Category: Japan

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Feature: Ryo Kaneko – Yellow Factory EG6

It’s always refreshing to me to see productivity in it’s most energetic form.  I think their are many positive effects to being constructive and it seems to me that it is overlooked quite often.  It’s an aspect of life that adds a great deal of meaning to what we choose to pursue.  Instinctively knowing the difference between being busy and being productive gives us the ability to progress through life much more efficiently; ultimately allowing us to experience more, and get the most out of our time.  Ryo Kaneko is a man who knows the benefits of productive living, and it shows through his work on the circuit.

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Event: Battle Evome 2017 – Steadfast in Tradition

Given our illustrious ability to sleep in on the day of track events, I was surprised that when my alarm clock went off at 4:30am this past Sunday morning, I actually got out of bed.  As our routine would have it, I met Sekinei downstairs and we set off for Ibaraki stopping only at the 711 right after the turn-off to Tsukuba.  It’s been longer than I can remember that I arrived at the track before the sun came up, but we somehow managed to roll through that little narrow tunnel before daybreak.  In fact, we were among the first to arrive meeting Under-san and the Evome staff as we entered.  It didn’t take long for the flat beds to start rolling in though, and before I knew it the paddock was full of cars with drivers itching to get out on track before the weather took a turn for the worse.

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Encounter: Friends Power Silvia S15

Friends Racing and their re-purposed drift Silvia have made quite the comeback over the past year or so.  Making the transformation from the GReddy backed D1 Grand Prix competitor, to a record chasing time attack build was no easy task for the small Tochigi-based outfit.  It took the company a few years to get the car to where it’s at now; a journey that is paying off in blindingly fast lap times.

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Event: Dora Festival – Zummy Racing Family

A couple weeks ago Zummy held one of the first open time attack events of the what is considered the ‘prime’ season at TC2000; temps have dropped, and track conditions are ideal for fast times.  Many of the amateur drivers used this as an opportunity to shakedown their summer upgrades.  We saw a lot of modifications to existing builds, as well as the debut of many newer entries to the ever-growing niche.  It didn’t take long for the returning drivers to see the fruits of their labor, and within laps personal bests were being racked up across the board.

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Feature: Occupy Fuji – Morita’s Dominant CP9A

About two years ago I stumbled across Morita-san’s EVO browsing through Minkara; although at the time, I only knew him by his internet handle ‘Hanipon’.  I had never seen an EVO 6 as aggressive as his, and after exploring his build a little further, instantly became a fan.  Suffice to say I was a little shocked when he reached out to me randomly in an email at the beginning of the year.  We exchanged a few words, I sent him some decals, and as some things happen to work out, he was able to make the drive down from Saitama to attend our FRSxNDF meeting last month.  Never one to pass on opportunity, we scheduled a photo shoot at Fuji shortly after.  I was already impressed with the presence of this build online, but it was nothing compared to what the car looks like in person.

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Feature: Ito Atsushi’s Tamon Design FC3S

I feel that the aftermarket companies that support older chassis don’t get enough credit. To produce new parts for an application that is constantly diminishing in population isn’t something easily committed to.  It takes a dedication, and a love for motor sport, to appeal to these cars.  As time passes, because we’re so enthralled by the cars of the 80’s and 90’s, we don’t recognize just how old some of these cars are.  The FC, for example, made it’s debut in 1985; celebrating it’s 30th birthday just last year.  Appreciating the everlasting potential of these cars is something worth noting, and Atsushi-san of Shizuoka does just that with his Tamon Designs clad RX7.

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Feature: The Semblance of GT – Jun Tanaka’s Silvia S15

Finding originality among the masses these days seems almost like a lost cause; difficult to say the least.  It seems we’ve fallen into an echo-chamber, driven by internet popularity, that promotes the trendy favorable over imagination.  Very few choose to forge their own path of innovation and ingenuity, and it’s left us with more ‘inspired by’ designs than one should have to endure.  This sheep-like quality is absent in Mr. Jun Tanaka, however, and the S15 that he’s created is unlike any other.