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
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
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
It was an absolutely MEGA end to 2012 for 7Tune – with almost a dozen events to attend, countless people to meet and a couple of international events to fly to. Here is a rundown on what you can expect on 7Tune in the coming weeks during the first month of 2013… Read more
It was back to Thailand for me at the end of December to enjoy another crazy week at one of the absolute best racing festivals on the planet; the 2012 Bangsaen Festival of Speed. My hosts for the week, MAX TV Thailand, graciously arranged for the entire trip, and in very short notice mind you, so all that was left for me to do was pack the Nikon D3, a couple of lenses and document as much of their weekend ( and everyone else’s ) as possible. Here’s how it all unfolded… Read more
Up an at it early the next day for round two at Fuji Speedway and what a glorious day it was! A complete contrast to yesterday – the only disappointment being that Mt Fuji was surrounded by clouds.
A honk of the horn outside the hotel and I see the familiar shape of Richard and another guy I haven’t seen for a couple of years who happens to be great friend Dominik Schwager; a German driver who raced in Japan for many years. Delighted to see him, I jump in car and off we go.
At the circuit and with Richard tied up with Team business and commitments, I was left free to wander around with Domonik in the glorious sunshine and to really get a hold of the atmosphere here at Fuji on race-day without the torrential rain. Before Richard left us, I had time to pull off a quick picture with himself, Dom and GT Japanese legend Motoyama san; Richard’s 2004 championship winning teammate.
It was also amazing to see just how crazy the Japanese are about their racing and motor-sports. Dominik hasn’t raced in japan for 4 years, yet he was recognised and flagged down by fans all day everywhere we went!
Hanging around in the pit lane before the start of the Formula Nippon Race, I managed to catch a few shots of the cars themselves, which are loud and lightning fast V-8 550bhp rockets.
Here in Japan, everything is totally family orientated at big events like this and it’s always great to see the kids involved!
I went back to the Garage and found the boys watching the start of the Formula Nippon race, so I settled down to watch it with them and see how drivers and teams watch races as opposed to us normal folk haha. The amount of banter between the teams about what the other teams might be doing is actually quite intense. In-between watching the monitors and timing splits, I was just seeing blurs out of the corner of my eye out of the garage entrance of the cars screaming by, by God, they are quick.
An interesting race with an eventful end in which the initial winner, Andre Lotterer, was disqualified after it was found the skid block underneath his car was thicker than regulations allowed which handed Takuya Izawa the win.
In the jam packed schedule the GT300 class was up next with Richards Team mate Akihiro Tsuzuki and Igor’s team mate Kenji Kobayashi up in the Audi R8 cars of Hitotsuyama Racing.
Tsuzuki made a great start but dropped back a bit and finished 12th from 15th on the grid. Unfortunately, Kobayashi didn’t fair so well and lost the Bonnet of the car after a touch on the 2nd lap and couldn’t continue…..seems like team Hitotsuyama Racing had a tough weekend but im sure they walked away with a lot of experience to put in that knowledge bank for next season.
I decided to walk up and down the paddock and the team trailers and see if there were any interesting cars after all this is the glitz and glamour of motorsport here and im sure I might spot some kick assery in the car park and sure enough I did.
Before the GT500 got underway it was time for a bit of a photoshoot with the race queens and the drivers.
Time for GT 500 and unfortunately we couldn’t watch for long and only stayed for a few laps….the chariot waiting to carry me back to the bright lights of Tokyo was awaiting me. Coming back in the car with Richard and Domonik was fun to say the least – if you consider a 6 hour traffic Jam all the way from Gotemba to the Tokyo turngate fun.
Till next year Fuji Speedway…
7Tune – The Ultimate Motor Racing Experience Since 2005
Words and Photos – Adrian Venner
Waking up at stupid O clock on a Saturday on a November morning in Tokyo is never a warm occasion but today wasn’t so bad, a little gloomy but I didn’t care as I would soon be on a train heading down to Gotemba and Fuji Speedway for the last races of the Formula Nippon, GT 500 and GT300 series for 2012. Read more
Having left the paddock, it was time to get serious and train the Nikon D3 and 70-200mm on the cars and drivers as they battled it out on the track. There was an absolutely packed schedule of action going on throughout the day, right from the opening sessions at 8am and culminating in easily the biggest parade of 86′s that I’ve ever seen at 5pm. Which left me with a lot of work to do… and a lot of shots to post… Read more
Easily one of the best and biggest 86 festivals in the world, the Okayama 86 fest provided an absolute overdose of Hachi goodness in all shapes, colors and configurations. It was quite a hike East to get to the circuit but it was damn well worth it and there’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started… Read more
There’s just way too much content to go through for one or two overviews of this absolutely EPIC day down south at Okayama international circuit. Up to 400 of the countries best Hachi Roku’s converged on the place and I made the 700km south along with Keiichi Tsuchiya and the team from Hot Version to make sure every angle was covered. Go and check out the preview… Read more
I returned to Japan from an epic trip to Europe on the 15th of September knowing full well that Sunday the 16th was going to bring with it the mother of all Skyline GT-R days. The weather turned out to be excellent too and Fuji Speedway was packed to the brim with hundreds upon hundreds of Skyline GT-R’s, in all shapes and sizes. Not only that but on the same day, the Drift Muscle championship was being held down at the Short Course and the super popular 1JZ day was on at the Drift track! Let’s take a look around at an epic day out… Read more