Time Attack UK x Modified Live 2020 @ Cadwell Park

The pause we’ve had to endure for months finally came to an end last month, when TAUK was back in full throttle at the hallowed grounds of Cadwell. Technically, the season started one month prior, kicking off Round 1 at Oulton, but I didn’t attend, so for me, the UK event calendar started in August. I hadn’t set foot or wheel at a track since the Zummy event at TC2000 in February. Definitely felt a bit stale from the lack of carboy activities throughout the spring/summer, nevertheless, ticket booked, I headed over to my favourite UK race venue.

Just like last year, 2020 also saw rainfall, only, not as much but with a shit load of fog. From a driver’s persepctive, hampered visibility and unfavourable surface conditions are two obstacles you’d rather not have to tackle. This issue most likely compounded for those teams who had less seat-time this year in order to get their machines dialled in, due to track days and race circuits being shutdown.

Before I give you Time Attack content, I’ll throw these photos down of what I feel like were “best in show” at this year’s Modified Live. The turn out was, well, different to last year. I feel like it wasn’t necessarily the volume of attendants, but more so the lack of appeal for me personally. I doubt my tastes have changed in 12 months, yet I was slightly underwhelmed with what showed up this year. However, there were some cool things parked up, take a look:

Appropriately, it was this FD RX-7 that was first to catch my eye as I walked up to the “show and shine” area. I encountered this car over at Rotary Revs earlier this year, as they were who put most of this build together. RE-Amemiya; ings+1 Z-Power wing; FEED carbon handles. That’s a holy trinity, tainted by the wheels, but we’ll let it slide…

I know zilch about French hatchbacks, but this hot little pocket rocket – the Renault 5 GT Turbo, IF you’re unfamiliar – was too vibey for me to just walk past. Look at the interior design! Bar the massive wheels, I’m surprised this example wasn’t still MAXPOWER’ed to death. Instead, the owner kept it relatively plain-clothed, only changing the exterior by replacing the front and rear clips with an aftermarket piece. Oh, and that vented clam-shell bonnet. Okay, maybe there is a little 2000’s era styling still left. Power and weight in low dosages can be an enjoyable recipe, and I bet this car will prove me right.

A near-enough OEM LanEvo 5. These cars will never go off, but at the same time I wouldn’t consider the design timeless. It occupies a weird in-between, something like a car that will remain a modern classic for many years to come. Even wore some nifty, functional-looking wheels made by 5Zigen.

I did notice that the number of Hondas was down from last year this time round. A white EK did make an appearance on some NB MX-5 (?) wheels. To most people, this Honda Civic is just that, on old Jap hatchback. But, even though I’ve never driven one, I have always imagined that handling one at speed is akin to controlling one’s own limbs: natural. I think this sentiment of mine has a lot to do with the Best Motoring episode where Gan-San pilots an EK9 on the absolute edge.

Three very wise men, leaving their FK2 Type R Civics in stock form. Honestly, aesthetically, I don’t know what you’d be compelled to alter on one of these. Compared to say, the EP3, the design department went to town with this generation. Exactly how it should be.

A couple drift demos were brought out during the day between sessions, entertaining the crowd and all that. I was stood at the end of the pit-straight at first, and then realised a minute later that I was shooting completely in the wrong spot. Things got a bit lairy at the “Gooseneck” downhill chicane.

After seeing Tegiwa’s NSX at this year’s Autosport International show, I knew I had to witness it blast past me once I found out it was the outfit’s Attack instrument of precision. This chassis looks right at home out on a track, especially being equipped with an NSX-R GT “F1 style” inlet snorkel. Unfortunately, the K24 engine let go on the day, but the team more than likely have something in their arsenal to bring back the car in a form superseding what it once was. The best the team could manage to achieve was a 1:48:025, before the motor gave up the ghost.

Another sight to behold was yet, of course, another FD RX-7. This one though, was running every minute availabe during the qualifying session I watched. Regardless of its non-rotary nature due to the Honda heart-transplant, this car is definitely one that has been set up with pure function in mind, whilst remaining as gorgeous as ever. Mazda, we’re still waiting for the revival…

At the highest point of the course.

A few more stuff that I piqued my interest walking parking area. This time, I was unable to get access to the paddock, which is where I would rather spend most of my time at an event like this to be honest.

If you have made it this far, thanks for checking in. I’ll leave you with some more photos without rambling over them…

ズミー♪走 [Zummy Run] 2020 @ Tsukuba Circuit

Entering this year with no day job, after taking the voluntary redundancy option offered by my company, its safe to say I have plenty of free time. I feel like I may aswell share this bit of information with you, even though my unemployed status shouldn’t really make any difference to you. But I bet it has now spurred me on to take any opportunity I can to do what I truly value as worthwhile.

Originally I planned only on returning back to Japan next month, but since I had nothing better to do, I decided to get flights booked and make it out earlier than I had originally planned. I mean, Osaka Auto Messe was coming up, and its been a side of Japanese car culture I wanted to check out first-hand. This prompted me to get on Skyscanner and start scouring the cheapest dates to fly in and out of Nihon. I peer-pressured Luke into coming along for the journey, as I thought it would be interesting getting his take on the country.

Thankfully, we made it out of Manchester Airport on the 9th of February, as it was a close call with ‘Storm Ciara’ going crazy in the UK disrupting a few flights that day. I think as we boarded the plane, the wind and rainy onslaught calmed down, so our pilot must have just sent that shit and prayed for the best. Above the fog and clouds, it was all good and our 12 hours+ journey officially commenced.

We landed in Narita on the morning of the 10th, giving us a full day to get settled into our Shinjuku accommodation. It was cold. More so than I had expected. I have always travelled to Japan in the summer season so I presumed their winter wouldn’t be as bad as the UK’s. I didn’t have a clue though, winter in Japan gives your body a new type of chill and we were there during the tail-end of it! To top it off, the small apartment we stayed in had no insulation which apparently is commonplace due to the insanely hot summers.

Cold weather rant over. This was no Jet2 holiday to Tenerife. The first thing on the itinerary was completely worth perpetually shivering myself to sleep for. Luckily jetlag didn’t affect me as much as it did Luke, but we were as fresh as daisies on the morning of the 11th, ready to get trackside; TC2000 trackside.

I had contacted Karl (@hashiriyajapan) prior to arriving in Japan, as his continuous stream of images of car culture, in his now home country, caught my eye immediately a while back. Being a fellow Brit, he must have been open to my enthusiastic approach when I contacted him via IG, and being a kind enough bloke, he offered to give me and Luke a lift to the Zummy event at Tsukuba, as it isn’t easily accessible via public transport.

Its a given that Japan never fails to deliver on the automotive front, but Tsukuba on the otherhand – it knows nothing other than to provide us carnuts with a unique experience. Part of it might have to do with the nostalgic element derived from back in the day, playing Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsport, or watching the Best Motoring series, and discovering this brief – yet technical – racing circuit.

The most popular viewing area that’s pretty much accessible as soon as you enter via the paddock entrance, is above the pits, so we hung out and watched the ‘Premium’ group go out and run the session in the typical Attack format: 3 laps, one warm-up, a hot-lap, and end the run on a cool down. A few cars might have had a couple more, but the majority were using their seat time as a dress rehearsal for the [then] upcoming Attack Tsukuba event.

The vantage point gives you a chance to get some cool top-down angles of the machines in the paddock area. Not one but TWO Innocent Blue Mica FD RX-7s were present, so you know I had a good day. In Japan these Mazdas are quite common, on both the track and street. You can’t blame ’em…

The Toyota Supra hasn’t been synonymous with Time Attack, most likely with its disadvantageous heft rendering it a relatively poor performer in the tight sections, something TC2000 is mostly comprised of. Although, this angelic white A80 present on the day looked at home out on the track. The aero it was equipped with was really gritty and homemade, giving you a sense that it was built to be run hard.

The good looking one out of the Takahashi bros. was out running the course that morning too. I think that’s the driver donning the green Efini branded racesuit. A klassic look effortlessly achieved on a klassic car: RE-Amemiya GT-AD aerokit, sensible wheel fitment, and topped off with Ganador wing mirrors. All tied together by that Competition Yellow paint.

Congrats to the Hokkaido Dream Racing team and their monstrous 700HP+ 13B FD, becoming the fastest 3rd-gen RX-7, lapping TC2000 in 54.666 seconds at the weekend’s Attack round! I am glad I got chance to see this thing haul some real arse around Tsukuba earlier in the month, albeit briefly, but holy shit does it move!

Another contender busting out his own PB was Ryo Kaneko, or as I would like to call him, Mr. Timeless, after reading about him as a person in 80R Vol.2 by Sean Lucas. The subtle but effective addition of the wide rear quarter panel and carbon hatch must have helped him attain the result on his hot lap. This Civic is a real NA powerhouse, as its ‘Frankenstein’ K-series engine churns out over 330bhp!

A familiar sight that morning was Usui-san and his NA Roadster, as its not a car you can simply just gloss over in passing even with its compact dimensions. I visited his shop in Gunma Pref. if you remember last year’s Japan blog post, where I got to meet the man behind such a wonderful machine. Its been dosed with a few changes, mainly consisting of new wheel and tyre setup, along with a livery delete.

The highly-modified Garage Vary widebody remains unchanged as far as I can tell, except for the removal of those roof-mounted vortex generators which I thought looked pretty snazzy. Everything about this attack build is right, with the rear-end being jacked, giving the little Mazda an aesthetic we need to see more of…

An FD I was surprised to not have seen before ever, was Oouchi-san’s white stallion. Many of the RX-7 chassis ran fitted with these ReadyGoNext vented carbon bonnets, which I think is a really good look that’s got to be functional with all of those louvres. I’m liking the vivid blue painted Enkei RS05RR aluminium wheels, the car looked great flying up the main straight!

A lot of this red FD was easy on the eye too. I like how it was kitted with a healthy balance of aggresive aero, but in keeping with the factory bodylines. Maybe that has a lot to do with how the chosen paint colour accentuates every curve. The fact that it retains the twin-turbo configuration is also highly commendable in my opinion.

Wow, clearly Seven’s Day occurs more than once a year in Japan. I’d be the last to complain about the relatively high volume of FDs present that morning. It’s arguably the best FR platform for time attack, and then to couple that fact with the huge aftermarket support available – default option if you ask me. This one wears an RE-Amemiya GT face that blends rearward nicely into a pair of TCP Magic front wings.

Was also cool to see both Okamura-san from Yashio Factory and Youtuber Sammit out at the event, giving the shop S15 a shakedown.

Having a seasoned spectator guide us around was handy, especially when it came to setting up sniper at this in-field spot where I was able to get shots of cars going into turn 3 after the chicane. Shout-out to Karl for the insider’s tour, haha!

This vantage point inboard of Dunlop corner also lent some good angles. Wish I had my wide-angle on me at the time but I made do with what I had. I can remember having my desktop background set to a photo of that KBC CP9A LanEvo you see above, as it wears a distinctive livery design which I think is inspired by a bullet train’s colour scheme if I’m not mistaken. Google ‘E7 series shinkansen’ and you’ll see what I mean.

A bunch of classic Minis were posted up on this overflow paddock area. Can’t remember if they were due to race or just had a running session booked for later on that afternoon. Luke and I chuckled when we saw the West Yorkshire-based custom wheels manufacturer windscreen banner slap on the pastel grey-green car. Bit of home away from home.

After having seen the ‘main event’ as it were, we headed back to the paddock area before making an exit. It was a public holiday that day (Emperor’s Day?) so Karl had plans to spend the rest of it with his family.

The Attack Premium class competitors started packing up their gear. Its always a cool sight watching the cars being loaded onto the articulating bed of the ‘car-carrier’ trucks. Oh, and here is a good shot (minus the distracting rusty lamp-post) of the TCS Usui MX-5 and its new RS Watanabe wheels in a bright silver finish which look the business!

One last walkaround; I could have stared at a lot of these motors for most of the day if we had time. There is so much detail some of these cars have, especially when it comes to bespoke custom modification. Not only that, its the style in which the cars are presented in – ‘how’ a car is built for Tsukuba-running transcends ‘what’ is built.

Forget the fancy, schmancy cookie-cutter parts that you see in abundance on those IG and YouTube “builds”. Enhancing a vehicle’s character and truly enjoying it is what I define as a manifestation of automotive enthusiasm.

Something you certainly do not see often is a 1-of-200 Tommykaira ZZ!

A very clean targa-top 300ZX was about to tear it up on TC2000, sat behind its younger 350Z/Z33 Nissan bloodline relative.

Mazda2 / Demio love in the carpark, with this beast of a Mini parked a couple of spaces away. Carbon roof + riveted fenders + gussetted cage + split rims + lampless front = one hardcore boi.

The FR version of Fiesta/Focus STs of Japan(?)…

Karl’s FD2 sat-nav displaying the famous course layout we all know and love.

If in Japan and in doubt of where to eat, save time and just run over to a 7-Eleven. And take the photo. Obligations.

After some good ol’ pieces of seasoned beef, smoked mackerel and a hard-boiled egg, we headed back down to Saitama where we would catch the train back to Tokyo. Karl pointed out these expansion joints most bridges in Japan have built into them for when earthquakes occur. This avoids cracking and fracturing of the structure – nifty.

Cannot believe I missed Tsukuba Circuit’s gift shop when I first visited for Idlers Games last year, so you know I had to grab a couple souvenirs. Very reasonably priced official merch, might I add, quality is pretty nice too.

Thats all I have for you from our first proper outing a couple weeks ago in Japan. I reckon I’ll throw up all the Osaka Auto Messe content next, so keep an eye out for all of that! Thanks for making it this far down!

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Est. 2019 | A Look Through the Rear View

Since it is the last of the “Tenties” – it’s in the Urban Dictionary, so I’ll go with it – I thought I may aswell throw a end of year, wrap-up article on the site. It’ll be more of a timeline in photographs and I found that it’s definitely a good exercise to sit back and take stock, looking back at what you’ve achieved throughout the year.

I started this site in January of this year, with no real agenda scripted out on paper/digitally. It was kind of a spur of the moment, brought about by boredom. I had all these cool and interesting cars that I photographed at various events and of course the trips to Japan, so I thought why not share my memories with those who may be like-minded enthusiasts.

Sit back, chill, and just scroll through the highlights of Soul Fokus 2019…

Bit of a change that I hadn’t really calculated for beforehand. It probably all started with the sale of my NB MX-5. After putting a decent amount of money into repairing the rust and a few modifications I left on such as the custom cat-back exhaust and Racing Beat ARBs, it was not the most logical decision in hindsight. The car was great, I loved driving it daily and though I don’t regret it, I do miss that Roadster experience. My main reason for getting rid of the car was the fact that by using it everyday, the miles were going to take their toll on the chassis, especially through UK winters, so it had to go.

Photographing friends’ cars is most likely where my interest in doing cool things with a DSLR started to come into play. So thanks to James and his Elise, and Eddy with his SciroccoR, I began to take cameras more seriously investing in my first lens, a 35mm f/1.8.

I will make more of an effort to expand my photography in the future. It probably won’t make its way to this site, but since I am planning on going full-time, it would help keep me on my toes and widen my skillset.

My newfound satisfaction has been found through the art of panning, or atleast attempting to track the motion of a car. Its not so bad getting the shot with a light, wieldy kit lens, but I then went and bought a Sigma 120-300mm lens which makes steadily aiming the camera a challenge. The results make it worth lugging about though, so there’s that.

If you’ve been keeping up, Luke and his Caterham have popped up alot in the blogposts. Getting out on trackdays and race events with him and helping out where I could has allowed me to get acquainted with shooting motorsport. An opportunity arose for me to follow Chris Williams whom I initially met at a Time Attack UK event at Cadwell. His EF Civic is undeniably the coolest hatchback competing, and it was equally cool meeting him this year.

Back in my birthday month (May), this Mclaren Senna I found at a local car meet shocked me instantly. I got all these photos and not a single one frames the whole car! I do remember a crowd creating a buzz around the thing though. It’s the details that matter though, and the Senna has plenty.

Spring time and the first half of Summer was definitely a boost-up in terms of experiences. Japan happened again and you can read all about my travels there in the dedicated series of posts I made.

You will spot some random photos I mish-mashed into the above collage. Highlights include Fueled Society at Harewood Hillclimb, my first trackday in the Mazda2 on Anglesey Circuit, as well as Seven’s Day with FDOCUK at Blyton Park.

Me and Luke made a kind of impromptu plan to go to Germany for a week before Summer ended, and it was a cool road-trip from the Nurburgring down to BMW-Land [Welt]. Mainland Europe is going to be somewhere I definitely want to explore for their unique car culture.

Opportunities weren’t gonna come knocking on their own, so I actively went out to shows and motorsport events on my own so that I could just practice covering them in their entirety. I ended up meeting the official head of media for Driftcup at the Donington Time Attack event where I was shooting Chris and his teal Civic. This random encounter gave me the chance to operate my camera from the heart of the circuit at the final round of Driftcup over at Driftland.

Around this time was when I met up with Josh and shot his R32, which was also an occurence that was completely by chance. You could say that this period in time was a turning point for me. I knew that this is what I wanted to do; tell stories through my work capturing the essence of automotive enthusiasm.

The latter end of this year tended to orientate upwards in terms of the experience I was garnering from just getting out there and doing, as opposed to thinking and evaluating and over-complicating unnecessarily. The most powerful lessons are those that come in the form of errors. Doing what you know you shouldn’t have done in such a way, or just looking back finding flaws in your work that are better left in the past. This has been a theme of 2019, but in a positive manner.

Luke’s year didn’t end great, writing-off his racing campaigning that Caterham 420R at Cadwell. All is good though now he got it fixed up, sold, and has purchased yet another one to do some crazy shit to.

That event was also the first time I saw the new A90 Supra, and yeah, my thoughts of that car on a whole are still somewhat unsettled. Moving on…

…Drift Matsuri weekend was a blast and a great way to close out the track-focused events of 2019 – or so I thought – until Chris Williams gave me a shout and invited me to tagalong at the finale of Time Attack UK. I am actually keen on what he is gonna pull out the bag for next year’s season.

So there we have it, 2019, thats what you looked like through the lenses of my Nikons. Hope those of you reading made it this far. Thanks for checking in, and be on the lookout for many more future posts I have lined up to publish!

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H A P P Y N E W Y E A R ! ! !

Cyco Racing Civic | Time Attack UK 2019

The end of last month was a heated weekend – both literally and figuratively – down on the ‘mac of Donington Park, Leicestershire. With the previous Time Attack UK round I attended being a bit damp, I was looking much more forward to this trip (as were my camera and lenses). Again, to reel visitors in, the against-the-clock race event was running parallel with ‘Tunerfest Midlands’ which was a variety car show with a drift demo stage set up in overspill car park. I did get a few photos of the static display, but I want to fokus on motors that move, in this article in particular.

Case in point: enter Chris Williams and his ED7 Civic. He kindly allowed me to point the lens at his weapon of choice for the day, and for that I am highly thankful, because this duo is one a kind.

Chris got hold of this Civic back in September of 2003, so he should be in the vicinity of their anniversary at present moment. When it caught my eye at the Cadwell round earlier this year, I was slightly surprised how it made very little noise when it glided past in comparison to both the competitors, and your typical 1980s-90s VTEC Honda. No B-series buzz. No nat-asp rasp. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t disappoint, it just struck me with its unusual aura.

If you know Chris and his Civic, you know what’s coming. If not, let me put your quandary to rest. Long gone is the car’s original D-series running gear; this seriously fast, under-the-radar Civic build is animated by the famed K20 engine, stolen (not literally) from an Acura RSX Type S. Because Chris is a native Canadian, what us Brits know as the Integra is regarded as the “premium” version of the FF coupe that was sold as the RSX over in the States. Whilst the Land of the Rising Sun exclusively was treated to the DC5 Type R, US and Canadian markets got a decent compromise with the ‘Type-S’ model, equipped with a K20 rated to 200-210bhp depending on the trim level. Specifically, a home-built (the man assembled the powerplant together in front of his telly in his living room during the cold winter months) K20A2 rests under Chris’ bonnet, which is not riding solo, since its paired up with a pretty beefily-sized Rotrex C38-91 centrifugal-type supercharger. The results are astonishing on paper: circa 400bhp on demand via the [not so]loud pedal. Forced induction is always the go-to for more power, especially when its relatively more efficient and safer than going all-motor, to get high numbers on the dyno. The ponies are released through a 6-speed transmission, with a K20A3 4.7 final-drive, and sent to the Pirelli semi-slicks thanks to a limited-slip diff borrowed from a B-series Type-R.

Key items on the car consist of the following: Yellowspeed 2-way adjustable coilovers with external reservoirs, custom front splitter made from good-ol’ plywood, boot-mounted adjustable rear GT-wing, full-welded in rollcage courtesy of JBDR Fabrication, half-size radiator with custom ducting, a decent dose of gold heat-reflective tape, and a bespoke stainless 3″ exhaust system. The sum of all these parts make for a highly capable sub-900kg teal time-attack tool.

Ending the day on an excellent vibe, Chris put down a speedy lap of 1:17:498 in the timed final session, only to be bested by 0.117 seconds on the 1.979-mile National layout of the circuit. On the day, however, Chris managed to put down a solid 1:16.879 when the climate was sub-30 degrees. Goes to show how you are contending not only with your mind and the machine, but the earthly elements can throw everything at both cars and drivers, making this category of motorsport an intense one.

Did I mention that this was the very first time Chris has put rubber to road at Donington? Along with all the other circuits in this season’s rounds!

I am sure Chris is always striving to develop his own skill behind the wheel, exploiting the modern advancement in home-entertainment technology by spending hours going around virtual circuits on a VR simulator, and then applying incremental enhancements to his machine without upsetting any of the chassis’ balance.

Until next time, thanks for coming by…

Japanaholik’s Journal | Idler’s Games 2019 @ Tsukuba Circuit

Boy oh boy, we’re finally here. This is the coverage I have been the most hyped about sharing with you. My trip to Japan this time round happened to land right around the time the Idler’s Games event at the Tsukuba Circuit was to be held.

I reckon it was on the Speedhunters website where I first came across this race series and – gonna sound like a broken record – it looked like Gran Turismo brought to life. The most iconic short circuit of Japan, and every flavour of motor you can imagine. I could not pass up the opportunity to go and witness this for real.

I did not do much research on the event prior to making it there. I kinda wanted to just get a full, immersive experience and work it out as I went. Thing is, its been nearly 8 weeks since, so all I can remember was watching some very good-looking cars being properly used. The format was ‘Sprint’ so all the cars in a class/category are let loose in unison, and the fastest lap recorded in that session gets the top step on the podium.

From what I can gather, thanks to the internet, Idlers Club spawned thanks to a guy called Atsushi Seike, who works as editor of both a popular Porsche magazine in Japan (The 911&Porsche Magazine) and the Idlers magazine. I get the feeling he is very much into the classic European sportcar genre, but the diversity of cars that attended made it a dynamic, grassroots motorsport event. Various Idlers Games are held at Fuji Speedway as well as Tsukuba, along with an annual 12 hour endurance race over on Motegi’s Twin Ring.

We got there around mid-morning, and from the sounds of multiple rev-limiters being utilised, and from the smell of scorching rubber, it was easy to work out I had come just in time for a drift demo. Parked up right at the end of car-park, so not only did we have to pace past the underbelly of the grandstand where you could peep through the fence and see more smoke than car, it meant also that I got way too distracted by some of the machines sat in the car park (some of which you saw above).

I could not believe I was there. After watching an unhealthy amount of ‘Best Motoring’ videos on YouTube, and driving countless laps around the track on Gran Turismo & Forza Motorsport (mostly the former, because there’s only one King of Driving Simulators, and that ‘s the “real” one), I was finally IN the place IN Japan, not on my sofa in Bradford.

This circuit really does play a subtantial role in benchmarking cars’ performance. It’s short and flat enough to not put unnecesscary strain on a vehicle but it is also technical enough to put both man and machine to the test; hence it is the home to many Time Attack events in Japan.

For a car to be fast around Tsukuba, it has to have ultimate balance, not maximum-power or ultra-lightweightedness, and that is in essence what has always charmed me when it comes to the Japanese tuning philosophy and car-enthusiast culture.

Whilst tyres and clutches were being abused out on track, this bunch of Fairlady Zs were ready and waiting to storm the course. The ‘Super Z’ class consisted entirely of modern Fairlady Nissans, i.e. the 350Z & the 370Z. That is in no way a bad thing, because the sound these machines make is like no other production car, and they revved to the limitless sky.

I wish I spent more time going over this FB RX-7. It did look good out there though, even if a little battered and bruised.

This Honda S800 was a cool looking thing, its weird how dimensionally it appears so similar to the Lotus 7/Caterham chassis.

The last thing you expect to see at a sprint event is some muscle from the USofA. This Camaro took me by surprise and it was borderline comedy to watch it chase/be chased by Minis and 600cc kei-cars! Despite its heft it came out with a mid-pack position, but got outdone by an S30Z/240Z, that FB RX-7 you saw, and a couple of VW Beetles. I unfortunately did not snap any photos of the interior of the Chevy, but it was covered in red leather and custom dash, and looked totally out of place at a Tsukuba track event!

I would have been severely disappointed if I left the event without seeing an FD RX-7. Luckily, I found three in attendance, all running in the same GT class, which excited both the eyes and the ears. But, oddly enough, the loudest of the rotary-screamers was a little roadster…

When I spotted this, I did not even know what was under its vented, carbon-fibre bonnet. The Garage Vary Type-N aerokit, the swan-neck GT wing doubled up with an OEM bootlip spoiler, and those gunmetal Advan RZ wheels; I was just too overwhelmed.

When I had an NB, I remember seeing the Tomei Power white democar online, and that was what was the catalyst for me to go ahead with buying one. My car never got anywhere near that stage, but it was a big inspiration, nonetheless. This car echoes a bit of that Tomei car, but with much more aggression and function. When it was go-time, I was mesmerized by the noise, and was repeatedly confused everytime it went past. It sounded Wankel, and went like a rocket flying past GTRs both new and old. I ran back to the paddock area once their race was over, and seeing that 13B in the engine bay just made my day. The MX-5 came out 3rd overall, only to be beaten by an R35 and an R32 GTR, with a mere 0.8 seconds in deficit.

I think Idlers Games has garnered most of its attention thanks to the RWB empire. To not only make old Porsche 911s cool and relevant, but then to go out and drive the hell out of them is impressive. It is very rare that you see classic sports/supercars being taken to the maximum potential, especially those of the Euro type. The main event for all RWB crew members is the 12 hour endurance battle, so this stint at Tsukuba was probably just a little practice for them.

Nakai-san who is basically the mastermind behind the “movement”, was of course out their ripping his iconic 993 named Rotana. The machine has so much character I don’t know where to start. It looks so raw, but its flat purple paintjob softens the edge, and makes it look elegant. Still, Nakai-san put down a 58.725 second fast-lap, so neither car or driver is a slowpoke.

There were of course other Porsches and a Ferrari competing, but I know zilch about them, they just look amazing.

Here were some contenders that caught my eye whilst wandering the infield.