Three years ago when Yoshiki ‘Fire’ Ando and the expert team at Escort set out to claim the tuning car record at every international circuit in Japan, they knew it was a challenge that would demand perfection in all aspects of their operation.
Watching the beginning of the race unfold through my camera lens served as a great way to get me even more pumped up for my first outing on track. I spent a good hour running back and forth between shooting in the paddock and watching lap times drop on the garage monitor as the drivers began warming up to the conditions.
Two weeks ago I made the not-so bad flight (I was lucky enough to snag a first class seat, so I slept the entire way) across the Pacific to Japan. I would once again be driving with the RWB team in the Idlers 12 hour Enduro at Twin Ring Motegi. This would be my second, non-consecutive, time both driving and photographing the event. It had been 5 months since I was last in Japan covering Evome, and in all honesty I wouldn’t have been back until Winter if it wasn’t for this event. The relationship that RWB has with Idlers and the people involved in both organizations are the key reason behind this event being so fun, not to mention well organized. Aside from driving Porsche’s around Motegi (not sure I need any other reason), seeing the international involvement is reason enough to go. Reuniting with people from all across the globe, and putting faces to names, is what makes this event so special to me.
The diversity of Idlers events is comparable to few other races. Just one glance at the entry list reveals everything from old Citroen’s and Alfa’s to Honda’s, Toyota’s and of course plenty of Porsche’s. Each entrant is interesting to check out as they compete in all levels of tuning, but none stood out to me more than this Silvia from Garage Infinity.
As the sun rose over the grandstands of Twin Ring Motegi, I knew that the time to start the endurance was getting close. Not yet tired, despite being up a solid 24 hours at this […]
When I left off, Alex and I had just taken off from RWB in the 964 Rough Soul; but it wasn’t long before we were stopped on the side of the road with engine trouble. […]
This series of posts may be lengthy to read, and pretty much all about my experience driving in Idlers. It’s really not something you see too often on this site, as it is not […]
Snapped this real quick on our way back to Chiba from Motegi. We had been up for about 2 days straight and were in need of some energy to get us back to RWB. Although […]
Brake masters DIXCEL Japan and their Shinryo Auto built Super Taikyu EVO will be at Tokyo Auto Salon next week (Hall #6) – be sure to stop by and say hi, and wish them […]
…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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying, “Some of the best things in life are free”. A saying most likely referring to memories or moments in time. For the most part I’d agree, as it’s happened to me several times. The things in life that are the most special often happen unexpectedly and in the most obscure places – take this encounter for example. If you want to get technical with it, this moment wasn’t technically free, but I can say that it was both unexpected and obscure; crazy any way you want to look at it. On our way back to Tokyo from Motegi, my friend and I had decided to pull over at a rest stop for a bite to eat and a little refill of caffeine (in the form of some Emerald Mountain Blend). The long drive back on the expressway had started taking it’s toll on us and after spending an entire day shooting an endurance race, the last thing you want to do is drive for 2 hours back home. As we pulled into the parking area, and drove towards the back to park, we noticed a trailer with a pair of Nissan’s resting atop. As we got closer we realized it was the two Okabe Jidosha Taikyu team’s cars. I suppose they had the same idea as us and stopped for a little break. Not one to miss a photo-op, I grabbed my camera and tripod and snapped a few shots before we went into the restaurant (You can see one of the shots here – I’ll post more later). As we were eating our curry and whatever the hell else I had ordered, we kept trying to pick out who was involved in the racing team. I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to tell just by looking at someone, but we tried anyway. We finished up, grabbed some coffee from vending, and made our way back to the car when we saw this. Click past the break for more – I promise you won’t see stuff like this anywhere else.
Here’s a post I’ve been waiting to share with you for awhile now. Let me preface this by saying that the pictures won’t really do this experience much justice. In Japan, a pit walk is something you can pay a little extra for to take an actual walk on the pit road to view the cars and team. Well, I thought you could view the cars and team anyway. In reality, it turns out it’s a mad rush for the thousands of spectators that are there solely for the race queens. I literally had to fight my way through the crowd and sneak my way past the stanchions to get a glimpse at the race cars. I was even told a few times that I couldn’t be past a certain point I had snuck by. Seriously though, I paid for a pit walk to see the cars! My friend and I were probably part of the 5% of people there to view the actual vehicles. They should really look in to separating the girls from the garages a little; throw them out on the straight or something. With that said, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I find it extremely amusing being the only foreigner in a crowd of crazed motor sport (read ‘race queen’) fans, and getting caught up in the moment. You know the saying “If you can’t beat them, join them”? Well, about halfway through I gave up trying to get car shots and ended up joining everyone else in snapping some girlies. They were all about it too! Perks of having blue eyes I suppose. Click past the break to see the experience of my first pit walk.
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.
. So I’m finally getting a chance to sort through and edit some coverage from the Super Taikyu race I went to; about time right? I’ve been putting it off for a few reasons – […]
. During ‘Golden Week’ in Japan, it’s typical to see carp-shaped streamers flying in the wind. These special flags are called 鯉幟, or ‘Koinobori’. These are traditionally flown in Japan to celebrate 端午の節句 (Tango no […]
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!
Saw this R34 while we were parking at Twin Ring Motegi and thought I’d snap a few pics. I like the bright gold Top Secret Edition TE37 against the blue paint. It kind of reminded me a little of a 90’s car show the way it was parked in the grass haha. Click past the break for a closer shot of the wheels.
. Super Taikyu – not the most popular of series, but exciting in it’s own atmosphere, and one I’ve grown quite fond of. It would be a stretch to say that many people know about […]
. Spotted this little guy sitting by itself in the parking area near Motegi. Doesn’t it look ready to hit the mountain? .
. Good evening NDF! I apologize for the lack of updates, but since I’ve touched down on Japanese soil, I’ve literally been moving non-stop. I think I’ve slept a full 5 hours in the past […]
. Was poking around my files and came across this Raybrig HSV attacking Twin Ring and fell it necessary to post it. .
. 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 […]