The Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge is THE event of the year that the entire team looks forward to. It is more than the sum of its parts, each facet building towards something that just gets people excited. Day 1 of the 2017 event certainly hasnt disappointed, let’s begin with the Time Attack results:
- Tim Slade – 1:21.57
- Barton Mawer – 1:21.78
- Tomohiko ‘Under’ Suzuki – 1:22.52
Pro class saw Tim Slade take the lead early with a 1:21.89, and looked untouchable until Mawer found speed in the third session and managed to get within striking distance. The last session saw Mawer take the lead for about half a lap, until the Hammerhead took the lead straight back with an insane 1:21.56. Under Suzuki tried hard all day but just couldn’t find the speed to get in front. The crowd will be in for a real treat tomorrow when the Pro Class hits the track again.
- Robert Nguyen – 1:26.53
- William Au-Yeung – 1:29.63
- Sami Sivonen – 1:30.76
The Pro Am class was all about the front wheel drive today, with Mighty Mouse (Rob Nguyen) and the Vibrant Performance Civic completely dominating up front. The class is full of RWD and AWD beasts, but they could not keep up with these FWD weapons. Yes, that is a new Pro AM class record!
- Nathan Morcom – 1:28.59
- Adam Casmiri – 1:28.88
- Matt Longhurst – 1:29.29
Open class is hotly contested as always, the gap between first and second is a hair’s width, and Matt Longhurst is as determined as ever to push his R34 Skyline to the absolute limit.
Open class wasn’t without drama, with competitor #56 catching fire early in the day, luckily driver Daniel Burton walked away without injury. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for his car, which appeared to sustain heavy damage. Burton wasn’t the only victim of mechanical failure, with multiple cars across most classes pulling the pin after issues on track.
- Jordan Cox – 1:37.56
- Benny Tran – 1:39.35
- Ben Arnold – 1:40.77
Jordan Cox went hard early in the clubsprint and put down some blisteringly fast times. He looks to be in a commanding lead at this point, but as we know from years gone by anything can happen. The clubsprint class is going from strength to strength with blisteringly fast cars and a huge range of diversity, theres nothing quite like watching the pro class smash records, but the clubsprint troopers are always fun to watch.
The lunch break gave way to ‘Midday Mayhem’, where fans were treating to drifting demos, the Gran Turismo parade, 767B hot laps and the drift king himself in both Taisan R32 GTR and the Hot Version AE86.
Off the track fans could get up and close with drivers and cars as well as stalls and vendors galore. The Gran Turismo Experience has been a real hit with the punters, giving them a chance to play the latest version of the game with a simulator experience and even a virtual reality version.
As always the cars were not the only eye candy, and the always hard working promo girls out and about everywhere.
Check the video below for a small teaser of the WTAC Day 1 atmosphere:
[aesop_video align=”center” src=”youtube” id=”ksDN7vy_Yb8″ loop=”on” autoplay=”on” controls=”on” viewstart=”on” viewend=”on”]
2017 is shaping up to be even bigger than last year, and it’s only day one. If you haven’t yet sorted your tickets hit up www.worldtimeattack.com ASAP, and stick with us tomorrow on speednation.com.au, SN Facebook and SN Instagram for even more coverage.