Category: Action

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Feature: Phoenix Rising – The RWB 993 of Takayuki Matsumoto

It’s always enjoyable when we get to see a variety of car makes at race events across Japan.  And while it’s true that domestic built cars dominate the circuits of the island, every once in awhile we’re treated with some love from Europe.  Among them, it could be argued that none are more iconic than the cars from RWB.

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Event: Energy In Motion – Tsukuba Attack Championship 2020

The energy that the time attack community in Japan has for this motor sport is unmatched by any other country, and I can say this with the utmost confidence.  It’s a source of propulsion for the entire attack community and something that I feel has a positive impact not just in Japan, but throughout the world.

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Feature: The Global Offensive – JDM Yard At TC2000

As per the norm, Tsukuba Circuit was rented out by various hosts the day before the main event of Attack Tsukuba, allowing for the Attack competitors a chance to test and tune car settings.  In this case, Sato-san from Unlimited Works hosted the first half of the day, and Takeo Fukazumi from Zummy Racing Family took on the afternoon.

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Feature: Northern Exposure – The GNR Racing EK9

The evolution of time attack builds in Japan is, for me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of the sport.  The dedication of the teams and the drivers to improve performance each season typically results in a year over year change in the appearance of the cars.  Especially given the fact that most of the Attack competitors are ghosts on social media in comparison, it’s always a surprise to see what they unveil at the start of each season.

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Event: Attack Championship 2019 – Tsukuba Stage V.1

It takes a dedicated enthusiast to consider time attack a spectator sport; and trust me, I don’t say that lightly.  I’ve spent almost a good portion of my life promoting the sport, the last thing I want to do is discredit my own work.  That’s not my sole opinion though, it is simply a statement that is rooted in factuality.  Unlike other mediums in motor sport, time attack is more of an intrinsic, individual type of racing when compared to wheel to wheel events.  It’s something you’d rather be doing than watching.  At the top levels, the tracks are somewhat deserted in order to give the driver a clear shot in getting the fastest lap possible – having no traffic is essential.

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Event: Central Time Attack Challenge 2019 – Special Classes

As I continued to sift through the coverage of Central Time Attack Challenge, I realized that there were a noticeably less amount of cars in attendance this year compared to last.  No doubt in part due to the weather, which sort of goes to show the challenges with hosting a once a year style event in a country that has such unpredictable weather patterns.  It’s really something places like Southern California don’t have to deal with, and we often take for granted.

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Event: Central Time Attack Challenge 2019 – Vertex SL Class

Central Time Attack is an event that has quickly grown on me in an interesting way; be it the uniqueness of the circuit, the location, or the ‘newness’ of it to me, it’s definitely starting to become something I look forward to annually.  Being so far from the ‘hub’ of time attack in Japan, it presents a unique opportunity for me to see builds I don’t typically get exposed to regularly.  I had a similar feeling shooting at Suzuka for the first time back in 2017.  This was my second consecutive year attending CTAC and while the weather wasn’t particularly cooperating, it was still an exciting day.

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Encounter: Kenji Mori’s CBY AE86

I can always appreciate a dedicated race car build that maintains the character of a street car.  More than just a collection of parts thrown together, these cars carry with them a certain presence – an appearance that brings with it an almost tangible-like feeling.  Arguably, in Japan, the AE86 chassis has the ability to achieve this more than any car out there.  Be it due to its history in racing both on track and street, or perhaps its timeless design that attracts shops to continually develop parts for it.  Whatever the case, there are some very indismissable examples, and Kenji’s CBY supported build is a perfect representation of this idea.

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Event: Speed And Sound Trophy – Option Superlap

The Speed and Sound Trophy is, all things considered, a newer event held annually at Tsukuba Circuit.  Hosted by a handful of well-known media publications that include names like Option, REVSPEED, Autosport, G-Works, and Motor Head, it attempts to bring together all facets of motor sport for enthusiasts of any kind to enjoy equally.  The end result is an event that keeps the track busy with time attack competitions, demonstration runs from old and current race cars, guest driver personalities, GT cars, drift exhibitions, and car shows.  Of course, what we’re interested in is the Option hosted Superlap competition.

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News: Option TC2000 Top 50 Ranking

Tsukuba Circuit has always been considered the “Holy Land of Time Attack”.
Drivers flock to the track to prove their skills in a number of famous events, including Option Superlap, RevSpeed and more recently the Attack Championship series.  As many tuning cars continue to take on TC2000 it’s not uncommon for times to change very quickly.  Below is a up-to-date ranking of the top 50 drivers and their corresponding times at TC2000.

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Feature: The Casual Race Car – NDF B20 Spec DC2

At some point in time, my friend Duane mentioned to a few of us that, barring interest, he was thinking of starting a spec-B20 class within the VTEC Club events.  As you can imagine, it was an idea that didn’t catch on too quick.  In fact, anybody we mentioned it to had a decent laugh at our expense.  B20’s, in their stock form, don’t have the greatest appeal in the realm of racing Hondas, so the idea that enough people would want to be involved to even warrant it’s own class was comical at best.  Boy, were they all wrong.

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Event: World Time Attack 2018 V.2 – One Perfect Lap

‘One Perfect Lap’. Described perfectly in the simplest form by the zealous talents behind what is arguably the spearhead of time attack motorsports, World Time Attack Challenge. The art of time attack really comes down to a singular “perfect lap” and consistency in both car and driver is key, but so is luck. A lot of luck. As followers, supporters, and enthusiasts of NDF and the brilliance that is attack, most of you will already know the formula to going breath-takingly fast: boosted power, balanced suspension, immense grip, talent, substantial amount of heart, and gigantic balls of steel. Oh yes, looking aesthetically good-looking and wild for our eyes to behold is vastly important as well! Yet, the elements and timing are really what brings all the hard work and dedication together.

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Feature: Third Times A Charm – The JDM Yard EG6

Winning just one first place trophy, for any class, in the World Time Attack Challenge would be a lifetime achievement for most people.  Claiming two would be a way to show the world that it wasn’t a fluke.  However, taking that top podium spot three times would undoubtedly leave a mark on the time attack world that not many teams can achieve.  A true champion can prove that they have what it takes to keep winning;  evolving to meet new challenges.  That’s precisely what the guys at JDM Yard have done.

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Event: World Time Attack 2018 V.1 – Pro Class Overview

Every year, Sydney Motorsports Park (formerly Eastern Creek Raceway) plays host to one of the most anticipated events in the time attack world.  An event that decides the most sought after titles in all race classes across the globe.  It’s an event that is reserved for the most dedicated drivers and teams from almost every continent active in motor sports. The financial, mental, and physical toll it can play on individuals ensures that only the most dedicated of teams show up to play their hand at becoming the fastest in the world.  Given that the teams based in Japan have been involved in this event in some form or another since the beginning, I thought it was long due for a visit to Sydney to support our Japanese constituents.

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Feature: The 86 Progression – Keiichi Tsuchiya

One of the more anticipated cars of this year’s WTAC among fans and builders alike, had to be Beau Yates’ revamped AE86.  With Mark Bissett leading the team, the car was built at Hypertune in Sydney, and has been entirely stripped of it’s former drift specification and rebuilt as a time attack car fit for a king; and by king, I mean none other than Keiichi Tsuchiya.  Keiichi was slated to drive the car in Open Class this year at Sydney Motorsports Park.

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Encounter: Hatsukura BNR32 At Fuji

I came across this R32 GTR at Fuji a few weeks ago.  It struck me as an almost ideal build; one that looks amazingly well, performs on track, and retains enough comfort to drive to and from the track.  The dated body matched with Volk’s updated take on the TE37 works surprisingly well together.  Hankook Ventus Z214 S-type tires ensure that the driver is able to utilize the full potential of the GTR.  The time sheets indicated that the driver was able to snag a 2’02.xxx around Fuji Speedway.  I never had an opportunity to talk to the owner and get more information, so photos will have to suffice. Enjoy.

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Encounter: Techno Pro Spirit N2 AE86

Since I’ve been back from Japan, I’ve become so absorbed in a new project that I haven’t really set time aside to sort through the images I took while I was there.  I was browsing Facebook this evening when I decided to reach out to Asano-san from Techno Pro Spirit to see how the testing went at Fuji Speedway.  He and Kumakura were out there testing a few changes to get ready for the upcoming N2 race Hot Version is hosting next month.

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Event: Endless Circuit Meeting – Fuji Speedway

Time Attack events typically take a back seat during the scorching hot, humid Summer months in Japan.  Track conditions are far from ideal for breaking course records, or setting personal bests, so for the most part the sport lies dormant.  Not to mention being strapped into a race car, covered head to toe in protective gear, with 100+ degree track temps isn’t fun no matter how into it you are.  Even still, while the frequency of events slows, and major shops take the time to rebuild their demo cars; the sport doesn’t completely become extinguished.  A fact proven by events like the Endless Circuit Meeting just last weekend at Fuji Speedway.  An event that allows both professional tuners and enthusiasts to get in some track time during the off-season.

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Feature: Takanori Seyama – A Restrained Potential

From the time I began to take an interest in Japanese Time Attack, I’ve had the chance to see Takanori Seyama’s R32 evolve year after year, slowly transforming into one of the countries fastest GTR’s.  With that one fact being known, you’d think that the car would be a household name for fans of the sport.  However, Takanori keeps such a low profile that the exposure of his build doesn’t quite hit the reach that others do.  It’s a testament to his humble character that, despite knocking on the door of 53’s, he’s a frontrunner that tends to stay in the shadows.

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Encounter: Kishimoto Racing Division – CBY AE86

Among the top N/A competitors in the Japanese time attack scene, exist a niche group of AE86 drivers.  Serving as the FR rival of the Honda Civic’s in the paddock, the competition provided by the Toyota pack always manages to provide a subset of antagonism at any given event.  Sato Shinetsu and his CBY equipped Trueno did just that at this year’s 10th anniversary Attack Championship at Tsukuba.

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Encounter: Friendly Fire – Testing The New Friends Silvia

Easily the most recognizable Silvia in the paddock, the Friends Racing S15 has had quite the journey from it’s roots as a competitive D1 car.  The unique build is unlike any other in the field; in both looks and performance.  With a best time of 53’821 around the proving grounds of TC2000, Toru Inose is without a doubt among the frontrunners of time attack in Japan.  A couple years ago we caught Toru and the team at Tsukuba setting that personal best – but with a new goal in mind, the team has since gone back to the drawing board.