Nothing quite comes close to the excitement of prepping a racecar for your biggest event of the year! For us, the Global Time Attack/Formula Drift event at Road Atlanta is probably our favorite big event that we are scheduled to attend. There are numerous big name shops that come from all over the country (some even come from Canada and Mexico) to display their amazing time attack machines, hundreds of vendors with colorful tents and banners showing off their products, and thousands of on-lookers who are excited to get a first hand look at some of the greatest drivers, time attack cars, and drift machines in the country.
We had the opportunity to attend this event for the first time last year in our first Focus ST (2015 Performance Blue), in fact it was our first time attack event ever. It was shortly after this event that we knew time attack was what we really loved. We decided that we wanted to build a car specifically for these events and not have to make any compromises...this is where the #TimeAttackFoST comes in! It took nearly a year and many shakedown track days to get her to a competitive level...just in time for the GTA event! This event was the first time that the Time Attack FoST had an opportunity to really show the world what she is capable of, and we were not disappointed!
Thursday - Practice Sessions
Heading out for practice sessions was quite nerve wracking, considering the car had all new aero (version 1 failed at a shakedown event the weekend before) and some changes to try to fix the boost issue that has been plaguing us since installing the new turbo. We were just hoping that everything would hold together for this event! Brian tends to have a way of making sure he runs his best times during sessions that don't count towards final results, and this event was no different (or so we thought by the end of day 1)! He ran a new personal best of 1:39 on just the 3rd or 4th lap out! At this point we knew the TA FoST may actually be a contender in the future for limited FWD with some more development, tweaking, and seat time!
Friday - Day 1 Competition
If you are unfamiliar with time attack, competition consists of 3 fifteen minute sessions on track throughout the day to give competitors a chance to achieve their best timed lap. Unfortunately we couldn't string together a lap faster than our practice session time on day 1 due to the reoccurring boost issue. We came in from session 1 with a 1:43:3 and took the time between sessions to try to diagnose why the car isn't hitting the target boost levels (we found a crimped boost line and just knew that was going to fix it!) Session 2 didn't last very long as we quickly discovered that we forgot to hook the boost controller back up to the car! Session 3 ended with a 1:40:4 and sadly no resolution to the boost issue (which puts us down about 100whp from the 420-450whp that the car is capable of)! At this point we were currently sitting in 3rd place with the Team Battle Ready civic hot on our tails.
A positive note from day 1 is that we had to opportunity to meet Matt from Fortune Auto, who actually helped build our one-off FA 510 coilovers for the FoST! He was awesome and helped us to really dial in the coilovers for our setup!
Saturday - Day 2 Competition
Day 2 started off a bit soggy after it rained overnight, so we weren't quite sure if we would have the opportunity to make up the time that we were missing from day 1. Session 1 caught us all by surprise as Brian was able to turn out an impressive 1:38:1 in just a few short laps on a damp cold track! Not only that, but he consistently ran in the 1:38's and was getting in the groove with the car! Session 2 was even better, with our final time of 1:37:6, less than a second off of the 2nd place position (or so we thought, until we found out 2nd place improved their time this session as well!) We went into session 3 with the intent to pick up some more time and run the 2nd place team out of their position. Unfortunately, this didn't get to happen as most of the session was black flagged due to a car that went of in turn 1. After the track was cleaned off and the green flag went back up, Brian had 1 or 2 more laps to try to improve his time, so a fast lap was in order...sadly there was still gravel on the track in turn 1 and Brian slid off track to end his session.
Although we were battling boost issues throughout the event, we were very excited to come back Saturday with a solid 1:37 lap time to secure a 3rd place podium finish!