This 1995 Mazda RX-7, owned by someone choosing only to be referred to as ‘The Temple of Buddha’ (or something like that I don’t actually know), is so far off the grid that I normally operate on that when I saw it at Fuji the other week, I had to take a closer look.
Finding originality among the masses these days seems almost like a lost cause; difficult to say the least. It seems we’ve fallen into an echo-chamber, driven by internet popularity, that promotes the trendy favorable over imagination. Very few choose to forge their own path of innovation and ingenuity, and it’s left us with more ‘inspired by’ designs than one should have to endure. This sheep-like quality is absent in Mr. Jun Tanaka, however, and the S15 that he’s created is unlike any other.
Did ya get that one?
There’s no doubt that when Nissan developed the GTI-R version of the N14 Pulsar, they were in it to fill a performance niche. The three-door hatchback was not only AWD, but sported the ever popular SR20DET engine producing 227 horsepower. Boasting an incredible power-to-weight ratio, Nissan had influence to produce such a car to compete in the WRC. I wonder if they knew other people would have similar ideas though…
With my small involvement in this industry, and the often times overwhelming amount of events in the area, I’m sometimes faced with conflicting events (ie. HKS Premium Day and Evome being on the same day) . This is usually not a concern because my interests happen to fall into a smaller niche of the whole of automotive lifestyle; such was the case for me this weekend. Formula D took place in Long Beach this weekend, as well as the accompanying car show downtown. Earlier in the week however, my friend and employee of GMG Racing, Dom, invited me to hang out with the team for the sprint race at Auto Club Speedway. Needless to say, I did not attend Formula D.
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.
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 […]
I first saw this car when my friend Teddy posted a few pictures of it in our Facebook group page. I inquired about it pretty quickly and he mentioned it was a friend of […]
一般. Pronounced ‘Ippan’; meaning ‘ordinary’, or ‘usual’. A word I would never use to describe the car you’re about to see, but strange enough, one that the owner would. This post may get a […]
This weekend Sekinei took to the circuit to participate in the Bridgestone sponsored タイヤ館 event in Honjo. Among the runners at the track, this Silvia stood out the most with it’s attack styling and aero. […]
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 […]
Z32’s are admittedly not the most common choice when it comes to building a time attack car. Actually, Z32’s are pretty much uncommon no matter how you put it; but there is one company […]
…and as the rain began to fall ever harder, the Super GT cars charged on; fueled by the calm determination only those behind the wheel know. We pick up on the continuing coverage mid […]
This is one S chassis that I haven’t seen too much of until last month’s D1SL round in Nikko. It’s actually quite different than what we’re used to seeing. I find the reference to American […]
After my well deserved break after the Super GT practice session, it wasn’t long before the final race of the season got underway. In typical Japanese fashion, as soon as the flag dropped, so did […]
So, it was 5am and the only thing I could think about was getting caffeine into my system; not if my friend was going to be late, not if it was going to rain […]
I was setting up Mana’s car for a differnt angle during a photoshoot at a PA on the Expressway one afternoon, when I hear this growling off in the distance. I stepped up on […]
One of the cars I enjoyed watching most at this past round of D1SL at Nikko was this GP Sports 180SX. The car is driven by コウノ シオン (Kohno Shion) who you may remember by […]
This past Sunday marked the end of the 2012 Super GT season with the final race at Twin Ring Motegi; and despite the cold, rainy weather, the action was as hot as ever. […]
A few weeks ago Super GT held the final official test day for the 2012 season. The venue; Twin Ring Motegi. While the majority of the teams set out to gather data for the upcoming […]
On September 17th, Super GT held it’s final Official Test Day of the season at Twin Ring Motegi. Our friends at JDM Clips were there to catch all the action as both the GT300 and […]
Aside from the KERS outfit on a Formula 1 car, it would be a safe bet that the last thing that goes through peoples minds when discussing motor sports is the term ‘hybrid’. So when Toyota, along with APR Racing, and Super GT announced their intentions to develop a Prius GT300 car the buzz was quite large. Japan has always been a leader in hybrid technology and promotion of its use, so to me, it didn’t come as much of a surprise. It was really only a matter of time until hybrids made their way into the racing scene, and Super GT seems like a great place to start. The Super GT series is the flagship of Japanese motor sport, and with the increase of various chassis comes an increase in fan base. Everyone who drives a Prius will now have a reason to come watch the races and cheer on their own team; which in the end is great for the sport and probably Prius sales. Although the consumers might be a little disappointed when they can’t get the car up to 220 km/h dropping their kids off at school. I should point out not to get me wrong when I start throwing the term ‘hybrid’ around so loosely, because this is not your average grocery getter. I think we would all agree that it would be a little naive of us to assume that this is a stock Prius. While it does retain the stock hybrid system, it gets a little extra help from something special mounted in the rear. Click past the break to learn more about the first hybrid in Super GT.
. Eneos GT500 Lexus SC430 | Fuji Speedway .
Spoon Sports: a staple of the Honda tuning community. Any time I travel to Japan I make it a point to try and visit Spoon and Type One because, well, it’s Spoon. Aside from Mugen, no other company works closer to Honda than Spoon and the results are amazing. A few weeks ago my friend and I dropped by Type One to see what they had cooking. The day before the Twin Ring race we didn’t expect much, but fortunately they had left a few employees back at the shop to take care of the weekend customers. I’ll save the full ‘Locale’ feature for another day, but I’ve been itching to share these next few photos with you guys. I posted a teaser on the official NDF Facebook page a few weeks ago and you guys went ballistic over it; this is really a cool car. Anyway, when I was walking upstairs I was so intrigued by this one white S2000 that was for sale that an employee was showing to an interested customer, that I didn’t even notice it sitting to the side of the shop. When I finally saw it I could hardly contain myself. The guys at Type One have always been really cool with visitors, so I wasn’t reserved at all with my picture taking. Although it is a customer car, I was laying on the ground, getting behind lifts, and moving stuff out of the way to get better shots of it. I even caught the guy upstairs smirking a little at me – probably thinking why the hell I cared so much about it. Click past the break to see more of Japanese Darth Vader’s S2000.
We continue the coverage of Super GT Round 2 from about the middle of the race. By now I had wandered myself around the better half of the track and started making my way back to the paddock area to get something to eat. While doing so, I managed to miss the massive crash of the Art Taste Porsche driven by Tim Bergmeister that ended up sending him to the hospital. I’m not sure if he had a puncture in one of his tires that threw him off, or if it was a driver error, but the accident was pretty horrific. This delayed the race for a good 30 minutes while they cleaned up and got the car off-track. It didn’t take long though for the GT cars to start up at full throttle again. Click past the break to check out more racing action from Fuji Speedway.
Nothing can short change the excitement of a good road race. Rapidly changing weather conditions, split second decisions, class differences, mental fatigue, and constant overtaking all combine to create an environment that only motor sport can provide. Super GT, Japan’s premier racing series, brings this to the table round after round. Mixing GT300 and GT500 contenders make for a packed grid and the opportunity to see some great driving. This particular race held many challenges for the teams to overcome; challenges that would leave the unprepared teams either on the back of the grid or, worse yet, off the track and retired. It’s my pleasure to bring you coverage from Round 2 of Super GT held at Fuji Speedway in the Shizuoka prefecture. Click past the break for a look at the action.
. I gotta say, I’ve been having one hell of a week. With that out of the way, let me apologize for not updating the blog as promised. I’ve been giving you crappy teasers on […]
Following up that pink Studie BMW post, I have an awesome feature on this unusual GT300 contender. The Studie built Hatsune Miku Good Smile Racing BMW Z4 (初音ミク グッドスマイル) is unique to say the least. For starters, the team’s theme is based on a character that was originally created to market Crypton Future Media’s new ‘Vocaloid’ software, a synthetic singing application that can be used to add vocals to backing music – sounds like something from a science fiction movie. Anyway, as you would imagine if you’ve been to Japan before, the character soon became overwhelmingly popular (Check this video out). The second unique feature of this team, and probably the coolest, is that it gathers it’s racing funds from individual fan donations. The individual sponsorships range between 3,000yen to 300,000yen, and allows the fans to get a chance to visit the team pit during a race, have their name on the car, get a special team sticker, and other perks. Thanks again to JDM Clips for providing coverage and information. Check out the feature past the break.
. Can I post another BMW? At least it was tuned by a Japanese tuner. This vibrant Studie built 3 series was also spotted in the lot. Not sure about that color, but those forged […]
. I know, I know, it’s not Japanese. It’s still awesome though. One of my favorite Le Mans GT cars – the M3. It’s also one of the fastest; at least in Long Beach. The […]
. In lieu of the recent events that have taken place in Japan, you can imagine that gathering content for a site that focuses on Japanese motorsports is quite challenging. To be honest, I’m not […]
JDM Clips comes through again with some great media of the Eneos SC430 Endurance GT Racer. We’ve all driven this car at one point in time…right? Well, in Gran Turismo at least. So you already know how awesome it is. This car is unique in many ways, especially because of the rarity of the platform in racing. You don’t often see SC430’s competing in organized motorsports. I can only think of the other 4 which competed in GT500 also. So, if you haven’t driven it, and don’t know how awesome it is, click past the break and I will tell you.
The JDM Clips/NDF collaboration delivers the goods once again with this feature on the legendary Amuse S2000 GT1. This car is one of the greatest tuning achievements of Mr. Hideki Tanabe’s lifetime, and for good reason. It’s looks are not only unforgettable, but it’s mechanical prowess has been proven on both street and track. The insanely wide body kit brings order to chaos and gives the car the aerodynamic performance close to that of a full race car. Click past the break to check out the car in more detail.
Before I set sails across the Pacific, I thought I’d revisit a car from JCCS. This 2-door, hardtop Celica GT coupe stole the show for me at JCCS. This model of Celica was first made in the 1970’s and heavily influenced by the late 60’s, early 70’s Ford Mustang. A cheaper alternative to Toyota’s sports car, the 2000GT, the Celica became massively popular. This particular one was in great condition.
The warm sun, the cool ocean breeze blowing through the trees; Downtown Long Beach makes the perfect venue for just about any get together – and the 6th annual holding of the Japanese Classic Car Show is no exception. Without a doubt JCCS is the show to go to to see the best in classic Japanese cars. Datsuns, Toyotas, and Mazdas from the 70’s and 80’s are littered throughout the grounds and parking lot. Some are daily driven, and some have been restored to show quality; there is definitely something for everyone. Take this Corolla for example; old school parts, executed with modern drift styling. It took me about 2 hours to walk through the show, and I tried to get a little of everything. Some photos will have a more retro look (i.e. warm temperatures, desaturated); I did this as a throw back to the era of the cars. Hope you enjoy!