I've been fortunate enough to work in the JGTC/SUPER GT for the past eight seasons, and during that time I've seen a fair share of interpretations of Honda's gorgeous NSX. The luminescent green of the Takata Dome NSX looks superb with the sunlight reflecting off of it in my opinion.
In 2007, the newest team to enter the GT500 class, Real Racing, made their debut in this absolutely stunning looking car. This image is of Toshihiro Kaneishi qualifying the car at Sportsland SUGO.
Here's the same machine in its third season, last year – looking just as good only completely different.
Speaking of last season, here's Loic Duval powering through the rain at Okayama, the opening round of the year.
But NSX entries weren't found solely in the top class of the JGTC/SUPER GT, there have also been a handful of GT300-spec entries (the lack of Formula 1-style airbox is an instant giveaway)
It's a car I never get tired of.
Not only did it look the part, the NSX really was a force to be reckoned with, winning something like 36 races throughout the 13 seasons it was campaigned. This image is of Andre Lotterer at Suzuka in 2004 (the last season of the JGTC), coming out of the Casio Triangle and about to blast down the main straight.
Here's a shot from Autopolis in the same year, 2004 – this is of another one of the GT300-class NSXs, the #16 car that took the title in the incredibly capable hands of Tetsuya Yamano. He went on to take GT300 titles the following two years also, each one in different cars! What were they, you ask? Toyota MR-S and Mazda RX-7. It's something that's never been repeated by any other driver in either class of the series.
Back to GT500, and this image of the PIAA Nakajima Racing entry at Sportsland SUGO in 2008.
And now the rear end of yet another NSX, the iconic dayglo orange AUTOBACS entry…
OK, time for a tall one! Loic Duval on his way down to turn three at Autopolis, the greatest circuit in all of Japan in my humble opinion. I'll be doing a post on the track later in the year, so stay tuned for that.
Back to 2004 and the GT300 class. This is the Privee Zurich NSX; the team that now runs the Mooncraft Shiden.
Here's another great circuit in Japan that gets little coverage overseas, Sportsland SUGO. A great, compact track that's really demanding and always produces interesting races.
This is the Takata Dome car in heavy rain at Autopolis.
Daisuke Ito heads out of his pit at Fuji Speedway in preparation for Super Lap.
Here's Sebastien Philippe powering through the cresting chicane at SUGO – an unbeatable place from which to watch the cars in anger.
This is an old (and pretty crap) image, but I had to include it, as, for me anyway, it evokes the buzz that is always in evidence at the series' only overseas race, Sepang.
Back to SUGO and Sunday morning free practice in 2007. Four of the five NSX entries that campaigned the season have just completed their early morning runs.
Right where it should be. NSX leads brace of Lexus and Nissan rivals at Fuji Speedway, Golden Week, 2007.
Ahhhh, I still remember getting soaked to the skin on this day back in 2005 – at "the Spa of Japan" (according to yours truly), Autopolis. The other end of the circuit was in blazing sunshine – wicked!
Fire-spittin' dragon qualifying at Suzuka, 2004.
Keepin' it real; the Real Racing entry at Fuji Speedway.
Hangin' out on the inside of the hairpin at Fuji – as you do – and this vision of beauty (and the very best of Honda's engineering) roars past!
On the series' only visit to Tokachi (in 2004), located on Japan's northernmost island, Hokkaido (picture Finland in the summer).
Winning ways: both of the Honda Racing NSX entries (at SUGO in 2007 – cool bridge, huh!). They went on to finish 1-2 in the race, but in the reverse order.
Haven't forgotten Motegi – here's the #18 car threading its way through the carnage after a major shunt at turn 5 in 2008. You shoulda seen the other cars (actually you will – stay tuned!)
OK, that's it for my nostalgic look at what I think is one of the best looking Japanese cars ever. I hope you enjoyed looking at the images, and if that ain't enough, I have many, many more.
- Len Clarke