Event: Battle Evome 2017 – Steadfast in Tradition

Given our illustrious ability to sleep in on the day of track events, I was surprised that when my alarm clock went off at 4:30am this past Sunday morning, I actually got out of bed.  As our routine would have it, I met Sekinei downstairs and we set off for Ibaraki stopping only at the 711 right after the turn-off to Tsukuba.  It’s been longer than I can remember that I arrived at the track before the sun came up, but we somehow managed to roll through that little narrow tunnel before daybreak.  In fact, we were among the first to arrive meeting Under-san and the Evome staff as we entered.  It didn’t take long for the flat beds to start rolling in though, and before I knew it the paddock was full of cars with drivers itching to get out on track before the weather took a turn for the worse.

dsc_0021-editIt’s been a good while since I’ve posted anything on the site; for a handful of reasons actually.  The main cause, I suppose as some of you may know, was being forced into having to take legal action against some issues with the storefront.  Admittedly, I was so wrapped up in it mentally, that it discouraged me from doing anything with the site until the matter was resolved.  I don’t want to delve too deep into the matter, but I will say that it’s a relief knowing that it’s at least 70% over with at the moment, and I’m looking forward to the day I can completely wash my hands of the situation.  I am still astounded with the patience and support of everyone that was caught in the middle, and I’m super proud in saying I have some of the best fans and supporters of the site out there; you guys are amazing and I appreciate you all.  At any rate, I’m pensively ready to jump back into things and what better way to do it than Evome 2017.  This coverage has taken me a lot longer to get out than I had intended, but I had the plan of opening of the storefront upon my return from Japan; so I did just that.  When it is in my control, my priority is always getting merchandise out to everyone as soon as possible.  Unfortunately, if I’m busy processing orders I can’t edit and write so content takes a back seat.  A lot has happened since this Evome, particularly with the Garage Work crew. While not in attendance for the Evome event, the Work guys have just recently shattered some milestones that push the FF category into an entirely new spectrum.  Yusukue Tokue, in his EK4, has just today destroyed the FF record at TC2000 with a 56.748 second lap time; even I have a hard time fathoming that.  Amazing work and dedication from that camp, as usual; that’s a time that Iwata himself is going to have a hell of a time besting.  Tokue isn’t alone in his best laps though, as many others have progressed further since last year; in both car and drive.

dsc_0233So, with all that’s going on with the motor sport this year, it’s nice to have an event that remains faithfully committed to providing one thing; possibility.  No sponsors, no attractions, no frills – just a track and seat time.  A few years ago when the Attack series made its debut as a contender, I had no idea that it would grow to be what it is today.  Having attended the series at both Tsukuba, and Suzuka, I can say it is truly an entirely different affair.  While Attack has jumped headfirst into increasing exposure, Evome has remained steadfast in offering a grassroots time attack event akin to the old days of Cashew.  I’m always humbled by the crew that puts Evome together, and I hope that it’s a series that stands the test of time.

dsc_0025Grandpa Totomaru and his pink CT9A were among the first to arrive to TC2000.  We exchanged cheerful hellos and wished him good luck. I’d later see him at Suzuka – I can only hope that I’m this involved in the sport when I hit 70 years old as well.

dsc_0029The AutoBahn crew arrived shortly after and got busy offloading their carbon JZZ30, which now sports yet another livery change.  This car is extremely unique in both chassis choice and build.

dsc_0225Kunihiko ended up with a 56.522 for the day after retiring with some mechanical issues; a couple seconds off their best time.

dsc_0154Who wore it better?

dsc_0175AutoBahn techs initially were replacing the plugs, and shortly moved on to trying to diagnose an electrical issue after the car came back in from the first session.

ndf_4205Seeing these two cars next to one another is pretty neat.  They’re like two peas in a pod…a carbon pod.

dsc_0040I was very excited to be in attendance this morning, mostly because it was the first day on track for the Scorch S15 with paddle shifters.  Late last year they switched ECU’s for the sole purpose of adapting paddle shifters to the Holinger transmission.  Car looks a bit surreal without a shifter in the console.

dsc_0223This car is ever-progressing, and as much as I see it, it’s usually different each time.

dsc_0381I was being very optimistic with myself in thinking that everything was going to go great and I’d bare witness to yet another TC2000 record.  Of course, with all things car, that’s never the case.

ndf_4376Under and the team would have to settle with a 52.532 (so slow, right?).  Not bad, but diagnosing the bugs in the new setup will take a few runs I’m sure.  I wish him all the best in reaching 49’s as the threat of HKS looms over him.

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dsc_0182Was great seeing Harumichi and the AG-Y R32; still one of the cleanest in the sport.  58.148 for the GTR, a bit slower than his previous best.  It’s still early in the season though, and not much has changed on the build.  He’ll have to push himself to break past the 57’s.

dsc_0073Iida-san was back with his consistent sub-minute FD3S from Elite Racing Company.  The ERC FD looks very similar to last year, save for some venting improvements on the hood, as well as some slight aero adjustments.  A new, larger splitter sits up front and a flat bottom aides in air flow underneath.

dsc_0072Typical scene during mornings at Tsukuba.

dsc_0074Last minute engine checks on the DreamWorks FD; another simple favorite of mine.

dsc_0654I’ve always liked to think of Toru-san’s S14 as the baby brother of the old Exceed Moat S14.  While not as developed, this S chassis is well on it’s way.

dsc_0011On this day it bested a 59 flat lap time, but appears to have plenty more in her.  Not quite the 56.xx that Exceed Moat ran 5 years ago, but there’s room to hope.

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I was super stoked that Yusuke’s EVO finally broke into the 59’s.  This thing is street registered, using the OE turbine.  Sato-san at Unlimited Works and Yusuke have been developing it for quite awhile.  I think Sato would eventually like to take it to WTAC to compete in the lower classes.  The new exhaust setup is wild.

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Neat little EK that was competing in the Grooving event that takes place at the same time

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This S14 built in conjunction with Cockpit screamed ‘grassroots’ with the modifications done to it.  The URAS aero is a unique choice ad it definitely looked the part of attack car.

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Masahide-san’s MR-S is one for the books.  We’ll take a closer look at this platform in a little bit.

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Really cool Group A replica GTR32 in Calsonic livery.  The owner even had a matching suit and shirt.  At the R’s Meeting each year, the owners of these replicas have their own get together and the cars look quite nostalgic out on track.

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Haru-san was back again looking for those sub-minute lap times.

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This showroom clean S2000, owned by Maruyama, was competing in the Grooving class.  A 1’02.732 is rather respectable for a lightly tuned Honda here.  Well done.

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The MTechnic GBDE, while looked amazing, suffered some issues on track.  As a result it wasn’t able to put down a fast time, and left on a flatbed.

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Pacman’s FD hasn’t changed much, but if you look this good, and run 59.4’s at Tsukuba, you don’t really have to.

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Voltex equipped CT9A in Grooving class.

dsc_0456Zuki was out and about in his Work prepped DC2 shooting for the sub-minute laps that Honda’s strive for.  He bested his time from last Evome by a full second; and what’s more is he kept it on track this time!

I have a lot more coverage to come, with more event coverage and closer looks at some of the builds.  Thanks for hanging in there during the downtime – I’ll do my best to be consistent with posting content in the coming weeks.