Tim Slade has taken out the 2017 edition of the Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge at Sydney Motorsport Park in the famed MCA Hammerhead Nissan Silvia S13.
The Queensland based driver set a 1:20.970 in the second session, and was un-beaten for the rest of the weekend, despite a late challenge from Tomohiko Suzuki in the SuperLap Shootout.
Barton Mawer was forced to withdraw his RP Porsche 968 from the event, after a driveshaft failure ended his weekend prematurely.
Mawer sat second fastest heading into session number three, courtesy of a blisteringly quick 1:21.485 in the preceding advent while chasing down Slade’s lap.
The New South Wales driver looked to better his time on his second flying lap, but slowed on the exit of Turn 8 and immediately pulled off the circuit with the declining driveshaft.
Slade and the MCA squad felt comfortable with their time, and opted to stay in the garage for the final session before the Shootout.
Suzuki managed to improve on his flier in the SuperLap session, but stayed in third behind a stagnant Mawer who grasped P2, though Slade was unable to better his previously set time.
The Supercars ace held onto the overall victory, claiming the fastest ever lap in the Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge and his second consecutive event win.
“I’m a little bit disappointed with the last run to be honest,” said Slade.
“I felt there was more in it earlier today and in the final run, we didn’t do too bad, but I will have to have a look at the data and see where we were slower.
“Big congratulations to (team owner) Murray (Coote) and everyone at MCA, they’re a pleasure to work with and just a great bunch of guys.
“Like last year, I’m just happy for all of them, I didn’t expect to win it again.
“I thought the Porsche with a year of development under their belt would come out firing, but it’s just unfortunate that they had their dramas the past two days.”
The Hammerhead Nissan is a stark contrast from Slade’s usual racing wheels; a Holden Commodore which he steers for Brad Jones Racing in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
The Gold Coast resident rates the World Time Attack weekend highly, after finishing 9th alongside André Heimgartner in the SuperCheap Auto Bathurst 1000 last weekend.
“The past few days have been good,” added Slade.
“It’s certainly different and tricky to any kind of circuit racing because the Time Attack cars have a huge amount of potential with all the grunt, but more so the aero grip.
“It’s not as though you get a half hour session to build up to it lap after lap, this car can only do one lap before the temperatures are through the roof.
“You really have to go out and have a lot of trust in the car and believe in its capabilities and take huge chunks out of it.
“It’s definitely easier this year as it’s my second year running and I knew what to expect, a few little improvements and everything ran smoothly.”
Slade now gears up for the final round of the Supercars Pirtek Enduro Cup on the streets of Surfers Paradise, a weekend that he enjoys ever year.
“I’m looking forward to the Gold Coast,” said Slade.
“It’s another home event for me, I have a few home events given where I was born, where I grew and up and where I live now are all different, so lucky in that respect.
“The circuit is good, I can sleep in my own bed and ride to the track every day, it’s an awesome weekend and I can’t wait.”
The Castrol Edge Gold Coast 600 takes place from October 20-22nd.