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MCA Suspension SA Time Attack: The Spectators Guide

After the 2016 SA Time Attack took home the CAMS award for Event of the Year, it’s safe to say that the team at the Mitsubishi GSR / Evo Club (MGEC) are onto a promising concept. The 2017 event sees performance suspension powerhouse and World Time Attack winners, MCA Suspension as naming sponsor. They will be making the trek down to little ol’ South Oz with local time attack fans keen to see their customised FT86 in the flesh. The “Stingray” is far from its factory floor days, running a VR38DETT from an R35 GTR, Borgwarner twin turbos, dry sump setup and a Holinger six-speed sequential gearbox.

With November 18th less than a week away, this is your guide to what you need to know about this must-see event. Last year I explained that SA Time Attack has been running for many years, but that the 2016 edition was shaping up to be the biggest one yet. I was right… if I do say so myself. CAMS thought so too.

Hosted at Mallala Motorsport Park, the MCA Suspension SA Time Attack is made up of three main components; the Come and Try, Time Attack and the Downshift Show and Shine. The Come and Try is a fantastic initiative for car enthusiasts who may be new to motorsport or a little shy to put themselves out there. Even the more experienced drivers could get some valuable tips from the seasoned instructors who volunteer their time on the day.

Made up of four sessions, it’s an opportunity to get some insight into the technical side of racing a circuit, while enjoying the thrill of taking your own car out for some fun. The small groups and like-minded participants allow for a comfortable and controlled experience on a real race track. There is still time to enter but spots are limited!

The time attack portion of the event is highly anticipated by the local motorsport community throughout the year. Hopefully you’ve caught some of the promo and read the driver profiles. The field is diverse, which makes for some interesting competition among the entrants and classes. These competitors have their cars set up for grip-style motorsport which is all about getting the best timed lap.

There is a lifestyle that is often adopted with time attack motorsport. Drivers are either chasing their own personal best or more commonly, to beat the times of others. Worlds revolve around funding and instigating modifications to gain more power and better handling. Events such as World Time Attack display the gravity of this desire on a world scale with competitors travelling from around the globe to lay down that “one perfect lap” at Sydney Motorsport Park.

With this South Australian-based event, local drivers have the opportunity to compete in their state alongside their peers. Influence, tension and ego are quite often a driving force to make a car faster and better than the competition. Due to Mallala currently being the main circuit in the state for time attack, it is where the records are held for experienced South Australian drivers. This is going to be shaken up with the opening of The Bend in 2018 but that is a subject for another time and place!

To ensure a fair playing field, the competition is organised into four classes and each class is determined by the modifications and tyres on the vehicle. The Clubsprint, Open and Pro Classes are aligned with the national regulations for time attack competition. MGEC also run a Street Class which enables vehicles with fewer modifications that still have speed and driver skill to compete with similarly-matched entrants.

The four class sponsors, Custom ImportzS & J AutomotiveDriven Motorsport and Sleeka Spares are all a significant part of the South Australian motorsport community, contributing to the culture and the local performance industry with their businesses and own personal passions for racing and modifying. You can catch all four teams out and about on Saturday so be sure to check out their garages for an insight into their world and maybe even have a chat.

Lastly, the Show and Shine, hosted by the interstate automotive lifestyle crew, Downshift, has been met with enthusiasm with entrant numbers very promising so far. This is an event within itself! While the race cars are foot flat out on the track, the hand-picked show and shine entrants will be lined along the paddock putting their best foot forward. The atmosphere and ample collection of show cars is enough to keep spectators entertained into the evening with awards up for grabs for the best on show. And I’m sure the boys will have some other crazy categories to reward.

MGEC have been busy organising this action-packed event, covering all styles and tastes of automotive culture and it truly is a day not to be missed. Dinner break entertainment will include a Custom Importz drift demo and model search for the finest young lady on the cat walk, voted by a panel of judges.

The weather is looking absolutely perfect for Saturday and admission for spectators is free. The twilight format takes racing into the evening, giving competitors a different experience with lower temperatures and lighting instead of the harsh daylight. Spectators can enjoy the sights of glowing brakes and flame popping down the straight, as well as relief from the Mallala sun.
During the event, you can catch the action from any of the grandstands or any of the areas located track-side with plenty of space to set up shade and seating. The cafeteria will be fully operational for you to get your fix of hot food and soft drinks but if you absorb anything from this guide, let it be to pack water, sunscreen and insect repellent!

Whatever you’re into, there’s something for everyone. So get cracking. Don’t forget your camera and your smile!

9am – Come and Try
3pm – Twilight Time Attack competitors will be out for their first practice session
4pm – The Downshift Show and Shine commences
7.15pm – Dinner break including drift demo
9.30pm – Trophy presentations

MCA Suspension SA Time Attack Entry and Come and Try Entry (limited spaces) is available via the CAMS website www.cams.com.au

To all the competitors, have an amazing day and smash that PB!

Journalist - Slow Life Australia

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