Super Lap Battle 2023, America’s Ultimate Time Attack Challenge Recap
Time Attack, Wheel to Wheel racing, Drifting, and over 300+ show car with so many high-octane activities in one place Super Lap Battle (SLB) 2023 at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) was the event to attend for any automotive enthusiast.
It was a weekend full of adrenaline and excitement. The 70+ time attack competitors had their hands full with the challenging track layout of COTA. But Jackie Ding was able to set a new Street Class record with a time of 02:13.870.
Enthusiast class would see Jonathan Wheeler reset the record with fast lap of 02:26.800. Eric Fleming also set a new Limited Class record with a time of 02:12.217 in his Corvette. The fastest lap overall for the weekend would go to Cameron Lawrence and Rafael Martinez inPro/Comp in their Mclaren 720 GT3x with a 02:00.803.
In Unlimited we would see Feras Qartoumy and Cole Powelson battling it out for the top spot but in the end, Feras would take home the win resetting his previous record of 02:03.974 with a new time of 02:03.850. However Cole did not leave empty-handed, his fastest lap of the weekend a 02:05.447 was enough to take home 2nd in unlimited as well as set a new unlimited AWD record at SLB.
The Grid Life Touring Cup (GLTC) also provided plenty of excitement, with 3 races over 2 days. Race 2 on Saturday had one of the most dramatic finishes of the weekend.
On the final lap, Luke McGrew, following James Houghton, went off in turn 7 with a mechanical issue. Smoke could be seen coming from the left rear of James’s TSX, and after leaving the turn 11 hairpin, the wheel and hub broke off James’s car bouncing down the back straight. James, now with only three wheels continued down the straight. As Jeremy Swenson finished the race in 1st, the cameras cut back to James’s car, sparking through the carousel. Michael Hillo in his Nissan 350z drove up the outside of the now 3-wheeled TSX in the final corner and raced door to door with James to the finish line but lost in a photo finish for 13th place.
After calculating all the points from qualifying and races, Jeremy Swenson in his Corvette was declared the winner of the weekend, followed by Eric Kutil and Luke McGrew who would round out the field for GLTC.
The Lone Star Drift Demo and Ride Along in the upper paddock was an impressive display of skill and car control. As over 30 drift cars slid around and gave a ride to anyone with enough guts to get in the passenger seat. Both Fans and drivers alike enjoyed a thrilling show that included some of the best amateur and professional drifters in the country
And in the lower paddock behind the garages, the Just Vibes car show was taking place with everything from imports to classic muscle cars, and even some lowriders.
Cars from all over the greater Austin area were out. The car show was highlighted by a performance by up-and-coming Hip Hop artist GraFik.
Super Lap Battle 2023 at Circuit of the Americas was one of the most exciting events of the year. Both fans and drivers alike will be talking about the event for years to come. With some of the best drivers in the world competing and setting some of the fastest lap times ever seen at the track, it was a weekend that no one will soon forget.
Matthew Viramontes writer/photographer