Category: Japan

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Encounter: フシミンのFD2 – グル走

Caught this pretty cool FD2 at Tsukuba during a Grooving event.  The entire interior was gutted and it was running a pretty mild aero package. Fastest time it clocked was 1’01.25 – pretty quick!  The fender cut away made the car look much more aggressive than the factory form.  Click past the break for a few more shots.

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Close-Up: The Circuit Scalpel – Esprit’s NSX

On many occasions, probably due to lack of my creativity, I’ve written excerpts on this site comparing certain managerial techniques to a variety of car builds.  That may or may not have something to do with my education and work background in the business sector, but I feel it’s something I can comfortably relate to.  These topics, at surface level, I would imagine to be somewhat obscure on an automotive website.  The truth of the matter is, in almost all regards, the processes discussed are very much applicable to time attack builds.  The practice of Continual Improvement is one such business practice, and in the realm of time attack, not many shops demonstrate this practice better than Esprit in the ongoing development of their NSX.

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Encounter: The Height of Challenge – ATTKD GTR32

I’ve always held ATTKD in high regard.   Not only because of their rich history in parts development and tuning, but more so because of their ability to put pressure on the frontrunners of time attack. The surprisingly large shop based out of Nagano is responsible for a handful of notable Nissan builds; namely their flagship 32 you see here.  Working closely with their long time test driver, Mitsuhiro Kinoshita, they were able to get under 2 seconds shy of the Top Fuel S2000; which has quickly become the benchmark for time attack at Fuji.  In an almost ‘behind the scenes’ fashion, Mitsuhiro Kinoshita piloted the Skyline around Fuji Circuit in a remarkable 1’40.925.

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Encounter: The Samurai Archives – Revolfe S.A. GTR33

The picture below cracks me up.  When I had started walking around the back portion of the garages at Fuji, I came across the Revolfe S.A./Kleer R33 Skyline that was competing once again in the Hiper Challenge at HKS Day.  I must have had my blinders on or something because I just walked up and started taking pictures of the car, and didn’t even notice Mizota-san standing in the back.  After I had taken this shot he came up to me all surprised.  Later as I was going through these photos I saw him in this one pointing right at me hahaha.

 

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Close-Up: こみぃ♪ – ガレージWORK EK9

Over the past years we’ve spent quite a bit of time at Garage Work; both at the shop in Chiba, and on track at Evome and Attack.  It’s a shop that is known for pushing the boundaries of Honda’s FF chassis far beyond what anyone has ever imagined.  Tora-san’s rich history and incredible foresight into the sport of time attack has been unmatched by many, and through Garage Work, he is able to channel that gift to not only his personal vehicles, but to his customers as well.

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Event: Tension’s Fuji Takeover & HKS HCC Snapshot

So, yeah.  This will probably go down as the most random post of 2015 NDF, but I figured I’d combine the two as we didn’t spend that much time at either.  The same day that HKS held their Premium Day event, our friends at Tension reserved the Fuji drift track and held their own ‘Premium Day’ so to speak.  While the guys in Tension are all super nice, they have a somewhat sketchy history, so I’m glad Sekinei is good friends with them.  They’ve always support NDF and I couldn’t be more stoked about it.

So during the lunch break on the Speedway side, Sekinei and I meandered over to Fuji’s drift track to say hi and snap some photos.

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Editorial: Blueprint – Japan’s approach to Emotional Engineering

 

 

Kansei Kougaku (感性工学) – a design methodology that serves to elucidate the user’s emotional response into the realm, or sphere so to speak, of a product or commodity.  Founded by Hiroshima University Professor Mitsuo Nagamachi, the concept of Kansai Engineering, at surface level, allows us to link an individual’s physical and psychological reaction to the properties and essence of a product.  This theory has not only become a well-studied notion that can be applied to an almost endless amount of applications, but has also given us, as inherently unique individuals, an opportunity to view nearly everything man-made with a sincere empathy – whether we are conscious of it or not.

 

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Feature: Style Spectrum – The G-Corporation Dream S15

 

There’s something to be said about those who go against the grain.  Those who have a need to create the outlandish, to disregard outside opinion, and to construct their true vision.  They are the ones who will be remembered long after they’re gone, and the ones whose ideas will eventually be cherished.  Go Nakamura is one such person, and he happens to be the owner of G-Corporation – and what you see before you is, in fact, his dream Silvia.

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Encounter: Late Night Flash at G-Corp

 

I think, for the sake of variety, that I’m going to switch gears a bit this week.  While there is much more time attack coverage to share with you (not sure that I’ll ever have a shortage of that), I do have quite a bit of files  in the NDF archive that have been collecting dust.  Case in point, earlier this winter I visited Go-san at G-Corporation in Chiba and in his somewhat large driveway sat this beautiful red Silvia.

 

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Feature: Deep Grip RE – Tomo’s Circuit-Bred FD

 

Saitama native Nakajima Tomoyoshi, or Tomo for short, is an avid fan of the RX-7.  Unique in many ways, the car has stolen his attention for better half of several years.  Before he built the FD you see here, Tomo was the proud owner of a white Savanna FC.

 

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Encounter: まっくリのメルセデス 190E

 

A Mercedes 190E is one of the last cars you’d think to see at Tsukuba, so you can imagine my surprise when I saw after arriving for Battle Evome in January.  Admittedly, I first thought it was a rare EVO, but after discussing the car a bit with the owner, it’s a regular 190E with a touch of EVO flare.

 

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Close-Up: Snowflake On Fuji – Arvou’s White Capped AP1

Arvou; a name that, over the past few years, has become synonymous with time attack focused S2000 builds (and more importantly Lotus for all you Euro fans) – with good reason too.  With their focus pulled toward developing their HKS Supercharged demo car, it’s hard to think that they were involved in anything else.  You might be surprised to hear then, that Mr. Shibata Mie actually founded the company in 1985, making Arvou nearly 30 years old.  That’s a lot of racing history attached to the company!