Everybody else buys concert tickets and travels interstate to see their favourite artist… Car people buy tickets to World Time Attack Challenge and travel to Sydney. The annual event attracts thousands of car lovers from all corners of the globe for what we would have to say is the ultimate motorsport festival. It’s just one of those experiences you can’t miss out on, and this is why.
When I first saw the details about WTAC 2017 earlier this year, only one thought really comes to mind; “YOLO”. Forgive me for sounding like a pre-teen at a Bieber concert, but that’s legitimately what ran through my mind when I first laid my eyes on the fact that some of the most iconic drivers and cars from the world of motorsport were going to be in one place alongside what could possibly be one of the greatest annual show & shine events in the country. I had no idea where I was going to stay, I had no idea how I was going to get there, but goddamn I was going to get my ass to Sydney in October to be part of the livery. Naturally I was already late to the bandwagon; many of those in Adelaide’s car community had already committed to the trip months prior, following the conclusion of the (largely successful) 2016 event.
The joy about WTAC is that everybody sees the event in a different perspective, and attend for different reasons. There are the pure-bred motorsport fanatics; up-to-date with the name, car, date of birth and probably residential address of every driver. There’s the show ponies (not that there’s anything wrong with that); showcasing their rides among the best of the best in thelowdown.com’s ‘Stylized’ show & shine.
There’s also those who aren’t there for anything in particular; purely to bask in the E85-scented atmosphere which could quite possibly be the perfect rendition of a car enthusiast’s heaven. As for me; I decided to drive across the country and showcase my car and take in the atmosphere. Would I add 3000km to my odometer, stay in a dodgy roadhouse in the middle of nowhere, endure Sydney traffic jams, get lost (a lot), pay excessive road tolls, live off of questionable food and suffer from mild sleep deprivation for WTAC all over again? F**k. Yes.
As the traveling Slowlife team cruised through the gates of Sydney Motorsport Park on a sunny Friday afternoon; we were first greeted by an array of some seriously insane cars as we parked in the Stylized show and shine hosted by thelowdown.com. From the array of in excess of 400 cars; we were probably the highest car there in all honesty. It appears that the stance game is seriously strong in the eastern states, and not only that; the build quality of the cars featured left us wondering if Adelaide really was falling behind in the car modification scene.
From the (seriously) ground-breaking club display by Rarest Rose and Violent Clique (which took away the ‘Best Club Display’ trophy in the presentations that evening) to the individually-entered builds by car lovers nationwide; we were absolutely blown away by the individuality, creativity and attention to details that these cars had in the areas of both form and function.
As we exited the show and shine, we were greeted by a vast array of automotive vendors retailing a broad range of products. Performance parts, cosmetic modifications, clothing, stickers, souvenirs… If it was automotive related and worthy of your credit card bill; it was there. We won’t disclose our little shopping trip down vendor lane because the aftermath wasn’t as pretty as the items we purchased.
Most importantly though; the motorsport. Oh, the motorsport. It was nothing short of spectacular. Simply imagine the world’s best drivers and some of the most iconic cars in motorsport all packed into two days – because that’s exactly what we received. We’re not sure if catching Keiichi Tsiuchiya behind the wheel of the Hot Version 86 or getting so close to the Mazda 787B that we could smell the freshly-tracked tyres was the highlight of the event in all honesty – we were simply overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the event and all included.
The Saturday’s weather granted near-perfect track conditions, and it’s safe to say that, along with the thousands of others packed into the grandstands, were utterly blown away when Tim Slade pulled 1.20.97 out of nowhere with the MCA Hammerhead on street legal rubber. Honourable mentions can’t go astray; with Barton Mawer laying 1.21.48 and Andy Forrest and his (rather spectacular) WRX clocking 1.26.95. Combine perfect track conditions, the world’s greatest drivers and some insane cars, and these are the sort of times you can expect at WTAC (seriously though, 1.20.97 is next level).
Another reason why WTAC the ultimate event is owed to the many names and faces we met across the way. Motorsport, vendors and showcasing aside; the one thing that we found most memorable was meeting so many interstate car lovers who share the same passion as we do. To speak to so many about their builds and how they came about was somewhat inspiring, and left us feeling determined to begin planning the next stage of our own builds.
The friends we made along the way would definitely be the highlight of the trip, and we leave you with this: If you’ve ever considered heading to WTAC, even for just a split second – do it. Don’t hesitate; just buy your tickets, hop in your car/jump on a plane and get your ass to Sydney for next years’ event. We’ll see you there.
Images: Rapture Media