To finish up my coverage from the Tsukuba round of Attack’s time attack series, a bit of contrast is needed.
I put together this GT-R-centric feature not only because there were some seriously cool big-power builds among the RB and VR-powered Nissans competing, but also to reflect on how the numbers of these cars in Japanese time attack have dwindled over the years.
Once upon a time, half the cars in the Tsukuba paddock would have been GT-Rs at a time attack event like this one. These days, however, there is certainly more variety. Thanks to more know-how and the growth of the industry to support it all, people are going fast with a wider range of platforms.
If you need proof, here’s in-car video of the Mo-FAC Daihatsu Copen - as featured in my Attack kei car story – running back-to-back 59-second laps. That’s just nuts!
For me though, it’s still hard beat a high-power GT-R track build – they’re what got me into these cars in the first place. I have fond memories of visiting Tsukuba Circuit in the early 2000s and watching RB26-powered beasts shoot down the main straight, wastegates screaming and fireballs being shot out of their exhausts on downshifts.
It was all about brute power, mechanical grip and ballsy driving. It’s still very much like this too, albeit now with the addition of aero and other refinements born out of the last 20 years.
Back to the present day, let’s start with the Anshin Jidousha BNR32, which instantly stood out as it was running a pair of Trust TD06 top-mounted turbos – complete with vertical dump and exhaust pipes – rather than the more common big single.
While working on the engine in the pits, the mechanics added a nifty exhaust extension to divert the hot gasses away from their faces.
This is easily one of the busiest GT-R interiors I’ve ever seen.
A quick chat to one of the mechanics revealed that the dry-sumped and stroked RB delivers an almighty 1,100hp punch.
All that brute force quickly spelled trouble for the team when they had a major drive shaft issue early on in the day.
It was a real mess underneath, too. They spent the whole day getting it fixed, but by then it was too warm to try and attempt a fast lap time.
This could very well be the biggest wing ever fitted to a BNR32. What do you guys think?
When it comes to the R35 GT-R and time attack, there are two thoughts that always come to mind. One is just how fast these cars can be with some well thought out tuning. The Auto Gallery Yokohama-built Nismo version is a good example; it ran a solid 57.257-second lap.
Visually, how much better does the VR38 look with an aftermarket plenum?!
The second thought I have is about Fire Ando. He actually started an R35 time attack build before he commissioned Escort to build his Evo, and there are rumors that once he achieves the 49-second Tsukuba lap he’s gunning for in his Mitsubishi, development of the GT-R will resume.
I’d love to see how far the R35 chassis can be pushed when taken to the extreme, something I feel no one has done well yet. Incidentally, in the picture above you will see the Rush Factory GT-R, which managed a 59.394-second lap on the day.
The TF Blind R32 Skyline Type-M might not be an actual GT-R, but it’s more than halfway there.
Powered by an RB26 and running a generously-sized BorgWarner EFR turbo, it was just behind the R35 above with a 59.939-second lap. It sounded amazing out on track, too.
The fastest GT-R on the day was this wild build, a collaborative effort between Admix and Tanamans, and sponsored by Sunoco. With carbon fiber body panels and aero additions from Benetec (the company that makes carbon goodies for Mine’s) it has certainly evolved a lot from the first few Attack events we saw it at. Thanks to some awesome driving by its owner, the R32 managed a solid 55.200-second lap.
The R34 I opened this post with was another GT-R running a single turbo conversion, and fast enough for a solid 1-minute flat lap.
I didn’t even realize there was a second R34 at the event until this Midnight Purple III example on Enkei RS05RR wheels drove past, on its way to the paddock to enter the pit lane for one of its sessions.
The Autech Tsukada-tuned GT-R is no time attack monster, but rather a fast road car with upgraded turbos good for about 600hp. Its best lap was a 1’02″225.
Seeing GT-Rs at the track is always a pleasure, but just having the chance to get out and cover an event was so refreshing.
I’m back at Tsukuba this weekend for an idlers event, so more Japanese track content is on its way. We’re also teaming up with the guys from Hardcore and doing a small gathering in the back paddock. Hopefully there’ll be some awesome cars turning up for that, too.
Dino Dalle Carbonare