No matter how many times I go to Rauh Welt or spend time with Nakai-san I am always impressed and literally left in awe at what he has managed to create. And I am of course not only talking about the cars here. Over the last week I have spent quite a bit of time over at the RWB HQ, there for a project you will need to wait a few more months to find out about but also to shoot some of the preparations that were going on for the 12 hour idlers endurance race that would be held this past weekend at Honda’s Twin Ring Motegi. Seeing this was to be the first time I covered the 12-hour amateur endurance race…
…I thought it would be cool to follow the RWB crew from the last hours of preparation at the shop, and then on to the drive towards Motegi. So I got to the busy workshop at 7 pm where…
…Nakai and a few owners were putting the final touches to the five Porsche race cars that would be participating in the race. Nakai had sent out invitations to all of his international customers, and I was very surprised to see that so many had flown over to participate in the race. But I’ll get to that a little further on in the coverage.
The first leg of the journey was to be a very short drive up the Joban expressway to Moriya PA, a large parking area that Nakai always uses to meet up with his customers before any track event. There were tons of cars there already waiting for us…
…and the ten or so cars in our convoy immediately lined up, adding to the awesome sight!
We waited about half an hour for a few more cars to roll in…
…and so some guys could fill up with some fresh hi-oku! Toshi, the owner of the Rough Rhythm which I featured last year, drove all the way up from Kobe to take part in the event, one of the drivers in Team RWB!
The two “Rough Unity;” the orange car was actually finished on Saturday night and its new owner was driving it for the first time.
It was great to see the Tunerhaus once again, it was once called the Royal Motegobay when it was Nakai’s personal ride.
Nakai-san was driving the idlers demo car which is owned by Seike-san, who also happens to be the organizer of the idlers series as well as the editor of idlers Magazine and 911 Magazine. On the night Nakai-san was on a diet of water and Winston cigarettes!
As ever Nakai-san stickered up the RWB race cars with logos of his favorite websites and brands, so it was cool to check out what he had gone for this year. And it was very humbling to see that most cars were sporting Speedhunters.com on the doors!
Just after midnight we set off in an even more awesome convoy of rumbling Porsches. We would follow the Joban up to Mito and then take some twisty countryside roads to the track.
With empty roads and a very RWB-like pace we arrived at the track in no time…
…and immediately began to set up in pits 25, 26 and 27.
Motegi, which is nestled deep in the Tochigi-ken mountains, was quite cool but extremely humid, not to mention rather foggy which really added to the atmosphere. Race time might be where all the fun is but I always enjoy the few hours before an event of this magnitude as people set up and the excitement slowly escalates.
We might have arrived at the track before 2 am but most of the other pits were already full with the wide mix of other cars that would be racing.
Meanwhile, back at the RWB pit Nakai-san and Gary, who for years has been in charge of ECU tuning at RWB…
…went straight to work prepping the five race cars for the demanding race. Now that’s an in-your-face exhaust!
No matter how similar these RWB cars may be, they are each so individual and most importantly of all, so damn aggressive.
They are some of the most photogenic cars around!
A lot of the preparation of course is also aesthetic as the cars are cleaned up and more stickers applied. Here is Nakai adding a “Rauh Welt” logo to the “Hooters'” rubber lip-spoiler.
I grabbed a few hours of not-so-comfortable sleep in the car before waking up shortly before the 6 am driver’s meeting where all participants were lectured on the proceedings and various rules and regulations of the race.
And then, after so much time and effort spent preparing, it all started. Stay tuned for the second part of the coverage as we take a closer look at the action and the other cars that participated in the idlers 12-hour race.
-Dino Dalle Carbonare