Talk about a well-timed surprise! While the D1 guys were busy with the qualifying session for Sunday's exhibition round I made my way over to the Fuji Speedway main straight to check out a little drag meeting organized by HKS. Seeing our current drag theme, this really couldn't have worked out better. So in a matter of minutes I had gone from inhaling tire smoke to savoring a more complex mixture of clutch, tire and HKS drag fuel fumes as privateers lined up at the make-shift start line half way across the long straight.
Just like a few weeks back in Sendai vintage rides were very much a big presence at this event…
…but there was also an equally tantalizing selection of more modern machinery…
…lining up ready to get their chance at a decent run. You won't be seeing any lurid burnouts here however, as it was obvious that due to the location of the actual start line, Fuji Speedway officials had banned people from warming up their tires, not wanting to damage the surface. This meant that the day took a more relaxed feel with owners not taking the whole thing too seriously.
Not often you see these old Skyline in red.
Spotless Skyline Japan on Work Equip 03s.
A perfectly exhibited stance from this 910 Bluebird SSS.
As I entered Fuji Speedway that morning I had this very eye-catching yellow R30 Skyline following me, and from the sound of the engine I knew it was going to put on a good show later on in the day.
More Skyline perfection. The color looks like the BNR34 M-spec's Silica Breath.
The little group of R35 tuners were the first off the line. None used the launch control, preferring to let the big new-gen GT-R roll out from idle. Here is the HKS Kansai Service demo showing off its Seibon carbon products.
More effortless AWD acceleration.
The 910 in action!
It's a real pity burnouts weren't allowed, as it would have sure added to the whole spectacle!
One thing I noticed at the drag events I've been so far is how rich most of the cars are run. Seems a lot of tuners and owners like to stay on the safe side of the spectrum instead of risking engine damage in exchange for a bit more power. Sure makes things a bit, ehm, smoky!
This S13, along with the Top Fuel Supra we saw in the opening shot, was one of the few dedicated drag-cars that showed up.
Most were tuned street cars…
…as well as the odd minivan! This is the new Nissan Elgrand Imai-san at Bee-R has just picked up. The van is stock for now but I'm sure some sort of forced feeding is on the cards. The move to front wheel drive for the new Elgrand, known as the "King of Minivans" in Japan, kind of hampered acceleration off the line with evident wheel spin. More on this interesting van next month!
S30s are some of the most popular drag cars in Japan as we saw up in Sendai at the G-Works drag event. There were quite a few at the HKS drag meet too.
Quite a different perspective from Fuji!
With a monster 2JZ under the hood this JZS161 Aristo shot off the line pretty violently!
The V36 Skyline guys out for a play.
The Top Fuel Supra is potentially a 9-second car, but with the slippery surface at Fuji, it had trouble unleashing all its power.
With these "run what you bring" events you really do get a vast turn out of cars…
…but it was really the vans that made me smile me the most. This previous-gen Nissan Elgrand shot off the line pretty fast for a 2.5 ton behemoth, running a supercharger to help the VQ30DE along, proving that the day was geared more towards fun than actual times!
-Dino Dalle Carbonare