Tag: Motor Sport

Close-Up: APR HASEPRO GT300 Toyota Prius

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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.

Feature: The S2000 With Two Lives To Live

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Behind most cars, there are stories to be told.  Some are your ordinary, every day type of stories that happen to the majority of people.  I’m sure we all have lot’s of memories that are centered around our vehicles; but I doubt that they are quite as intense as the story that surrounds this particular S2000.  Why?  Because this one was at one point engulfed in flames.  Has your car ever been on fire?  Didn’t think so.  This beautiful S2000 belongs to Nhan Doan, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at Wekfest LA, where he was showing his car for the day.  I liked his car so much I asked if he wanted to snap a few pictures for NDF after the show.  He happily obliged and around 5 or so we headed to Ballade Sports, where he was to drop off the car for a new tune that week.  I was hoping to have the new website up by now, here, and have this post as a sort of ‘kick-off’ of the new layout, but as you can see it seems to be taking me longer than I thought.  So, good news for all the fans I suppose, you get it early!  Click past the break to learn more about this true fighter of a S2000.

Event: Super Taikyu – A Pit Walk In Japan

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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.

Event: Raceline Track Day at Willow Springs Raceway

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This last weekend, Super Street held the annual FF Battle at the Streets of Willow at Willow Springs International Raceway.  Where is Willow Springs? It’s in the outskirts of the city of Rosamond in Kern County; basically in the Mojave Desert.  I’m not positive, but it may be the hottest location in California.  That same day, Raceline also had an open track day for intermediate ‘Level 3’ drivers.  The week before my friend hit me up and asked if I wanted to register with him and his boss for the event.  I hadn’t tracked my car for quite awhile so I thought it’d be fun, despite my engine setup being complete garbage.  My friend Joel was nice enough to make the drive from San Diego to act as our pit crew and support vehicle.  It was a good thing too because I ended up having a some brake issues on the drive home as a result of the beat down I gave my car throughout the day.  I had a great time and as usual I got to meet some really good people, and see some familiar faces.  I apologize for the lack of pictures but I was really concentrating on the drive that day.  Not to mention I forgot my zoom lens at home.  Click past the break to see the event.

Event: Super Taikyu Round 2 – Twin Ring Motegi v.2

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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.

Event: Super Taikyu Round 2 – Twin Ring Motegi V.1

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耐久 [Taikyu] – Translate the word to English and it becomes ‘Endurance’, or ‘Persistence’.  Both of which are needed in a series like Super Taikyu; where the most average of cars are transformed into octane devouring, tire burning, track monsters for their drivers to tame around the circuit.  A series that pushes both man and machine to the brink of exhaustion; endurance racing at it’s finest.  Now don’t get me wrong – this is no 24 Hours of Nürburgring.  It is, however, grueling in it’s own right – I barely survived photographing it, let alone driving it.  It’s possible that some readers are not familiar with the series, although, they may be familiar with the term ‘Group-N’ racing.  A particular type of motor sport, governed by the FIA, where standard production vehicles are allowed to be slightly modified for competition;  I use the term ‘slightly’ very loosely.  No doubt about it that each and every one of these cars is fully built to be race metal.  The main reason I fell in love with this series is the amount of classes involved and on track at the same time, all racing to be number one in their own right.  In this sense it’s a bit like Le Mans racing, except Super Taikyu has 5 classes.  I’m really excited to share this series with you and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  Click past the break for more Twin Ring action.

Close-Up: Diamond in Ogikubo – Type One Tuned S2000

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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.

Event: Super GT Round 2 – Throwdown at Fuji Speedway v.3

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In two weeks the Super GT teams will make their way over to Malaysia for the third Round of the series that takes place at Sepang International Circuit.  So, that means I have two more weeks to show you coverage of the Fuji race!  Just kidding; I have a few more shots of the race left, so I’ll throw them into this post.  I also have some cool shots from qualifying that I’ll sprinkle around throughout the rest of the week.  Judging by the traffic, it seems like you guys are enjoying this series.  It’s really a unique race with some awesome cars – for me it was really enjoyable to watch, photograph, and now share.  Hope you are enjoying it – click past the break for more .

Event: Super GT Round 2 – Throwdown At Fuji Speedway v.2

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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.

Event: Super GT Round 2 – Throwdown At Fuji Speedway v.1

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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.

Event: Drift Exhibition at Tsukuba Circuit

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I drove back to my hometown this weekend to attend my friend’s wedding.  I was looking forward to relaxing at home for a day or so and getting some work done on the website.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.  It seems like whenever I go home, I’m pulled in 100 different directions; and there’s never enough time.  Needless to say, NDF was M.I.A for the past couple days.  Before I turn in for the night I thought I’d throw this post together real quick.  During the Hot Version N2 Race at Tsukuba Circuit, the guys over at Drift Muscle, as well as some D1SL contenders, put together a little drifting exhibition.  Check it out past the break – and catch video at JDM Clips.

Close-Up: Mugen RR Advanced Concept

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Every once in awhile a tuner company will come out with a build that just blows me away.  Well, Mugen is more than just a tuning company, and this is more than just a build; but whatever it is, definitely blows me away.  The Mugen RR Advanced Concept is an almost 100% carbon bodied Civic RR with an extensive modification list that makes it a formidable track opponent going up against just about anything.   Check out more of what makes this beast tick past the break.

Close Up: Mazda 787B

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The Mazda 787B is, without a doubt, a very special car.  This particular model, built in 1991, holds a handful of prestigious accomplishments; mainly that it is the first, and only Japanese manufactured car to ever win the 24 Hour of Le Mans.  It is also the only non-piston car to win, as it is powered by a 26B rotary engine.  At the 2011 Motor Sports Japan show, JDM Clips got a chance to capture the machine in it’s preserved state of championship beauty.  Check out more past the break.

Feature: Eneos SC430 Super GT

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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.

Event: Nisei Showoff 2010 V.1


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As you can imagine, summer days in Los Angeles can get pretty hot; and the day of the 10th annual Nisei week car show was no exception.  I have to say I was pretty surprised when I heard the announcement that this show would make it to it’s 10th year.  In 2009 it had been slated off due to real estate issues, and development was supposed to start on the old parking lot the show takes place on.  However, the car gods once again blessed us with one more year of show stopping, automotive eye candy.

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