We’ve all experienced the ebb and flow of motivation; the slow, but seemingly permanent, oscillation of decline and growth in development. Albeit difficult to admit it for the majority of us, as time passes, our incentives naturally change. That is, until we come across a new catalyst that stokes the tides in the favor of progress. Such was the case with Hiroki Sakamoto.
Back in November I had attended Super Lap Battle at Buttonwillow, not to cover the event, but more or less just to hang out with friends and chat about racing. It’s nice to reserve my local events for spectating and socializing rather than work, however there were a few cars in attendance I wanted to grab a couple photos of.
One of the more anticipated cars of this year’s WTAC among fans and builders alike, had to be Beau Yates’ revamped AE86. With Mark Bissett leading the team, the car was built at Hypertune in Sydney, and has been entirely stripped of it’s former drift specification and rebuilt as a time attack car fit for a king; and by king, I mean none other than Keiichi Tsuchiya. Keiichi was slated to drive the car in Open Class this year at Sydney Motorsports Park.
Among the top N/A competitors in the Japanese time attack scene, exist a niche group of AE86 drivers. Serving as the FR rival of the Honda Civic’s in the paddock, the competition provided by the Toyota pack always manages to provide a subset of antagonism at any given event. Sato Shinetsu and his CBY equipped Trueno did just that at this year’s 10th anniversary Attack Championship at Tsukuba.
During the Option Fuji Superlap, the Supra meisters from the Tokyo based Material Auto Factory had the most prominent display of JZA80’s in attendance. Some were competing in the main event, others competed in the Hiper Challenge, and some were on display at their booth. I had highlighted Tatsuo’s Supra in our previous coverage, and a viewer had spotted another of their cars in the background that had piqued their interest.
There’s no doubt that, in Japanese motor sport, one name stands out among the rest. In almost everything they do, they need to be on top. The fastest, the most advanced. HKS will stop at nothing to collect these titles, and the TRB-03 has become their newest vessel to achieve them. The company has enveloped it’s priority in the project with the goal of being nothing less than the fastest around Tsukuba’s TC2000. It was even re-branded as the ‘Tsukuba Record Breaker’, from it’s original designation as the GTS800; a tip of the hat to it’s capped power level (which is debatable…). The car has been through extensive testing over the past year, and last weekend at HKS Day, I was able to finally get a closer look at it.
I guess since we’re on the topic of mid-engined roadsters (although technically only the Elise, not the Exige, was roadster), rarely seen in the Japanese Attack arena, now would be a good time to post up some shots of this MR-S. Owned by Masahide-san, and tuned by the foremost MR-S tuners in Japan, Techno PRO Spirit, this is one of the only of it’s type in the Attack lineup. It’s aggressive exterior is backed up by some pretty formidable times at TC2000; a 59.4 to be specific.
Without a doubt the most interesting thing for me, in following Japanese Time Attack so closely, is getting to see the progression of builds over an extended period of time. We all know that building a race car isn’t a quick task, and for most people at the grassroots level it’s a trial and error procedure; you find out what works and what doesn’t from your initial base, and head back to the drawing board after each event. Everyone has their own method of going about this, but the common goal for everyone, however, is to go faster.
Senkichi has modified his JZA80 specifically to handle the variety of turns at Tsukuba. Each modification that he chose was specifically tailored for TC2000. The engine’s drive-train has been upgraded and the bottom end built to handle the extra boost from the T78 turbine. Transmission gearing has been modified to put the car in the exact power range needed for each turn. Check out the results below.
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.
I know I’ve posted a couple shots of this car in the past (in a bit more comprehensive write up), but I was combing through some Evome coverage from the beginning of the year and came across a ton of material I never posted. Among them were shots of the AutoBahn Soarer that, unfortunately, didn’t make it around the track much this event.
Tokyo Auto Salon has always been hit or miss for me. I’ve attended for three years starting in 2009, but recently decided to stop going. For me, my time is better spent fulfilling the niche […]
No, your eyes do not deceive you; this is the same Soarer that was coated in a bright white just last year. This season though, the white panels have been shed in favor of […]
I first had the pleasure of meeting young Yoshinori-kun at Idlers in 2013 in Motegi (actually we first met at RWB, but that’s beside the point). He had been helping the entire event by […]
The last time I talked to Steve in person was at Autocon back in…April, I believe? Anyway, for the 30 or so minutes we chatted, he had mentioned wanting to put his 15″ Watanabes that […]
Continuing on with Hyper Meeting coverage, we’ll head out to the circuit where some of the time attack and races were taking place. HKS’s R35 GT1000 was on hand putting in a couple hot […]
I’m so behind on coverage of pretty much every event in Japan it’s killing me. Hyper Meeting, still have the last of the HKS Premium Day coverage (which is long overdue), several drift events […]
Throwing it back to last year when Jay and I stopped by Kunny’z to say hi to Kuniaki-san and Masahiko-san, seen here rocking the Uggs. I had met Kunny-san awhile back briefly, but had […]
This past weekend Mr. Satsuei was at Tsukuba Circuit to get coverage of Hyper Meeting 2014; an event that offers an extremely wide variety of popular cars, shops and a few events in both […]
I mentioned on our Instagram account (@naritadogfight) that Sekinei was at Tsukuba this past weekend covering Hyper Meeting 2014. I initially wanted to post up a bunch of shots from the event but honestly […]
Sunday morning Tsukuba Circuit’s TC2000 played host to the 2014 Hyper Meeting. Sekinei was on hand to capture the variety of demo cars that the tuner’s brought out to showcase. Stay tuned for some […]
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 […]
OK, so one day a few weeks ago, Sekinei, Matt and I headed to Mobara the morning that I was supposed to be on a flight back to America. I’m not sure what the deal […]
Came across this Kazama equipped Chaser at Mobara during a Team Yamada event earlier in the year. I’m not sure if it was still the 1J in there, or if the owner swapped to […]
Yusuke Nojima. A man known for many things; his large part in Rauh-Welt, a love for Saber Tiger and Metal in general…but most of all, known for being a master of the 86. I […]
Since the picture we posted yesterday of Kawashima’s finished Celica made such a big impact, I figured it would be a good starting point for our coverage of the 2014 Tokyo Auto Salon. His car […]
This past weekend Long Beach’s Queen Mary played host to the 9th annual Japanese Classic Car Show. A show that I particularly enjoy, as it’s roots are firmly planted in the nostalgia of the Japanese […]
I can’t remember what day it was but I do remember Alex, Park, Noogz, Matt and I ended up at Up Garage sometime during our last trip; big surprise there right? Not really. If […]
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Adam Mao; the owner of the GS300 you see here. Adam, a very easy going and very talented young guy, was nice enough to meet […]
Last week, while I was up in the bay, I stopped by San Jose to take a couple snaps of Adam’s 2JZ Aristo. Check for the full set soon. I apologize for the lack of […]
N2 spec AE86 built by Car Factory prepping for the Hot Version race – Tsukuba Circuit, Japan.
Head on over to the wallpaper page to grab a hi-res shot of these two MKIII Supra’s tunnel blasting through Kawasaki K6 Line – Yokohama, Kanagawa. Bayside Heroes x Narita Dog Fight
Can you think of a better way to watch the Super GT race than camping with your car on the infield of Fuji Speedway? I sure can’t!
Sekinei and I made a stop by ProShop Wave one afternoon on the way back from some car auctions. Wave specializes in body work for a range of cars and motorcycles, but is probably […]
This past weekend I flew up to the Bay area to photograph Dino’s Corolla. We were strapped for time on Saturday evening, so we agreed to meet up again to finish up some interior […]
The Varis 86 dropped by Tsukuba last weekend adorned in the new full widebody kit offered by Varis. This aero kit in it’s entirety is pretty amazing; much more aggressive than their Arising line. – […]
This past week AJ from Risky Devil made the drive across country to hang out on the West coast for a little while. Friday night, before the 626 Drift event at Balcony, some of us […]
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It was bad news to hear about the Kazama D1 car getting stolen just prior to this event, but good to see that the team doesn’t give up so easily. Regardless of the bad […]
Since I won’t be back in Japan for about another month, I figured I’d start posting some more of the D1SL content I have that has been ignored for awhile. My friend セキネイ and I […]