Fast and furious: load cells and the World Time Attack Challenge 2019

Published On: October 10 2019

Ever fancied racing a modified road car flat out at over 240km/h, covering a quarter of a mile in less than 12 seconds? That’s why the Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge is all about, as competitors from around the world burn rubber at the Sydney Motorsport Park, on 18-19 October 2019.


What is Time Attack?

The principles of time attack racing are simple: take a production road car, modify the heck out of it, race it round a circuit and see if you can get the fastest lap time on the day.

Or, as the Time Attack UK website says:

“The art of purposeful car modification by crowning aftermarket tuning champions and embracing the complete spectrum of tuning levels from a part-time racer to full blown record smashing circuit monsters.”

The Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge draws the best teams from around the world to compete on a single track, including for 2019 top teams from Japan, the USA and – Finland.


Enter the Flying Finns

Yes, Finland. And that’s where the Load Cell Shop comes in! Team Finland first completed in 2017 with their Audi R8 1:1 project, dubbed the “Fat Cat”. For 2019, Mikko Ahola of RevisionTech and his team of “professional amateurs” want to claim the Pro Am class championship title.

So, they have completely overhauled their Audi R8 car, redesigning and revising the sub frame and suspension. The car’s twin suspension dampers have a third damper added across the towers to assist with heave and pitch under load.

This extensive rebuild required extensive testing of loads applied to the car with the ultimate aim of maximum traction, whilst shaving off as much weight as possible. Mikko contacted us looking for our 200 series inline cell to be used for the racecar’s push-rod force measurement. Mikko chose the 20kN version as it offered good resolution and sufficient margins for their maximum load.


Load cells and suspension testing

Testing took place in the early summer, with initial results confirmed in July, and Mikko was delighted with the results from our load cells. The forces invovled are considerable, as Mikko explained in an article for Suspension Secrets, with a combination of new suspension and the Audi/Lambo 5.2 litre V10 engine,

“We are looking at close to 5000kg of downforce when doing full speed which should be just below 300kph.”


Team R8 1:1 heading Down Under

It’s a long way from Finland to Australia – approx 30,000kms – so the Audio R8 set out on the journey to Sydney on 27th July. It was due to arrive in Australia two months’ later, with Mikko’s team and owner/driver Sami Sivonen to follow it on later! The car just fitted into a standard shipping container, and cost around Euro8,000 to ship there and back.


It’s about as far as the team can get from their normal driving conditions at home, in the snow and ice of Finland, although their Helsinki base is comparatively mild with average winter temperatures of just minus 5 degrees Celsius. During the summer, it’s normally a balmy 21 degrees C, with a magical 20 hours or more of daylight, plenty of time to take the R8 for a spin in the evenings!


Go Team Finland!

Everyone here at the Load Cell Shop wishes Mikko and his team the best of luck in the high-octane environment of the Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge 2019.


Early laps from Saturday test. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? #r8_1_1 #journeytosydney #garrettadvancingmotion #teamturbosmart #dynamicaerosolutions

Posted by R8 1:1 on Sunday, 6 October 2019