I’ve always appreciated the varying degree of tuning style in Kyushu prefecture; specifically the cars that frequent Autopolis International Circuit. From fully dedicated track cars, to light tune approaches, there is something about the cars that standout that’s not quite describable.
One of the reasons I enjoy visiting Hayashi at his shop, Auto House Solid, anytime I’m in Gunma is that there is always a large variety of tuning cars on hand. Hayashi services a wide range of customers so there is guaranteed to be something interesting in the shop.
We’ve all experienced the ebb and flow of motivation; the slow, but seemingly permanent, oscillation of decline and growth in development. Albeit difficult to admit it for the majority of us, as time passes, our incentives naturally change. That is, until we come across a new catalyst that stokes the tides in the favor of progress. Such was the case with Hiroki Sakamoto.
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.
There’s no doubt that, in Japanese motor sport, one name stands out among the rest. In almost everything they do, they need to be on top. The fastest, the most advanced. HKS will stop at nothing to collect these titles, and the TRB-03 has become their newest vessel to achieve them. The company has enveloped it’s priority in the project with the goal of being nothing less than the fastest around Tsukuba’s TC2000. It was even re-branded as the ‘Tsukuba Record Breaker’, from it’s original designation as the GTS800; a tip of the hat to it’s capped power level (which is debatable…). The car has been through extensive testing over the past year, and last weekend at HKS Day, I was able to finally get a closer look at it.
I was organizing one of my hard drives making room for the upcoming Attack season and I came across a few shots of the Ziek Power 86 from earlier in the year. This is one of the more unique 86 builds I’ve been able to see on track, with the main revision being the Nissan motor that now resides under the hood. Ziek Power has caressed a healthy 500 horsepower from the SR20, which is now 2.2 liter; plenty enough power to get it around any track they choose to in a very respectable time.
To say that Takumi Hayashi has an affinity for the Toyota AE86 would be a rather dramatic understatement. The peppy, 130ps 4A-GE motor combined with the car’s FR drivetrain became an instant hit with not only himself, but many other tuners in the mid-80’s for that matter. It didn’t take long for the Corolla to be a favorite worldwide, and Japan was no doubt leading the pack in motor sport development of the chassis.
Matt, Sekinei, and Yoshi spent the evening of August 6th roaming around Daikoku, taking in the sights as Corolla owners all over Kanagawa, and it’s surrounding areas celebrated 86 Day. Matt shot a few images of this N2 hatch that was in the parking area.
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).
I first had the pleasure of meeting young Yoshinori-kun at Idlers in 2013 in Motegi (actually we first met at RWB, but that’s beside the point). He had been helping the entire event by […]
What a day… I hope everyone else had a much better Wednesday than I did. I’m just getting home from a 12 hour work day, with a 2 hour break in between that […]
I’ll dive right into the second part of my Autocon coverage because I don’t really know any other way to do it. Actually, there are quite a few BMW’s in this post; which […]
This past weekend in Los Angeles we had beautiful weather. Somewhat cloudy, probably high 60’s/low 70’s, nice cool breeze; it was gorgeous. Which normally wouldn’t make me think twice, but because this Sunday was […]
Continuing on with Hyper Meeting coverage, we’ll head out to the circuit where some of the time attack and races were taking place. HKS’s R35 GT1000 was on hand putting in a couple hot […]
This past weekend Mr. Satsuei was at Tsukuba Circuit to get coverage of Hyper Meeting 2014; an event that offers an extremely wide variety of popular cars, shops and a few events in both […]
I mentioned on our Instagram account (@naritadogfight) that Sekinei was at Tsukuba this past weekend covering Hyper Meeting 2014. I initially wanted to post up a bunch of shots from the event but honestly […]
Sunday morning Tsukuba Circuit’s TC2000 played host to the 2014 Hyper Meeting. Sekinei was on hand to capture the variety of demo cars that the tuner’s brought out to showcase. Stay tuned for some […]
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 […]
Fuji’s drift course typically has a wide variety of course at any given event. On this day though, this particular 86 caught my eye. There are a few things about it that appeal to me. […]
Yusuke Nojima. A man known for many things; his large part in Rauh-Welt, a love for Saber Tiger and Metal in general…but most of all, known for being a master of the 86. I […]
I know that everyone is gearing up for Tokyo Auto Salon in the coming weeks, and while I can’t say I’m not excited about it, there is an event that I’m looking forward to […]
A few weeks ago we stopped by Yusuke Nojima’s shop out in Ibaraki for a quick bit to take some photos of Noji’s newest project. This particular car will be built with the intent […]
Bee☆R had a good showing at the みんカラミーティング at Lake Yamanaka near Fuji, with Imai-san bringing out a couple of his cars… …among them his now iconic Rocket Bunny BRZ. If you […]
This afternoon we were in Chiba checking out a few auction sites and decided to swing by Mobara Circuit to check out the tail end of a grip/drift day they were having there. I […]
N2 spec AE86 built by Car Factory prepping for the Hot Version race – Tsukuba Circuit, Japan.
A couple shots of the Techno Pro Spirit Corolla that were taken at Tsukuba during the Hot Version N2 Race last year. By no means the craziest build at the race, but definitely one of […]
Sekinei and I made a stop by ProShop Wave one afternoon on the way back from some car auctions. Wave specializes in body work for a range of cars and motorcycles, but is probably […]
This past weekend I flew up to the Bay area to photograph Dino’s Corolla. We were strapped for time on Saturday evening, so we agreed to meet up again to finish up some interior […]
The Varis 86 dropped by Tsukuba last weekend adorned in the new full widebody kit offered by Varis. This aero kit in it’s entirety is pretty amazing; much more aggressive than their Arising line. – […]
Yesterday evening More Japan held a garage sale at their headquarters in Torrance. It was held later in the day, so most of us were free to attend. They had a raffle going on for […]
Nisei Week in Downtown Los Angeles; a time to celebrate the Japanese-American culture in the best way; good food, great location, lots of celebration, people dressing up in Japanese attire and of course the Nisei Showoff. I wasn’t actually planning on attending this year for a few reasons, but because I sort of volunteered my car to help Yuta out, I ended up attending later in the day. I had work in the morning all the way in Orange County, so I didn’t actually end up getting to Little Tokyo until a little after 3. I had been driving Allan’s Fit because he had to drive my car to LA that morning to set up at the Wheel Flip booth. Actually a really good thing because his Fit has great air conditioning, and it was basically the hottest day of the year. So due to my time constraints, I didn’t get as much coverage as I usually do – which I don’t really mind as I wasn’t planning on going anyway. The cars I did really want to get shots of, the Loi-Spec Integras, all left a bit early so I never got the chance to photograph them. Not too big of a deal though as I’m sure I’ll see them at a Raceline event in the near future. It probably didn’t help that the first thing we did when we go into the show was…leave the show. I couldn’t help it though; I was starving and in Little Tokyo – I needed ramen and a beer. If I were to be completely honest, it seems like the turn out wasn’t anything like the previous years; the lot was not as full, and the crowds just weren’t there. This could be for a few reasons; one being that the Infamous Hellaflush meet was being held on the same day in Long Beach, and the other being that this event seems to always be ‘up in the air’ as to whether or not there will be a next year. Why the Hellaflush meet was planned for the same day is beyond me. It seems almost suicide for the ‘scene’ to plan two huge events on the same day, 20 miles apart from one another and tear people between which to attend. Anyway, most of my shots were from later in the day as people were getting ready to leave, so I apologize if it seems strange. Click past the break for the first part of the coverage.
So, last weekend I rode up with a couple of friends to Willow Springs Raceway for a drift event at Balcony that was put on by Colab. Whew, that sentence is way longer than it seemed when I started typing it. Now I’m wondering if I should even start this post off with it…whatever. If you don’t know what Balcony is; it’s a spot at the top of WSIR that is used for various things, but it’s probably most known for it’s use as a makeshift drift course. It’s actually a decent spot to practice and I’m sure organizing events there is much cheaper than HTM. I had nothing planned for the weekend when the guys told me about the event, so I figured it would be worth going along to get some practice shooting drift events; I really have never shot drifting before. Also, I’ve been wanting to shoot Kem’s 240 for awhile, and still want to do a decent shoot with it, but it was fun getting some shots of it sideways. That’s his car with the R33 intercooler – it’s a little crooked, but who cares this car is rad. Charlie brought out his RB25 240 as well, and there were a couple other cars out that day as well. This will mostly be random pictures with no story line or commentary because that’s basically what the day was. Pretty much every car broke anyway. Click past the break for more.
Yeah, that’s right – another FT-86 post. So I posted on the NDF Facebook page a few weeks back picture of a FT-86 wheel with Spoon calipers attached. Needless to say it baffled many people – including me when I saw it. I still don’t have much information on the car, other than whoever owns it is affiliated with Spoon and Type One. I’m pretty sure it’s not too difficult to fit certain brake systems onto other cars, as it can be universal in some regards; requiring little retro-fitting. This may be the case, but it’s still wild to see a Spoon product on anything other than a Honda. Right? I first spotted this at Twin Ring behind the Spoon garage area at the 2nd round of Super Taikyu. Click past the break for a few more encounters!
One of the cool things about going to a race event in Japan, is all the other things that come along with it. Good food, merchandise and car part vendors, free goodies, concerts, and the paddock and pit areas. Super GT had it all and then some. In the vendor area of Fuji Speedway, Yokohama had a fairly large booth set up with a couple display cars. One of the cars was this red FT-86 sitting on a matte black set of Advan RG-D’s. I thought it was a really clean example of what the FT-86 can look like with the simplest of modifications. Click past the break for a full shot.
I wrote an initial draft up about 3 weeks ago for this close-up, but for some reason never got around to publishing it. For that, I apologize, because this is one hell of a car. One great day, at Tsukuba Circuit, an amazing event was held. At this event, Toyota decided to show it’s variant of the FT-86. Ever since the FT-86, BRZ, or FR-S has made it’s debut in it’s geographically appropriate location, the tuning world has been abuzz with excitement. Now, with the Super GT BRZ, and the D1 FT-86, we’re all dying to see what’s next. Well, it seems that TRD has our answer. With the FT-86 being officially on sale in Japan for about half a month now, it’s unlikely we’ll see any personally owned ones tuned any time soon. Toyota has done an excellent job in marketing their newest offering, and the TRD tuned FT-86 is the icing on the cake. Click past the break to see more.
Continuing on with the coverage of Hot Version’s filming at Tsukuba Circuit, we’ll take a look at more of what the garages held, and also get a preview of some of the on-track action. For video of the event, be sure to check out the JDM Clips channel. So far we’ve seen a ton of RX-7’s, the majority of which were competing in Advan’s Amateur Tournament. However, the main attraction over the weekend was without a doubt Hot Version’s N2 Race. AE86 tuners from all over the country travel to compete in this annual event. Check this one out getting a little sideways on track. Click past the break to see more!
If you’re a fan of the Toyota AE86, then I’m sure that you will be extremely familiar with Tec-Art’s and what they do. The fairly small, family run operation out of Yashio City, has grown into one of the more famous 86 tuners in Japan. By far their most famous build is their AE86 N2 Project; seen here in it’s 2012 configuration. The project, now over a decade in it’s life, has evolved greatly, I think even greater than Yoshinori Kamata had intended. It’s no stranger to the track, and it definitely made it’s mark at Tsukuba Circuit last weekend during the live Hot Version shoot. Click past the break to see this machine in detail.
Now that the Scion FR-S has been unveiled in North America and we’ve had a chance to examine her curves, I thought it would be a cool idea to go back to the FR-S Concept to compare how different the production model came out to be. Naturally, car companies can’t produce such extreme looking cars for mass consumption; they have to decide on a delicate balance of cutting edge and acceptable, so as not to shy away potential buyers. I took the following detailed images of the FR-S at the LA Auto Show for us to compare with. Click past the break to start.