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.
The title sponsor of this year’s Attack Tsukuba event was Goodride Tires; a company that has it’s hand in a variety of motor sports, but up until recently was most known for it’s involvement in drifting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
No-Mark may not be a household name in the Japanese tuning industry, but they’ve been around long enough to hold their own against some of the best. Native to the Western area of Japan, it’s not uncommon to catch Maeda Yukio and his white S15 around tracks like Takasu Circuit, Suzuka CIrcuit, and Central Circuit every so often. The Silvia, a decade long build, has slowly grown from a lightly tuned street car, to a street car that pushes the boundary between comfort and performance.
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.
Finding originality among the masses these days seems almost like a lost cause; difficult to say the least. It seems we’ve fallen into an echo-chamber, driven by internet popularity, that promotes the trendy favorable over imagination. Very few choose to forge their own path of innovation and ingenuity, and it’s left us with more ‘inspired by’ designs than one should have to endure. This sheep-like quality is absent in Mr. Jun Tanaka, however, and the S15 that he’s created is unlike any other.
About halfway through our meeting, while I was across the lot taking some individual photos, I had heard an incredibly loud, distinct sound coming from off in the distance. As it grew closer, I got up and turned around to see a white S15 absolutely screaming down Fuji’s access road. I instantly knew it was a naturally aspirated SR because, well, there is really only one sound like that; it’s that perfect combination of awesome and obnoxious.
To say that this Silvia has come a long way in the past few months would be an understatement. It’s not all too often we know the background behind a specific car build in Japan, partially because it is not commonplace to make it known to the world what the builders are doing in real time (i.e. build threads or frequent outlets for updates). So it would probably be a surprise to most that not too long ago this car used to be a gloss white, stock-bodied Silvia until it was involved in an unfortunate accident, leaving it in need of some intense repair.
There’s something to be said about those who go against the grain. Those who have a need to create the outlandish, to disregard outside opinion, and to construct their true vision. They are the ones who will be remembered long after they’re gone, and the ones whose ideas will eventually be cherished. Go Nakamura is one such person, and he happens to be the owner of G-Corporation – and what you see before you is, in fact, his dream Silvia.
No stranger to magazine interiors, Hiroshi Amemiya’s S15 has been the center of attention for many publications throughout the past year or so including Super Street, Hyper Rev, Option2 (twice!). In fact, Enkei […]
Toshitake’s S15 in the underground lot of Osanbashi Pier for the Option2 farewell meet.
As you may or may not know, I work in the airline industry; and in my position I travel quite frequently. Over the years I’ve come to not only enjoy flight in itself, but […]
The Landmark Tower in Sakuragicho, since it’s completion in July of 1993, has always been a favorite building of mine. The area around the tower has since developed immensely, and it’s turned into quite […]
Well, we’ve reached the fifth and final installment of the coverage for this year’s Winter Cafe. I’d like to again thank everyone who came out and I hope you all had a really good time. […]
We’ll pick up installment 4 of the Winter Cafe coverage by taking a stroll on the lower level of the PA. A lot of cars gathered here after the parking spots inside filled up, […]
To be honest I’ve completely lost track of any sort of timeline that existed for this event, so continuing coverage of the NDF Winter Cafe Umihotaru takeover, part 3 will be a bunch […]
Continuing coverage of the 2014 Winter Cafe with more shots of the cars on level 3 of the PA. Again, so many cars were coming and going, that it was hard to catch […]
After I had gotten back home to Yokohama after this year’s Winter Cafe I was nothing short of exhausted. Around 330am, I sat down on the couch with Sekinei and we talked a for a […]
Last week the CSG boys and a couple friends rented out the Nishi course at Ebisu for some testing. Mainly so Hara-san could test out the new HKS transmission […]
One bonus of setting out to shoot a car for a magazine is that you’ll always end up with ancillary shots not used in the feature. I was organizing some of my files tonight […]
Our partners over at Garage Mak put on a very impressive display at Motor Games last weekend at Fuji. Amemiya’s S15 looked particularly great on the new Enkei RS05RR. その後、程なくして、Formura Driftの写真。午前の予選が終わり、Offset Kingの会場へBakkyさんにあって、彼のS15の写真をパチリ。相変わらずかっこいいです。そこで […]
ピットの端まで来るとUnder Suzukiさんの S15 BodykitをUpgradeなさったので、是非とも取材したかったのですが、Except Rear aeroeffectのみ写真OKとの事だから、RearはWTAC Australiaまで 秘密にしてとの事なので、Detailはありません。 Another draw of Motor Games was the World Time Attack Challenge Japan, which was a spin off of the famous WTAC Australia that’s coming up […]
This past weekend marked the date for one of Japan’s largest motorsport festivals I think I’ve ever come across; not necessarily in size, but in overall variety. A large part of that had to […]
Cruised around Daikoku Friday night to find the typical mix of cars and people hanging out. Matt and I slept in Sekinei’s van for like an hour before getting up to walk around; […]
Awhile back one weekend night I had went to Odaiba to hang out with Asami and her friends. We had gone to the Tokyo Trick Art Museum which is a place that […]
I was going to make a wallpaper post out of this, but then out of laziness I just decided to post it here in hi-res because I already posted it on the NDF Instagram […]
Well, it’s March 18th, 2014 and I have no doubt in my mind that the last 18 days of life have been the busiest I’ve ever experienced. I have been going non-stop for […]
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, there is no way you haven’t come across these two S15’s at one point or another. Garage Mak, a name whose aero designs […]
Last Sunday, since we were in the area for the Minkara meeting anyway, we decided to stop by the Stance Nation meet at Fuji Speedway. Park and Matt were there as well so it was […]
Sekinei went out to Mobara Twin Circuit this past weekend to get some drift coverage at the Sunday meeting. We’ll have some more shots up soon, until then enjoy this one shot of S15 […]
A couple shots of Shintaro’s S15 Silvia at Tsukuba. Looks like the front splitter makes a nice coffee holder. Unfortunately, Shintaro didn’t get enough time on track to set a hot lap at […]
We pick up on circuit late morning in Tsukuba, where, lap by lap, the times are decreasing ever so slightly. By this time, many of the drivers have recorded personal bests or were well on […]
As the morning sun rose over Tsukuba, and the clock closed in on 9am, the lighthearted paddock conversations gave way to a sound that I’m not even clever enough to describe in words. The first […]
Battle Evome; the name itself invokes a sense of elitism and power. The event, held at Tsukuba Circuit just 4 times a year, attracts the fastest of the street and privateer time attack cars across […]
レヴォルフェドットコム Revwolfe S.A. tuned S15 Autech Engine powered coupe. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but make no mistake; this car is extremely cool. High Power & Save Energy.
This is one S chassis that I haven’t seen too much of until last month’s D1SL round in Nikko. It’s actually quite different than what we’re used to seeing. I find the reference to American […]