland or xtrac gearbox.

I can try to logically follow the idealogy you propose (even though I disagree) but not the cost basis for it. I think if you took Nemo and subtracted it down to a chassis identical to the Tilton car, it would have won on aero. The car makes nearly 5000lb of downforce. Nobody in that field is even close. If you know aero... you know what that is worth in lap time.

I could have built those tunnels on a car with all the unibody intact. Actually when I designed it in 2010, more unibody than the Team America car has was still there. If you put me inside of a design box of some kind, I could still make that downforce, but the cost would be orders of magnitude bigger. I would need a high accuracy wind tunnel instead of a simplified model in CFD, probably a couple guys under me and enough money to buy me out for 5-6 months.

To limit this because you believe in the idealogy is one thing, but if you want to say the basis is cost, I think you should understand what the costs are before making that judgement.

What I earned on that project for design fees... it was **chump change** compared to some of the parts and I mean a cosworth engine or a sequential gearbox, the sort of thing EVERYONE has now. Without a doubt everyone in that field has a one off carbon body now days. SSE, Cyber, Revolution, Tilton, etc. The difference between 5000lbs of downforce and 500 was a little bit in design fees to aero.

Rules limiting aero does nothing, look at all the rules in F1 and look at the cost of aero development there. The more rules the more expensive aero gets. Instead of applied theory its applied testing, lots and lost of testing at very high accuracy in a brute force approach to finding what performs. Ask Scott Beeton, Riccardo, Barry Locke or any of the F1 aero guys I compete against in this series about that.
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Friday, August 31, 2012 4:08 PM
Purist: if Mike says the dampers are $80,000 you are going to believe him? I guess there still are gullable people left in this world. Don't be ridiculous. F1 dampers dont even cost $80,000 by themselves.

Sierra Sierra built the car around a Mitsubishi EVO chassis. My point is so simple. More later, getting off a plane...
Josh@RE-Tuning
Josh@RE-Tuninglink
Friday, August 31, 2012 4:30 PM
At first i couldn't wrap my head around how some couldn't understand ideal of the "spirit of time attack" its a pretty simple premise....


I am starting to think it stems from working on one off projects/custom applications for so long that the feeling of the tuner ideal is lost and it because a on paper/computer science project. That's the only way it makes sense to me to misunderstand it. Its a passion thing, it comes from the roots of the sport, from watching Hotversion, BMI, Reading the Option2 magazines and seeing what shops had in store at TAS and SEMA.

You stray away to tube chassis its not about the COST of the tube chassis...but about the fact the ESSENSE of the car is gone...replaced with whatever the project engineer wishes....it no longer is the car that rolled out of the factory at all with full tube and redesign.

When spectators/public go/read TimeAttack they go with the intent of asking questions like:

So how many RX7's were in the field, who built the fastest RX-7?

What shop/team brought out an EVO? Who builds the fastest EVO's.

With cars like Nemo I cant say NEMO is the fastest EVO...its the fastest CAR in and of itself did amazing things. Those questions are what drives part of that Spirit...at least over here.

purist
puristlink
Friday, August 31, 2012 4:40 PM
Whatever they cost bro, it was a hell of a lot more than Cyber Evo Tein coilovers!

In wahtever fantasy land you are living that car was insanely expensive and not grassroots at all!

They kept all that original chassis and thats why they spent a billion dollars on engines to lose to cyber anyway, because they weighted 2700lbs!
Chris Eaton
Chris Eatonlink
Friday, August 31, 2012 4:44 PM
Gotta say. Love this column more and more every time i wake up. :-)

Now for my thoughts..

Unluckily in regard to motorsport it is money and will always be money.

Thats why organisations like GTA and WTAC have the different classes such as Clubsprint, Open and Pro. Its probably rightly so that the organisers are looking at the Open and Clubsprint rules as well as some of the Open class cars are Pro Class cars from a build perspective, if not from a rules as they currently are perspective.

Don't get me wrong I am not arguing for the rules to go one way or the other. As i said earlier if they go to where its 100% unibody then obviously that rules us out. But if it is 100% then I believe that it should be 100% and that does mean, no cutting cutting out rear areas of cars for Fuel tanks to lower the COG, no cutting out in front of the Strut towers to remove weight and make it easier to work on. Not cutting out behind front strut towers and strengthening it with a roll cage. It should be 100%. That way its not confusing and doesn't allow for confusion as to what you can and can't remove. Its clear than. Nothing. Not 100% but we really actually mean it to be 85% because you can still cut out areas for fitment etc etc. I agree eric your point is simple. But it doesn't relate to cost at all. It won't be cheaper. Also if we use the R32 as an example its not 100% unibody and SSE wasn't 100% unibody, it was in the areas except for those where it wasn't, HKS wasn't 100% and I also think if we worked our way down the PRO Class cars from this year only the UK STI probably was.. But it was really a Clubsprint car.

However I personally believe that really should be Open class. Not Pro. Because as the name says. Pro is where the Pro's are. Pros are meant to have access to the right people. The right people to design the suspension changes, the right people to design the aero, the right people to design the chassis changes so they are firstly safe and secondly work. Open class and Clubsprint won't have the same access to these people. How many people really would have access to suspension designers to do what Nemo has done but also ARK-R32 and MCA and have double a arm suspension? None… As you would agree that is costly but more so you need the people whom can get it to fit and work. That is PRO..

Again if its about chassis then. Nemo only has 2 1.0m sections of its original chassis removed, which I am happy to put back in as I have saved them in my shed in case this was ever an issue. If its the B Pillar, same have saved them as well(by the way we removed them only so it was easier to get out of the car, when you have a proper (and read safe here) roll cage you don't need them anyway, particularly if you have a carbon roof. they don't serve any structural purpose. And again I reiterate you need to have a safe cage designed by a proper expert. That was one of my biggest rules on the build to Tony, it is to be the safest cage you have ever built.

As has been rightly said. Nemo is not a tube frame car. It still retains the entire floor pan, chassis rails complete except for the 2 x 1.2m extensions in the boot, Fire Wall, Strut towers front and rear, A Pillar, C Pillar's. It probably attracts more attention due to the gull-wing door and the no B Pillar so you can see the entire roll cage.

I am not as I said trying to argue that the rules are perfect or that Nemo should be allowed in future WTAC events. If they are changed and she is precluded as I said before that would suck for us. Not for me as I still get to drive and race her. But it would suck for the team, the fans, the sponsors and I also think for the sport. Because if anything she has in a short period of time done immense things for the profile of Time Attack, hey look at this column… Be interesting to see how many hits its getting.. :-)

Also as I said earlier unluckily motorsport costs money. And pro's is where the budget should be allowable to be more. I am not saying out of this world but having a look at all the cars in Pro Class this year, excluding perhaps the UK STI they all had reasonable budgets. There are probably 7 that have a similar budget to ours and out of those 7 probably 2 that far exceeded ours.

We chose to spend our budget differently I guess. I looked at the rules and when I first started the car, again Andrew will attest to this, I said point blank. The car must be able to do more than 1 lap. I don't want to keep coming in after every run and replacing a head gasket, fixing a gearbox because it keeps breaking, replacing diffs because they keep disintegrating. To me thats not racing thats just spending heaps of money on something thats clearly broke. So I wanted a car that could do laps, but would be designed for only Time Attack.

For that I didn't believe it was economical to spend the obscene money people spend on engines to try and win. I didn't believe he who has the biggest engine wins. I believed that he who designed and built a car that can do many laps and builds a car that is designed correctly will eventually win. As the teams focusing on HP will break down at some point.

Doing the car the way we did it suspension wise and chassis wise cost a whole heap less than a single engine would have if I had of tried to get big HP. We run an engine by a local builder here using a fairly standard stroker kit. Anyone can get that bottom end for around $5-$7k. We also run a fairly standard head, minimal porting and polishing. A set of off the shelf cams and a Norris Dry sump kit you can get for around $3k. So our engine was cheap. (we earlier had an engine we started to develop that would develop big HP.. we had issues with the head gasket leaking and I decided thats it I am not going to spend money on something like that. it was against my ideal when I started the car, we then bought a stock bottom end to run laps. The one that blew up :-)…. So I ended up with a cheap and reliable stroker kit. running on low boost… 22psi.)

We also didnt run big HP. Our 1.25.74 was run at between 425-450hp. Our 1.25.02 was run at around 550hp. Everyone new we were running low HP. Our speed down the straight confirmed we were loosing around 2seconds to the top cars down the straight. But we picked up 5+seconds from turns 2-12..

On that weekend we did almost 130laps. I would suggest more than any other cars out there, including probably the clubsprint and the open class as well. So I think that showed where the value of the money was better spent. We have come back and pulled down the engine, gearbox, diffs etc to see how they are faring and work out a service program. The engine looks like it is brand new and has only just had a run to the shop and back. The gearbox, diffs etc the same. The only item that needs some work is the rear right hand wheel hub. Probably not really designed for over 1500lbs of downfoce on it.

To me the money we spent was in the right area, where i will have it for ever and not have to revisit it.

To me its not correct to bring dollar spend into it. Because if you really want to reduce the dollar spend you would do it via caping the allowable %increase over standard for a motor. That would save more than any chassis work ever would.

The final thing I will say about the rules and the cost is this…. The openness promotes creativity and also budgets to be kept lower. Where else would you see cars like Murray's S13 and Under's S15 compete for a podium? Similar where else would you find someone running an engine that can bolt into a street car win? Its because of this that its exciting.

Ohh and my 0.02c MCA Dampers for the WIN..
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Friday, August 31, 2012 5:56 PM
Hm. Looking at some of the redacted comments... I don't get this "tuner ideal" stuff.
Andrew Brilliant
Andrew Brilliantlink
Friday, August 31, 2012 6:31 PM
Josh

I've been through this a couple times in various forms of racing. I think I know how it all plays out.

Lets just imagine you define the rules to say 100% unibody retained. A few years later you have a race dominated by cars that have the smallest and lightest unibodies or something like a pickup truck that doesnt even have one. Cars that have big, heavy chassis lose. Or the ones with more space for tunnels or whatever it might be. Depending on where the rules are tight and where they are lose. When the racing gets to the level everyone knows how to use the cars they have.. it goes like that.

Those people most hurt by the rules lobby for a break on the rules, especially if the manufacturers of those cars get involved. As with any rule, some people it favors... and others not so much. The next year you need to re-assess who gets what rule breaks and its never really fair. Its just a never ending multi faceted cat and mouse game between people writing the rules, those determined to get around them with money, the people they favor the most saying "dont change" and the ones that the rules hurt lobbying for breaks.

It all sounds so "simple" on paper but the reality of it is going to be a huge amount of overhead to manage and the winners get decided by a board room, not by new ideas. Small ideas about how to exploit or leverage the rules will dominate as they do in other motorpsorts. There is an endless sea of classes and events that already exist like that, thats why time attack is interesting to begin with.

It really is a slippery slope. Thats why I say we need to think these things out VERY carefully and not knee jerk reaction to Nemo's dominant lap time.

We have to think, "what is the goal?". A reduction in cost? similarity in appearance to the original chassis? Whatever that might be.. figure out what the original intent of the series is and see it through to rules. Make sure they make sense in light of whatever that goal is. Not just rules that give people who didn't have a chance before an ability to win because they were ill conceived about what they thought would win.

If you do it like that, you wont achieve any of the goals you are after. Im not vying for no rules at all, Im saying that the rule about 100% stock unibody doesn't make sense to me and we should seek a generally open rule set being very careful about any rules we put in place. I dont know what makes sense just yet... I think we should take our time to make sense of it all. Come up with something that allows the series to grow but at a common sense pace.

Otherwise Nemo will put back in the little bits of steel its missing and it wont change anything significant about the results.... but you will have a hard time convincing anyone to build another Nemo when they know you might change the rules on them if all they do is perform well!
gstmike
gstmikelink
Friday, August 31, 2012 7:21 PM
Eric the damper cost did come from me, it was relayed to me by Dennis as the cost of the dampers, rework and engineering to convert from FA spec to adapt to the Evo! Also F1 dampers on a front running car cost far in excess of that with everything to connect them to the car!
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Friday, August 31, 2012 8:07 PM
I never used cost as the primary basis for my argument. It has always been, and always will be, the spirit of Time Attack. Engineers and hard core racers will never understand I suppose. This debate has proven so as well. And before you call the spirit lame, just remember you'd be running time trials in NASA or AASA (or something like that in Australia) if it were not for the spirit. I don't think it's useful to prolong this discussion further regarding spirit versus unibody versus tube versus professional racing. It's obvious we all stand firm in what we believe. We might a well stop taking each other's comments out of context. We'll just have to see what happens with WTAC's rules either way.

Tubing a car isn't expensive in itself, but it can be compared to a gateway drug for lack of a better analogy. This isn't the 1970's where a fabricator starts putting some tubes together, eyeballing shit and just starts cutting and welding (a la CanAm). Tubing a car today leads to seat time behind a CAD station, inevitably billet CNC pieces for mounts and suspension, requires more testing and development, more sensors, more tires, etc. the tubes themselves don't cost shit really. It's the other stuff that multiplies the cost of a back halved car. There's a whole different class in drag racing for back halved cars because there are inherent advantages. Nemo will require a while lot more than just welding back 2 1 meter sections A.D. I think we all know that.

It is very possible that I'm just worrying too much about the future of the sport. Am I? Quite possibly so. Time will tell. Let's just wait and see I suppose.

It's important to understand that I'm not attempting to ban Nemo at all. All these things I have mentioned here, I have disussed in depth with Ian Baker back in 2010. It just happens to be the car that set some amazing times while being what I consider to be beyond the rules. It is definitely the car of the moment in more ways than one.
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Friday, August 31, 2012 8:12 PM
Mike: I was told a different, far less cost. In fact, I can buy a set of Dynamic dampers for a FA car is much less. I'm quite sure they cost less than 80k although I suppose you can only relay the information you're given. Also, that why I say F1 dampers by themselves and not the peripherals (re cost).
gstmike
gstmikelink
Friday, August 31, 2012 9:31 PM
Yep hence I was specific with the details regarding the engineering which was as I was informed extensive. Like I said sure the dampers for F1 are not crazy priced either but we both know there is a little more involved in a damper becoming actual suspension connected to a car!
Andrew Brilliant
Andrew Brilliantlink
Saturday, September 01, 2012 1:57 AM
I dont know much about F1, but It didn't sound like a stretch to me considering what I know teams put into custom dampers in IndyCar. A lot of it is done in house so its more difficult to put a price tag but I know its a whole hell of a lot of money relative to these circles. Wherever the rules are not, the money goes.

I dont think the spirit is lame, I don't mean to put it down. I know for sure what created this thing I think we all love for some odd reason. It probably sucks all of our life and money away.
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Saturday, September 01, 2012 9:01 AM
Andrew: I wasn't singling you out or anything. You live in Japan and have worked with the tuners so I figured if any hardcore engineer would get it, it would be you. That was more for the guys like that really smart "bro" above.

Mr. Nakajima from Voltex put this up on the FB link to this discussion. In this video, the owner of Top Fuel Mr. Hirano, breaks down his reason for keeping the stock unibody. His reasoning is business motivated of course, but that is what Time Attack was originally for. Tuning shops campaigned cars and subsequently gained business from the results. So before anybody starts criticizing Hirano's reasoning, just remember that in Japan, Time Attack is a form of marketing for a tuning shop and not truly a professional race. It is sustainable because the teams receive income in the form of increased business. You Aussies and Americans need to understand that Japan is primarily a "DO IT FOR ME" as opposed to a DIY economy so that is why there are so many damn tuning shops throughout Japan. Time Attack in Japan does not rely on those with large sums of disposable income who need a tax write off for their business. That's not a bad thing, but that limits the program to be only as sustainable as the business is or until the owner realizes a Pro class Time Attack car is a giant burning hole in his pocket without a chance in hell for large sponsorship programs.

Obviously Time Attack in Australia has now evolved into a world class event. Is it a "Pro" motorsport? Perhaps to some. Do the rules need to evolve with the growth? Some of us think so. But the day it becomes "Pro" and the rules change, I really don't think it would truly be Time Attack anymore either. It'll be faux-qualifying time trials for race cars that do not fit within any class of racing...aka "Outlaws".

Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Saturday, September 01, 2012 9:04 AM
Embedding doesn't seem to work for shit on MotoIQ so here's the link:

Top Fuel Honda S2000 No. 1 World Time Attack

DISCLAIMER: I just figured this is a good watch to explain what Time Attack is to the Japanese. I am by no means using this as a supporting argument in anyway.
gstmike
gstmikelink
Saturday, September 01, 2012 11:20 AM
Firstly Chris Eaton and crew congrats on a truly awesome car! What an event to debut at and pull it out congrats to you all the car looks (and obviously performs) fantastic! I hope you guys bring it over to the US at some point I'd love to race against it and see it in person!!!

Eric, I get where your coming from but honestly your the last person to be able to bring it up as the "spirit of time attack!" as you were party to the team that in essence burnt that in the US. How much was the Cosworth engine program alone for SSE? Sure Nemo contracted a very talented aerodynamisist to do the Aero, SSE scabbed a FA underbody and butchered it for their tunnels I bet that cost more than Andrews time and input on Nemo!

At the end of the day Nemo was built to a very loose rule set aimed at marketing one specific event, Ian and Co are liable to their sponsors to attract bums on the seat and operate their event accordingly hence last years allowance of the GR car which if it had a proper motor would have spanked Cyber and SSE, you and I both know this!

As it stands greenhouse regardless your car landing back on US soil is not legal for any US based time attack given it's mods which I know your aware of, none of us in unlimited class have any issues with your cars mods and even I asked GTA to let it pass and run (I love spanking GTR's :) )

This subject is nothing new the rules have been modified to allow the more radical and $$ builds for some time as honestly outside of Japan nobody really gives a shit as long as it looks like the original body! The essence of a tuner shop using this sport as you mentioned above to show case their talents is something of old (Remind me what SSE was show casing exactly?)
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Saturday, September 01, 2012 12:16 PM
No doubt SSE spent a bundle of money, but I always bring it back to the fact that SSE was built around a factory unibody. Richard from SSE and I had many discussions regarding the spirit of the event and subsequently the EVO was never cut apart for a tube frame conversion. They took the spirit quite seriously believe it or not. If spending a lot of money around a factory unibody is a crime, they are certainly guilty of it.

I wasn't even the one to bring the topic up. Somebody asked a question and I answered. Andrew asked another question and I answered it. People asked, I told them what I thought. That is how this discussion came about. I thought it was a very interesting debate after all. For the record, I did not make it a point to make a BFD out of it. It just became a very interesting discussion.

gstmike
gstmikelink
Saturday, September 01, 2012 12:47 PM
There's really no BFD about it on my end Eric, simply put I don't care what SSE spent to achieve their goals nor do I care how the Nemo car is built or whether the aero package afforded Andrew multiple villa's at Monaco!

At the end of the day the dollars spent by SSE damaged the true concept of the sport in the US and beyond and nobody that believes in the true essence of the proposed "spirit of Time Attack" will refute that, SSE was at the time the ball and now it's snow balling!

Honestly with your vocal stance mate you can't collect the paycheck on one side of the fence and then sing from a different song sheet on the other with AP in your hand!

Like I said your very own car is illegal for current US based TA but I'll bet my ass it still runs!

To close Nemo is also built around a factory unibody and well within it's given ruleset so I don't see the problem!
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Saturday, September 01, 2012 1:25 PM
Whoa, blame the failure of growth in Unlimited class Time Attack on SSE? That's certainly a new one. I think you and I both know this country would rather be watching circle track races that races that actually require an attention span and a certain amount of knowledge of the cars, teams, and events. The reality is timing preventing the success of Unlimited US Time Attack. Blame it on the economy, blame it on the industry, blame it on whatever. Blaming it on SSE wouldn't be accurate.

The GTR was NEVER built for US Time Attack in mind at all. Hell, apparently our fuel cell isn't even NASA legal (it is FIA legal however). To run at GTA is a bonus to us. If they didn't give us the pardon for the turbo location, we'd be completely fine. A semi-private test at BW is cheap on the right day and we'd be completely fine with that too.

My vocal stance was brought out by others vocally disagreeing. How else would I express my opinions other than being vocal? It has nothing to do with saying one thing while working at Cosworth and then and another while working at COBB. Dude, you are not battling another know it all idiot on a forum. You really going there?
Josh@RE-Tuning
Josh@RE-Tuninglink
Saturday, September 01, 2012 1:30 PM
Cyber EVO Beat SSE though...and THAT car can be built in someones garage....Professional Awesome with more money and bigger development budget could probably reach that in their EVO. Eric himself said at one point that Cyber beat them with balance...and SSE was fast with more Brute force/HP/driver/technology....so who gives a shit how much was spent...the fact it retained the factory uni-body still made it able to be beaten by an EVO that was running a toothpick for tubes cage, and gooni-goo-goo electronics taped down and zip tied to the tunnel....

SSE was a test bed for the EFR turbo systems from Borgwarner from what we followed as a spectator.. I know when i saw them running it and was informed of it i was excited...which is what is supposed to happen and getting giddy over a TA running future tuner parts is what we get all school girly for!

I think outlaw, Xclass or whatever class ya wanna call it should just be the answer. Add a class don't ban it. Cause another hyper rich dude will want to eventually compete with it, or a patient dedicated team will develop their program to follow suit and chase after it.


gstmike
gstmikelink
Saturday, September 01, 2012 1:52 PM
No Eric I didn't blame the growth on US TA on SSE, great deflection mate but that isn't what I said at all if you care to read it again!

I'm not battling anyone at all, your stance on this is apparent although to me biased it's fine mate I get it.

You want full unibody cars in TA, fine! Your OG and respected which is great I guess but honestly like betamax times change I'm afraid!

Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Saturday, September 01, 2012 2:31 PM
Haha good one. I chuckled out loud with the betamax analogy. I am a bit old school and traditional I'm afraid. We'll just have to wait and see how the Pro/Unlimited classes evolve. If I'm not campaigning a car then, you might just see me there as an engine guy no matter what the rules.
Andrew Brilliant
Andrew Brilliantlink
Saturday, September 01, 2012 2:36 PM
Cyber evo cannot be built in a garage with off the shelf parts.

What happened here I think is the whole community changed. Look at the builds on MotoIQ and speedhunters. The whole face of the tuning business changed the lines between motorsports and tuner are very blurry now.

Some years back Voltex started going to a wind tunnel and transitioned with Nakajima as their aerodynamicist. The parts that were on Cyber EVO while bearing visual similarity to the off the shelf Voltex parts, they were special and not available to the general public. You could not buy that underfloor/tunnel piece. It was just as time attack always was, its a show case for your skills to lead back to sales of the road car stuff. These parts have now been inherited by the tilton evo and maybe that has changed, but they were far from road car bits even still. They were not available for sale when Cyber was campaigning with voltex. The line was blurred between the tuner market and the race car market by everyone at every level.

What is "tuner" and what is "race car" has changed. People put $4000 penske dampers on their road cars. People put 900hp drag race engines on their road cars. Thats what has happened to the "tuner" market. It evolved.

The HKS evo was not built entirely off the shelf as it was suggested, lots of custom parts and not available to the public. Lots that were.

What built nemo was basically three and soon to be four companies. Tony Porter Fabrications, Cawthorne Composites, AMB Aero and Nemo Racing (Chris Eaton issoon to sell some of the trick products developed on nemo). What would be the reason for excluding us from being considered tuning companies? Because we also sell stuff to professional race teams as well? I sell services to people at every level, if SSE had wanted to buy my services I would have sold them. I gotta pay the bills!

Cyber Evo's current body is so low and agressively packaged that the car was totally un-drivable. To the point that they did a hara kiri move at the race this year. Call C-West and try to order that body kit.
Josh@RE-Tuning
Josh@RE-Tuninglink
Saturday, September 01, 2012 3:12 PM
Once the cars unibody is compromised in regards to tube frame custom suspension pick up points.....its certainly no longer a tuner car anymore. it ends up being its own one off car with the aesthetics of whatever it used to be

I feel the Panspeed RX-7, Scorch S15, TOP FUEL S2000 are excellent examples of what people consider Time attack cars. When they compete the people in the Nissan Mazda Honda crowds cheer and root for them.

If the voltex setup was not off the shelf.....the Tilton Interiors car ran pretty much a visually identical setup to cybers previous setup yet ran faster times than they did? Can you give a little insight/feedback on that?

We should really move this conversation into accepting the Spirit, Respecting the potential of the radical possibilities and coming up with ideas on what an Outlaw Class should encompass some of the best automotive minds are reading this and commenting...and i think moving forward into a new class and speculating that would be much more interesting.
Andrew Brilliant
Andrew Brilliantlink
Saturday, September 01, 2012 3:39 PM
Tilton had what cyber didn't have before, a big daddy engine. Balance, balance... yada.. yada. Power goes fast. If you have power AND everything else, you go even faster.
Josh@RE-Tuning
Josh@RE-Tuninglink
Saturday, September 01, 2012 3:59 PM
"If you have power AND everything else, you go even faster."

So wouldn't that be balance with the definition being:
A condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions just on a higher level(aka more power more Downforce More suspension means balanced)?


Anyway I'm going to direct this question to Andrew and Chris. Whom are both above my pay-grade but i don't mind asking:

Do you feel creating a new class takes away from the victory or do you feel that a new class is unnecessary.

"Why can't everyone else just work as hard as we did? The car didn't build itself and if people had a clue what that car was built for, its less than other cars that proceeded it. That is a fact!" - Andrew Brilliant

With all this talk of the spirit of time attack and Evolution of the sport, I too can see the potentiality for its explosion as Nemo has opened those doors. But to be honest many Japanese teams seemed to have deliberately kept within the spirit of time attack for solid reasons....Do you really think they didn't work as hard as you? That they didn't put heart and soul into it? Do you truly think those shops are NOT capable of building a tube car to compare to Nemo? Or did they merely feel that it is Beyond what the sport is supposed to encompass.


Nemo is great. I wouldn't want it banned the sport needs a place for cars like that.
Andrew Brilliant
Andrew Brilliantlink
Saturday, September 01, 2012 4:50 PM
Yah, I agree about balance. Its just a term used by some to marginalize cars that made a lof of power.

I cannot possibly speak to why anyone else built a car the way they did.

Why did toyota build a single seater carbon monocoque Le Mans Prototype with a hybrid engine. Do they sell those? Everyone is different, everyone has their own motivations.

I dont think we on Nemo team were born with super human abilities Josh. But I can tell you we certainly werent the first to cut out the rear floor area or have non factory suspension pickups. We were the first to run that lap time though, so maybe the stars aligned... or maybe we worked hard and made the right decisions.

Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Saturday, September 01, 2012 8:25 PM
Hmmm. Unlimited class. Speaking as someone who is really more of a motorsports mindset than a tuner mindset, would love to see what would spring up from that too... I know it sounds like I'm contradicting myself, but it's just interesting to see what people come up with in unrestricted environments... and also to see what they come up with in restricted environments - clever ways to skirt rules and all that. Whichever way, look forwards to seeing how it all shakes out.
gstmike
gstmikelink
Sunday, September 02, 2012 8:40 AM
I've just spent the best part of a pot of coffee looking over every picture I could find of Nemo and I can't at this point see any reason from the pictures as to why it would not be legal for GTA over here.

Interestingly enough and I don't expect an answer to this from Andrew but it almost appears that the car runs a flat bottom with no tunnels and the rear tunnel looking exits on the diffuser are fed from somewhere! I have to confess there really wasn't a good upskirt if you like photo to confirm that though.
Micah McMahan
Micah McMahanlink
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 9:44 AM
I'm kind of laughing that the 'tuner' argument came full circle as marketing for a shop. If you recall I did a comparison of the various 'shops' doing builds with different strenghts. If we want to keep tuner, doing a full suspension redesign would be as tuner as doing a backhalf car. Just different skill sets. Now the loophole if going to that extreme would be if the new suspension were completely bolt-in because then we are leaving that unibody untouched and thus in the spirit of the sport.

The issue is that 'the spirit' isn't defined in the rules and would be hard to do without making a hard number like 100% unibody (exclusion for fuel cell mounting?), as I brought up and Andrew reinforced. For me, the spirit is going faster through inginuity that returns business to your company. I did just this for my own company in working with Turn In Concepts. I did some custom engineering/design work that I don't foresee customers doing (maybe a few), however the ROI is already there for my 'off the shelf' items. Heck, because of that car, I pulled in a motorsports consulting gig for a privateer with money that just wants to go faster at the track and a shop dumped more electronics on him than he needed.

I certainly hope that no one has gotten up set with this discussion but I think it has been good food for thought for those involved. I also want to reiterrate that I look forward to seeing the GTR at Buttonwillow.

-Micah
3MI Racing
Micah McMahan
Micah McMahanlink
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 9:48 AM
I should say, I stumpled into the consulting gig. Now back to work.
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 9:55 AM
It really makes me think a bit about people's backgrounds in "car stuff" and what viewpoints they hold because of that. It seems like the guys who started out in "the tuner scene" and then went (or didn't go) "legit" have a different viewpoint than guys who started out doing racing stuff and then started doing that racing stuff to "tuner cars". Maybe that's me though.
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 10:25 AM
An interesting discussion this has been for sure. Admittedly, it has made me rethink my stance regarding the unibody thing. It hasn't changed my mind, but certainly got me to think about it.

Kenku: I think there are even subdivisions of beliefs within each category of background.
gstmike
gstmikelink
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 11:39 AM
Interestingly enough I found some really good images later in the day yesterday and kinda see what everyone is getting at. The suspension setup is nice on that car for sure! I honestly don't fully get the wording of the rules for GTA regarding suspension pickup points but assuming I am understanding it correctly I would have to say that alone may make the Nemo car illegal for GTA as it stands.
Micah McMahan
Micah McMahanlink
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 6:05 PM
Kenku, please don't get me wrong. I can say that I am young enough to have grown up looking up into the tuner market (Turbo, SCC, etc...) as I made my own turbo setup in high-school, did one of the first US WRX swaps into an OBD1 GC chassis (freshmen year of college), and then my little snow ball started when I designed an engine combination (still in college). I grew up in the tuner market but heavily tainted in racing and engineering.

So I'm not sure if I'm a 'tuner' that lost my way in race engineering or am I more along the lines of being the evolution of the 'spirit'?

Has NASCAR lost it's spirit because they switched to EFI? ;) j/k

I do need to start digging up the pics of the NEMO car to see what the hub-bub is about exactly. If Mike is questioning it's GTA legality, than perhaps it is beyond what I had planned.
Andrew Brilliant
Andrew Brilliantlink
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 6:32 PM
Mike, what exactly about the GTA wording would separate Nemo's suspension from say Rado's? I thought he started with a strut front and now has a fabricated double wishbone and nice uprights, out of my memory I couldnt think what was different?

Kenku,

I grew up out of the "Tuner" community into professional motorsports. Thats why I am into all this time attack stuff. I saw the potential for it... to build cars that were unique and cool. Something like a thunderous machine with 900hp and several tonne of downforce is just cool to me ...
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 6:37 PM
Oh, don't get me wrong either - I'm at least partially talking about myself as an example as I didn't grow up in the tuner market, though now with the WRX I'm sort of coming into it a bit. But I was doing roadrace 1st gen RX-7 stuff long before any of that... hell, I started trying to make my own shock dyno, steps towards DIY castings, and stuff of that sort before I ever tried to do something as basic as "stage 2" mods on a street car. ;)

Whole thing seems to be a spectrum I guess, and it's interesting to see people exemplify various areas along it, and the viewpoints that go with it.

I love the time attack stuff, don't get me wrong. In my heart of hearts though, I still don't see why I can't drive a GTP car on the street, and stuff less than that in an unlimited series feels compromised.
gstmike
gstmikelink
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 6:51 PM
Andrew Rado's suspension lands within the 1" rule of modification in the ruleset. Also are you drawing reference to the FWing 1.0 black car or the new FWing 2.0? FWing 2.0 is way less radical.

Like I said I am going off of pictures which are not the best but it also appears the rear suspension is mounted more inbound and the OEM shock towers are not there with the car's rear basically tube framed into the rollcage but again the pictures I am looking at don't give me 100% confirmation of that.

I apologize if this information is incorrect, I'd love to see a couple of hi res shots of the rear geometry and frame work as well as the inbound forward mounting of the front shock under the capped off OEM strut mount.
Andrew Brilliant
Andrew Brilliantlink
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 7:08 PM
Oh I see, so its within 1", unless you started with a strut since that didnt have upper pickups those are wherever you want?
Micah McMahan
Micah McMahanlink
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 7:38 PM
Honestly the I'm not sure if the Unlimited rules take precedence over the 'General Rules' or not.

The 1" rule would rule out going from strut to dual a-arm and would also render the rule in the unlimited section as pointless.



gstmike
gstmikelink
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 8:07 PM
It's clearly stated that the section 1 rules take effect over all cars in all classes.

My understanding from how rules were written is that your right Micah the unlimited rules are such that it is pointless to try and fabricate dual A-Arm setups in with the rule set as it's written so it's virtually impossible to do so!

Also something that may or may not come into play (I can't tell from the pictures!) would be the wording where the rear frame rails can only be removed from the rear point of the rear shock towers and the OEM shock tower must be in place.

Another point pertaining to if the rear end of was tube framed to that level would also be that the rear subframe doesn't need to be OEM but must mount to the OEM connection points! Again that is something I cannot verify on the pictures I have seen (Nor can I verify if Nemo adheres to this same ruling for the front subframe as well!)

It's not my job to scrutineer anything for GTA so I am obviously just pointing out items from the current rule set as it's written
Andrew Brilliant
Andrew Brilliantlink
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 9:28 PM
I am almost certain that when I saw the FWING 2.0 it had an SLA suspension.

Thats a weird rule if they allow pickups to be anywhere if they didnt exist before. It makes it more advantageous to have started with a more primitive suspension and a bunch of loopholes by platform choice to make suspension wide open for some and fully restricted for others. But anyway, its not my business. I wont be building a car to run in GTA any time soon.
willscarcast
willscarcastlink
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 7:51 PM
my question is now, with all the comments here and im sure more going on elsewhere. would be it be advantageous for some of the heads of the various TA series around the world to sit down (virtually if the budget allows) and discuss the rules and the future for TA. i really want to see TA grow and i wonder if there is a opportunity to collaborate and set goals for the next 5 years... just a fan
Micah McMahan
Micah McMahanlink
Thursday, September 06, 2012 5:09 AM
^^^completely agreed Will. I think a little harmonization would do all of the organizations some good for those looking to compete internationally, despite that being few currently.

Andrew, you are correct that the FWING 2.0 has a dual a-arm front (not sure of rear) setup.



I'm wondering if the verbage of the unlimited rule with general rules means that for a strutted car to go dual a-arm, you're locations of the lower A-arm and the upper shock mount must be within 1" of the factory points. Still leaves some flexibility in the upper arm location and geometry.

I think I'll call Tony and/or Nads later today for a little chat.
Micah McMahan
Micah McMahanlink
Thursday, September 06, 2012 5:32 AM
Mike, was this the pic you were talking about that showed the missing rear strut towers? Taken from WTAC's page on NEMO.


Micah McMahan
Micah McMahanlink
Thursday, September 06, 2012 5:35 AM
well that didn't play nicely.
http://www.worldtimeattack.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/article_nemo99b.png

from: http://www.worldtimeattack.com/index.php/introducing-nemo-the-most-amazing-evo-build-from-down-under/
gstmike
gstmikelink
Thursday, September 06, 2012 7:20 AM
Micah, your correct on the understanding of the way the rules are written for GTA hence the FWing 2.0 is built to the letter of that rule set!
willscarcast
willscarcastlink
Friday, September 07, 2012 3:41 AM
so what will it take? SEMA is around the corner, could a panel of sorts be put together?
Micah McMahan
Micah McMahanlink
Friday, September 07, 2012 4:03 AM
SEMA doesn't really have anything to do with racing/TA and In my opinion, it's more of a rice convention. Not sure if I'll be going to it and PRI this year or just PRI (always priority).

And now for the pesimistic side; I doubt the variuos regulating bodies will actually sit down to hash something out but one can always wish.
nadsynads
nadsynadslink
Friday, September 07, 2012 12:04 PM
I should preface this comment by noting that I don’t engage in such discussions because the dialogue is normally so uninformed, close-minded and ignorant that it’s not worth my time. But as a time attack promoter, pundit and most of all fan the debate going on in this thread is as engaging and insightful as it gets and I am compelled to contribute FWIW (and please accept my apologies for the lag but I was off the grid for most of last week).

Without sounding too much like a reminiscent Al Bundy who scored four touchdowns in a single game I produced the first time attack in the U.S. at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in April of 2004. It was a joint venture between Super Street and Sport Compact Car thanks to the work of Jason Dienhart, Jared Holstein and NASA’s Ryan Flaherty. We came up with a format and rules package in keeping with Japan’s “spirit” of the sport while accommodating NASA’s CCR for safety reasons.

I orchestrated the participation of the Signal Auto and Mine’s GT-Rs, C-West and J’s Racing S2000s and ultimately the Cyber and HKS Evos at the Super Lap Battle. The entry of the HKS Evo (TRB-02 as it was then called) was my SLB swan song and from there I continued to create media for the Redline Time Attack while at RiceBoyTV and StreetFire. I spent a brief period producing videos for Ken and crew at the FXMD NSX team before working for Redline as an on-track announcer. At the same time I also did some PR and marketing work for SSE. Currently I work with Jason Dienhart to produce GTA.

While I don’t have the credentials or street cred of Chris, Andrew, Eric, Mike or Micah I do hope my applicable TA experience can serve this discussion well.

An important consideration concerning the “spirit” of time attack is that as far as I know there is no sanctioning body or rule set in Japan and the top time attacks are invitation only. Tuners build cars to some sort of loosely based agreed upon standard. This is where we based our original Super Lap Battle rules in ’04 from this Japanese standard and from what I can tell the WTAC and UK Time Attack Series rules also follow the same basic guidelines with some differences.

When we created our GTA rules last year we took into account all of these different rule sets. We based our rules on the Redline Time Attack rules package, which itself was originally based on our OG SLB rules. We feel our rules are a good compromise between the original standards and the current crop of cars taking into account safety as well as easily recognized definitive differences between classes.

As the co-promoter I would be open to a “harmonization of the rules” however it might be difficult given that the UK Time Attack Series is on a spec tire, WTAC is beholden to something called the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (somewhat of an Australian FIA delegate I believe) and Japan has no real rules at all. Regardless we are open to exploring the possibilities of some sort of rules alignment in order to allow for greater intercontinental participation. We don’t mind changing our rules to reflect the progression of the sport. But that is based on a theoretical future not what is happening now.

While I haven’t seen either the Nemo Evo or Team America GT-R in person based on photos I’ve seen I would have to say that neither of those cars are GTA-legal on the basis of their floorpan modifications. Our challenge as GTA promoters is whether we change the rules or make single-case exemptions for both of these cars and essentially step on the “line in the sand” that has been drawn for so many years. Or do we outlaw these cars alienating the two most exciting and popular builds to come into the Unlimited ranks in some time. I suppose it doesn’t matter because Andrew has said in this thread that he won’t be building a car to run in GTA any time soon. That’s a shame because I would love to figure out a way (as challenging as it may seem) to bring Nemo to one of our events. As a fan, I would pay money to see that.

While much ado is being made about the legitimacy of such cars as the Nemo Evo, SSE’s Christine, the HKS CT230R and the Garage Revolution RX-7 it’s important to remember the original game-changer, the HKS Track Attack Altezza, code-named TRB-01 for it’s intent as a Tsukuba Record Breaker, which it was, smashing the then overall record by more than two seconds in ‘99 with a 55.8-second blast around the birthplace of time attack.

This was the car that sparked my time attack infatuation with its JDM-tuner pedigree and JGTC looks. However the Japanese fans did not feel the carbon wide-body, flat-bottom floor and inboard suspension configuration were indicative of this time attack standard and their public outcry was so great (this in the days before social networking) that HKS responded by parking the car and launching the “milder” TRB-02, which ironically went even faster and still holds the Tsukuba record to this day.

As much as the Nemo Evo fascinates me and with a complete understanding of where Chris and Andrew are coming from I would have to say that this car is a completely different animal from Sierra Sierra’s Christine. I had the honor of having a front seat to witness the work of Eric, Richard, Jet, Mike, Don and Emp and while the budgets were higher the team principle was adamant about adhering to the spirit and tenets of time attack. Case in point, the chassis could have been prepped by media blasting and acid dipping but the team owner wanted it done in the time-honored tradition of dry ice and chisels. Harder on the team and less effective but definitely in the spirit of time attack.

Where does the line get drawn in terms of the modifications and definitions of our time attack cars? I don’t know but I do know that I favor a sport where the little guys like Scorch, GST, Professional Awesome and Dent Sport Garage can still challenge the Nemo, SSE and HKS Evos of the world. And where unlimited ingenuity can still challenge unlimited resources.

If anyone cares to reach me you can do so at john@globaltimeattack and I would be more than willing to discuss any of this in greater detail.
Wes Dumalski
Wes Dumalskilink
Friday, September 07, 2012 1:45 PM
Chiming in after reading this and pondering for a few days. I will not state any of my pedigree or credentials because I have none to offer, just an opinion on the sport.

I believe the choice in terms of where people should compete should be up to the teams that are building the cars and laying out the $ to be present at the event. To mold a ruleset around a previous spirit and also disallow the cream of the crop is to stop the progression of the top ranks and those are what I feel would fill seats and competition spots. As long as the playing field is remotely level let them all play.

I personally feel the GTA ruleset is as close to ideal as you will find. All it will take is to simply add a class to permit these huge guns to run and you have a winner. ALL classes already indirectly compete anyway for fastest overall time so if GST wants to stay in their current unlimited class and Nemo or the Team America car comes in to the new "super bitchin" class they can still race for overall fastest time yet not sacrifice their true effort and intent within their current class.

In terms of a unification of a standard rule set that would be epic yet nearly unheard of. After all these distinct series are their own and have their own bills to pay. If a proposed unified rule set takes away from their ability to pay said bills I simply cannot see how they could agree. Perhaps we could look at other motorsport where they grandfather cars in to a class based on ruleset comparison. Or look at MPTCC and go power to weight with permissible suspension modifications if a real unification is in order.

Budget is a VERY tricky thing to try and regulate as it is too easily maneuvered around and difficult to enforce. Simplicity is best!

In terms of my opinion on the other topic of spirit etc... I am 100% with Andrew and Chris on this. Build the baddest and the best and kick ass if you have the ability. The spirit of time attack WILL grow outdated (it already is headed there) and while it can be preserved it should never be the limiting factor of progression. Hell you could have a Tskuba class that has it's own ruleset and if TA stays around long enough then switch it to the vintage class ;)

Furthermore, as John pointed out, this discussion is amazing. Despite VERY strong opinions VERY good points are being made and everyone is listening. Proof the MIQ truly does separate the bull from the bullshit.

willscarcast
willscarcastlink
Saturday, September 08, 2012 5:55 PM
I hope that everyone is passing this discussion along their respective channels.
willscarcast
willscarcastlink
Saturday, September 08, 2012 5:57 PM
the power to weight ratio rule would be very interesting...
biil
biillink
Sunday, September 30, 2012 8:24 AM
GEIA
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