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Encounter: 牛島慎太郎のシルビア S15

Automotive, Encounter, Japan, Motor Sports

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A couple shots of Shintaro’s S15 Silvia at Tsukuba.  Looks like the front splitter makes a nice coffee holder.

 

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Unfortunately, Shintaro didn’t get enough time on track to set a hot lap at this Evome.  He crashed out on one of the last corners early in the day.  Hope he returns next year to try again.

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Encounter: 本庄サーキット タイヤ館 – コクピット シルビア

Action, Automotive, Encounter, Japan, Motor Sports

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This weekend Sekinei took to the circuit to participate in the Bridgestone sponsored タイヤ館 event in Honjo.  Among the runners at the track, this Silvia stood out the most with it’s attack styling and aero.

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Tuning provided by Cockpit, with full URAS Type-GT aero; a very functional combination.  Not to mention a great color way.

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Stay tuned for more from Honjo Circuit!

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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!

Close-Up: APR HASEPRO GT300 Toyota Prius

Automotive, Close-Up, Japan, Motor Sports

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Aside from the KERS outfit on a Formula 1 car, it would be a safe bet that the last thing that goes through peoples minds when discussing motor sports is the term ‘hybrid’.   So when Toyota, along with APR Racing, and Super GT announced their intentions to develop a Prius GT300 car the buzz was quite large.  Japan has always been a leader in hybrid technology and promotion of its use, so to me, it didn’t come as much of a surprise.  It was really only a matter of time until hybrids made their way into the racing scene, and Super GT seems like a great place to start.    The Super GT series is the flagship of Japanese motor sport, and with the increase of various chassis comes an increase in fan base.  Everyone who drives a Prius will now have a reason to come watch the races and cheer on their own team; which in the end is great for the sport and probably Prius sales.  Although the consumers might be a little disappointed when they can’t get the car up to 220 km/h dropping their kids off at school.  I should point out not to get me wrong when I start throwing the term ‘hybrid’ around so loosely, because this is not your average grocery getter.  I think we would all agree that it would be a little naive of us to assume that this is a stock Prius.  While it does retain the stock hybrid system, it gets a little extra help from something special mounted in the rear.  Click past the break to learn more about the first hybrid in Super GT.

Event: Super GT Round 2 – Throwdown At Fuji Speedway v.2

Action, Automotive, Event, Japan, Motor Sports

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We continue the coverage of Super GT Round 2 from about the middle of the race.  By now I had wandered myself around the better half of the track and started making my way back to the paddock area to get something to eat.  While doing so, I managed to miss the massive crash of the Art Taste Porsche driven by Tim Bergmeister that ended up sending him to the hospital.  I’m not sure if he had a puncture in one of his tires that threw him off, or if it was a driver error, but the accident was pretty horrific.  This delayed the race for a good 30 minutes while they cleaned up and got the car off-track.  It didn’t take long though for the GT cars to start up at full throttle again.  Click past the break to check out more racing action from Fuji Speedway.

Locale: Cobb Tuning Socal – Shop Tour

Automotive, Locale, Motor Sports

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After two straight weeks of work, I finally managed to squeeze in a much needed day off.  This past Wednesday I had plans to shoot my friends Z32 but, due to a scheduling conflict, had to cancel.  Not being one to waste a day off, I sat down and thought of some other things to shoot for the website.  I had remembered someone telling me last month that COBB Tuning had opened a new facility in Southern California; I had also remembered reading about an open house for their grand opening.  Well, after I had looked into it, I realized their grand opening had already past on the 22nd.  No big deal, I figured I’d go ahead and stop by because I had plans on going that direction anyway – and I’m glad that I did.  The brand new, 10,000 square foot facility that COBB Tuning inhabits is extremely nice.  Upon my arrival I introduced myself to Ronnie, one of the cool dudes in charge of sales & marketing, and they gladly showed me around the facility.  Check out more past the break.

Video: Subaru BRZ GT300

Automotive, Japan, JDM, Motor Sports, Video

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Subaru released this insanely awesome video yesterday in regards to it’s intentions on using the BRZ as a GT300 competitor in Super GT.  This will quite possibly be the most bad ass contender in 2012.  Turn your speakers up.

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