Self-tasked with building the fastest Civic in Japan, Asai-san and Sapporo based shops GNR Racing and Rise-Up Garage, are constantly modifying the setup on their flagship EK9. Their hard work is paying off as they close in on the FF NA Record at TC2000.
I had the opportunity to see what was left of Tokue’s EK shell during my last trip to Garage Work early in 2019. Iwata didn’t want me to photograph it, for various reasons, but for a fan of the Honda Civic, I can only describe the scene as melancholy.
The evolution of time attack builds in Japan is, for me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of the sport. The dedication of the teams and the drivers to improve performance each season typically results in a year over year change in the appearance of the cars. Especially given the fact that most of the Attack competitors are ghosts on social media in comparison, it’s always a surprise to see what they unveil at the start of each season.
It may be obvious to most people, but after surrounding myself with Japan’s fastest time attack cars, I often times need to remind myself that there are several cars not built to an extreme that are very noteworthy. In fact, sometimes its the cars that are very tastefully modified that stand out the most; as is the case with Yuma Koide’s EK9. While the bright blue exterior is quick to catch the eye of a passerby, it’s what you don’t see that keeps you staring.
This 280ps K-powered EK9 from GNR traveled a long way from home to run at the Attack event at Tsukuba this year. The owner, Yasuko Asai, hails from the northern island of Hokkaido; needless to say he doesn’t get down to Ibaraki very often. At his local circuit, Tokachi International Speedway, the car clocks a 1’24.666 on the Clubman course configuration. An extremely respectable time when you consider that a Super Taikyu Porsche GT3 ran literally the same time.
Something happened last month that honestly didn’t get the recognition it deserved; at least from publications that I frequent. In hindsight I probably should have made it more of a priority to highlight the news on my end other than social media, but in my defense I was busy with work and part of me wanted to wait until I talked to a few people about it. When a guy like Suzuki Under breaks records it’s, because of his amassed following, it’s pretty easy to hear information about it. I remember when he clocked the 50.746 back in December everyone I knew was talking about it; and rightly so, it’s amazing. So when I heard that during last month’s Attack Tsukuba Championship, Yusuke had broken the 57 second barrier to clock a lap time of 56.748 I thought the internet would explode.
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.
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.
Hope to see this in Direzza Challenge again! Look for a more in depth article on this EK soon.
A month or so ago Maruyama-san had got together with Sekinei and organized a Civic meet at Daikoku PA that was to be held last weekend. The original idea came about because of […]
So, one of the side projects that I’ve been working on over the past few months is expanding the site to include a very niche line of carbon goods, targeted towards circuit racing 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 […]
Looks like the owner of this EK is taking some styling ques from the ‘USDM’ style catalog; with it’s OEM body, and good amount of US based decals. The silver Meisters look great against […]
I make it a point to visit Spoon and Type One each time I go to Japan; actually, this is about the 4th or 5th post on NDF about visiting the shop! It’s such […]
It’s almost been a week since Wekfest LA, and I’ve just about wrapped up all my coverage. I’m going to try and squeeze everything I’ve got into this final post – so it’s going to be massive. I went ballistic on this one so, by far, you’ll see the most diversity in cars throughout this post. I’ve also included another slideshow gallery at the bottom for the masses. Hope you see your car! Also, if you want some special VIP only coverage of the show, check out our friends down under at Street-Cover. I supplied them with a few shots to help spread the Wek love over in Australia. You should probably check the site out anyway because it’s pretty rad. Again, special thanks goes out to all those at Weksos Industries involved in organizing such a massive tour, as well as the city of Long Beach for being cooperative. Let’s just jump right into the coverage. You know the drill – click the break for more.
I’m running out of ways to start these posts, as usual, so I’ll just start off by saying…here is part 3 of NDF’s Wekfest LB (A) coverage. I even had trouble coming up with that. I think from now on, literally this second, for the rest of the show coverage, I will highlight a handful of shots and then post a slide gallery of some cookie cutter coverage of the show towards the bottom of the post. There are really way too many cars to try and put them into this format. This will allow you guys to see the show in a more timely manner as well. As a side benefit, it will also allow me to concentrate my commentary on just a few memorable shots. After previewing the new layout, I think you’ll like it as it allows you to briefly preview a lower sized picture, as opposed to loading an entire page worth of pictures. Once you click a thumbnail, a slide feature will pop up allowing you to view each shot in the gallery in succession. Typically, towards the end of posts my comments turn from semi-informational to just blatant observations (e.g. here is a civic on Volks). You’re probably reading that type of stuff and saying, “Well, no shit”. I think I left off around early afternoon, just before the gates opened and the flood of show goers rushed the grounds. I think it was right about this time I decided to break off from the guys I was hanging out with and start taking photos again. Click past the break for continued coverage.
C-h-e-c-k. Check. OK, my keyboard still works. Holy shit I’m tired. Two nights before Nisei I was stuck at work for 23 hours straight. Yeah that’s right, 23. I never fully recovered, so on the morning of the show I was hating my life. I remember a fairly large line when gates opened last year, so this year I showed up pretty early and to my surprise come 11 o’clock, there was only about 15 people behind me. I guess it must have picked up throughout the day though because people were saying the turnout was good. I had stuff to do in Westwood a little past 1 o’clock so I figured I had around 2 hours to take care of business; Wakayama Ramen lunch included. Click past the break for part one of however many Nisei posts I feel like making out of the 400 pictures I took.
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.
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.