Event>> G-works Drag In Sendai – Practice Day

And here I was thinking that drag racing in Japan was well and truly dead! Like most scenes that lose popularity, you can always bet that there will continue to be a small group of people that stick to what they know and enjoy doing, something I found out this past weekend when I headed to Sendai Hi-Land for the G-Works Magazine organized drag event. Back in the decade that spanned from the mid-eighties to the mid-nineties, it was all about high power, drag racing and 0-300 km/h trials. With most tuners eventually moving towards time attack and drifting, interest in zeroyon, how drag racing is referred to in Japan (0-4, meaning 0-400 m), faded into the background.

Back when I first arrived in Japan in the early nineties I remember magazines like Option and Car Boy featured tons of drag cars and covered lots of events at Sendai, pretty much the only official drag strip in Japan. I used to go to a stretch of unfinished road close to the coast to check out illegal night drags, my first real exposure in the art of acceleration. For a car-obsessed kid in his teens seeing R32 GT-Rs shoot down a dark strip of road at night, with all four wheels spinning under extreme power, was pretty much what cemented my love of Japanese car culture. Fast forward 17 years and finally I got to witness some more crazy Japanese drag action…

…this time with a little more emphasis towards vintage cars!

This is because the event was set-up by one of the best magazines on sale in Japan, G-Works, a publication that was reinvented about two years ago when the publishers of Option bought the rights to the old and then defunct Auto Works. The content is pure old-school, with a few exceptions here and there, totally geared towards power and performance.

A lot of owners of cars from the seventies and eighties are still very much into zeroyon and I'm so glad this event came around just as we launched our Drag-themed month here at Speedhunters!

Excited to finally cover something that didn't involve grip or drift, (no offense to anyone, but we all need a bit of fresh air once in a while!), I left Tokyo on Saturday morning a little before 6 to tackle the 250 miles to Sendai. I feared for the worst and imagined arriving in mid-afternoon, as the Japanese highway system is not where you want to be on a weekend! But I was pleasantly surprised as an almost complete lack of traffic allowed me to arrive at around 11 am, just in time to check out the practice session. 

With 60 cars scheduled to compete, I wanted to get some practice in, as shooting drag racing has so far been something I've never really done before. The legal kind at least!

Seeing cars like this little Datsun 510, fitted with drag radials and pulling crazy burnouts…

…before lining up for a run down the strip was very amusing to say the least.

Running older cars means that a lot of the time oil or radiator fluid drips on the track. The marshals were always on hand with a can of "parts cleaner" (a spray degreaser) and a dirty towel to wipe clean the layer of rubber on the track.

Got to wet the surface where the burnouts are done to make it easier to break traction! The person in the picture above wearing the Blitz overalls is quite an internet sensation, not that he knows it. This is Suzuki-san, the owner, builder and driver of the Scorch S15 time attack car I featured earlier in the year. No this is not his part time job…

…he was there with his friends from Scorch Racing and Blitz to put this monster through its paces!!

This car was originally shown at the Tokyo Auto Salon in 2008 but only now have the preliminary tests started.

Not a lot of people are building dedicated pro drag cars in Japan so this is indeed a very special car. You can expect to see a feature on it in the next few weeks.

Under the hood, believe it or not, is a fully stock 2JZ. Only the camshafts have been changed. Best time on the day was a 9-flat, but there are still many issues with the launch that need to be addressed.  

A lot of owners came up early to get their cars ready and set up for the Sunday. This A20 Celica stayed most of the day in the pits, the owner trying to find a good setting for the Solex carbs.

Don't mistake this purple C210 Skyline 2000 GT for a bosozoku car, everything on the day was purely performance oriented which you can probably gather from the carbon doors!

Something not so Japanese stopped by for a look, a VW 1500 Notchback running a very authentic drag stance.

S30s seemed to be by far the most popular platform on which to build mighty fast drag machines. I've never heard such extremely tuned L-series motors. The sound was unbelievable!

Little wheel-spin on take off.

This is only a little taste of what I have lined up for you from the G-Works drag meet…

…so make sure you come back soon to get a full-on glimpse at a scene that not so many people outside Japan get to see, which will include cars so impossibly cool, you just wouldn't believe!

-Dino Dalle Carbonare



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Man I never liked the drag scene popularised by racers in the USA, probably because the top fuel dragsters really look out of place.

I guess this is something that redeems drag racing a little, for me and the others who dislike drag racing.


that 2JZ does not look even remotely close to stock in that pic


Looks like a great time. that is a funny sight indeed to see that tiny

datsun on the track. It looks so small!


Love for the European compact drag racing would be nice. Some people you might want to search

Krister Adeen Volvo

Pär Eriksson Volvo

Mika Eloranta Celica

Risto Virtala E36 s14 Turbo worlds quikest BMW

And the new 3 series from V.S Motorsport whit the v10 m5 engine TT methanol 1800hp


Great that your showing this. Lots of people think of drag racing as the top fuel and dragsters but the BEST stuff is in taking cars like these and making them fast to go down the 1320.


Im thinking a burnout wallpaper pack is in order hahaha


Hmm, the pictures won't load for me. Anyone else got problems with it?


That doesn't look like a fully stock 2JZ to me.


Good work Dino. Ive been meaning to get out to Sendai for the drags for ages and this is the perfect tonic.

The shot of the orange S30 dropping 11's is a keeper. Desktop for sure.


old layout was much better...




The only reason i watch Drag Race is to see and hear the cars, that are always monsters. But i have a special passion for it, when they call it zeroyon! These pics say clearly why.

Thanks again Dino


@MR2_FTW maybe he was reffering to internals, since he says that only the camshafts were changed. Here in Portugal there's a lot of drag events and most tuners stick to that kind of preparation. Here you can see the channel of one of the most famous tuners: http://www.youtube.com/user/cedoisracing



The 4th photo of the orange S30 needs to be on my desktop. Great coverage Dino, I'm liking the fresh content as well. Drifting's cool and all but it gets repetitive.


wow a 9 sec supra with a stock block? what the hell do they have done to that thing!


desktop of 4th pic would be sick


Awsome burnouts =)


This is what drag racing is about, real cars, not engines on wheels.


PLeeeeeaaaase make a desktop of the 4th picture , pleeeaaase!!!!


Thanks Dino!


The engine bay doesn't look stock but he means the actual engine (internals) are stock besides camshaft. I agree with Tan Yee Hou.. not too much a fan into drag but with cars like this on the strip.. its awesome! I love how many s30s look so beefy! huge inspiration.


@MR2_FTW.... Um really?

Its pretty obvious that he means stock as in bottom end, internals etc (minus cams)

Thats pretty badass, im impressed but i wouldnt expect anything less from Blitz...

Stock block running 9s!


desktop of the orange 240 doing a burnout, please!

i don't often find pictures of burnouts engaging, but that one made me stare.


Awesome, all of those S30s look amazing.


@mr2: Im sure he means a stock bottom end with no porting on the head, not . . . blah

I really want to know if the 510 in the last pic was AWD or not, looks like slicks on the front!



He probably means stock internals.


would have nice to see some on "track shots" of the A20 Celica, it's a shame it stayed in the pits.. thosed damned carbs!! also nice to see the Dub contigent represented too.. nice pics bro..


Yes the motor is stock (cams aside), obviously the rest of the ancillaries around it aren't. They just want to see how far they can push a stock bottom end/head.


beautiful. Defiantly need a wallpaper on number 4 (the orange s30 doing a burnout) also he meant that 2jz had stock internals anyone can see it has been modified.


Hey, you made it out there. That orange S30 was tuned by Garage Arizono, I think, or could be a different one. If it is, has about 370ps or power.


is it me or the new web page layout lags and sucks @ss


PLEASE desktop 4th picture!


It's a pity that drag racing is not popular anymore in J. They are way behind the 8 ball now, lucky for them they still have Time Attack!


The "C210 Skyline 2000 GT " is actually a C110.


After the Saturday practice day at Sendai Hi-land I was up early the next day ready to see even more


agree with iain..desktop fourth pic!


Bet most of you never thought you would see an AE86 lining up at the strip! This is precisely what made