Type6

Locale: Type One – Honda Tuning Flagship

Automotive, Japan, JDM, Locale, Motor Sports

Type1

 

I make it a point to visit Spoon and Type One each time I go to Japan; actually, this is about the 4th or 5th post on NDF about visiting the shop!  It’s such a staple in the Honda tuning community that it’s impossible for me to pass up.  Not to mention I’m getting pretty good at getting there.  This time though, was a bit different though…

 

Type2

 

…this time would be my first seeing the shop in it’s new form.  Late 2012, Type One undertook a pretty big makeover aesthetically, and I’ve been wanting to see it in person ever since.

 

Type3

 

If you remember last time I visited, you’ll see a big change in their second floor shop space.

 

Type4

 

Gone are the shelves lined with racing memorabilia, and in it’s place; a minimalistic display of Honda valve covers.

 

Type5

 

As well as a few choice engines on display; like this cut away B series.

 

Type6

 

I was pretty happy to see the Super Taikyu EK9 build they’ve been working on for this upcoming season (which is starting soon!).  It will be nice to see this out on track with their iconic S2000 contender.

 

Type 9

 

Type10

 

Speaking of which…

 

Type10

 

It’s counterpart was resting on the lift.

 

Type11

 

The shop usually has some unique builds hiding out – like this black and white S2000…curious to see what it will be used for.  Maybe just a demo car?  The livery is quite different than what were used to seeing though!

 

Type12

 

Their CRZ was also in the shop, just behind their FD2.  Type13

 

I sat down for a bit and had a chat (read: tried to have a chat) with the employee and got a few stickers.  I noticed this toy CRZ, and then glanced up…

 

Type14

 

…to see the real thing haha.  Although I may see the same cars quite often, Type One never disappoints me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SGT10

Event: Super GT Motegi 250km – The Final Battle V.2

Action, Automotive, Event, Japan, JDM, Motor Sports

 

…and as the rain began to fall ever harder, the Super GT cars charged on; fueled by the calm determination only those behind the wheel know.  We pick up on the continuing coverage mid way through Super GT’s eighth and final round of the 2012 season at Twin Ring Motegi.  In the last post I talked in length about the team and car positions in regards to the race and championship, so in this post we’ll just take it easy and enjoy the shots.  These purple Cosmos surround the walkways of the race track and add a nice touch to the landscape.

While it’s performance might not have been ideal for the Mugen team, at least they had a great looking car out on track.

The Green Tec & Leon AMG SLS does it’s best to run from the Epson HSV for as long as it can.  This team ended up 8th in the Motegi 250km.

Massive GT300 fight heading into the easy left that twists into a chicane.  This is one of my favorite places to shoot because of the head on angles, and the way you can see a large portion of the track from where they come out of the right hand turn.

The two cars in the middle of the pack, behind the ARTA, were the Mugen CR-Z and the DIJON NEON CALLAWAY WAKO’S ED Corvette, a.k.a. the team with the longest name.  The CR-Z ended up trumping the Corvette by a few spots.

The ENEOS SC430 passing the Green Tec SLS coming out of the left hander.

The WedsSport SC430 creeping up on the BMW that had subsequently been recovered from it’s spin into the gravel.

GSR Hatsune Miku BMW partially piloted by Tanaguchi himself soared to a respectable fourth position.  This team had a great year, and I hope they can continue it into 2013.  The Good Smile Race team is very unique and special to Japan.

It’s incredible to see the GT500 machines overtake the GT300 cars so easily.  The power difference is quite visible at this distance.

A crowd favorite, the Calsonic GTR ignites it’s converter as it downshifts into the hard left.

Neck breaker.

Honestly, before I knew it the race was over.  My friend and I were actually surprised when we saw the flags drop because it had seemed so short.  Super GT is an endurance series after all, but this seemed much shorter than the other races I’ve attended.  I think it’s partially because we were caught up in photographing it.

So we made our way back to the now soaked paddock to watch the ending ceremonies and trophy presentation.  Because it was the last race of the season, all the drivers from every team line up and give things away to the crowd who comes onto the track.  I ended up getting an APR Prius mouse pad ^^

The GT500 podium ceremony.

The GT300 championship podium.  Endless Taizan team ended up with a clutch win in the race to put them on top for the 2012 championship.  The Hankook Porsche team in a very close second, and the Triple A Vantage team third.  The team director for Endless Taizan was very thankful to all the fans and supporters.

Lastly, the GT500 champion standings.  The S Road MOLA team snagged the championship in the previous round, claiming their second consecutive win; a very successful result.  The ZENT team claimed the second spot with their victory in Motegi, and in third, another SC430 team, the Kobeco Denso team.  Sorry about the angles on these – I was standing on track pretty close to the podium.

Just so happens that we were standing right in front of NOB when the drivers came out.  I’m pretty sure the race queens were trying to take his pants off in this picture because he’s such a cool guy.

That wraps up the final round of Motegi here at NDF.  With the JAF race already over, the 2012 Super GT series is officially done.  We’ll have to wait a few more months until we get some more Japanese racing action, but you can bet NDF will be there to grab it.  Thanks for visiting!  Oh, two posts on a Monday morning ~ lucky guys…

 

 

SGTrace1

Event: Super GT Motegi 250km – The Final Battle V.1

Action, Automotive, Event, Japan, Motor Sports

After my well deserved break after the Super GT practice session, it wasn’t long before the final race of the season got underway.  In typical Japanese fashion, as soon as the flag dropped, so did the rain; causing confusion for many of the teams..  Twin Ring held the weather at bay throughout practice, but the precipitation proved to be too much for the track to handle.  Not one to fight things I can’t control, I opened up my newly acquired Mugen Power umbrella and made my way track-side.

Although cumbersome to shoot in the rain, my troubles paled in comparison to what mild rain at the start of a race does to the race strategy.  The drizzle in warm-up was similar to that of the seasons second race in Fuji; where incorrect tire choices led to the ARTA HSV’s DNF.  Despite the adverse conditions, it didn’t take long for the two classes to start their own dogfights.  While the racing was intense in the top 5, the Mugen Power team managed a lackluster 11th place finish in the GT300 class; not quite as impressive as the beginning of their season.

The ZENT Audi powers down the second straight heading towards turn 2.  Although I’m sure the battle was difficult, the R8 could only manage a mere 9th place finish at the end of the day.

Leading the way into this hard left is the Endless Taisan GT300 Porsche; the team that ended up claiming a well deserved first place at this race, thus clenching the GT300 championship from the grip of the Hankook team.  A result the team director was extremely grateful for.

The GT500 pole and race winner, the ZENT Cerumo SC430, locked in a drag race to the corner with the GT300 BMW of the GSR Hatsunemiku team.  Piloted by Taniguchi and Kataoka, the GSR BMW ended up with a respectable 4th place finish at Motegi.  Here you can see the rain had gotten worse than it was during the start of the race.

While they enjoyed the early lead, it wasn’t without it’s fair share of stress.  About mid-race, armed with a fresh set of tires, the S-Road MOLA GTR was breathing down the neck of the SC430.  With the rain falling harder, and the front-runners coming up on the back markers, the ZENT SC430’s lead over the GTR fell to a nail biting 1 second; a fight that would continue down to the final lap.

The #33 Hankook Porsche had a tough break this round, losing it’s grip over the Endless Porsche, and it’s championship point lead.  Once it lost it’s hold on the race early on, it was all downhill.  Being passed numerous times, landing itself in seventh place in the race, resulting in a second place in the 2012 championship; a bitter result to say the least.

The Triple A Vantage GT3 car, all things considered, had a fantastic race.  Starting at the back of the grid due to mechanical failure, the driver’s ran a great race to fight their way back to an impressive fifth place finish.  A finish that clenched them enough points to claim the final position on the championship podium, and ending the points battle that made this year’s GT300 races so exciting.

GT500 sandwich coming down the back straight into turn 3.


There’s nothing more exciting than watching cars go two or sometimes three wide into a corner…

…exiting at the same pace, and having an all out drag to the next turn!  In this case, the #88 MonePa Gallardo piloted by none other than Max Orido, had no problems in lapping the Run Up Z06.  The Lamborghini’s had a great run at Motegi, claiming both the second and third podium spots.  The Run Up team, who struggled with setup all day, ended up 9 laps back in 20th position.

With about a third of the race left to run, the GSR ProjectMirai Z4 went too hard entering near the chicane and ended up in the gravel.

The BMW was quickly towed back to the pits by this Nissan Sandcrawler.

We’ll take a break for now, but check back soon for the end result and final coverage of Super GT for the 2012 season!

 

DSC07384

Event: Super GT Official Test Day at Motegi

Action, Automotive, Event, Japan, Motor Sports

A few weeks ago Super GT held the final official test day for the 2012 season.  The venue; Twin Ring Motegi.  While the majority of the teams set out to gather data for the upcoming 2013 season, there were a handful of championship contenders who were out testing with weight handicaps to simulate conditions of the final two races; Autopolis and Motegi.  JDM Clips was on hand to get some coverage of the first of two test days.  During the last race in Kyushu, the S-Road Mola team has clenched the 2012 GT500 team championship in an impressive last lap victory.

 

Epson HVS-010 rounding the lightly banked course.

 

 

The Hankook Porsche leaving the pits.  This team currently sits in first place in the GT300 class, but just 7 points ahead of the A Speed team.

 

 

Despite the rain during the first half of the session, it ended up being a great day for racing.

 

 

Raybrig HSV; I love the livery on this car.

 

 

While we’re on the subject, I may as well post the 3rd HSV in GT500 – the Weider team.

 

The #61 BRZ of the R&D Sport team – drivers Tetsuya Yamano and Kouta Sasaki currently sit 13th in the driver championship.  I’m guessing this team was focusing on their upcoming 2013 season during testing.

 

 

The JLOC Lambo piloted by Orido heading to the track.  I’m convinced that these guys are among the coolest people ever.

 

 

Another European car among the GT300 field; the GAINER Audi R8.  The team is currently in 4th place, although they are 16 points behind the 3rd place team.

 

 

Pit work on the Aguri teams ride.  I like the seating driver position on this car.

 

 

My favorite GT500 team; Lexus Team Zent Cerumo, still has a good chance of snagging the 2nd place crown for 2012.

 

 

Back in the garage area…

 

 

 

The Team Mugen GT300 CR-Z racked up an impressive 24 points in it’s shortened season.  I look forward to seeing what this car and team is capable of in 2013.

 

Autech GTR rear section.

 

Taniguchi was on hand to impress all the ladies.

 

 

HSV enemies.

 

Boxer on life support.

 

 

The 4th GT500 team that utilizes the HSV – Autobacs Aguri.  To say that this team struggled in 2012 would be an understatement.  All the best to them in 2013.  Looking forward to the final race and standings for 2012.  Thanks again to JDM Clips for the great shots.

Locale: Oh, Don’t Mind Me – Another Visit To Type One

Automotive, Japan, JDM, Locale

.

Visiting Type One never gets old for me; there is always something new there to see every time I go.  So I make it a priority of mine to stop in each time I go to Japan.  Granted, without a car, it makes for a bit of a walk; but I had access to a car this time because I was with my friend from JDM Clips.  I might add that having makes visit tuning shops so much easier.  Obviously, you go to car shops because you own a car, so it’s not a big concern for shop owners to be close to train stations.  If you’re just visiting Japan, going places not near train stations can be both difficult and expensive without an auto; especially if you’ve never been there before.  I have absolutely no problems walking a few miles to get to clutch shops, but needless to say, having a car was a giant win.  Like any typical foreign fan boy should, I like just walking around the shop and looking at all the stuff I’ve seen dozens of times already – it never gets old.  Plus, the shop gets a lot of traffic, so chances are you’ll see different rides there every time you visit.  I already featured that extremely cool matte black S2000 that I saw last time, which you can see here; but I never got around to posting up some of the other cars that were in the shop on that trip.  I know there are many sites that post up stuff from Spoon and Type One once or twice – but who else posts new shots from the shop over and over! hahaha – hopefully the viewers share the same love that I do.  Click past the break to take a stroll through the shop and check a few more of them out.

Close-Up: J’s Racing CR-Z

Automotive, Close-Up, Japan, JDM

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As a follow up to the J’s Racing S2000 Type-GT we featured last week, I thought I’d share the other car on display at the J’s Racing Fair.  J’s Racing recognizes the growing trend of tuning hybrid cars, and when Honda introduced the CR-Z in 2010, they immediately started making parts for the new chassis.  This 2010 CR-Z serves as their test bed and show girl for all their CR-Z products.  J’s has a reputation for creating some pretty wild livery’s, and this car is no exception.  Check out more past the break.

Event: Motor Sport Japan 2011 – On Track Action

Action, Automotive, Event, Japan, JDM, Motor Sports

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Before I post the coverage that JDM Clips got of the Motor Sports Japan 2011 Festival, I thought it would be cool to share the ‘on-track’ action from the event.  Race teams, aftermarket companies, and car manufacturers give the fans a sample of the vehicles performance on a make-shift track in part of the lot at the site in Daiba, Tokyo.  Famous drivers take to the machines for a few spirited laps around the course.  Some of the cars include current Super GT cars, rally built cars, prototype and modified street cars.  Click past the break for some more great shots.