Garth Walden will chase his fourth Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge victory, when he lines up in the newly-built Tilton Racing Mitsubishi Evo IX at Sydney Motorsport Park this weekend.
The Evo, built over the last three months by the GWR Australia and TM Automotive crew, shares many components and design elements with the previous Tilton Evo, which Walden drove to victory in 2013, ’14 and ’15.
The fresh build has enabled the team to introduce some subtle improvements, which Walden believes will lead to an improvement in lap times.
“The driveline is pretty much the same as the previous car, but we’ve made some subtle improvements to the aero and engine power,” Walden said.
“The biggest difference is the chassis – we’ve used a tube frame for this car, which saves a fair bit of weight compared to the previous standard Evo chassis.
“The build was fast-tracked, and all the boys at GWR and TM Automotive have done an amazing job to complete the project in only three months.”
For the first time, this year’s WTAC regulations allow different drivers to cross-enter in the same car; as a result, Walden will steer in the Pro Class, while Kosta Pohorukov will take to the wheel in the Pro-Am Class.
“Kosta was very fast last year, and ended up winning the Pro-Am Class; we’d love to see him do the same this year,” Walden said.
“The goal with this car was to build something that Kosta would enjoy driving, and I’m sure he’ll love it.”
Unlike circuit racing, the whole philosophy of time attack is recording the fastest time over a single flying lap. As a result, longevity is less important than other forms of motorsport, but Walden says it’s still a factor.
“Because these cars are so highly-tuned, it is a challenge to get them to complete one flying lap at full boost,” he said.
“Because our car will be running in two separate classes, it will be doing twice as much mileage as most other cars, so we do need it to be reliable.”
Walden said the thrills provided by Time Attack cars are simply unique.
“When you’re at full noise through Turn 1 at SMP, you can feel the aero hugging you to the road and the tyres are allowing you to generate an insane amount of lateral G-force, it’s a feeling you don’t experience anywhere else.
“These are the coolest cars to drive in the world.”
Official competition for WTAC 2019 will be held tomorrow and Saturday.