Sigma Racing Time Attack – Round 4
Canadian Tire Motorsports Park – DDT
Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
August 5th, 2012
After much anticipation weeks prior, the final round for the 2012 Sigma Racing Time Attack (SRTA) series was set to crown winners and separate the pack on the leader board. Back at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park driver development track (DDT), the day began with usual driver’s meeting and information announcements. The weather forecast called for rainy conditions later in the day which would prove not only frustrating for many of the competitors, but would also result in slow lap times making for an even tighter grouping of racers.
Despite the less than favorable weather, the SRTA began as always with the first half dedicated to open lapping for competitors to dial in their suspension setups, tire pressure, and anything else that might need tweaking. During the morning the weather reached low 20-degrees Celsius and a medium level humidity, but that didn’t seem to deter anyone from jumping on the track.
This Mitsubishi Evolution X was looking fast lap after lap. Unfortunately, it was unable to compete in the Official Time Attack later in the afternoon due to a transmission cooler core bursting. Boost and all-wheel drive, a threatening combination even at the technical and tight DDT course.
One of the giants at the track during the lapping portion was this silver / orange Porsche GT3 RS. This $200,000 German track-spec exotic packs a 3.8-liter flat six that puts down 435 horsepower on a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires. It’s not every day that one gets to see a gem like this on the track, although it has become apparent that at least one gets written off yearly on the Grand Prix circuit – thankfully, no GT3s were harmed this time around.
The little Vitz (Yaris) that could being hunted down by a sub-500 horsepower Nissan GT-R! This little blue hatch was working its way around the track and putting down respectable lap times. Thankfully, the DDT circuit is well suited for small and short wheel base cars more so than power monsters like the R32.
It was good to see an usual track setup like this RX-7 powered by a Toyota power plant on the course. One might be thinking as to what’s under the hood, we’ll leave you guessing for the time being.
It’s always a pleasure to see Pat Piotr Burdon pilot his Mazda RX-7 and make it stick through the corners even though it seems to prefer to go sideways naturally. Burdon was nailing corner after corner and getting his lap times down, thankfully without his rotary rocket having any issues.
Like clock work, 2:30pm rolled around and the announcement for the Official Time Attack spread around the paddock. The driver’s meeting gave clear and defined instructions as to how the sessions would run with only three cars on track at any time. Furthermore, if a car was to spin out (due to the rain or not), the driver would be disqualified – such are the rules of time attack.
Immediately after the driver’s meeting concluded, competitors ran to their cars for final preparation and began lining up in order of their grouping.
When Mazda states that more of their vehicles are tracked on any given weekend, it is no lie. The SRTA events alone have a turn out of 20+ Mazdas on average ranging from the best selling sports car of all time the Miata to the Mazda 3 and variation of RXs. Here are two rotary siblings, one has four doors the other has two, one is naturally aspirated and the other is turbocharged – which would you pick?
The first session began with the groupings going from slowest times to fastest. This little Toyota was doing a great job of taking the wet line, but regardless of what any driver could do the track was very slippery causing lap times to drop drastically as the rain came in.
The AMF | MTM Suzuki Swift driven by Tim Hillier was putting down some great lap times. Unfortunately, the lack of rain race tires became an issue in way of lap times dropping by 10+ seconds compared to the morning shake down sessions on drier track conditions. However, the car did look awesome as it blazed by the straight on its three cylinders!
This awesome late-gen Miata running on sticky Advan AD08 tires was looking sharp through the tight parts, but again the dry nature of the tires proved difficult to plant the power down. Gotta love the level of concentration from the driver with his eyes on the corner exit and feeding the wheel through the turn.
One of two MazdaSpeed 3 at the event putting down fast laps time and time again. Alex Morrow was nailing turn by turn and his boosted Mazda was powering out successfully making it look easy.
By far one of the best looking Honda S2000s to have ever graced the DDT circuit. Not only did the car look fast, the driver James Won was consistent throughout his time attack runs keeping the car flat around corners and easing into the throttle. Any more power delivery from Won’s right foot and this S2000 would be sideways.
Unfortunately the day claimed more than a handful of spin outs due to the slippy track conditions. This clean looking RX-7 got caught sideways through the hairpin turn at the lower part of the track flinging it into the grass as if it were on skates instead of tires. Thankfully no cars or drivers were injured throughout the day, but being shook up is most certainly a definite.
Taking the big win in Group A was Alex Morrow in his blue Mazda MazdaSpeed 3. Morrow like the other competitors struggled to get the power down and prevent sliding through the tight corners, but managed a best lap of 1:26.20! Kudos to him for his consistence and stay just under a second ahead of his fellow MazdaSpeed 3 competitor.
Congratulations to James Won for taking 1st place in Group B with his beautiful and very fast blue Honda S2000. Won kept his blue coupe as straight as possible despite the rainy conditions forcing most cars sideways and ended with a best lap of 1:26.46 – impressive!
SRTA Round #3 Race Results
1. Alex Morrow: 2011 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 Blue – 1:26.20
2. MajesticBlue: 2008 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 Red – 1:27.81
3. SED-G: 2012 BMW 335xi Black – 1:27.84
1. James Won: 2007 Honda S2000 Blue – 1:26.46
2. Kyle Beaty: 1990 Toyota Celica Black – 1:34.26
3. Lazor: 2006 Mazda Mazda3 Blue – 1:37.60
For more information, please visit Sigma Racing Time Attack
Sigma Racing Time Attack – Round 1
Sigma Racing Time Attack – Round 2
Sigma Racing Time Attack – Round 3
Words & Photos: Giancarlo Pawelec