Mawer breaks records in 2023 World Time Attack Challenge win

Tuesday 05 September, 2023
Photos: World Time Attack Challenge
Barton Mawer has claimed the outright win at this year’s Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge (WTAC), delivering a record-breaking performance and catapulting the competition into a new time bracket with his fourth consecutive victory. 
The 2023 event saw more than 100 competitors head to Sydney Motorsport Park, with drivers from Australia, Japan and the USA competing across the event’s five classes. 
Despite the international excellency that has come to be associated with the Time Attack in recent years, it was Australian Mawer who finished on top, taking home the outright win after a victorious run in the Emtron Pro class.
Breaking his own lap record of 1:19.277 from 2019 by nearly one and a half seconds on day one, Mawer returned to the track on day two to once again best his own record with a lap time of 1:17.860, taking the WTAC into the previously uncharted 1.17 bracket for the first time.

Finishing three seconds behind him was two-time Time Attack winner Tim Slade, who made up for this miss with a win in the GCG Turbochargers Open Class.
The class win was a much-needed comeback for the Supercars star, whose run ended prematurely due to engine issues in 2022. 

Engine changes on his R32 Skyline allowed for improved driveability this time around, helping Slade finish with a time of 1:25.9260. 

Also battling mechanical issues was GCG class runner-up Nathan Morcom, who required an engine replacement on Friday night before breaking a driveshaft first thing Saturday morning. 
But this didn’t stop Morcom from finishing the weekend second in his class, locking down a gap of less than two seconds away from the two-time champion. 
Australians also took out top honours in the Haltech Clubsprint class, with New South Welshman Trent Grubel finishing on top. 

Grubel’s win came after the driver broke the class lap record twice, beating Jamal Asaad’s 2022 record with 1:33.493 on Friday, before resetting the record on Saturday with a time of 1:32.919 that broke the class into a new time bracket.
However, Asaad didn’t stray far from his 2022 glory, finishing less than two seconds behind Grubel and securing his fastest time of the weekend on his first lap, before a wall collision saw him out of the event after just six laps. 
It was American driver Feras Qartomy who put an end to Australia’s dominance in the class, as he narrowly beat Australian Richard Perini by half a second to win the Plazmaman Pro-Am Class. The Texan’s win saw him overcome a broken second gear to deliver a stellar WTAC debut, uncontested by any of the class’s former champions.

American content creator Jeremiah ‘Jerry’ Burton of Donut Media also had his WTAC debut in the Pro-Am class, impressing his eight million YouTube subscribers with a tenth-place finish. 
Ryan Tuerck took home the win for the Demo class as the sole competitor, while Luke Veersma and Matt Harvey wowed the big crowd in the 2023 International Drifting Cup that followed the Time Attack, with Veersma securing the win after a high-speed battle between the two. 
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