Tag: Nissan

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Feature: Advancing Passion – Takanori Seyama’s GTR32

Takanori Seyama has never been one to turn away from a challenge; choosing to define himself by his hard work and willingness to sail through uncharted waters on his own.  His hard work has proven itself in the fabrication of his GTR32, which has crowned itself among the fastest Skyline’s in Japan.

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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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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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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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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: 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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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: Advance/Central 20 Fairlady Z34

Sekinei and I just got back to Yokohama from HKS Day at Fuji Speedway, and before we can relax and bask in the satisfaction that is time attack, we have to get ready for work tomorrow; and by ‘we’, I mean Sekinei.  So, while he is outside in the cold, swapping alternators on a Diahatsu Hijet, I’m inside the office, heater blasting, watching Rick and Morty, writing an article on CTAC last weekend.  I came across these photos in my Lightroom library from a recent visit to Advance, so I thought I’d post them up real quick.

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Feature: A Test of Time – Hiroshi Amemiya’s Garage Mak S15

I had the real pleasure of shooting Ame’s car underneath the Yokohama Bay Bridge back in 2014 before the Winter Cafe.  Back then we had talked a bit online, but that was the first time I met him in person, and being a bit humbled at the time, wasn’t really up to asking many questions.  Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to stay in touch, and continue our friendship from a distance. The car has also undergone some fairly dramatic changes, so when I visited Nagano at the end of last year, I jumped at the chance to photograph the car again in it’s evolved state.  This time, I had the intentions of re-writing an article not just about the car, but about the owner as well.

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

You may remember Takaya’s 180 from our little FRS pop-up meet at Fuji last year.  At the beginning of the year he was involved in an accident at the track that resulted in a necessary rebuilding of his front end.  Instead of going the easy route and buy OTS parts once again to replace the ones he had, he decided he wanted to do something totally different.  A one off kit, hand crafted by his good friend Masao, that would be sure to get the attention of enthusiasts on a global scale.

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Feature: Against The Grain – Igarashi-San’s GTR33

Of all the different types of Nissan chassis’s competing in time attack around the world, it’s fairly rare to see the GTR33 among them.  It’s definitely the lesser of the chosen Skyline models for road racing, and if I’m speaking honestly, I’m not overly sure why.  It is a bit heavier than the 32, but not too far off of the 34.  It’s longer wheelbase leaves it prone to a bit more understeer, and some might say it’s lacking in the looks department (now that I list the reasons, I see why).  Perhaps the R33 was just born to be the middle-child; loved, but not destined to be a favorite.  There are some people, however, that refuse to believe the popular mindset, and work outward from the R33’s positive traits to create something so overtly great, you can’t help but like it.

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Close Up: The Forgotten Samurai – Autech’s Flagship GTR

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.

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Feature: The Finer Things – Garage Mak GTR35

There are few companies these days that go out of their way to cultivate a culture of quality.  Unfortunately, it’s all too common for people to squeeze out as much profit as possible from mediocre products, sacrificing integrity for a quick buck.  While it may be the more difficult route, those companies that are dedicated to ensuring the experience of buying and owning a product goes further than just fulfilling a desire, are the companies that are likely to be around for years to come.  The Nagano based tuning shop, Garage Mak, falls into this category, ensuring that the reputation of their brand comes before all else.

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Locale: Garage Mak – Nagano’s Total Tuning Shop

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.

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Locale: Auto House Solid – Gunma’s Engine Cerberus

Tucked away in the Southern countryside of Gunma, situated on a corner just behind a beautifully scarce rice field, in a very cliche Japanese building, lies a haven of meticulously crafted engine bays that rivals that of any other shop in the country.  In fact, if you weren’t looking for it, it wouldn’t be hard to pass it by, writing it off as just another unmarked building in the foreground.  The unassuming tuning shop Auto House Solid, is owned and operated by Hayashi Kazuyaki; the foremost authoritarian on what a clean motor package should look like.

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Feature: A Man And His Car(s) – Masao Otani

I first became acquainted with Masao Otani back in 2014 when he attended our Attack Meeting in Doitsu Mura, Chiba.  He had brought his 180 to the gathering which, 3 years ago, looked much more tame than it does now.  That was back when the Attack community felt a little tighter knit than it does today, given the recent popularity increase.  Which isn’t to be taken as a negative; with growth comes sacrifice in some areas, and the truth is that there are a lot more people involved in the sport today.  Later that year, Masao and I had the fortune of connecting again through some mutual friends, and actually began talking quite regularly.