Tag: Race

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Close-Up: Mugen GT300 CR-Z

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A few weeks ago my friend over at JDM Clips made a visit to the Honda Headquarters where they had on display the new Mugen designed GT300 CR-Z that is currently competing in the Super GT series.   If the Toyota Prius GT300 car wasn’t ironic enough for you, Honda is here to fulfill your hybrid race car cliches with the new CR-Z contender.  It’s difficult to think that any hybrid car you see on the street would be holding it’s own against the likes of the BRZ, BMW Z4’s, Nismo GTR GT3’s, Porsches, Aston Martin’s, Lambos and Corvettes, but make no mistake; this is one fast hybrid.  In fact, in only it’s second outing it managed to capture pole position and continues to impress on the grid.  Granted it’s 300hp 2.8 liter twin-turbo V6, with electric motor,  isn’t offered as an option from Honda to you and I (unfortunately), but it’s still a CR-Z chassis; a capable one at that.  Click past the break to see the CR-Z up close, compliments of JDM Clips.

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: 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.