Category: Automotive

Feature: Good Smile Racing Z4-GT

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Following up that pink Studie BMW post, I have an awesome feature on this unusual GT300 contender.  The Studie built  Hatsune Miku Good Smile Racing BMW Z4 (初音ミク グッドスマイル) is unique to say the least.  For starters, the team’s theme is based on a character that was originally created to market Crypton Future Media’s new ‘Vocaloid’ software, a synthetic singing application that can be used to add vocals to backing music – sounds like something from a science fiction movie.  Anyway, as you would imagine if you’ve been to Japan before, the character soon became overwhelmingly popular (Check this video out).  The second unique feature of this team, and probably the coolest, is that it gathers it’s racing funds from individual fan donations.  The individual sponsorships range between 3,000yen to 300,000yen, and allows the fans to get a chance to visit the team pit during a race, have their name on the car, get a special team sticker, and other perks.  Thanks again to JDM Clips for providing coverage and information.  Check out the feature past the break.

Event: Super GT – Behind the Scenes

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Race day – it truly is special.  As the purpose built machines line the grid, the quiet idling of their hungry engines a deceiving tone.  Just minutes before the red lights go out; the exhaust notes scream held back only by the bouncing rev limiter of the launch control.  The paddock thick with anxiety.  The rivalry, the tension, the noise and drama.  As the green flags drop the machinery comes to life, and a torrent of power is unleashed across the asphalt.  Exciting right!?  But there is a lot that goes into getting everyone into position on time.  Our friends at JDM Clips got some great behind the scene shots in and around the Pit area of the first Super GT round at Fuji Speedway.  Click past the break to check it out!

Event: 2010 Super GT Test Day at Twin Ring Motegi

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Ah, Monday.  Hope you all had a good race weekend; congrats to Sebastian Vettel for his second 2011 season win!  As promised, I’m posting up some shots of  a Super GT Test Day at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit.  While these shots may be dated a bit, they are still awesome.  This post will be followed up with some race day shots as well.  Unfortunately, the Super GT series has been delayed due to the tragic events in Japan.  I know we’ve heard it a lot, but let’s hope Japan can bounce back and things can return to normal soon.  Thanks again to JDM Clips.  Check out the NSX GT-R FR – looks so mean.

Locale: UP Garage Aobodai – Wheels Highlight

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It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of UP Garage – if you’re a fan of JDM motoring, how couldn’t you be?  I’ve been to several locations, and while you may not always find something that catches your eye, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll find a nice set of wheels.  The new headquarters in Aobodai isn’t a wheel specific location, nevertheless I was surprised to see so many wheels and tires on site.  Check out a few past the break.

Event: 2011 Mugen Circuit Challenge v.2

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Due to some unforeseen trouble with my own car (i.e. broken driver side knuckle), it took me a little bit longer than expected to get this second part up;  sorry ‘y’all.  In the last post, I mentioned a little bit about the breakdown of classes and regulations for the Circuit Challenge.  So for this one I’ll just let the pictures do the talking.  I really like this shot, with the CR in the background.  As I was taking a second look through some of the shots, I noticed a few EK chassis that were worth putting up.  Check um’ out past the break.

Locale: ASM Yokohama

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One thing that continually amazes me about Japan is the sheer density of the place.  You can spend a month contained in a one mile radius and still not see everything.  I find myself in Yokohama quite often and was surprised that I had never been to ASM before.  Under the arm of the Autobacs flagship name, ASM Yokohama offers not only specialized S2000 parts and tuning, but probably the best selection of Recaro seats you’ll ever find; short of catching a flight to Germany.  I took a brief tour of the shop last time I was in the area – check out the pics past the break.  “To the stage that no one could reach.  Yes, we can!”

Close Up: Mugen FN2 (European Type-R)

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Thought I’d break up the photos from the 2011 Mugen Circuit Challenge with a closer look at Mugen’s attempt at the Honda FN2; Europe’s offering of the Civic Type-R.  I remember when this model was released it garnered mixed opinions among the Honda community.  After giving it a few years to soak in however, I think I kinda like it.  Not only is it a very unique chassis design, it seems to be quite rare as well.  Let’s check out how Mugen modified it.

Event: 2011 Mugen Circuit Challenge v.1

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Anything doing is worth doing right – and Mugen does track events right.  Open to anybody with a Honda, enter into the Circuit Challenge and you are graced with four 15 minute runs on Tsukuba 1000 circuit, professional instruction on and off track, ride alongs with current professional racing drivers, the opportunity to drive one of three Mugen built machines, and the option of trying out Mugen products during your track time for free.  This year there were 86 drivers in attendance, including JDM Clips own Taka.  Check out the action below.

Feature: Brothers in Arms

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This past weekend I ventured over to the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana to attend the Speedventures open track day, and to check out Big Mike’s Hontune event.  This was the first Speedventures event I’ve been to, and although I didn’t track my car, I had a ton of fun walking around the facility shooting photos.  Despite the bone chilling wind and uncertain forecast, I’m glad I went because I ended up meeting some great people and getting to shoot their awesome cars.  Case in point; the two track ready S2000’s you see before you.  I saw this pair sitting unattended in the garage, so I ventured in for some pics; click past the break for more.

Feature: Kawabata’s Magical RPS13

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I know you’re  thinking right now, “Two back to back featured car posts?!  I don’t believe it.”   Well, believe it.  That’s just how awesome we are.  All jokes aside, I’m not sure why it took me so long to post this car up, as it has massive popularity among drift fans.  D1-GP reverse-entry guru Masato Kawabata is the man responsible for piloting this ridiculously hot, 600 horsepower 180sx sideways through all the corners.  I spotted the S all alone, basking in the light at the Toyo Tires booth as we were getting ready to take off from the Auto Salon in search of another UP Garage.  So I decided to get up close and personal with it.  Sit back and enjoy the shots!

Feature: Eneos SC430 Super GT

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JDM Clips comes through again with some great media of the Eneos SC430 Endurance GT Racer.  We’ve all driven this car at one point in time…right?  Well, in Gran Turismo at least.  So you already know how awesome it is.  This car is unique in many ways, especially because of the rarity of the platform in racing.  You don’t often see SC430’s competing in organized motorsports.  I can only think of the other 4 which competed in GT500 also.  So, if you haven’t driven it, and don’t know how awesome it is, click past the break and I will tell you.

Close-Up: ASM in Orange

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I recently visited the ASM showroom in Yokohama to snag some shots for a ‘Locale’ post, and happened across this orange highlighted AP1 sitting out front.  Simple, but tastefully modified with a choice of ASM parts; tow hook, vented hood, Recaro’s (of course), rear wing and wheels.  The white body makes the orange painted parts stand out even more, and although not my style, doesn’t look too bad.  At least it’s not way overdone.  Click past the break for a few more.