I’ve always appreciated the varying degree of tuning style in Kyushu prefecture; specifically the cars that frequent Autopolis International Circuit. From fully dedicated track cars, to light tune approaches, there is something about the cars that standout that’s not quite describable.
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.
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.
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.
When the Good Luck Festival driver lineup was announced towards the middle of last October, I was quite surprised to see the Kurumadoh S2000 on the list. Not that this car is a stranger to the circuit, but that Sportsland Sugo is very far from the shops home base in Oshu City.
Coming out of a two year hiatus, Justin Yoo returns to CVR for the NDF Attack Challenge hosted by VTEC Club and is met with surprising success.
There seems to be at least one privateer in every class of time attack that is always looming just behind the top teams record times. They typically don’t have the resources afforded to them from owning a shop, and usually rely on the knowledge of a particular ‘support’ shop to assist them in getting their cars to where they want them. Despite their disadvantage, they close the gap to the frontrunners of the sport, time and time again. Yoshitaka Ishii and his bright green S2000 are a prime example of this.
There are so many cool builds in the paddock of any given Attack event in Japan, that I often fail to acknowledge just how in-depth some of the builds are. As the sport progresses, and the participants seek to go faster and faster, their machines eventually begin to become a reflection of their drive. Putting budget aside, I’d have to say that the ASM Yokohama S2000 is one of the premiere examples of this idea. This particular build, which ASM has been developing for over a decade, all but reached the peak of it’s very active life in the last weekend of February.
I had a handful of message requests on Instagram for more pictures of Maruyama’s S2000 – I had some extra time this afternoon so I scrounged around for some to edit and post. The car is very well built, and reflects the great balance that you can achieve with a few carefully selected modifications. It also makes a case for the C-West bumper being among the best looking front bumper choices for the chassis; I think I like it even more than Voltex.
If you follow the blog (or Instagram @naritadogfight), it’s likely that you have heard of Justin, or seen his car posted several times. Justin is one of the two team drivers we have on NDF, and while he’s made several appearances (like the Podcast interview, and a few cameos) I’ve never really gone out and shot his S2000 with the purpose of featuring it. The car has come a long way in the past few months with the assistance of some pretty weighty modifications. This past weekend, we took to the streets with the idea of showcasing his build for the site.
Yuki’s AP1 is proof that you don’t have to have the a full blow race car to benefit from going to the track. Taking on a ‘less is more’ approach to his roadster resulted in a mildly built car, that maximizes enjoyment for him; both on and off track.
進行中の作業 (Shinko-chu no sagyo) means ‘work in progress’; a word that clearly illustrates this random S2000 at Tsukuba. I posted a picture of it on our Instagram account (@naritadogfight) yesterday and a friend asked to see some more shots of it. This was back at the beginning of the year, I wonder what it looks like now? Click past the break to check it out.
The S2000’s that are backed by Ballade Sports are, no doubt, among some of the best looking in the paddock. The Southern California tuning shop has consistently chosen quality parts to adorn their shop and customer cars with. Carving a niche out for themselves by shadowing a very Japanese style of automotive tuning, they’ve proven time and time again that often times less is more. It should come at no surprise then, that they’re also among the best performing; their flagship S2000 is a perfect example of this.
On hand but off track, the Top Fuel S2000RR was standing by at Fuji Speedway during the Motor Fan Festival.
Before I get to processing and writing about the coverage of this past weekends VTEC Club season opener, I thought I’d try out a new idea for these events. Covering VTEC Club when I could last year was a lot of fun for me. The committee that puts these events together happen to be not only great people, but good friends of mine as well. Come to think of it, photographing these events combines almost everything I enjoy in life into one location; perhaps that’s why it feels nothing like work. Maybe that’s the feeling people get when they do what they love for a career. Anyway, I’m getting way off topic here.
With the year’s new Summer taking no time to bare it’s teeth, 107 degree temperatures plagued the desert at Round 5 of the 2015 VTEC Club series. Willow Springs International Raceway played host to the season’s final round, where competitors gathered to claim the last points available in each run group. While the heat may have hindered some, there were a few drivers that were able to grab personal bests despite the weather, and lap times that secured victories for each class.
White; the presence of all. An achromatic array of all that’s visible in our spectrum.
It’s pure. It’s wholeness. It’s completion. A reflection of all.
It is everything without anything. It’s a complicated simplicity. In psychology, it stands for new beginnings, a clean slate; for setting a new standard. It’s only appropriate then, that Top Fuel chose to dress their time attack dominating S2000-RR in a shade of white.
I usually like to entertain myself at car shows by scrutinizing each car that I pass by. Obviously, you’ve seen from my past coverage of any car show, that I’m fairly particular in the cars I post. This makes for a less comprehensive view of the event, but I’ve always done my best to keep the site to a specific niche, and not posting just for the sake of posting. That being said, I like to pick a car at each show that I like the best, and give it the imaginary NDF award. At last weekend’s Autocon show, it was this S2000 here which received such a pretentiously made-up honor of the NDF Choice.
On the Sunday of February 22nd, VTEC Club held the second event of their 5 round season at Big Willow at Willow Springs International Raceway. The excitement and success of the first round no doubt carried through to the club’s follow up event with, once again, over 50 entrants participating. To say the day was perfect though, would be a stretch. The week leading up to the event, the temps in Southern California had steadily been dropping, and rain was on the forecast for race weekend. Ryan was once again on hand to grab some shots of the event.
So, yeah. This will probably go down as the most random post of 2015 NDF, but I figured I’d combine the two as we didn’t spend that much time at either. The same day that HKS held their Premium Day event, our friends at Tension reserved the Fuji drift track and held their own ‘Premium Day’ so to speak. While the guys in Tension are all super nice, they have a somewhat sketchy history, so I’m glad Sekinei is good friends with them. They’ve always support NDF and I couldn’t be more stoked about it.
So during the lunch break on the Speedway side, Sekinei and I meandered over to Fuji’s drift track to say hi and snap some photos.
Arvou; a name that, over the past few years, has become synonymous with time attack focused S2000 builds (and more importantly Lotus for all you Euro fans) – with good reason too. With their focus pulled toward developing their HKS Supercharged demo car, it’s hard to think that they were involved in anything else. You might be surprised to hear then, that Mr. Shibata actually founded the company in 1985, making Arvou nearly 30 years old. That’s a lot of racing history attached to the company!
I started running through these Arvou shots at HKS Day this afternoon after work. Since I’m home this weekend I’m trying to piece together something before the week begins again. I particularly liked this shot […]
“If you build it, they will come.”
While I wouldn’t necessarily call Streets of Willow a “Field of Dreams”, I will admit that Kevin Costner’s iconic line applies well in this situation. The organizers of VTEC Club, a Honda specific spin off of Extreme Speed events, have successfully created not just a niche event, but are well on their way to (possibly accidentally) creating an entirely new community of race fans.
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 […]
Well, to be honest with everyone, I’m kind of at a loss for words. I’ve had so much going on that I completely forgot to finish posting the second half of Super Lap Battle […]
The main attraction to HKS Premium Day has to be the Option Fuji Super Lap. The best of the best gather and attack the circuit to claim their stake as the fastest in their […]
Happy to say that I finally got some time to print up a few more sample canvas prints to offer in the store. The Pan Speed FD was a great way to kick off […]
In the first round of coverage of the last Attack event of the year, we took a stroll around the paddock area of Tsukuba and got a general idea of the crowd in attendance. These […]
“Any professional is intended only to start from the beginning amateur, if there is no stage of good amateur , does not cause the excellent professional is born” We are no longer amateurs. There […]
Last Summer (Spring?) I flew up to Vancouver to visit friends, get some Buenos, eat at some strange Chinese/Canadian breakfast place (twice), and photograph Vincent’s beautiful Voltex equipped S2000 for Import Tuner. Now that that […]
As you may, or may not (probably this one) know, I (Sean) have a S2000. It’s a work in progress, and there is a whole list of things that need fixing, but all that […]
This endurance built S2000 stood the 12 hour test at Idlers earlier this year – definitely one of my favorite cars of the event.
Last week I posted up a shot of this DC2 on the NDF fan page and it seemed like quite a few people enjoyed it. Sekinei was at Tsukuba the other day during an […]
Continuing my walk around of the Queen Mary grounds where Wekfest was being held, we pick up around 1:30 pm when the crowds started to get bigger. The tour of shows that Weksos organizes has […]
I make it a point to visit Spoon and Type One each time I go to Japan; actually, this is about the 4th or 5th post on NDF about visiting the shop! It’s such […]
This past weekend Justin, who runs Autocon, messaged me about a trailer they were shooting in Los Angeles for the upcoming Autocon event on June 1st. It was last minute, so I couldn’t make […]