Motor Sports Japan Festival 2008
Earlier this fall, I was lucky enough to get out on a beautiful fall day and check out the Motorsports Japan Festival held in Tokyo’s bay area Odaiba.
It was this festival that really kick started my passion for shooting cars and also kick started my work here at 7tune.com, so it’s a bit of a special one for myself. This year’s festival lived up to everything I thought it would and it it brought a smile to every attendants face so we couldn’t have asked for more. The area, famous for the Fuji Television building, shopping malls and other attractions brings huge crowds every weekend from crowded downtown Tokyo. Having a huge car festival in the middle of that just adds to the mayhem! What I love most about this festival though is how close you’re allowed as a spectator to get to the cars! Normally in other places in the world, there are chains and other things preventing you from getting up close, but here the mood is so relaxed and many times you can even sit in the cars. Well, as long as the bucket seats are big enough.. Cool! Heres the Nismo Tokachi 24 Hour Race car being checked out by one of the crowd.
Another neat thing about this event is that the drivers aren’t afraid to give it a bit of stick on the course. In the land of the rising sun, a lot of events with Nismo included, take a lot of time out for speeches and formalities from the bigwigs. Whilst I have nothing against all of this chit chat, sometimes If I go to a motorsports event I would rather just see some good old fashioned tyre smoke and the howl of a engine doing its thing at top RPM. Take for example the Petronas Tom’s SC430 Super GT car. Now this is what I’m talking about!
Perhaps you are a rotary fan? Well Mazda wasn’t left out of this game this year either. On the small car park cum race track, the Mazdaspeed 767 Le Mans prototype car was let loose. To say that listening to this 13J Quad Rotor going off was absolutely wild is an understatement! This one, apparently now privately owned, was driven and given a good booting around the course, leaving some dirty fat black lines on the tarmac and grins from ear to ear on the crowd.
Back in the paddock there was lots to see and do. As the two days rolled on, there were the customary talk show type stage events, chances for the kids to jump into SuperGT cars and have their photos taken. There was also the chance for many fans to mingle with their favourite drivers and score an autograph or two while at it. Of course the paddock was filled to the brim with so many amazing cars but one of my favourites was this humble Team Yamato Civic. Packing some serious carburettors and a stripped interior, this machine brought back some memories. And to think that I had one of these as my first car!
Actually there was so much to do at this year’s event I could barely find time to fit it all in. With wondering from the mini course to catch some tyre shredding action to walking through the garage area filled with classic and unforgettable cars, one could easily spend a whole day here. And with that lovely entrance fee of zero Yen, it made for an awesome motorsports day in anyone’s books errr callendar. I’ll leave you with one of my favourite pictures of the day, the 1999 BTCC Primera GT car going through its paces on the track.
Oh! And before I forget, the cute girls from the Disney Stage just wanted to say hello. Hey girls~
Words: Peter Horniak
Images: Peter Horniak