On a cool overcast Sunday at Nikko Circuit, a Drift Soukoukai (track event) called Black Mark Day took place, which was organized by two well-known JDM shops in the area—N-Style Customs and Garage B.B. It's very unusual to see 180 cars signed up for a local drift event at Nikko, but these two shops sure know how to throw it down and round up all of their friends for a long day of sliding (and jumping) fun!
Located in Tochigi, Japan, Nikko Circuit is 1,035 meters long—a little more than half a mile. It's a short course, but is filled with enough technical sections and off-camber turns to keep any drift or grip driver entertained. The paddock has just enough stalls to fit over 100 cars, plus there is an overflow lot where spectators usually park; however, it was used as a pit area for Black Mark Day because of the sheer number of drift-hungry JDM drivers.
N-Style Customs is run by Hideki Nagahama, a skilled artisan whose sole occupation is sculpting amazing works of art through his automotive projects. He's an autobody and paint specialist and operates his company out of a huge warehouse in the countryside of Gunma-Prefecture. Nagahama is well known for his Milk-Tea Beige Metallic colored Toyota JZZ30 Soarer (featured in our 10/13 issue), and also his Toyota AA63 Carina. His customers' cars all have a unique look that Nagahama creates whether it utilizes his N-Style over-fenders or custom metal radiused fenders, full body makeovers (such as Yoneda's White Nissan S15 with a BMW E46 front-end conversion), and/or wild paint schemes that really bring out the essence of each car. One thing that I always respect about Nagahama and his N-Style crew is that they all have eye-catching, high-quality, aesthetically-pleasing builds that manage to tear it down on the circuit, shredding through sets of tires while blowing massive amounts of smoke. These cars are far from their "show car" appealing exteriors.
Garage B.B. specializes in aero parts for popular drift models and custom suspension components including reinforced crossmembers and rigid collars for Nissan S-chassis. They're also known for their hybrid drivetrain swaps into cars you typically don't see sliding around the circuits, such as their originally-FWD Toyota Platz and Honda EG Civic hatchback—both equipped with full S13 drivetrain and SR20 motor swaps.
Both JDM companies brought out their teams to Black Mark Day and invited many of their friends from around the region as well, which included a fleet of over 60 Nissan Silvias, 43 Toyota AE86/AE70 Corollas, 27 JZX90/100 Chaser/Mark IIs and an array of other popular drift chassis. It was definitely a great day to watch some of the region's best drifters pushing the limits of the circuit's off-camber sections, ramping the front of their cars into the air, as well as seeing a wave of nimble Corollas launching off of Nikko Circuit's notorious jump at Turn 1 when running the course in reverse.
If you're ever in Japan, let's hope there's another N-Style Customs and Garage B.B. Soukoukai for you to experience during your JDM stay. See our Black Mark Day gallery below.