After missing the second round of Nulon Nationals, round three held July 23 at Sydney Motorsport Park, was shaping up to be a stonker. As we’re into serious time attack machines, we were delighted to find out that in attendance were some very serious cars. Andrew Hawkins of Motive DVD announced JET200 would make it down, and so did PMQ, Pulse Racing and the BYP Racing crowd. It was safe to say, we were extremely excited, and besides, we’ve never photographed at Sydney Motorsport Park before.
Arriving before 7am most certainly has its perks. Fuzzy-eyed competitors had started to unload trailers, shout for coffee, and attend drivers briefing. This gave us an excellent chance to grab some shots during the morning’s golden hour, hang out with the friendly scrutineers, and talk race cars — our favourite subject.
What was disappointing, was seeing drivers roll their cars into the scrutineering shed, only to be told they wouldn’t be racing today due to a missed component, out-of-date fire extinguisher, or expired helmet.
Devastating yes, but much better than to see a car up in flames at the other end of the circuit that is unable to be extinguished. Being a scrutineer truly is an admirable motorsport role.
With drivers briefing out of the way, engines were fired, tyres warmed, and pit lane began to fill out like a game of Connect Four. That was indeed our queue. They call it sprint racing for a reason — there I was sprinting to the top of the hill above the entrance tunnel, to catch the action. What amazes me about this circuit is its ease of access. You can be at any given corner within minutes, if you sprint of course.
With group one out on track, I was ecstatic to see such a variety in the field of competitors. Everything from mid-’90s Evos to classic hand-rolled aluminium Ford GT40s… What a mix! What a sight seeing a classic supercar tussle with a modern one — I doubt I’ll see that ever again.
Group two seemed to have much more pace than group one, and it was at this point I realised that they’re grouped by lap times. Clever right? Andrew Hawkins in the JET200 Silvia told us his S14 was only running low boost, at around 18psi making 340kW. You certainly couldn’t tell, though, as the SR20DET sounded extremely pissed off, hooking through gears up and over the crest. A new front-end splitter had said to have reduced drag a little too, so we’ll be curious to see what lap times were like.
In group three, the pace quickened yet again. There was more boost, more rotors, and many more cylinders. The Pulse Racing Evolution, with its gigantic three-storey rear wing, sounded as though it was in complete competition mode. I wasn’t complaining, but rather enjoyed up the sound of the highly-strung 4G63 engine. I’ll have a much closer look at this Evo in an upcoming feature.
I really was amazed at how many Mitsubishi Evos there were out on track. All colours, all models, and to all extents of modification. Full aero, factory aero, you name it, it was there. Our favourite, besides the PMQ example, was this white late model Evo. It had the right wheels, flares, and wing to appear as the ultimate StreetttackR machine!
Standing near turn three and four had its perks around 11am, as the drifting demo took off and I was already in the right spot to shoot it. However, as this is a time attack website, we’ll only post one cheeky shot... sorry, not sorry.
During scrutineering during the earlier hours of the morning, we stumbled upon this bulldog-looking Mitsubishi Mirage. Under the bonnet, a 300kW powerhouse drives all four wheels. A responsive, yet potent package according to the owner. I just can't get over those rear wing diffuser plates, very unique!
Hawk-eye Subaru WRXs usually aren’t my first pick, however, this example was wearing extensive battle armour and had a boxer-bark that sung the song of its people out on track. Being a team affair, there was another blue Subaru WRX GC8 out on track too. Time attack teams are the best teams!
As my photos are downloading from my memory card, I just thought I would throw together a quick preview post for everyone that couldn’t make it today. There’s so much more to come from this event including spotlight features, more event coverage, and driver profiles, so keep your eyes peeled! Well done Nulon, you’ve done a great job bringing the automotive community closer together. A well-rounded event with circuit racing, drifting, a car show, and a skid pan day — bravo!