I can't help it, but I still get goose bumps whenever I'm in close proximity to any level (gimme your Bs and Cs, if you please) of celebrity. At the L.A. Auto Show, the gov'na-Ahnold-strolled right past me like a breathing wax replica (he looked as bad as the Terminator replica did in the first Terminator film) with his 1,000-man entourage in tow-but man, that's the f'ing Terminator! The good people of California didn't hire Arnold Schwarzenegger (amazing that this man's last name has a spell check entry in Microsoft Word, by the way), a politician who will fight for your needs; no, they voted for a cyborg from the future who was sent back into the past to kill the man who... right, getting sidetracked. Living just minutes from Hollywood, you can bump into anyone; just ask our resident celebrity stalker and art director, Bernice, who cites her biggest sightings as Chynna Phillips and the girl who played Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years. Right.
In the sport compact world, we have our own big time celebrities that can easily trump the Hollywood scenesters that give Bernice's favorite gossip websites a fighting chance of survival. My crush happens to be Nobuteru Taniguchi. I've met the guy a handful of times, but he still doesn't know who I am, nor should he really care. I'm just a guy who puts out a monthly car magazine. I admire everything he's done in his racing career, yet if you stacked him up against Lewis Hamilton, more people would know Lewis' face over NOB's. This isn't to say that he isn't as capable (I hope someday he can make it to the F1 level of driving)-and that's fine; he can be the one big star in my fan book and I'll be his psycho stalker. Running into him at an arcade during last year's Tokyo Auto Salon, I still got a major stiff one. Yes, Taniguchi, will you marry me? (Only kidding.)
This is why you'll see this issue cram packed with Taniguchi-but hell, it's rightfully deserved; the man did shatter our Super Lap Battle by five freaking seconds. He did this in an HKS dream machine they call the CT230R and you can read all about it in this issue, along with a full recap of the Super Lap finals. We also capped off the '07 season with our annual visit to the SEMA Show in Vegas, the NHRA Sport Compact Finals to witness more drag racing history and our physicians for a clean bill of health (Thailand is a hell of a country!).
Enjoy the issue,