"Ay Smoke where you have been these days?" Well, quite a lot happened
[10 Jan 2020]
Basically life, NFS Heat and MTA combined into one force to made me postpone my updates
But eh don't worry, the king of number nines is back with a lot of things to tell!
So what happened during the latter half of last month? Check it out by delving into the update below!
[11 Jan 2020]
As I began to sort out the remaining upgrades for the S15 and Evo V, as well as began visioning on how I would paint it, my phone rang. I thought it'll be either Muza (@Niatross
) or @Benny
, but no. Instead it's Rantaro who called me. Truth be told it's been a while since I hung out with either Rantaro or Ryuji, though we still communicate via text chats when we could. The reason of this is not only I'm busy preparing for the S15 and Evo V to be track-ready, I also ended up hanging out with Muza, Marc (@topy
) and Adrianne (@RocketBunnyS13
) more often, not to mention Benny and Ziga (@Lagano
) also coming from stateside to establish a new garage here. So I'm quite happy to be able to speak with Rantaro again.
"Hey Edo-kun, you there?"
"Ah, Rantaro! It's been a while I should say"
"Yeah, been a while indeed. Where have you been these days?"
"Quite a lot of things. Building two cars in parallel isn't an easy task, y'know"
"Yeah, and an Evo V. I'm runnig out of time for the S15 as well"
"Oh wew boi, I wish I could lend a hand"
"Ah don't worry, I've got some helping hands already. It's almost complete too"
"Ah, okay then. My work hours got bumped more than usual as well these days, I'm quite tired"
"Sysadmin life is never easy my man" *laughter* "Tried once, never again"
"Ah anyways let's hang out this weekend. There will be a meet at Tsukuba uni"
"Oh cool, just like the one back then yes?"
"Yeah, but for now it's mostly attended by lowered and VIP rides. Not sure if they'll allow your Evo to join"
"Oh don't worry about that, I've got the right car for that"
"I don't remember you owning a lowered car, but I believe you"
"How about Ryuji and Ryoko, will they be there?"
"Nah sadly. They're still in New Zealand, and I heard Ryoko fell ill"
"Oh god, that's quite bad. I wish her to recover soon. Anyways can my friends tag along as well?"
"Yeah, here's hoping. Oh yeah yeah sure, the more the merrier"
"Right, thanks for the invitation man. See ya at Saturday, let me know if you're there"
"Sure thing, see ya my man"
It's been a while since I attended a huge car meet, let alone with my friends. The last time I attended one
, not only I was able to gather a lot of my friends (Rantaro, Ryuji, Ryoko, Genzo, Muza, Adrianne, Marc) at the meet, there was also a special appearance by the legendary @MACKAY
in his Ferrari 458, which sadly has been sold ever since. Given that Benny and Marc are working on their respective cars at the moment, I assume Muza, Adrianne and Ziga can make it to the meet. After several text chats to confirm their appearance and to have them gather at my crib, I continued my work for the night.
I got quite serious and absorbed by the upgrade sorting and planning, I ended up sleeping on my table until brunch time the next day. I was woken up by two separate calls: One from Rantaro, where he said he'll go to the uni at 3pm and another one from Ziga, saying he'll arrive to my crib soon and currently enjoying a nice cup of coffee somewhere near Ebisu. Turns out Ziga had some shakedown with his R33 earlier that day, with his R33 receiving upgrades some time ago. After I had lunch and shower, Adrianne texted me, saying he has done his office works and going to my crib soon. Relatively speaking, AJ would be in heaven in this meet, since he's one of the masters of lowering cars and even his daily, an Audi A5, is lowered as well.
Some hours later, Ziga arrived in his Evo VI. Apparently, there was quite a traffic jam on his way here, and he was quite tired from all the driving, including the shakedown drive earlier. After supplying him with onigiris and smoe more cups of coffee, we waited for Muza and AJ to finsih their respective works and drive to Tsukuba as we spent the time watching TV and playing Jenga (or Stacks as some of you call it) in my lounge.
Some time later, as Ziga did a mistake while pulling one of the blocks and therefore every single of them fell down to the floor, AJ arrived on my doorsteps.
E:"Come in dude, come in! Just ignore the mess will ya"
A:"Excuse me while I'm sitting here. Aaaaah it's been a looong day at work"
E:"Eh? I thought you've finished earlier. What happened?"
A:"One of my legal files was lost. Turned out to be in the wrong section of the file storage"
Z:"Dangit man, that's quite a mistake"
A:"I know right? I could've get back home or go here earlier. Anyways what happened here?"
Z:"Oh, we played Jenga to wait for you and Muza. You wanna play?"
E:"It's a nice precision and patience training, you should try it"
A:"Okay okay, ah Edo can you drive for me later? I don't think I'm in the mood to drive"
E:"Sure, why not. We'll drive Kaede later"
Much later, Muza finally come to my crib, looking rather wrecked from all the work.
E:"Yo, come in man. Busy day at the workshop?"
M:"You bet it was. A lot of maintenance works and build requests came in today"
Z:"Well, can't be helped when you're working for one of the most revered workshop in the world"
M:"I guess you're right. Hey Edo, can you drive for me, or probably us later? I'm tired"
E:"Sure, and that means we've perfectly filled the seats of Kaede. Tea or coffee?"
M:"Coffee, and make it strong. Stronger than my will to live if necessary"
E:"Cheer up my man, it's weekend, no need for that negative vibes"
A:"Yeah, who knows if there's a vibe check later in the meet" *massive laughter*
With Muza sipping his warm coffee and I, AJ and Ziga switched from Jenga blocks to Uno cards, Rantaro called me on the phone.
"Edo-kun, I'm in location"
"Oh okay, my friends are already here. Ready to roll"
"Be quick, it's getting crowded here. Meet me at the usual spot"
"Roger, going to the location"
And so, I and the boys jumped into Kaede's seats and start our journey to the university. We spent quite a long time in my crib that we didn't know as we start the ride, the sun started to set. Along the dense traffic we kept the roof open to kept ourselves chilled by the winter wind and we blasted several citypop hits
as we made our way.
As the sunset comes and we were free from the traffic, finally we arrived at the uni's parking lot. Immediately I took Kaede to park beside Rantaro, who turned out driving his ol' trusty Mark II for the day. Or should we say the Merc II, for obvious reasons
If you've joined the forum way back then you'll know this car and by extension who Rantaro is, but if you're new to the forums or haven't seen this thing rolling before, let me reintroduce him and the car.
Rantaro is a friend of mine, a Tsukuba local and works as a sysadmin in a software house corp. The Merc II, as I call it because of the Merc-style front end conversion, is a GX70 Mark II that has been 2JZ-GE swapped. This is Rantaro's second car, and he has spent a lot of money to make it look like this, including the bright interior for the luxurious look. Eventually Rantaro bought an actual Merc (see page one), but he still drives this thing because well, his Merc W140 is an LHD import, making it a bit difficult to drive.
"Ah there you are Edo-kun, I thought you won't make it to the meet"
"Well here we are. Oh you've brought the Merc II! And on new wheels as well!"
"Yeah, they're custom made. Straight from Okinawa"
"Man I always want to go there, I heard drag racing is big there"
"Pretty much so. Oh I see you've actually brought your friends. I think I know two of them, but who's the other one?" *points at Ziga*
"This one here is our friend from America, but he could speak Japanese pretty well. He's staying here for some time"
"I see I see, it's nice to meet you all" *fistbumps and brohugs ensues*
"Now I wish Ryuji and Ryoko is here as well.......but oh well"
Next to us there are the Crown S171 of our acquintance and one of Tsukuba uni's history lecturer, Miyuki-sensei. And beside the Crown is the Impala of Juuichi/Joey, who I met for a while last year. Apparently none of them has updated their cars for a while.
E:"Sensei! It's an honour to meet you again"
My:"Ah, let's see......Edo-kun, was it? And you must be Rantaro-kun"
R:"Yes, glad you still remember us well"
My:"Well, I kinda do, but don't you two drove different cars back then?"
E:"Ah, yes. My Evo III is in my home, and so does Rantaro's Mercedes"
My:"I think this is the one you told me back then, isn't it Rantaro-kun? The Mark II?"
R:"I'm glad you remember it well, sensei"
My:"I should say, the modification is much better than I thought, quite convincing actually"
R:"Glad you like it sensei"
My:"And oh, are these three your friends?"
E:"Yes, sensei. Adrianne here is a lawyer, Muza works at Nismo, and this one here is my friend from America"
My:"Oh he's having a holiday here?"
E:"Half-holiday, half-working. He owns a tuning shop in USA, and going to expand them here"
My:"I wish for your success, you look quite promising"
Z:"Thank you very much sensei"
E:"Oh hey Joey! Nice to see you here!"
J:"Oh hi, uh......do I know you?"
E:"Well, we only met once
, but I still saved our pics"
J:"Ah, I see. I don't remember much though, but it's nice to see you again. Anyways which car is yours for the day?"
E:"That 240 over there. It's an American import"
E:"Yeah. As you can see, it's LHD, and it still has KA24DE. I should say, your Impala influenced me to modify this car"
J:"Oh wow, glad Ii could be your inspiration. Yeah I can see some lowrider vibes here"
E:"Originally it's going to be fully lowrider, but after I scored this wheel, also from USA, I mixed it with Kyusha styling"
And at the other side of our lot was an Estima belonged to sisters Akane and Mihaya, adorned with pink paint job, Weds Kranze Graben wheels and Do-Luck kit. I secretly wanted an Estima myself to haul things and people, and I've driven one as well. But then again not only there's the Sprinter that can roughly do the same job, my garage is full as well. Beside the Estima there's an S15 driven by Shinji, who is now driving it more as a daily and going to Akagi touge less often. He still drifts at Nikko and Ebisu with his Cefiro though, but then again it's on the verge of breaking as well.
R:"Akane! Mihaya! Look who's here!"
Ak:"Oh Rantaro, hi there! And let's see, you're......"
Mh:"Edo-san, was it?"
E:"Yep, that's me. Glad you remember well"
Ak:"Ah, the man with the Evo yes? But where is it?"
E:"Yup exactly. The Evo is in my home now, I brought something else"
E:"That 240 over there. An American import"
Ak:"Oh? I thought you can buy a convertible S13 here as well?"
E:"Well yes, but not only it's produced by different companies, both items are rare as well"
Ak:"What do you mean? They're both Nissans"
E:"The one in Japan has PS front and bulit by Autech. The American ones like mine has RPS front and built by ASC"
Ak:"Aaaah I see, that's quite a difference. How about the price, is it any different"
E:"I know the used ones here is rather expensive. The American ones are surprisingly cheap, hence I'm able to bag one"
Mh:"Oh wow! You're quite lucky I should say"
Across our lot was three cars: A Miata NA, a Prius and a Celsior F10. The Miata NA, coloured in a nice shade of red and riding on Hayashi Super Street rims, belongs to Keita (23), a university student studying architecture. The NA once belonged to his uncle as a touge weapon and cruiser, until he grew up tired of driving sportscar recently. Now he switched to a Crown S170, just like the one Miyuki-sensei has, and gave Keita the NA as a birthday gift. Sometimes Keita does bring it to touge passes and racetracks, but he rarely races it on either places, although whenever he could or the rule allows it (normally rollcage and arm restrainers is required for convertible racecars), he enters gymkhana competition with it. It still has a Mazda B engine with a bolt-on turbo.
Speaking about Miatas, I (and I'm sure everyone here) have a soft spot for Miatas, mostly both NA and ND. The Miata is known very well as one of the (if not the) entry point for both sportscar ownership and racing efforts. It's cheap, easy to maintain, parts are abundant and the tuning potential is very wide. If you want to open your way to grip racing, Mazda US and JP happily paves the way for you via the MX-5 Global Challenge program. There are also a lot of Spec Miata leagues outside the one held by Mazda themselves. In Japan there are also two endurance races dedicated to Miatas, both called the Roadster Endurance Party. One is open for auto journalists around Japan using stock NDs, whereas the other one is open to everyone with any kinds of Miatas.
This Mk3 Prius here is owned by Keita's classmate, Jirou (22). Unlike Keita though, Jirou did a lot of part-time jobs and saved his earnings to buy the car. At first he doesn't seem to care much about car tuning scene, and honestly just wanted a personal commuter ride, but upon seeing pics of VIP-tuned cars and brought by Keita to a car meet several times, the petrolhead bug bit him and he decided to save some more for these wheels and a set of airbags, since he still want the car to be functional). He does know that Toyota raced a V8-powered Prius in Super GT, but when I show him a vid of the Harley-powered Prius racecar
and Hellcat-powered Prius dragster
, he was quite surprised
Well, I kinda want a Prius of my own..........
And finally, this Celsior is owned by Gendo (41), an office employee just like Rantaro, though I didn't know what did he do specifically. His Celsior is particularly stock perfromance-wise, but visually it's been amped up with that bodykit, a set of Uras Exsol wheels and a set of Aragosta coilovers. The Celsior back then was made as a rival to Mercedes and BMW in the luxury market segment, under the name Celsior and Lexus LS400. Initially it was a great success, but then the 90s luxury car problem of overengineering kicks in, resulting in high maintenance cost and the value of the car dropped like a base jumper without a parachute. To demonstrate the point, the 1UZ engine it was made for has the starter motor inside the engine, which means changing them requires at least one or two hours of engine lifting and unscrewing just to retrieving it. Specifically, it's right between the base of the cylinder heads, which also means beneath the intake manifold.
A bit of fun fact: The 1UZ has an aviation and marine engine cousins, respectively called the FV2400-2TC and VT300i. The 1UZ was also used as racecar engines as well, powering the SARD MC8 racecar in Le Mans 24 Hours as well as various Daytona Prototype racecars at the Grand-Am series. This somewhat extends to the Celsior/LS400 capability as, errr.......a racecar as well. In America, the LS400 is one of the recommended cars for the 24 Hours of Lemons
cheap enduro series. While it never has been a racecar in Japan, if you're a fan of Wangan Midnight series, you'll know the Celsior is the weapon of choice for Gen Sasaki, or better known as Gatchan. In the story, Gatchan fitted the 1UZ with bolt-on turbos and tuned it up to 1000 BHP(!!). Visual-wise he also went all-out with it, from painting it on a special shade of purple, fitted neons and added window tints.
As the night fell off, we spent the chilly nights under the lights and warm ourselves up with various activities. Banters and chatters were everywhere, and turns out Akane and Mihaya has fitted their Estima with a huge sound system, so I and Rantaro joined them on blasting some music. Cans of coffee and beer were passed as well to keep ourselves hydrated and warm, though I only opted for coffee. Often times I had to come back to my own lot since a lot of people asked me either "Why is the steer on the left?" if they haven't known me yet, or "Where's your Evo?" if they do. Nevertheless they appear to appreciate the local gaijin that is Kaede.
Joey's Impala, being an American car, also had a lot of attentions from all the crowds. I mean, you rarely see them here and it absolutely looks the business
It is actually funny and interesting to see how the Japanese wants to be like the westerns (by bringing lowrider culture and drag racing overseas, as well as incorporating limo and dub-style builds to form VIP style), whereas the westerns also wanted to be like the Japanese (by bringing drifting and import tuner culture, including demon camber/onikyan, usage of widebody kits, 2000s and hotboi builds and many more). But then again, that kind of culture exchange is also what unites us as a unity of petrolhead.
As the meet and party went along, with some people B-boying in front of Mihaya and Akane's car, AJ called me for a bit.
"Yo Edo, let's play a game"
"Ah okay, what game though?"
*whips a pack of Uno cards* "This!"
"OI! THAT'S MY UNO CARDS! But come to think of it you're a genius dang"
"Muza, Rantaro,Joey and Ziga is in, how about you?"
"Oh sure sure, I'll ask Mihaya, Akane and Keita as well"
And so, we went on several rounds of Uno that night, with Kaede's boot and that B-Wave spoiler as the table to put the cards on
Usually, Uno rules are one of the most difficult things to be agreed upon, but this time we agreed upon a rule I, Muza and AJ usually play with: If someone whips out a +2 or +4, the next player may whip out another +2 or +4 to pass the burden to the next player after him or her, with the one pulling +4 calling the next card colour on play and only +2 cards that correspondents the called colour may be pulled on the next turns. This turned to be quite vicious and hilarious, resulting in a lot of a grand total of +20 and up to +40 to the unfortunate player that received the end of the plus train. Rantaro though held the 'record' for the night, receiving +48 on one of our last rounds
We stayed up that night until we didn't realize the day has changed and we were all tired from hanging out, having banters and laughed out loud on various occassions. A lot of us are either amped up on coffee overdose ("S**t man, I can stay up for another 24 hours with this") or even got high on beer. With the meet over, we came back to our cribs after spending our time in such a fun and intense night.
[15 Jan 2020]
Finally the next batch of parts for the S15 has arrived, and this means the S15 project has began to see the light at end of the loooong tunnel. It's been almost a year since I bought the S15, with the project kept on being postponed back due to various constraints, from lack of budget at the start, to basically my first year of competitive racing at the middle and the end. With only a few weeks to go before the next Attack Tsukuba at February, I really have to ramp up the build speed on this thing and pray for fast part delivery.
How about the Evo V, you ask? Well, it's going to be on the back of the list for now, since the events designed for it starts at March. But then again the faster I finish the S15, the faster I can work on the Evo V as well. And that's also why the Silver Queen hasn't left my garage yet: Should I failed to finish the Evo V on time, the Evo III can still be used to compete for a while.
Since all but one parts I've ordered at the previous update consists of engine parts, that means I had to take off the RB26 block again and play Lego with it. As I've mentioned before, building this car is like building three cars at once: It's an S15 powered by an RB26DETT from an R32 GT-R that is mated with Z33 transmission for better durability, cut the build and maintenance cost and to keep it RWD. And yes, I do aware of the oil pump issue on R32 RB blocks, which is why that was also on my shopping list. Speaking of RBs, I heard Nissan's Heritage Program now produces brand new RB blocks, heads and other parts
for the R32 to R34. Regular RB block is priced at V$1700, while the N1 block got a price tag of around V$4200. I'm quite tempted to move to the N1 block, but that's probably later after Attack Tsukuba.
Many hours later, finally everything has been installed to the RB, and the RB has returned to the S15. Now it's time to swap the carbon fiber bonnet with.......another one. As you've read in the previous update, Marc pointed out the possibility of quick engine overheating with the current Varis bonnet with OEM-like design, and suggested to switch for a vented hood, of which I scored one from Seibon. Now it's time to undone the hood pins and remove the Varis hood.........
.......and installing the brand new Seibon ones. Looks nice isn't it? And definitely it helps the air to flow better and releases much more heat from the engine. With everything almost done at this point, this leaves turbo works, spot welding, rollcage building and wrapping the car i a proper livery to be done. Back when I started my petrolhead journey, I didn't expect to be able to own and build my own race car. This year, the dream will come true. I really want to be the next Under Suzuki and Kunihiko Bandoh, ordinary office employees who turned their daily and track car into the time attack monsters we all know today (and coincidentally Under also drives an S15)
With the parts installing done, after washing my hands properly and having a proper dinner, it's time to order some more parts for the project, and fortunately there aren't much parts needed for the process. For the turbos, I wanted to keep the twin turbo layout to reduce lag. Fortunately, Greddy got a kit
for that, featuring two T88 turbines along with wastegates and everything else needed to complete the set for V$4537. As for the rollcages, Marc originally suggested to just fit a Cusco bolt-in rollcage, since it's already enough to qualify for most races in Japan, but I wanted to do it properly. So what I did is ordering a total of 15 meters of steel tubes
for V$186 to be built into a rollcage. Design-wise I decided to follow the guide and rules
from 24 Hours of Lemons, since it's actually stricter than most of Japan's regional events.
As I've done ordering these parts, my phone rang. It's Ohira-sensei who called me. Then I remember something: The 31st running of RevSpeed Super Battle
is going to be run in a week. I opted to skip the event personally since I've attended the 30th one last year (and which prize money I haven't claimed yet, silly me) and I need to focus on building my own racecars, but then again Ohira-sensei and his garage, Summer Yume has appointed me as their second driver last year. Perhaps it's my turn to drive for them now, after their main driver and mechanic Yuuta drove their Mirage at the previous event.
"Edo-kun, Ohira-san here"
"Oh, Ohira-sensei. Anything I can help?"
"I'm sure you remember that another RevSpeed event is going on at 23rd"
"O-Oh yes I do. Do you need me to drive?"
"Exactly. We've registered you as the driver"
"Ah cool, I don't enter my Evo for the time being so it's all good"
"Great. We've added some stuff to the Mirage, but it's most likely to be finished one or two days before the event"
"Oh nice, I'm looking forward to it"
"What I'm saying is prepare for unexpected changes, but it's nice to hear you being enthusiastic. Right, see you next week"
"See you sensei"
It's quite nice to be back on the track competitively for the first time on this year, and of course I'm rather desperate for money at this point. Now though, time to get myself back on form again so I could score decent lap times again.
[20 Jan 2020]
After I claimed the paycheck and the previous RevSpeed Super Battle monetary prize check, I realized that I've hoarded so much things in my garage since last year. So I spent almost an entire day auditing them, refurbishing them to my best effort and began to list them for sale on various websites, including Yahoo Auctions, Croooober and Nengun. The details of the parts are listed below:
It is both quite amazing and quite tragic that I managed to stack up a lot of parts in around half a year in the back of my garage. On one side of course it filled up my garage and decreased working space, and it does make my backyard look like a junkyard
On the other hand, it made quite a nice deposit at times like this
And ohoho I've seen you've eyeing for some parts over there.......keep reading the update to see what I put for sale for everyone
[23 Jan 2020]
It's raceday! I did my usual chores of prepping my race suit, gloves and shoes as well as cleaning my helmet the day before, but unlike my usual racedays after having my shower and brekkie, instead of hopping into Silver Queen, I hopped to my HR34 to make my back feel better before racing and because obviously I don't race with Silver Queen today. But as usual, I went to the track early because the first run will be held in the morning. And because I'm not racing the ER34, I had to park at the spectator's area and walk while carrying my backpack of race and spare suits plus helmet into the paddock.
As I arrived to the paddock and spotted the Summer Yume crew's pit box, the crew greets me and told me to come over. As usual, the crew for the day consist of Ohira-sensei, Goro, Mishima, Kei and Nato. The only addition would be Yuuta, who's not on driving duty and being replaced by myself.
E:"Morning chaps! It's a great day for racing innit?"
O:"Finally, there you are. Ready for the race?"
E:"Well, I'm always ready. Ah yes, back the you said there's something new for the Mirage"
M:"So sensei told you about that as well?"
E:"Of course he is"
M:"Oh okay cool, while you're here let me show you"
So they disassembled the bonnet and front bumper to show the engine upgrades they've done. Turns out they've added a turbo! Apparently both Ohira-sensei and Yuuta thought the Mirage could use some more power safely, since the 4G63 is still relatively strong enought to take some punishments and their lap time at the last event was rather dismal according to the crew. Sure, they're still starting, but they didn't expect to fall behind rather quickly.
E:"Oh wow you guys are going turbo already! How much is the power increase?"
Y:"We rated it at 300 BHP at dyno, so that's a 100 BHP bump"
E:"Oh hey nice! But I heard the car hasn't been tested yet.........."
G:"Ah yeah, since it's kinda like a last-minute decision. And we also focused on the gears and pressure adjustment"
K:"Hey don't worry about the turbo, internals and gears, they can withstand each other so far"
G:"Yeah, feel free to push it"
E:"Ah okay that's ensuring enough. Though I wish we can have proper aero"
K:"We didn't have time yet for that but we've chalked it up on our plans"
E:"Oh hey it's almost time for drivers briefing. Wheel up the car to parc ferme, I'll change into my race suit"
G:"Okay, see ya later"
And so, after my first call of nature for the day and changing into my race suit, I and other drivers attended the drivers briefing for the day. Ah yes, I forgot to tell you about the classes as usual. But since the RevSpeed Super Battle has a rather complex class structure, which would be very long to explain, let's cut to the chase a bit:
Open Class - Non street legal, purpose-built racecars with unlimited aero.
- Open 4WD: AWD cars, no engine size limit
- Open RWD 1: >=2500cc naturally aspirated RWD cars + turbo/supercharged RWD cars with no engine size limit
- Open RWD 2: <2500cc naturally aspirated RWD cars
- Open FWD 1: >=1600cc Turbo/supercharged FWD cars
- Open FWD 2: >=1600cc naturally aspirated FWD cars
- Open FWD 3: <=1500cc FWD cars
Street Class - Street legal cars with OEM or sha-ken allowed aero
- Street 4WD: AWD cars, no engine size limit
- Street RWD 1: >=2500cc naturally aspirated RWD cars + turbo/supercharged RWD cars with no engine size limit
- Street RWD 2: <2500cc naturally aspirated RWD cars
- Street FWD 1: >=1600cc Turbo/supercharged FWD cars
- Street FWD 2: >=1600cc naturally aspirated FWD cars
- Street FWD 3: <=1500cc FWD cars
Since the Summer Yume Mirage is still streetlegal, and they've been fitting a turbo to their 4G63 engine (it originally has 4G92, I know that), they've been bumped from Street FWD 2 to Street FWD 1. On the plus side, this allows them to reach faster times. On the minus side, this means they would find themselves in a much tighter competition, facing from Honda specialists such as Spoon, ASLAN and G-Work to your general car tuners such as Trust and Monster Sport, and even european car specialists such as Stile and Tezzo.
There are 64 entrants for today, slightly down from 78 cars last year. That includes 6 entries from Street FWD 1 which is our class for the day. Just like at tlast year's event there will be two one-lap shooutouts for everyone: One before lunchtime, and one after lunchtime. And as winter has begun to wither away, there isn't much worry over snowfall on the track.
With the drivers briefing over, we headed back to the paddock and get into the cars. And as we are one of the cars who got to run earlier, I immediately drove the Mirage to the pitlane and join the first queue to set the first laptime.
Run 1 - 09.15 am
The new turbos on the Mirage made it much more sprightly than I can remember. 100 BHP does make quite a lot of difference it turns out. Cold air temperature also helps the Mirage to run optimally, but that is offset by the minimum level of grip we had to suffer from since we were the first ones to run on the track. And as I drive AWD cars more often, the car suffers a bit from lift-off oversteer as I exited several corners. Added with the fact that they haven't installed a rollcage yet while adding more power actually made me a bit terrified as well.
As I approached the end of the lap, what I feared almost became true. All in a sudden the tail lifted and the car went a bit sideways as I enter the final corner, and naturally I hit the gas again to neutralize it. But then again this is an FWD car, so instead of holding the slide the car just quickly gain grip at the front and went into a huge under steer. I nsplit second I realize the car would just going into the wall this way, so I pulled the handbrake and let it slide again to recover.
Thankfully this worked quite well, and so I was able to save the car and bring it back to the line. To be honest that was one of the most terrifying moments in my life. And because there isn't any rollcage to support the car, if I actually smash the wall that would possibly be the end of my life. I should've let the car slide a bit more before hitting the gas again. But then again there's the skills from my drifting sessions saving the car and my life.
As I returned to the pits, I saw quite a lot of people applauding me for the save, and then as I stopped at the pit box, the Summer Yume crew quickly gathered around the car. I exited the car and went to the back of the box to sit down and calm myself down.
E:"Sensei, I'm terribly sorry for that error. I know I'm better than that"
O:"It's okay young man, at least you brought it back in one piece"
Y:"Aniki that was a great save!"
G:"God damn Edo-kun you gave us heart attack for a second, but yeah, nice save"
M:"Look at the bright side as well, now we also figured out what to improve"
E:"Thanks chaps. Alright let's go to work-"
K:"Nah it's okay, let us handle it. You can rest for a while"
E:"Okay, thanks for the hard work"
And as the others set their first times on the track, the crew did more works on the car, while I watch the drivers flying by the main straight. I also set my eyes on the FWD cars drivers to see how do they tame their vehicles. Eventually the crew finished working on the car right as lunchtime kicks in, and we decided to have lunch together. But since the cafetaia was quite crowded, we decided to bring the foods to our garage instead and eat together beside and behind the car. As I'm going to hit the track soon, I decided to eat inside the car despite the rise of air temperature. Don't worry, no crumbs on my suit or the seat
With the second run coming up, after I refreshen myself with a bottle of mineral water I wheeled the Mirage again to the pitlane for the final run of the day.
Run 2 - 13.15 am
With more rubbers on the track, air temperature rising and lessons learned from the first run, there are more grips to be found on the track and I can safely push the car to the limits again. The crew did the setup ajdustment quite well as I felt there are less body roll and lift-off oversteer, though torque steer can still be felt at times. I guess this is why unles you're an experienced tuner and race driver, putting turbos on lightweight classic FWD hot hatch is a rather bad decision.
And to avoid having a near-death experience just like at the first run, at the final corner I decided to slow down a bit and taking the corner with a smoother, finer approach. It might not be the fastest of the entries, but hey, better than having a gravel bath or worse, ending up on the armco and possibly ending my life as well.
Finally, I crossed the line once again to finish my run for the day. I quickly returned to the pits let the others set their times safely, and I can't wait to have some discussions with the crew. After I drove the car back to the pits, I had Yuuta returning the timer beacon to the stewards office, while I went back to the locker for one more call of nature that I've held back along my second run and to change into my spare dry suit and undies. Well at least I didn't have a leak on my run
But as I've always said, having a call of nature mid-racing is not the best of things.
[03 Feb 2020]
After everybody has finished their runs and waiting for a while as we all discussed our runs with other drivers, the result is in. On my first run, due to my mistake at the end of the run I only scored 1 minute 06.779 seconds, whereas at the much-better second run I was able to score 1 minute 03.657 seconds. That final time put us and the Summer Yume at the 4th position in the Street FWD 1 class.........just one step away from podium!
We were all ecstatic because not only we almost reach the podium, the Mirage's lap time has been improved by two seconds. But at the same time we were also rather disappointed because we knew we could do better.
After the podium ceremony, we gathered one more time for evaluation briefing. The Summer Yume crew planned to retune the car and install a rollcage to prepare to participate in Attack Tsukuba this year. And after Attack Tsukuba, they might either switch to a Evo IV,VII or IX Wagon. All the monetary prizes and memorabilias goes to the garage, including a special copy of RevSpeed Magazine, and Ohira-sensei would transfer me V$500 as my pay for being their driver. With the briefing over, we parted ways, I picked up my backpack again and returned to the public parking lot to pick up my HR34. As I went back home, it's quite clear that winter is going away, with skies looking much brighter and the air not being so chilly anymore.
Quite a lot of thing has came for the day. My paycheck, my shop salary (visit it here!
) and even more of my parts sale cash. Speaking about the shop, last month's sale has been a bit dismal, but I could understand not everybody is going to shop a lot of things all the time. And life itself has its own highs and lows. But on the other hand, my own parts sale has went very, very well, especially thanks to my own idea of putting them on Croooober and Nengun to allow international appeal. It looks like more people are trying to either restore, get spare parts for or repair their Evos and S-Chassis everyday
But hey don't worry, I still got some parts for those who have been hungry for parts here. Come forth as I reveal my parts for sale, and hit me up in this thread if you're interested! (you can also find them at the parts classifieds
BigSmoke's Smokey Deals! Parts For Sale!
Note: Everything is in USED condition, quality wise guaranteed good (except tyres)
Additional V$100 if you're based outside Japan
Varis S15 Carbon Hood @ V$400
Dry carbon, barely used, hood pins not included
S13 OEM taillights @ V$200
Taken from MS13 Convertible
SOLD!!!RB26 stock crank,rod and piston assembly @ V$1500
Quite used, circa 100,000+ kms, will fit RB20, RB25, RB26 and RB30, machining might be required
Z33 Exedy OEM clutch @ V$250
Barely used, single plate OEM design, better materials
WedsSport TC105N 16" + Bridgestone Potenza RE002 @ V$2400
One full set/All four pieces, custom matte black paint on wheels, tyres are rather worn from TA and touge drives, unused for almost a year
SOLD!!!R33 Stock Wheels + Nankang tyres @ V$1200
Tyres are quite worn from drifting, unused for almost a year
And finally, let's do some wallet sum once more:
That's all my updates for now, thank you for stopping by and see you soon!