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M7 Racing Tour - M7 Racing Shakedown In Malaysia

Five Days of Motorsports Mayhem

Scott Tsuneishi
Apr 15, 2013
Impp 1302 01 o+m7 racing tour+M7 cars Photo 1/51   |   M7 Racing Tour - M7 Racing Shakedown In Malaysia

Less than a week into the summer, I was given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel halfway across the world to experience Malaysia. For what purpose? One reason would be attending the highly anticipated Japan Super GT Round 3 races, held at the infamous Sepang International Circuit, but the bulk of the stay was to partake in a M7 Racing Tour for the next five days. What would the good people of M7 Malaysia/USA/Japan do to keep one editor occupied for the next 120 hours? I wasn't sure, but looking over the itinerary, it was without a doubt filled to the brim with scheduling. And that scheduling ranged from shop tours to track events, and even some drifting. Would it be humanly possible to pack so many things into a mere five days? We were about to find out.

Day 1: 8 a.m. MYT

Securely fastened in my seat, the cabin begins to shudder as six turbine jet engines gradually wind down. I'm finally here, I thought to myself as the Boeing 757 touches down in Kuala Lumpur, approximately 18 hours after initial takeoff including a layover in Hong Kong. With 8,780 miles separating myself from my hometown in Orange County, CA, I was relieved my long flight was finally over, but the day has just begun. A quick refresher at the hotel room was followed by a 30-mile ride to Sepang International Circuit alongside two familiar faces. Formula D drivers and Team M7 Japan/Drive Energy Drink-sponsored Daijiro Yoshihara and Aurimas "Odi" Bakchi also attended the event as we pulled up to the paddock.

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We were welcomed by a bevy of professional drivers including M7 technical advisers and sponsored Japanese hotshoes Nobuteru "Nob" Taniguchi and Orido "Max" Manabu to drive/test M7-prepped vehicles. Malaysia's "Prince of Drift" Tengku Djan Ley and Rotary legend Isami Amemiya of RE-Amemiya were also on hand to join in the festivities. Among the vehicles was the recently launched Toyota 86, which was one of the cars that M7 had brought down to the Sepang International Circuit for their Drive M7 Japan/USA/Asia Shakedown Day. M7 also showcased their Subaru STI 400F and the M7 Lexus CT200h. The melting pot of professional drivers from all over the globe braved the sweltering heat and humidity to lap the infamous Sepang Circuit. After a long day of driving impressions and candid interview sessions, we were given an opportunity to check out each of the cars outfitted with numerous M7 modifications before we packed up to finish off our day with a media launch dinner that provided an over-the-top display of glitz and glamour that only Robin Ho, M7 USA general manager, could describe: "When we do things . . . we do it big!"

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Day 2: 7 a.m. Mutiara Motors Tour

An early onset of jet lag made our dreaded 6 a.m. wake-up call unbearable as we prepared to make a two-hour ride to three Mutiara Motors locations, including their official M7 Racing store and main headquarters located in Larkin, Johor Bahru. This one-stop automotive dealership began in 1982 and is a renown importer of both new and used luxury vehicles from Japan and the United Kingdom, which includes everything from family sedans to fully modified sport cars. The facility houses a state-of-the art service center that specializes in maintenance, installing aftermarket products, and even has a dyno for custom tuning. While on our ride to headquarters, I overheard the driver mention that Mutiara Motors also specializes in rare auto collectibles/memorabilia from Japan Super GT, D1 Drift Japan and our race driver such as Taniguchi, Manabu, and others. This was sure to be a treat.

Impp 1302 07 o+M7 racing tour+mutiara motors Photo 8/51   |   Your eyes don’t deceive you. That’s a Supra JZA8O sitting on top of the building.

Upon arrival, I quickly abandoned the tour group and began my own treasure hunt. On the second floor, my eyes immediately perked up as I caught glimpse of the lineup of Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and modified cars including a RE-Amemiya-kitted RX-8. Next to it sat a brand-new Honda Civic Type R fitted with a slew of aftermarket M7 parts ready to be driven off the showroom floor. The first floor was even more extravagant; it housed their coveted collectibles/memorabilia showroom with the Super GT-300 championship RE-Amemiya FD3S smack dab in the middle of the room. I scanned the room and came across a number of highly modified vehicles, including an Esprit Evo X, 370Z (Z34) and a signature series Taniguchi R-600 R35 making over 600 whp. Of course what would an M7 facility be without showcasing their very own products? M7 performance products such as their GT oil, turbo kits, intercoolers, and GT muffler, just to name a few, that are researched, developed, and manufactured in Japan were all on display and readily available for consumers to purchase and install on the spot. While waiting for the others, I took the opportunity to snap a few shots of the Evo X.

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Day 3: Race Day

M7 Racing has been involved in the motorsports world such as Formula race, Japan Super GT race, and Japan D1 Drift since 2007 so it was no surprise that they also had their hands in this weekend's race. M7 cosponsored the GT500 Kondo Racing Team. Taniguchi and Manabu were also competing with their respected teams. This was my first experience attending a Super GT event; M7 was once again representing in full force, this time promoting their brand-new Drive energy drink with the help of Yoshihara, Bakchi, and Tengku Djan Ley. If there's one thing men love more than motorsports it's the women, and there was no exception at GT. The umbrella girls were overwhelmed by photographers and creepy old men from across the world. Models were abundant in the Super GT "car alley" area as well, where manufacturers and aftermarket parts shops housed and displayed their products. What about the sweltering heat and 100 percent humidity? Fuggedaboutit. Super GT has been officially crossed off my bucket list of things to do.

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In closing out the day, we hit up a few watering holes. With plenty of beer served in an enormous container called the "tower", the solemn and once tired group became rambunctious, screaming and yelling at one another to down their cups of beer. I for one faintly recall repeatedly drinking while watching Yoshihara fall asleep on the sofa while sitting up. Day three was a memorable one; I'm hoping day four is just as good.

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Day 4: Drifting . . . Malaysian Style

Good morning! The jet lag has officially set in but there was no time to bitch and moan. Today was our chance to experience some drifting. Unfortunately we were one member short as Bakchi sadly made his departure back home to tend his company Feal Suspension. We packed up our bags/camera gear and headed out to Speed City in Kuala Lumpur. Speed City is best known as one of many stops in the Formula D Asia series. The makeshift drift circuit is owned/operated by none other than Tengku "Prince of Drift" Djan Ley.

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On the weekend, the track transforms into an event called "Saturday Night Drift Assault", where drivers take to the tarmac to hone their drifting skills. Tengku graciously offered Yoshihara one of his many personal "missile" cars to run rampant around the track, and missile car it was. The SR20DET-powered S13 looked like it was pieced together from a junkyard the night before. Tengku's drift machine looked just as worse as it was battered and bruised to a point where it required him to climb in and out of the car through the window. As the sun set, the crowds of drift cars and spectators began to fill the grounds. Tengku mentioned that the KE70 (1980) model Toyota Corolla and Toyota Starlets KP61 ('81-84) with 4AG engine swaps were the most popular platforms to modify due to their affordability.

Here's a fun fact for all you foreigners: If you want to drive an American or European brand car in Malaysia, be prepared to fork up a few hundred thousand ringgits (Malaysian dollars). Even a BMW that is at least five years old may cost well over RM150.000 ($49,156.24 USD). The day quickly turned to night as a heavy downpour of rain blanketed the track, which I was told was a common occurrence. While watching the action I noticed that many of the driver's drifting skills sucked while others showed promise including a light green-colored KE70 Corolla with a supercharged 4AG and turbocharged widebody Toyota Starlet. The KE70 driver was on a rampage most of the day but pushed himself and his car too far as he went flying into the safety barrier and flipped the car. Luckily, he was able to walk away from the wreck-the car wasn't so lucky.

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At the end of the night, the track opened up to a bevy of vehicles adorned in lights and flashing objects to what was known as "Speed City Street Car Display". Cars cruised around the track, showing off their custom lighting, taking a page out of the Disney Main Street Electrical Parade. This was perhaps one of the most unusual spectacles I have ever encountered in all my years as a journalist. Before we headed back to the hotel, we took the opportunity to take in the culture and visit a number of famous landmarks in Kuala Lumpur including Petronas Tower and its neighboring buildings with a five-story shopping center.

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Day 5: Departure: Home is where the heart is.

A few more shop tours and it was time to head to the airport for our departure. As the airplane began its takeoff, I sat back, reflecting on the past five days in Malaysia with M7. Although the days were long and seemingly endless, taking part in the M7 Shakedown Tour has been quite an experience with many memorable moments. Until we meet again, Malaysia!

M7 GT 86 (Toyota 86)

Engine: M7 T-Titan sports muffler, Super Cooling oil catch tank, Super Cooling radiator cap, Super Cooling radiator coolant, GT Performance oil filter (magnet type), GT oil filler cap, Pro Racing oil 1,000hp 15W-50

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Drivetrain: M7 Super Street ATF oil

Suspension: M7 Super Street Performance Damper

Interior: M7 Touch R.A.C.E

Brakes: M7 High Technology Brake System 6-pot calipers, Super Competition brake pad 700, Super B5 brake fluid

M7 Lexus CT200H

Engine: M7 T-Titan Sports muffler, Super Cooling radiator cap, Super Cooling radiator coolant, GT oil filler cap, Pro Racing oil 1,000hp 15W-50

Impp 1302 17 o+M7 racing tour+M7 lexus CT200H Photo 44/51   |   M7 Racing Tour - M7 Racing Shakedown In Malaysia

Drivetrain: M7 Super Street oil

Suspension: M7 Super Street Performance Damper

Interior: M7 Touch R.A.C.E

Brakes: M7 High Technology Brake System 6-pot calipers, Super Competition brake pad 700, Super B5 brake fluid

M7 Subaru STI 400F (GVF)

Engine: M7 T-Titan sports muffler, Hi-Flow front pipe, Hyper Sound Blow-Off Valve Type GT-7, tune-up actuator, Competition Type R intercooler kit, Super Cooling oil catch tank, Super Cooling radiator cap, Super Cooling radiator coolant, GT Performance oil filter (magnet type), GT oil filler cap, Pro Racing oil 1,000hp 15W-50

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Drivetrain: M7 Super Street ATF oil

Suspension: M7 Super Street Performance Damper

Interior: M7 Touch R.A.C.E, Super Performance Pro R throttle controller, EBC (electronic boost controller), SMD Racing Meter: Boost

Brakes: M7 High Technology Brake System 6-pot calipers, Super Competition brake pad 700, Super B5 brake fluid

M7 Super Street 400R Evo X

Engine: M7 T-Titan sports muffler, Hi-flow center pipe, Hi-flow front pipe, Super Power Flow filter (carbon induction kit), intake pipe, suction kit, Type R intercooler kit, Tune Up actuator, Super Cooling oil catch tank, Super Cooling radiator cap, Super Cooling radiator coolant, GT Performance oil filter (magnet type), GT oil filler cap, Pro Racing oil 1,000hp 15W-50

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Drivetrain: M7 Japan gear oil 75-90, 75-100 gear oil

Suspension: M7 Super Street Performance Damper

Interior: M7 Touch R.A.C.E, EBC (electronic boost controller), Super Performance throttle controller, ECU-Rom, SMD racing meters: boost, water temp, oil temp, oil pressure, carbon panel meter

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Exterior: Esprit carbon front lip, carbon side skirts, carbon side mirrors, carbon wing

Brakes: M7 High Technology Brake System 6-pot calipers, Super Competition brake pad 700, Super B5 brake fluid

Wheels: Enkei PF01

Impp 1302 23 o+M7 racing tour+M7 super street 400R evo x engine bay Photo 51/51   |   M7 Racing Tour - M7 Racing Shakedown In Malaysia
By Scott Tsuneishi
247 Articles

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