Encounter: パン・スピードアタック! – The Pan Speed FD3S

 

panspeed3

 

Pan Speed.  In the realm of rotary tuning, very few names come before it.  They are top tier; specialists in their territory.  Their flagship car, seen here, is iconic in both build and appearance.  It’s been a favorite of mine for years now, and I’m super excited that I have the chance to share it with you here.

This is a group of photographs I wanted to release at the same time as the canvas prints went on sale to kind of get everyone excited about it, but it’s a little late as I got caught up with work.  Hope you don’t mind.

On this day (HKS Premium Day 2014), the car was driven by none other than Kota Sasaki, who regularly sees the steering wheel of the FD, but is most notibaly known for winning the GT300 Super GT championship in 2005 (in the Toyota MR-S).  While on this day it didn’t break any PR’s, it did come in a notable third for the Option Super Lap.

 

panspeed2

 

There has always been a particular feel I get around this car that doesn’t happen with most others.  I think it has to do in part with the ability I’ve developed to always somehow miss seeing it in action despite encountering it several times.  This day was different however, as I was able to get as close to it as I pleased…in fact, when I was shooting it in the hot pit, Sasaki noticed me and closed his door for me so I could get a cleaner picture.  I thought that was nice of him.

 

panspeed4

 

Actually it was this particular picture here.  The Pan Speed GT aero pieces looking quite intimidating from the front view, especially with the custom louvers on the fenders.  It’s crazy to think that, with all the Evome and Tsukuba run time attack coverage we have here, that this same car ran a 55 second lap at TC2000 back in 2007.  Gives you an idea of the difference between the grassroots builds of Evome and Attack, versus a fully backed shop car.  Although close in times now to some, keep in mind this was 7 years ago.

 

 

panspeed6

 

I wonder what it would take to get a Pan Speed wind breaker…

The air jacks make for much easier tire changes as well as any sort of adjustment to the under carriage or suspension components on the quick.

 

panspeed7

 

…and change the tires they did.  Sasaki telling the mechanics which adjustments need to be made to the aero/suspension each time he pulled in.  You can see the 4-pot Brembos and Performance Friction rotors that make up the rear braking.  Up front is a similar setup, but with a 6-pot caliper.

 

 

panspeed8

 

Back on the ground, the Ohlins dampers and Hyperco springs support the weight of the FD.  Which probably isn’t much, seeing as how every effort was put into place to make the car as light as possible.

 

 

panspeed9

 

As it pulled out from the pits, the side-ported 13B screamed as Sasaki went out to try his luck on Fuji once again.

 

panspeed10

 

I wish I had a sound clip or something to share with you.  The sound this car makes is absolutely incredible.

 

panspeed12

 

Full concentration as Sasaki goes full brake after the back straight.

 

panspeed13

 

A legend amongst legends.

 

panspeed14

 

A 1:10 scale RC version of the car made it’s way around the track in chase…

…just kidding.  This is just a faux tilt-shift shot of the car powering out of the first corner.  I think I shot it with a 20mm really far away.

 

panspeed15

 

Joking aside, I was very humbled to able to get so close to one of my favorite time attack builds to date; despite it taking 6 years of traveling to Japan to happen, which actually may have just added to my excitement.  I hope you enjoy the shots, and if you feel the same way about this car as I do, you should consider the limited canvas print.  There are still a few left.

Thanks to Pan Speed and HKS.