Hyper Meeting 2010 – Time Attack

9 05 2010

After all the preparation of the past couple of months the day finally arrived to see how our car measured up against Japan’s fastest SST Evo X’s, everyone was expecting the normal early April cool temperatures at Tsukuba and so it came as a bit of a shock to all entrants that the mercury had climbed to 24 degrees celsius before the midday start time rolled around.

There were a total of 16 cars entered in the time attack portion of the days program… more relevant for me was the fact that there were 5 Evo X’s, 2 manual cars and 3 SST cars including ours. Because the cars were split into two groups some of the pro drivers were driving different cars in each group… to my dismay both the other SST’s were to be driven by none other than Nob Taniguchi and one of the manual cars was to be driven by Eiji Yamada of Cyber Evo fame… damn, talk about stiff competition ! I have to admit I was a bit nervous prior to the start at the thought of mixing with big names like these on the track but once I got belted in and hit the track I began to relax and enjoy the moment.

The car felt great… thanks to the fine tuning of the ECU the midrange response was incredible… who would have guessed a standard 4B11 could feel this good ! … unfortunately after a few laps it became clear that there were some issues with the prototype brakes that still needed some work and were affecting my braking points… it was going to be very difficult to beat my previous best time even though the car was clearly faster than when that time was set.

So how did our car end up when compared to the other Evo X’s ? … it was no surprise that the fastest Evo X was the HKS SST driven by Taniguchi with a best lap off 1 min flat, second fastest was the G-Force SST again driven by Taniguchi with a best lap of 1’02.8, third was our car with a best lap of 1’03.1, fourth was Unlimited Works 5sp driven by Yamada and 5th was the Test & Service 5sp driven by Seki.

Obviously I was disappointed that I could not better my previous best lap time of 1’02.8 however on reflection to finish the day as third fastest Evo X amongst such talented drivers as these does give me some satisfaction… now back to more parts testing before the next event.

Collecting data on the new oil cooler and SST cooler

Image courtesy of Chad Maclean

Warm up lap, thanks Chad !

Image courtesy of Chad Maclean

Nukabe / Prodrive / Bridgestone after 30 mins track time





Catch Up !

20 04 2010

Apologies for the lack of posts recently, what a crazy couple of months it has been…

It all started back in early Feb when I was asked to officially represent Bozz Speed at the Hyper Challenge Time Attack with our Evo X, not only did they want my car to carry their name but they also wanted me to drive… wow what a shock !… why so shocking… well because all the cars entered into the time attack challenge at the annual Hyper Meeting are driven by Professional time attack drivers from throughout Japan… names like Yamada, Taniguchi etc would fill the entry list and for me to be included with such talented drivers was a little unbelievable.

Making the transition from owner driver competing occasionally at small events to representing one of Japan’s top Lancer tuning shops at a high profile event such as the Hyper Meeting would require not only a step up in my driving but a lot of work to do on our car in preparation, hence the lack of posts on this blog as I have been busy talking to sponsors, fitting new parts, testing testing and more testing.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thanks to a few people that have been immensely helpful with the preparations on the car and also mental preparation for me… So a big thanks to Richard for his amazing skills and patience at re-mapping the ECU to get the absolute best performance out of the car and it’s new parts, thanks also to the guys at Greddy Japan for their dedication in developing and testing new parts for the X and for the use of their dyno so we could tune the car and thanks to Hisada-san at Bozz Speed for sharing his experience and helping me to get my head in the right place.

In addition to the above individuals I should also thank our new sponsors for their generous support…

Prodrive Japan, Bridgestone, Nukabe, Greddy, Winmax and Liqui Moly.

So enough talk, here are a few pictures showing some of the new parts on our car…

Nukabe BBK

Greddy Oil Cooler

Greddy SST Cooler

Nukabe & Greddy additions





Tokyo Auto Salon 2010

19 01 2010

After all the sombre predictions around the web that this years TAS would be a washout with nothing more than dressed up hybrids and K-cars on show it was pleasing to see how wrong all the rumors had been, sure some of the big name companies were noticeably absent but in my opinion this did not matter as there was a host of smaller tuning shops filling the void.

During the course of the three days, most exhibitors I spoke with were pleasantly surprised at how many people were in attendance and indeed spending money… perhaps the doom and gloom from last year has passed and we can look forward to a more normal year… was the general sentiment echoing around the pavilions.

For me the most pleasing aspect of the show was in the development of real performance parts for the Evo X… as expected there was a large number of them scattered throughout the show floor and in contrast to last year most were featuring significant power upgrades instead off just body kits and wheels. Indeed the bar has finally been raised with many X’s now pushing out north of 500 HP and in a couple of cases over 600 HP, during the course of the year I predict we will see an Evo X get close to the 55 sec time at Tsukuba.

It was a little disappointing to see no real progress on pushing the power up on the SST version’s… hopefully someone will take on the task as the year goes by !

Anyway enough chatter, let’s get to some pictures… below is a selection of what I liked or found interesting or just plain weird, hope you enjoy them.

Looks as good at a show as it does on the circuit, my pick for best Evo X

My pick for best looking Racecar

My pick for the best looking Import

Just stunning

I am starting to like the look of these

Still one of the best looking X's around and It's for sale !

A little more subdued than the Toyota below

This get's my vote as the worst looking car at the show

Still one of the best Japan has ever produced

+ one for the kids

I think this will be the fastest X around Tsukuba this year

A couple more X's

Makes a change from a Hummer I guess

This owner has nailed it... looks superb

Glad Toyota had a different team work on this compared to the Prius





Time Attack Event – Revspeed Super Lap 2009

14 12 2009

Once again some of Japan’s top time attack cars headed to Tsukuba Circuit for the annual super lap battle, could the defending champ Cyber Evo hold off the competition yet again and retain the crown or would Revolution & PanSpeed finally snatch the glory.

This year there were a couple of new cars hoping to upset the top three standings… a brand new Evo X  from Koyama racing running in the famous Team Orange colors and a GDB Imprezza built by Tomei Power… given these cars lack of track time it would be unlikely they could mount a serious challenge for outright honors today but it was good to see a couple of new challengers making the effort to shake things up a bit.

So lets get into some numbers with some times from the first session:

Revolution 55.915

PanSpeed 56.715

Cyber Evo 55.388

Tomei 56.905

Orange 58.695

Cyber Evo still has the lead but the margin is getting smaller with Revolution pressing them hard, a great effort by Tomei to be on the pace right from the start also.

Here are a few pics of the title contenders… final numbers after the pics !

And the top time of the day is…. 54.925 for Cyber Evo and so they do it again to remain the RevSpeed Super Lap champs for another year !

Here are the best times of the day for the other contenders… Revolution 55.915, PanSpeed 56.715, Tomei 56.667, Orange 58.368.

And to finish of, here is a pic of my vote for the best looking car at the event ( yes off course I am biased ) … thanks for reading.





Time Attack Event – HPI at Tsukuba

24 11 2009

The HPI events are always well attended and this one was no exception, over 100 cars turned up for the days sessions with the entrants split into 7 different classes to avoid to many cars on track at any one time.

There was a huge range of cars to be seen when walking around the pits… from the completely standard street cars all the way up to a couple of the fastest time attack cars in Japan doing a bit of last minute testing prior to the Super Lap battle in a couple of weeks time… do these cars look familiar ?

Cyber Evo

Cyber Evo

Panspeed RX-7

Panspeed RX-7

Judging by the times they were posting during the day it appears the Cyber Evo still has the edge but the Pan Speed crew is getting closer… I won’t spoil the fun by revealing any times, check back next month for the results from the Super Lap shootout.

I was interested to see that there were also a couple of other Evo X’s in attendance, both of which were 5 speed models… one GSR and one RS so it would be a good opportunity to compare lap times with our SST model. It turned out that one of them… the RS was from MK Sport and was being driven by non other than Tarzan Yamada… guess that makes any comparison to our car a little one-sided !

MK Sport Evo X

MK Sport Evo X

I had the opportunity to chat with Morita-san during the day and it turned out that there Evo X is fairly similar as far as tuning goes when compared to our demo car, both cars are running non standard suspension with S Tires, both cars have modified intakes and aftermarket brake pads, both cars have a single 3 inch exhaust and both cars are running re-programmed factory ECU’s. Apart from those items both cars are stock so although there was a lot of similarity to the setup of the cars I was not expecting to be in the same league as their lap times given the weight advantage the RS has and the fact that their driver Yamada-san is a legend at Tsukuba.

So you can imagine my surprise after the first session, their best lap time was a 1’02.88 compared to my best of a 1’03.36… hmm not to far off and my best ever lap by far at Tsukuba… could be an interesting day !

Indeed it was a good day for us as I was running consistent laps in the 1’03 range and managed a best lap of 1’02.85 for the day, off course MK Sport managed to better that time with a best of 1’01.89 but for me to be within 1 sec of them was extremely satisfying and shows we are definitely on the right track with setting up our demo car.

I will leave you today with a short video of my best lap to date at Tsukuba…





Time Attack Event – AMKreid Ebisu West

31 10 2009

An early start this morning to make the journey up to Fukushima prefecture for my first experience on the West Course at Ebisu, the day dawned clear and cold so I was looking forward to see how this course compared to the East course that I have run a few times and really like. Although the layout of the West Course looked promising it soon became clear that the track needs some TLC… it is very bumpy in a number of areas which for me means that the East course is still my favorite of the Ebisu courses.

There was a good turnout of cars for the event and a wide variety of different makes and models, ranging from Toyota Starlets through to R35 GTR’s and off course a lot of Evo’s ‘ Imprezza’s… pleased to see another Evo X show up also.

These events are really well run and rather informal so that meant a lot of track time during the course off the day, there would be 4 sessions of 30 mins for each class followed by a free run for 2 hours later in the day.

Unfortunately perhaps due to the cold temperatures or the altitude the course is at I would be plagued by random computer failsafe slowdown codes during most of the day so I spent a lot of time with the laptop connected to the car and not running on the track… oh well a good learning experience anyway. On a brighter note from the laps I did do I managed a best time of 1’05″69 which put me in 2nd place for the day.

Instead of posting a video today I will share a few photo’s showing the outside of my car for a change, big thanks to my friend Yuki for getting the shots !

Until next time…

 

Driving Force Japan Evo X SST

In the Pits

 

Driving Force Japan Evo X SST

Start / Finish Line

Driving Force Japan Evo X SST

Turn 2 Entry

Driving Force Japan Evo X SST

Turn 2 Exit

Driving Force Japan Evo X SST

Into the Hills...

Driving Force Japan Evo X SST

Turn 2

 

 

 





Tsukuba Circuit – Testing

30 09 2009

A couple of weeks back I headed out to Tsukuba Circuit to do some testing on our reprogrammed ECU and some adjustments that have been made to the suspension settings on our demo car.

Although the weather was still a little warm on the day ( 29 C ) we needed to get some data from pushing the car harder than can be done safely on the road… as it turned out the car handled the conditions very well and in addition to getting a lot of useful data I managed to set our best lap time to date at Tsukuba with a time of 1″04.06.

I was pretty happy with the way the day turned out even though I was having quite a bit of trouble with rear end grip through the last corner that was robbing valuable time… if we can get the car better set up at the rear for that last corner then I am sure there is still a fair bit of time to be gained so I am looking forward to working on that before the next time I go to Tsukuba.

Also worth mentioning is the difference in the way the car sounds now with the new exhaust… no longer does it sound like an asthmatic vacuum cleaner when hitting the higher RPM range… check out the video below compared to some of the older videos with the stock exhaust to see what I mean.

Until next time… thanks for looking.








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