Feature: クラフトカンパニー企画 – Masaki Kitajo’s CCFD3S

kitajo1

In the Hyogo prefecture just Northwest of Osaka, is an industrial city named Amagasaki.  A mid sized city known for it’s manufacturing contributions to the Hanshin Industrial Region, and funny enough, the home to Formula 1 driver Kamui Kobayashi.  It’s also the location of a tuning shop that’s been around a lot longer than most people think.  Craft Company Planning, no stranger to the circuit, has been gaining much more exposure recently outside of Japan.  Their iconic CC logo working it’s way into the hearts of many FD fans worldwide; and a lot of it has to do with Kitajo-san’s ongoing project of attack – the CCFD3S2014.

kitajo2

Kitajo has not only been tuning cars for years, but he’s been driving them as well.  The years spent on tracks like Tsukuba, Central, Okayama, Suzuka, Sendai have all given him an accumulated experience that not many have.  It’s also the reason he is one of the quickest FD’s in attack.  Fourth actually, with a fastest time of 57.077 (nearly 57 flat) at TC2000, it puts him just under the Moty’s , TFR, and Doraemon FD’s, but doing so in a very tight margin.  I love the look of the carbon in the sunlight in this picture – Garage Kagotani pieces.

kitajo3

There are many things that make the cars at Battle Evome stand out, but of course the concentration lies on the aero packages that get updated continuously.  The uniqueness of each approach defines the aesthetics of the car in a way nothing else can.  The Craft Company FD, in this years configuration (2013 as well), wears the TCP Magic full G-Face body kit; one of the most unique kits for the FD.  The focal point of course being the incredibly beautiful front fenders – somehow managing to be both aggressive and subtle at the same time.

kitajo4

The carbon doors creating the perfect flow of carbon throughout the body.  TE37SL’s in the rear paired with Advan RGIII’s make for a great stagger and match the car perfectly.

kitajo5

The 57 seconds spent on Tsukuba is a testament to more than just good looks though, and the fully built rotary sitting underneath the bonnet has much to do with that.  As we all know though, not one part of the car can bring success.  The entire build has to be taken into consideration and paired with parts that will compliment one another to achieve your end result.  While other FD’s may be gunning for maximum power with huge T88’s, the CC FD may be taking a different approach more suitable for the car and driver combination.

kitajo10

The full cage, the massive gussets throughout the chassis, and a frame that has been stripped of all things unnecessary and fully stitch welded for maximum rigidity.  All part of this combination that makes the car stand out among the competition, and more importantly perform on track.

kitajo7

A combination that he obviously got right…

kitajo9

…because it’s proven where it matters.

kitajo12

kitajo12

As the fates would have it however, he was not able to break any personal records on this day.  Despite the track conditions being near perfect, he was able to muster ‘just’ a 57.886 – nearly a second off pace of his best.  This was on his 10th lap of 16 completed – I would imagine only a handful being full on hot laps.

kitajo14

Although not able to best himself today, we know that Masaki Kitajo will be back.  Another chilling morning drive out of Kobe headed East.  Passing Suzuka, winding through Nagoya, headed through the coastline of Shizuoka, maybe stopping for a coffee on the breathtaking outskirts of Fuji, blasting by the metropolis of Tokyo, with a final destination in Ibaraki.  Arriving at Tsukuba just as the sun’s first light reveals itself on the horizon.  Once again to take on the keeper of time; TC2000.  Once again to pit himself against the greatest opponent he’ll ever know.  Himself.

And remember to stretch before your attack…(/^▽^)/