The most anticipated time attack event of the season; Attack Tsukuba! This year marked the 10th Anniversary celebration of the event being held at Tsukuba, and to celebrate, Aoki and his partners went all out.
Video: Attack Tsukuba Practice Event – New NA Course Record Set!
On Friday February 17th, Tsukuba hosted two final practice events before the main Attack event took place on Saturday. The morning super lap was ran by Zummy Racing, and the afternoon practice event was hosted by Aoki and Attack, with Zummy assisting the operation.
Feature: Second Life – The Friends Attack S14 Silvia
A quick look back at tuning history in Japan and you’d most likely be surprised at just how many famous shops got their start in drag racing. Toru Inose and the group at Friends is no exception to this, having chased records in the ‘zero-yon’ all throughout the 2000’s.
Video: Create The Racing Power – The Pit Road M M7SL FD3S 80R PV
Last week, my wife and I made the drive from Osaka to Himeji, in Hyogo, to visit the boys at Pit Road M; a shop that has been on my list for quite some time. If you know me, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of RH9 – both in idea and what it stands for; it is the group I emulated to create the Frontrunners Group.
Video Feature: Fire Ando Breaks the Tsukuba 50 Second Barrier
On Friday, January 27th, on his second session on track, Yoshiki ‘Fire’ Ando broke the 50-second barrier at Tsukuba Circuit with a record 49.897 second lap time. A truly incredible moment for motorsport enthusiasts world wide and a massive breakthrough in Japanese time attack.
Video: Top Fuel Racing FD3S – Unlimited Works Event
Earlier in the week, in a prior conversation with Hashimoto about a photoshoot, he mentioned that he was going to be at Tsukuba on Thursday morning assisting with Kiyotaka’s with his FD. Throughout the week, the TFR supported FD has been frequenting Tsukuba, testing various aero setups.
Video: Garage Work Visit – Atsushi Komiya’s EK9
Yesterday afternoon I had a day scheduled to catch up on emails, editing, and writing. But when I woke up I had the urge to get out of the house. I messaged Kubo from Garage Work and asked if he was going to be at the shop that afternoon. He replied quickly and said please come; so, I did.
Video: Tsukuba Open Testing – Zummy Racing Event
Early Sunday, January 15th we headed back to Tsukuba for the morning Zummy Racing Attack practice event at TC2000. Many of the cars that had made it out for Saturday afternoon stayed for this event as well to get the most out of the weekend.
Video: Wacky Mate FD Testing At Tsukuba Circuit
In this video we head out to Tsukuba Circuit to photograph the DKM Challenge event in the morning, and the Zummy Racing event that was held just after in the early afternoon.
Feature: A Test of Time – Escort’s Rise To Supremacy
Three years ago when Yoshiki ‘Fire’ Ando and the expert team at Escort set out to claim the tuning car record at every international circuit in Japan, they knew it was a challenge that would demand perfection in all aspects of their operation.
Locale: Auto Rescue Izu – A Celebration Of Rotary Spirit
When I departed on my return trip to Japan this Summer, I did so with the goal of reconnecting with friends and colleagues after the two years of travel restrictions. For 5 straight weeks I travelled around the country by car, train, and plane, all with the simple objective of ‘catching up’.
Feature: Koyorad x NDF Street ISF V.8 – Spring Rate Change
Between the amount of traveling I’ve done early this Summer (Japan’s record temps in June), our new focus on growth, and the recent heatwave here in the West, this years off-season has developed a sense of eternity to it. Even now in September, as people are gearing up to race again, the idea of heading out to the track for testing alludes me.
Product Spotlight: Bride Japan ZETA IV – Dogfight SPL Version
With the recent release of the Dogfight SPL ZETA IV, we are excited to officially announce our first collaboration with Bride Japan. Our unique design is the end result of an 8 month project with the Japanese seat manufacturer.
Locale: Auto House Solid Shop Visit – Tuning Car Variety
One of the reasons I enjoy visiting Hayashi at his shop, Auto House Solid, anytime I’m in Gunma is that there is always a large variety of tuning cars on hand. Hayashi services a wide range of customers so there is guaranteed to be something interesting in the shop.
Video: Auto Rescue Izu FD Collection
At the beginning of my road trip to Mie Prefecture, I decided to make a detour down to the Izu Peninsula to visit my good friend Ando. Ando operates Auto Rescue Izu, a wrecker/tow service in Shizuoka. Over the past 2 years he had built a new shop to house and work on his personal cars.
Video: Kansai Region Time Attack – Esprit and K1
Last week I made my way down to the Kansai Region of Japan for a few photoshoots I had lined up. Our first stop was at Esprit where I met our friend Sugikou-san. I wanted to photograph his Supra again for 80R because a lot of time has passed since our original shoot at Suzuka Circuit.
Video: Dogfight Attack Meeting – Autopolis Circuit
Last week we held a small get together at Autopolis International Racing Circuit in the Oita Prefecture of Kyushu. I had 3 photoshoots for 80R scheduled for this particular weekend trip down south, however a few could not make it last minute.
Locale: Garage Mak Total Tuning – Aokijima, Nagano
About a week after arriving in Japan, I received a message from my good friend Tsubaki. Since I photographed his S15 for Import Tuner back in 2014, we’ve always made sure to stay in touch as the years pass.
Video: Tuning Shop Visits – Racing Factory Autobahn, Honda Twin Cam, GLOW
In this video we visit Skyline tuning masters Racing Factory Autobahn, deep in the countryside of Ibaraki. Kawai-san shows us some of the newer builds and I take a walk around the shop.
Video: Visiting Garage Mak in Nagano – S15 Type 6 Delivery
This past weekend I headed to Nagano to photograph my friend Tsubaki’s new S15 delivery. He had the car fixed and fitted with the new Garage Mak Type 6 front end. While I was there, we take a close look at Amemiya’s 1,000+hp S15 at the shop, and I also took some photographs of our friend Masato’s DIY S13.
Feature: Akihabara Nightlife – The Sector One FD3S
Based in Japan’s unrivaled hub of neo-anime culture and unwavering creativity, Sector One turns out some of the worlds most detailed Itasha designs. After 2 months of having their flagship location in Akihabara, I was invited to come take a look at their new demo car; the former RE-Amemiya built LW-7 FD3S.
Feature: Koyorad x NDF Street ISF V.7 – SOW CCW & TRD Series Round 3
Before I take off for Japan for the Summer, I was lucky enough to have one more opportunity to take the ISF to the track with all the tire issues finally sorted out. I wasn’t able to get the stiffer springs on in time, however that may have actually worked out better for the baseline testing.
Feature: Excellence In Craft – Arvou Motor Sports Service
Growing up with his father, Akira, Yusaku Shibata was embraced with motor sport from the moment he arrived in this world. His life would see him behind the wheel of numerous race cars throughout a number of series, and eventually coming full circle to own and operate the tuning shop his father founded in 1985; ARVOU Motor Sports Service.
Video: Attack Tsukuba Championship 2021 – Paddock Walk and Highlights
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the Attack Tsukuba Championship this year, personally, because of COVID travel restrictions. Lucky for us though, we can join my brother Sekinei as he wanders around the paddock checking out some of the cars competing at the event.
Gallery: Archive 80R – Friends Racing S15 Part 1: Tsukuba
In the realm of time attack racing in Japan, when one mentions the Silvia S15, our mind wanders automatically to Under Suzuki and his quest for a sub 50 lap time at Tsukuba. However, with the growing determination of Toru Inose’s campaign, that mindset has slowly been shifting.
Gallery: Archive 80R – Wacky Mate GTR32
Continuing into the new year with our 80R Archive series, I’d like to introduce the Wacky Mate built GTR32, driven by none other than Kato Masayoshi himself. Currently the second fastest R32 at Tsukuba, and what I believe is still the fastest R32 at Suzuka Circuit.
Gallery: Archive 80R – The Esprit NSX
There aren’t many NSX as iconic as Epsrit’s 900 horsepower demo car. A longitudinally mounted C30, with twin turbos, a custom aero package, piloted by one of Japan’s most iconic racing drivers; it’s a recipe that’s hard to beat. That’s why we had planned on featuring it front and center in Volume 3 of 80R.
Site News – ‘Circuit’ Photo Book Release
With the down time I’ve had due to an inability to travel, I began organizing my media storage several months ago in an attempt to be proactive in how I store all of the assets I’ve accumulated over the years. What I thought was going to be a simple sorting exercise, turned into an idea to publish a photo book showcasing my time spent around race tracks in Japan.
Video: Attack Tsukuba 2020 – Event and Track-side Coverage
Attack Tsukuba is one of the most anticipated time attack events of the year in Japan. NDF was on hand to to provide a walk through of the paddock area, an overview of drivers and cars, as well as on track action during super lap at the famed TC2000 course at Tsukuba.
Video: Zummy Racing Family – Event Coverage and Highlights
The day before the Attack Tsukuba Championship event at TC2000 (February 21, 2020), the organizer Zummy holds an event that allows competitors the ability to practice and get their cars set up properly for Attack. A lot of times the event is just as exciting as Attack and this year was no exception.
Video: Attack Suzuka 2020 – Paddock Walk and Highlights
Take a walk through the paddock of Suzuka Circuit the day before, and the day of Attack Suzuka last weekend. There was an intimate amount of cars for this half day event, which ensured the heavy hitters had plenty of track time.
Event: Super GT Display – Tokyo Auto Salon 2020 V.2
With the Super GT Championships kicking off each year around April, Tokyo Auto Salon is scheduled at the perfect time off-season for competitors to showcase their 2019 season winning cars, as well as their new 2020 builds. One of the main reasons I attended the Salon this year was to get a closer look.
The Narita Exchange: Philip Robles Live At Chuckwalla – March 9, 2019
Listen in during the live podcast event during VTEC Club’s 2019 season opener at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway featuring our very special guest, Philip Robles. Phil made the drive from his home in Tempe to talk […]
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.
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.
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.
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.
Encounter: Ridin’ Round With That SK
A profile you’ve more than likely been getting familiar with at Japan Attack events is that of the Lotus Exige. With a group of three or four enthusiasts competing in these very well […]
Let’s Tech!: Tanabe Sustec Rear Stabilizer Install
It’s all in the name; “Anti-Roll Bar”. Although, more often refereed to as a sway bar, the purpose of these bars is to reduce the amount of body roll in your vehicle during fast corning, […]
Encounter: Studie AG/GSR – Veilside FD
Most certainly when one hears the name Studie AG, or Good Smile Racing, the first thing to come to mind is a BMW of sorts, possibly followed by images of vocaloid sensation Miku Hatsune. I’d […]