These photos were originally for an Instagram post highlighting Ando and his 2023-spec Auto Rescue Izu/SCOOT Sports FD. After I had gone through them, I just didn’t think the compressed size for Instagram did them justice, so I decided to make them available in a higher resolution here on the website.
This event was one of the first DKM Challenge events of the year and Ando’s first test of the new bodywork before paint. It was a very overcast morning and the car count was pretty low, which presented a lot of opportunity to shoot without a busy backdrop; as is the case often at the small grounds of Tsukuba Circuit. Below is the caption from the IG post:
A staple of time attack and the rotary community in Japan, Yasuhiro ‘Yabatan’ Ando unveiled his FD’s new look this season at the first DKM Challenge event at Tsukuba early in January. The exposed dry carbon was later painted blue to match the rest of the car’s exterior.
Having gotten into composites during the off-season, he took the RE GT Championship kit that was on his car and hand-laid a new carbon version of the kit, complete with molded fender vents. Ando says that the change to dry carbon panels reduced the FD weight by over 30kg (10kg from the front bumper alone) and was the main driver in improving his times this season.
Despite actually losing power from changing the turbo to a newer Garrett G40-900 on the SCOOT built 13B, he was able to cut his TC2000 time to a 55.109 – now 32nd on the top 50 ranking. He also updated his Fuji time by almost 2 seconds with a 1’44.7 in March. Which I think is good for the 3rd fastest 2-rotor time at Fuji – just behind Panspeed and R-Magic.
According to Ando, the result of the changes were a very refreshed feeling to the car for this season, “I was able to experience the overhang of 10km very much at both Tsukuba and Fuji. All improved during turning, full braking, brake release and acceleration.”
Ando has had a busy Summer with organizing and hosting the Rotary Spirit event at Mobara, as well as competing in his debut season in Formula Drift Japan driving in his red FD.
Click each image to open the high resolution file. Enjoy!