Glad to see that you guys appreciated the look at the parking lots at Fuji but the truth is I could only spend a very limited amount of time there as the action on track never really stopped. The reason I've delayed this post until today is that I was waiting for HKS to release the times of the Option Fuji Speedmax time attack session…
…so that I can begin to talk about some of the unbelievable lap times that were posted by the demo cars that participated. Nob, behind the wheel of GTR GT800R managed a 1'45"643 lap making this R35 the fastest around with the Garage Yawata coming in second place with a 1'46"450.
The HKS demo car run wasn't really a timed event, more a showcase of the kind of cars they are currently working on. After two years of development HKS have come up with a wet clutch kit for the SST dual-clutch equipped version of the Evo X that can handle significantly more power and torque. It will be great to see more dual-clutch CZ4As get more highly tuned from now on.
The Autech Tsukada continues to impress every year at this event proving that they are pretty much the masters of GT-R tuning when it comes to long and demanding circuits like Fuji Speedway. Their fastest time of 1'42"881 is nothing short of amazing. I really wonder if the R35 will ever manage to get into these kind of times. Granted the ATTKD BNR34 is pretty much a fully stripped race car, the HKS GT800R, now running 890 HP, is not exactly a street car any more either.
The Yashio Factory C-SER Impreza, sporting an all-new green paint job, posted a very respectable time of 1'52"762 thanks to the rebuilt EJ25 and a GT2835 turbine all good for 450 HP.
The Flatwell S15 was struggling a little with traction throughout the day so the best it could manage was a 1'58"252
The winner of the "Ecology Award" at the Tokyo Auto Salon, the K'Spec Silk Blaze CR-Z was also invited to Fuji to take art in the event although was not entered to compete in the time attack session.
In fourth place was Sasaki-san in the Pan Speed FD3S with a 1'43"983…
…seen here heading into the Netz corner chasing the ATTKD Z33.
MCR and Original Runduce were the only two cars in the R35 GT-R Battle still running on the stock turbines so obviously their times were considerably higher. As always Kobayashi-san of MCR takes care of driving his own cars and recorded a best lap of 1'51"729 putting him in 5th position in front of the Runduce car which was right behind with a 1'51"729.
Running only boost up modifications the Bozz Speed Evo X posted a 1'54"317 which is extremely impressive. Can't wait to see what this car will be able to do when running an upgraded turbo!
After the engine problems the Sawa brothers had at last year's event with their Auto Select Yellow Shark I was very glad to finally see the car run. A best of 1'46"484 made it the third fastest GT-R behind the Auto Gallery Yokohama BNR32 which got a 1'43"267. It was however the meanest sounding car at the event, its OS Giken 3.15L RB26 making all sorts of wonderful noises thanks to the T88 turbine and external wastegate.
The HKS Technical Factory R35 now runs special "High Flow II" turbines which, despite its total street look, allowed it to record a 1'47"826.
Kinoshita Mitsuhiro at the wheel of the ATTKD BNR34. The car is now running an all-new dry-carbon front bumper.
On top of those two amazing S15s they had on display on the paddock Garage Mak entered the Speed Max event with this supercharged Z33. The boosted Z lapped Fuji in a fastest time of 1'57"026
The guys at R-Magic are really taking the time attack thing very seriously since rebuilding the Pink Number 4 for the WTAC last year. They were the second fastest RX-7 at Fuji, coming in behind Pan Speed with a 1'44"138. This is the first car I saw running the TE37SLs last year, and now it has a special R-Magic-only version with pink logos. How cool!
It was the slowest R35 on the day but boy did the Runduce GT-R look hot!
With the time attack session over it was a major sprint to back to the paddock to jump in the car and drive all the way over to the other side of the Fuji Speedway grounds for the drift exhibition. I got there just in time as drivers like Nob arrived with their drift cars. Nice to see the Aletzza again!
As Orido, Taniguchi and Ueno did their thing…
…crowds were desperately trying to get a glimpse of the pro drivers at work.
Orido obviously not intimidated by the very long and very hard concrete wall that I've seen countless amateurs smash into!
What a blast from the past. The T&E Soarer still looks as great as it did back when Ueno used to drive it in D1…it's one of those iconic cars that will forever be associated with the whole drift scene.
Taniguchi remains one of my favorite drifters of all time along with the great Kazama. It's such a pity Nob doesn't compete professionally any more. His smoothness with the controls has to be seen to be believed.
After the short exhibition ended I checked out some of the cars that were there for the drift soukoukai like this Shino Kouba AE86.
Zenki S14 by Bigrun.
Walking through the small paddock I realized I've been missing drifting a little bit. Can't wait to cover some more grassroots events this year…
…concentrating more on the Japanese drift culture rather than the professional side of things. Plus it'll be cool to see what Tsuchiya and Inada will come up with!
With more grip action starting on the main Fuji course it was time for me to head back…
…but not before I grabbed a shot of this drift Police Chaser!
More to come on the Premium Day in the final post from the event.
-Dino Dalle Carbonare