The Motor Sports Association has approved a proposal to bring the Time Attack Series under its auspices as the national governing body of UK motor sport – officially recognising this new type of event as an approved form of motor sport.
Originating in Japan as a way of proving the relative performance of street-tuned cars, Time Attack is a spectacular form of motor sport in which highly-powered cars on road-legal tyres compete on regular motor sport circuits.
Since the sport arrived in the UK five years ago, safety standards have continually improved and with the series growing in popularity among both competitors and a predominantly young audience of enthusiastic fans, the organisers have been working closely with the MSA to bring the sport under the umbrella of the governing body.
Time Attack events will now run under an MSA permit and adhere to all the requirements that this entails, including the appointment of MSA licensed officials, a recognised judicial process and fully trained marshalling cover. Competitors in the Pro-Series will require an MSA Race National B licence, while those participating in the grass-roots class, known as the Club Challenge, will be able to compete with a Non-Race National B licence that can be issued on the day.
While the freedom of engine specification remains at the core of Time Attack Series, vehicles will have to comply with certain MSA regulations in order to compete, including in the Pro-Series: FIA homologated seat and 5-point harness, mandatory 6-point roll cage and appropriate fire extinguisher. In both classes, drivers must wear MSA-compliant personal protection equipment.
The Championship Regulations have already been submitted to the MSA for approval and organisers have now opened registrations for the 2010 season which begins at Oulton Park on 24th April.
Colin Hilton, MSA Chief Executive:
“It is very exciting to welcome a new discipline into the family of motor sport. Time Attack is a professional, well-run series and the organisers have been extremely pro-active in terms of bringing the sport in line with the MSA’s requirements. The series is particularly popular among a new group of fans that does not perhaps engage with more traditional forms of motor sport and we look forward to working closely with the organisers as the sport continues to grow and develop.”
Andy Barnes, Co Founder and Commercial Director, Time Attack Series:
“Today is a proud moment for the aftermarket tuning industry. As Time Attack is the pinnacle competitive environment for the aftermarket, its role within the industry is more important than ever, stimulating tuners, drivers and engineering. It has been vital that we create a challenging series to compete within that also inspires the fans and spectators, as noted in the number of teams and spectators we attract to our events. That the Time Attack Series has now come under the MSA’s regulations in its own right is further evidence of our strong energetic vision to act in the best interests of not only Time Attack but motor sport in general. We are delighted to welcome the MSA to the Time Attack Series.”
Glen Horncastle, Co Founder and Operations Director, Time Attack Series:
“Since we ran the first Time Attack event at Rockingham in June 2005, the emphasis has always been on ensuring the on-track elements of the series were operated in a safe and professional manner. We have introduced elements of the MSA’s Blue Book into the series’ regulations in such a way that the competitors understand them and fully appreciate the reasoning behind them. It is vital that we recognise that the vast majority of our competitors have not come from a traditional motor sport background. Although the journey has been tough at times, to have gained MSA recognition is very rewarding and a testament to all the hard work everyone has put into the series over the past five years.”
The Motor Sports Association – www.msauk.org
The Motor Sports Association (MSA) is the national governing body for four-wheel motor sport in the UK, responsible for the regulation and administration of the sport. The MSA is a member of the world governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and holds a seat on the World Motor Sport Council. The MSA represents 33,000 licence holders, 15,000 volunteer marshals and officials, more than 750 member clubs and issues permits for 5,000 motor sport events every year.
In recent years the MSA has expanded its remit to cover the development of the sport and currently invests in excess of £1m a year in the three elements of its Whole Sport Plan. ‘Grow’ targets an increase in participation levels, ‘Sustain’ invests in the infrastructure of the sport, its clubs and its people, and ‘Excel’ focuses on training future world champions and educating their peers.
Time Attack – www.timeattack.co.uk
Time Attack uses professional circuits and is a competition to find the quickest lap time of a tuner car. The competition is held over three open sessions, followed by qualifying and finally a Super Battle event to determine a podium in each class – all based on the quickest times. Classes are determined by lap time, rather than by specification. Those in the same class run on track at the same time in timed sessions and the objective is to find clear air to record an optimum lap time. The cars are not racing against each other; only against the clock. There are no restrictions on power, upgrade or weight – with the exception of space framing which is not allowed. All cars run on road legal Toyo semi slick tyres and conform to the appropriate safety regulations of the MSA Blue Book in all classes.
Starting off in Japan, Time Attack, Super Lap and Tuner Battles were organised by the media, produced by the tuning industry’s most respected tuners. Held mainly at Tsukuba but also on other Japanese circuits, Time Attack rose in popularity as the stakes began to rise and the tuners had to develop new and improved machines with which to conquer their competition on the track to demonstrate to their customers how well they can build a tuned street car.
In 2005 the Time Attack Series was formed in the UK and it was localised into a series for the aftermarket in the UK. Now in its fifth year, the Time Attack Series has over 100 entrants in three classes (from road car to Pro tuner race car) and attracts in excess of 6,000 visitors for each of the five UK rounds, making it the most established and professional Time Attack Series in the world.
A typical Time Attack car has over 600 bhp and is capable of setting lap times quicker than a BTCC car and faster than a GT car. Its drivers can sometimes consist of the racing industry’s finest, drafted in by tuners to pilot these unlimited machines in a bid to become the quickest, but equally it is an open door to grassroots teams and drivers on a budget that are keen to be involved in motor sport but not race door to door. It’s all about the machine, not the driver, and who can build the quickest car.