Along night filled with torrential downpour—water, and a little snow—not the best weather right before the biggest time attack event in Japan. Just when teams and drivers were about to throw in their towels, things started looking up. The rain stopped and the clouds opened to rays of light. Slowly, Tsukuba’s surface began to dry; now those who had traveled far and wide had a shot at posting a fast lap time. It was finally time to kick off Rev Speed’s 22nd Tsukuba Super Battle competition, the premier destination if you want to see Japan’s fastest time attack cars.
In this competition, cars are split up into three main classes, the Open Class where the most extreme tuner cars participate; the Street Class where cars must be street legal; and an EV class, a rather surprising addition to this year’s event. All eyes were fixated on the Revolution RX-7, which managed to a record time of 53"673 last year, a record-setting time for a Rev Speed event and only a whisker off NOB’s record time in the HKS CR230R. Due to a slippery track, they only got one proper run, recording a 54"731, more than a second off their 2010 run. Since the legendary Cyber Evo retired, it seems the event has been taken over by rotaries, with Pan Speed and Garage Screen following just behind Revolution with a 56"197 and a 56"419, respectively. Claiming fourth position was the wild-looking Garage Yawata R32 GT-R with Tarzan Yamada at the wheel. As Tarzan told us, the car is pushing 800hp, and about 1000 with nitrous, but even with all-wheel-drive and sticky S-tires the car spun its wheels through Second gear. 5Zigen’s turbocharged Civic Type-R didn’t seem to have any problems putting its power down, lapping the course in 58"249, which is just a tad slower than the 58"222 “FF” record run, thanks to Ooi Takashi’s awesome driving.
It’s the Street Class that always seems to have the most varied selection of rides. Here, entries are split into two main groups: those that run S-tires (R-compound) and performance radials ("street tires"). This year we especially liked Autech Tsukada’s new R35 GT-R, which posted a 58"655 on Hankook street tires and with Misuhiro Kinoshita at the wheel. Oka-chan from Yashio Factory piloted his green GRB Impreza to a 1’01"925 lap on ADVAN Neova tires, a very respectable time for what is a lightly tuned street car. The fastest car of the class was Fujita Engineering’s FD3S RX-7, a slightly reworked version of their old demo car. With Rev Speed staff writer and pro driver, Ooi Takashi at the wheel, it was able to rock out a 58"051. Right behind it was the Outer Plus Lotus Exige S with a 58"168; they were also the only entrant in the EV class, running two cars, a Nissan Leaf on CE28Ns and semi-slick rubber, and a Tesla Roadster Sport. These electric cars set silent but deadly laps—1’14"652 for the Leaf and 1’06"934 for the Tesla. To give you a raw comparison, a well-driven, close-to-stock R34 GT-R or RX-7 can run a high 1’05".