For the final post on the Toyota Motorsports Festival I want to concentrate on race cars, which is precisely why I chose to open with this shot of the Zent Cerumo SC430, as it tackles the infield hairpin at Fuji, the corner we are more used to seeing D1 cars flying by sideways on.
Before the day closed with the final run of the Toyota F1 cars there was still plenty to see on track and in the pits…
…with all sorts of cars going out for demo runs like this tiny Gazoo iQ. I couldn’t get over just how cool this little city car can look with a bit of aesthetic tuning, all it needs is a set of nice wheels and a suspension drop!
The production version of the LFA attracted a lot of attention as, aside from the Tokyo Motor Show, this was the first time the car has been shown to the public in Japan. I think the LFA needs an in-detail car feature here on Speedhunters. All we have to do is try to get our hands on one! How about it Toyota? Pretty please..
If there is one thing I love about these events it’s getting up close and personal with GT cars. I’m a great fan of any production-car-based race series and the Super GT is one of the best out there. It’s a real pity it doesn’t get more international exposure, I used to cover it quite regularly a few years back but interest has pretty died off completely.
Check out the double wishbone front suspension on this SC, and those massive AP Racing monobloc calipers.
330-section front and rear tires!
A lot of drivers that compete in Super GT also drive in the Formula Nippon single-seater series…
…like Andre Lotterer who runs the same number-36 on his Tom’s Petronas SC430 and Formula Nippon car. Andre is the 2009 Super GT Champion along with his teammate Jyuichi Wakisaka and he ended up in third position in Formula Nippon championship. Not a bad year for Andre, congrats!
I really like the simplicity of the Zent Cerumo SC livery…
…it looks so cool in action out on the track!
Toyota has 5 cars in the GT500 class, more than any other manufacturer…
…so there was tons of photo opportunities in the pits!
But let’s not forget the GT300 class, an equally competitive an extreme form of GT-racing which is, as the number suggests, restricted to 300 HP.
This year Manabu Orido managed to with the 2009 Championship behind the wheel of his Weds Sport IS350.
This GT IS is quite the monster and shares very little with its road-going counterpart. The GSE21 V6 that powers the car is actually positioned centrally where the rear seats would be, and is a stressed member of the rear tubular chassis, as is the X-trac 6-speed sequential transmission it’s connected to.
Check out those rear fenders, love the look of this thing!
And if you are wondering what is up front in what used to be the engine bay, well part of the front tubular chassis as well as the complex looking pushrod/double wishbone suspension. If you look closely you can also spot the adjustable stabilizers. This picture is of the other Lexus IS350 of team Shift.
Andre out with his Petronas SC430.
As the day came to an end I made my way back to the pits after walking almost all the way around the circuit, and spotted one of the ISFs that had been doing passenger rides throughout the afternoon. Never really been a real fan of the stacked tail pipes of the ISF, especially as they are fake, you can actually see the single pipe hiding behind them if you kneel down and look into them.
As Jarno Trulli and Kamui Kobayashi ended their simulated 5-lap sprint…
…they ended the F1 car’s final run with a few minutes of hooliganism in the form of donuts, with the V8’s bouncing off the limiter in first gear. Quite the sight!
So that’s about it from the 2009 Toyota Motorsport Festival, but not from Fuji. Next weekend will be Nismo’s turn with the Nismo Festival which, as we all know, attracts just as many people as the Toyota event and probably has twice as many cars to feast out eyes on. So stay tuned for more celebrations from Fuji!
-Dino Dalle Carbonare