Cole Powelson in a Nissan GT-R breaks a Super Lap Battle record

By J.A. Ackley
Mar 11, 2024 | Ferrari, Toyota Supra, Nissan GT-R, chevrolet camaro, Circuit of the Americas, Global Time Attack, Super Lap Battle, Nissan 370Z

Photography by Matthew Viramontes/Super Lap Battle

What does a highly modified GT-R, a wild 1967 Camaro, a bone-stock Ferrari, a magazine-famous 370Z NISMO, a Supra that enticed a newcomer with a free track day and an LMP3 prototype have in common? They all were the winning rides that the top drivers wheeled at Super Lap Battle.

The race put on by Global Time Attack took place at the Circuit of The Americas. A total of 65 cars made a run at being the fastest.

[Live Thread: Super Lap Battle at Circuit of The Americas]


Photo by Matthew Viramontes/Super Lap Battle

Jenson Little in the LMP3-spec Norma M30 claimed the fastest time of the day. He broke the 2-minute mark, with a 1:58.868 lap, creating a new GTA record overall at the track. McLaren driver Rob Bell, competing in a McLaren 720S GT3X and Marc Austin and Scott Andrews in a Mercedes-AMG GT3 car also broke the 2-minute mark to round out the top three.


Photo by J.A. Ackley

Cole Powelson reclaimed the production car record at COTA in a highly modified Nissan GT-R with a 2:02.538 time. The previous record holder, Feras Quartomy, finished his new car just hours before appearing on Sunday. He declined to race it, citing a lack of sleep (and running on Red Bull for 28 hours) and the concern that something may have been forgotten about in the thrash to get the car ready. Runner-up Eric Fleming just barely missed breaking Quartomy's mark, too–by .003 seconds–with a naturally aspirated Chevrolet Corvette. Eric Sutton, who was bumped into the class after pre-tech from Limited, finished third with a 2002 Porsche 911 Turbo.

Max Effort

Photo by Matthew Viramontes/Super Lap Battle

Baja 1000 class winner and 24 Hours of Le Mans participant Jason Hart steered a wildly modified 1967 Chevrolet Camaro to the top of the charts. Competing in a car out of the Mike Dusold shop, Hart made a 2:08.068 lap. Clay Shearer in a Chevrolet Corvette and Shawn Bassett in another wild build, a 1972 Datsun 240Z, finished second and third, respectively.


Photo by Matthew Viramontes/Super Lap Battle

Zhenyang Huang, aka Herrick, surprised onlookers Sunday afternoon as he took top spot in a virtually bone-stock 2023 Ferrari. The only modification he made was to swap in steel brake rotors. He turned a 2:14.472 time. Brad Perkins slipped into second late on Sunday, with a 2004 BMW M3. Gabe Zamora, who now resides in Brazil, held the lead for most of the weekend but settled for a third with his 2019 Porsche 911.


Photo by Matthew Viramontes/Super Lap Battle

Before last year’s Super Lap Battle, Kyle McKiou said he had never really competed in motorsport other than one NASA club event. It was a Toyota Supra he bought that came with a free track day that enticed him to motorsport it. This year Kyle made an appearance on the podium, with a 2:17.126 lap. Turner Dobbins, in yet another Supra, finished second. Thomas Smith, who led early in the weekend, finished third, despite an engine failure in his 2005 Subaru Impreza STi. (For those questioning the reliability of the Subaru engine, Thomas ran his for 9 years.)


Photo by Matthew Viramontes/Super Lap Battle

Jonathan Wheeler set a new record for a RWD in the Enthusiast class while taking down the win. With a Nissan 370Z NISMO that seen time in SCCA magazine ads, his fastest lap came in at 2:25.907. He bested a pair of Honda Civic Type Rs, which were driven by Robert Rushton and Steve Nguyen.

For the full results, click here.

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Andy Hollis
Andy Hollis
3/11/24 8:47 a.m.

What item got Sutton moved from Limited to Unlimited?

J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
3/11/24 10:58 a.m.

In reply to Andy Hollis :

I believe it was suspension. I'm confirming that now. 

Andy Hollis
Andy Hollis
3/11/24 1:16 p.m.
J.A. Ackley said:

In reply to Andy Hollis :

I believe it was suspension. I'm confirming that now

That sounds right.  I recall the announcers saying something about non-OE dynamic suspension...dampers specifically.  

DavyZ New Reader
3/11/24 1:50 p.m.

Any photos of Shawn Bassett's wild 240Z build??  The fast vintage cars interest me more than the newer and (much) more expensive machinery.  The average guy can afford a Nissan 350Z, 240Z, and maybe an older Camaro like Cody Puckett's, but the Ferrari, McLaren, Skyline, etc., are too pricey for most folks.  I shall buy all of them next month, but of course this is before then so, any photos of that 240Z?

J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
3/11/24 2:37 p.m.

In reply to Andy Hollis :

Confirmed. He had aftermarket electronically controlled shocks. However, they embraced it, got some racing slicks, and then made the podium. Well done. 

J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
3/11/24 2:39 p.m.

In reply to DavyZ :

Yes! Expect more on the '67 Camaro of Mike Dusold soon. And we're working on doing more on the Datsun. Both are wildly modified, but have retro-cool looks.

I'm not so sure how much cheaper these builds are though than some of the newer ones (not the McLaren or Ferrari, of course). But I can understand their appeal, certainly. 

Andy Hollis
Andy Hollis
3/12/24 6:27 a.m.

From Louis at GSpeed, builders of Eric Fleming's Unlimited Corvette...lots of insight here.


What a weekend at COTA Super Lap Battle We're so proud of Eric Fleming and the team for everything they do!

Without further ado, a message from Louis.

"A few months ago, we decided to make a few changes to Eric Flemings C6Z. I share a lot of the progress and ideas on a few other groups, but have yet to share it to my personal page. This was the car that we tested methanol on a few months ago (with out success) so you have an idea of how hard we have worked to get this monster to the pointy end of lap times, especially at COTA this past weekend at Super Lap Battle.

The premise is simple. In the unlimited class, it must be a mass produced vehicle with a VIN. No tube chassis or factory built cars. That’s basically it.

Given our success with Trans Am and NASA here, we were able to “speculate” a laptime based off real world segment and sector times that blended the mechanical grip of those low power, heavily restricted corvettes, and the power, aero, and weight reduction of a “theoretical” unlimited build.

With a professional driver (ie, current champion, IMSA race winner, or paid hot shoe) that blending of sector times showed that we could achieve a 1:55:00 or better with about 1300whp. That’s about 8 seconds faster than LMGTE AM, 5 seconds faster than LMGTE Pro, 1 second slower than LMP2, 9 seconds slower than Indycar and LMP1 when they ran here last and 22 seconds slower than F1.

Those openwheel and professional GT efforts have tens and hundreds of millions of dollars behind them driven by the best of the best drivers in the world.

We set out in the fall of last year to Atleast move the needle considerably on Eric’s car. For reference, this event last year at COTA with about 5 laps under his belt, on street tires, he went a 2:12.2….. that’s deep in the TA2 field, time wise, On street tires. Lol.

This winters updates included:

Zebulon MSC Ltd. Aero package

Motec firmware update to manage the Addition of paddle shift

Intake manifold change that netted a 130whp increase at 8400 rpm( yes, the filter sticks out of the hood, my hands are tied and I’m actively trying to solve that, lol)

Addition of Michelin Slicks

Exhaust system update to accommodate the flat floor

And a whole slew of little details to improve the car and driving experience.

Last week, we shook the car down at Cresson with Eric Foss behind the wheel and on a scrub tire, we went a 1:08.3, but we had some work to do searching for front grip.

Wrap, updated chassis setup, spring change, and finesse the whole car, and we headed to COTA early to test.

First timed lap we found a lot of tire rub, which was odd…. But maybe the changes added some front grip.

Sure enough, the aero push had gone away.

The next 8 sessions we fought a broken diff, a paddle shift actuator malfunction (my mistake) and made improvements every session until the end of the day Sunday when we fought the track and an oil down.

The end result was a 2:03.853. Driven by Eric Fleming.

Eric Foss did a phenomenal job of data analysis and video critique to help us pick seconds and then tenths out of this package all weekend.

What a ride. The team did great, the car did real nice. Juggling fuel, tire warmers, maintenance between sessions and any chassis changes is a challenging task, and they didn’t miss a beat and the results back that up. Thanks to Ian McMasters, Rodolfo Valero, Jason SmithJon Simpson, Devon Larson, Photog Nate Grady for killing it at the track all weekend. Special thanks to the shop crew who didn’t travel, Chase Borden Justin Taylor Clark, Vinh Nguyen Michael Alexander Cargile, Dakota Robbins, Xavier Price, Patricia Bartley, Cole Wallace, Zack Prell, Kris King Paul Costas

The car run down as of this weekend is:

2007 C6Z

3075 lbs ready to race

GSpeed assembled and calibrated 470 LS7, 840 whp

Zebulon Aero

Michelin S8 slick (30/68F 31/71R)

Samsonas Sequential gearbox paddle shifted

Motec GPRP pro firmware calibrated in house

Cockpit adjustable blade sway bars (50mmF bar, 38mm rear bar)

Q16 fuel

Penske shelf damper (she’s maxed now, lol)

Packer setup from RE suspension (this is VERY IMPORTANT on getting the maximum out of an aero car)

Countless hours of time on the setup pad.

Essex Parts Services, Inc. AP brake kit

Cobalt Racing Brakes XR1 pads

Tilton Engineering pedal box

Stock C6z diff lol

Thanks to my wife and family for putting up with me the last month as I worked my fingers to the bone.

Thanks to Eric Fleming for trusting and believe in us. We built this latest rendition mostly through text. I think we talked 2x just sorting out tire issues.

Thanks to Ryan Neff for the guidance and support. The aero is great, the after sale support is even better. It took me about 5 years to buy something from, and the worst part about it was realizing that I should have done it sooner… all Thanks to Jake Latham

Thanks dad Lou Gigliotti for the chicken hawk tire warmers, we ended up having 2 sets, but thankfully we had them both as a controller on each set failed, so it worked out.

A.J. Petersen thanks for the last minute tires and scrubs. Your attention to detail allowed us to test on known quantity scrubs with out burning up stickers.

Eric Uriarte and G1design, killed the last minute wrap. If you need a wrap in DFW, Eric gets it. And delivers.

Geoff Miller, this would not have been possible with out your guidance with the Penske Dampers and recommended packers. Thank you.

Lastly, to all of our customers that have believed in us the last 10 years, thank you. Your trust and dedication to our efforts allowed us to build a car with a decade of learning and not making the same mistake twice. New mistakes were made! But you can rest assured that they won’t be made again."

- Louis Gigliotti


J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
3/12/24 7:05 a.m.

In reply to Andy Hollis :

Great insight. Thank you for sharing.

One more important thing to note. Eric and his team did this all with a naturally aspirated engine. Very few cars go that route. I spoke with the engine tuner and he told me next year they may add a turbo or, if he has his way, go with a bigger engine for more power. He prefers the simplicity of a naturally aspirated engine. Although, there's nothing simple about the engine under the hood of that Corvette. 

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