As I continue my coverage of the Motorsport Japan Festival 2008, I wanted to first illustrate just how crowded this event was. Look at this photo of the Nismo Xanavi GT-R in the Nissan booth, the car is completely surrounded by people! While trying to photograph the car displays at the event, I quickly found that the only way to get unobstructed shots was to use my ultra wide angle lens while getting as close to the cars as possible. Taking photos was kind of tough, but then again it was nice to see this level of enthusiasm for race cars. The people in Japan are crazy about motorsports!
Besides bringing their new high tech race cars to the event, Nissan also pulled a number of historic machines out of their collection. Here we have a glimpse of the classic lines of the KPGC10 Skyline GT-R with the familiar Calsonic livery of the Group A R32 GT-R visible in the background. It was nice to see these cars at the MSJ event, but I am even more excited about seeing them in action later this fall at Fuji Speedway during the Nismo Festival.
Mitsubishi brought out their Evolution X rally car that runs in the group N class of the PWRC. The funny thing is that the driver of this car Shinsuke Arai also works full time at a Mitsubishi dealer in Gunma-ken! Talk about dedication to the brand. I love the way the already aggressive front end of the Evo X looks with the addition of the quad rally foglights on the hood.
In a nod to their rally history, Mitsubishi also brought out their Lancer EX rally car from the early 1980’s. To find the roots of the Lancer Evolution series, just take a look at Mitsubishi’s years of experience rallying cars like this one. This particular car ran in the Rally of a Thousand Lakes event in Finland.
The “pace car” for the all of the demo runs was the R35 GT-R that is used as the safety car in the Super GT series. I think the GT-R looks pretty cool with the roof-mounted yellow light bars.
Several Super GT cars on display including the GT300 class ORC RE Amemiya RX7 and ARTA Garaiya. A number of Super GT drivers were on hand doing “talk shows” and signing autographs for fans. While looking at these cars with the Tokyo skyline in the background, I was thinking about how cool it would be if there was a Super GT race held on the streets of Tokyo in the same fashion as the Long Beach or Monaco GP’s…
Subaru’s 2008 PWRC Impreza performing one of its demo runs. There is just something great about seeing AWD vehicles smoking all four of their tires!
Here we see the WRC-spec Impreza driven by Peter Solberg. Too bad this one wasn’t doing demo runs! This and other WRC cars were at the MSJ event to promote the upcoming Rally Japan which will be held in Sapporo. I have still not gotten used to the hatchback looks of the redesigned Impreza, but in WRC-spec I think the new Imp looks fantastic. I especially like the way the rear wing looks on these cars.
Another Impreza on display at the show was the car that ran in the Nurburgring 24 hour race this summer. This car has certainly come a long way after I saw it undergoing shakedown runs at the Tsukuba Hyper Meeting this spring. In the background you can see the BMW WTCC car which I mentioned in the previous post.
The super rad Ohlins Evo X Super Taikyu machine was there as well, and here we see the car being prepped for its demonstration run. I think that ST is a pretty underrated racing series and I’m pumped to check out the event next month at Twin Ring Motegi. Evo X, Z33, M3, NSX, etc. all going head-to-head, how cool is that? You can also see one of the Super Taikyu Z33’s in the background of this shot.
And to wrap things up, another shot of the Woodone Clarion R35 giving the crowd a smoke show during its turn on the course. Look at all the cameras that people are holding!
Well, that’s it for my MSJ coverage. If you missed anything make sure to check out the first post.