Catching the first flight out of Tokyo’s Haneda airport was always going to be a tough ask considering how little sleep I usually get, but making my way down to Okayama International circuit in western Honshu to cover the season opener for Super GT 2014 more than got me motivated. 2014 is an important and exciting year for the series as it ushers in a potentially great new slew of changes that can realistically spur this series to greater heights now and in the future years to come… Read more
Retro Havoc 2014 was an event that really took a lot of people by surprise, including me. I had no idea what to expect for my third visit to Malaysia but for all intents and purposes, the promise of over 300 of the countries best classic cars, crammed into one giant aircraft hangar on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur made for a tantalising proposition that couldn’t be missed!… Read more
You know the chance of this happening is hard to refute if you put all the pieces together and I will gladly put my money where my mouth is and actually bet on it. Here’s why a 3JZ is not all fantasy after all… Read more
Kenneth Blanck is a good friend of mine and not your ordinary R34 GT-R owner. Since picking up this pristine, low kilometer Bayside Blue example from renowned resellers Global Auto and now the second of two owners of this highly prized 2000 model GT-R V-Spec II Nur, Kenneth has literally thrown the book (and his wallet) at the car, ending up with a monster truly worthy of the greatest Pokemon trainers… Read more
The Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show is back this year in full force, with an extensive 10 day showcase of cars from the past, the present and the future held from the 15th of November to the 24th of November. It has been a long while since my last motor show visit and this is certainly a refreshing experience to see such an eclectic mix of cars on display, with a stronger emphasis on hybrid and electric technology cars, even having 2 popular hybrids available as lucky draw prizes. The reason for this influx of environmentally friendly vehicles is relevant to the theme set for this year’s show, which is “efficiency in motion”. Read more
Thursday night, 11pm. I arrive in Sydney and my reserved hired Hyundai Getz is unavailable due to the depot being closed at the hour. I resort to ditching hitting Gangnam Style at 3000rpm for a more Japanese Nissan Micra. But I’m not in Sydney for the sole purpose of driving a soft fuel sipper. I’m here for the World Time Attack
Challenge of 2013.
It’s Friday morning, and I’m bolting down the Great Western Highway for the event. Upon arriving I’m greeted by a healthy selection of modified Japanese cars in the parking lot. From Evos to 86s, even classic examples like this Datsun coupe.
Through the underground tunnel to the main area which was brimming with eye candy. The pit lanes were full with hero cars and high level builds.
Dedicated to getting sweet shots for you guys, I was told off by staff a few times for lying down in places I shouldn’t be. ;P
Crews were hard at work to bring out their cars optimum setup, which made me feel a bit intrusive at first.
But the crew members could not be any friendlier, such as the team behind the Jones Brother Racing Supra; extending warm welcomes to myself and others which strengthens my faith in the bonds we car enthusiasts have as a community.
Away from the pits were the show stands and a show and shine. Local industries and personal builds take charge here and welcomed the audience to the strong Australian scene.
There were various stores showing off their gear…
…and delicious demo cars.
The kind chap behind this Impreza being kind enough to hand out free hats to attendees, and saved my face from a Jersey Shore fate.
E-famous rides were about at the Lowdown.com booth with rides such as the Zomaya Evo and 34 Lai GT-R.
Elsewhere, beastly builds such as Mercury Motorsport’s Nitto GT-R and PPRE’s 6 rotor RX4 were momentarily tame enough for a closer look.
To put it short, the grounds were a jar full of JDM candies.
Further out back, there was some more action. Ranging from functional rides…
To something more fond of gravity.
Interesting aesthetic options were found with this Civic sporting a peanut STi bumper.
Hopefully our police won’t defect this.
Car gear was also present, with stickers and accessories available.
On to the racing. With a full 2 days of racing against the clock ahead, there was nothing but blistering performances from all categories.
There was no doubt, however, that the main attractions were the Pro and Pro-Am classes with their outlandish aero…
…and celebrity drivers,such as Tsukuba record holder Under Suzuki and the Scorch Racing S15.
Tarzan Yamada, piloting the Espirit NSX.
As well as Nobuteru Taniguchi, being the pilot of not one, but three different vehicles.
Suprisingly, last years record was smashed early by Tilton Interior’s Evo. Rewriting the Nemo Racing’s Evo’s record of 1:25.0200 by a fractional margin with a time of 1:24.8550.
The Nemo Evo still baring its fangs on the track by laying down times 2-3 seconds behind the lead, despite running into mechanical issues.
Between sessions were demonstrations by the Motul Turbo Legends, which sees some precious racing history bolt down the track.
An F40 blessed the track with its presence shortly after.
This year saw the birth of a new event, the Flying 500; a 500m dash to record top speed at the goal as opposed to a clocked time like a 1/4 mile drag.
Ultimately, the Mick’s Motorsport Evo took the crown with a top speed of 252km/h.
The time attack has been going smooth for the most part, but has seen incidents on the track with a number of crashes and mechanical faults. One of the big incidents was the Employment Medicine R32 spilling its juices on the last few corners. The spill was cleaned without too much delay. Despite that, a visible trail was left from the absorbent.
Luckily, it did not present itself as too much an obstacle to the competitors, no matter the platform.
The challenge wrapped up at Saturday afternoon at the podium, with awards being handed out to the fastest drive platform in each class and the overall fastest 3 of the class. The fastest in each class were:
JUST CAR CLUBSPRINT CLASS
1. Process West WRX STi | Jason Wright – 1:39.2470
2. BYP Motorsport S2000 | Benny Tran – 1:41.0360
3. Superpro EVO 9 | Jason Naidoo – 1:41.2560
V-SPORT OPEN CLASS
1. BC Automotive R32 GTR |Dean Lillie – 1:31.7980
2. V Sport/Go-Pro Evo X | Rick Bates – 1:32.4260
3. BYP Racing Integra |Benny Tran – 1:32.6800
GARRETT PRO AM CLASS
1. Precision Maintenance EVO | Mick Sigsworth – 1:30.9570
2. Sutton Bros S15 | Andrew Sutton – 1:31.8320
3. Autotech Engineering WRX STi | Jason Wright – 1:32.4040
ROYAL PURPLE PRO CLASS
1. Tilton Evo | Garth Walden – 1:24.8550
2. MCA Suspension S13 | Earl Bamber – 1:27.3670
3. Nemo/Auger Torque Evo | Warren Luff – 1:27.7080
This year’s World Time Attack Challenge will definitely be an event to remember. Props to all the teams for their hard work and performance; to the organisers for bringing such a large scale event to my homeland, Australia; and to the attendees and media, whose burning automotive passion brought vibrancy and life to the weekend.
*slips on leather jacket and black sunnies* I’ll be back.
Words – Shahid Mohamed Islam
Photos – Shahid Mohamed Islam
Formula Drift returned to Speed City Kuala Lumpur this year with an extremely diverse line-up of drivers from all over the world. Names like Ken Gushi from the US, Daigo “the Ninja” Saito from Japan of which has remained undefeated since the beginning of the Formula Drift Series, Local Malaysian drifting royalty Tengku Djan Ley of which owns the venue turned Battle grounds for this event, Japan D1 drifter Masao Suenaga and Frederic Aasbø
of whom is piloting the beastly V8 powered RS*R Toyota 86 were just some of the star studded entourage of superstars in the Drifting game that participated. Read more
After a good night’s rest we got up nice and early to head on over to Sepang again on Sunday to bring you the final coverage of our 2 part coverage of the Super GT here in Malaysia and coming early was certainly the right choice to make as Sunday is always more lively at Sepang for Super GT. We stored away our things at the media centre and grabbed our vests and headed out again for coverage and we decided to get a regular spectator’s perspective and see what they see. Read more
From the largest super bikes gathering that had a recorded grand total of an estimated 1300 Sports and luxury motorcycles gathering on the main straight of Sepang to the Saturday night rave party and two whole days of intense high octane racing from the ultimate JDM race cars on the Sepang International Circuit that has hosted a staggering 100,000 fans; a whopping 20,000 more from 2012, Super GT round 3 in Malaysia has been an absolute dream. Read more
Its that time of year again and we at 7Tune are certainly an excited bunch! Super GT Round 3 returns to Sunny Malaysia after intense battles right in the source of Super GT itself, JAPAN. Read more
Mizota san of Revolfe fame and Kitabayashi san of Pentroof fame have been holding these monthly gatherings for quite some time now so when good friend Masaki san introduced me to the group a while back, it was destined to take its place on my calendar as a must see gathering each second Friday of the month. Here’s the lowdown on the latest meeting at Umihotaru Parking Area… Read more
It was back down to Nagoya for me for the second time in a month to shoot one of the biggest supercar meetings in the country; an event organized by Wataru Kato and his team from Liberty Walk Japan. Once again, rain threatened to really put a dampener on proceedings but mercifully held off for the day and what I’m going to show you now is one of the coolest collections of hard rolling Super Cars you’ll see anywhere… Read more
Right now, I’m down in Nagoya with Kato san and the crew from Liberty Walk Japan. If you haven’t heard of them I would be very surprised since they have exploded onto the international stage with some of the wildest custom supercars the world has seen. After a long haul south from Tokyo to Nagoya in the new 3 series Active Hybrid, I got some down time with new friends at a great Yakiniku restaurant where the stories and beer flowed freely… Read more
Its a new year and its time again for the JCCA (Japan Classic Car Association) annual new years meet in Odaiba. A veritable feast of classic automobile goodness and plenty of gasps of “natsukashiiii” from the locals…natsukashi meaning “its so nostalgic isn’t it!!”
Straight in at the gates you gaze upon rows upon rows of gleaming classics, most older than myself.
Alongside all the Cars is a very very Japanese level enthusiasts flea market and by Japanese level I mean everything you would ever want as a classic car lover no matter what your vehicle of choice or fancy is! From Sparco seats to vintage car sales brochures to toy cars, you name it its here.
Headlamps, you got it.
Model Kits, absolutely.
I spent hours walking the aisles mesmerised by all the history surrounding me, whilst turning down one of the aisles I came upon two schoolboys holding a flag and wearing uniforms….upon speaking to them I found out that they form part of the Hosei University Automobile Club, today they had brought along a real stunner. A 1938 Jaguar SS, a real piece of automotive history, as far as I could read most of the parts and some of the bodywork is still original, either way its a grand spectacle.
As an Englishman it was rather strange walking around a Japanese Classic Car meet and being met with rows upon rows of classic Britishness, from rows of Lotus Espirit and various racing incarnations of other Lotus models to Minis, Triumphs and Jaguars.
After a while of wandering around and chatting to some locals I found what I personally was looking for, the Fairlady Z section. I have always found the first gen of Fairlady Zs to be such a beauty to behold….which comes as no surprise given where its design influence came from…..this particular model however I found in the parking lot!!
Up and down I went finding more gems from “Back in the day” sometimes so far back in someones day I don’t know if I was alive at the time some of these cars rolled of the production line or flew off the grid.
Found some real gems.
A wild blue Celica GTV circa 1972.
As the day drew to an end my shutter finger was still maniacally twitching away, so much awesomeness. It was then I had an epiphany about enthusiasts and collectors of every nature….we all love what we do and love to talk about it with like-minded and noobs a like, if you have the passion, they have the time, I shot this last image and I think it sums up the atmosphere of the day perfectly, bunch of mates hanging out talking cars around a car, drinking ghetto sake surrounded by car parts and other car lovers! CARS!!
Till the next time… but before I go, here are some bonus shots for you to enjoy
280,000 people, 800 cars, 4 days, 12 hours of sleep, 1 M6 convertible, 73 cans of Redbull, and 3000 shots later, the curtain (mercifully), fell on the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon. Come with me as 7Tune takes a look back at the biggest TAS in years… Read more