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– Words: Ryan Lewis. Photos: MJ Digital.

We’ve been through the action from World Time Attack Challenge both on the track and down pit lane, but there’s one other area we can’t forget and that’s inside the paddock. WTAC is unique in that spectators are able to walk around the back of the pit area, side by side with the same cars racing on track. We spent a chunk of time back there during the day watching the activity and poring over the trade stands and display cars. Here’s our run down with shots of all the cool stuff we found.

Garth Walden’s Evo above is right at the cutting edge of Australian time attack machinery. They’ll be out all guns blazing next year.

Toyota were there with the TRD 86 on display. It was decked out in new Hi Octane/Hypertune livery to match Beau Yate’s drift AE86.

A couple of the Chasers girls posing for our camera.

Iron Chef Imports were repping with their very own immaculate BNR34 GT-R V-Spec II N1.

We were kind of sad that this jaw-dropping R8 wasn’t there to compete.

Being able to walk right up to the back of the pit garages gives spectators an amazing look behind the scenes. This R35 was tough.

Nigel Petrie made the trip up from Victoria with his 180SX drift car, and his amazing, handmade Hilux below.

Of all the cars on display, this was probably the most popular.

It’s no surprise when you get to see it up close. Nigels blog, Engineered To Slide, is the place to go for build updates.

Nigel’s diligent approach to documenting his progress, and super down-to-earth attitude make this such a rewarding project to follow.

After seeing it in the pits at WTAC last year, it was inspiring to see how far Nigel has progressed over the last year. This time next year it should be fully functional and drift ready!

We were keen to see what Japanese drifters from Team Orange could bring to the Tectaloy International Drift Challenge. Their formerly AWD machines make unique drift cars.

Despite losing the PanSpeed RX-7 this year, we picked up a couple of stunning new FDs from local workshops like this one from TopStage in Melbourne.

No-one ever complains about a little bit of exotic flair. Beautiful Murcielago with that signature door move.

Garage 88 wasted no time getting their 86 fitted out with a set of sick SSRs and some tidy livery.

This line-up of flagship Dixcel braking hardware had us weak at the knees.

We had fewer R35s competing this year compared to the year before, but we have a feeling that will change come 2013.

James’ totally gorgeous 400kW+ S15 was snapping necks on the skid pan. A cracked intake manifold was enough to stop the SX Developments crew from taking to the track this year, but this won’t be the last you hear of them. See more of this car in our previous feature here.

Harrop Engineering were dominating in Clubsprint Class with their amazing Corvette, but in the pits they were just as impressive. These super desirable Forgeline wheels and gigantic Harrop brakes were beautiful.

It’s lucky we don’t own anything with a V8 in it, because our credit card would be maxed out on gear like this awesome Harrop supercharger.

Turbosmart brought a bevy of equipment to show off.

Not to mention their venerable FC RX-7, a noteworthy WTAC competitor.

You never know what you’ll see in the pits. Check out those carbon Tillett seats!

Drifters had to wait for the sun to go down before they could really get things going, so it was easy to get up close with their cars during the day.

“Mad” Mike Whiddett was hard at work keeping fans happy with a tonne of autographs signed and pictures taken.

Characters in this sport don’t come bigger than Mike, but he’s still more than happy to chat drifting and rotaries with anyone who asks!

MCA Suspension are going to blow people’s minds when they start competing in this 370Z. Scored cheap in Japan as a water damaged car, the Coote boys have dropped in one mighty powerplant.

It’s a Nissan VK56DE, a 5.6L V8 from the Nissan Titan and soon to be released here in the Patrol. It’s also the motor which Nissan’s 2013 V8 Supercar will be based upon.

One brute of a Honda DC2 Integra with a tell-tale front mount intercooler.

We will never get tired of looking at the Sutton brothers’ S15. A work of art in its own right, this thing is also very, very fast.

The SX Developments guys have been working with the Suttons to refine their setups. Expect huge things from all of them.

Autotech’s ‘Hulk’ STi was one of our favourite cars in Open Class, but their fairytale ride to WTAC didn’t go completely to plan. Believe us when we tell you that this is one spectacular car underneath, and with Jason Wright at the helm you can count on it surprising a few people next year.

There’s something about over fenders on WRXs that looks so tough. This Clubsprint car had the look.

Hankook’s trade stand was one of the best places to be. Who wouldn’t mind a set of those slicks?

Bob’s phenomenal 1UZ V8-powered Lexus is all kinds of outrageous. We want a go in it really badly.

It’s one of the most well thought-out setups we’ve seen, not least of which is the individual throttle setup and bonnet ducting.

Yonas had his infamous K-swapped EG there. Somehow it never looks exactly the same from one show to the next.

The owner of the V8 Lexus above also happens to own this turbocharged Ford GT40. Living the life, right?

Gamers had the chance to sample a new game in the pits, and competition was almost as fierce as on the real track!

Tyres for days!

More interstate guests, this time from Queensland. Mercury Motorsport brought down NITTO, their popular R34.

It’s always nice to see setups like this in the flesh. Every RB26 deserves this kind of love and attention.

Prospeed showed us what they’re capable of in their sweet new STi sedan. You don’t see many modded to this extent, and we love it.

That’s the end of our WTAC coverage for another year. If you still can’t get enough, check out more goodness from our mates over the border at DownshiftAus.