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R35 GTR Hot Battle in Sendai

August 21, 2009

Invited to attend a private event and watch Drift King Keiichi Tsuchiya, Nobuteru Taniguchi, Manabu Orido and a collection of super hardcore GTR R35’s on one of the most famous tracks in Japan? Can’t really say no to that, can I?

But bringing one of the, stripped and race prepped GTR’s 500 kilometers home from Sendai to Tokyo all by myself?

I would be an idiot to refuse!

I got a phone call earlier from a friend of mine who has developed and designed performance parts for the R35 GTR. Without going into too much detail, these are one of a kind parts and have been developed specifically with the R35 GTR in mind.

This is Y’s hobby and what a hobby it is.

I was at dinner with Y a few weeks ago and remarked that I am interested in following the cars progress as well as the difference the parts he is having designed will make to the GTR’s performance.

I have driven Y’s R35 up in Hakone prior to the installation of these custom made parts. When I drove it, was just after he had fitted massive AP Racing calipers to the front of the GTR and the difference in performance between the standard brake set up of the normal R35 and the set up on Y’s R35, was enormous.

Once brought up to temperature, I simply could not believe how deep I could go into corners under braking – zero fade and a firm responsive pedal feel made it astonishing to drive quickly. The weight of the car suddenly became a trivial issue – the brakes simply are now more than a match for the chassis and its weight. I’ve driven some mighty quick cars but the brakes on this car and they way they gel with the performance of its other parts really does require special appreciation.

Read the report on this monster brake setup here via Speedhunters.

http://speedhunters.com/archive/2009/07/16/carlife-gt-gt-it-s-all-about-pedal-feel.aspx

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Y’s phone call was all the more interesting because he has been gracious enough to invite me to attend the Touge Battle in Sendai Highlands where his GTR will be tested against a number of other cars; among them, an R35 entry from MCR as well as one of the iconic sky blue FD’s from the Amemiya stable.

I will be staying with the boys from D Performance; the workshop handling Y’s GTR; a team who will be coming up from Nagoya to take part in this event.

D specialize in bespoke and custom performance parts and the owner, N,  has access to all the necessary tools for the design and manufacture of  whatever part you wish to create. Renderings on the computer are turned into real life one off performance sculptures hewn from billet aluminium and sheets of carbon fiber. The GTR we are taking to Sendai has had custom made front and rear dampers especially with this event in mind. The Sendai Hot Battle will be a true test of the cars capabilities with these new additions in place.

The car is packing about 580 HP thanks to the recent tune and titanium front pipes so it now, theoretically at least, should have all performance bases covered. Power, Brakes and Handling. This may very well be the best balanced GTR of the group.

I will get to sample the car before the event – and well before copious amounts of alcohol are consumed. ( I heard N is a very big drinker so I will have to fly the Australian flag, I think ) I will also be bringing the car back from Sendai  – so I am really looking forward to spending an intimate 500 kilometers with one of the fastest cars available in the world today.

I can’t imagine how much more of an animal it is now with all that weight stripped out of it.

I’m pretty pumped about all of this obviously. Tsuchiya, Taniguchi and Orido will all be there as drivers and of course this will be shot for a special Hotversion Battle DVD that will no doubt be issued and reissued with all the internet captures you can think of.

Since I am going up there with Deck and will be taking my own materials, expect updates as soon as I get the files uploaded.

Plus, now that my iPhone is jail broken and tethered to my Mac, I can do it all on the go from the 3G connection via Softbank. Can’t wait!

It is going to be a massive couple of days.

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