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.
A prominent influence in the Mitsubishi tuning domain, Garage G-Force has spent the last decade fighting to solidify a name for themselves as the number-one Evolution tuning company in Japan. That fight, however, hasn’t been easy.
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.
On hand but off track, the Top Fuel S2000RR was standing by at Fuji Speedway during the Motor Fan Festival.
Just two short months ago, G-Force took this EVO to TC2000 to let Tanaguchi fling it around some corners during an open test day. The car ran an impressive high 55 second lap; and I can assure you, it looked nothing like this. The car’s exterior, then, was clad in a variety of Varis parts, and while it was a bit wider than OE, it was still relatively non-threatening in appearance. Fast forward to TAS and the car that was displayed at their booth was a new beast entirely.
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.
“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is […]
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 whole sport of time-attack has been picking up speed as of late, and over the past few years, one team has stood out amongst the rest as leaders in their own right. Based […]
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 […]
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 […]
Last weekend at Fuji Speedway during Skyline Owners Battle, the Mercury Racing Project built Z33 demo car made an appearance at the Wakos booth. The livery on this car is great; I really like the […]
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 […]
Flat out – TC2000
Garage HRS EVO IX spotted in the paddock of Tsukuba Circuit. The owner was competing in the Dunlop Challenge that afternoon.
Taking some extra time to edit this shot of Hannita-san’s NA2 staging up for an attack of TC2000, and I thought I’d share. Going through a judging phase on some shots that may be […]
Top Fuel; a company made famous by high powered builds. Voltex; a company based on the foundation of aerodynamics. Two companies, that, when married together can create a masterpiece on the circuit. […]
I had to make a quick run to Akihabara one afternoon (I say ‘had’ because I don’t particularly enjoy going there) to pick up something from ヨドバシカメラ, a.k.a 12 story Mega brain hemorrhage electronic/everything […]
Well, it’s about that time to start wrapping up the show coverage. I was planning on posting the third and final round of coverage this weekend, but ended up working, as well as temporarily acquiring a vinyl cutter. The latter occurrence took up the majority of my Monday so I wasn’t able to work on getting the post up. Oh well, I have some time tonight and will do just that. We pick up mid-afternoon when the show was really getting busy. The turnout was really, really good for it being the first East coast show that Weksos has put on. I was very happy for everyone involved at the success of the day. I don’t really have much else to say in this post that hasn’t already been stated. In this post we’ll take a closer look at some of the nice Hondas at the show, as well as a look at the roll-out. Again, you’ll be able to see the insane amount of variety that these Wekfest shows provide. Just click past the break and enjoy the rest of the shots.
It’s 2 am on Saturday morning, I don’t have work tomorrow (edit – I DO have work today), and I’m stacked up on caffeine; I may as well get started on posting the second round of Wekfest East. Yuta’s civic was having some work done at a shop in Upland this past week, and this evening we drove up there to pick it up. While in the area, we decided to meet Kodi Chan at Maxim off the 60 in Rowland Heights. I don’t get to see Kodi that often so it was nice that it worked out that way. I ended up drinking way too much coffee though, and as a result am writing this right now. I’m sure I’ll wake up tomorrow…err..today, and read this and it probably won’t make any sense to me. I just thought for some reason you should know why this post will be comprehensively poorly written. Right. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get back to the New Jersey convention center to check out more of the cars at Wekfest. In this post, I’ll wrap up what I have left of the roll-in and get started on showing the masses of cars that were in attendance. I gotta say, as I look back on each car as I edit them, I’m finding more and more cool things I didn’t notice initially. I’ll point some of the things out as I go. Also, you can once again see the thought that went into the variety of cars showing. If you’re not familiar with the tour, not just anyone can come show. The Weksos staff hand pick out of hundreds, and sometimes thousands of applicants to ensure a great show. For now, click past the break to see part 2 of the coverage.
I had first played with the idea of coming to New Jersey for Wekfest East back in June during the LA show. Towards the end of the show at the Queen Mary, I had been talking to Geoffrey and Kenneth a little bit about the turn out in comparison to the rest of the tour. LA had a great turn out, a close second to the Fort Mason show in San Francisco, but the home show is hard to beat. I had asked him about the general turn out and response to the rest of the stops, and they basically responded with an invitation to come see for myself. I’m in a pretty unique position compared to most people as far as traveling goes, so the idea wasn’t too farfetched. I’ve made it to the East coast and back in less than a day, so there was really no reason why I couldn’t make it work with a car show thrown in there somewhere. I’m not really affected by jet lag or time zones anymore as I fly quite often. In fact, I’m sitting in an airplane, writing this, right now on the way to Phoenix; on a non-car related trip unfortunately. As the show date neared, I was able to rearrange some things in my work schedule, so I decided I would make the flight out to Newark. The show was on a Sunday, so I elected to take a red eye on Saturday night to avoid an additional night in a hotel. I would land Sunday morning around 5am and shoot straight over to the New Jersey Convention Center in Edison in time to catch the roll-in and setup of the show. Leaving on Monday would give me a good night’s sleep and an opportunity to cruise into New York for a little bit; and by little bit I mean a good 35 minutes or so – I’ll get to that later though. Click past the break for part 1 of my exploits in the East.
If you were to imagine a specific car that, in your own mind, possessed the qualities of protector, or a guardian; what car would you choose? For me, it would always be the Mitsubishi EVO. Something about it just gives off a ‘sentry’ feel. Perhaps it’s the bold, boxy lines, it’s potential for great power or even it’s masculine stature. There is quite obviously a good amount of guardian like character in any EVO, but this one in particular, has more than most. I’ve never seen where Algier lives, but I bet I would feel pretty safe with his EVO standing watch over the neighborhood. Right, I’ll admit that the theme to this feature is a little far-fetched; but it’s still a bit amusing if you think about it. Modified cars coming to life to protect…the…people…oh my god I’m describing Transformers…damn. I knew I had heard of that concept somewhere. Anyway, all that aside, Algier has put together an extremely quality build that I’ve really taken a liking too. This past weekend I flew up to the bay area and made the short trip over to San Jose the next morning to meet up with Algier. He had just spent the entire previous day at HIN so I was thankful that he was able to make it out for a few hours the next morning. Click past the break to see more of this insanely clean 8.
Nisei Week in Downtown Los Angeles; a time to celebrate the Japanese-American culture in the best way; good food, great location, lots of celebration, people dressing up in Japanese attire and of course the Nisei Showoff. I wasn’t actually planning on attending this year for a few reasons, but because I sort of volunteered my car to help Yuta out, I ended up attending later in the day. I had work in the morning all the way in Orange County, so I didn’t actually end up getting to Little Tokyo until a little after 3. I had been driving Allan’s Fit because he had to drive my car to LA that morning to set up at the Wheel Flip booth. Actually a really good thing because his Fit has great air conditioning, and it was basically the hottest day of the year. So due to my time constraints, I didn’t get as much coverage as I usually do – which I don’t really mind as I wasn’t planning on going anyway. The cars I did really want to get shots of, the Loi-Spec Integras, all left a bit early so I never got the chance to photograph them. Not too big of a deal though as I’m sure I’ll see them at a Raceline event in the near future. It probably didn’t help that the first thing we did when we go into the show was…leave the show. I couldn’t help it though; I was starving and in Little Tokyo – I needed ramen and a beer. If I were to be completely honest, it seems like the turn out wasn’t anything like the previous years; the lot was not as full, and the crowds just weren’t there. This could be for a few reasons; one being that the Infamous Hellaflush meet was being held on the same day in Long Beach, and the other being that this event seems to always be ‘up in the air’ as to whether or not there will be a next year. Why the Hellaflush meet was planned for the same day is beyond me. It seems almost suicide for the ‘scene’ to plan two huge events on the same day, 20 miles apart from one another and tear people between which to attend. Anyway, most of my shots were from later in the day as people were getting ready to leave, so I apologize if it seems strange. Click past the break for the first part of the coverage.
. I’ve been so busy attending events here in the US, as well as being in track events myself, that I still have quite a bit of material to post up from my previous time […]
When I started the drive out to Arcadia for AutoCon yesterday morning, I had been under the strange impression that media will-call was at 9am; where I got that impression and why I thought it was perfectly normal I’m still not sure. When I got to the site and saw about 400 cars waiting to be rolled in I kind of figured I had some misinformation. Well, there was nothing else to do really so I thought I’d make the most of it though and start snapping away. The route into the Santa Anita grounds is through an underground route under an overpass to the Westfield mall that’s across from the park. So I just posted up under the shade of the bridge, and did my best to avoid the already intense inland heat. I talked to Justin from AutoCon when I saw him pass through and he had no problems with me starting early. I’m typically late to car shows, so this was kind of cool for me. The roll-in process was much smoother than last year, and it seems they were much better staffed this year. Grab a cup of coffee and click past the break for the first of many Auto Connection 2012 posts.
When I think of MOD, I immediately hear “EVO”; and frankly, that’s all I need to hear. I’ve grown to have no particular interest at all in any Mitsubishi other than their Evolution line of cars. Not to discredit the fans and enthusiasts of Mitsubishi’s other great cars, I can definitely respect the work and passion that goes into any chassis (and there were actually some really cool builds with unique swaps), they’re just not my cup of coffee (I’m switching that saying up). So, I’ll tell you ahead of time, the only cars you will see in this post are of EVO’s – I suggest checking out Mitsubishi forums or other blogs for full coverage. With that said, I really enjoy MOD. It’s one show that I have a very laid back attitude towards. and feel no pressure to show up early and stay until everyone leaves. In fact, I rolled up over an hour after it started and had left within an hour. Parking is never an issue because it is in the business district of Cypress and the surrounding businesses are nice enough to let show goers use their lots. As a result of the show being sponsored by Mitsubishi itself, it is very well organized. Let me start my post out with a shot of the Monster Sport equipped LOT USA EVO 9 – one of my favorites. Click past the break to see more EVO’s at EVO..I mean MOD.
Behind most cars, there are stories to be told. Some are your ordinary, every day type of stories that happen to the majority of people. I’m sure we all have lot’s of memories that are centered around our vehicles; but I doubt that they are quite as intense as the story that surrounds this particular S2000. Why? Because this one was at one point engulfed in flames. Has your car ever been on fire? Didn’t think so. This beautiful S2000 belongs to Nhan Doan, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at Wekfest LA, where he was showing his car for the day. I liked his car so much I asked if he wanted to snap a few pictures for NDF after the show. He happily obliged and around 5 or so we headed to Ballade Sports, where he was to drop off the car for a new tune that week. I was hoping to have the new website up by now, here, and have this post as a sort of ‘kick-off’ of the new layout, but as you can see it seems to be taking me longer than I thought. So, good news for all the fans I suppose, you get it early! Click past the break to learn more about this true fighter of a S2000.
Spoon Sports: a staple of the Honda tuning community. Any time I travel to Japan I make it a point to try and visit Spoon and Type One because, well, it’s Spoon. Aside from Mugen, no other company works closer to Honda than Spoon and the results are amazing. A few weeks ago my friend and I dropped by Type One to see what they had cooking. The day before the Twin Ring race we didn’t expect much, but fortunately they had left a few employees back at the shop to take care of the weekend customers. I’ll save the full ‘Locale’ feature for another day, but I’ve been itching to share these next few photos with you guys. I posted a teaser on the official NDF Facebook page a few weeks ago and you guys went ballistic over it; this is really a cool car. Anyway, when I was walking upstairs I was so intrigued by this one white S2000 that was for sale that an employee was showing to an interested customer, that I didn’t even notice it sitting to the side of the shop. When I finally saw it I could hardly contain myself. The guys at Type One have always been really cool with visitors, so I wasn’t reserved at all with my picture taking. Although it is a customer car, I was laying on the ground, getting behind lifts, and moving stuff out of the way to get better shots of it. I even caught the guy upstairs smirking a little at me – probably thinking why the hell I cared so much about it. Click past the break to see more of Japanese Darth Vader’s S2000.
So I first saw this car at the Canibeat meet in Fremont on Friday night, and although I tried to snap some shots of it, they came out not great because there was absolutely no lighting in the lot. I wasn’t too concerned though because I had a good feeling it was going to be showing at Wekfest. This NSX belongs to Rothsen of Rising Suns Motorsports – and although I didn’t get to meet him, I know this because I’m really good at using the internet (:|) Rising Suns is a car club out of Salinas, CA and has a few nicely built cars. Click past the break to check out more of this one.
I’ll admit, while there were many great builds at MOD this year, there weren’t too many that were built for full track dedication. Maybe that’s why this particular one caught my eye as a possible feature. I really can’t tell you much about it though – I couldn’t find the owner anywhere. It may be built with the assistance of Massimo Power; a specialist in EVO tuning. So for a few minutes, disregard my lack of knowledge, grab the popcorn and enjoy the crispy shots I snapped of it past the break.
Disclaimer: Aside from the Evolution, I am not a fan of any model car that Mitsubishi has produced in the US. I respect the potential of a DSM engine, but as far as aesthetics go, ugly is the word. With that said, I should change the name of this post to ‘EOD – Evolution Owner’s Day’, because that is basically all that I shot. For that reason, some of you may get bored with this post. This meet had a full spectrum of Mitsu’s; everything from the cleanest built EVO’s to the worst looking and sounding Eclipses and Galant’s – no disrespect to the owners. So if you’re looking for shots of those or more complete coverage, check out Speedhunters in the next couple days because I know Mike Garrett was there clicking away as well. Click past the break to enjoy some shots of various Evolutions. This post is sponsored by D-Sport, the Import Tech magazine because they gave me free stickers. D-Sport!
Up until Friday I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be able to attend Wekfest LA. Requesting days off isn’t as easy as it used to be with my new position. Somehow, last minute, I managed to get my shift covered; so what did I do? That’s right – I went to Las Vegas. Good idea right? I hopped on a flight out of LAX Saturday afternoon, chilled on the Strip for 10 hours, and made my way back to Long Beach in time to shoot Wekfest. Well, it turns out it wasn’t such a good idea. I ended up losing way more than I intended, got no sleep, and smelled like cigarettes all day. I gotta say though, Wekfest more than made up for it. On top of that, it was probably the most beautiful day in Long Beach this year. Unbelievable cars, good food, music, friends and great weather; can’t ask for much more. I’ll do my best to try and walk you through the show a little before I go ballistic with the pics. Click past the break for more.