It's 10 a.m. on a Tuesdaymorning in the town of Machida City, Japan. As I huddled by the heater in a conference room, I'm surrounded by the Tomei Powered staff and President Sasaki-san. I sit there sipping warm coffee while eating Japanese crackers as we begin cordially talking about the automotive industry and how the U.S. performance market is progressing. Among the chitchat, we came across the subject of how the U.S. tuner market is slowly evolving into more performance-orientated cars with less focus on show-style cosmetics. I brought up the subject of how popular time attack has grown throughout the states. Performance enthusiasts enjoy the self-indulgent gratification of building and owning a car that's properly built to not only produce blistering power but also is able to outperform and out handle vehicles three times their price tag. To smoke a track-built Mustang in your daily driven Subaru is a self-serving accomplishment that can only be explained by those who have made their dreams come true. Although Japan's tuner market had already fully embraced the culture of timed lap battles, the U.S. import market is still rather new to the concept, as events like the Super Lap Battle continue to bring popularity to the sport of road racing. It wasn't more than 20 minutes into our conversation when suddenly there was an awkward silence within the room. I sat there shifting my weight and quickly glancing at the clock before Tomei staff member Allen Lorenzo re-inserted himself into the conversation and filled me in on some valuable information. He informed me that Tomei had plans to rebuild their Prova/Tomei GDB Impreza time attack car for the '08 season with the intention of bringing it to the U.S. in time for the November Super Lap Battle event. While details were sketchy at the time, I was informed that Tomei had already begun negotiations with a few companies in joining the buildup process. The target was to enter the Limited Class category. Yes you heard me right! I said Limited Class.
It was at that very moment I knew I had to act fast. I would've given my left kidney if it meant getting exclusive coverage of the vehicle. With so many magazines looking to be the first to land their claws on this vehicle, I was able to convince the staff that Turbo magazine would give the Subaru the credit it deserved. That was eight and a half months ago, and through those long months of waiting and keeping in contact with both Tomei USA and Japan, it was finally shot as this month's cover car. Dino, our Japanese photographer, was able to snap the car during its second shakedown session a few weeks before it prepared to ship out to the mainland. Throughout those months, the car has gone through a series of changes, most importantly the vehicle's specific buildup, and it will now compete in the Unlimited Class Series (thank god!) since Tomei also managed to enlist the aid of Cusco, Voltex Racing, and Hankook tires. "We have high expectations for the Impreza to perform at its maximum potential at this year's Super Lap Battle. Our names and reputation are riding on this Subaru," Tomei USA Manager Eiji Mihara says. Be sure to keep close tabs on this time attack machine as we look forward to bringing you complete coverage of its buildup in our upcoming issue. Until then, enjoy one of the sickest Subaru's to grace the covers of Turbo magazine.