New Breath Of Life @ The Super Battle
Grip is back

In the past I was probably not touching on it too much, or avoiding it altogether – but the truth of the matter is top level time attack in Japan has been spiralling out of popularity for some years. Up until 2012, the Rev Speed Super Battle was suffering a noticeable lack of interest from tuners. This was caused by a bunch of things: the economy to start off with, the lack of decent new platforms to tune and of course the actual investment it would have taken to stay up to pace with the fastest cars out there. Every December I felt sad; sad seeing that the event I love the most in the JDM calendar had lost so much momentum. Big names pulled out long ago, justifying their absence by saying there is no longer any merit in participating in such an expensive discipline.


Too bad, yes, but as a complete surprise when I arrived at the Tsukuba paddock last Friday for this year’s Super Battle…


… things didn’t seem quite right. There were way too many cars, so many in fact that I thought they had made the event a half day thing and the second group of cars from the afternoon soukoukai were already there waiting. But I was wrong, thankfully. Just under 100 cars showed up at this year’s event…


… a massive boost provided by a surprise influx of ZN6s in varying state of tune, from the most powerful and fastest ones out there like the Rasty demo car, which is now the fastest 86 in Tsukuba!


Manabu Orido, who was hired for the day to steer the 500+hp 86, recorded a 57.972 in his first and only outing, an efficient and to-the-point way to set a record! Thumbs up to Orido!


Trust have really stepped their game up for this year, having developed small aero additions to their FR-S demo car, stuff that included front carbon canards and a large rear diffuser all bolted onto the Rocket Bunny kit. Oh yes, and there was a rather large rear wing there too! Despite destroying the stock gearbox on the car’s second lap attempt, Tarzan Yamada was able to set a best time of 58.740, making it the second fastest ZN6 on the day.


Right behind it in third spot was the chrome Blitz demo car with a 58.886, further proof of how damn well these new Toyotas respond to a bit of fettling in pretty much anything they’re entered in…


…be it drift or grip. Nissan, take note and get a move on with that IDx will you!!


With the clouds keeping the track temperature pretty low during the whole first Open Class session, Under Suzuki was able to head out and instantly better his and Tsukuba’s record time, posting a 52.626. After a cool down lap he came back in and his team scrambled to put a fresh set of A050s on for him to have another go.


He wasn’t able to better his new record time, and it was the same story for his other two sessions. With the sun upping temperatures the car was lapping two seconds slower, which is precisely why time attack in Japan is usually only run in the coldest months of the year. At Tsukuba, where tire temperatures rise quickly, it’s important to have the coldest surface temp possible…


… and at the same time the colder and denser air helps give more power and keeps engine temperatures lower. Suzuki was back at Tsukuba a few days after the Super Battle event and again, early in the morning, was able to better his time and set another Tsukuba course record…

… this time a 52.565. Hit play on the video above and check out the commitment it takes to lap the tiny Tsukuba 2000 course at such pace!


Suzuki wants to shave another 0.5 seconds off his time, but we know that even if he reaches this, he’ll keep on going. He’s already planning to bump power from 800hp to closer to that magical four figure number, plus when Andrew Brilliant is seen pacing around a car and taking measurements, you know some other cool aero additions might be on their way too! We’ll meet up with Suzuki at a Battle Evome meeting next month and see what he’ll be able to do.


I’ve been following the development of the Auto Bahn JZZ30 Soarer for years now, and it’s been really fun to see how these guys have slowly but surely managed to address the traction issues the big powerful Toyota has always had. The car is now running even more focused aero, a whole new front section helping to balance the downforce the massive rear wing is able to generate. It’s easy to visibly notice how much earlier its owner and driver can now unleash the 800+hp 2J fury when exiting corners. 57.500 is a superb time and testament that all the work they have put into the car has paid off. Incidentally the Soarer was only 7km/h slower than Suzuki’s S15 at the end of the back straight, with a top speed of 220 km/h (136.7 mph).

All-wheel drive wonders

Another tuner that managed to go home happy was Tsukada-san at ATTKD. They set out to better last year’s time in their demo car built in collaboration with Just Jap and that’s precisely what they did.


Mitsuhiro Kinoshita, Japan’s tiniest driver, was able to extract a 58.082, a whisker away from a 57-second time. That made it the fastest car in the AWD Street class. I wonder what the car would be capable of with S-tires!


Problems with the front diff ended their day early but they will work on that mighty VR38 a little more and be back next year for more!


The only other R35 entered in the event was the new Reverse demo car…


… which joined their BNR32 time attack machine. The R35 was entered in the Open AWD class and seeing it was just a baseline outing for the ‘big R’, it recorded a 1’01.735. Their R32, running street tires, posted a 59.271: a great time for what is essentially a moderately tuned street car in GT-R circles!


There was a time when GT-Rs were all you saw at events like these. But there was only one other Skyline present at the event last week…


… the Admix BNR32, again another Street Class entry and one that posted a time of 1’03.125 in the hands of Tarzan Yamada. It seems many tuning shops out there are more concerned about creating the perfect street set-up with the older GT-Rs, than going full out and chasing lap records. It’s cool as it focuses them to concentrate on refining engine characteristics, aiming for more accessible torque and response, rather than shooting for big power by bolting on massive single turbochargers. It’s great to see that so many names like Admix and Reverse give so much importance to total balance.


Staying with AWD cars, it’s this Tex Modify GDB that I want to talk about next. With ex-Super Taikyu champion, Hirokazu Suzuki, at the wheel, this car managed a best of 1’02.456  despite some minor issues with the wastegate not allowing it to hold peak boost.


Tex Modify are the guys that built Tanaka’s old D1 Team Orange GDB back in the day, so they know exactly what’s needed to extract decent power from an EJ20.


The carbon goodies which included some bolted on fender flares, were a great addition, much like the Enkei RS05RRs, which really finished the time attack look rather well.


Do you guys remember Zero Sports? The Subaru tuner and parts maker, after some financial trouble, is back, operating under the Zeromax name and now back in the time attack game with this GDA Impreza running Zero Sports aero. The best time it got was a 1’01.854 which is blisteringly quick for a street car on street tires…


… and right on pace with the Auto Produce Boss GRB piloted by Kinoshita, which posted a 1’01.191. It’s crazy to think that street spec cars are edging on the one minute flat at Tsukuba now, on street tires! Ten plus years ago, these were times far more aggressively tuned cars were achieving.


Throw some S-tires and a hell of a lot more power into the mix, not to mention a lighter curb weight and trick suspension and you have the D Language Impreza WRX STI, capable of achieving a 56.593!


The SSI Engineering CT9A was at the Super Battle to break through that one minute wall. It got very close with a 1’00.136, but not quite close enough!


Ti Racing brought out one of their their fully fledged time attack Exiges, entered in the street S-tire class.


The best time on the day for it was a 57.087, which is – as ever with these guys’ Lotus (or should I say Lotii) – damn impressive. Oh and yes, I know I need to visit Outer Plus/Ti Racing. I know there are a few of you out there that have been waiting long for a shop tour and feature on their cars. 2014 will be the year – I promise!


While most of the Spoon crew were at the 25h of Thunderhill this past weekend, the famed Honda tuner didn’t skip out in bringing their new Fit RS development car to the event.

No pistons allowed

What better way to introduce the Rotary group than with the Pan Speed 3-rotor RX8. The Pan Speed crew have really been working flat out trying to make their SE3P even more competitive and to say they have achieved their goal would be an understatement.


The custom built, naturally aspirated 3-rotor engine powering it is not only one of the sweetest sounding Wankel engines I’ve ever heard, but it’s benefitting from a little bump in power now, which, combined with Kouta Sasaki’s driving skill, allowed the team to set a 57.000 lap! Next outing and a 56-second lap is almost guaranteed!


Another cool, but far more sedate RX8 was also present: that of Knight Sports. Despite Mazda no longer believing in the rotary as a viable engine choice for the future there’s no denying these cars are among the most fun to drive, thanks to a balanced weight distribution, low center of gravity and spot-on handling. This car showed that with a few, but well-applied mods, the RX8 is able to lap Tsukuba in 1’05.701 which is a great time for a street car.


Just like Suzuki’s Silvia, the privately owned Endless FD3S has recently returned back to Japan after competing in this year’s WTAC in Australia.


55.533 was its time and aside from the obvious high levels of power, it’s also the self-developed aero package that has a lot to do with that great result.


Take a look at that cut out rear section with suspended rear diffuser. Absolutely awesome stuff!


Another FD that caught my eye was the Sakamoto Engineering demo car.


On its first outing it managed a 59.153 which is already a superb set of numbers, but its second attempt saw over a second being sliced off that initial time with a 58.099. No doubt a 57-second car if the driver manages to nail a close to perfect lap.


The Fujita Engineering FD on the other hand is bordering on being a 56-sec car, especially when Nobuteru Taniguchi is sitting in the driver’s seat. On each of its three outings it recorded a 57-sec lap, the fastest a 57.159. Preparation is crucial and for Feed that included scrubbing away the top layer of rubber off the car’s A050s to get at the good and sticky stuff underneath.


The Craft AE111 Levin might have been one of the slowest cars at the event managing a best of 1’13.512, but it was certainly one that attracted a lot of attention.


To any AE86 owners looking at this picture, settle down; this black-top 20-valve is staying right where it is for the foreseeable future!


Long live the nineties!


Next to the Levin was this wild Fiat 500 Abarth from N’s Stage. The little retro Fiat was sporting a full Romeo Ferraris widebody kit as well as some choice mods to boost power out of its 1.4 L turbo engine. It manage to dip under the 1-minute 10-seconds with a 1’09.752 recorded during the last session of the day.


Assist Motorsport provided one of the coolest Euro entries on the paddock with their race-prepped but still street-specced E46 M3. 1’03.061 was the fastest it managed…


… and it looked and sounded phenomenal setting it. Why is it these JDM-tuned M3s always look so damn good!

VTEC just kicked in, yo!

Don’t worry I haven’t forgotten you Honda folks! Along with Spoons Fit RS there were a few other cool Hondas battling for fast times, one of them being the Arvou S2000 running HKS’s supercharger kit and developing 400hp. With Arvou president and race car driver Shibata-san driving, they managed a 57.241 on S-tires and as I type this, they have just set their fastest lap at Tsukuba with street radials, of a 59.862. All of this of course proves what a capable chassis the AP1 still is, something the eco-obsessed folks at Honda need to notice. Hint hint!


If a car really needs to be eco, well I’d rather it look something like the Honda Twin Cam Feel’s ZF1. This is unlike any CRZ out there…


… as it packs a high-revving fully tuned K-series mated to a fully stripped and strengthened chassis.


It looked impressive ploughing into Tsukuba’s tight hairpin corner lifting its rear inside wheel. Best time on the day was a 1’01.109.


It was cool seeing how everyone is slowly but surely learning more and more tricks when it comes to aero. This is the Kurumadoh Custom Factory AP1, which as you can see is sporting a cut out rear bumper to help cut down on aerodynamic drag.


Seeker’s unmistakable orange FD2 was on its usual fast pace, like a lot of other cars, posting its fastest time during the colder morning session. 1’03.038 was the best it managed, and as you can see it was running in the street tire category.


And so we get to the 86s, the car that has single-handedly blown a new breath of life into the Super Battle event. There were 20 cars in the 86 Open Class and that’s not counting the more extreme cars like Rusty, Trust and Blitz that were in the more extreme mixed Open Class.


It was cool seeing the CLEiB ZC6 demo car in action. We first saw this car on display at the 86 Style event in Fuji this past summer and it has quickly become one of my favorite BRZs out there. The carbon aero additions are very cool and they obviously make a difference as the car – which is still sporting a pretty much stock motor – managed a 1’05.388 in the hands of Tarzan Yamada.


If canards and carbon bits are a bit too much for your then you will no doubt prefer the Bozz Speed BRZ which has taken the more simple approach, running only an STI front lip spoiler, Prodrive wheels and track-spec suspension. Like the CLEiB car, its engine is stock and set a baseline time of 1’07.154 – a time Bozz Speed will now focus on improving.


A lot of tuners were out there just to try out suspension set-ups like Syms, running a specific set of Sachs dampers especially for the ZN6/ZC6. With race dampers, a brake upgrade and Neova tires this BRZ lapped Tsukuba in 1’06.915 and it represents the usual package most hachiroku/BRZ owners will initially go for.


At the other side of the spectrum was the Original Runduce 86, representing the second step an owner would embark on after sorting out the handling and braking side of things.


Under the hood the rebuilt FA20 engine, now running forged 86mm pistons and strengthened rods, is mated to a customized version of the HKS supercharger kit, which altogether boosts power to close to 400hp. All of this was good for a 1’01.677


Phoenix’s Power came up from Kyoto with their ZN6, yet another car that is slowly being built up. Its 1’03.611 lap proves the suspension and braking upgrades are doing their thing and judging from the sort of cars these guys are well known for building, more power will sooner or later be added.


Here is another good example of how more and more time attackers in Japan are taking aero more seriously. This Amuse customer Z33 was entered in the open class and running on sticky S-tires broke the minute with a 59.533


With the replacement for the Mazda Roadster just around the corner I thought I’d finish up the coverage to this year’s Super Battle with a shot of the Nogami Project NC, a car that never misses a time attack event at Tsukuba! 1’04.766 was the fastest lap it got this year.

I hope all of this goodness gets you ready and salivating for the 2014 season of JDM time attack!!

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino

Time Attack event coverage on Speedhunters
Time Attack car features on Speedhunters



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I would absolutely love to see the champs of WTAC run at Tsukuba, and see what times they do.


wheatgod It's out of respect to Rev Speed magazine. They run the event, and will do a huge feature on their upcoming issue. They are the guys that allow us to feature such an awesome event!  If you need more info on it make sure you pick up the Jan issue:


aussieANON So would I. It's definitely not a circuit you come to and brake records straight off the least it's never been done :)


This thread is simply amazing!!!
Beautiful photos for awesome veichles!!!


Awesome coverage, but would have loved to see the Feels car build on the Hybrid package rather than opting for a K-swap (Although, I believe you have mistakenly identified the K-motor in the Feels car as an LEA1+MF6). As a current CR-Z owner, I can assure you it is not the Hybrid powerplant! 

Very cool car, regardless!

Gianluca FairladyZ

Thanks, absolutley nice!


Bless Toyota/Subaru for this new platform in a niche market that really needed something like it. These times are all very impressive, mainly the amount of rwd cars breaking into the 50s. Thanks for sharing!


Bless Toyota/Subaru for this new platform in a niche market that really needed something like it. These times are all very impressive, mainly the amount of rwd cars breaking into the 50s. Thanks for sharing!


Was out there Sunday, and a bunch of these teams had already left. Did get to see Under Suzuki and several others run, though, and that was great. Didn't see the Fiat Abarth, would have loved a closer look at it. I've still got to edit my video of the drift event and put it on YouTube.


These cars represent a lot of things that draw me into the car scene (Motor Sports, looks, and Street looking upgrades that I can relate to)


speedhunters_dino aussieANON WTAC Tsukuba edition. Make it happen Dino!


I really need to learn how to read Japanese...


Great selection of cars, Dino! Please keep going to events like this in 2014. 


Any news on when Battle Evome is on? I will be in japan mid to late january.


Dino, the first picture was enough. FEED ME.


Slight correction Dino, the Levin is an 'AE111' not an 'A111', but I'm only nitpicking!


Dino, Dino, Dino... It's "VTEC just kicked in, yo!" You n00b.


Amuse 350Z and Panspeed RX8, incredible cars and great to see an update on them!
Been kinda tired of the stance & Rust posts as of late so this was very refreshing.
Racing never goes out of style. Keep it up Dino!


Glad to hear it, Dino...let's hope it's closer to the beginning of the year?? :)


Great post. What about an RE Ameymia with Pan Speed interview for CHRISTmas?


sean klingelhoefer Sorry Sean, I'm more used to manly boost :D


PaulDYuen Good to hear!


Matthew Pham The "e" on my keyboard is warn out from typing GeeeeeeDeeeeeAhhhh too many times lol


@Russ I knew that would get you going Russ


Doomas Jan 15th & 29th, Feb 12th, 26th :)  Don't miss it!


@Eduardo Leiva Oh don't you worry, this is what has always done it for me so you can rest assured I will head out to more


Francis M I think it's the same with a lot of guys, me included


Censport Yeah they mainly just run in the very early morning to get those freezing temps


BitMutt Yes indeed. Makes me angry Nissan are too late to the show!


Gianluca FairladyZ :)


@Oliver Correction made :)


@superpern Thanks man!


FunctionFirst speedhunters_dino aussieANON ;)


sean klingelhoefer It was just bothering me too much, I had to fix it. Now I feel part of the crew! lol


Tarcissus RE Amemiya decided to skip out on this event. Interview with the two men behind those names would be a good idea. I  always love chatting to Komoriya-san, he is always so un-PC it cracks me up what he has to say most of the time.


Tarcissus RE Amemiya decided to skip out on this event. Interview with the two men behind those names would be a good idea. I  always love chatting to Komoriya-san, he is always so un-PC it cracks me up what he has to say most of the time.


Tarcissus RE Amemiya decided to skip out on this event. Interview with the two men behind those names would be a good idea. I  always love chatting to Komoriya-san, he is always so un-PC it cracks me up what he has to say most of the time.


This is the greatest time attack car p0rn!


With all this talk of good lap times on street tires, you gotta remember that street-legal semi-slicks today (the likes of Potenza RE-11A, Direzza ZII, or Advan AD08R) are better than some of the race tires even10 years ago.


There's just something about Time Attack RX7s that really does it for me. That Endless FD is NICE.


"Long live the nineties!"

I concur...

"Don’t worry I haven’t forgotten you Honda folks!"

Much obliged...thanks Dino.

btw loving that Seeker FD2 front bumper.


Too bad the Stradale/Amuse "Touge Monster" AP1 had engine trouble and couldn't post a lap time. At a previous outing at Tsukuba it did a low 59 sec.lap.


Thank dino. If there was one that


KRaZyAmmo There are a lot of people waiting for this! I'll best get planning :)


apex_DNA  Absolutely, take the AD08R, they are a few tenths slower than an A050 on most tracks. That's incredible. Remember this post?


Hotcakes Absolutely, they have so much presence when built up for serious grip work. Amazing cars!


apex_DNA :)


DIno! No coverage on the AE86 that did 0' 58.340"?  
Hope that means you're saving AE86 stuff for Dec. 15!


speedhunters_dinoHotcakesDino, can I just say: I may not always agree with everything you say, but your content is almost always on point. It's awesome you spend so much time interacting with the community in the comments. Not that the other guys don't, but you seem to just go that extra mile.
Been reading your stuff since way back in the day when you wrote for High Performance Imports, so keep up the good work I guess!


tomok You sure that was on the same day?


Hotcakes speedhunters_dino Thanks, I appreciate it :)


I love that AE111! Great story and pics!


Awesome post Dino. Any coverage on the ASM S2000? I see it sitting there behind the Kurumadoh Custom Factory AP1.


speedhunters_dino KRaZyAmmo


speedhunters_dino Sorry, apparently a different event... so many time attack events around this time of year!


i can only dream of seeing one of these events. i envy your job. was there no gt-r's or nsx's at this even or is it limited to chassis/hp/displacement? i could have sworn you featured a corvette last year. beautiful coverage btw!


speedhunters_dino apex_DNA Thanks for reminding me.


d_rav Yeah all the GT-Rs that were there I posted, and as for NSX & Vettes none this year. Still the 86s more than made up for it. Like a lot of things Time Attack is evolving, would be cool to see the crazy Evos and GTRs that once made up the paddock at Super Battle but time must move on I suppose


branbarn Yeah it was there but seeing it's always at the event I thought I'd give space to other cars :)


meal stub Thanks!


tomok speedhunters_dino LOL yeah, was probably on the Sunday?


ITRbroham Yeah it was out once and then stopped driving


speedhunters_dinod_rav lol. found them on the second page at the top. i was going too fast through the post i must have skipped them =/ but awesome coverage. the zn6 is such an attractive car, i cant wait to see it break the 1 minute barrier!


d_rav speedhunters_dino A lot of them already have, the Rasty 86 set a 57-sec lap :)


apex_DNA speedhunters_dino ;)


speedhunters_dinod_ravgomenasai!!! i'm behind in the times i must do more homework!


speedhunters_dino branbarn right on


d_rav speedhunters_dino LOL


speedhunters_dino Yes, apparently it was Dec. 8th.


Nothing worse than getting on a plane to Tokyo knowing that you should be getting in the car to head to Tsukuba but at least your pics made up for it, looks like it's even bigger this year compared to last with some great times.
Was gutted at WTAC when I found out it was on the day I fly over :-(
Thanks Dino, your pics are the next best thing to being in the pits as always !!!
Cheers Andy
P.s no Bandoh 86 this time?


Andy D Thanks! Unfortunately not. Scorch wasn't able to finish it in time, still missing some bits...


YokohamaTC SPEEDHUNTERS can't go wrong with a 13b rx7, unless you got a 20b 3 rotor rx7.


lotus boner


Oh man... great post!  This is what I wish I could see most in Japan... or heck, DO the most in Japan.


Wow! The wings, splitters, cannards, louvers, vents and super wide tires got me raring to get back working on my Supra! Fantastic post and even greater pics! Thanks Dino! Love it all! ;)


botchilah Get working! ;)


zephoto :)


@__dzd__ Ok then... lol


@michaelkoby24 YokohamaTC SPEEDHUNTERS How about 4-rotor?


speedhunters_dino : The video of Suzuki shows 52.53 on his Racepack. You wrote 52.565, what gives?


speedhunters_dino : The video of Suzuki shows 52.53 on his Racepack. You wrote 52.565, what gives?


wheel and tire specs of the number 110 silver brz, please.


JDMized transponder tripod for his mychron is probably not exactly in line with where ever the official time is recorded.


Arvou impresses the hell out of me.  400 hp at the flywheel, stock interior, full on street car running 57 second lap times.  Another 30-40 hp and race prep and more aero and that car is in the low 56's or even 55's.  Incredible.

As a street car, I'd like to see more power, a new front bumper and rear diffuser and dual element rear wing.  Then it'd be complete