TimeattackR.com: Hey Andy, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. You must be excited for the next World Time Attack Challenge?
Andy Duffin: We always look forward to this event — it’s become huge! Ian Baker and his team put on a great spectacle. The chance to take your car overseas and race on such a challenging track like Sydney Motorsport Park in front of a big crowd is something not to be missed. This event and Leadfoot are the 'can’t miss' events of the motorsport calendar in my opinion.
When was the first time you attended WTAC, and what was the spec of your RX-7, and what times were you running around Sydney Motorsport Park?
We first attended WTAC in 2015. We ran the Green Brothers Racing 20b PP in N/A spec just as we ran it in GT2 here in New Zealand. We did significantly upgrade the aero after David Higgins got involved and performed his magic! We got down to a 1.32.7-second lap which was ok after trying to learn the track and the semi slick tyres.
Compared with last year, what are the major technical and aero changes made to the Mazda, especially after the unfortunate run in with that very sturdy tree at the Leadfoot Festival?
That bloody tree!!!! Unfortunately, repairing the car took priority over any major upgrades this time. David Higgins changed the front splitter design to give us more front grip as we were lacking turn-in at speed.
How have you found the nitrous oxide during your dyno tuning and limited track time? Will the extra power this year give you the extra boost you're after?
Richard Green has been working really hard to get the nitrous delivery cleaner to improve the drivability. We did not have a great run with testing due to a few issues and weather affecting our time on track. Richard is confident that we will have a better package this year. Power has come up a little but it wasn’t the focus this year.
Will you ever look into a turbine or belt driven form of forced induction?
It just wouldn’t be the same! The car has always been designed around being N/A and to change it now would be a lot of work. And we’d lose that 20b scream….!
Time wise, have you set yourself a benchmark for this year's event?
We know the competition has stepped up this year, as it always does. It will take a 1.29.0 or faster this year to win. So that’s what we are aiming at! I think the car is capable, we just have to get it all together.
How much seat time have you had in New Zealand on the new setup, and will you get much testing in at Sydney prior to the event?
Not enough is the honest answer. We have just had a bad run in the lead up this year. We will run the car on the Thursday practice day and that should blow out the cobwebs! Especially turning into turn 1 at 265km/h without braking!
Come race day, how do you prepare yourself? Do you have any pre race rituals?
I try to stay relaxed. My crew is great at keeping me level and joking me along. Funnily enough, I probably drive better when I’m angry so maybe I’ll get someone to piss me off this year!
What feelings do you go through when you're out in an attack lap? Are you frustrated at minor errors, pumped on adrenalin, or too busy taming the car to notice? It must be difficult trying to get that one perfect lap!
It's incredibly hard to put the pressure aside. I just try and remember the lines for every corner. I talk to myself a lot during the lap, sometimes not in a nice way! It probably made me a better driver as it's something that I was pretty weak at before. It's about being aggressive but not over the top.
There's no denying the triple rotor sounds incredible, but do you think there's a better sounding engine out there?
I think it sounds pretty cool. But I’m biased! Anything that is doing the business sounds good on track sounds good I reckon.
Will this be your last WTAC event, or are you hooked for good?
I love this event and I’ll keep turning up as long as we can. I would love to take home the trophy!
Are there any other international time attack events that are on your bucket list?
I would love to go up to Tsukuba in Japan. It’s the bench mark track for Time Attack in the world. But I would love to drive anywhere, Time Attack is becoming a global sport.
Who's your biggest friendly (or not so) rival at WTAC?
All the guys in Open Class at WTAC were great, we got to meet a lot of new guys and make some new friends. I guess beating the other rotaries is always the first battle!
If you could drive any car that has been announced at this year's WTAC, what would it be and why?
Easy! THE 767B! Who wouldn’t give their left nut to drive such an iconic piece of motorsport history! And it's got a 4 rotor!
Have you picked up any new sponsors this year?
APR Performance has come on board this year. It has been great to add them to my loyal sponsors that have been with me forever. A massive shout out goes to LINK ECU’s as we wouldn’t have made it this year without their help and support. We have a new livery on the car, but you’ll have to wait for the unveiling at WTAC!
Tell us the sponsors involved in the project.
- LINK EUC’s
- Fortune Auto
- APR Performance
- Endless Brakes NZ
- Green Brothers Racing
- Kinetic Sim
- Riverlea Panel and Paint
- Prosport Auto
- AdrenalinR Mufflers
Let us know who you'd like to thank, we'd love to give them a mention!
- Rob at LINK ECUs, Richard and Chris Green, David Higgins, Tim Dorset, Jason Gibbs, Brett Killip, Dave ‘Ferg” Ferguson, Andrew Burns, Lindsay Gate, Nick Staples and my loving and supportive family,