After an action-packed weekend at Eastern Creek International Raceway near Sydney, Australia, Tarzan Yamada and the HRS Garage/Cyber Evo team persevered through an engine failure to claim the title of World Time Attack Challenge champion with their legendary Mitsubishi Evolution 8.
As one of the pre-event favorites, it may come as no surprise that Tarzan and the Cyber Evo took the win, but things were looking very grim for this Japanese-based team the afternoon before the Time Attack finals on May 22nd at Eastern Creek. A blown engine during practice meant they had to scramble to source a replacement unit locally, working at fever’s pitch to install it and remap the engine control unit overnight on Australian ECU specialist Haltech’s dynamometer.
A testament to hard work and determination, the HRS Garage/Cyber Evo posted a mind-blowing lap time of 1:30.587, breaking the long-standing track record set in 1999 by Mark Skaife in a Australian V8 Supercar. Tarzan celebrated the win in typical flamboyant style, much to the delight of the local crowd and his international fan base.
To see who rounded out the podium (plus some Time Attack video action), check after the jump:
It was the US-based Sierra Sierra Enterprises Evolution 9 that looked unbeatable during practice, with 1996 Indy Lights and 2005 Grand Am GS champion David Empringham behind the wheel. With their Evo running flawlessly throughout the weekend and with a more powerful engine than the Cyber Evo’s emergency swapped unit, Empringham posted a best lap time of 1:31.884, 1.3-seconds off the Cyber Evo’s miracle lap. The Sierra Sierra crew are no doubt a little disappointed with their 2nd place finish, but it’s still a result they and the whole US Time Attack community can be very proud of.
Wrapping up the Top 3 in the standings was another Tarzan Yamada piloted machine, this time the Tomei/Cusco Subaru Impreza STI with a best lap of 1:31.901 (less than 1/10th of a second behind 2nd place Sierra Sierra). This was quite a coup for Tarzan, requiring Allen from Tomei to stand-in for him during the podium ceremony.
Local favorite Advan/Hi-Octane Racing team and their widebody R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R also suffered engine woes during Friday’s practice session, forcing the team into overdrive to get it back into fighting shape for Saturday’s finale. With the car repaired, driver Mark Berry posted a very respectable lap time of 1:34.109, placing him 7th overall, just behind the FD Mazda RX-7’s of R-Magic (1:33.505) and Panspeed (1:32.454).
For a little video action from the WTAC, check out the clip after the jump and watch for the full length DVD from Motive DVD.
[Source: World Time Attack Challenge]
Get the Flash Player to see this player.