Tag: Narita

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Video: Attack Tsukuba 2019 – Test Day Pit Walk

Friday morning a few other track hosts held open events for those entrants that wanted to do some testing the day before the Attack event on Saturday.  Many of the top tier teams took advantage of the time, as did the overseas competitors.  Since this day was a little more relaxed, I took some video around the paddock and pit.

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Video: 80R Volume 2 Promo – Endless FD3S

In my attempt to promote the next Volume of 80R, I’ve been doing my best to collect video from each dedicated photoshoot.  Unlike it’s precursor, Volume 2 will contain media that has not been published anywhere else.  The innagural issue was a great starting point, but if I have an opportunity to improve upon it, I am going to take it.  So, if I’m unable to immediatly share with you some of the content, I can at least provide an alternative; video was a great solution.

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Event: NDF Attack Challenge – March 10, 2019

If you happen to follow our Facebook or Instagram page, you may have noticed a few images promoting an upcoming event we’re headlining with the organizers of VTEC Club.  NDF Attack Challenge is our take on emulating a Japanese style of time attack that is not often found in the States.  Naturally, with the countries being almost polar opposites of one another (in both size, demographic, and culture), there are some very notable differences between the execution of the two; the most striking difference being that of classing.

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Video: 80R Volume 2 Promo – Tomiyoshi Racing NSX

Just before the last weekend of January I flew out to Kyushu to attend the Autopolis Super Lap event.  Having never visited this particular course, I was lowkey very excited for this weekend.  Unfortunately, the gods were at odds that day, and it was no sooner than I had touched down at Kumamoto airport that I received a message from Shimada-san of Kyush Danji that the event was cancelling because the entire circuit was blanketed in snow.

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Encounter: Out Of The Blue – Yuma Koide’s EK9

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.

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Encounter: Timeless Attack – A Pair Of RGN FC3S

As time goes by, it becomes more and more infrequent that we see a large amount of second generation RX-7s out and about at the circuit. No doubt the popularity of the FC chassis plays a large part in why we still see them at all, but for a car whose newest model would now be a good 27 years old, it is getting more and more rare to spot them at events. Despite their age, however, there remains a large aftermarket support for FC3S, as the style and engine seem to transcend time itself in an attempt to stay relevant in motor sports.

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Event: Central Time Attack Challenge 2019 – Special Classes

As I continued to sift through the coverage of Central Time Attack Challenge, I realized that there were a noticeably less amount of cars in attendance this year compared to last.  No doubt in part due to the weather, which sort of goes to show the challenges with hosting a once a year style event in a country that has such unpredictable weather patterns.  It’s really something places like Southern California don’t have to deal with, and we often take for granted.

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Event: Central Time Attack Challenge 2019 – Vertex SL Class

Central Time Attack is an event that has quickly grown on me in an interesting way; be it the uniqueness of the circuit, the location, or the ‘newness’ of it to me, it’s definitely starting to become something I look forward to annually.  Being so far from the ‘hub’ of time attack in Japan, it presents a unique opportunity for me to see builds I don’t typically get exposed to regularly.  I had a similar feeling shooting at Suzuka for the first time back in 2017.  This was my second consecutive year attending CTAC and while the weather wasn’t particularly cooperating, it was still an exciting day.

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Encounter: Kenji Mori’s CBY AE86

I can always appreciate a dedicated race car build that maintains the character of a street car.  More than just a collection of parts thrown together, these cars carry with them a certain presence – an appearance that brings with it an almost tangible-like feeling.  Arguably, in Japan, the AE86 chassis has the ability to achieve this more than any car out there.  Be it due to its history in racing both on track and street, or perhaps its timeless design that attracts shops to continually develop parts for it.  Whatever the case, there are some very indismissable examples, and Kenji’s CBY supported build is a perfect representation of this idea.

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Event: Speed And Sound Trophy – Option Superlap

The Speed and Sound Trophy is, all things considered, a newer event held annually at Tsukuba Circuit.  Hosted by a handful of well-known media publications that include names like Option, REVSPEED, Autosport, G-Works, and Motor Head, it attempts to bring together all facets of motor sport for enthusiasts of any kind to enjoy equally.  The end result is an event that keeps the track busy with time attack competitions, demonstration runs from old and current race cars, guest driver personalities, GT cars, drift exhibitions, and car shows.  Of course, what we’re interested in is the Option hosted Superlap competition.

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News: Option TC2000 Top 50 Ranking

Tsukuba Circuit has always been considered the “Holy Land of Time Attack”.
Drivers flock to the track to prove their skills in a number of famous events, including Option Superlap, RevSpeed and more recently the Attack Championship series.  As many tuning cars continue to take on TC2000 it’s not uncommon for times to change very quickly.  Below is a up-to-date ranking of the top 50 drivers and their corresponding times at TC2000.

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Feature: The Casual Race Car – NDF B20 Spec DC2

At some point in time, my friend Duane mentioned to a few of us that, barring interest, he was thinking of starting a spec-B20 class within the VTEC Club events.  As you can imagine, it was an idea that didn’t catch on too quick.  In fact, anybody we mentioned it to had a decent laugh at our expense.  B20’s, in their stock form, don’t have the greatest appeal in the realm of racing Hondas, so the idea that enough people would want to be involved to even warrant it’s own class was comical at best.  Boy, were they all wrong.

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Close-Up: Takaya’s NDF Japan SPL 180SX V.2

At the very end of last year I had posted a few photos of the build progress of this car on the website.  Since then, aside from social media and the release of 80R, I haven’t really gone over this car in detail yet because I wanted to save the main reveal for the book.  Now that the last of the books that have the feature are slated to be dispatched next week, I figure now is a good time to release some previously unseen photos of the car right after it’s completion.

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Event: World Time Attack 2018 V.2 – One Perfect Lap

‘One Perfect Lap’. Described perfectly in the simplest form by the zealous talents behind what is arguably the spearhead of time attack motorsports, World Time Attack Challenge. The art of time attack really comes down to a singular “perfect lap” and consistency in both car and driver is key, but so is luck. A lot of luck. As followers, supporters, and enthusiasts of NDF and the brilliance that is attack, most of you will already know the formula to going breath-takingly fast: boosted power, balanced suspension, immense grip, talent, substantial amount of heart, and gigantic balls of steel. Oh yes, looking aesthetically good-looking and wild for our eyes to behold is vastly important as well! Yet, the elements and timing are really what brings all the hard work and dedication together.

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Feature: Third Times A Charm – The JDM Yard EG6

Winning just one first place trophy, for any class, in the World Time Attack Challenge would be a lifetime achievement for most people.  Claiming two would be a way to show the world that it wasn’t a fluke.  However, taking that top podium spot three times would undoubtedly leave a mark on the time attack world that not many teams can achieve.  A true champion can prove that they have what it takes to keep winning;  evolving to meet new challenges.  That’s precisely what the guys at JDM Yard have done.

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Event: World Time Attack 2018 V.1 – Pro Class Overview

Every year, Sydney Motorsports Park (formerly Eastern Creek Raceway) plays host to one of the most anticipated events in the time attack world.  An event that decides the most sought after titles in all race classes across the globe.  It’s an event that is reserved for the most dedicated drivers and teams from almost every continent active in motor sports. The financial, mental, and physical toll it can play on individuals ensures that only the most dedicated of teams show up to play their hand at becoming the fastest in the world.  Given that the teams based in Japan have been involved in this event in some form or another since the beginning, I thought it was long due for a visit to Sydney to support our Japanese constituents.

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Feature: The 86 Progression – Keiichi Tsuchiya

One of the more anticipated cars of this year’s WTAC among fans and builders alike, had to be Beau Yates’ revamped AE86.  With Mark Bissett leading the team, the car was built at Hypertune in Sydney, and has been entirely stripped of it’s former drift specification and rebuilt as a time attack car fit for a king; and by king, I mean none other than Keiichi Tsuchiya.  Keiichi was slated to drive the car in Open Class this year at Sydney Motorsports Park.

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Product Spotlight: 80R Volume 1 – Preorder Available

This project has been a long time in the making.  If you consider the years of traveling to and from events, the relationships formed over time, the days spent photographing and editing; to think that it was put together over the past 3 or 4 months seems fast in comparison.  On behalf of everyone involved in our new venture into print, I am proud and excited to announce the availability of 80R  Volume 1: The Story of Japan’s Fastest Time Attack Drivers.

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Interview: The Road to Victory – Under Suzuki

As we draw closer to October, the rush to complete off-season upgrades and get cars into containers bound for Sydney becomes more and more prominent around the globe. The buzz around the community regarding rumors and what each driver has done to gain time grows as the event nears. The growing popularity of World Time Attack Challenge is bringing time attack into the international spotlight and creating yet another outlet for this great motor sport. In Japan, the popularity peaks with the support of the hometown hero, Under Suzuki.

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Encounter: Autumn’s Resolve – Kemritte’s AE86

It was at the end of last year I shot these photos of Kemritte’s Corolla with the intentions of writing a full article on the car.  Having just finished the build a few months earlier, I was keen on sharing it with our audience.  It was mid-December, right before the holiday rush, and I remember preparing for a few trips to Japan as well as some work trips I had on my calendar.

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Encounter: C.S. Polsche Tuned Accord Euro-R

I was looking through my hard-drives searching for a particular image I’m using for a project that I’ve been working on and came across a folder full of cars that I had meant to share a few months ago but, for a multitude of reasons, never got around to it.  One of the cars was an Accord Euro-R I happened upon at Fuji Speedway.  The owner mentioned that he was local to the Fuji area and has his car tuned at the Yamanashi-based shop C.S. Polsche.  I like seeing these street oriented builds at major circuits, so I took a few moments to look it over.

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Encounter: Hatsukura BNR32 At Fuji

I came across this R32 GTR at Fuji a few weeks ago.  It struck me as an almost ideal build; one that looks amazingly well, performs on track, and retains enough comfort to drive to and from the track.  The dated body matched with Volk’s updated take on the TE37 works surprisingly well together.  Hankook Ventus Z214 S-type tires ensure that the driver is able to utilize the full potential of the GTR.  The time sheets indicated that the driver was able to snag a 2’02.xxx around Fuji Speedway.  I never had an opportunity to talk to the owner and get more information, so photos will have to suffice. Enjoy.

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Event: NDF x FRS Casual Summer Cafe

I don’t think it’s a secret that I prefer racing events to car shows.  One look at the past articles on this site will paint a pretty clear picture.  I get a lot of questions regarding if I’d ever consider hosting a meet here in the US; and the answer is generally ‘I don’t think so’ (maybe an invite only track event…).  Despite it being held almost 4 years ago, the Winter Cafe was overwhelming for just 2 people to manage and I’d hate to run into that situation again.  That’s precisely whey we began these little casual meetings between NDF and FRS.

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Encounter: Techno Pro Spirit N2 AE86

Since I’ve been back from Japan, I’ve become so absorbed in a new project that I haven’t really set time aside to sort through the images I took while I was there.  I was browsing Facebook this evening when I decided to reach out to Asano-san from Techno Pro Spirit to see how the testing went at Fuji Speedway.  He and Kumakura were out there testing a few changes to get ready for the upcoming N2 race Hot Version is hosting next month.

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Event: Endless Circuit Meeting – Fuji Speedway

Time Attack events typically take a back seat during the scorching hot, humid Summer months in Japan.  Track conditions are far from ideal for breaking course records, or setting personal bests, so for the most part the sport lies dormant.  Not to mention being strapped into a race car, covered head to toe in protective gear, with 100+ degree track temps isn’t fun no matter how into it you are.  Even still, while the frequency of events slows, and major shops take the time to rebuild their demo cars; the sport doesn’t completely become extinguished.  A fact proven by events like the Endless Circuit Meeting just last weekend at Fuji Speedway.  An event that allows both professional tuners and enthusiasts to get in some track time during the off-season.

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Encounter: Track Ready C-West Silvia S15

I’ve grown so accustomed to attending Attack events that highlight fully built race cars, that I often forget how much fun a street car that’s prepped for circuit racing can be.  This type of compromise is so prominent in both Japan and the US, as in most cases it’s not practical for the majority to own a dedicated race car.  I’ve recently acquired another Honda to build in this fashion, and it’s safe to say I’ve been on the lookout for street driven track cars.  I happened across this S15 at Fuji last weekend and was pretty taken by it, so I thought I’d post a few photos.

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Feature: Takanori Seyama – A Restrained Potential

From the time I began to take an interest in Japanese Time Attack, I’ve had the chance to see Takanori Seyama’s R32 evolve year after year, slowly transforming into one of the countries fastest GTR’s.  With that one fact being known, you’d think that the car would be a household name for fans of the sport.  However, Takanori keeps such a low profile that the exposure of his build doesn’t quite hit the reach that others do.  It’s a testament to his humble character that, despite knocking on the door of 53’s, he’s a frontrunner that tends to stay in the shadows.

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Encounter: Kishimoto Racing Division – CBY AE86

Among the top N/A competitors in the Japanese time attack scene, exist a niche group of AE86 drivers.  Serving as the FR rival of the Honda Civic’s in the paddock, the competition provided by the Toyota pack always manages to provide a subset of antagonism at any given event.  Sato Shinetsu and his CBY equipped Trueno did just that at this year’s 10th anniversary Attack Championship at Tsukuba.

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Site News: NDF Storefront Opening 05/03

The heart of Japanese time attack lies with those at the top of the time sheets; the shop owners and drivers that have devoted their lives to the sport.  From our beginnings, we’ve worked together with these individuals to give them a stage to showcase their work.  The Frontrunners tee pays tribute to the builders that are pushing this motor sport to levels we’ve never seen.  Each year our list has grown, and 2018 is no different.

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Encounter: Friendly Fire – Testing The New Friends Silvia

Easily the most recognizable Silvia in the paddock, the Friends Racing S15 has had quite the journey from it’s roots as a competitive D1 car.  The unique build is unlike any other in the field; in both looks and performance.  With a best time of 53’821 around the proving grounds of TC2000, Toru Inose is without a doubt among the frontrunners of time attack in Japan.  A couple years ago we caught Toru and the team at Tsukuba setting that personal best – but with a new goal in mind, the team has since gone back to the drawing board.

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Feature: In Good Company – Masaki Kitajo’s FD3S

It seems to be about every 2 years or so I have the opportunity to check in with Masaki-san.  A staple of the Attack community, Masaki’s FD has served as his test bed and company demo car for nearly a decade, and continues to evolve year after year.  I remember seeing it for the first time back in 2012 at Tsukuba during Advan’s ‘Fastest Amateur Tournament’.  Back then the car had a full FEED Afflux kit and was comparatively very mild looking.  Oh how far we’ve come…

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Encounter: Pushing Limits – Tamiya Auto Select GTR34

There’s something to be said about the privateers that push the limits of what they can achieve in a street-trimmed car.  When it comes to modifying cars, abiding by the restrictions of the state isn’t something most people are looking forward to doing.  However, there are those that don’t mind the constraints.  Those that look forward to the challenge, and prefer to have the convenience of a street car in addition to a car they can track regularly.  Tamiya-san’s entire ethos is to see how much he can push his GTR under these regulations.

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Encounter: Material Auto Factory Supra

During the Option Fuji Superlap, the Supra meisters from the Tokyo based Material Auto Factory had the most prominent display of JZA80’s in attendance.  Some were competing in the main event, others competed in the Hiper Challenge, and some were on display at their booth.  I had highlighted Tatsuo’s Supra in our previous coverage, and a viewer had spotted another of their cars in the background that had piqued their interest.

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Product Spotlight: Honed Developments Adjustable Tie Rod Kit

If you follow the site on Instagram, you’ll have seen that towards the beginning of the year I began working with Grant at Honed Developments in an attempt to better the suspension geometry of my Civic.  Truth be told, I hadn’t spent too much time on this facet of the build, as other more pertinent issues had to be dealt with first.  However, once Grant reached out to me and offered to provide both product and assistance, I jumped at the opportunity to tackle everything at once – I mean, how often do you get two engineers well-versed in Honda suspension volunteering to help you setup your car?

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Close-Up: The Power of K – ASLAN EF9

I’d wager that ASLAN, the Osaka based Honda outfit, is one of the leading shops in the development of K-series Honda swaps in Japan.  Following in the footsteps of America, it didn’t take long for them to capitalize on the benefits of the next generation motor.  Having no adherence to a traditional form of tuning like some shops abide by, Tani-san’s approach to building cars becomes very unique to say the least; giving each a very specific, what I can only surmise as an ‘Osaka flavor’ to them.

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Encounter: Chasing Ghosts – The Kimidori S2000

There seems to be at least one privateer in every class of time attack that is always looming just behind the top teams record times.  They typically don’t have the resources afforded to them from owning a shop, and usually rely on the knowledge of a particular ‘support’ shop to assist them in getting their cars to where they want them.  Despite their disadvantage, they close the gap to the frontrunners of the sport, time and time again.  Yoshitaka Ishii and his bright green S2000 are a prime example of this.

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Encounter: An Absence Justified – The TFR FD Returns

It’s been some time since the paddocks of Japan’s most credible race tracks have been graced with the presence of Ejima Kiyotaka and his TFR built FD3S.  This year, changed all that, as the Attack Tsukuba Championship played host to his return, and the unveiling of his newly rebuilt FD.  I wouldn’t say that Kiyotaka ever cut corners with this car, and it’s performance to date backs that up.  Low 56 second lap times are no joke at Tsukuba; but he wanted more from the car.  To achieve the performance he demanded, he would need to take a step back from competing.

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Event: Driven To Perfection – Attack Tsukuba Championship 2018

The uniqueness of time attack as a motor sport comes in the form of precise continuity.  If the slightest error is made anywhere on the track, the moment of contention is lost.  Many times there exists only one chance, where conditions are aligned, that the drivers who live on the limit are able to achieve record laps.  There is a feeling of tension, exclusive to the sport that makes it so appealing to it’s participants and fans.  Man and machine working together harmoniously, becoming one, in an unforgiving waltz that carries them to the peak of their abilities.

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Feature: Title Fight – The ASM S2000

There are so many cool builds in the paddock of any given Attack event in Japan, that I often fail to acknowledge just how in-depth some of the builds are.  As the sport progresses, and the participants seek to go faster and faster, their machines eventually begin to become a reflection of their drive.  Putting budget aside, I’d have to say that the ASM Yokohama S2000 is one of the premiere examples of this idea.  This particular build, which ASM has been developing for over a decade, all but reached the peak of it’s very active life in the last weekend of February.