Here are some photos from my weekend at the Yeongam Formula One Circuit. I should explain the classes before we get going too far. There is TT100 for weak diesel cars and 1.5 liter gasoline cars. Above that there’s the TT200 class for stronger diesels and naturally aspirated 4 bangers of larger displacement. I want to run my car in the TT200 class. GT200 is the same as TT200 except for racing wheel to wheel. Both classes are capped at 250 hp. TT300 is time trials for the crazy stuff. Big engines and turbos are the rule here. GT300 is even nuttier and runs wheel to wheel.
This is the 330 hp, 2.7L turbo Tuscani (2nd generation Tiburon to Americans) belonging to Turbo Spark team member Hong Sa-gul. He currently runs in TT300, though he wants to put in a roll cage and graduate to GT300 eventually. I know it’s fast and I’ve heard it torque steers, although that could be an artifact of my not-so-successful weekend translating Korean to English.
Lady racer Kim Mi-sook’s TT200 Tiburon. Also a Turbo Spark effort. This one is a 2.0L naturally aspirated version making about 180 hp. It’s got plenty of speed, but I think the suspension could do with some work. Too low and too stiff, in my opinion.
Another picture of Hong Sa-gul’s Tuscani.
Final member of the team. I don’t remember this guy’s name (sorry dude, you should have talked to me more) but his 02 Avante (Elantra GT for the North Americans) was a very close second in the TT200 class. These Avantes have a small weight disadvantage compared with the Tiburons but, to my eye, vastly superior suspension geometry.
And here is my benchmark, winner of the TT200 class. This is not just a Chevy Cruze, it’s a Chevy Cruze diesel with almost 450 lb/torque. The good news is that the chassis is basically the same chassis as my much lighter Daewoo Nubira. The bad news is it can fit 285/35/18 tires on the front. I, uh, cannot.
Big tires suck.
Proof that I am not the only person on earth racing a Daewoo. This little beasty ran in the TT100 class for naturally aspirated 1.5 liter cars. Not sure how it finished. Guessing by the full interior and less than ideal suspension geometry, I’m guessing not very well.
This is an R34 Nissan Skyline GTR runnin in TT300. Under the hood it had a big single turbo, a custom fabricated intake manifold and a shiny, inconel-looking exhaust manifold. No idea how much power it makes, but I’m guessing a lot.
This is a Nissan Pulsar GTi-R. These little monsters were built in the late nineties so that Nissan could homologate for the World Rally Championship. The street versions had turbocharged, 2.0L twincam four cylinder engines (SR20DET for engine geeks) making 237 horsepower. I’m going to assume this particular example makes something more than the factory totals. It makes use of all that power with all wheel drive. This one was solidly top ten in the GT300 class.
TT300 class Hyundai Sonata. Yes, really, that boring car from the mid nineties your mother hated. This one retained its classic fake wood interior but added a nice sprinkle of 450 hp turbocharged 4g63. That hole in the hood, that’s where the wastegate vented flames every time it came on boost. Watching this car chase down and pass a new BMW M3 on the front straight was a joy I will not soon forget.
This is a Mitsubishi Evolution with some super sexy, very functional aerodynamics work. Because there’s not much original body left, I can’t tell you if it’s an Evo 5 or 6, though it’s definitely a CP9A chassis.
Here is a helpful link to explain exactly how I feel about cars like this.
So, can my little car keep pace? I’m confident.