Tsukuba may well be where the whole Time Attack thing originated from but it made for such a refreshing change seeing some of Japan's fastest tuner cars blasting around Fuji on Sunday at the HKS Premium Day. The long straight and the faster corners throw in a whole new challenge for competing teams with factors like aerodynamics coming in to play more. A lot of cars run longer final drives to gain extra top speed and resort to new suspension settings to tackle the challenging F1 track. The Autech Tsukada BNR34 was the fastest car of the day…
…managing to get a 1 minute 43 second lap, with Mitsuhiro Kinoshita behind the wheel.
This is one of the most purposefully built R34s around, boasting a close to 700 HP engine, Hollinger sequential and a stripped out lightened chassis with tons of paper-thin dry-carbon body parts. Oh yes and a rather large rear wing!
Spotted this Midnight Purple R34 in the Auto Select pits, a customer car that was participating in the timed HKS Hyper Challenge track day. Loved the contrast the carbon had against the chameleon paint.
Like most RWD cars the D2 Motorworks RPS13 was getting a bit of sideways action through the tighter sections…
…but the massive rear wing kept it stuck to the ground around the faster corners.
The Edge ECR33 built by Cockpit Tatebayashi has been around for well over 10 years so it was quite a surprise seeing it out at Fuji. Since the last time I saw it gained a fully rebuilt engine running a large single turbine.
Back on the Auto Select pit, the rare Midnight Purple BN34 was joined by an even rarer R33…
…this limited edition 4-door Autech GT-R. Check out the R34 rear spoiler!
Like I mentioned in the preview post the Auto Select "Yellow Shark" BNR34 ended up retiring due to engine problems.
As I was taking pictures they were trying to crank the engine into life but it just made all sorts of nasty noises.
A real pity as it would have been one of the fastest GT-Rs of the day…
…along with the ATTKD R34 and the Auto Gallery Yokohama R32 above. GT-Rs rule at Fuji!
The Varis Evo X was the fastest Evo X at Tsukuba back in December at the Super Lap Battle, but it only went out for a few set-up laps at Fuji.
Still, it looked so mean with all those glossy carbon parts!
The engine is so clean, built by drag-specialist G-Force in Yokohama.
Rotary-fans were happy to see the Panspeed RX7 out after its unlucky problems at Tsukuba in December. It was less than a second behind the ATTKD R34.
Another demo car I hadn't seen in a while was the Pro Shop Fukuo FD3S, looking very original…
…thanks to the RE Amemiya AC987 rear conversion.
The Arena guys also brought this modified Mini Cooper S to try out on track, notice the massive Brembo brake conversion.
And to satisfy those requesting more pictures of the Arena LS, here you are! Area obviously understands the importance of brakes and this car was running massive Brembo 6-pot monobloc calipers at the front and 4-pots at the rear.
BBS wheels are a good choice for this big luxury sedan.
This is the rubber ATTKD was running, Hankook Ventus TD semi-slicks, the soft compound variety for best grip.
The Revyou GDB out in action. The team was happy to get under the 2-minute barrier.
Quite like the wide kit but would look so much better if blended into the body work!
The T-get BNR34 driven by Tarzan Yamada. This thing was screaming all the way down the straight, gotta love external wastegates!
The Original Runduce cars out in the paddock!
The guys at Car Station Marché were having major bump-steer issues with their GRB which was bunny hopping all over the place as it tackled the in-field hairpin that is used for D1. Still, looked pretty damn fast though.
Next up will be a walk through the paddock to check out all the other impressive cars that were on display.
-Dino Dalle Carbonare