With the seemingly never-ending popularity of Mazda’s 90’s classic, the RX7, it’s not uncommon for it’s successor, the RX-8, to get overlooked. At the time, the newly introduced Renesis engine, while a great performer at high RPM, lacked torque and overall power; mainly due to the extreme efficiency of the engine to meet strictly enforced emissions laws. Because of this, the naturally aspirated 1.3 liter rotary seemed to always get passed on for it’s older, turbocharged counterpart. Wanting to prove the RX-8’s worth, and to help stoke parts development of the chassis, Aoki-san at Revolution took on the task of building the ultimate RX-8. The first step? Ditching the Renesis motor for a naturally aspirated 20B.
As we landed back in Narita on the evening of the 12th, I couldn’t help but feel like I hadn’t even left the country. The sun had just began to set through the scattered clouds on the horizon and the diffused, orange glow of the afternoon’s last rays forced it’s way through the aircraft windows and into my eyes. It had only been 3 weeks since I was last in Japan, a travel duration that becomes the norm during this time of year; the hectic 3 month period when time attack events are at their peak. Actually, back in the States, I was so busy with new contracts at work and getting the store up that I hardly had time to post any content on site before heading back. Nevertheless, I had returned to Japan and first thing in the morning we would make our way back to Tsukuba for the second, and final, round of Battle Evome.
There’s a strange equality to winter, I think. It’s a balance that can only come with the sacrifice of life; a level playing field for all beings; a restart to a long year of effort and hard work of rebuilding from the previous season’s eradication. It sounds rather bleak, but it gives us, it gives everything, a chance to reestablish a new, improved form. It provides an opportunity to apply what we’ve learned from the past, to return stronger, an enhanced version, and if all goes as planned, a superior adaptation to that of last year. And so it is each year for the competitors of Battle Evome.
I’d say that, after three years of attending Evome, the one thing I really get excited for is seeing everyone again, as well as meeting new friends. The privateer ‘Attack’ season in Japan is such a short lived experience each year that my time with the drivers is fairly brief. This is somewhat of a Catch 22 because while it does make each encounter much more special, I end up having to divide my time between talking to people and photographing the hour long event; and with just 3-4 Evome events a year, my time becomes very limited (especially not living in Japan).
Last year I was able to chat with Ejima-san about the car he has built over the past several years, at his shop TFR, to compete in the sport of Time Attack. Just by being around him, I was able to get a feel for the type of person he is and how his personality ties into his driving. It’s a duo I’ve come to enjoy watching over the past events, and it’s nice to be able to revisit the build again this year.
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…
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.
Saitama native Nakashima Tomoyoshi, or Tomo for short, is an avid fan of the RX-7. Unique in many ways, the car has stolen his attention for better half of several years. Before he built the FD you see here, Tomo was the proud owner of a white Savanna FC.
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.
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.
For 2015 we’ve teamed up with the organizers of Super Battle Evome as the main media outlet for the event. This year has promise to be the biggest yet, as Evome has teamed up […]
A familiar face to Tsukuba’s TC2000; the Auto Gallery Yokohama time attack R32. Harumichi’s creation is both powerful and nimble enough to clock a quick 57.371 around Tsukuba. I’ve been a huge fan of […]
There is a feeling that some have experienced that is as nerve racking as it is exhilarating. Some may crumble under it, feed off of it; becoming stronger, faster. A sort of pressure that brings […]
Battle Evome, and time attack events in general, are so unique in the sense that each participant has their own story; their own background. Where they come from, how they got into motor sport, things […]
Everyone wants a flame, nobody wants to get burnt. A statement that cries out to the majority. Sacrifice, defeat, disappointment; bitter vices that coincide with the greatest of victories. Vices that the average will […]
A couple shots of Shintaro’s S15 Silvia at Tsukuba. Looks like the front splitter makes a nice coffee holder. Unfortunately, Shintaro didn’t get enough time on track to set a hot lap at […]
Here’s a car that you don’t see on the race track too often; especially if you live in any other country but Japan. I spotted this Honda City (GA1) at Tsukuba during Evome. Needless to […]
One shot of the Brio S13 time attack coupe before Okamura takes it out for some heat around Tsukuba.
Although this FD may seem mild compared to the rest of the paddock, it’s still has much to boast about. Including a best run of 59.429 on TC2000. It’s great to see the privateers get […]
I first encountered the ATTKD street-spec R34 on our way to Battle Evome last February; we had stopped to grab some coffee at 711 and in the parking lot was the entire ATTKD entourage, including […]
Without a doubt, there were some star performers present at 2013’s final Battle Evome, but among them one shined (literally) the brightest. The Moty’s/t-one’s FD3S was, for me, one of the coolest cars to see […]
One of the cars I was looking forward to seeing the most at Evome was the Carshop Glow FD3s. At the last Battle Evome this February it was running a new canard setup, that must […]
We pick up on circuit late morning in Tsukuba, where, lap by lap, the times are decreasing ever so slightly. By this time, many of the drivers have recorded personal bests or were well on […]
As the morning sun rose over Tsukuba, and the clock closed in on 9am, the lighthearted paddock conversations gave way to a sound that I’m not even clever enough to describe in words. The first […]
Battle Evome; the name itself invokes a sense of elitism and power. The event, held at Tsukuba Circuit just 4 times a year, attracts the fastest of the street and privateer time attack cars across […]
Under Suzuki doing his thing at Tsukuba. Great shot from JDM Clips ~ visit to see this in action.
I took some time out last night from weeding dog stickers to take a stroll down memory lane. I came across this time attack RX-7 from last year’s Hot Version N2 race that JDM […]
A few years ago, if you were to have asked someone stateside if they knew what Auto Gallery Yokohama was, you’d probably get a blank stare. Or perhaps someone would say that it’s an automotive museum in Yokohama; which, per se, wouldn’t be a bad guess. Bottom line is that no one would know who they were or what they did. Actually, around 3 years ago, even I wouldn’t have known much about them. My first exposure to their now iconic battle-spec R32 was in an Option magazine a few years back. It was a panning shot of the Skyline blazing down the straight of Fuji Speedway. Since then, the just about every part of the car has gone through a massive amount of changes. The bottom line remains the same though; to be the fastest. And in many ways AG-Y has succeeded in doing so. The car constantly breaks records at Fuji and holds respectable times around Tsukuba. For a private company, there is no doubt it holds it’s own in a fight against the big dogs (see what I did there? – NDF!). I recently stopped by Auto Gallery Yokohama’s garage to see for myself the car that I’ve been dreaming about for years and get an up close and personal look at it’s heart. Click past the break for more.