At the Super Street Time Attack held at Buttonwillow California, I found myself asking one thing: what makes a true time attack car? Not so much what makes the car fast, but more along the lines of what kind of car is considered a true time attack competitor. More than that, I thought about what makes certain cars acceptable in certain genres of motor sports in general.
With the entrance of a high budget, full blown, Porsche Cup Car from GMG, I got to thinking about how this car was entered into a sport typically dominated by Japanese performance cars. The car, whose daily grind consists of running in the World Challenge GT series, was blistering fast as it posted the fastest time of the day, beating out XS engineering's monster R32 Skyline GTR by 2 hundredths of a second. Should full blown race cars compete in events like this? I see time attack events much like I see drift events - grass roots. Most cars are privately owned or built by small tuning shops with budgets no where near that of full financially backed race cars.
Even though this car was ridiculously fast on the track, it's not like the event was a blow out either. the XS R32 ran on its low boost setting (some couple hundred horse power less than what its capable of) and came up 2 hundredths of a second short. The Zerosports Impreza was also nipping at their heels, so its not to say there was no competition. It would have been interesting to see what another session of racing could have had in store.
Competition definitely pushes things to another level, but personally, I see this in the same way as a Ferrari entering Sport Compact Car's Ultimate Street Car Challenge a couple years back. Sure it’s fair and by the rules, but does it stay true to what the event is all about? What’s next, Vipers and Mustangs drifting and running Togue? Oh wait...
Here's my question: Is bringing a cup car to a grass roots type event like having Barry Bonds come play on your company's slow-pitch softball team? Should we try and keep certain scenes true to their roots, or should all forms of motor sports be wide open, constantly raising the bar?
What does everyone else think?