Auto Salon Magazine Tour
Presented By Nitto Tires, Razo And Carmate
The official '08 Turbo Magazine Tour kicked off another memorable event with Kintetsu International's arrangement of another amazing trip. It was best scribed by an attendee as "the best and easiest way to tour Japan, without getting lost, while taking full advantage of a car enthusiast's dream come true." The first two days after attempting to shake off the jetlag was dedicated toward spending some quality time at the Tokyo Auto Salon (TAS) to get well aquatinted with the newest products Japan has to offer. As we recall, it was less than two years ago that TAS was filled to the brim with manufacturers seemingly force-feeding us performance products for the 350Z. This year it was obvious that the Evo X and Skyline GT-R were now the darlings of the show. From mild to wild engines and vehicles, many of Japan's performance manufacturers came out swinging with hopes of rekindling a rather sluggish performance economy. The Evo X and R35 GT-R was just the ticket needed to rebuild the passion and spirit that help skyrocket the import market to stardom.
A trip to the largest Autobacs in Japan and historical tour of the temples, along with some street vendor shopping, were just some of the highlights that filled the Tour. On day four of the Tour, Nitto Tires and RAZO joined forces to organize the first annual Drift experience at Fuji Speedway. This special event was held for those lucky individuals who attended this year's Turbo Magazine Tour. A large gathering of over 50 Turbo Tour participants made the early morning trek out to the chilly wet proving grounds at Fuji Speedway to experience a drift seminar and ride along with Japan's popular SFR Hana, Team Kabukimono and Midori drift teams. Established in 1993 under the founder Naoya Kaneko, SFR Hana and Midori have gained reputations across Japan as fast racing teams often found perfecting their skills in the treacherous mountains of Gunma and Tokyo bayside piers. Mixed among the team was Formula D competitor and Nitto sponsored Miki Ryuji of A'PEXi and Dai Yoshihara of Pacific Rim Racing. While Dai was in attendance to sign autographs and mingle with the crowd, Miki brought out his personal S14 machine as a special occasion to offer demo runs and ride alongs to the Turbo Tour attendees. Racing competitor and RE Amemiya GT300 driver Ryo Orime was on hand to take the Subaru STI, equipped with Nitto NT01 tires, to the extreme limit as he blasted through the track in a thrill-seeking ride along session.
The initial plans were for the attendees to drive the Fuji Speedway track but due to the wet and rainy weather, there was an unfortunate change in plans. A quick walk around the Fuji paddock during lunchtime netted us some exciting club racing that took place the same day. Spectating on the grandstands was an unforgettable moment that even the 20-degree temperature couldn't put a damper on. If you missed this year's Turbo Tour, be sure to check out: www.kintetsu.com/autosalon/index.html. We'd like to extend a special thanks to Nitto, RAZO, Carmate and Kintetsu for another successful year.