Between the amount of traveling I’ve done early this Summer (Japan’s record temps in June), our new focus on growth, and the recent heatwave here in the West, this years off-season has developed a sense of eternity to it. Even now in September, as people are gearing up to race again, the idea of heading out to the track for testing alludes me.
It’s been 3 years since I had the privilege of seeing ATTKD’s GTR take on the titans of Japanese time attack at Fuji Speedway. Witnessing the somewhat lesser known car back then clock times within seconds of the fastest at the time was something that really impressed me. I know it’s not intentional, but when cars like the Top Secret S2000RR and HKS R35 GT1000 take center stage, their opponents seem to get put on the back burner. When the ATTKD GTR32 hits the track though, it’s performance alone will demand the attention back from everyone in attendance.
Years ago I had the good fortune of befriending a couple of Garage Mak customers who have close relationships with the Miyagawa brothers; owners of the Nagano based tuning powerhouse, Garage Mak. Amemiya, Tsubaki, Seki, and others, have become good friends of mine, and have also given me the opportunity to meet, and work with, the two men behind one of Japan’s most comprehensive tuning shops. This last week I made the drive out to Nagano again to talk to Tatsuhiro and Kazunori Miyagawa about the upcoming Attack season, and get a better look at their new line of R35 GTR aero.
This past weekend I was able to knock out a lot of work on the car. For whatever reason I had this idea in my head that the rest of the build would be smooth sailing after the new motor setup got tuned; boy was I wrong. Getting the motor running properly was a huge milestone, but it far from marked the completion of the build. There is still much to do, and among them was to replace the overweight front calipers with a reliable, lightweight alternative – APG Performance answered that call.
The sudden change in Southern California’s weather this weekend caused quite the stir. Above all though, it allowed me to find out that my race car leaks like a bullet wound in the rain. Packed up and ready to hit Willow Springs for the Twilight VTEC Club event, I had little idea that both my car would slowly turn into a water reservoir on the drive there, and that the track was going to be closed due to flash floods. Even right after leaving the shop their was a profuse amount of water leaking in through the door, from the rear window, and from the floorboard (low key plug, all the Dogfight LCP parts did not leak).
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).
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 […]
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, there is no way you haven’t come across these two S15’s at one point or another. Garage Mak, a name whose aero designs […]
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 […]
I was first introduced to this car last time I was at Nikko Circuit for D1SL. The driver, Mitsuru Murakami, is a SEED driver for the Street Legal series; unfortunately, he had some mechanical problems […]
I thought that this shot of Mr. ハマダ キヨフミ and his ECR33 was pretty cool. Garage Dual was tearing it up last time at Nikko – click for a higher res shot.
So, last Sunday turned out to be a little less than typical; well, kind of. Typical in setting and happening, it just had a little twist on the medium. We swung by Jay’s house to […]
Yesterday evening we decided to make the drive out to Riverside to visit Franklin. His car’s been down for awhile and he hasn’t been able to come down our way for awhile. I had been driving a lot this past week, and didn’t really feel like tacking on a drive all the way out to Riverside, so I got a ride with Allan and we both met Yuta over there. It’s been quite awhile since I did a Garage Life post, so I brought along my camera stuff to get a few shots – nothing fancy though. Not sure why, but I don’t really take pictures of what I do outside of events and stuff, but these types of post get good attention; so you can expect more day to day lifestyle type posts like this in the future. Anyway, click past the break for a few more shots.
. Whenever I think of the J-Loc Super GT team I imagine a group of young, millionaire-esque drivers who spend their weekdays parlaying cash at ritzy clubs and restaurants, picking up beautiful women in lounges, […]
. One of those days… So, I’ve been working on the new website for about a week now, and if I’m honest I’d say the progress is slow at best. The general layout is almost […]
I think I’ll break up the Wekfest coverage with the second post of Super Taikyu from Twin Ring. I have a few fans that are awaiting the continuation of this and it just so happens I initially started posting it right before Wekfest hit town; which was not my intention. Plus, seeing a couple of race cars fight it out on track will be a nice contrast to the show coverage. We left off on the last post somewhere near the start of the race, after the practice laps. By now you have a good impression of the diversity of this series; I’m pretty sure I’ve said that a million times now, but it’s part of why this is such a cool race. Part of the appeal of Group-N racing series’ is that it has the ability to make any regular person feel like they can be a race car driver behind the wheel of there normal, every day car. That’s not to say that they should…but it’s nice to have that feeling. A popular car among the Super Taikyu contenders is the Sturm Motul STi. You can see it here propped up on the air jacks in the team garage; the crew going through a few final tests before it’s unleashed on the track for the 4 hour stint. Check the continued coverage past the break.
. It’s been awhile since I posted anything on my junkyard turbo build. I have a little free time now, so why not give you a little status update? I gotta say, I never knew […]
Ah, Monday. Hope you all had a good race weekend; congrats to Sebastian Vettel for his second 2011 season win! As promised, I’m posting up some shots of a Super GT Test Day at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit. While these shots may be dated a bit, they are still awesome. This post will be followed up with some race day shots as well. Unfortunately, the Super GT series has been delayed due to the tragic events in Japan. I know we’ve heard it a lot, but let’s hope Japan can bounce back and things can return to normal soon. Thanks again to JDM Clips. Check out the NSX GT-R FR – looks so mean.
. Those of you who know me probably know my car as well. Those who don’t; let me introduce you. This is my car. For 10 years it has gone through close to a dozen […]
One thing that continually amazes me about Japan is the sheer density of the place. You can spend a month contained in a one mile radius and still not see everything. I find myself in Yokohama quite often and was surprised that I had never been to ASM before. Under the arm of the Autobacs flagship name, ASM Yokohama offers not only specialized S2000 parts and tuning, but probably the best selection of Recaro seats you’ll ever find; short of catching a flight to Germany. I took a brief tour of the shop last time I was in the area – check out the pics past the break. “To the stage that no one could reach. Yes, we can!”
This past weekend I ventured over to the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana to attend the Speedventures open track day, and to check out Big Mike’s Hontune event. This was the first Speedventures event I’ve been to, and although I didn’t track my car, I had a ton of fun walking around the facility shooting photos. Despite the bone chilling wind and uncertain forecast, I’m glad I went because I ended up meeting some great people and getting to shoot their awesome cars. Case in point; the two track ready S2000’s you see before you. I saw this pair sitting unattended in the garage, so I ventured in for some pics; click past the break for more.