Three years ago when Yoshiki ‘Fire’ Ando and the expert team at Escort set out to claim the tuning car record at every international circuit in Japan, they knew it was a challenge that would demand perfection in all aspects of their operation.
It is very difficult to build a car that is spec’d to maximize performance at a wide variety of circuits. Especially in Japan, where the variety of race tracks can be very contrasting. What works at Tsukuba, would most likely underperform at Suzuka, and so on. When Tamura-san made the decision to start modifying his GDB Impreza, he wanted to ensure that the modifications he made had the greatest impact on his times.
I was looking through my hard-drives searching for a particular image I’m using for a project that I’ve been working on and came across a folder full of cars that I had meant to share a few months ago but, for a multitude of reasons, never got around to it. One of the cars was an Accord Euro-R I happened upon at Fuji Speedway. The owner mentioned that he was local to the Fuji area and has his car tuned at the Yamanashi-based shop C.S. Polsche. I like seeing these street oriented builds at major circuits, so I took a few moments to look it over.
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.
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.
As the rain faded away, and the afternoon sun burned off the remaining clouds over the Speedway, some people hit the road to head back towards Tokyo. The little award ceremony we had towards the end went well. I’ve never really had to judge, or rank cars before (although we all do it silently), but despite the choices being difficult it was still pretty fun. Everyone was pretty stoked, and it was a good way to wrap up the meeting. Before everyone had left, we were able to gather some of the main FRS members and take some photos closer to the track. Hope you liked the coverage, and I look forward to holding a couple more of these in the next couple months. Enjoy the photos ~
About halfway through our meeting, while I was across the lot taking some individual photos, I had heard an incredibly loud, distinct sound coming from off in the distance. As it grew closer, I got up and turned around to see a white S15 absolutely screaming down Fuji’s access road. I instantly knew it was a naturally aspirated SR because, well, there is really only one sound like that; it’s that perfect combination of awesome and obnoxious.
I’m finally back home, and had a chance this evening after work to edit another group of photos from our gathering at Fuji Speedway. You can check out the first post here if you missed it. Basically we wanted to try to create a more intimate approach to car meets; less hype, and more conversation. I think it turned out rather well and am already looking to organize another one when I return to Japan in the coming month. Like I mentioned in the previous post, getting the opportunity to chat about each build was pretty neat, and I walked away learning more than I’ve had in the past with hundreds of cars on the table. This way it gave the opportunity to for everyone to play the host role, and made for an overall more fulfilling time.
It’s interesting to see how an individuals ambitions, and desires transform over time. As we experience more and more of life, and slowly grow to accept who we are, it’s not uncommon for our thought process to undergo a change that not necessarily limits our goals, but makes them more specific. It’s something I’ve been experiencing myself for the past year or so, and there’s a subtle satisfaction from it. I’ve seen a lot of those new attributes show themselves on this very site; for me it’s predominantly been an increase in the value of time. I suppose it’s common knowledge that the more time you spend getting to know someone, the more notable that time is. I’m pulled in a lot of directions when I’m in Japan, and believe it or not, it’s taken awhile for that simple concept to soak in.
Even at first glance you can see that Kakimoto’s one-off NSX has gone through quite a lot of change; on the surface at least. The once, somewhat rough, unrefined exterior has been transformed into a more sleek, elegant looking exotic. Make no mistake though; despite it’s newly refined look, the car was still bred for the circuit. Sekinei caught the NSX sitting in the paddock of Fuji, longing to hit the track at last weekends Motor Fan Fest.
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.
So, yeah. This will probably go down as the most random post of 2015 NDF, but I figured I’d combine the two as we didn’t spend that much time at either. The same day that HKS held their Premium Day event, our friends at Tension reserved the Fuji drift track and held their own ‘Premium Day’ so to speak. While the guys in Tension are all super nice, they have a somewhat sketchy history, so I’m glad Sekinei is good friends with them. They’ve always support NDF and I couldn’t be more stoked about it.
So during the lunch break on the Speedway side, Sekinei and I meandered over to Fuji’s drift track to say hi and snap some photos.
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.
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?
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).
The poster child of HKS Premium Day; the GT1000+. An enormously high powered R35 that was built for the sole purpose of achieving the fastest lap possible. The build, which will compete in WTAC next year, was also the other half of the final event where they pit the GTR against the Endless Sports z4 GT3 I posted just yesterday.
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.
With another weekend trip to Japan under my belt this month, I’m finally back home for the night. Yeah that’s right, for the night. I have to wake up tomorrow and fly to Dallas […]
In the empty back lot of Fuji Speedway, interceding between the rolling green hills and the cloud engulfed mountains, we encountered this lone NSX; parked almost as if to add to the beautiful […]
July 7th marks a day in Japan that RX7 owners and enthusiasts rejoice almost religiously. It’s a day of celebration of a lineage of car that has had an impact on this world […]
Our partners over at Garage Mak put on a very impressive display at Motor Games last weekend at Fuji. Amemiya’s S15 looked particularly great on the new Enkei RS05RR. その後、程なくして、Formura Driftの写真。午前の予選が終わり、Offset Kingの会場へBakkyさんにあって、彼のS15の写真をパチリ。相変わらずかっこいいです。そこで […]
ピットの端まで来るとUnder Suzukiさんの S15 BodykitをUpgradeなさったので、是非とも取材したかったのですが、Except Rear aeroeffectのみ写真OKとの事だから、RearはWTAC Australiaまで 秘密にしてとの事なので、Detailはありません。 Another draw of Motor Games was the World Time Attack Challenge Japan, which was a spin off of the famous WTAC Australia that’s coming up […]
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t follow Formula Drift here in the States in the loosest sense… My good friend Karl competes in FD, and the extent of my knowledge is […]
Well, to be honest with everyone, I’m kind of at a loss for words. I’ve had so much going on that I completely forgot to finish posting the second half of Super Lap Battle […]
小山哲さんのZ32 This weekend at Fuji Speedway, the All Japan Z Meeting took place. This event is the largest Z meeting in the country, and is held annually at Fuji. This year, Satoru Koyama, the […]
Ran into this super clean R33 at Fuji last month. I didn’t get to see it on track, but it sure looked good sitting in the lot. It’s funny because I’ve reached a point […]
I’m so behind on coverage of pretty much every event in Japan it’s killing me. Hyper Meeting, still have the last of the HKS Premium Day coverage (which is long overdue), several drift events […]
The main attraction to HKS Premium Day has to be the Option Fuji Super Lap. The best of the best gather and attack the circuit to claim their stake as the fastest in their […]
Hayashi-san, owner of Garage Saurus, has built his product with roots firmly in the drag racing circuit. It may surprise some then, if I were to tell you that for the past decade they […]
Pan Speed. In the realm of rotary tuning, very few names come before it. They are top tier; specialists in their territory. Their flagship car, seen here, is iconic in both build and […]
For as long as I can remember, there has always been one Civic build that I’ve always looked up to. Of course, it was in Japan, and of course I was blessed with seeing […]
One of the Super Lap cars I was most excited to get to see up close was the Reverse R32. Fans of the site will know my affliction with the Auto Gallery Yokohama R32; well, […]
I think I was on my way to meet up with friends to grab lunch or something when I spotted this girl playing with some kids behind an 86. This is right in front of […]
This handsome looking 14.3 made an appearance at Fuji Speedway during the hellaflush show not too long ago. It’s not too often you see 14.3 executed so well. Very enjoyable. […]
Beautiful shot of the Revolfe S.A./Do-Luck built 350Z Challenge car at Fuji Speedway, where just yesterday the circuit played host to the annual Skyline Owner’s Battle event. More coverage coming soon…
Shoji Auto may not have the best website, but they sure built a good looking Z30…
This weekend Sekinei and friends stopped by Fuji Speedway to check out the SSJ show that was being held there. Not typically where you’d find us, but there are plenty of great cars to be […]
Can you think of a better way to watch the Super GT race than camping with your car on the infield of Fuji Speedway? I sure can’t!
Hello from Fuji Speedway! Hope you all had a good weekend; here’s a little preview from the フェアレディ祭 at Fuji Speedway this past weekend. Narita Dogfight x NORUSH Japan. Good friends Sekinei and Harada were in […]
Lineup of the Porsche Cup Challenge cars at Fuji Speedway. This series runs as a support race to Super GT on the Fuji dates and usually supplies some great action on circuit.