The History of Attack’s NA Class – Part 2
The first part of our look into the NA Class focused more on the early years, with ASM and the S2000 privateers really laying the foundation for the competitiveness the class is now known for. In Part 2, we get to take a look at the rise of the FF NA competitors, as well as a brief history of how the M’s Machine Works campaign has evolved over the years. During the 2019 season, it was almost as if a switch was flipped and the FF drivers began clocking times almost unbelievable at the time; it was truly a pivotal year for the FF NA teams. Part 2 will lead us further towards the current season as we dive into the intense battle between Yuta, Ryusen and Asai over the 2022/2023 season, and we see the times normalizing in the 55 and low 56 ranges across the board. Many of these cars have never actually held the overall NA Course record, but are key players in the story for those who have. For that reason, some entries will be a bit more brief than others. I will leave links in each entry that link back to prior articles if appropriate.
Yasuji Asai’s story is one of importance for many reasons. His progression through the past 6 years of driving Tsukuba has seen him claim FF NA titles, as well as the overall NA Class title – the first FF to ever do so. Hailing from northern Japan, Hokkaido based Yasuji Asai and team GNR/Rise Up stormed into Tsukuba’s attack scene in early 2017. During the February Attack event he made the trip down with now famous FD driver Tetsuhiro Kurokawa and the Car Shop Dream team; another Hokkaido native. Tetsuhiro had made his inaugural trip to Tsukuba the year prior and made quite an impression with a 56 flat – one second behind the fastest FD at the time, Atsushi Shimaya in the Endless RX7 (55 flat). On a side note, its cool that after all these years, both Hokkaido drivers hold Tsukuba records. In 2017, Asai’s EK9 was mild in comparison to what it is now, and I struggled to find any sort of in-depth information on the build. Other than his record time at Tokachi International (1’24.6), I knew little of the team’s endeavors. This was the first time I had seen the GNR kit on the EK, and I took a lot of inspiration from the design at the time for my own EM1 build. The boxy, GT style front fenders were really cool and allowed them to fit a 255 series tire up front easily. Although a 255 series on the FF cars is now considered too small, at the time it was awesome to see such a wide stagger with a 205 series rear. The K-series engine made about 280 hp and the car weight about 880kg (1940 pounds).
On his debut in February of 2017, Asai clocked a 58.868 second lap. While on its own merits is a quick time, the high 58 was off pace for what FF cars were doing at Tsukuba in 2017; Garage Work had already broken into the 56’s, and Ryo and Ton were clocking 58 flat. Nevertheless, Asai and the team were not discouraged. Now that he knew what was needed of him and the car, he took the 2018 season to develop the car further. When he and the team returned to Tsukuba in the winter of 2019, the car was an entirely different beast. For the 2019 season, the team had been focusing on both weight reduction and improving the aerodynamics of the car in order to better match the power of the K24 they have sitting under the bonnet. New front end aero parts included a very aggressive Under Suzuki designed, carbon splitter, and large canard setup. The front fenders remained the same, but Garage Work rear arches were added to allow a wider rear tire. The car was now utilizing a 295 series Advan A050 up front, and a 255 rear – a significant increase in tire since 2017. The rear wing had been stepped up to a dual element with much larger end plates, and along with it, the custom, chassis mounts were reinforced to ensure they can handle the added downforce. You can see the 2019 spec EK9 in this article. During an early season Zummy Racing event, their upgrades netted them a 2 second improvement from their debut time and Asai stopped the clock in 2019 with a 56.738. That time ended up being their 2019 season best. Later in the year, during Attack Tsukuba conditions only allowed them to set a 57.823.
ATTACK TSUKUBA 2019
Asai and his team had took the time to make noteworthy improvements, and it had paid off in spades. While both Ryo and Ton had both firmly establishing themselves in the 56 second range, their ability to improve had gotten significantly more difficult – Asai had closed the gap in just 2 years. With Yusuke out of the picture in 2019 due to a crash in early January, and unable to defend his FF NA title, Asai officially slotted into the third fastest FF NA spot.
2020 was a difficult year for most NA competitors and we ended up seeing very little improvement – the one exception being Ryo in the Yellow Factory EG6 (who had set a new FF NA record with a 55.984 – more on that later). Asai and the GNR team kept the car in Ibaraki that year, and without upgrades over the off-season, were unable to improve on their 2016 time marking a best of 57.1 for the season. Taking the car back to Hokkaido after that, they once again took another year off and did not drive during 2021. Because of the response to Covid, we saw a downturn in events, so they took advantage of the time off to improve the EK9. Having already dialed in the aero and chassis during the 2019 season, the team turned their attention to getting more power out of the engine. They solicited the help of professional engine builders 4Piston Racing and had one of their signature K27 all motor short blocks built and sent to Japan. Tuned with a new Haltech Elite 1500 ECU, the new motor was pushing out a healthy and reliable 340ps. In addition to the new engine, the team had further reduced the cars weight to 850kg (1,873 pounds) with new carbon parts; namely the Work Shop Takumi dry carbon hood and dash. The rear tire size was changed to a 225 series, from the previously used 255 series in 2019, citing that the 225 was able to come to operating temp quicker and help in rotating the car. A new rear wing was in place featuring solid wing stands and some adjustments to the front aero were made. You can read about Asai’s 2022 season in this article.
The GNR/Rise Up EK9 had never been in better fighting form. Conditions were prime and on March 13th, 2022, Yasuji Asai reset the TC2000 NA FF record with a 55.964 – just two hundredths faster than Ryo’s 2020 time. An impressive feat, but also highlights Ryo’s incredible driving 2 years prior who set the old record with 40 less hp. This marked a period in the NA Class history where the FF cars made significant progress in catching up to the FR and MR competitors. This same year, Yuta Kamimura reset the overall NA Class record with a 55.509, edging out Iiri’s record of 55.595 set in 2018. When Iiri stopped campaigning his FD in 2020, it was only a matter of time until it was surpassed.
The owner of Rise Up had a goal of 55.4 in mind for the EK9 in 2022, but on the final lap where Asai set the new record, the engine blew, retiring them for the season.
ATTACK TSUKUBA 2022
The excitement of 2022 carried into 2023 where we saw Ton return to Tsukuba for the first time since 2020 in the Aslan EG6 to challenge Asai and the Hokkaido team. The two drivers both had incredible drives that culminated into one of the most exciting events to date. During the morning of the Attack Tsukuba practice event, on February 17th, 2023, Ton was successful in capturing the FF NA TC2000 course record with an incredible 55.53; over 4 tenths quicker than Asai’s time last year. As the morning went on, and the track temperatures began to rise ever so slightly, we had all thought that Ton would be going into the Attack Tsukuba Championships defending the FF NA title. However, in one last attempt to punch back, Asai and the GNR team pulled out all the stops. In the last session of the day, Asai stopped the clock with a blistering 55.14. A time that both took back the FF NA record and reset the Overall NA record as well, dethroning the M’s Machine Works Cayman. The entire paddock was shocked to see a naturally aspirated FF car go that fast – the momentum on track was incredible. Asai’s Sector 3 time on that lap was 9.443 seconds – a tenth faster than Seyama’s Voltex GTR32. A top speed of 201.831 kph also made it the fastest NA car on course. Truly an incredible machine.
ATTACK TSUKUBA 2023
Heading into 2024 being the fastest NA Car at Tsukuba is a lot of pressure for the team. There are rumors that Iiri will be back with his 20B RX7, and Takayuki Mizumoto, owner of M’s Machine Works, is on track to be complete with Version 3 of their Cayman; both have the potential for 54 second laps. I really can’t predict what will happen in the 2024 season other than some very, very exciting racing.
RYUSEN ‘TON’ ITOU
When I think of talented drivers in the FF arena, its usually Ryusen that is first to come to my mind. Ryusen, or ‘Ton’, as he is affectionately known as by his friends, currently holds the NA record at Central Circuit (1’16.771), and has in the past held the FF NA Record at Tsukuba (2018-2019). We’ve been following Ton from as far back as 2016, and admittedly have seen him more often at his home track of Central rather than that of Tsukuba. He was featured in 80R Volume 1, and has several appearances on the website. Despite being based out of Osaka, Ton has campaigned his EG6 at TC2000 very successfully. The trek from Osaka to Ibaraki isn’t as intense as Hokkaido, in the case of Asai, but it’s still at least an 8 hour commitment one way. It’s definitely a factor when calculating seat time at the track and I’ve always taken it into consideration when comparing times. When I was first introduced to Ton’s EG back in 2016, the Aslan supported Civic didn’t have the widebody it’s so recognized for today, and Ton was using some comically stiff 326 Power springs (70k front/60k rear). Aslan and Ton were among the first of the FF competitors to adopt the use of the K series engine; one of the first among Japan’s FF drivers to do so if you consider Ryo, and the Garage Work cars were still all running B series at the time (Garage Work to this day is still running B series). We can go as far back as 2014/15 and see that Ryusen’s EG had a K series in it. This could have possibly been the edge that pushed Ton into his first TC2000 records early in 2018.
Accompanied by his good friend Iiri, who had just finished the rebuild of his 20B FD, Ton made his way to Tsukuba for Attack in February of 2016. At that event he posted a 58.355, which was very quick at the time, but considering both his competitors were still using the B series powerplant, there was still room for improvement. November of that year, Ton would return to Tsukuba for a Dora driving event (Aoki’s own hosted events) and set a new best of 57.848
At the end of 2017, leading into the 2018 season, Ton had Aslan build a new K20 for the Civic. The new motor had an increased output of about 30 hp, which was enough for Ton to head into the next season with some more confidence. The 2017 version of Ton’s EG also featured new widened and vented front fenders, a very wide rear quarter panel, new carbon hood and front bumper. The front splitter was extended, but still resembled the DIY look from the previous year. The team further reduced the weight of the chassis getting it down to a very lightweight 800kg (1,763 pounds) – an advantage I think that is exclusive to the EG and EF. While his drive at Attack Tsukuba 2017 only netted him a 58.105, he would return again in late 2017 to set a new best of 57.120. Ton was performing extremely well in his late year events. In fact, if it wasn’t for Yusuke in the Garage Work EK4, he would have been setting new FF NA records both of the previous years.
ATTACK TSUKUBA 2018
2018 saw Ton’s hard work pay off, and during the main Attack event he set the new FF NA Course Record with a 56.546; beating out Yusuke Tokue’s 2017 time by 2 tenths. Coincidentally, this was also the year Iiri set the new NA Course Record with a 55.595 – the two boys from Osaka had dominated Tsukuba that year. The car continued to be developed in the coming years with further weight reduction, more refined aero, and a new engine that output 300hp. In 2019, Ton returned to Tsukuba to successfully defended his title by securing a 56.38, this time beating Ryo out by 3 tenths. The EG had all new front aero, including a new 3D carbon splitter, mounted to a new tube frame front end (forward of the frame rails), as well as a cleaned up interior with carbon dash. The rear wing had improved stays and the car was looking much more polished than just the year prior.
ATTACK TSUKUBA 2019
In 2020, the momentum had come to a stop. Failing to improve on his time, Ton was finally surpassed by Ryo who had broken into the 55’s that year – the first FF to ever do so. With Ryo’s new FF NA Record, the FF drivers had unofficially thrown their hats in the ring for overall NA Record. After 2020, like many people, Ton would take a multi-year break from driving at Tsukuba. He was still driving Central, and Aslan would continue to improve upon the car as time went on.
ATTACK TSUKUBA 2020
In 2023, Ton began testing the new modifications at Central, where he quickly surpassed Iiri’s old NA Course Record with his own. The 2023 version of the Aslan/Spirit EG with Ton behind the wheel was shaping up to be seriously impressive. A new, more traditional looking rear wing setup, along with a new front bumper, new hood vents, and a new paint job were among the exterior changes made. Also, and I’m not sure why, the stock side mirrors were put back on. The motor was retuned to have a more efficient power delivery, but still output about 300 reliable hp. During Attack’s practice event in mid-February, Ton actually managed to set a new FF NA course record with a 55.53, which put him well within reach of also taking the overall NA record away from Yuta. Even this early in, it was clear that the FF competitors had all but caught up to the fastest NA cars on track. Ton’s title was brief though, as we know Asai clocked his 55.144 later that same afternoon, snatching the title back and blowing his motor in the process.
ATTACK TSUKUBA 2023
With Asai out for the Attack Tsukuba 2023 main event, Ton had one more opportunity to take back the title. Unfortunately for him, the conditions just weren’t as good on the day of Attack, and warmer temperatures pushed the climate out of an ideal state. Ton was able to improve upon his 55.53 by another 3 tenths, setting a new personal best of 55.240; just one tenth away from Asai’s new record time. That awarded him with the fastest NA time of the day, with the M’s Machine Works Cayman still being diagnosed with electrical issues. With the NA Course Record now just 1 tenth apart between the two drivers, next season will be one for the books.
M’S MACHINE WORKS – YUTA KAMIMURA
As impressive as all the cars that we’ve mentioned so far are, I’d be lying if I wouldn’t put the M’s Machine Works 987 Cayman GT3 in its own category entirely. The caliber and quality of this build has been surpassed by few; we’re talking Super GT level engineering. I mean that in all sincerity. Takayuki Mizumoto, the owner of M’s Machine Works, actually designs and manufactures parts for the APR Racing. APR provides GTA-GT300 compliant cars in the GT300 class of Super GT. The M’s Cayman GT3 project is a culmination of his expertise in chassis development, and his shop’s personal aesthetic when it comes to building cars.
Mizumoto started the project in 2013 as sort of a side hobby and just 2 years later in December of 2015 it had its first run at the Speed and Sound Trophy event at Tsukuba. The intention of the build was always to be the fastest Porsche, it just so happens that they fall into the NA Class of Attack.
“That’s still the case today. So M’s Cayman GT3 is like a hobby of mine. That doesn’t mean we’re not putting in effort. We are working on this seriously. After all, it’s meaningless unless you win first prize.” – Mizumoto
Throughout 2016 the car remained in a mostly developmental state with the team making fairly dramatic changes to it throughout each season. The Cayman’s 997 GT3 front end, and 997-spec 3.6L GT3 engine, for all intents and purposes made this a GT3 (hence the name). Right out of the gate the car would run consistent mid to low 59 second laps at Tsukuba, all the while testing various throttle setups, engine settings and aero/suspension packages. In 2016 the driver (I want to say it was Isao Ihashi back then), locked up on a hot lap and damaged the car enough to end the year. For 2017 there were talks of a GT2 engine swap, but I believe they actually went with a 997 Carrera Cup engine. At any rate, the power output was around 450hp with the car weighing in around 1300kg. On a 295 square A050 tire, they were able to reduce their 2016 time by a few tenths. 2018 saw the last of the car in its current form. After setting a very quick 58.070 at Attack Tsukuba 2018, and achieving Tsukuba’s fastest NA Porsche title, the car went under the knife for all of 2019. There was talks that the shop would turbo charge the car, but later the idea was scrapped in favor of keeping this Cayman NA, and building an entirely new, twin turbocharged Cayman. The car that came out of 2019 was an evolution born from the data they collected in its first years; Mizumoto simply called it ‘Version 2’. Up until this point, the car was actually still street registered.
ATTACK TSUKUBA 2020
Wanting to run a 315 series tire (Hoosier) and increase the track width, the team needed to design an entirely new widebody for the 987. So they did, in house, and it was phenomenal. While the car was dismantled, the shop enlisted the help of APR Racing (Super GT Constructor) to totally make over the rear end suspension which was now in-bound with entirely new pick-up points, tying the roll cage into the chassis. They were able to reduce the overall weight of the car by another 100 kg as well. The new, much wider, 987 was looking very formidable for a run at the NA Record coming into the next season.
Although they weren’t able to improve their time in 2020, due to electrical issues in the transmission, they were able to use what they learned to remedy the problems and came back in 2021 determined. With the new paddle shifter setup dialed in, and all systems go, the new driver Yuta Kamimura (a young Super GT driver) was able to clock a staggering 56.911 – they were finally on the right track and showing what this car was capable of. More importantly, they had a capable drier behind the wheel. Going into 2022, Iiri’s 55.595 second lap was still set as the NA Class Record. The M’s team had a long way to go in just one year. For 2022 they installed a Bosch racing ABS system and refreshed the engine. They also updated the aerodynamics slightly, with a large dual element wing and new end plates, and slightly different front splitter. The side mirrors were also removed in favor of monitors. Small upgrades that ended up going a long way, because 2022 was the year they would walk away with the new NA Class Record.
“This season, we installed Bosch’s racing ABS and refreshed the engine, so I thought I would definitely beat the 56.911 I set last year, but I didn’t expect it to be 1.4 seconds faster. This largely depends on the driver, Mr. Kamimura. In the future, I think my record will be surpassed soon, but I think it’s best if I just keep updating it without worrying about the ranking.”
Yuta crossed the line on the last morning session run and clocking a 55.509, securing the new NA Course Record, just a tenth faster than Iiri’s record. It was a surprise to the team, that the potential of the car had finally been unlocked. Unfortunately, in 2023 they saw more issues with the hydraulic system and out of caution, chose not to run the Attack event, and subsequently lost the NA Course Record title to Asai and the GNR team.
ATTACK TSUKUBA 2023
The car is now back at M’s, completely torn apart once again, undergoing its newest evolution to ‘Version 3’. The goal is to keep the engine they ran in 2023, the refreshed 4 liter (500ps), and focus on weight reduction and suspension tuning. Everything forward of the front bulkhead will be removed and an entirely new frame will be built, changing the front suspension to double wishbone. To achieve this, they will once again work with Super GT constructor APR, who is supplying the original blueprints that Mizumoto has redesigned Cayman. All done in house, with original parts. The M’s Machine Works way.
“With a weight reduction of 50 kg and various updates, we are looking at mid-54 seconds next season. I’m not the type to say big things, so I’ll leave it at that. I wish I could be a little more serious and contribute to livening up the NA class; I am thinking. Next season’s Attack looks like it’ll be fun too.” – Mizumoto
Ryo began his adventure into driving and tuning FF cars back in 2003 with the purchase of his first EG6. Coincidentally, it’s the same chassis he still competes in today, albeit having undergone several rebuilds. When he first purchased the car, he would compete in CASHEW’s wheel to wheel events at Nikko. These events are where he first experienced the thrill of driving, and was eventually hooked. He would go on to win the 2006 Nikko Fastest Grand Championship in 2006. Ryo eventually stopped competing in wheel to wheel events and slowly made the move over to driving solely in time attack, and would continue to develop the EG as such. With that being said, Ryo has time sheets dating as far back as the mid-2000’s, but for the sake of this article we’re starting in the 2015/16 range.
Ryo was loyal to the B18 engine for most of the 2000’s, and his times somewhat reflected that. In February of 2015 he had a best of 58.679 at TC2000, and would hover in the low 58 second to high 57 second range through 2017. We first highlighted the Yellow Factory build back in 2017 (you can view that article here). The car was still powered by the F-Drider built B18C, and he was consistently running in the high 57 second range.
In 2018, Ryo took a season off to upgrade the cars front end aero, and make the switch to K power. A Kanagawa Engine Works K24 SPL engine was built and tuned with a Motec M84 that produced 300hp. This in combination with a few other select upgrades got Ryo in the fight for the FF NA Record at Tsukuba. In 2019, after half a year of testing, Ryo punched back with a 56.697 to Ton’s 56.38, narrowly missing out on claiming the record.
ATTACK TSUKUBA 2019
The next year, the car underwent even more exterior changes with the integration of a very wide molded rear quarter panel and new front end aero – the first of two modifications that would end up drastically changing the look of the car. In late December of 2020, Ryo was successful in taking back the FWD NA record from Ton with a time of 55.984. This was a revolutionary time, as it was the first ever FF NA to break the 55 second barrier. It was Ryo’s second year of driving the EG after switching to K-series power – a move that almost all FWD NA competitors have made at this point (with few exceptions). He had the car dialed in, and now that they had the recipe for going 55, it was game on.
ATTACK TSUKUBA 2020
By far the most striking transformation took place leading into the 2021 Attack season with the unveiling of the new body work; a lowered roofline, molded widebody rear, and updated front aero package. The roofline now sat 5cm lower and effectively lowered the cars center of gravity. Despite it just being a 5cm difference, the look is very noticeable, especially from the back. Knowing that Iwata, of Garage Work, had already done this with his EG years prior after his crash (but had yet to unveil it – the cars still not done), made the appearance that much more special. However unfortunate, it was with these major changes also marked the start of Ryo’s setbacks on track. Incorrect setups, dated components, engine failures and a variety of other small issues kept Ryo from driving consistently faster. You can read more about his final seasons in this article.
On March 15th of 2022, Asai ran a 55.964 in the K27 powered Rise Up EK9, overtaking Ryo’s FWD NA record by just .02 seconds – yet another blow to Ryo. Using an older test engine, Ryo was unable to set competitive times in 2022 and 2023, although he proved the consistency of his setup by lapping in the low 56 range time and time again. This summer, KEW should be finishing up Ryo’s new engine – one that will put him on par with Asai and GNR. An engine so secretive that even Ryo doesn’t fully know the specs, and has left it up entirely to the masters at Kanagawa Engine Works. We’re all looking forward to his comeback after his dark days.
ATTACK TSUKUBA 2023
There is no greater proponent for the B-series engine than the boys at Garage Work. They service cars with K series often, but ever since meeting Takumi Iwata back in 2013 he has always advocated the B-series capability. Iwata’s flagship EG, Kubo’s EG, Sato’s DC2, Yusuke’s EK4, and Komi’s EK9, all the notable Garage Work demo cars have always had B series engines in one form or another. I remember asking Iwata one visit why they didn’t swap over to the more modern K series engines, and his response was something along the lines of ‘we will change when I feel that we’ve extracted everything we can from this motor’. It was a pretty noble statement considering in one of his customer cars reset the FF NA record in 2016 and 2017. That customer, Yusuke Tokue, is the driver we’re going to be taking a closer look at in this section.
In 2016, Yusuke was in a heated battle with Ton in the Aslan EG6. The two would trade mid-57 second lap times again and again, despite Ton having the upper hand power wise with the K20. That wasn’t to say Yusuke’s motor was an underperformer though. The fully built B20B, complete with TODA ITB, put out a very healthy 280hp; which is pushing the higher end of what you can achieve on that motor. The engine, combined with the extreme lightweight processing of the EK4 chassis, allowed Yusuke to set a new FF NA record at Tsukuba with a 57.580 second lap. Iwata and Kubo at Garage Work continued to develop the car for Tokue during the off season and the next year turned out to be one of the shops greatest in their career. You can read a bit more about their achievement in 2017 in this article.
Iwata suffered a major crash at Tsukuba coming out of the final turn in early 2016. It all but totaled the car and fortunately he was able to walk away from the accident. Without his own car to focus on, he must have dedicated all of his time to his customers cars; both Tokue, Komi and Kubo, because 2017 was truly a banner year for Tokue and the shop. During Attack, Tokue was able to put down a 57.189 furthering his lead, and again backed it up with a multiple 57 flat laps a few weeks later. At an Unlimited Works event in mid-February, the Work supported driver made history when he stopped the clock at 56.748; the first front wheel driver, naturally aspirated car to break the 57 second barrier. That put him second overall in the NA Class, behind Iiri’s 20B FD (who drove a 55.887 that year).
We caught up with Tokue and the Garage Work team at Central Circuit in 2018 and was able to take a close up look at the record holding Civic. You can see that full feature here. Apologies for the recycled photos below.
CENTRAL CIRCUIT 2018
In that last linked article at CTAC, we went over some of the updates for 2018 before we saw the car again the following month at Tsukuba. Attack Tsukuba didn’t go well for the team that year, despite Tokue showing up ready to defend his title. Unfortunately, the day just didn’t go well for the Work team and Tokue was only able to hit mid-57s all day. Ton and his ASLAN built, K-series EG6 was able to top the timesheets and strip the title from Tokue; a 56.546 compared to Tokue’s old record of 56.748.
In 2019, Tokue suffered a pretty bad crash in early year testing that put his car out of both 2019 and 2020 seasons. The car was rebuilt by the end of 2020 and the team was able to make it out to Tsukuba to test with an older engine the shop uses during chassis testing. You can take a look at the new build here. Like many drivers, 2021 and 2022 saw a lull in the competitiveness of Garage Work during the uncertain times. Although we saw Tokue back out at TC2000 this season, its going to take a while for him to get back up to speed. It would be great to see this car back in contention for the FF NA Record, although now that the FWD cars are dominating the class, it’s got a long way to go….and probably with a K24.
TSUKUBA TESTING 2020
Iwata and Kubo are currently working on a new customers car; a younger driver interested in the NA competition. It is an EK9 chassis that is currently being processed and will be K-powered. You can see more on our recent visit to the shop on our YouTube channel.
T-TEC – SHINICHI TAKAGI
Another NA Class contender I wanted to mention in this article is Mr. Kimura’s 991 GT3RS. Driven by Shinichi Takagi starting in 2020, the car progressed rather quickly with very minimal modifications. While the car never was in contention for the NA Course record, the times in the past few seasons hit the mark for noteworthy. The 991, supported by specialist shop T-Technica, the concept of the car was to see how fast they could go with only suspension development and exhaust tuning – I’d say they did pretty well. When they took the 991 to Tsukuba for the first time in 2020, the car was basically stock, and with Shinichi behind the wheel he turned a 58.674. In 2021, again with an all but stock car, they shaved off a few tenths and hit a 58.152. In 2022, T-Tec changed out the dampers for their SPL suspension kit, and added a bit more downforce with their GT wing extension. Power output of the V8 engine was bumped up to 500hp with the new exhaust and tune.
In 2022 the car was able to cut almost a full 2 seconds from the prior year with a best of 56.287. At this years Attack Tsukuba the car did a 56.5, but without any updates, and less than ideal track conditions, I’m not sure they were expecting to go quicker. The car has recently been sold, so I’m not sure if we’ll see it again this coming season. I hope the new owner continues to campaign it in Attack.
The new cars, Porsche specifically, have so much potential right out of the gate. I can imagine if T-Tec, or any specialty shop for that matter, were to push the development of such a car they would definitely have a chance to be in contention for the course record.
I hope you enjoyed these articles. It’s likely I won’t do any more like this as they are extremely time consuming, but it’s good to have a solid reference for the class. I will do my best to keep updating the NA Class time specifically in their own subsection on the rankings page. Thanks for reading.