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Plenty of Upsets and Surprises at Halfway Point in Redline Time Attack Season

David Martinez’s Indotech Miata

David Martinez’s Indotech Miata under a dramatic high desert sky

Originating on the race tracks of Japan, Time Attack is a motorsport where drivers compete against the clock, and except under special circumstances, they are not in competition fender-to-fender with other cars. To win, the driver must negotiate the racing circuit in the lowest possible time.

One of the top organizations for this sport in the US is Redline Time Attack, which hosts eight events across Southern and Central California. A Redline Time Attack weekend consists of two day events in which drivers progress throughout the day in four scheduled Time Attack sessions. Presented at the end of the weekend are both class awards as well as the prestigious award to the driver with fastest lap time for the entire event (regardless of class).

At the end of the weekend the five fastest vehicles in each class are invited to compete in a one-lap Super Session sprint race for extra championship points and an additional opportunity to lower their best time of the weekend.

Cars are broken into classes, based upon the level of modification. From mild to wild are Enthusiast Class, where modifications are severely limited and the car must be street-legal and driven to the event site, Street Class, which allows a great many more modifications, but must compete on tires with the UTQG Treadwear Rating of at least 160, the Modified Class, which are similar in construction to a Touring car, but more powerful, and can compete on DOT-R tire types, and the (almost) anything goes Unlimited Class, whose list of allowable modifications would make your head spin.

Damyan Tuchenishki in his Subaru STI

Enthusiasts’ Class point leader Damyan Tuchenishki in his Subaru STI

In each class, with the exception of Unlimited, there are sub-classes for FWD, RWD, and AWD. But there’s even a clause in the rules that allow cars to be converted from one configuration to another. For example, in Modified an AWD Subaru can be converted to RWD, but then must run in the RWD category.

So we’re here at the midpoint of the season. Four events are in the record books and four are still to come.

In the Enthusiast Class Damyan Tuchenishki has a perfect record of four events and four wins, earning 120 out of a possible 120 points available. Not only does Damyan lead the AWD division of the Enthusiast Class in his Subaru STI but he has the highest score of all competitors in the category. His closest competitor is Ryan Tanag with his BMW M3 in the RWD category, just ten points behind Damyan going into the most recent event at Buttonwillow. Ryan finished third, but missed first by only by an incredible 0.040 seconds. We’ll have to see how the Enthusiast Class battle shapes up in the second half of the season between these competitors.

Mark Jager at Buttonwillow

Overall and Modified Class Mark Jager winner at the most recent event at Buttonwillow

Turning to the Street Class, it’s the STIs and the EVOs that you’d be expecting at the top of the score sheet. Instead it’s Jack Thomas in his Fiat 500 Abarth in the FWD category. After three wins in a row at the opening of the season, Thomas finished third to his two rivals at Buttonwillow, Duane Bada and Ryan Canstantino at the fourth event. However the Abarth driver still maintains his points lead across all of the Street Class. The remainder of the season will determine if the Abarth is indeed the little car that could.

AEM-backed driver Mark Jager took a stunning win at Buttonwillow, grabbing the Modified points lead. Not only did he set the fastest time of the day in the Modified Class, he set the overall fastest time of the day period.

Finally, the Modified Class is being led by David Martinez, a former Marine, driving a heavily-modified (Just how modified? It has an S2000 engine under the hood) Mazda Miata prepared by Indotech Motorsports.

In the first half of the 2016 season, we’ve seen some results that might have been expected as well as some results that came as a complete surprise. We’re expecting even more and better for the second half of the season. Stay tuned!

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