After finally completing (sort of) the Great Danton I was finally able to attend a round of the Time Attack Italian Championship, my first one this year and round 3 of the championship. This was always going to be a shakedown event to actually make sure the car runs ok and to ensure that all the new components are fitted and working correctly.

The day before the event I had quite a few things to sort out, most importantly a large water leak from the left side of the engine which ended up being one of the water heater coolant lines. I also had to drive the car down from Bergamo all the way to Imola so I was quite careful as it was all unknown, and I stopped a couple of times during the 3 hour trip to check fluids and so on.

This first image sums up my day quite nicely; a lot of time waiting for a session after fixing the car. I had some sort of problem during every session which meant that my actual running time on track was very limited. I would usually go out for about 2-3 laps and then find out I needed to come back in to fix it, by which point it was too late to reenter the session.

The first session I went out for about 5 laps and came back in thinking everything was ok but I had lost a nut from the power-steering pump and the belt was slipping.
In the second session all the water that was available in the sky decided to fall and the session was quickly red flagged. We were able to redo the session after it cleared but I quickly found out that I had lost a bolt on the exhaust and it was dragging.
On the third and final session before the Superlap I decided to actually push the car a bit now as I hadn’t had any chance to actually test the limits of the car and get to know the track a bit better. But at the end of the main straight on my first full power pass the splitter simply couldn’t hold on :D. At around 230km/h it ripped through the bumper and hit the ground. Luckily it had only a few grazes and was able to secure it again to the bumper with an improved mounting strategy but this wasn’t to be enough.

During the superlap on the first lap it once again came loose and started chattering. So I had to take it very cautiously around the lap and then on the second lap my car decided to have a fuelling issue, and that was the end of the day. My pace during the day wasn’t too far off the pack but at not point during the weekend was I pushing the car (posted a similar time to last year); hopefully I can get these issues sorted and hit the track again to actually see the improvements over last year.

Overall I’m actually very pleased with the day because all the issues were fairly minor and can be worked upon and the engine really went without a hitch. An engine I built completely from the ground up actually went pretty well, so it has been a huge learning experience.

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November 16, 2015

The final round of the Time Attack Italia championship was an anticipated one as not only is it my home track but with additional power options it would improve my chances of finally achieving a win in my class. The weather and temperature were incredible; 25C for early November was hard to believe and the sun didn’t stop shining all day.

Throughout the day I parked up in the JDMilano Squad area, with the addition of a new sticker on the car. Their attendance to meets, events and weekly gatherings is always incredible to see; a lot of passion there. The whole pit area in fact was remarkably busy and was easily the most popular event of the year, with people filling up a few of the open grand stands.

The track was of course almost perfect from the off in the morning, only a couple of areas damp from the shade provided by the Monza forest. With only 2 sessions before the superlap for this event it didn’t leave you much time to get ready so it was necessary to push from the start.

The competition in the RWD Club was as fierce as ever, with fastest times being swapped by all 4 of us throughout both morning sessions. It was impossible to say who would come out on top after the superlap! I finished the qualifying session in 3rd, but had been running my street boost setting.

In the end managed to clinch 2nd place, but was only 0.04s behind! And 3rd was only 0.2 behind me. 2:18.620 was the best time from me, improving by over 10 seconds from the last time I ran here. The competition in the class really couldn’t be any tighter which has made it incredibly fun, not only for this round, but throughout the year.

Final Standings:

1. 2:18.578 – Jacopo Battisti
2. 2:18.620 – Balang Project
3. 2:18.800 – Riccardo Calcaterra
4. 2:19.900 – Giuliana Andrea

The whole championship, despite me only attending 5 of the 8 rounds, has been incredibly fun and I really have to hand it to the organisers for putting together an awesome championship in just 2 years, and making it astonishingly popular already.

Next year the classes are going to be refined and I will likely end up with tough competition, so there are big plans for the Great Danton to allow it to keep up!

So, the car will be out of action for a few months and I will sure miss driving it, but I hope it will be worth it!

The TAI 2015 Final

November 9, 2015

MONZA Time Attack Italia Finale

Between session discussions.

November 7, 2015

More snaps from Imola

A bit rich.

R Performance Switzerland

November 7, 2015

Another team making their way down from Switzerland was RPerformance.ch. This is the first time I’d seen them at a Time Attack Italia event, obviously making the long trek from central Switzerland for the opportunity to race on the incredible Imola.

They had a few cars; this Turboed Integra and 2 all motor CRXs.

The Integra was one of the wildest ones I’ve ever seen, with an enormous aero kit sporting huge splitters and diffusers.

Turbo powered B18.

The CRX was also very nice, and must have been incredibly light. There was literally nothing inside the car, just a seat and a steering wheel.