Editor's note: Since we couldn't make it out to Tsukuba day, we sent resident Beatle's fan Greg Emmerson from eurotuner to cover the Yokohama event. With a newfound love for the Mazda Miata, he might be turning more than just Japanese:
This is one of Japan's better known motorsport facilities, although we'd be using its shorter track for this exercise. Our hosts seemed nervous we might spill into the vegetation at high speed, so the short track meant top speed was limited to max revs in third gear for just the briefest moment before jumping on the brakes.
For our delectation, Yokohama had amassed a tantalizing selection of machines, including stock and modified version of the Toyota Yaris, Mazda MX5 and Nissan 350Z, as well as a BMW. Yokohama also brought out D1 drift racer Takahiro Ueno to show us how it should be done. He provided an effortless and memorable demonstration in the T&E 350Z. Not only did it highlight his impressive car control but even after such punishment, the tread blocks on the S.drive tires were barely scuffed. These Yokos will last a lifetime under normal use.
The T&E 350Z was perhaps the most intimidating car to drive. Tuned for extra hp and with an open exhaust, it could spin its tires out of every corner on the circuit. Fortunately, the brakes were very strong, but the loud exhaust meant everybody heard your mistakes. Power was instantaneous and your responses had to be sharp as the Z tried to swap ends at every opportunity.
The T&E car was more impressive than the supercharged HKS 350Z. Despite an extra 50hp, the fluffy fuel delivery seemed to dull its power delivery and spongy brakes (in comparison to T&E) meant you had less confidence in the chassis. The HKS 350Z was a great car and would be fun on the street, but at Tsukuba T&E reigned supreme. HKS also brought a modified Yaris and while it wasn't going to scare anybody, the chassis and engine work created a tidy little car. The grippy S.drive tires helped to minimize both understeer on the way in and torque steer on the way out of corners, making it a decent track car.
The most entertaining car of the day was the AutoExe Mazda MX5. Engine work was limited to an intake and exhaust, with a chassis upgrade, which made the roadster turn in to corners like you were carving through butter. Initially this was unnerving because you couldn't quite feel the rear grip, but everything was so balanced that it simply absorbed any punishment and powered on to the next corner. You could drive this car with one hand-it required absolutely no effort and steering precision was uncanny. We could have driven this car all day if we'd been allowed. Combined with S.drive tires, this is a guaranteed party in your pants.
A Wong Way Jonathan Wong
I Might As Well Live In A BubbleAs a germophobe, I consider flying one of the top 10 things that I wish I weren't doing but I have to do anyway, so I might as well stop bitching about it. I can drown out the SOBs who moan and whine about how long it takes to get through security at the airport, and I can forgive an airline company for filling the plane with old hags instead of the beauty queens that Singapore seems to attract. However, my bitching goes far beyond that; I tend to panic when sitting in an uncomfortable and confined space without fresh air and-as this last trip to Japan proved-soap in the lavatory dispensers (not once were they refilled!). I just barely learned to accept having to take all of my contents out of my travel bag for inspection, but now it's mandatory to remove shoes, even if they're tennis shoes. In Korea, security politely gives you ample time to pass through the metal detectors so you don't feel like you've stopped the space-time continuum. You're even handed a pair of slippers to use as your shoes go through the X-ray machine. It's service with a smile, I tell you. I used to laugh at people who wore SARS masks on the plane, but they really do work great. People don't come near you and you don't need to down Airborne every 30 minutes to avoid catching the flu.
But what really gets me is the sheer lack of soap in Asia, or warm water for that matter (although I'm sure this wouldn't be the case during the summer). For countries that are so radically advanced when it comes to technology, I'd expect soap oozing out from some sort of robotic dispenser in the form of a woman's chest, or space age hand sanitizer that can only be found in a place like Japan because it smells like stripper or melon soda. Nope-nothing of the sort. (At least Koreans leave bars of soap out, and if they weren't cluttered with thick and curlies I'd use them.) Really, how hard is it to fill a plastic container with soap? I suppose until that happens, I'll have to stick with my JDM SARS mask, keep a travel size Purell in my pocket and purchase stock in Airborne.email@example.com
Chu's Or Lose Ricky Chu Dear Momma
Mother's Day is this month and I just realized that out of the six years I've been working here, I've never shown appreciation to one of the most important people in my life: my mom.
It ain't easy being mommy Chu. You think dealing with me for a few years is bad, she's had to put up with my crap for 28 years plus those extra nine months she carried me around in her womb. Now that takes a strong person.
Sure we butt heads sometimes when I find her snooping through my room or opening my mail when she comes to visit. Or when she insists on throwing food on my plate even though I said I don't want any more. Or even when she gives me crap about not sleeping enough and going to the gym too much. But that's what moms do, isn't it?
Sometimes she'll call to tell me about some lame article she read in the Taiwanese newspaper, to ask for the 100th time how to log onto her e-mail account, to talk about a Clippers game, or to tell me that I need to clean their garage because all my car parts are cluttering it up.
Nobody is a bigger supporter of me, despite the fact that she hates me working my ass off every month for a meager paycheck. She carries around the latest copies of Super Street and Project Car in her giant purse just to show people what I do. I can hear the excitement in her voice when she calls to tell me that she ran into someone that reads my stories in Super Street. She even gets mad that I don't have all my trophies and plaques displayed up somewhere.
Happy Mother's Day to my mom and all the other moms out there.
Life & times of J. Carter
How time flies
As I slowly started to piece together this month's Intel section, I did what I do every month and pulled out an old issue for Classic Super Street. Like an archaeologist digging up a lost culture, I examined each issue both for review and to see how far this scene has come. The May '97 issue however, I know well-it features my old car. And that's when it hit me, 10 years have already passed since my car was on the cover. A whole freakin' decade.
Once I was able to get past the initial shock, a flood of memories came rushing back. Recollections of my love affair with the Integra took me back to my younger days full of hope and joy (i.e., before Primedia).
In high school I was waiting on the sidewalk for my ride to pick me up and I noticed a strange burbling sound emerging from the parking lot. As I craned my head over my zit-faced peers, a black DA9 rolled by, dropped, Ultraflowed and rocking PIAA 959s. That's when my heart melted.
By the time I turned 16, the awkward looking DC2 came out. The back and profile looked dope but those round lights were atrocious-it was the automotive "butter face." But like pugs, sushi or chicks with personalities, the front grew on me and I ended up getting one. A car geek, I knew exactly how I was going to modify it, too, that is until I picked up an Option video.
Back then, Option videos were only in Japanese, so when I was watching a volume on Integras it took me a good 30 minutes to realize that there was something strange with the DC2 on screen. It looked like a DA9 front was slapped on a DC2. The text read "Type R." Like Ashley Simpson post-nose op, the horizontal lights created the front end nature had intended.
After much research, and with the help of Nitto, Mr. Visa and container shipping, we managed to get everything stateside in preparation for the '96 SEMA show. Unfortunately, because of complications, my car made it to Vegas but sans the front end. The week after the show, the needed parts were shipped in and the car was back in the body shop where it underwent the transformation. Done, my next goal was to try and get it featured, and it boiled down to two offers: Turbo, the respected title of the era or new upstart Super Street, where my homie Ed worked at the time.
Like my pathetic career a decade later, you can guess how that turned firstname.lastname@example.org
*Above prices are founded on the Super Street methodology (if there is such a thing) of checking prices on the Internet (based on a 100 mile radius of Los Angeles, CA). By no way in hell does this guarantee you will find a car for the price listed above. In a preemptive anti-panty twisting attack, we are fully aware that there is a good chance your car is not listed above-don't worry, we still love you. Have a nice day!
Loud, brash and just doesn't give a f-k, but damn, this boy can drift. JR Gittin, the first American driver to win at a D1 event and one of the leaders behind Drift Alliance, is thinking about making the switch from corporate slave to professional drifter. Can he pull it off? The Magic Eight Ball says "all signs point to yes."
Living the Dream!br>In case you didn't know, I've been an IT manager since the beginning of my drifting career. It's a great paying job and I enjoy all the challenges that technology and business have to offer, but the last four years of my life have become so much more, it's insane. On the one hand I'm responsible for a large firm's technical needs, which keeps me busy, no doubt. On other hand, I'm also handling a drifting career, which includes sponsor and media relations, driving at least 20 events a year, interviews, Drift Alliance's business needs, practice, maintenance on cars, traveling worldwide, plus tons of other things that I'm not going to bore you with.
That means for the last four years I have been working my ass off handling two full-time jobs. My phone never stops ringing, my brain never relaxes and I'm completely overwhelmed with everything. I find myself constantly struggling with these thoughts: Do I continue going crazy and keep a stable, well-paying job or do I just go all out? I am at the forefront of an amazing opportunity that most can only dream about. Why the hell am I second guessing myself? Have I grown so dependent on a white-collared job that I have been holding onto it like my Spiderman security blanket?
If you told me five years ago that one day I would be able to pay my bills for beating the hell out of other cars, traveling the world, helping the growth of drifting and meeting awesome people, I probably would have told you to stop smoking crack and punched you in the nose for messing with me. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of hard work and sacrifice that goes into being a driver, but the negative aspects that go along with it still are better than a two hour daily commute to fix computer problems all day.
So...I've decided to throw all my button-up shirts away, tell the D.C. commute to go to hell and "work" in my racing suit! I've worked so hard to get here, but I do realize how fortunate I am to have this opportunity. Thanks so much to my fans, my family, my sponsors and everyone close to me who have supported me over the years. You are a big part of this and I will not let you down!Vaughn "JR" Gittin Jr.
Egypt is very famous country in the world. There is ancient civilization, important monuments, desert and camels in Egypt and that's why many people visit Egypt for sightseeing, studying or treasure hunting. They can pretend to be Dr. Johns of Indiana Johns movie (umm, Tetsu, I think you mean Indiana Jones - CJ).
I think foreigner who visited to Tokyo Auto Salon (TAS) 2007 were kind of Dr. [Jones]. They hunted new tuning parts, new tuning style or Japanese models. JUN 350Z AWD Time Attack car and Top Secret's Supra with V-12 motor are same as Giza Pyramids or Great Sphinx. Dr. Nads, Professor JDM Wong and Assistant Seoulman analyzed JUN 350Z and Top Secret's Celica. You will see them in this issue of Super Street. I noticed some complete tuning cars at '07 TAS. Some tuning shops were showing completed tuning cars and they were selling them. HKS CT200MR street model is Lancer Evo 9 MR which has same body kit as HKS Time Attack CT230R. The engine of CT200MR can make 350psi. If you got this car, you can pretend to be NOB Taniguchi. But HKS will sell just few CT200MR and price is 5,985,000 yen (about $49,875).
TRD and Mugen were showing complete micro cars. TRD Vitz has TRD turbo kit which can make 150psi. Mugen Fit spec-D has super charger system which can make 143psi. TRD and Mugen are ready for selling them but checking the market now. If you are rich, how is NISMO Type 380RS competition? NISMO 380RS is complete 350Z racecar for Super Taikyu race. NISMO-tuned VQ35 motor is 3.8L which can make 400psi. 3.8L motor must need NISMO six-speed transmission, clutch, LSD, suspension, body kit and much more NISMO parts for making strong traction which can send strong heart of soul to the people and the roads. Price of NISMO 380RS is 26,250,000 yen (about $218,750). It is cheaper than Ferrari. My favorite complete car at TAS 2007 was Knight 2000 replica. Yes, it is KITT. One shop was showing Knight Rider replica which is approved by Universal Studios. This shop will sell complete Knight Rider replica in this year. I think this replica can stand out at Formula D and D1.Jya-Mata! Tetsu
"If you were to ask Carter Jung if it was easy getting his car on the cover, he'd laugh in your face. Not out of disrespect, mind you. It's just that he had to go to hell and back to get his '95 Integra on the front page."Matthew Pearson"Highway to Hell" Super Street, May 1997)
Spinning outta control
The state of New York is reintroducing a bill to ban spinner hubcaps. The proposed bill would subject owners of such public atrocities to fines of up to $750 for a third or subsequent violation. The government does work! www.keepspinnersofftheroad.org
Diphartamento De Koreksheeones
Despite Shreky-Shrek, aka Mr Time Attack, looking over our checkers, twice, in our March issue he somehow missed an incorrect time. The Mine's GT-R actually ran a 1:52:072. Please send hate mail to email@example.com. Just kidding. It was actually our Assistant Art Director's fault, who we shall not name (but who is clearly listed in our masthead-right below Alan Muir).
Starting in the garage of two college friends back in the summer of 2000, Extreme Dimensions has grown from its humble residential roots to its current 50,000 sqft industrial location in Fullerton, CA. With three different lines-Duraflex (fiberglass), Carbon Creations (carbon fiber), Couture (polyurethane)-and spanning more genres than a gender confused transexual, Extreme Dimensions manufactures and distributes over 6,000 products globally. It's safe to say their UPS bill is a little, um, extreme. www.extremedimensions.com
MackJMD Race QueensMore specifically, ones with straight teeth that look mixed. Oh rearry? Rearry!
Hot Chiba Nights
Take three editors, mix in Tetsu, industry friends, copious amounts of Suntory, and you end up with a 5 am intoxicated visit to a JDM Yoshinoya.
JDM Honda Odyssey
One word: Pimp. Take every preconceived notion about mini-vans and throw them out the automated rear sliding door.
FBGM Asia Tour '07
After takin' on Tokyo, Seoulman takes JDM Wong and friends to Seoul, Korea. Madness ensues.
JDM Chicken Testicles
After a long day at the track, our gracious hosts took us to eat a local specialty-chicken parts-one of which was chicken balls. Chicken McNuggets will never taste the same.
Hot Chiba Nights
Taking a two-and-a-half-hour car ride to a test track out in BFE with only two hours of sleep, hungover and not being able to communicate to the Japanese driver, "Please pull over, I need to use the restroom."
USDM Honda Odyssey
After being gimped of cool sports cars for years, the wacky Japanese deprive us of family-mobiles worth taking out more than your family in.
Korean Taxi Drivers
As if Jonny being dropped off in the wrong part of Seoul wasn't enough, Carter's taxi gets into an accident. With a bus. A really big bus. With his bladder at capacity. Hilarity ensues.