Why do I attend the same event every year? A simple question that has an incredibly simple answer, because each year it gets even better!
I bet you wonder how an astonishing event can get better? Last year saw the Mazda 767B show off alongside a JGTC FD3S and a restored JGTC S15 all of which added to the immense spectacle that is World Time Attack. Keiichi Tsuchiya was there with his infamous AE86 putting on a show for the crowds while the main event saw lap times crumble as we searched for the 2017 Time Attack champion. I know I have gone on about last year being so incredible, so how was this year better? I will start this three-part coverage with my initial recollection…
WTAC 2018 began earlier this year with teams posting builds and progress as they tracked toward the year-end battle that will see who is crowned champion. Everyone was excited to see the teams back to full strength after some had some disastrous luck at last years event. Ian Baker (The brains behind this event) always strives to promote his events to the fullest, and this year saw the Sydney Opera House becoming a very large billboard! Boarding my flight and arriving at the event on Thursday I could already feel the excitement and anticipation around the paddock, not only were some amazing groups setting up their cars in preparation, but I also had the pleasure of finally seeing Keiichi in competition mode with Beau Yates AE86 that was converted from a drift machine into a grip machine.
Show and shine was not set up on Thursday unfortunately which meant I had to rush on Friday or Saturday to capture some of Australia’s most amazing vehicles which was not too much of an issue since I had heard that this year would be slightly smaller in layout, providing the perfect size to be able to capture quickly and move straight back into the track activities. While the rain did affect the set up of some stalls and displays, most were putting the final touches on their stands and wrapping it all up ahead of the main event over the next two days.
Practice makes perfect, and with the main slogan being “One perfect lap” many teams were out already on a wet track setting up and fine-tuning their machines in a hope of setting that one crucial linked run.
Along with the wet track testing, the garages were a hive of activity due to most teams utilizing the Thursday session to adjust and change any required parts to optimize their attack on Friday and Saturday. Paddock views are always a welcome change since you get to see the people and teams behind these incredible cars.
With Thursday providing some crucial insight into the coming days, I packed up and headed back to the house to go over a plan of attack! Stay tuned for Friday’s action coming soon…