Gallery: Archive 80R – Friends Racing S15 Part 1: Tsukuba

In the realm of time attack racing in Japan, when one mentions the Silvia S15, our mind wanders automatically to Under Suzuki and his quest for a sub 50 lap time at Tsukuba.  However, with the growing determination of Toru Inose’s campaign, that mindset has slowly been shifting.

Officially established as Friend’s Co. in late 2011, the Tochigi based shop has rather quickly made a name for itself in a variety of motor sports across Japan. Best known for their immaculate Nissan demo builds, they first rose to popularity with their association with D1 and drifting in the late 00’s.  As far back as 2007 and 2008, Toru Inose drove his S15 under the Friend’s Racing flag in drift competitions around Japan, on top of supporting other drivers in feeder series like D1 Street League.  It wasn’t until some years ago that Inose took an earnest interest in time attack.  The repurposed S15 has gone through many phases since then, and although now almost unrecognizable from it’s previous forms, there is one thing that hasn’t changed; Inose’s incredible attention to detail and flawless execution.

At an approximate 1,100 kilograms, the Silvia’s chassis has been prepped for both safety and performance; shedding about 150 kilograms without sacrificing rigidity or safety. The car’s stroked SR20 produces a healthy 600hp that travels through a sequential gearbox and out to the rear wheels.  The engine itself has been pushed back, actually through the original firewall to help create a more ideal center of gravity.  It’s oddly satisfying to see the new configuration and truly stunning to see the engine bay’s transformation.  There is no doubt that the build has been extremely well planned out and executed, but perhaps the most impressive feature of the car is the chassis and suspension development; ensuring the best possible performance from the 315 series Hoosiers the car runs at all 4 corners.

Despite the car being among the top contenders in the paddock, I’ve always had the feeling that this car is shrouded in a sort of unspoken secrecy.  In Volume 3 of 80R we plan to bring you an in-depth look at the founder and driver of the Friend’s Racing S15, as well as a magnification of the beauty that is his creation.

For now, please enjoy the gallery from 2020 of mostly unpublished photos from Tsukuba Circuit.