The inaugural Stancenation show at Fuji Speedway was a bonus stop for on my Japan trip last week. After missing the Fatlace show at Fuji back in October during my last Japan visit I was pretty excited to get a second chance.
The drive from Tokyo was fairly uneventful just a little slow due to the traffic. The roads are amazing in Japan, they are smooth and very well maintained but expensive. The drive from east of Tokyo to Fuji Speedway was about $60us round trip for a 190km journey. Still worth it in my book. Ha ha.
As we left the smog of Tokyo behind and neared Fuji Speedway the famous Mountain bearing the same name became clearer which made for an amazing back drop as we drove. Also as we got closer the frequency of impressive rides also increased which added to the suspense of what we were about to see. Lots of eye candy.
As is usual with cars shows the parking lots can be just as impressive as the show in most instances and today was no disappointment.
From the following set of images you can see the Japanese tuners and car enthusiasts know what they are doing, they are inventive and sometimes extreme in what they do. Some styles are very extreme and are not to my taste, but you can never deny the hard work and dedication put in by their owners. I have always loved the Japanese focus on quality. They just do it right.
A few of the standouts for me were the obvious Blue Rocket Bunny S13. Not only is the car, the colour and the finish awesome, the Rocket Bunny kit just turns it into a piece of art. I love it!
The Liberty Walk cars were of course impressive also. Unfortunately the GT-R, Ferrari, and Titanium Lambo were still in the US after SEMA so they only had a couple of cars. The feature car being another of his Lambos dressed in a sexy matt white finish adding to the classic extreme LB-Performace bodykit and stance setup.
Other standouts were some of the classics like the dark Green MizunoWorks Nissan Z that we had seen at his shop on the Friday. It truly is a piece of historic art beautifully maintained and enhanced.
A few surprises that if you had told me about them I would of cringed, but actually seeing them in person I thought were very nice was the White EK Honda Civic with the white Steel wheel with some mean camber. It was just tidy and tasteful even with the ridiculous camber.
Of course the widebodied Matt Army Green GF8 Impreza held my attention for longer than most of the cars. It has been converted to a drift car with a full GDB engine drive train swap giving it a wider wheelbase, a 6 speed (converted to RWD) and of course the desirable 5×114.5 stud pattern making wheel choices much cheaper and easier to get. I will do a feature on this car on my next visit to Japan. Keep an eye out for it in January!
Lastly some of the boxy Kei Cars were pretty cool.
Check out a selection of images from the HardPark.
Jamie H – WRXJIM –
This Past weekend I was lucky enough to get a front row seat at Tsukuba Circuit for the Hyper Rev Hypermeet Superlap battle.
There were a few big names bandied about leading into this “spring event” the likes of Under Suzuki and his Sylvia/200SX record holder (52.6 seconds) and the Aussie Tilton Interiors Motorsport team and their beast of an Mitsubishi Evo IX came all the way up to challenge the current record.
I’ll post a separate entry for the actual racing, and car porn, but for this post Im going to walk the track with pictures.
For many, me included, the only experience of this track has been on the Playstation or XBox. This track is MUCH smaller than it seems. It really is a great track for “benchmarking” performance cars. A big long back straight for the “Power” cars, and some intricate corners for the less powerful (in some cases) and more nimble cars like the Honda Civic.
Here is the “walk”
First off, corner 1. I have never managed to figure out why thee dont “late apex” this corner, but after years of Gran Turismo, and Forza, including a lot of Youtube I never see any of the big guns stay wide on this corner and get a late apex to get on the power earlier? And also the elevation change is much much much bigger than I ever realized.
Exiting Corner 1 is then actually a surprising elevation change down to the “esses” of turn 2 and 3.
On the platform games, this section seems pretty much a “flat out” section. In real life, I don’t know how that could be.
Turn 2 into 3 is pretty sharp and with the off balance of the car and braking hard into the hairpin you are only asking for trouble.
We were not quite sure where all these drivers were going? Ha ha.
This is the entrance into turn 4 – The Hairpin.
Clipping the apex. The FWD cars always cock a leg here J
Looking back up towards turn one from the hairpin. You can get some idea of the elevation change
The famous GT and Tsukuba Circuit signs over the hairpin
Into turn 5 and the Dunlop bridge (which isn’t actually a bridge at all.
Glance to your left to make sure no one is trying to come up the outside into turn 5 and you get reminded where you are.
Dunlop – Turn 5
Turns 6 and 7. Flat through here.
Hard on the picks for the turn 8 hairpin.
Looking back at the black lines you left getting on the power out of 6 and 7 J
Exit of 8 looking at the longest straight on the track. Foot to the floor.
Half way down the straight.
Pit lane entrance
Looking back at the GT-Rs and RX7s closing in on you in the HP section.
Apex of turn 9
Get the entrance and exit right and you have won half the battle
Cross the line. Hopefully in under a minute to get some major street cred.
The famous Autobacs Tower
See you again.
pretty sweet getting to walk this track with Aaron Mai from MaihamMedia Check out his and Lukes site for some awesome Car Porn
After living in NYC for a year and a half back in 2006 I grew to really hate the place. I was sick of the sense of self entitlement and just the routine self importance of people there.
Not a lot has changed really, but I have to say that time away has made my heart grow fonder of this crazy city.
Each time I am there I grow a little fonder and find another small area that really hits my strings. Whether its a crazy alleyways, crazy people or great shots down 5th ave in perfect light it has really grown on me.
I spent all of 12 hours there last Saturday and enjoyed my stroll. I cant wait to get back…
I recently had the opportunity to visit the Meridian Energy Westwind farm on the East coast of Wellington.
I am amazed by their size, and the complexity of how they operate. These giants intrigue me.
After flying over the Wind farm a few times during my stay in New Zealand, the sheer number of wind turbines is also amazing. With 62 currently operating it is sight that is hard to explain.
Whether you are for, or against wind generation (I am for it by the way) you have to agree that for its relatively small footprint and impact on the environment it does currently seem like the best option. I’m comparing it to options like; flooding tens/hundreds of thousands of acres of valley to dam a river, or risk a nuclear meltdown or even send coal through the burner. These all seem like options that are far worse for our environment than a little bit of visual pollution (they are are artistic giants to me, so not even pollution) or even at a push, noise pollution. I say we embrace this option, especially in places like Wellington where wind is certainly not in short supply It can ease the load on the “grid” which in turn will ease the load on some of our hydro lakes in the South Island.
This particular farm is still being used for farming of sheep and cows, and they clearly don’t mind their new neighbours overlooking their eating habits and whatever else livestock does.
Anyways, here are some pics.
I have visited Moeraki Boulders once before about 20 years ago. I was happy to see that they are still a “free” (donations are appreciated) attraction on the South Islands East coast.
They are still as I remember them. Odd, confusing, intriguing, whimsical, amazing, and awesome. I could of stayed on the beach all day taking hundreds of different pictures and still have wanted to stay longer.
If you are ever traveling the road South from Christchurch to Dunedin in New Zealands South Island, the Moeraki Boulders are absolutely worth the stop. Grab a coffee before you head down. Coffee is another of New Zealands great things. I have traveled the world and haven’t found coffee as good as New Zealand coffee.
Epic place, We started in Rome for 4 days, then rented a Smart car and drove to Venice over then 4 days via Tuscany, Pisa, and Florence.
Not much to say. I cant wait to go back.
I have to say I LOVE Denver!!! Everytime I visit I actually am sad to leave. The people are chill, cool, and friendly. The area has mountains that you can see from just about anywhere in the city (which as a New Zealander, I like A LOT!) the one thing that does make me a little uncomfortable is that the ocean is SOOO far away. Other than that I could live in Denver in a heartbeat!
This leg was hosted by DC Shoes, and anyone that knows me knows I am a DC Fanboi. Just about every item of clothing I own is DC, My work shoes are the only footwear that isnt DC, and if I could get away with an all black pair of DCs I would try it
Rob Dyrdek showed up for this event. I am also a huge Dyrdek fan. I love his show “Fantasy Factory” almost as much as I loved his Rob and Big show. He is one of the two reasons I am a DC Fanboi. Ken Block is the other. (Subaru fanboi that I am – Yes I know he drives a F**ked On Race Day (FORD) now, but he was a Subaru guy through and through, and has a slew of great vids on YouTube that helped make him famous.
Anyways, I digress… Rob… By the looks of him on Saturday, he wasntthat thrilled to be there. I didnt see him smile a whole lot which was sad. A large chunk of the people that showed up did just because he was there. I can understand he is tired, and these types of events are a bit meh to him, but some effort would have been nice. Im still a fan though.
This event was certainly more of a BMX event thatn a skate event like the previous events. This made me happy I am a big BMX guy thanks to the movie RAD from the mid 80s I can still watch its cheezy goodness even almost 30 years later These guys were nuts. Front flips, back flips, nosepick 360s, everything was on show.
All in all it was a great event with by far the largest turnout of all the events. The weather was awesome (although hard to take photos in because of the harsh light) and the bands that played were some of the best I had heard all summer.
Hopefully next year will just as successful as this year. I look forward to it!
Here are some pics, and the link to the full gallery is here: www.jamieharbour.com/sandbox/DenverBBQ1
My 2nd Stop for the 2011 Journeys Backyard BBQ Tour was in Woodbridge, NJ.
Yep, let those stereotypes roll, cause they will all be pretty much correctoMUNDO!
I have never seen so many crappy tattoos in my LIFE, not to even mention how many each person has adorning their pasty white poorly dressed bodies… Ahh well.
Now might be a good time to admit I was actually born in Point PLeasant, NJ, but thankfully my parents saw the light and got out before the tattoos took them over too.
What made this stop worse was the bad attitude of “some” of the revelers. I can understand “Moshing” and the absolutely sensless thrashing about, but if you want to “mosh” be prepared for a few smacks upside the jaw… Dont turn and want to fight… you entered the “pit” deal with it… I saw soooo many scuffles it became quite laughable.
Onto better things! The Osiris crew and the i-Path crew were in town for this stop, and while the names weren’t familiar to me they had some great young talent. This little guy will be gracing the X-Games soon, I have no doubt about it.
While I didnt get to talk to the Aussie fella, Chad Bartie, it was cool to hear the familiar “downunder brogue” He charged it all day.
This guy stole the show for me though! (I have NO idea what his name is?? if you do please let me know!)
The setup crew went to woodward Skate park in PA on their day off and invited this guy along. I am glad they did, cause boy this guy ROCKED! great friendly attitude and totally KILLED the pipe! He rides for DK Bicycles and is apperently trying to qualify for this years X-Games. Good luck!
Anyway, enough talking, here are some more pics, and the link to the gallery