What is Time Attack?
Time Attack is a global phenomenon and motorsport discipline that traces its roots to the touges (mountain roads) and expressways of Japan, where a subculture of auto enthusiasts raced their increasingly modified and upgraded roadgoing cars.
Once turbochargers caught on, these allowed for vast, affordable improvements in horsepower and, by the late 80s, tuning culture really bloomed, blurring the line between racecar and roadcar.
An initial era of dangerous madness – highly-tuned and customised road cars being raced at the dead of night on deserted public roads – was gradually replaced by organised events held at racing circuits.
These increasingly-popular events saw workshops and privateers from across Japan pit their souped-up creations against one another to beat the stopwatch and set the best laptime.
Tuning products became marketable, and aftermarket manufacturers and shops used this timed competition as a stage on which to showcase their products to petrolheads who were craving their next fix of horsepower. Racing the stopwatch over a set course was the purest way of measuring the combined performance of tuned car and driver, without the distractions and potential damage of wheel-to-wheel racing. This discipline of motorsport became known as Time Attack.
Meanwhile, outside of Japan, the tuning movement was also building pace. After all, ever since the dawn of time, humanity (for better or for worse!) has been one big game of oneupmanship - and once you throw globalisation and off-the-shelf turbochargers into the mix, it’s fairly easy to predict how things will go.
And so, the Time Attack mentality spread across the globe and the rest, as they say, is history.
While there are one-off Time Attack-style events held across the globe, the UK Time Attack series is unique in that it is a full-on championship competed over the course of an entire season and multiple venues.
Cars are sub-divided into classes based on the extent of their modifications and compete for the fastest laptimes across the nation’s race circuits, with the fight running throughout the duration of the year.
Since its inception in 2006, the UK Time Attack Championship has become the largest and most professional organised series in the discipline, attracting drivers and teams from across the globe.
In the organisers’ own words, Time Attack is a “motorsport revolution”.
Welcome to Time Attack.
Photo credit: Rowan Harrison