There is a good chance that if you’re browsing this website, you’re familiar with Aoki-san of Ready GO Next. Not only does he have a successful shop catering to RX7 tuning, but he is among the masterminds associated with the creation of Attack; Japan’s most renowned time attack event.
The time Aoki has spent on his FD program, along with the success he has seen, has created a sort of sub-genre of tuning around his specific approach to tuning. Dubbed ‘ドラテク’ (Dora-tech), charmingly named after Aoki’s affinity for Doraemon, the style focuses on capitalizing on the car’s existing potential. This is done through severe weight reductions, specialized suspension tuning and alignments, increasing the aerodynamic profile of the chassis, and carefully extracting just the right amount of power from an untouched engine. This philosophy is akin to wringing out the water from a wet cloth; where as, the water is OE-based performance, and the wet cloth would be the chassis. The key is in the manipulation of the existing car.
This approach benefits both the car and the driver, in that it allows the driver to create a baseline in feel before anything major is done to the car that would change how it reacts. The car, in this case the FD, is not thrown into a life of abuse from overpowering modification. As you’ll see later in this article, it’s possible to preserve the engine in stock condition and still achieve incredibly fast times.
Aoki just reset his personal best at Tsukuba on 295 series Advan A050 to a blistering 54.456. In it’s current specification, his FD has a normal engine with power boosted to ~360hp, and normal transmission. Aoki admittedly says that he is losing time between shifts, and will possibly consider a sequential transmission as the next modification to the FD. Where as there are cars currently with much higher power and sequential transmissions that are not running times as fast as this. It’s a testament to the tuning methodology, as well as Aoki’s driving.
This sort of patient approach to tuning is hard to come by recently. In the days of instant gratification, it’s not uncommon to see heavily modified cars with less inexperienced drivers hoping to get easy fast laps. Fortunately, Aoki’s Dora-Tech method has attracted several younger drivers wanting to improve without the burden of costly parts and repairs from aftermarket modification. Following closely in the footsteps of the RGN founder is Akira Ouchi, whose FD totally embodies the same concept as Aoki’s.
“I am imitating as much as I can, referring to Mr. Aoki’s FD. Simply put, I am doing what Mr. Aoki was doing.”
With a current best time of 57.237 seconds around Tsukuba’s TC2000, I’d say that his approach is working. Ouchi’s FD has taken on the nickname of the ‘Boost Up FD’ as the 13B remains untouched save for a boost up, along with a normal spec transmission. In it’s current form, Ouchi’s goal is to break into the 56 second range. Once he reaches that goal, he will consider changing to a single turbine setup on the 13B and aim for 55 seconds, getting ever closer to Aoki. In any case, he wants to be sure that the engine and transmission remain normal.
Ouchi says if his engine blows he may reconsider his plans, but at any rate he will stay the course on his search for time around TC2000. Looking forward to see how this year plays out for the team. Enjoy the gallery.