We cover a lot of grassroots drift events here on Speedhuntres.com but what about those that prefer to grip around a track? Well don't worry because a couple of weeks ago I attended a BE-Circuit event at Tsukuba Circuit where I got to see, after quite a long time, some proper time attack action. There is nothing amateur about the cars and drivers that participate at this event. Sure most of them are simple owners out to have some fun, but their competitive nature has pushed them to create some stunning machinery, and hone their skills to match those of more professional drivers in Japan. Let's take a look at some of the cars that were present at the bitterly cold, yet sunny, track-day event.
Starting with the little GA2 Honda City in the opening feature these events attract some of the broadest selection of cars, even a Lexus IS-F, the first I have seen blast around at a soukoukai event!
On top of the more high-profile BE-Circuit guys there are other tuning shop organized groups waiting to get some track action, and as you can see the paddock was pretty much full at Tsukuba on that cold Sunday morning.
This 420 HP FD3S managed to lap in 1-minute flat, not a bad accomplishment for a street-registered car.
Spotted the Kyushu-danji NSX getting ready in the paddock.
This stripped out monster runs a 3.3L stroked motor and a 6-throttle conversion. Sounds pretty impressive when blasting down the back-straight. Best time for this car was a 1'03"999.
I find these older "Lanevos" so much more appealing than the newer cars. This is a Evo 6 Tommi Makkinen Edition, a sought after car indeed.
A Toyota Corolla Allex running semi-slick rubber at a track event! This is hatchback is more suited to doing the grocery run, not tackle the winding corners of Tsukuba! Obviously not everyone shares my opinion.
There is always a hachiroku or two to be found and this Levin was looking very clean and very period correct.
This Exceed Moat Silvia is one of two orange S14 time attack beasts, run by the Horikoshi brothers….
…both lapping in the 57s, within half a second of each other.
The top time attack cars from the BE-Circuit portion of the day had a race, using their best times to place them on the starting grid. These guys drive pretty hard to say the least!
Sub minute FD3S (59"842) from TFR & Mukojima Racing. Its side ported 13B develops 540 HP.
Looking at the best time this Garage Brio S13 recorded on the day, a 1'01"153, might nor make it as impressive as the others but the driver decided to hit the track running Bridgestone Potenza RE11 street tires as opposed to the S-tires most were using. Amazing result from this 400 HP Silvia.
I've seen the Arios Okuyama RX-7 out at Tsukuba a few times already and I'm always surprised at the lap times it puts down. This car shows power isn't everything, with it's close to stock engine developing around 370 HP allowing it to lap in 58"818! As you can imagine it is very light!
We have seen the Exceed Moat S14s before here on Speedhunters but they never fail to amaze me at how cool and purposeful they look. I love the half chopped rear bumper and massive wings.
The fastest of them all, the Scorch Racing S15, a car that has seen lap times in the mid 55-second range. Best time it achieved on this particular outing was 56"394, but the track temperatures were pretty cold. It also took first place in the race.
What isn't required to for speed isn't there, like all of the interior trim. The rear wing is outrageous!
My favorite car of the day. Spotted this FC from across the paddock and was impressed at just how perfect it looked. This is how an FC should look like.
This little Honda Beat looked so cute among bigger and more modern cars! Not sure that the deal with the tall rear view mirror was.
It's so cool see such a mix of cars, there really is everything at these type of events…
…and this was another that caught my attention. I'm a sucker for white S30s with black 240ZG fenders.
Wheels were spot on too! This is JDM car culture at its best.
As the BE-Circuit group wrapped up their session in the morning it was then up to all these guys to go out…
…and let their cars rip around the circuit.
You really do see the oddest cars at these events! Yes that is a 4-door K12 March.
There is more to come in part two as I take a more detailed look through the paddock. Stay tuned for more JDM goodness!
-Dino Dalle Carbonare