I messaged Makoto today to catch up and inquire about some things I’ve been waiting on from Garage Work. I realized that, out of all the spotlights on Garage Work cars I’ve posted, I never really posted much about his EK4. We got to chatting about his car and what he’s working towards with it. As you would imagine, his build is another prime example of the ‘less is more’ mentality that comes out of the Chiba outfit.
More often than not, the common thought process when it comes to getting a faster time around the track, is to add more power. Not when it comes to Garage Work, however. In our conversation, Makoto mentioned that Iwata-san was working on creating packages for his customers that focused on making them better drivers. More often than not, this mentality would detract from power adders as there is much to be gained in other facets of a build; and with a near stock engine, there is no better example of this than Makoto’s EK4.
The main driver behind the Ichihara native is the desire to break the one-minute barrier at TC2000 with an engine that has been basically untouched; a goal that has never been reached before – let alone attempted. Quite possibly one of the most frustrating goals to set for oneself, but no doubt, when it’s achieved the satisfaction will be immense.
This means that Makoto is fighting for a 59 second lap only by tuning suspension, gear ratios, and reducing weight.
Take into account that this is the original engine in the car (it hasn’t even been overhauled yet), and you’ve got not only an incredibly difficult task, but one that ultimately has a time limit as the original B18C wears with each track day.
He isn’t totally unarmed in his fight, however. Garage Work, working closely with Tein, has the ability to swap spring rates and test different damper valving nearly every track event if necessary. Used to extremely high spring rates and literally no stabilizer bars, the Garage Work camp knows what they’re doing when it comes to suspension tuning. The EK4 currently has a set of Tein HT dampers valved to a custom setting.
A 6-point roll cage gives Makoto the added safety that you don’t typically find in builds like this. The cage does add weight, but you can’t put a price on safety. Despite this, the car weighs in at a tremendously lightweight 804kg (about 1770 pounds).
Quick pit stop at the Evome event in January, as Iwata and Kubo diagnose an ignition issue with the motor. The issue ended up being a bad MAP sensor that ended Makoto’s day early. He still managed to grab a 1’01.515 – 1.5 seconds off his goal.