Event: Super GT Round 8 At Motegi 250km – Pre-Race Practice

Action, Automotive, Event, Japan, Motor Sports


So, it was 5am and the only thing I could think about was getting caffeine into my system; not if my friend was going to be late, not if it was going to rain in Motegi, not if the pole sitter would win, not if that girl last night actually liked me or was just being polite.  The only thing I cared about was coffee.  So I did what any normal person in Japan would do; walk across the street and buy one.

I ended up getting a warm Emerald Mountain Blend, as I usually do at this, or any, hour.  Well, that’s a lie, most of the time I buy it cold.  Anyway, I took a quick walk around the hood while I enjoyed my coffee and waited for my friend to pick me up to begin our journey to Twin Ring Motegi for the final round of 2012 Super GT.

Next door to my place was a shop that had a couple cats roam around every morning; this was one of them.  They always wandered the near sidewalks and alleys to make sure everything was how they left it the night before.  This guy had just got done eating some cat food the owner had left out.

My friend showed up soon after the cat photo session, and we began our trip to Motegi.  Weaving our way through the expressway, slowly making our way to the outskirts of the big metropolis that is Tokyo.  Just driving around gives you opportunities to find cool cars; like this RX-7 we tailed for a short while.

There is one particular Parking Area off the expressway that we usually stop at.  There is a Starbucks there that has some pretty cool architecture.

The lot also provides a good place to find cool cars.  This ER34 GTR looks great!  Almost as great as the new Taylor Swift album.

As we got closer to Twin Ring, we ran into a little traffic due to some construction that turned the already narrow road into one lane.  The forecast that day called for light rain off and on; I was hoping it wouldn’t at all, but at this point it looked inevitable.  It seems like every Super GT race I go to it rains.  I don’t really mind, because it makes for good photos, but it’s pretty bothersome in every other aspect.

Made it! ~

My buddy and I, who runs JDM Clips, both skipped breakfast that morning, so after parking the first order of business was getting a healthy meal…so we both got takoyaki; probably not the best choice for breakfast, but whatever.  It was delicious, and hot.  Very hot.

After we got done eating our junk food, practice was just getting underway.  Before the Porsche Cup support race, the Super GT cars go out for about an hour long practice session.  We decided to watch the entire practice at the Dunlop Corner, so we made the hike over there.  Along the way we got treated to nice views like this between the trees that surround the track.

The cars carry quite a bit of speed on the straight leading to this corner, so it’s neat to see them get hard on the brakes.  Most cars had a similar breaking point, but you could definitely see a difference between the 300 and 500 cars.  Here is the pole sitter, ZENT SC430, heading into Dunlop.

One of the BMW GT300 teams – this car unfortunately ended up going off in the gravel towards the end of the race and had to be towed off.  It looked great during practice though.

Another Lexus of the WedsSport persuasion.  This car has cool livery.

The D-Station GTR.

Drag race of epicness.  The S Road GTR of course had no problem passing the GT300 Ferrari.  The S Road team had, at the last round, already captured the series championship.

Another shot of the ZENT.  If this car comes up often I apologize, as it is my favorite team; I may be a bit biased.

I’m sure you’re all familiar with this track thanks to Gran Turismo, so you all should know about the tunnel after the Dunlop Corner.  The engines emit an awesome noise as the drivers rocket through the tunnel at full throttle.

Before getting on throttle though, you’ve got to brake. Hard.  The brake rotors burn, and the catalyzer shoots flames in protest as the driver commands the car to slow.  Head over to the wallpaper page to see how hot these brakes can really get on this turn.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.  Some of the kids were more absorbed in catching pokemon than the screaming cars fighting it out on the track.  I thought this was hilarious.

In the scheme of things, the Audi R8’s do relatively well in this series.  One consistent top 5 finisher is the GT300 Gainer R8.

SC430 dog fight!

The upside of running two classes simultaneously is that, even on the more boring tracks, there is always overtaking.

The CR-Z was pretty healthy sounding all day.  I look forward to see what this car is capable of in the next season.

I was sure to take many pictures of the HSV competitors, as this may be the last year we get to see them competing in Super GT, due to some regulation changes.  These cars were actually already an exception to the rule.

After the quick practice session, we took a stroll over to the Honda Collection Hall where they were having a tribute to 90’s racing, specifically the NSX.  It was a few hours before the beginning of the race, so I also took a stroll through some of the parking lots on the hunt for hidden treasure.  I’ll have more on that later, as well as full coverage of the race.  Stay tuned, and thanks for visiting!


Encounter: Express NSX

Automotive, Encounter, Japan


I was setting up Mana’s car for a differnt angle during a photoshoot at a PA on the Expressway one afternoon, when I hear this growling off in the distance.  I stepped up on the ledge of the PA and glanced towards the sound and see this black NSX traveling towards me; rather quickly.

The lighting was throwing me off a little bit because of the heavy back-light of the setting sun, but I didn’t have much time to adjust.  He got on the throttle a little bit when he saw me, and this thing sounded great!

So if I ever have the privilege of owning one of these, I will definitely be putting a GT wing on it.  This guy just proved that they look great.


Close-Up: Kohno-san GP Sports 180SX

Action, Automotive, Close-Up, Drifting, Japan, Motor Sports

One of the cars I enjoyed watching most at this past round of D1SL at Nikko was this GP Sports 180SX.  The car is driven by コウノ シオン (Kohno Shion) who you may remember by the Y’s Factory S15 last year.  That car was cool, but in my humble opinion, this one is better!  Something about the GT style lines of the G-Sonic Evolution kit make the car look completely different than your average 180sx; plus the kit is absurdly expensive.

As good as this car looks in static though, it looks even better when it’s going sideways.

Mid corner at Nikko.  I only attended qualifying so I’m not quite sure how he placed in the event – I’ll check the website soon.

I have a lot of neat little features like this built up from the event, so if this is your thing, look forward for more!  Thanks for visiting!


One Shot: Nao’s High Power Supra

Automotive, Japan, JDM, One Shot


One of the most keen cars at the 90’s Cafe this past week at Heiwajima PA, actually belongs to the organizer of the event; Yokoyama-san of Garage Fun.  Aside from the obviously tasteful aesthetics, this Supra tips the power scale at just about 600whp.  It is, without a doubt, one of the nicest MK III’s I’ve had the pleasure of getting personal with.  To make it even better, Mr. Nao is one cool guy.  Look forward to a full feature on this car – you won’t want to miss it.




Preview: Super GT Round 8 – Motegi 250km

Action, Automotive, Event, Japan, Motor Sports



This past Sunday marked the end of the 2012 Super GT season with the final race at Twin Ring Motegi; and despite the cold, rainy weather, the action was as hot as ever.  While it may not have been the case for the drivers, the 250km race was over before I knew it.  I get so lost in capturing the moment that I forget about the pouring rain, the time, my aching legs, and just about everything else.  Turns out my favorite team, the Zent SC430, ended up taking first place from pole position; resulting in a second place finish in the championship.


Stay tuned because I’ve got some great coverage and articles for you all about Super GT, and the final round of 2012.  I won’t be able to post much in the coming days, but be patient because it’s definitely worth it.

One Shot: Masataka-san Bright Slide

Action, Automotive, Drifting, Japan, Motor Sports, One Shot


This morning Sekinei and I made the long trip from Tokyo out to Nikko Circuit to check out D1SL Qualifying.  We were both quite tired from staying up all last night messing around on the Expressway, but somehow we managed to wake up around 6am to make the drive out.  The day itself was pretty mild all around.  The weather was great in the morning with just enough cloud cover to block the sun and keep the temps cool.  However, later in the day the sun came out in full force and it was actually quite warm.  The event mirrored the weather; practice was quite normal, and later in the day during qualifying the action got more intense.  Nothing too spectacular, but a good event all around.  I think I’ll take it easy with this post and leak it out over a series of posts as opposed to overloading it into one or two lengthy ones.  My commentary will be lacking I’m sure as drifting is something I’ll admit I know little about.  Tomorrow morning, Mr. JDM Clips and I will head over to Motegi to catch the last Super GT race of 2012.  Excited!  I gotta grab some sleep…


One Shot: Fairlady in Tokyo

Automotive, Japan, JDM, One Shot


I apologize for the lack of site updates, but I’ve been pretty busy that last couple days.  I spent pretty much all of Thursday with Harada and Kume driving around Tokyo and shooting their Z32’s.  It was a pretty memorable experience; but there is much more to come.  Tonight I’m heading out to a 90’s meet near the Tokyo Expressway with Sekinei and meeting up with the others there; should be no shortage of greatness on hand.  I look forward to sharing you this upcoming content, but you’ll have to patient!  I’ll be gone all weekend at Nikko and Motegi covering D1SL and the final Super GT race of 2012.  Stay tuned because it will all be worth it!  Thanks for visiting ~