Tyler McQuarrie saved the best for last in Wednesday's 2011 Super Lap Battle invitational time attack. The driver - who has been in the spotlight quite a bit lately thanks to successes (and some controversy) in Grand-Am and Formula DRIFT - posted on his Facebook page Tuesday that he was about to "wring the neck" of the FX Motorsports Development Acura NSX, and wring it he did, posting a 1:41.961 in the morning session Wednesday to come dangerously close to the standing 1:41.046 high mark set by David Empringham just last Super Lap in the Sierra-Sierra Enterprises Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII.
Nursing a bum shoulder, McQuarrie strapped in again in the afternoon for the final "Group A" session of the time attack, whipping the bejeezus out of the car and late braking to a remarkable 1:40.981. That set a new record for a production-based vehicle on the track's CW13 configuration and won the event overall - interestingly in a car that McQuarrie lost to in the 2009 Redline Time Attack event at Buttonwillow, when he was piloting the Brian Crower C-West Honda S2000 and Grand-Am pilot Billy Johnson was in the NSX.
FXMD's Acura also takes credit for breaking the streak of years when the record was held by a Lancer EVO (the platform has held the distinction since 2007).
Other records were made at SLB 2011. Chris Rado and the FWing 2.0 World Racing Scion tC reset the Unlimited FF peak with a class-leading 1.47.394 in the morning before his brand new car suffered a piston failure in session two, he reported. There were also some steering rack issues which the team will have to get sorted out before it's back in action this weekend for the Global Time Attack season finale at Infineon Raceway.
Carl Rydquist in the Berk Technology 135i led the Limited FR division with a record-breaking 1:53.221 in the first session, but it was a tight BMW battle in the class; the Plattforme AG E46 M3 was less than half a second off the pace when it clocked a 1:53.457, but could get no closer.
Sportcar Motion picked up a record when Tim Kuo drove the shop's Integra Type R to victory in Limited FF. Kuo's 1:54.789 was leagues ahead of everyone else in the class, Damien Cook's 2:02.401 in his Donkey Bop! Civic a distant second place.
Clint Boisdeau piloted the Apollo Performance Ford Focus to a Street FF-class triumph and record; his lap of 1:59.086 was three seconds better than runner-up Renzo Marsano's best in the Sportcar Motion Civic hatch.
Oscar Jackson also picked up a record in the supercharged (you've read that right) Jackson Racing Honda CR-Z. The hybrid on boost was the only car in its category and with a best orbit of 2:12.185 was actually faster than some of the Street-class racers.
In Unlimited AWD, Michael Chang drove the Evasive Motorsports EVO to its personal best 1:49.124 in session one, good enough to claim the top spot in class (and by a sizable margin). The Limited AWD group Gates311 EVO was only healthy enough for one session, but that's all it needed for Ryan Gates to lay down a 1:50.181 and win the class.
Phillip Chase made quick work of the Street AWD category, clocking a 1:57.735 early in the Kontrabrands EVO that no one could touch for the remainder of the day. Finally, Robert Walker gave Evasive its second win of the event when he aced Street FR in the shop's S2000 roadster with a time of 1:57.887 (curiously, all three on the podium in the class were convertibles, Walker's and Alex Peng's Hondas and Terry Liu's Z4 M).
Congratulations to all the winners, and our sincerest thanks to Source Interlink Media and organizers of Super Lap Battle for letting us come hang out for another year. It was a cool but spectacular day in Buttonwillow, a great day for time attack - check out the gallery to absorb a little more of the event.
2011 Super Lap Battle
Buttonwillow Raceway Park, Buttonwillow, Calif.
1. 1:40.981 - Tyler McQuarrie - FXMD Acura NSX
1. 1:49.124 Michael Chang - Evasive Motorsports Mitsubishi Lancer EVO
2. 1:55.771 Tony Szirka - UMS Tuning Mitsubishi Lancer EVO
3. 2:05.861 Tarzan Yamada - Crawford Performance Subaru Impreza WRX STI
1. 1.47.394 - Chris Rado - World Racing FWing 2 Scion tC
2. 1:59.477 - Andy Hope - Andy Hope Fan Club Honda CR-X
3. 2:05.280 - Richie Ho - APM Racing Acura RSX - Richie Ho
1. 1:50.181 - Ryan Gates - Gates311 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO
2. 2:02.953 - Travis Barnes - Snail Performance Subaru Impreza WRX STI
1. 1:53.221 - Carl Rydquist - Berk Technology 135i
2. 1:53.457 - ? - Plattforme AG BMW E46 M3
3. 1:58.487 - Dave Norton - Spec Clutch Nissan S14 240SX
1. 1:54.789 - Tim Kuo - Sportcar Motion Acura Integra Type R
2. 2:02.401 - Damien Cook - Donkey Bop! BCP Honda Civic
3. 2:02.751 - Ryan Novak - Honda Civic
1. 1:57.735 - Phillip Chase - Kontrabrands Mitsubishi Lancer EVO
2. 2:05.623 - Tony Brown - Integrated Performance/Hendricks Subaru Impreza WRX STI
3. 2:04.185 - Tony Fuentes - Mitsubishi Lancer EVO
1. 1:57.887 - Robert Walker - Evasive Honda S2000
2. 1:59.066 - Alex Peng - Novak HVAC Honda S2000
3. 2:00.388 - Terry Liu - Plattform AG BMW Z4 M Roadster
1. 1:59.086 - Clint Boisdeau - Apollo Ford Focus
2. 2:02.088 - Renzo Marsano - Sportcar Motion Honda Civic
3. 2:07.289 - Elton Lo - Raceline USA Acura Integra
2:12.185 - Oscar Jackson, Jr. - Jackson Racing Honda CR-Z