Tag: Tsukuba Circuit

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Feature: Northern Exposure – The GNR Racing EK9

The evolution of time attack builds in Japan is, for me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of the sport.  The dedication of the teams and the drivers to improve performance each season typically results in a year over year change in the appearance of the cars.  Especially given the fact that most of the Attack competitors are ghosts on social media in comparison, it’s always a surprise to see what they unveil at the start of each season.

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Video: 80R Volume 2 Promo – Endless FD3S

In my attempt to promote the next Volume of 80R, I’ve been doing my best to collect video from each dedicated photoshoot.  Unlike it’s precursor, Volume 2 will contain media that has not been published anywhere else.  The innagural issue was a great starting point, but if I have an opportunity to improve upon it, I am going to take it.  So, if I’m unable to immediatly share with you some of the content, I can at least provide an alternative; video was a great solution.

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News: Option TC2000 Top 50 Ranking

Tsukuba Circuit has always been considered the “Holy Land of Time Attack”.
Drivers flock to the track to prove their skills in a number of famous events, including Option Superlap, RevSpeed and more recently the Attack Championship series.  As many tuning cars continue to take on TC2000 it’s not uncommon for times to change very quickly.  Below is a up-to-date ranking of the top 50 drivers and their corresponding times at TC2000.

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Encounter: Chasing Ghosts – The Kimidori S2000

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.

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Event: Battle Evome 2017 – Steadfast in Tradition

Given our illustrious ability to sleep in on the day of track events, I was surprised that when my alarm clock went off at 4:30am this past Sunday morning, I actually got out of bed.  As our routine would have it, I met Sekinei downstairs and we set off for Ibaraki stopping only at the 711 right after the turn-off to Tsukuba.  It’s been longer than I can remember that I arrived at the track before the sun came up, but we somehow managed to roll through that little narrow tunnel before daybreak.  In fact, we were among the first to arrive meeting Under-san and the Evome staff as we entered.  It didn’t take long for the flat beds to start rolling in though, and before I knew it the paddock was full of cars with drivers itching to get out on track before the weather took a turn for the worse.

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Event: Mazda Fest 2016 – Tsukuba Circuit

Once every year, on July 7th, tuners and enthusiasts from around the country celebrate Mazda’s shining triumph of engineering.  The RX-7, to many, is so much more than a car; it’s an engineering marvel. The unique rotary motor a triangular pariah in a sea of ordinary, piston driven combustion.  The chassis of the FD so perfectly geared towards time attack, has become a symbol of the sport in Japan.  On this date, thousands will come together in honor of this car worldwide, with the epicenter being Tsukuba Circuit.

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Close-Up: Ejima Kiyotaka’s TFR FD

Last year I was able to chat with Ejima-san about the car he has built over the past several years, at his shop TFR, to compete in the sport of Time Attack. Just by being around him, I was able to get a feel for the type of person he is and how his personality ties into his driving.  It’s a duo I’ve come to enjoy watching over the past events, and it’s nice to be able to revisit the build again this year.

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Encounter: AutoBahn Carbon SC300

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.

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Encounter: ERC FD3S – Iida TC2000 Running

59.051 seconds is what it took Iida-san to pilot his Elite Racing Company built FD around the 14 turns of Tsukuba’s TC2000.  It’s no surprise though, knowing ERC’s knowledge of rotary tuning, that Iida had the capability of achieving such a time.  The Saitama based shop, run by Ohya Masaatsu is not only one of the leading shops in rotary tuning, but they can also boast for having literally the most amount of random links on their website that I have ever seen.  Click past the break for more shots.

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Close-Up: Ken’s G-Work☆CR-X

While no doubt popular in it’s day for it’s nimble handling, performance, and excellent gas mileage, I wonder if Honda ever imagined the capability that their CR-X would have on circuit nearly 30 years after it’s inception?  This particular example, hailing from the camp of G-Work, is no doubt a testament to the capability of the tiny chassis.  Barreling through TC2000 in a mere 1’02.419, the NA B-series powered CR-X can hold definitely hold it’s own.  Click past the break for a gallery of shots on track at Tsukuba Circuit.

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Encounter: フシミンのFD2 – グル走

Caught this pretty cool FD2 at Tsukuba during a Grooving event.  The entire interior was gutted and it was running a pretty mild aero package. Fastest time it clocked was 1’01.25 – pretty quick!  The fender cut away made the car look much more aggressive than the factory form.  Click past the break for a few more shots.

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Feature: Deep Grip RE – Tomo’s Circuit-Bred FD

 

Saitama native Nakashima Tomoyoshi, or Tomo for short, is an avid fan of the RX-7.  Unique in many ways, the car has stolen his attention for better half of several years.  Before he built the FD you see here, Tomo was the proud owner of a white Savanna FC.

 

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Close-Up: かずや様♪ Takes On TC2000!

 

I know my recent posts haven’t been very lengthy by any means, and this one is going to be no different (that’s not to say I don’t want to type more, I’m just pressed for time).  If you’ve followed the blog for that past year at least, you’ll know this car.  Kazuya-san, a.k.a. Kotora, a.k.a Baby Tiger, a.k.a. Fastest NA Civic around TC2000 on radial tires, a.k.a….just kidding I have no more names.

 

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Encounter: つくばのマジックブルーFD

 

 

 

 

 

Spotted this FD at Tsukuba as I was leaving one weekend.  I’d never seen it before – would have liked to get a closer look at it.  The registration is in Mito, which is like southern Ibaraki, so I would imagine it frequents Tsukuba often.  I’ll keep my eyes peeled ~

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Close-Up: Evome Profile – SEYAMAX // ADMIX GTR

 

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.

 

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Event: Super Battle Evome 2015 – Season Opener

The automatic doors opened and a rush of chilled winter air, mixed with the morning’s new sunlight, hit my face as I reluctantly left the warm comfort of the conbini.  Surprised, as if for some reason I had forgotten about the cold already, I fumbled to pull my neck warmer up with my hands full of coffee and various pastries.  Leaning up against the passenger side of the BMW, my warm breath visibly creating a fog around my head, I waited for Sekinei to exit the 711 to unlock the car and rescue me from the cold.  It was 5am on a Monday morning, I had landed in Japan 12 hours ago, and with just 4 hours of sleep to my credit, we were off – headed to the countryside of Tsukuba where we would rendezvous with Japan’s fastest privateers as they prepare to take on the first round of Battle Evome.

Close-Up: TRD Tuned FT-86

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I wrote an initial draft up about 3 weeks ago for this close-up, but for some reason never got around to publishing it.  For that, I apologize, because this is one hell of a car.  One great day, at Tsukuba Circuit, an amazing event was held.  At this event, Toyota decided to show it’s variant of the FT-86.  Ever since the FT-86, BRZ, or FR-S has made it’s debut in it’s geographically appropriate location, the tuning world has been abuzz with excitement.  Now, with the Super GT BRZ, and the D1 FT-86, we’re all dying to see what’s next.  Well, it seems that TRD has our answer.  With the FT-86 being officially on sale in Japan for about half a month now, it’s unlikely we’ll see any personally owned ones tuned any time soon.  Toyota has done an excellent job in marketing their newest offering, and the TRD tuned FT-86 is the icing on the cake.  Click past the break to see more.