Category: Time Attack

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Close-Up: The Father of Time – Philip Robles’ EG6

There’s something to say about the people around us who promote self-efficacy.

The capacity to unknowingly emanate a trait such as this is rare, and when you come across it you can’t help but be positively influenced.  Even a simple exchange of dialogue can have a major effect on the goals and beliefs you’re currently pursuing.  This is exactly the type of feeling I had when I had the opportunity to meet Philip Robles this past weekend.

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Encounter: ティー・ゲット タイムアタックのBNR34

My first encounter with T-Get came in the form of a R35 GTR; the last team car they commissioned at HKS Premium Day in 2014.  That car, however, was visually very factory looking, with only a GT wing and mild canard setup added to the exterior (if I recall correctly it was still on factory wheels).  Their 2015 entrant, the shop R34, is quite the contrast from the previous years.

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Feature: Tsukuba Revisited – Tomizawa’s Wild Heart

As I sit in front of my gate at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, with the hopes (although very little) of catching an earlier flight back to California, my mind can’t help but wander back towards days that I enjoy more than those of which I spend inside the depths of US airports; which I relate now more or less to that of a colony of bees.  Filled to the brim with people going about their every which way, connecting to cities across the expanse of the Earth, each with a unique task to complete (varying in importance).  The days on my mind? Those of which are spent in Japan, at the circuits which I’ve grown all too comfortable being at…

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Encounter: ERC FD3S – Iida TC2000 Running

59.051 seconds is what it took Iida-san to pilot his Elite Racing Company built FD around the 14 turns of Tsukuba’s TC2000.  It’s no surprise though, knowing ERC’s knowledge of rotary tuning, that Iida had the capability of achieving such a time.  The Saitama based shop, run by Ohya Masaatsu is not only one of the leading shops in rotary tuning, but they can also boast for having literally the most amount of random links on their website that I have ever seen.  Click past the break for more shots.

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Close-Up: What’s Up With Yoo? – Justin’s TA S2000

Justin has been a good friend of mine for a few years now.  Towards the end of last year, he approached me with some new plans for his S2000 build.  We discussed the goals he was wanting to achieve in both the build and participation.  Wanting to get more serious in competing in events like the Redline Time Attack series, Justin expressed interest in the venture of garnering sponsors.  Much like our other team driver Kristian Wong, we agreed to partner with Justin and provide on-site media coverage of his progress.  Much of our updates come in the form of Instagram posts (@naritadogfight), which has easily surpassed Facebook in terms of social interaction.  If you don’t currently follow us, feel free to do so!  In the coming weeks, you’ll see a few updates regarding our team drivers and you’ll learn that they all share one common trait; they’re fast.

 

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Encounter: Shell Engineering 86 – Pit Lane Spotlight

Kiyosu City, in the heart of Nagoya, is home to Shell Engineering; a shop that focuses on the total tuning of both circuit and street cars.  Kogai-san, the owner, unveiled his newest project 86 at HKS Premium Day this year.  Cloaked in the complete Blitz Aero Speed package, the new body panels are coated in a richly dark blue/black color that, much like the shop, elicits an aura of mystery; a mystery that sets this 86 apart from the rest.

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Encounter: Osaka’s Auto Select – GTR Rundown

When Eiichiro Sawa founded Osaka based Auto Select in the early 80’s, his main goal was to share his knowledge of tuning and racing spirit with not only his friends, but with a wider range of enthusiasts as well.  In 1985, after establishing himself in the industry of aftermarket tuning, the popular magazine Carboy did a feature on Auto Select that highlighted Eiichiro’s story; this story resulted in a tremendous boost in customer base.  Their decades of continuous R&D of new parts and tuning methods has kept them alive through many lulls in the industry, and is a major reason why they’re so well known to date.  You’d be hard pressed to attend an attack event in Japan, or a motor sport event in general, without the Auto Select flag being flown.

 

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NDF Build: NDF TA Civic Rebuild V.6

*Brushes dust off of WordPress topic*

 

Whew, been awhile since we’ve visited this one hasn’t it?  I didn’t realize it until I went back and verified, but the last post on my personal build was all the way back in July!  What the hell have I been doing the past 8 months?  I can answer that for you – not working on the car.  You can view the last update here to get an idea of where we’re picking up from.  In all honesty I probably wouldn’t have posted anything more on the car except for a few comments I get on IG (@naritadogfight) requesting an update.  I’ve pretty much just relied on the few pictures I post as a record of my progress, but since I had my camera at the shop yesterday I decided to snap a few pictures.  You’ll be quick to notice not much has changed.

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Feature: The Pan Speed FD – Reborn

The last time I saw this car was literally a year ago; and I can tell you, it looked nothing like this.  Yes, this is the same FD chassis that PanSpeed commissioned last year at HKS Premium Day, except that this year the car has gone through quite a cosmetic transformation.  Actually, you can see it’s previous reiteration here.  Over the course of last year, the car was stripped of it’s exterior and fitted with an entirely new aero kit that PanSpeed has been developing.  I know this is a bit late in the day, but I finally stopped fiddling with my new audio equipment that I got for the new Podcast long enough to get the article out.

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Close-Up: Ken’s G-Work☆CR-X

While no doubt popular in it’s day for it’s nimble handling, performance, and excellent gas mileage, I wonder if Honda ever imagined the capability that their CR-X would have on circuit nearly 30 years after it’s inception?  This particular example, hailing from the camp of G-Work, is no doubt a testament to the capability of the tiny chassis.  Barreling through TC2000 in a mere 1’02.419, the NA B-series powered CR-X can hold definitely hold it’s own.  Click past the break for a gallery of shots on track at Tsukuba Circuit.

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Close-Up: The Circuit Scalpel – Esprit’s NSX

On many occasions, probably due to lack of my creativity, I’ve written excerpts on this site comparing certain managerial techniques to a variety of car builds.  That may or may not have something to do with my education and work background in the business sector, but I feel it’s something I can comfortably relate to.  These topics, at surface level, I would imagine to be somewhat obscure on an automotive website.  The truth of the matter is, in almost all regards, the processes discussed are very much applicable to time attack builds.  The practice of Continual Improvement is one such business practice, and in the realm of time attack, not many shops demonstrate this practice better than Esprit in the ongoing development of their NSX.

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Encounter: The Height of Challenge – ATTKD GTR32

I’ve always held ATTKD in high regard.   Not only because of their rich history in parts development and tuning, but more so because of their ability to put pressure on the frontrunners of time attack. The surprisingly large shop based out of Nagano is responsible for a handful of notable Nissan builds; namely their flagship 32 you see here.  Working closely with their long time test driver, Mitsuhiro Kinoshita, they were able to get under 2 seconds shy of the Top Fuel S2000; which has quickly become the benchmark for time attack at Fuji.  In an almost ‘behind the scenes’ fashion, Mitsuhiro Kinoshita piloted the Skyline around Fuji Circuit in a remarkable 1’40.925.

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Event: VTEC Club 2015 Round 2 – Big Willow Gallery

On the Sunday of February 22nd, VTEC Club held the second event of their 5 round season at Big Willow at Willow Springs International Raceway.  The excitement and success of the first round no doubt carried through to the club’s follow up event with, once again, over 50 entrants participating.  To say the day was perfect though, would be a stretch.  The week leading up to the event, the temps in Southern California had steadily been dropping, and rain was on the forecast for race weekend.  Ryan was once again on hand to grab some shots of the event.

 

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Encounter: The Samurai Archives – Revolfe S.A. GTR33

The picture below cracks me up.  When I had started walking around the back portion of the garages at Fuji, I came across the Revolfe S.A./Kleer R33 Skyline that was competing once again in the Hiper Challenge at HKS Day.  I must have had my blinders on or something because I just walked up and started taking pictures of the car, and didn’t even notice Mizota-san standing in the back.  After I had taken this shot he came up to me all surprised.  Later as I was going through these photos I saw him in this one pointing right at me hahaha.

 

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Close-Up: こみぃ♪ – ガレージWORK EK9

Over the past years we’ve spent quite a bit of time at Garage Work; both at the shop in Chiba, and on track at Evome and Attack.  It’s a shop that is known for pushing the boundaries of Honda’s FF chassis far beyond what anyone has ever imagined.  Tora-san’s rich history and incredible foresight into the sport of time attack has been unmatched by many, and through Garage Work, he is able to channel that gift to not only his personal vehicles, but to his customers as well.

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Close-Up: Snowflake On Fuji – Arvou’s White Capped AP1

Arvou; a name that, over the past few years, has become synonymous with time attack focused S2000 builds (and more importantly Lotus for all you Euro fans) – with good reason too.  With their focus pulled toward developing their HKS Supercharged demo car, it’s hard to think that they were involved in anything else.  You might be surprised to hear then, that Mr. Shibata Mie actually founded the company in 1985, making Arvou nearly 30 years old.  That’s a lot of racing history attached to the company!

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Close-Up: プライムガレージ HC35 Laurel – An Unconventional Attack

As I weaved my way in and out of the garages along the Fuji Speedway paddock, my eyes were drawn to many an interesting machine.  Mostly revisions of cars that had run in the previous year’s Option Super Lap; the Esprit NSX, Pan Speed’s FD, the pair of Arvou S2000’s, the endless bounty of R35’s that seem to radiate an enormously unnecessary amount of power.  So, basically it was your typical HKS Day lineup.

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Close-Up: かずや様♪ Takes On TC2000!

 

I know my recent posts haven’t been very lengthy by any means, and this one is going to be no different (that’s not to say I don’t want to type more, I’m just pressed for time).  If you’ve followed the blog for that past year at least, you’ll know this car.  Kazuya-san, a.k.a. Kotora, a.k.a Baby Tiger, a.k.a. Fastest NA Civic around TC2000 on radial tires, a.k.a….just kidding I have no more names.

 

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Close-Up: Evome Profile – SEYAMAX // ADMIX GTR

 

Like the majority of people competing in time attack events in Japan, Takanori Seyama is the owner of a shop that deals with car sales and procurement.  Located on a quiet street in the heart of Ryugasaki, Ibaraki, his shop, Seyamax, not only houses his inventory of cars for sale, but is also headquarters for what Takanori really loves to do; and that is to race.  Over the past couple years he has built, and perfected his car of choice to become as fast as possible.  His R32, dubbed ‘Real Of The World’, is no slouch on TC2000.  His 2015 target time is set at 57.5 seconds around Tsukuba, and with a personal best of 57.970 to back it, it seems a very reasonable goal to accomplish.

 

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Event: VTEC Club 2015 Round 1 – SOW Gallery

 

“If you build it, they will come.”

While I wouldn’t necessarily call Streets of Willow a “Field of Dreams”, I will admit that Kevin Costner’s iconic line applies well in this situation.  The organizers of VTEC Club, a Honda specific spin off of Extreme Speed events, have successfully created not just a niche event, but are well on their way to (possibly accidentally) creating an entirely new community of race fans.

 

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Feature: ネギ Shooting In Gunma – テクニカルオートワンズ

Well, this post has been a long time coming!  Hard to believe it was about 8 months I ago that I made the trek out to Gunma to shoot Takahashi’s FD for Super Street.  Now that the magazine has been off the stands for awhile, I think it’s about time I post up some new and behind the scene shots that weren’t used in the magazine.  To be honest I’ve been so caught up with other coverage and work in general that I forgot all about posting some shots.  I ran into Takahashi at the last Battle Evome and it reminded me I had these shots just sitting around.  He was at the event supporting the Wood Village S30, as he had just completed some work on it.

 

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Close-Up: The Nagano Rush – Team Garage Mak Z33

 

I wonder if it’s acceptable, in the off chance one falls victim to writer’s block, to type freely their thoughts?  I mean, this is a blog after all, and blogs are typically written in an informal or conversational style.  It would be difficult to keep it informational to the topic however, if I were to just start spouting off about a random thought.  In the case of the Garage Mak Z33, I could start typing about Nagano; the hometown of the shop.  Or perhaps about the Miyagawa brothers, the two creative powerhouses behind the brand.  I could always fall back to uncreatively (is that not a word?) listing off the modifications to the Z33.  To be honest though, I’m pretty sure I’ve covered all that basic stuff in prior articles – it seems redundant to keep typing it.  I could talk about how I was naked in a public bath again…does anyone even read this?

 

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Event: HKS Premium Day 2015 – Assault on Fuji

 

There I found myself; laying on the ground, the unmistakably cold chill of the natural wooden planks pressed against my warm back, staring blankly at the clouds drifting lazily overhead.  I slowly closed my eyes, ignoring the incredulous stares from the other men in the room, relaxing my exceedingly overworked muscles.  As the cool breeze consumes my elevated body temperature, and a somewhat effervescent steam radiates from my naked body, I couldn’t help but let my mind wander – recollecting upon the events of the day.  It had been a long one, I thought to myself, and ending the day with a trip to an onsen was nothing short of perfect (I realize that introduction has very little to do with the event, but I thought it was notably humorous).

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Close Up: ENDLESS E89 Z4 GT3 – The Final Act V.1

 

Have you ever had this strange urge, when opening a new book, to read the last paragraph before you actually start to read it?   I have. For whatever reason, I’ve always been compelled to turn to the last page before starting.  Often times, it doesn’t yield any spoilers or give any of the plot away, but sometimes it can give you a pretext of what to expect throughout the new literature.

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Event: Super Battle Evome 2015 – Season Opener

The automatic doors opened and a rush of chilled winter air, mixed with the morning’s new sunlight, hit my face as I reluctantly left the warm comfort of the conbini.  Surprised, as if for some reason I had forgotten about the cold already, I fumbled to pull my neck warmer up with my hands full of coffee and various pastries.  Leaning up against the passenger side of the BMW, my warm breath visibly creating a fog around my head, I waited for Sekinei to exit the 711 to unlock the car and rescue me from the cold.  It was 5am on a Monday morning, I had landed in Japan 12 hours ago, and with just 4 hours of sleep to my credit, we were off – headed to the countryside of Tsukuba where we would rendezvous with Japan’s fastest privateers as they prepare to take on the first round of Battle Evome.

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Encounter: Overcast Chiba – Miyuki’s Work built EK9

 

I mentioned last night on Instagram (@naritadogfight), that I got called out of state to work this weekend.  Well, that’s no surprise, but I had planned on using that time to put together the Evome articles so I would be able to post them throughout the week.  Unfortunately, I then had to decide whether to process store orders or get content processed, and since I believe customer service is the foundation of any consumable I chose to get the orders processed.  Before I head out to the post office I decided to publish this post I had sitting in que for a bit now.

 

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Locale: ADVANCE Hello’s and Harajuku Strolls

Awhile ago, I had messaged my friend Masahiro that I was in the area and if he was at the ADVANCE, I would stop by to say hello.  Fortunately he was there, and while Sekinei made a quick trip to the DMV, I was able to chat with him and snap some pictures around the shop.  There’s always something new going on here, as many of the NSX owner’s (and other car enthusiasts in general) in the Kanagawa area know, ADVANCE is one of the most knowledgeable shops for their chassis.  When I arrived, one of the lead techs, Yagihashi, was working on a white NA1 but was able to take a break to chat.