Category: Motor Sports

Event: The Rally Cars Of Megaweb Festa

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OK, so this STi technically isn’t a rally car; it’s actually a race car.  However, I figured with Subaru’s ties to the WRC being so strong, I’d include it in the bunch.  One of the coolest things about the Megaweb Festa was that show-goers could take turns riding shotty in all the rally spec cars – all smiles there I’m sure.  If I had the opportunity I’d probably pretend to be the navigator, but I’d give all the directions in English so the Japanese drivers wouldn’t understand.  They’d probably just get distracted and agitated at me – muhahaha.  Check out some shots below the break.

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.

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.

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.

Event: Speedventures/Hontune Fontana v.1

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Here is some general coverage of the track day/car show at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.  Even though it seemed like the track was dominated by S2000’s, I was pleased to see a wide variety of cars present; especially at the autocross track.  Although my preference has always leaned toward Japanese manufacturers, I am a fan of all cars in general.  There were many Euro cars that I shot too, but seeing as how this blog is geared toward Japanese performance, I’ll stick to that.  Check out more 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: Super GT at TAS 2011

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OK so I lied about the whole ‘no more TAS’ thing; but I never got a chance to post up the Super GT Special.  TAS is a trade show, and what better way to market your product than to slap it on a full blown, competition race car?  There isn’t really, so, to my pleasant surprise, the Salon grounds were sprinkled with Super GT cars; like the Nismo built Motul/Autech GT-R.   Super GT is a fairly unique series that puts excitement first.  Only allowing pit stops during certain time frames, mandatory ballast for winning cars, and intake air restrictors all add to competition.  Click past the break for more Super GT.

Close Up: Yellow Factory EG6

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I think that this may have been the most overlooked car at the Salon; no exaggeration.  I actually did a double take when I saw this because I couldn’t believe an EG6 was at Auto Salon in the year 2011.  Aside from the actual Honda booth, finding a tuned Honda (other than a CR-Z) at this years Salon was like finding a needle in a haystack; if the hay were made out of Nissans and Toyotas.  After drifting blew up, the market obviously gravitated toward S-Chassis’ and the like.  RWD engulfed Honda’s FWD prior dominance and left them to the devoted few.  After I came to my senses I decided that I needed to spend a few moments with this thing.  Check out more past the break.

Action: Mugen Circuit Challenge S2000

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Ever wonder what it would feel like to fly around Tsukuba, strapped into a Mugen built machine, driven by a former F1 driver and current Super GT driver?  If so, the Mugen Circuit Challenge at Tsukuba Circuit is the place you need to go.  Taka from JDM Clips sent these images over to help us get as close as we can to the action.  He has attended this event multiple times, and really has a feel for what a company like Mugen can achieve.  Perfectly matching power output with chassis limitations, Mugen can take performance to an entirely new level.  Having a reliable car equipped with parts that work in harmony with the chassis is ideal for maintaining control on track; and Mugen does just that.  Most people don’t realize just how much experience Mugen has in building cars and engines.  Click past the break for more on-track shots.

Feature: Power House Amuse 370Z Vestito

Japanese mega tuner Power House Amuse was on site at Super Autobacs Yokohama recently to demo their new aero kit for the Z34; the Vestito.  Lucky for us, Taka was there as well to capture it all.  Amuse has long been producing unique and aggressive aero kits for a variety of chassis.  This is their latest offering for the Z platform; preceded by the Superleggera kit for the Z33 chassis.  I believe Amuse took a less domineering approach to this kit, and put more emphasis on flowing lines and function; and flat out on the track the Vestito proves that it does more than just look good.  Click past the break for more display shots.

Desktop: Castrol NSX GT Spec

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I apologize for the lack of posts this month.  I’ve been super busy with life (& GT5), and have really been putting off finding content.  I was supposed to head to Irwindale today after work to check out Industry Day, but got tipped off that it wasn’t all that (thanks Addy).  To hold you over I’ll post this desktop that Taka sent over of the Japan GT Castrol NSX.  Click past the break for some desktop links.

Feature: IL4’s Time Attack EK


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Inline Four has been dedicated to Honda and Acura tuning for over a decade now.   I’ve been going to them since I moved to So-Cal in 2005; back when they were in the tiny office off the 22.  They have now moved to a better, larger facility in Garden Grove, but they’ve kept the same attitude about tuning and service.  It’s a great shop that continues to grow in many ways, including a new line of their own performance parts.  This year they have completed the build on their K-powered race car, and it’s already winning events.  I made a trip down to Inline Four last week with a friend to inquire about some cams for his EG, and so I could pick up some wheel spacers for my coupe.  Lucky for me the EK was parked out in front of the shop.  I had only seen the car once at Nisei and since I had my camera with me I asked Brandon if I could snap some pictures.

Video: Zonda R Nurburgring Lap

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I was watching Top Gear the other day and on their news segment they mentioned that the Nurburgring ‘production car’ lap record had been broken.  Apparently this happened way back in June.  I must have been in a coma or something because I never heard of the news (*edit – It was on June 29th, my girlfriends birthday. That explains it).  I don’t understand how Pagani gets away with calling this a production car, although it’s what they market it as, but watch this in-car footage of driver Marc Basseng smashing this work of art around the circuit in an amazing 6 minutes 45 seconds.  Be sure to turn your speakers up real loud.  Click past the break for a cool little documentary about Pagani and their relationship with the Nurburgring.

News: F1 – Vettel back to back podiums at Suzuka

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After 53 exciting laps at Suzuka, Vettel once again unleashed his true talent, and came out on top.  This makes for Sebastian’s second consecutive podium finish here at Suzuka – a feat that puts him among the types of Senna and Schumacher.  The Red Bull’s RB6 chassis was unstoppable at the Japanese Grand Prix today, and it showed with a one – two finish to claim a now total 426 points for the RBR-Renault constructor.  Rounding up the podium was Webber for RBR and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.  With his second place finish, Webber remains championship points leader for 2010, and Vettel moves to 3rd; 14 points in tow.

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News: US F1 Austin Track Layout Revealed

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People who know me will tell you I’m somewhat ‘obsessed’ with Formula 1; and with F1 being the absolute pinnacle of motorsports, it doesn’t go without reason.  So when I logged into Formula1.com today and saw that legendary track architect Hermann Tilke, along with the race organizers, had revealed the new Austin layout, I was pleasantly surprised.  And man is it a good one!  The natural elevation changes are being put to great use, especially in turn 1; a wild, uphill hairpin to start the race.  Many of the other corners take ques from legendary circuits around the world, increasing the anticipation to see this track completed.  F1 has been gone from United States for 5 years now, and many of us American fans are dying to see it’s return.  Now if we could only get a team up and running by 2012 as well.  Click past the break to see more pics.

Event: Nisei Showoff 2010 V.1


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As you can imagine, summer days in Los Angeles can get pretty hot; and the day of the 10th annual Nisei week car show was no exception.  I have to say I was pretty surprised when I heard the announcement that this show would make it to it’s 10th year.  In 2009 it had been slated off due to real estate issues, and development was supposed to start on the old parking lot the show takes place on.  However, the car gods once again blessed us with one more year of show stopping, automotive eye candy.

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Locale: UP Garage – Machida

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If you’re a Japanese car enthusiast, there is one thing you know you’ve always dreamed of doing once in Japan; and that is to visit as many tuner shops and stores as possible.  I’m no different.  I’ve wanted to visit an Up Garage for some time now, and a few months ago I finally got my chance.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an affliction towards used parts.  Maybe it’s the history that comes along with them; or maybe it’s because I’m fiscally responsible (read: cheap).  There’s no better place to go bargain hunting for JDM car part goodness than at an Up Garage.

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