Haven’t done an Encounter post in quite some time now. I usually reserve them for random cars that I come across that seem worth sharing with everyone. This particular car fit the bill almost perfectly.
Takanori Seyama has never been one to turn away from a challenge; choosing to define himself by his hard work and willingness to sail through uncharted waters on his own. His hard work has proven itself in the fabrication of his GTR32, which has crowned itself among the fastest Skyline’s in Japan.
I came across this R32 GTR at Fuji a few weeks ago. It struck me as an almost ideal build; one that looks amazingly well, performs on track, and retains enough comfort to drive to and from the track. The dated body matched with Volk’s updated take on the TE37 works surprisingly well together. Hankook Ventus Z214 S-type tires ensure that the driver is able to utilize the full potential of the GTR. The time sheets indicated that the driver was able to snag a 2’02.xxx around Fuji Speedway. I never had an opportunity to talk to the owner and get more information, so photos will have to suffice. Enjoy.
Time Attack events typically take a back seat during the scorching hot, humid Summer months in Japan. Track conditions are far from ideal for breaking course records, or setting personal bests, so for the most part the sport lies dormant. Not to mention being strapped into a race car, covered head to toe in protective gear, with 100+ degree track temps isn’t fun no matter how into it you are. Even still, while the frequency of events slows, and major shops take the time to rebuild their demo cars; the sport doesn’t completely become extinguished. A fact proven by events like the Endless Circuit Meeting just last weekend at Fuji Speedway. An event that allows both professional tuners and enthusiasts to get in some track time during the off-season.
There’s something to be said about the privateers that push the limits of what they can achieve in a street-trimmed car. When it comes to modifying cars, abiding by the restrictions of the state isn’t something most people are looking forward to doing. However, there are those that don’t mind the constraints. Those that look forward to the challenge, and prefer to have the convenience of a street car in addition to a car they can track regularly. Tamiya-san’s entire ethos is to see how much he can push his GTR under these regulations.
Of all the different types of Nissan chassis’s competing in time attack around the world, it’s fairly rare to see the GTR33 among them. It’s definitely the lesser of the chosen Skyline models for road racing, and if I’m speaking honestly, I’m not overly sure why. It is a bit heavier than the 32, but not too far off of the 34. It’s longer wheelbase leaves it prone to a bit more understeer, and some might say it’s lacking in the looks department (now that I list the reasons, I see why). Perhaps the R33 was just born to be the middle-child; loved, but not destined to be a favorite. There are some people, however, that refuse to believe the popular mindset, and work outward from the R33’s positive traits to create something so overtly great, you can’t help but like it.
It’s been 3 years since I had the privilege of seeing ATTKD’s GTR take on the titans of Japanese time attack at Fuji Speedway. Witnessing the somewhat lesser known car back then clock times within seconds of the fastest at the time was something that really impressed me. I know it’s not intentional, but when cars like the Top Secret S2000RR and HKS R35 GT1000 take center stage, their opponents seem to get put on the back burner. When the ATTKD GTR32 hits the track though, it’s performance alone will demand the attention back from everyone in attendance.
Highend Makers isn’t exactly a household name in motorsports today, and, quite frankly, up until a year ago I wasn’t even aware of the outfit. The shop, located on the northern part of the island of Shikoku, has made a name for itself this past year at the Attack Suzuka events. Being located far from the epicenter of Japanese motor sport, the shop gets few opportunities to test their builds in comparison to shops in the Kanto, Kanagawa, and Kansai areas that we’re used to seeing. It’s a big production for them to have a good showing at time attack events, and a venue like Suzuka is well worth the trip.
If you had the opportunity to meet Masumoto just once, then it would go without saying that he is the definition of someone who lives for circuit racing. The energy that he resonates around the track is that of true happiness and excitement to be doing what he does. Over the past few years he has helped the Attack series grow into something much more than just a private, invite only track event. The fact that Attack is now a recognized championship series throughout Japan is thanks in part to Masumoto-san’s hard work and dedication. His personal GTR build has paralleled his work with Attack, and provides him the outlet he needs to channel his energy.
Back in November we took a close look at the Shaft built ER34 Skyline at the Attack event at Tsukuba; you can check that article out here. Being the immense admirer of four-door Skylines that I am, I shot a whole bunch more photos of it at Battle Evome this year. After talking to Suzuki personally about the car, I gained a whole new level of respect for the build.
Shaft Auto Service, a small outfit in Hachioji that specializes in four door Skylines. Foremost a car dealership that holds inventory in a wide variety of Skylines, the owner, Shibuya Taro, offers many ancillary services ranging in everything from fiberglass work, to engine tuning. Usually a company that stays off the grid, you’d easily recognize their work with the D1 Blitz R34 that Nomuken drives; as Taro-san has a very good relationship with Blitz. This year they decided to try their hand with a certain take on Time Attack; in steps the Shaft ER34.
When Eiichiro Sawa founded Osaka based Auto Select in the early 80’s, his main goal was to share his knowledge of tuning and racing spirit with not only his friends, but with a wider range of enthusiasts as well. In 1985, after establishing himself in the industry of aftermarket tuning, the popular magazine Carboy did a feature on Auto Select that highlighted Eiichiro’s story; this story resulted in a tremendous boost in customer base. Their decades of continuous R&D of new parts and tuning methods has kept them alive through many lulls in the industry, and is a major reason why they’re so well known to date. You’d be hard pressed to attend an attack event in Japan, or a motor sport event in general, without the Auto Select flag being flown.
I’ve always held ATTKD in high regard. Not only because of their rich history in parts development and tuning, but more so because of their ability to put pressure on the frontrunners of time attack. The surprisingly large shop based out of Nagano is responsible for a handful of notable Nissan builds; namely their flagship 32 you see here. Working closely with their long time test driver, Mitsuhiro Kinoshita, they were able to get under 2 seconds shy of the Top Fuel S2000; which has quickly become the benchmark for time attack at Fuji. In an almost ‘behind the scenes’ fashion, Mitsuhiro Kinoshita piloted the Skyline around Fuji Circuit in a remarkable 1’40.925.
The picture below cracks me up. When I had started walking around the back portion of the garages at Fuji, I came across the Revolfe S.A./Kleer R33 Skyline that was competing once again in the Hiper Challenge at HKS Day. I must have had my blinders on or something because I just walked up and started taking pictures of the car, and didn’t even notice Mizota-san standing in the back. After I had taken this shot he came up to me all surprised. Later as I was going through these photos I saw him in this one pointing right at me hahaha.
Like the majority of people competing in time attack events in Japan, Takanori Seyama is the owner of a shop that deals with car sales and procurement. Located on a quiet street in the heart of Ryugasaki, Ibaraki, his shop, Seyamax, not only houses his inventory of cars for sale, but is also headquarters for what Takanori really loves to do; and that is to race. Over the past couple years he has built, and perfected his car of choice to become as fast as possible. His R32, dubbed ‘Real Of The World’, is no slouch on TC2000. His 2015 target time is set at 57.5 seconds around Tsukuba, and with a personal best of 57.970 to back it, it seems a very reasonable goal to accomplish.
The passageway to Tsukuba’s paddock has seen some things; I can only imagine.
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 […]
This past weekend, the annual Skyline Owner’s Battle event was held at Sodegaura Forest Raceway, Chiba. The name of the event has always been a little misleading however, because in actuality there are […]
Aficionado; probably the most appropriate term when trying to describe Ikegaya-san. Referring to of course his passion of the DR30 and Landcruiser; two extremely different automobiles that, somehow or another, are perfectly match […]
You know that saying ‘opposites attract’? Well, there is no better tangible proof than this pair here. Back when I pitched Baki’s S15 to Import Tuner at the beginning of the year, I […]
Sekinei, Keito and I were driving to lunch after visiting Unlimited Works last weekend when I spotted this pretty cool R33 parked in a lot on the street we were on. I caught […]
When it comes to R30 Skylines, there is no one crazier than Ikegaya-san of Utilitas Japan; and this fully restored 1984 DR30 is a prime example of just how crazy he can be. Ikegaya is […]
Ran into this super clean R33 at Fuji last month. I didn’t get to see it on track, but it sure looked good sitting in the lot. It’s funny because I’ve reached a point […]
Hayashi-san, owner of Garage Saurus, has built his product with roots firmly in the drag racing circuit. It may surprise some then, if I were to tell you that for the past decade they […]
Team Yamada is a team…kind of. Well, maybe the word ‘group’ would better fit the description. Team Yamada is a group who organize じゃんけん (Janken) events in Japan. Janken, if you’re unfamiliar with the […]
A familiar face to Tsukuba’s TC2000; the Auto Gallery Yokohama time attack R32. Harumichi’s creation is both powerful and nimble enough to clock a quick 57.371 around Tsukuba. I’ve been a huge fan of […]
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 […]
The first on-circuit event of the day was the Hiper Challenge; an event open to those amateur’s and privateers. Despite that fact though, there were quite a few cars that got very close […]
One of the Super Lap cars I was most excited to get to see up close was the Reverse R32. Fans of the site will know my affliction with the Auto Gallery Yokohama R32; well, […]
Caught this really cool R32 sedan at Mobara a week or so ago at the Team Yamada event. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t surprised that it was owned and driven by […]
Generations at play
While Motoda-san wasn’t able to make it out to the Winter Cafe, I was glad I got to see him at the G Edition meet at Fuji the next day. He was parked next to […]
Well, I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. It feels like I was away for quite a long time; sorry for the lack of updates. I’ll pick up from the break with the last […]
Well, I suppose I’ll just dive into the second part of the NDF Winter Cafe; my apologies on the wait, work has been pretty busy since I returned (If you missed it, check out […]
Stopped by a 7-11 in route to Tsukuba one morning and caught up with the ATTKD posse; even their street cars are no joke.