So we’ll continue the delayed NDF coverage of HKS Premium Day 2014 with a walk-through of the garages at Fuji. While the majority of the Hyper Challenge cars pitted in one of the main parking lots, the garages were reserved for the Option Super Lap cars. For good reason though, these were 100% purpose built race cars that needs much more attention than the amateur class of Hyper Challenge. Some of the top tuners in Japan were in attendance and they were using this day to try and set new track records. It was a lot of fun getting to roam around Fuji’s pit lane free of restraint. I hadn’t been able to do that since the last Super GT race I went to there back in 2012 I think (2013? I can’t remember). HKS also put together a 86 Challenge where the 86’s got their own track time, but it ended up being pretty lackluster as there were only 4 or 5 cars really putting down good times in the class. Although, out of the dozen or so competing, they all looked pretty great. One of them being the Rasty 86 seen above. The livery on this car is amazing. I love the blue chrome…
Shot from the front of the intercooler/radiator set up. They utilized a pretty large splitter for the session.
Another contender in the 86 Challenge was the Auto Technical Proshop Arena built car. Another cool livery! Arena is a pretty large shop located in Tsushima, near Nagoya in the Aichi Prefecture. You can check out their みんカラ here.
RevYou, a Nissan tuning shop near Chiba had a few cars on hand. This GTR, as well as a Z car that was tearing up Fuji duing the Super Lap battle.
Sekinei and I actually passed by this shop on the way to visit Iwata-san at Garage Work. I really wanted to stop by and meet everyone, and see some of the cars, but we really didn’t have time. We were kind of already pushing it going all the way to Chiba when Sekinei’s son needed to be picked up from school hahaha.
I thought this shot was cool – the squat is real deal.
One of the cars Varis brought out was this GTR on a fresh set of Volks. I really liked the half pinstripe vinyl. You can always count on Varis to make extremely stylish cars in a very simple fashion.
Back in the garages things we’re starting to get real live. As the morning burned on it got closer and closer for the event that everyone was dying to see. Each shop owner and driver preparing their cars for the Option Super Lap Battle…
Here, the two FD’s of Fukuoh ‘Freedom World’ sit in peace, awaiting their time to shine.
Their more iconic build – you may actually recognize this from an Import Tuner article a few months ago. You’ll get to see it in a new light in the coming days though.
Next door the Voltex guys were busy assembling the aero package on the Top Fuel/Voltex S2000. This car (obviously) was the fastest of the day by FAR. It was pulling 1.40’s consistently like it was no big deal. Reaching close to 300 km/h on Fuji’s enormous straight.
An aero package that doubles as a work bench…what more could you want?
Busy busy in this garage.
This enormous Voltex Type 11 rear element is by far the focal point of the rear end. I love how you can see the rear brakes through the wide rear fenders. The slightly offset exhaust through the diffuser, it’s all so excellent.
The Top Fuel tuned F-series easily distributing over 800 ps to the back end.
Assembling the side skirt and fender combination. The car was transported over with almost no aero on it, so everything had to be assembled in the garage.
Random, bright green S15 that was in the Yashio Factory garage. I never saw this on track though…
One of the gentlemen in the garage that Top Secret was occupying noticed my friend and I trying to get shots through the half closed garage earlier in the morning, so he kindly opened it up for us to get some light in. Top Secret had both their GTR and 86 in attendance, however I believe the 86 suffered from some mechanical issues.
Their GTR however was on point. The speeds this car carried through the straight were nothing short of incredible.
I thought the side exit, titanium exhaust was a nice touch as well. Very well crafted.
Art Tech Hanatsuka had their R34 on hand for the Super Lap battle. Today it was sporting a set of Nismo wheels instead of the red TE’s we are accustomed to seeing it on.
Shot of the extensive engine work done to the RB26.
Art Tech was sharing one of the larger garages with Reverse. Nakano-san paused her work for a few minutes to let Matt and I snap a few photos.
Not sure why I’m including this picture, but I thought it was funny…I’m not even sure why…
Art Tech friends and family.
The driver of one of the Saurus built R32’s double checking tire pressure before heading out.
Said 32. The one in front laid down some seriously fast times – I’ll have a closer look at it in the coming week.
The HKS x Varis GTR: Kamikaze-R.
I was pretty upset that we never got to see the Wacky Mate FD hit the circuit. I’m still trying to find out what exactly happened to prevent it from running. It looked incredible in the garage though; I can only imagine how it looked on track. (Edit – I take that back, this car actually did run in the first session and put down a decent time of 1:55.115 – which, given the modifications, is pretty good. I suppose I just missed it.)
I loved the simplicity of the color way.
Great looking car.
Around this time the first session of Hyper Challenge was set to kick off so we ditched the paddock and headed to the circuit. I had a blast walking around Fuji trying to hit all the good corners. Next up I’ll have some on-circuit action of the Hyper Challenge cars. Although it consisted of amateurs and privateers, there were some really cool cars in the field.