Tag: Racing

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Encounter: Friends Power Silvia S15

Friends Racing and their re-purposed drift Silvia have made quite the comeback over the past year or so.  Making the transformation from the GReddy backed D1 Grand Prix competitor, to a record chasing time attack build was no easy task for the small Tochigi-based outfit.  It took the company a few years to get the car to where it’s at now; a journey that is paying off in blindingly fast lap times.

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Event: Dora Festival – Zummy Racing Family

A couple weeks ago Zummy held one of the first open time attack events of the what is considered the ‘prime’ season at TC2000; temps have dropped, and track conditions are ideal for fast times.  Many of the amateur drivers used this as an opportunity to shakedown their summer upgrades.  We saw a lot of modifications to existing builds, as well as the debut of many newer entries to the ever-growing niche.  It didn’t take long for the returning drivers to see the fruits of their labor, and within laps personal bests were being racked up across the board.

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Close-Up: 2016 APR Toyota Prius GT300

Among the various Super GT cars on display, APR was one to unveil their 2016 GT300 take on the new Prius.  We got a close look at the previous model a few years back at Fuji Speedway; however, since Toyota has released a newly remodeled production version of the hybrid chassis, it was time for it’s older counterpart to be retired.  Unlike the previous model, which utilized a mid-engine setup (as it was built to the somewhat controversial JAF GT300 rulebook), the 2016 will be using the now mandated front-engine setup, as this is the factory engine layout of the Prius.

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Event: An Afternoon with GMG – Auto Club Speedway

With my small involvement in this industry, and the often times overwhelming amount of events in the area, I’m sometimes faced with conflicting events (ie. HKS Premium Day and Evome being on the same day) .  This is usually not a concern because my interests happen to fall into a smaller niche of the whole of automotive lifestyle; such was the case for me this weekend.  Formula D took place in Long Beach this weekend, as well as the accompanying car show downtown.  Earlier in the week however, my friend and employee of GMG Racing, Dom, invited me to hang out with the team for the sprint race at Auto Club Speedway.  Needless to say, I did not attend Formula D.

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.

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.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.

Close-Up: TRD Tuned FT-86

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I wrote an initial draft up about 3 weeks ago for this close-up, but for some reason never got around to publishing it.  For that, I apologize, because this is one hell of a car.  One great day, at Tsukuba Circuit, an amazing event was held.  At this event, Toyota decided to show it’s variant of the FT-86.  Ever since the FT-86, BRZ, or FR-S has made it’s debut in it’s geographically appropriate location, the tuning world has been abuzz with excitement.  Now, with the Super GT BRZ, and the D1 FT-86, we’re all dying to see what’s next.  Well, it seems that TRD has our answer.  With the FT-86 being officially on sale in Japan for about half a month now, it’s unlikely we’ll see any personally owned ones tuned any time soon.  Toyota has done an excellent job in marketing their newest offering, and the TRD tuned FT-86 is the icing on the cake.  Click past the break to see more.

Close-Up: The Wheels of the Wek’

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I thought it would be a cool idea to make a post from an entirely different perspective for once – or, one perspective only actually.  There were so many people at the event, that as I stanced myself down to photograph the wheels of cars, I’d always catch someones shoes in the background.  It’s a little funny if you think about it – a car’s wheels are kind of like it’s shoes.  I thought it was fitting (ha! fitting – get it?) to throw together a little post of some of the best shots that portrayed this.  Plus, I love how these shots come out with the 50mm prime, so I wanted to share anyway.  This just makes it a little more fun!  Click past the break to view the ‘shoes of the wek, starting with these yummy step-lipped Meisters!’

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.

Event: ノスタルジックカー Skyline Festival 2011 @ Fuji Speedway v.3

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Alright, now that I’m back in the US and have access to a computer again, I can finally post up the last of the Skyline Festival pics.  In addition to the meet that was held in the parking lot of Fuji, attendees were given the chance to race their cars on the actual Speedway.  Among these were a few real race cars, as well as a handful of perfectly matched replicas.  The R32’s were a hit in the road racing scene, and there was no shortage of them at the track during the Skyline Festival.  Let’s take a look at some of the machines that were lapping Fuji.

Feature: Good Smile Racing Z4-GT

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Following up that pink Studie BMW post, I have an awesome feature on this unusual GT300 contender.  The Studie built  Hatsune Miku Good Smile Racing BMW Z4 (初音ミク グッドスマイル) is unique to say the least.  For starters, the team’s theme is based on a character that was originally created to market Crypton Future Media’s new ‘Vocaloid’ software, a synthetic singing application that can be used to add vocals to backing music – sounds like something from a science fiction movie.  Anyway, as you would imagine if you’ve been to Japan before, the character soon became overwhelmingly popular (Check this video out).  The second unique feature of this team, and probably the coolest, is that it gathers it’s racing funds from individual fan donations.  The individual sponsorships range between 3,000yen to 300,000yen, and allows the fans to get a chance to visit the team pit during a race, have their name on the car, get a special team sticker, and other perks.  Thanks again to JDM Clips for providing coverage and information.  Check out the feature past the break.