What is Time Attack?
Time attack (also known as Super Lap Battles) originated in Japan when the tuning media organized the event on race circuits such as the infamous Tsukuba Circuit. Unlike other timed motorsport disciplines, the time attack car is required to start off under full rolling start conditions following a warm-up lap where they will have to accelerate out as fast as possible to determine how fast they enter their timed lap. It is the driver against the course, one on one. Negotiating every turn with knife-like precision and blasting down straight-aways to be crowned the king of the course, owner of the fastest lap.
The rules of Japanese time attack are not very concrete but they form the foundation for every series across the globe. Street-based tuner cars are allowed to run and they should retain the passenger compartment (floor pan, firewall, chassis pillars).
Super Lap Battle USA February 16-17, 2019
The February 16-17, 2019 SLB COTA is the foundation. The first step in creating a major international time attack challenge. Where the best from Australia, Asia, and Europe come to battle the best of North America! The ultimate time attack challenge. Racing against the clock at COTA Austin. Texas. The Ultimate Time Attack Challenge.
Featuring a Lone Star Drift demo, Rally Ready demo, World Challenge TC America Open Test, and Car Show. Don’t miss it.
Car Show parking in the Main Paddock at Circuit of the America's for $20! Includes both Saturday and Sunday. Each car show entry receives a red SLB USA wristband and you choice of a SLB USA Lanyard or Keychain Tag. $5 from each car show registration is going to the Fletch & Co. Dog Rescue in Austin.
Load in 10am - 11am both days
Car Show Hours 11am - 5pm both days
(participators are not required to stay for duration of show)
Getting to COTA
Circuit of The Americas or COTA for short is conveniently located about 5 mins south-east of the Austin–Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, TX. And only about 15 miles from downtown Austin. A easy drive or a short Uber ride from famous 6th street.
Directions to Individual Parking Lots
Parking Lots (E, F, G, H, K) - Directions: Take SH130 to Pearce Ln. Exit at Pearce Ln. and travel east to Kellam Rd. Turn right on Kellam Rd. and travel south to COTA Blvd.
Parking Lots (A, B, C, D) - Directions: Take SH130 to FM 812. Exit at FM 812 and travel east to COTA Blvd.
Parking Lot (T) - Directions: Take SH130 (from Austin/San Antonio/Dallas) or SH71 (from Houston/Bastrop) to SH21. Take SH21 to exit FM812 and travel west on FM812 5.5 miles to Lot T. During peak periods, alternative access to/from COTA via SH21 may result in the fastest travel time.
Parking Lots (L, M, N) - Directions: Take SH71 to Wolf Ln. Travel south on Wolf Ln for 3.5 miles to Fagerquist Rd. Turn right at Fagerquist Rd. Travel west on Fagerquist Rd for 3 miles to Elroy Rd. Turn left on Elroy Rd. and travel south to Lots L, M, or N. During peak periods, alternative access to/from COTA via SH21 may result in the fastest travel time.
Time Attack History
There is no doubt that the dawn of time attack, in its purest form can be traced back to the Ibaraki Prefecture in the northeastern part of Japan’s Kanto region; more specifically the rather non-descript 1.27-mile Tsukuba circuit. While no one will argue where time attack originated the concept of when is a bit less concrete. According to Mike Garrett of Speedhunters the very first time attack was the Rev Speed magazine “Tsukuba Super Battle” held in May of 1994. We tend to agree with Mike’s timeline given that he’s proven to be a rather credible resource for the JDM tuner scene over the years and also because we couldn’t find any other information on time attack’s birth date (Congratulations, Mike, we hereby decree you as time attack’s custodian of records!).
According to one of Mike’s Speedhunters posts the Mine’s R32 GT-R won that first event with a 1:00.85 lap time no doubt driven by Eiji “Tarzan” Yamada given the close relationship he has with Mine’s big boss Michizo Niikura.
Over the years Japan’s top manufacturers and tuners became obsessed with setting a fast time at Tsukuba. The track quickly established itself as a benchmark for tuning supremacy with everyone from small shops to large parts makers looking at Tsukuba as a race-on-Sunday-sell-on-Monday proposition. Video Option and others organized select invite-only made-for-media affairs but Rev Speed magazine’s annual event stood as the must-attend time attack each year.
In 2001 HKS unleashed its Track Attack Altezza upon Tsukuba. The once unassuming Toyota sedan was code named TRB-01 (Tsukuba Record Breaker Version 1.0) and it was a carbon-fiber widebodied, cantilever-suspended beast that was more Super GT machine than time attacker. The car ran a 55.8 Tsukuba lap time shattering the old record by some two ticks with Super GT super ace Akira Iida sawing at the wheel.
But the JDM tuner community felt this car was too far removed from time attack’s humble roots and the car was stricken from the recognized Tsukuba record books with all the subtlety of an angry torch-wielding mob (albeit a most cool, collected and respectful Japanese mob). HKS would later return with a “milder” CT9A Mitsubishi Evo christened TRB-02. After a particularly violent off at Tsukuba the car would return in a red foil livery and a new CT230R name. In 2007 Nobuteru “NOB” Taniguchi would eventually top the Tsukuba charts with a 53.589 lap time – a record that still stands today.
This brings us to the rules of Japanese time attack, which is to say, there are no rules (much like Fight Club but with boost pressure in place of bare knuckles). Street-based tuner cars are allowed to run and they should retain the passenger compartment (floorpan, firewall, chassis pillars) and be fitted with street-certified tires with a tread pattern that covers 66 percent of the contact patch. Since the events are invite-only each car is inspected individually and deemed worthy by a panel of the event staff.
As the Japanese tuners were content to slug it out on their isolated island nation plans were afoot in the US as Super Street and the now-defunct Sport Compact Car magazines conspired to present their own stateside time attack as a media event in the same vein as Rev Speed’s Tsukuba Super Battle. Buttonwillow Raceway Park was chosen for its proximity to the center of North America’s tunerverse, otherwise known as Southern California. In April 2004 Tarzan won the very first US time attack with a 1:53.021 lap in the Signal Auto R34 GT-R.
In November of that same year Super Street returned to Buttonwillow with sister publication eurotuner for another time attack. It wasn’t until 2005 that Modified magazine backed the first Redline Time Attack at Nevada’s Spring Mountain Motorsports Park. Not surprisingly Tarzan won this event with a 2:32 lap in the XS Engineering R32 GT-R. Redline would later announce a national schedule while Super Street focused on the one major event at Buttonwillow with a series of smaller qualifying events sanctioned by the National Auto Sport Association. The same publishing company that owned Super Street would later acquire Modified magazine and this event would be rebranded as the Source Interlink Media Super Lap Battle.
Elsewhere the sport of time attack was introduced to the UK in 2005 where it continues to today within the seven-round Time Attack Series. In terms of rules each of these sanctioning bodies adhere to the same basic tenets that were established in Japan. In 2010 the UK Time Attack Series required that all cars run on a spec Toyo tire however the series looks to be sponsored by Pirelli for 2011 but we have no word as to whether the teams will run the Italian tires this year. The SIM Super Lap Battle requires its tires to have DOT-certification and a minimum UTQG rating while Redline allows for purpose-built motorsport slicks.
In May of 2010 Super Lap Australia made its presence known on the international time attack map with its World Time Attack Challenge at Eastern Creek Raceway near Sydney. This was the first event outside of Japan or the US that attracted the top cars from both of these countries. Teams such as Cyber Evo, Sierra Sierra Enterprises, Tomei/Cusco, Pan Speed and R-Magic were invited to run in front of 10,000-plus screaming Aussies. Once again, it was Tarzan (we’re sensing a pattern here) who would take the record with a 1:30.587 in the CT9A Cyber Evo.
The WTAC somewhat follows the traditional Japanese time attack guidelines even down to the 66 percent tread pattern rule. And for the 2011 event, scheduled for August, the Cyber Evo will return to defend along with the Sierra Sierra Evo and the GST Impreza and Scorch S15 will travel down under for this event. The Garage Revolution RX-7, the most controversial time attack machine since the HKS Altezza will also make the trip to Eastern Creek.