The 2018 running of the Super Lap Battle was certainly one to remember, just not for the right reasons by other media. While everyone wants to talk about the Tesla disqualification, the bigger news was Can-Jam Motorsports and Richard Boake taking the Unlimited AWD record – one that stood for nearly four years.
First, I must disclose that I once worked as the announcer for Super Lap Battle (SLB) and a few other events for Global Time Attack (GTA) Pro Series. SLB is the final round of the Pro season and books ends a very important year for GTA. The year before, there were only two Pro rounds: Road Atlanta and SLB. This year, however, consisted of three rounds: Road Atlanta, New Jersey Motorsports Park, and Buttonwillow Raceway Park – the home of SLB. For US Time Attack, this is “the big one,” and its history reaches back to 2004.
- What Is Super Lap Battle?
- The Tesla Controversy
- Oh, Canada
- The Results
- Final Thoughts and Subscribe!
What Is Super Lap Battle?
This event was the US’ version of the Hyper Rev Super Battle, a time attack event that took place on Tsukuba Circuit in Shimotsuma, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. In those early years of SLB, teams from Japan made their way over to break records on Buttonwillow’s Clockwise 13 configuration. Today, I don’t see the big teams from Japan and from its JDM roots, domestics have begun to run against the likes of Honda, Toyota, BMW, and Subaru. While the USDM contingent isn’t as large as the Japanese makes, US cars continue to increase in numbers as track performance interest grows between Chevy and Ford’s pony cars.
The Tesla Controversy
Let’s get this out of the way first because “Teslagate” really isn’t what it’s blown up to be. Mountainpass Performance brought out a Model 3 with the recently launched “Track Mode” and used SLB as a test event for it. The car, driven by Cameron Rodgers, itself is modified with a better suspension, a prototype stability control defeat device, 255mm Michelin PS4S tires on 18×9.5 wheels, and a datalogger from MoTec. Other than that, it was a stock Model 3.
For what it was, the Model 3 did very well in the class it was entered in, Enthusiast AWD, setting a best recorded time of 2:00.078. First time with the car with new parts and a new, more powerful, and untested mode, that’s good. It would have been enough for second place for Enthusiasts AWD class. However, it was disqualified due to a competitor saying it wasn’t legal per rule B. 2: “Only unleaded gasoline or Diesel may be used as fuel. No Ethanol, E-85, leaded, methanol or exotic fuels allowed as the primary fuel. Water/Methanol injection is allowed in a maximum of 50% methanol mix” and B. 7: “Hybrid drive is allowed only in full OEM form with no modifications to the drive, control or battery systems.”
Yes, the Driver Knew Before the Podium
Mountainpass Performance and Cameron knew this, but how it’s being presented isn’t how we saw it go down. When it was announced, I approached Jason Dienhart, owner of GTA, about the DQ. He told me that the rule was brought up much earlier that day and was discussed through the event with Cameron. Per B. 2 and B. 7, the car was ultimately ruled illegal and was announced to him before the event was over and well before the podium. The podium “DQ” was discussed between GTA and Cameron as a tongue-in-cheek joke about “the future.” The driver knew approaching the podium that he would not receive second place. So, the big hullabaloo about being DQ’d during his celebration is not true.
Bringing About Change
However, it should be stated that there should have been a place for this car to run at SLB. Technically, there was in Unlimited AWD, but a stock car running against full prepared and full slick tire cars wouldn’t be wise. While everyone cries foul in the EV world, this is more of a good thing. GTA knows it’s lacking in support EVs in the rules. They are working to create a rule or class for the Model 3 and other EVs of similar performance or better. These guys aren’t afraid of the future, which is why they even allowed the Tesla to run in the event. It just wasn’t fully expected that someone would protest it due to it not using fuel and receiving an over-the-air update for Track Mode.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the story everyone should be talking about. That broken record for GTA’s Unlimited AWD category. Once again, it was taken by a Canadian with Richard Boake driving the Can-Jam Motorsports Prestone Subaru WRX STi.
For some reason, Canada and breaking North American time attack recors just go together. Will Au-Yeung with his Civic putting down a 1:37.308 for Unlimited FWD this year (and is the fastest door-slammer vehicle to lap CW13, among other tracks) and Chris Boersma setting two FWD records in Limited (2017) and Street (2015). Now, Richard joins them in resetting the record book with his name with his 1:38.281 for Unlimited AWD. A record that stood since 2014 with Jeff Westphal in the GST Motorsports Subaru L.
It’s not just the Unlimiteds
Anthony Cuthbert took home a new record for Enthusiast FWD in the Baby Ferrari Racing/Whiteline 2017 Honda Civic Type-R. His 1:59.475 is now the fastest Enthusiast FWD on record, which was set five years ago by Pradana Willanto in the Evasive Motorsports/CSM Acura CSX. That’s two long time records shattered for CW13 for GTA and SLB.
SLB is the final Pro round and possibly the last time attack of the 2018 season in the US. That meant drivers were going for that last bit of glory before 2019 starts up. For GTA, there are four main classes that are broken down by wheels driven. It starts with Enthusiast, Street, Limited, then Unlimited, basically slowest to fastest as Enthusiast is a bone stock class. For the results, I’ll present each class and break that down to Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD), All-Wheel Drive (AWD), and Front-Wheel Drive (FWD).
Mike Kang in the GReddy/CounterSpace Garage Subaru BRZ took home first place with a 1:56.203. Despite a moment in Cotton Corners, Chris Reber in the Rabbit Out of the Hat/Whiteline Ford Mustang GT took second with a 1:58.377. Justin Taylor in the Rockstar Garage S2000 took third with a 1:58.484.
Travis Barnes came out to run with the Snail Performance Subaru STI Type RA with class winning time of 1:59.188. Mauricio Calderon in the Oloi/Massimo Power Mitsubishi Lancer EVO finished behind him with a 2:03.822. Chris Hain in the Hain Racing Subaru Impreza WRX came in third with a 2:04.624.
Anthony Cuthbert set a record and took home the class win in his Honda Civic Type R while Nick Bright finished with a 2:04.303 in his Honda Accord Euro R. They were the only two in their class for 2018.
With 17 cars competing, this was a packed class with less than a second separating second to fourth places. However, it was Dustin Dessero in the Rockstar Garage Honda S2000 (AP1) taking home the win with a 1:50.478. Sonny Watanasirisuk in the 949 Racing Ford Mustang GT350R took second with a 1:52.182, followed closely by another Rockstar Garage S2000 driven by Chris Elders. Chris turned in a time of 1:52.703.
Street AWD was all Subaru, but surprisingly, Markos Mylonas was not the fastest. That honor went to Johnny Hernandez in the Lido Labs Subaru Impreza STI with a 1:49.237. Markos, though, wasn’t far behind with his 1:49.563 in the Snail Performance/IAG Performance WRX. Sally McNulty finished third in her Snail/IAG/Hoonigan WRX STI with a 1:53.498.
This was a Honda heavy class with only Jack Thomas/Efrain Flores in the R1 Concepts/Rally Innovations Ford Focus ST breaking the trend. However, the top three were all brand new Civic Type-Rs with the Evaisve/Titan7/Remark car driven by Steven Kronemberger taking first with a 1:54.829. Robert Walker in the Evasive Type-R finished second with a 1:55.726 and Chinchi Chian/Jason Owens finishing third in the United Speed Racing Type-R with a 1:56.802.
Limited RWD saw Ryan Passey take first in his Goodwin Racing Mazda Miata LFX with a 1:46.857. Amir Bentatou took second in the LS-swapped Motorsport Hardware BMW E36 M3 with a 1:47.277. Adam Knapik rounded off the podium with a 1:48.867 in the SP Motorsports/Savvy Porsche 911 GT3.
In Limited AWD, a familiar face came back to GTA and SLB with JC Meynet taking home the win in class. His Subaru Impreza STI finished first with a 1:47.604 while Cody Miles in the Air Lift Performance WRX STI finished second with a 1:47.836. Steven Chan took third in the RD Engineering/PIT Nissan GTR with a 1:48.210.
While a Scion tC and a Nissan Juke SV broke the Honda party, the make did take home all three spots on the podium. Michael Chang/Tim Kuo in the Evasive Motorsports Honda Civic Type-R would take the top spot with a 1:56.447 while Cory Wells/Will Drees took the WRD Racing Honda Prelude SH to second with a 1:57.741. Dai Yoshihara/Mike Chang would take the Team Dai/KW Suspension Acura Integra Type-R to third with a 2:02.490.
Pro/Comp is designed to be a class for just pure racing vehicles like GT3 and GT4 cars along with certain kit cars, too. This is normally just a trophy class with no prizes being handed out unlike the rest of the GTA classes. Elliot Skeer would take the class win in Pro/Comp with his SP Motorsports/Savvy LLC Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car with a 1:41.546. Roger Hocking in the Rabbit Out of the Hat Racing GP Roadster GP-GTR would take second with a 2:05.930. They were the only two drivers in this class.
If you wanted a fast, RWD car, it looks like you need either a Honda S2000 or a Mazda Miata. Emilio Cervantes brought home the win for the roadster fans in the Supermiata Mazda Miata with a 1:44.841. The Powermeedy Motorsports Honda S2000 driven by Rhett Panter brought home second for the S2Ks with his 1:47.405. Not to be out done, the Euros were represented by Jason Sharek in the J63 Racing Mercedes C63 AMG turning in a time of 1:50.773 to finish out the podium.
This year, Will Au-Yeung nor Chris Boersma were out to play in Unlimited FWD. However, Alex Peng in the Novak Racing Momofoolio Racing Honda Civic EK9 would take home the victory for the class with a 1:51.435. Long time Honda racer, Edo Stepanyan, came back from a back injury to take the Edo Motosports Honda CRX to second place with a 1:58.273. These guys were the only two representing the Unlimited FWD category at SLB.
Finally, this is the big one. Setting a new class record, taking the overall fastest time, and winning Unlimited AWD, Richard Boake in the Can-Jam/Prestone Subaru WRX STI clocked in a 1:38.281.
Very closely behind him was Tom O’Gorman in the Professional Awesome Racing/Fortune Auto Mitsubishi Evolution VIII, turning in a time of 1:38.454.
Not much further behind to round out the podium was Andy Smedegard in the RS Motors Mitsubishi Evolution IX with a 1:40.512.
Final Thoughts and Subscribe!
Despite the incorrect reporting by an outlet or two, the end of the 2018 Global Time Attack season and Super Lap Battle were a success and was relatively drama free. Records were broken and people went home with hardware and prizes to start preparing for the 2019 season. Some, with more preparation than others, though.
There is another Super Lap Battle setting up to become the biggest SLB ever and will be taking part at the Circuit of the Americas. This is an effort to make this event as big as Australia’s World Time Attack Series. Want to see Carbage at this brand new, big event? Then you need to subscribe as this is directly how you can support Carbage. Well, outside of sharing articles and the site with your social media outlets. You’ll also get access to exclusive content, like the MASSIVE gallery of Super Lap Battle.