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

Action, Automotive, Close-Up, Japan, JDM, Motor Sports, Time Attack

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.


Event: HKS Premium Day 2015 – Assault on Fuji

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


There I found myself; laying on the ground, the unmistakably cold chill of the natural wooden planks pressed against my warm back, staring blankly at the clouds drifting lazily overhead.  I slowly closed my eyes, ignoring the incredulous stares from the other men in the room, relaxing my exceedingly overworked muscles.  As the cool breeze consumes my elevated body temperature, and a somewhat effervescent steam radiates from my naked body, I couldn’t help but let my mind wander – recollecting upon the events of the day.  It had been a long one, I thought to myself, and ending the day with a trip to an onsen was nothing short of perfect (I realize that introduction has very little to do with the event, but I thought it was notably humorous).


Event: Option Fuji Super Lap Results V.2

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



Well, to be honest with everyone, I’m kind of at a loss for words.  I’ve had so much going on that I completely forgot to finish posting the second half of Super Lap Battle from Premium Day.  It’s been just about 3 months since the event and I was a little torn about whether or not to post the remainder up or not.  I suppose I should though, as the builds that competed in the event are timeless.  There’s something strange about posting 3 month old stuff though – if there is one saving grace it’s that these cars haven’t really been active too much since Super Lap Battle.


Just like in the first Results post, I’ll do my best to add a little bio on each car and include their lap times for the day.  If you’re new to the event, or this coverage in general as there wasn’t much offered online this year, you can check out the olders posts here, and here as well.  Lot’s of iconic time attack cars here…

As I mentioned in the previous posts, this particular morning was pretty chilly.  You could see a nice layer of snow being blown atop Fuji throughout the afternoon as well, in case for some reason you forgot just how cold it was…




The TF GT1000 Kamikaze GTR basking in the flow of the afternoon sun.  Finished for the day, pulling a fast lap of 1’44.051 around Fuji.  Actually, this car is on the cover of the new Import Tuner magazine if you’re interested in learning more you should scoop it up.




The Wacky Mate FD3S heading out to challenge the circuit.  The 480ps company demo car managed a 1’55.115; which seems somewhat slow, but from what I’ve read apparently they were having some setup issues.






The Reverse BNR32, one of my favorite 32’s, managed a 1’50.539.  While the HKS 2.8liter RB26 produces a massive 700ps it still wasn’t able to get near the ATTKD 32; a build that produces the same amount of power.

The Reverse 32 uses a pair of GT2530 turbines to propel itself around circuit.  1’50 flat is still extremely quick!





A crowd favorite, Garage Mak’s bossman’s HKS GTS8550 supercharged Z33.  This thing was loud!  It was also sporting some crazy wide wheels – so much so that everyone kept mentioning them.  18x11j TE37SL’s, and then later in the day switching to Enkeis.






Setting a personal best of 1’50.122 for the day, the Garage Mak team was extremely happy.





Cool to see it in action!  NDF is actually teaming up with Garage Mak for some neat stuff towards the end of Summer – stay tuned if you’re a fan of both!





I’m not too sure who was driving this R33 – the only R33 that was on the list that HKS gave me was a Cockpit one, but the Auto Select guys were working on this one…so, not too sure.  The Cockpit R34 was in a separate garage.






Matt came with Sekinei and I…






…and I locked him in the bathroom.  He is actually still in there…





All hail our supreme savior; the bearer of sovereign justice, the unmatched, the crowning achievement of technical fine tuning, unsurpassed in aesthetic – The Esprit NSX.








780ps C30A, powered by dual HKS GTII Turbines, was driven to a blindingly quick 1’43.039 by none other than Tarzan himself.  The Esprit aero package is quite incredible…






I’m determined to have that wing on my Civic one day…






Type-F’s made by SSR.






Our friends at Pro Shop Fukuoh managed a very respectable 1’47.647 in their mildy tuned FD3S.  This build is super cool; utilizing a single HKS T04Z, the rotary engine pumps out a mild 580ps.  On the lower end of the scale compared to it’s competitors, and still managing a quicker time.  There’s actually a couple more prints of this car left to purchase in the NDF Store if interested.






Top Secret/Voltex S2000 on it’s way to claim victory.






…and claim victory it did; by a long shot.  Read more about it in the previous coverage.  The updates this car is getting for WTAC are nothing short of incredible.  I posted a link on the NDF FB page recently with some updates in the wind tunnel.









One of the exhibitions was this ‘S Tai’ GT3 BMW.  NOB took it out for a couple laps…





…Speaking of NOB, I got really close to him.  Like, I almost just touched his arm for the hell of it…maybe some of his aura would rub off on me.  He was pretty busy throughout the day as many of the companies involved hired him to pilot their builds.





One of the many cars being the HKS Racing Performer 86 RS-2 GT 86; which was driven in the 86/BRZ Challenge portion of the day.  Another build to fall into the ‘twin-charging’ craze, it’s powered by both a HKS GT Supercharger, as well as a GTII7867 turbocharger.  The engine has also been stroked to 2.1 liters, bringing the power level up to an amazing 580ps.  NOB managed a time of 1’53.989, beating out quite a few of the Super Lap builds.






There were a couple other really cool 86’s participating int he challenge as well.  The Bride/Esprit build was one of my favorites; coincidentally, it was also the fastest with a time of 1’51.885.  Seeing as it has almost half the power the HKS 86 has, it just goes to show that power isn’t everything.  But it DOES tell us that ‘looks’ is everything because this car looks much better than the HKS one…and it’s faster…so…yeah.  Logic.




Trial ZN6 pulled a 1’58.972 and also won for the lowest car on track award.  I’m not sure if the HKS GTS7040L produced so much power that it squatted on every corner exit, or if the rear springs on the HKS Hipermax coilovers were just really soft or something.  Looked cool though – and I liked the blue spoke on the TE’s.






Cockpit Tatebayashi build was left basically stock aside from an HKS Supercharger kit and some suspension bits.  Going for a more street oriented demonstration, the car clocked in at 2’09.309.




Well, I think that about does it for Super Lap.  Again, I apologize that it took so long!  2014 has been a pretty crazy year so far – I hope it get’s even crazier!  If it does I’ll do my best not to forget stuff like this…











Feature: Battle Evome’s Wild Heart – Tommy’s FD3S

Action, Automotive, Feature, Japan, JDM, Motor Sports, Time Attack


There is a feeling that some have experienced that is as nerve racking as it is exhilarating.  Some may crumble under it,  feed off of it; becoming stronger, faster.  A sort of pressure that brings out the best of us.  Some of us look for it, most avoid it.  A contender to the Evome series that we don’t see too often, on this day, went up against the greatest.  Throwing himself into a field of heavy hitters and veterans of Battle Evome, ‘Tommy’ feels this pressure, and uses it to push himself, and his FD, to the limit of attack.


Although he is no stranger to Tsukuba, he has only entered in the Evome series a handful of times in the past, and for some reason get’s little exposure (which is beyond me).  As he combed over the many factors that must be taken in to account and not over looked before heading out to track, you could feel a sort of tension in the paddock, akin to a toned down F1 race.  Wheel and tire selection, pressure, checking the brakes, making sure engine fluids are proper, etc.  Clockwork to the veterans…


As the morning sun shines on the line up of attack machines, we get a glimpse at the individuality of each machine.  Tommy, choosing a modified variation of Y’s Factory aero, with a variety of Vertex canards to make up the front end.  For mirrors, contrasted Super Ganadors, a staple of any FD.  R-Magic headlights providing an even more menacing look to the car.

As the contenders talk amongst themselves, the tension that was so prevalent upon arrival, begins to fade with friendly chit chat.


Raised on three jacks, the FD looking more like a fighter jet than an automobile.  Here we get a good view of the Esprit rear wing handling the rear downforce for the RX7.  Even minimal gains in downforce are ideal, so side canards are utilized to gain just a bit more wherever he can.

But, as the time of attack nears, the pressure begins to build again…


That familiar feeling comes into focus as they pull out of the hot pit and onto the proving grounds of TC2000.  In that moment, their senses embrace them, heightened beyond the usual capacity.


Everything becomes so clear; every sight, every sound, every movement.  The fibers from the fabric in their gloves, pressing in to the ridges of the steering wheel; from there, a connection with the car forms, becoming focused solely on one thing…


…the chance of personal greatness.  To achieve the fastest time possible.

As the Aragosta suspension floats through each corner, the air flowing over the body panels, the seconds tick by.

All conditions are no less than perfect, and from here the war wages within oneself.  The Aragosta suspension floats the FD seamlessly through each corner, as the 13B screamed Tommy to a fast lap of 59.311 seconds.


An improvement on the last time around, but not yet the maximum.

While, up to a point, modifying the car for improvement is somewhat easy; it is finding the inner drive that allows us to reach the limit of what can be done on circuit.  I’m excited to see what changes he makes for the events in the future to compete against the heavy hitter FD’s that are more familiar in the series.

Photos: Sean // Words: Cody Chan

Event: Tokyo Auto Salon 2011 v.5

Automotive, Event, Japan, JDM


I have a feeling this last installment is going to be filled with R35 goodness.  Mine’s, Endless, HKS, Option; they all had GT-R’s on display, and they were all fantastic.  For a closer look at the Mine’s built GT-R pictured above, check out Taka’s video @ JDM Clips.  This thing is pushing out near 800hp.  Although this may be the last ‘walk around’ TAS post, I’ll have a few more specific shots coming soon however.  It’s kind of sad to see it come to an end.  Click past the break to see more of the final coverage post from Tokyo Auto Salon.