Fast Lane To Tokyo: An American’s Quest For Tsukuba Glory

In the wide world of motorsport, there are legendary battlegrounds where victory transcends race results. For NASCAR, it’s the thunderous sweep of Daytona. For Formula 1, the narrow streets of Monaco. And for time attack enthusiasts, there is nowhere more iconic than Japan’s Tsukuba Circuit.

Situated just over an hour from Tokyo’s bustling metropolis, Tsukuba’s 2.045km (1.271mi) 12-turn TC2000 course has been Japan’s proving ground for the fastest time attack drivers for decades.


But Tsukuba is more than just a track; it’s hallowed ground. This is the birthplace of the sport, where names like Nobuteru ‘Nob’ Taniguchi, Yoshiki ‘Fire’ Ando, and Tomohiko ‘Under’ Suzuki adorn the fastest lap record book. For iconic brands like HKS, Mine’s, and Top Fuel, Tsukuba serves as the ultimate test for their car-building and tuning prowess.


Among these titans now emerges a new name – Feras Qartoumy, an American driver with an insatiable hunger for speed.

Feras stamped his authority at Attack Tsukuba 2024, posting the fastest time at the event with a blistering 51.231-second lap, which you can watch above.


That’s the 3rd fastest TC2000 lap of all time, trailing only the likes of Ando and Suzuki.


This triumph comes hot on the heels of Feras’s successes at Super Lap Battle USA, and the 2023 World Time Attack Challenge in Sydney, Australia.

However, Feras’s journey to Tsukuba did not come without its challenges. From the logistical hurdles of shipping his car from the US to Japan to finding a suitable workspace while he was there, the road was paved with obstacles.


Yet, as is often the case in the racing world, assistance arrived in the form of Shane Bingham from Stacked Exports Inc., who facilitated transport, and Under Suzuki, who graciously provided a place for Feras to store and work on his car.


Commuting between his home in Texas and Tokyo in the months leading up to the event, Feras seized every opportunity to gain insights from Suzuki and maximize his track time at Tsukuba, which ultimately led to his success when it counted at Attack.


Amidst a sea of hard-tuned 4G63s, 2JZs, rotaries, and Honda K-series engines, Feras’s weapon of choice stands out: an LME 427ci V8 with twin Garrett G35-900s turbochargers, fitted in a C6 Chevrolet Corvette. Tuned through a MoTeC M150, the engine setup is good for 1,300hp.


Despite not running the car at maximum power, the C6’s potential is ever-present, backed by a carbon-Kevlar body from HGK Racing and an aero package generating a staggering amount of downforce.


Weighing in at just over 2,600lbs and equipped with Bosch Motorsport ABS and huge Alcon brakes, the Qartoumy Racing Corvette is finely tuned for domination.


As he continues to push the limits of performance and etches his name deeper into the record books, Feras Qartoumy represents not only himself but also the spirit of innovation and determination that defines the time attack community.

Matthew Viramontes
Instagram: mcv_imagery
Facebook: mcvimagery


How To join the IATS program: We have always welcomed readers to contact us with examples of their work and believe that the best Speedhunter is always the person closest to the culture itself, right there on the street or local parking lot. If you think you have what it takes and would like to share your work with us then you should apply to become part of the IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER program. Read how to get involved here.



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Slant Nose Freak

I respect what this guy has built and the time / effort he puts into pursuing driving fast. Having said that, articles like this are a big reminder why I got out of street cars, tuning, and modifying to try and be the next (insert legendary tuner name here). It's a complete waste of money and time for what amounts to quite literally less than a minute on track. In October 8th, 2021 an ad was posted on Facebook for a Dallara open wheel car that cost $63,000. This vehicle had no engine, no ECU, and no transmission, but it was otherwise complete with spares.

Now tell me, in this world of the legendary time attackers which can't go more than a few minutes at a time without overheating (per a driver who was a world champion in the sport in the USA years ago), why would I want to spend 6-20 times the amount of money to spend 51 seconds on the race track when I could get an hour straight on track or more in the same day? The whole sport when you look at it is really nothing more than a circle jerk for who can create the craziest new internet breaking build and spend gazillions of dollars on special fixtures to save 1 ounce.

Right now all over the world there are vehicles for a fraction of the cost this guy put into the Corvette which will lap faster, go longer at that speed, and you can actually go and race with other people to perfect race craft which is the pinnacle of a driver's ability on a circuit.

That's what really ruined time attack for me. I discovered actual racing.


What's cool about Time Attack is that it's about ultimate lap times for a road based car - it's about engineering, competition and pushing the limits - not value for money. The fastest time attack cars around Sydney Motorsport Park are actually much faster than race cars like the A1GP, Radical SR8, Porsche GT3 Cup, GT3 cars etc. Some of these time attack cars make significantly more downforce than even an F1 car, pulling over 3Gs lateral in the corners and over 2Gs under braking with tremendous straight line speed, running on a road based tyre.
Endurance and Sprint racing has its own place and shouldn't really be compared. I enjoy that too.


You coudve kept this to a few sentences like "I think time attack is dumb, endurance racing is better"
You sound like one of those people trying to show how smart they are...

Slant Nose Freak

Adrian -- I'm actually discussing sprint racing not endurance racing. Time attack is pretty dumb though. That is my point.


Because building a race car, a time attack car, or tuning your road car is an act of creation. Like painting, sculpting or any art. It is not about money spent. Each people spend the money he want. It is not rationnal, it is an expression of creation. Don't research any logic. It is just an expensive hobby/passion/art. Passions are not rationnal.

Slant Nose Freak

David -- that is one of the most incorrect views of racing a person could have. Carrol Smith--whose credentials I have listed below--once said this and it is 100% accurate. This isn't some designer fashion wear. This is racing. The current generation of "men" in the automotive world don't seem to have a clue which way is up anymore as is evident by Frank's low IQ commentary.

"Carroll moved to Europe[when?] where he befriended John Cooper. Driving a Formula Junior Cooper, he won his first race. After waning success in the Cooper cars, followed by a characteristically clear-eyed personal assessment that he lacked the ability to drive race cars at the highest levels, he returned to the United States and began working with Carroll Shelby and the Ford Motor Company on the GT40 Le Mans program. Smith oversaw the preparation on the cars that won the 1966 and 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans.

After winning Le Mans with the GT40 cars from 1966 to 1969 (inclusive), FIA rules changes caused Ford to cancel the GT40 program. Smith moved to work with American Under-2.5 Liter Trans-Am champion Tony Adamowicz to work on his F5000 car in 1969. Smith led the team to the championship that year. In his many writings, Adamowicz credits Smith with successfully focusing his driving and tuning efforts. "

This sport has truly died in the last two decades. No one knows what they're talking about anymore!


Track-only "cars" (term used loosely) are an insult to the human intelligence.

The point of a car is transportation from A to B, or in the case of my buddy Rupert sometimes "A to A" (Lamborghini problems, if you know you know :twisted: )

If your little toy kart can't legally drive the missus home, or hit the canyons before the spandex-clad cyclists are awake, what's the point? Why limit yourself to the confines of a track? Budget constraints is the only real answer


Little toy karts are for the big boys Frank

Slant Nose Freak

It's funny you mention budget. Super Nationals last year was a 3 day event and to be competitive was about $100,000 for the weekend. Sounds like you are one of those guys who doesn't know a lot about the sport, but you want to be perceived as being very wealthy and important. Hence the Rupert's lamborghini if you know you know comment. So very important...

Slant Nose Freak


Guessing you are saying that to be bombastic and stir the pot. You really think men like Colin Chapman, Gordon Murray, Patrick Head, and Frank Williams are insults to human intelligence?

The point of a purpose built racing car is to...go racing. Meaning to compete against other men at the same time, under the same conditions, to see who can out maneuver the other driver for position at the end of a given distance / time. Race craft is one of the hardest things to learn and probably one of the most advanced things any driver can subject himself to.

If you look at SKUSA Super Nationals I believe over 200 people typically enter the KZ1 class and only the top 50 times are allowed to race. The whole field is usually separated by 1 second from 1st place to 50th. Michael Schumacher showed up one year and I think failed to place in the top 10 in the finals. Nelson Piquet Jr. has also contested this series and didn't finish in the top 20 iirc.

Guys like Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton, Juan Manuel Fangio, Colin McRae and Valentino Rossi don't care about "driving the missus home" or "hitting the canyons before the spandex cyclists are awake."

They are care about competing and winning. I am a racer, not an amateur road or weekend warrior. I've sent the better part of 10 years driving the canyon roads you frequent. Have done over 130mph on them, have caught air, raced a lot of people, and hit these roads as hard as I could.

The first kart race I entered I ran against a former Indy 500 champion and it was harder than any "battle" I ever had in the mountains. More physically demanding a lot. After that I was hooked. Nothing compares to the buzz of racing people hard and winning a championship. It's like boxing. Some people want to punch a bag. Some people want to spare. Other people want to become heavy weight champion of the world.

Different levels to the hobby.


You're a clown talking about go-karts on a CAR websight. I've been reading Speedhunters for a decade (featured on here twice myself). Never once have I seen a go-kart on here.

Gordon Murray is best known for his F1 ROAD CAR, intended to be the ultimate ROAD CAR. It was only good at racing as a by-product. QED (google that term if you have to, we'll wait)

Feel free to post your real name if you've allegedly run the canyons so frequently. Doubt I've heard of you.
Me personally I never thought I was "well known" in the canyons, until someone asked me last October if I've heard of the Wave-Tossed Man who drives these canyons? I just had to laugh! That's a nickname that some surf buds gave me.

Haywood Dudes said it best in his comment below. Thumbs up on that comment

Slant Nose Freak

Correcting above:

"Seven-time World Formula One Champion Michael Schumacher finished seventh at the 13th Annual SKUSA SuperNationals in LasVegas, America over the weekend.

After qualifying 27th Schumacher continually worked his way up the order in his heat races before finishing ninth in the pre-final and climbing to seventh spot at the chequered flag of the main event in the SuperPro(KZ2) category.

Bas Lammers claimed the victory in his Intrepid kart. Other notable competitors in the SuperPro included Marco Ardigo (5th) Nelson Piquet Jr (10th) while Sebastien Buemi and David Fore' both failed to finish."

I think this says everything we need to know about the legend of Frank Profera. These carts are for losers who no one will ever remember... HAHAHA


Franky, your ego needs to go on somewhere ..

Slant nose freak

Default name— its amazing how delusional he is. You can’t make up this level of moron. I mean really. It’s hard to actually fathom someone being this stupid.

He thinks road cars are superior to race cars. What an imbecile. I mean really wow. Wow. A basic formula car would smoke his little rs211. This guy really thinks he’s some kind of gift from God to cars. Amazingly moronic.

Road cars are inferior to even entry level race cars on a track in every way. He’s more concerned about his image and knowing rich people / having money than actually competing.

Total loser! Scared of competition because his ego is so fragile.

Slant Nose Freak

I also googled your name and I'm currently reading a thread about how you and Mike Stafford scammed people out of money for gearboxes and superchargers. Quite the reputation you seem to have.

Slant Nose Freak

That's exactly the reply I would expect from a very low level street driver.

Murray actually made his name working with Brabham and McLaren F1 teams before starting the design project of the road car. The reason why most people know him for this instead of Brabham is...wait for it...because they're uneducated casuals. Like you.

As for your comment about people knowing you in the canyons, yeah...that's what happens when you swim in a fish bowl. If you go to any place where people actually race no one knows who you are. Everyone knows who Ayrton Senna is.

If you put Senna and you in a room together (if he was still alive) no one would care about anything you have to say. Why? Because it's understood to anyone with a brain that wheel to wheel / competition at high levels like F1 are superior forms of intellect / ability / driving compared to what it takes to build a Lotus and "just cruise."

I really think you are an egomaniac and you are not smart or educated about anything you're discussing. All of this is about image and material fame and acknowledgement. It's pretty sad.


Well said.

Slant Nose Freak

Takumifujiwara13954 -- Thank you. This guy is a joke and a loser and he tries to bully people who don't know about the sport into thinking he is correct because he has features and a nice build. None of that mean s*** to racers. He has been called out many times in the past and has refused. He would absolutely get smoked in a competitive environment, knows this and therefor avoids all true competition to shield his ego from reality:

Is is old and can not compete with anyone in an equal playing field. That's how all the canyon guys are...I know because I grew up here in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. I've seen the whole thing grow and collapse and grow again many times.

I think at this point it is very clear Frank has no stones between his legs and he only exists in an environment where no one else is competing. He has big fish little pond syndrome and is very tweaked mentally. This guy's brain simply isn't firing on all cylinders and is getting worse as he gets older.

"Speed Hunters" serve a very low level audience who simply don't know any better. A lot of content now requires very little education and uses buzz words / dumb metrics that people really don't understand to try to Ooh and Aww us into thinking they are experts --- they are not.

Frank is nothing more than an old man who had his time and it has since passed. He is clawing for anything he can to stay relevant.


It all promo as the average consumer does not do this... But it is cool to watch. I guess it is like EVs and all the flashy gimmicks as well. Try

Slant Nose Freak

That is correct. The average consumer does not want to compete anymore. Testosterone levels are directly related to competitiveness and both are at a record low. Respect all the builds. Drive the canyons. Catch the waaaaves maaaan. Just crruuiiiiise.


In Japan, where space is at a premium, it doesn't make sense for most people to have the trailers, tow cars, and equipment that a race car requires. Even a second (uncovered) parking space, is a luxury for someone living in a city like Tokyo.

From that perspective it made a lot of sense for workshops to show their customers what kind of weekend toy they could have sitting in their spare car park. Of course people never know when to stop, so the classic time attack cars have given way to bewinged slick-shod monsters that are trying to be racing cars.

As soon as time attack cars lose the pretense of being "streetable", Slant Nose Freak's criticism of them becomes valid.

As for spending gigantic amounts of money for minimal track time, it's not my idea of fun, but for some people the freedom that ten seconds or less gives them from things such as their mortgages, their businesses, or the people they work with is the only thing that matters

Slant Nose Freak

JDM Ism - that makes sense. I forgot that it is primarily a street car sport. If you can't trailer something or store it at a track due to space then driving your street car on the track would be a good way to get seat time. I would definitely be into karting if I was in Japan due to the ease of transportation and still able to race wheel to wheel.

Yes, once you crack a certain barrier it's better to get into race cars as mentioned in my original post. Good insight, I forgot about the geographical challenges of the country.

Slant Nose Freak

Sorry i forgot to add this was the car for sale and with a Honda HR-414E (2.0L / 4 cyl / 542hp) it weighs 1,455lbs. I know it's tricky to redesign some of these vehicles for other engines in many cases, but if you had enough knowledge you could find something like this and pair with a 13b turbo. Would they let a person enter something like that into this event?


Sure, I agree with you.
But what about poor guys like me who love cars and racing, but don't have the skills and financial means to participate in wheel-to-wheel racing? On the other side of this spectrum, time-attack against myself is actually far more cheaper for me to go on driving. With limited budget per month, and I can't afford to risk my old trusty cars to real racing and 10-10 driving on canyon roads. Local time-attack events aren't all about D-measuring contest. I genuinely believe time-attack street cars are the gateway for the brokes with very low risk of being ruined financially.

Slant Nose Freak

Dante R -- my kart will sustain 2G which is more than any road car these guys are talking about. Fully rebuilt engine and perfectly tuned chassis would only sell for about $1200. You can pick up a good karting package in 100cc for about $2500-3200 and you can be competitive at a local level.

Wheel to wheel is very obtainable once you leave the car world. Cars are a ripoff and for posers! Look at Frank. It's all about getting featured and being perceived as being something instead of actually being that thing!

Get into karting. It will change your life and perception of the entire industry.


would be interested to see what it runs on an a050.

Slant Nose Freak

Is there any kind of standardization of tires to compare cars at this event? The lap record according to the time attack crowd is a 49 something if I'm not mistaken by HKS? Is everyone running on the same tires? This is where the nuances of motorsport and not being a casual internet fan really separate understanding: does everyone who competes in a time attack event at Tsukuba have to standardize their tires? Are we comparing a derestricted event to a restricted one?

This is why the internet is a joke and people who don't compete in a legitimate series cant be valued for their opinions. It's in the details with motorsport and tires are a pretty big detail!


I'm not 100% sure on the rules but most of the cars runs advan a050 where as this record was set with a hoosier a7, which seem to be a faster tire.. Just looking at the two tires might make you question how legit it is?

Slant Nose Freak

Kyle -- if that car was on an A7 and the rest of the cars were on A050 that is a massive advantage. I have raced on A6, A7, R6, and R7 and the A-compounds are one of the best tires available to enthusiasts who want peak performance. Most autocrossers in the states run those in open classes at nationals (I don't respect autocross that much, but the tire wars that happen in the open classes are a quick way to see what works).


From my understanding of Time Attack rules cars have to be based off of road going vehicles, Hence why no open wheel cars like the Dallara you posted compete. As for tyres and standardisation it's dependant on the class the cars are running in. I believe the in unlimited they can run up to Semi slick although I'm sure someone will tell me I am completely wrong.

Slant Nose Freak

LondonTownie - I think they are not allowed to compete for the same reason Div 1 karts aren't allowed in SCCA autocross: if people see something that is faster for cheaper than can lap for longer without problems, guess what? They often leave the series they are competing in. This is what happened to me as I went into 125cc TaG karting from other forms of racing I was in at the time. More seat time for cheaper? More intense to drive physically? Take my money and sign me up!


Great to see some international competition trounce most of the established locals. Also great news to see Shane Bingham's assistance & involvement. Good on yer, mate!


Interesting to see in the next iteration of the body work that the wing is moved forward over the rear deck, as it looks wildly far back in the current iteration. In any case, always love a good vette to represent american thunder (-8


And this car achieved it's 51 second lap without aero as extreme as Under Suzuki's S15 and Ando's Evo! Imagine what time it can achieve with even greater aero package...


Me personally, I’m still rooting for Under to keep the #1 time at TC2000. Something, more impressive for a lack of better words, about a 4 cylinder, still holding the lap record. This Vette will no doubt, at least I hope, spur Under Suzuki to push the limits even more with the S15.


Great article, always love reading about the tsukuba record.