Rotary Spirit was created in 2018 in an attempt to host the most comprehensive Seven’s Day meeting throughout all of Japan. This year marked the second annual event, and I happened to be at Fuji Speedway when the festivities were going down.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this is among the largest exclusively RX7 meets in the country. The FD and FC chassis made up the majority of cars in attendance, but despite the smaller amount of generations available of the RX7, there were still almost 500 cars present. Comparatively, that’s a smaller number when transposed with other chassis specific events like the annual Silvia Meeting or Z Day (Z Day saw over 1,500 cars) – but you have to keep in mind those cars transcend multiple decades of production. For me, the shear number of RX7’s present was worth experiencing, let alone the amount of inspiration I got personally from talking to so many rotary enthusiasts. Lead by Ando and friends, the staff of about 30 ran the event flawlessly – they are owed a huge thanks for putting on an event like this.
I was able to bounce around from the event paddock side of Fuji to track side while I shot multiple events throughout the day and caught a surprisingly good amount of photos from Rotary Spirit. Hosting the event at Fuji is a great way to expand the festivities of the meeting to more than just a show or gathering. The team organized a drift exhibition, as well as a grip/time attack competition at the drift track just up from the event paddock. There were vendors, food options and even a raffle at the end of the day; it really was all-inclusive. I don’t think anyone ever doubts the support that the RX7 has in Japan, but it was nice to see it in a tangible form. Enjoy the photos from my walk through of the grounds and if you haven’t yet, check out the video I shot during the day as well on our YouTube channel.
I started my day with a quick drive from a rest stop hotel near Gotemba to Fuji Speedway. I grabbed a fresh coffee and a croissant, hopped in my Daihatsu Aleta (which is basically a Hijet thats been rebranded for families or something), and in a quick 30 minutes I was cruising through the cloudy grounds of the circuit; Fuji blocked from view per usual. The forecast had called for rain all day, so I was nervously anticipating to be soaked all weekend, but to my delight, it hardly rained at all. All praise be to the rotary God.
Ando directing some early morning traffic.
The K2 Racing FD in front of some drift cars that were being offloaded. This was just one of the many other Attack competitors that brought their cars out for a much less intense meeting than they’re usually used to.
The new Moccomans FD – this thing looked good out on the drift course.
Shimaya showed up with just enough time to offload and set the Endless booth up before the event officially started. He’s got the transport of this thing down to a science; it helps that their tow trucks are so amazing. They really push the tolerance of their aero width though.
Can’t wait to show you guys more of this car and for you to read Shimaya’s story in the next book.
The unique blue of the K2 Racing FD has always appealed to me.
The 450 horsepower, bridgeported rotary motor that propels it around Tsukuba in a cool 58 seconds.
There were two cars in particular that I was excited to see that day. One was Itagaki’s FD, and the other was this one here, owned by Toru Nozaki. Rolling with the likes of Kyushu Danji, he made the drive all the way from Oita on the island of Kyushu to attend. I’m wondering if the car will stay down here for awhile in preparation of next Attack season; it would be great to see this car at Tsukuba or some of the other Eastern circuits.
I’ll have a closer look at this car in the next post or two – definitely a contender for 80R Volume 3 if I can make it happen.
Hiroyuki was in attendance, of course, he himself being a staple in the rotary world.
A car I see often on Twitter is this very unique FD owned by Yasuhisa-san and built at the Hyogo prefecture based shop, ZE-Grace. The company produces special knuckles for the FD, among other parts specific to grip and drift.
This car has a really cool look to it achieved by modifying various off-the-shelf body parts.
Sakurai-sans TCP kitted FD was among the cleanest there. Would like to see this car on track one day.
I like the extra fins on the TCP fenders that mold into the skirt strake – I don’t see these on most of the cars with this kit; must be an option. I think the only other one I’ve seen it on was Kitajo’s FD. Maybe it’s becuase most of the other Attack cars have custom skirts.
A custom canard treatment up front.
Special decal denoting which part of the event the car was registered for.
I like the top fender vent – helping to alleviate some of that built up air presure.
Custom cut wing stands featuring sakura petals – a tip of the hat to his name.
Another staple of the community, Yasuhiro Ando spent most of the day running around making sure everything was going smoothly and commandeering other cars to position differently for photoshoots.
Cement FD looking cleaner than usual – must have washed it up for the show.
I visited Car Shop Glow a few days before to check out Yukimitsu’s new car, pick up some parts and catch up since we hadn’t really talked since February. He was telling me about this beef skewer food truck that was going to be there for the event and how amazing it was; best meat ever. So, when I saw him eating chicken I was like, ‘WTF!?’. He said the truck couldn’t get the correct permit in time so no go. I was actually pretty disappointed. Looks like he was to.
The CCFD3S SPL built by Masaki Kitajo of Craft Company. Long time friend of NDF and 80R Vol. 1 featured driver was in attendance supporting Royal Purple. He was hanging out with Yoko from RWB all day, and it was nice to have a booth in the middle of the grounds to rest and put my stuff so I didn’t have to keep walking back to the car.
Car is looking great – he’s almost ready for next season, just needs a bit more testing with the new motor setup.
Lot’s of good stuff going on in here.
I think Yoko was laughing at Masaki trying to get his helmet on. He was driving the CCE FD in the grip contest. All the other drivers were just cruising out to the start, but Masaki jumped in the car, left the tire chock on the front wheel and just did a massive brake stand right in the parking area before heading out. Not coincidentally, he actually won the competition haha.
This car has seen its fair share of track days and is probably in need of a rebuild. There was oil smoke coming out of the exhuast around the entire track.
A couple other neat FD’s were competing in the grip competition as well.
Including the aforementioned Itagaki’s FD – will have a feature on this car soon. He lives in Yamagata, which is just west of Sendai, not as far as Kyushu, but still pretty far. Far enough to not see him at the track as often as I’d like. He’s been slowly putting the car back together and it was cool to see the ‘nearly’ finished product.
I got a ride over to the drift park in Masaki’s car. He has a passenger seat, but on the passenger floorboard is a sump and a bunch of fuel and electrical lines. It was awkward getting in and out with all my camera shit, but still pretty funny. I posted a video here.
I climbed over the chained off stairs to get a better view of the layout. This is the bulk of the general meeting area, but it extended down the paddock all the way to the drift track. Impressive!
In the next post I’ll share some photos from this portion of the meet.
The great staff that worked hard all day to make it possible.
And everyone who came out to simply enjoy, show their cars and passion for the RX7 and rotary life. You should recognize a few of the people that are front and center, starting with Amemiya himself.
I was actually watching the pre-race in the grandstands before going to work, and about halfway through two older gentlemen walked down the row and sat next to me. I turned to look and saw none other than Option’s Daijiro Inada and Isami Amemiya. I texted our group chat laughing – should have taken a selfie.
I’m glad I had the opportunity to check it out – it was a great meeting with a relaxed atmosphere.