FEATURE – OKAYAMA 86 FESTIVAL PREVIEW

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…

Funnily enough, this was the furthest South I’ve ever been in Japan but it was well worth the trip. I’m going to show you guys how to get to Okayama yourselves, because in all honesty, if you are ever looking to go and don’t have a car, it’s a real bitch to get to without knowing a few things first. I get questions every other day on how to get to this circuit or that circuit so you’ll have no excuses from here on in!

The main circuit attraction for the day was tied in with a segment Hot Version are shooting for volume 119 and will include all the action from the N2 race in which Keiichi Tsuchiya took part – Here he is in close quarters with Tec Art’s Kamata san…

It was definitely a super aggressive race with all drivers going absolutely flat out…

I’ll get into all the practice and race action in one of the next posts.

But just as exciting were the 86 “Tuning Car” races, where unleashed tuner 86 beasts went head to head over 10 laps of furious anger. There are a couple of cars in these particular races that really stood out, including one particular camo painted, bridgeported, rotary powered 86 that was completely batshit crazy.

Another was SS Works AE86 which for me, was easily the craziest Hachi at the event.

We’re also going to take a look around the paddock and poke around inside the garages, including the one where Tsuchiya’s 86 was sitting, incidentally, right next to Tec Arts and their brace of AE86’s.

Tsuchiya san has also given us at 7Tune exclusive access to the car for a feature we will be showing shortly. I can tell you now, that on track, there was absolutely no love lost between any of these rivals and you’d be crazy to think Keiichi Tsuchiya has lost any of his racing edge.

There was engine porn…

… more than you can imagine…

Plus, there was a particular section down a bit further for the new Toyota 86 and some of the big players in aftermarket tuning turned up with wheel, bodykit, engine, exhaust, suspension and braking upgrades for the Toyota 86.

We’ll be taking a closer look at some of the improvements there.

There was also a pretty wild drift demonstration that got a bit hairy for those with media vests standing inside some hazardous areas!

Oh, did I mention the Okayama Circuit girls…???

But more than all this, what really impressed me, was the general vibe of the event. It was organized and smoothly run. It was down to earth but exciting, casual but serious, friendly but respectful and devoid of any angst, hate or ridiculous political and social agendas that the foreign automotive scenes appear to be plagued with on a constant basis. It also appeared that I was the only foreign Media Specialist there which was a nice change. What that means for you guys is that A.) What I’m about to show you is exclusive material and B.) It meant I could just relax more, enjoy myself more and focus on what needed to be done without any unnecessary distractions and I think the results of that will show through the quality of the images.

7Tune was warmly welcomed, I personally enjoyed the day immensely and it has to be said that the Japanese just know how to do an event right. The people, both spectator and participant alike, are super respectful toward each other, their space and their individuality and not a single ride or person is hated on. The rest of the world still has a LOT to learn on how it’s all supposed to work…

And speaking of work, I have a lot to do if you’re going to see more of this coverage from the 2012 Okayama 86 festival…

Including the behind the scenes coverage of the upcoming Hot Version 119… exclusively on 7Tune – The Ultimate JDM Experience Since 2005.

Words and Photos – Adam Zillin

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2 thoughts on “FEATURE – OKAYAMA 86 FESTIVAL PREVIEW”

  1. Hello,
    I reside in Yamaguchi-Ken and have wanted to attend the Okayama 86 Fest. Not sure if my 86 would be ok to enter for show but perhaps one day.😅 Maybe I will attend this year 2020 (if my wife approves 😅) but we’ll see. Thank you very much.

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