This year Tsukuba has been quite the busy little track. We've so far been there for the Rauh Welt meeting, the Omega Oil soukoukai and now we are back at everyone's favorite Japanese track for the Battle Evome time attack session. The BE-Circuit guys usually hold six rounds from December to February, the coldest months in the Kanto region. This is the best time to shoot for lap records as the dry winter usually yields optimal track and air temps, just what you need for high grip and max horsepower.
We all know the kind of cars that usually participate at this event, cars that are just as extreme as full-on tuner demo cars. With the slowest one out of all the rounds posting a 1'05' lap, you know drivers and cars entering this series mean serious business. Above you can see the notorious Suzuki-san, a.k.a. "Under Suzuki" due to his understeer-plagued early days, checking over the engine of his Scorch S15. He has spent a great deal of time preparing the car for this final round, ready to try get that coveted 54-sec lap.
Horikoshi-san was of course there too, ready to push his Exceed Moat S14 to the limit.
However the day didn't start off too well. The freezing temperatures of the previous night gave way to a very cold and frozen morning, the sun barely providing enough heat to melt the ice out on parts of the track.
Most people were on the paddock at the crack of dawn, unloading cars and beginning to set up for the two short hours they would have on track.
The organizers scheduled the event one our later than the usual 8 am to 10 am slot, a good thing as that extra hour would be necessary to dry up the track.
On the other side of the paddock a second group of cars began to gather, there for the M-One soukoukai that would begin after the BE-circuit trial. It was great seeing so many Honda's present!
I noticed an evident lack of rotaries at the Omega Oil event earlier this month, but things were quite different this time round. This Super Now FC3S look like it weighs quite a lot less than 1000 kg, striped down to bare metal where possible with most of the body made out of FRP or carbon.
The heavily ported 13B powering it was mated to a rather large HKS T51R blower which sounded like a vacuum cleaner on steroids while being gently revved and warmed up in the pits. I'm not sure what is more impressive, the size of the Top Fuel intercooler core or the diameter of the piping! Despite very evident traction problems coming out of the tighter corners, "Mr. Lexus" at the wheel recorded a very respectable 57"647 lap.
Possibly the coolest color ever to be used on an FD? It's hard to get the effect to show in the pictures but this dark brown paint job had wild metallic bronze reflections depending on how the sun hit it. Bronze CE28Ns for total perfection.
This is Dr. Wada's Garage Kagotani built FD, in it's current "Ultimate" spec. Not too happy about the conditions the Doctor only took out his FD for five laps, probably not impressed with the cold and slippery track conditions. The car looked and sounded great out on track as he machine-gunned through the 6-speed Quaife sequential.
The very orange T-One's 0,1t FD was yet another sub-minute RX-7, with a best time of 59"151
People kept arriving with some very nice rides, some to participate, others just there to observe the action
Garage Work showed just how fast you can really go when you focus on lightening a car. Their little EG6 lapped Tsukuba in 1'00"826 making it quite a lot faster than half of the cars present on the day. I'm pretty sure the driver wasn't even braking for most corners!
Bayside Blue BNR34 love!
Out of 30 entrants 10 cars managed sub-1-minute lap times, which is simply incredible when you think that these are all amateurs. This Aqua tuned GDB did rather well with a 59'285
Yet another crazy looking Silvia, the "Pretty teru teru" S15.
I decided to walk over to the other side of the paddok as in a very short time it had completely filled up with a wide variety of participants of the M-One track session.
Honda's with clear taillights and spoilers may be instantly classified as rice but this pair of Civics had pretty built motors.
Sacrificing a headlight for optimal intake temperatures is always a sign of the upmost dedication.
This Silvia stood out like a sore thumb, not so much because of the color but the fact that it's an S13 set up for grip!
The AE111 Trueno doesn't quite have the same presence as an AE86 but these FF cars are still pretty fast when properly modified.
This RSR replica was prepared by Euro-R. The stacked RWB-type GT-wing is a very common sight on track-going Porsches in Japan. I can already hear the purists cringing.
Next up from the Battle Evome session is a look at some on track-action so make sure you don't miss Part 2!
-Dino Dalle Carbonare