WTAC is an abbreviation for World Time Attack Challenge and for over 10 years it has been just that. Competitors from all around the World are hand picked by Ian Baker and his team. The cars are tested, prepped and stuffed into jumbo jets to compete on the Sydney Motorsport Park racetrack. As you would have already known the last two years has closed the doors on many world events and the ease of sending cars to foreign lands to compete still isn’t an option for many.
So how does this event continue to expand and grow when it relies so heavily on international competition? Well after experiencing what I have over the past week I can say that Australian Motorsport is alive and well. Competitors from all over Australia took the opportunity to wrestle their fellow countryman in a game thats separated by tenths of seconds.
I’ll get to the event itself soon but this year was a special one for me, the lack of overseas participation opened up a door for me to become a competitor. From competing in drifting to running my own trade stand to now fighting it out on track in my own race car. WTAC has been a highlight on my calendar and this year it took more preparation than ever before.
The conversation started a few months ago, Ian phoned me and said bring something cool and I’ll give you a few laps. I have always appreciated Ians excitement and it’s easy to say yes before hanging up the phone and wondering how you could possibly make that happen.
I take a look around my garage, the S15 is the perfect car for this, it needs a lot of finishing but the roll cage is certified and it really just needs some bodywork and a driveline……. But I really want to do that properly and that takes time. Then there’s the Hilux, although I do love it I just don’t think Time Attack is its thing. I built it with different intentions and to be happy with it as a circuit car requires a lot of changes I don’t want to make to it. The 180SX is there and its a pretty good package, a lot of components are getting old and it’s a drift car at heart. I love the way it is and I don’t really want to go cutting up the dash to make an approved roll cage.
So unless a 1955 Harley Davidson can enter the mix (and I know Ian would be keen to see that happen) the last remaining car to choose from is the PS13 NA SR20 Silvia, unfortunately it is the slowest in the fleet and probably not the best choice for an all out assault on the stopwatch.
Call me crazy but I have a strong desire and intention to use this car more, it’s stuck somewhere in the middle of nostalgic Japanese sports car, race car, street car but has always shown great potential that I know I can extract given the right preparation. So I took the opportunity to fill out the entry form with the words 1989 Silvia and vowed to transform the car into something I would be proud to bring to the event.
Nothing depicts the preparation and thought process as good as video so I put a documentary style production together for you which details most of the steps I took to get the car prepared for the event. In part 1 you will see the transformation begin by mounting up the Quaife sequential 6 speed onto the back of the SR20DE, if you’re a regular reader of my work then you may recognise this as being the Hilux’s gearbox, a necessary addition to hold the driveline together with the increased grip and power that the Hilux has. I have always imagined this gearbox being a better fit for circuit racing and I am excited to try it out on the S13.
In part 2 it’s all about the internals and finishing off the SR20 engine ready for the dyno. A week to add a dry sump system, a new trigger setup, high compression pistons and a full rebuild was really pushing it.
I just made it to the dyno in part 3, I cant thank Aaron from DTM enough for fitting me in after cancelling on him. He did a thorough job although we chased some top end power which seemed to be missing. I put this down to the camshafts being really small in duration, this will be changed after the event along with a new set of rods to increase power and RPM.
Well I made it, part 4 will give you the full run down on my experience at WTAC 2022, the circuit racing bug has well and truly bitten me, I loved every minute on track and worked through every issue to maximise my track time. I just loved hearing that SR20 sing.
I really cant get over the way the car handled, I spent a few hours dialling in the suspension before loading the car into the trailer, a stringline alignment, enough camber to clear the metal fenders, a big wing mounted to the chassis rails and covered with an Origin bootlid was all I managed to have time for but it worked. The car felt perfect, so smooth and predictable, I cant wait to develop it a little more.
I know your probably sick of hearing me say it but fabrication skills make all of this achievable, it has been a longterm dream of mine to be driving this car with the roar of the independent throttles, the whine of the straight cut sequential gearbox and the feeling of understanding the entire chassis due to the extent of the fabrication that I have completed on it.
I was lucky enough to be invited to judge the car show between rounds too, big thanks to Adam from Downshift for this, I was blown away with the quality of cars in the show and really loved the vibe in the paddock, everyone was having a great time.
WTAC has been a huge motivation to complete this round of modifications and its taught me a lot, if you want to learn from me and improve your own vehicle through fabrication you can subscribe to my courses, it’s a small price to pay for a lot of very valuable information.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the videos.