Rev Speed invades the historic Tsukuba Circuit with their '07 Winter Time Attack Super Battle. My first impression of the participants at this event was, take the majority of the best tuner cars from last year's Tokyo Auto Salon and put them in a head-to-head battle to get the quickest time at Tsukuba. Unlike the Tokyo Auto Salon, where everyone's car is spotless and motionless, this event has everyone prove they're worthy of their reputation of being a tuning god by hitting the track. Also included in this Super Battle were a group of Aussies, who brought their best vehicles and drivers from the land Down Under.
The Rev Speed Super Battle was broken up into two categories: the Open Class and the Street Class. The Open Class included all-wheel drives, rotaries, rear-wheel-drive turbocharged front engines, RWD turbocharged mid-engines, RWD naturally aspirated mid-engines and front-wheel-drive front engines. Each vehicle in the Open Class had to run S tires or lower, a full rollcage and have a fire extinguisher system onboard. Street Category participants had to run radial tires, catalytic converters, retain a working air conditioning system, retain a working stereo system, retain a passenger seat, no acrylic windows, no carbon-fiber doors, no sequential transmissions and no major engine swap (a B16A to a B18C engine swap is OK to run in this class).
Each class was given three 20-minute open sessions to run their quickest lap times. For safety purposes and to make sure there wasn't too much impeding traffic everyone was separated into five different groups. The first group was the first part of the Open AWD and Rotary Class. This group included the infamous M-Sport R34 GT-R, which ended up smashing the competition by over a full second, running a 54.481-second lap time. The second fastest competitor in this group was the yellow Trial Mitsubishi Evolution that stopped the clocks with a 56:094 and a straightaway speed of 216.955 KMP. The naturally aspirated RWD Autobacs AMS Yokohama S2000 set another impressive time of 57.492.
In the second group of the Open AWD and Rotary Class was the super-fast yellow widebody Panspeed FD3 that managed to clock the second fastest time of the day with a 55:603-second run, which is very impressive considering it's not all-wheel drive. The Top Fuel S2000 was the first of three cars driven that day by Nob Tanaguchi. Nob and Top Fuel managed to put down a 57.506-second run with an impressive straightaway speed of 220.363 KMP. The J's Racing Honda Fit must've been experiencing some type of mechanical problems because it only reported to one out of three track sessions.
The third group included the Aussie brigade. Three of the five Aussies were able to break into the infamous Tsukuba sub-1:00 mark. The Aussie team had a very impressive display of vehicles with so much attention to detail given to each. It was also amazing to see how much manufacturer support the Aussies were getting at this event.
The Zero Sports Subaru Impreza with Tarzan Yamada at the wheel claimed the fastest time of 57.737 for the fourth group, which was expected since they were the only Open Class vehicle in this group. Prodrive Japan came in with the second fastest time for this group at 101.352 with their GDB Impreza street car. Knight Sports Engineering gave Prodrive some pretty close competition with their fastest time of 102.139 in their Street Class Mazda RX-7 FD3.
The fifth group was filled with just street cars, but they did have one competitor break into the sub-1:00 mark. This competitor was an Evo from MK Sports with, yet again, Tarzan behind the wheel.
It was amazing to see the cars from last year's Tokyo Auto Salon in action. Not only do they look really good, but these cars can also haul some serious ass. Another amazing aspect is how low these vehicles were setup for Tsukuba. The majority of the Open Class cars were setup so low that when they were making a few of the tighter turns their front diffusers were scraping the ground. The Rev Speed Time Attack Super Battle is very serious business here in Japan. There was so much manufacturer support from brake companies and tire companies to tuning companies-all with their key people out there tweaking their cars.