HKS Premium Day Part 2: A Day of "Go"

We have left part 1 of the HKS Premium Day coverage with a nice collection of cars scattered around paddocks and parking areas of Fuji Speedway, but what is the point of taking a fast car to a world renowned Gran Prix circuit and not seeing what it can really do.

This is where the time attack event at HKS Premium day comes in and turns "show" into "go".

This is a perfect opportunity for all participating tuners and private owners to see whether their efforts were worth the time and investment.

Throughout the day there were several competitive outings,

as well as pure exhibition event where a few lucky automotive fans could observe the action from a very special point of view.

There was plenty of action and as usual, the scenery tends to leave everyone speechless.

But this is not what we are here for, we are here only for the cars, and with such vast variety the event was broken into several classes,

as well as special allocation for race car vs tuner car battle, which featured this Endless Z4 E89 GT3 car, which in capable hands of Kyosuke Mineo it managed to lap Fuji Speedway in 1.40.543

While impressive for any type of vehicle this time was nowhere close to the flagship machine of HKS Technical Factory driven by mighty Nobuteru Taniguchi, who put a new record for R35 running on slick racing tires: 1.37.773

The Option Super Lap battle featured a great variety of cars built by various tuners from across Japan.

With such variety of cars featuring completely different approach to tuning and performance this was by far the most exciting event to watch. 

We start with the Car Station Marsche WRX Sti, which we had a close encounter with during our last update.  With mostly stock motor, modified exhaust, ECU and aftermarket suspension the car managed a respectable 1.58.132 while running on road legal radial tires - one of the qualifying conditions for this class.

Of course, on the other end of the spectrum is the Garage G Force EVO9, which showed how much potential these tuned cars actually have.  With power being rated at 665HP,

the CT9A managed to score a remarkable 1.42.154 on the board, while sounding absolutely mean in the process.

Speaking of the variety of cars, the BMW E46 by Cockpit Tatebayashi could not go unnoticed, as it was running a 400HP NA tune and managed to lap Fuji at 1.56.081 

While the 4 door classic C35 Laurel with SR20 swap and upgraded turbocharger scored an impressive 1.49.507.

Japanese sports cars were at the main stage, however, as this PAN SPEED FD3S RX-7 managed a 1.45.146

When we speak about classic Japanese sports cars however, there is only one which was truly revolutionary on the global scale: Honda NSX.  With full aluminum frame, lightweight body, a powerful V6 motor and tune and testing done by Ayrton Senna himself, it was the NSX that placed JDM performance on the map.

It was therefore a given that we would see at least one on this event, and it just happened to be one of the fastest ever built. The 690HP NSX NA1 built by Esprit and driven by Tarzan Yamada has clocked an impressive 1.42.466.

But it was this Top Fuel AP1 in the capable hands of Nobuteru Taniguchi that reminded us why the classic S2000 was so awesome.  Alright, not many factory components are left on this insanely quick "what used to be 2 seater now converted to race monster" machine, but an incredible time of 1.39.131 shows the sheer potential of classic Japanese sports cars.
While the NSX was the most revolutionary Japanese car, the Skyline GTR is definitely the most recognizable and sought after.  Partially because of its Japan-only production, but mostly for its absolutely limitless tuning potential.
Starting with the more moderate tuned Revolfe S.A R33, which scored a time of 1.47.115, to some of the most incredible machines known in the JDM world.
As usual a great variety of R34's were present as various shops are still exploiting methods of extracting power out of what could possibly be referred to as best engine ever made.
Garage Ito GTR's RB26 has been fitted with a stroker kit and aftermarket turbo on top of various other updates producing a mean 650 horses, which allowed it to lap Fuji Speedway in just 1.41.508.
Art tech Hanatsuta's R34 takes a more simple approach to tuning by attempting to create a street tuned GTR suitable for daily driving.

With respectable time of 1.47.102 it proved to be a very capable track car as well.

With all the tuned cars done with their runs it was time for the big boys to step up to the plate.  The R35 battle featuring some of the most powerful machines seen in Part 1 and Tokyo Auto Salon was about to start.

We begin with Power House Amuse R35, which is configured for street performance, featuring Amuse's own titanium exhaust as well as cooling and intake manifold.  Even with such light tune the car has managed to achieve 1.51.334 around Fuji Speedway.
With most other tuners presenting their 1000+ HP GTR's the battle was heating up.  Wing Takeo featured their demo car from Tokyo Auto Salon, which has an extensive list of upgrades highlighted by Wing Takeo original ECU tune, Trust 4.2L stroker kit, RX1200 turbo and high capacity injectors with RH9 titanium exhaust system to relieve back pressure.

The machine at the hands of Tarzan Yamada managed a very quick 1.45.361 while running on radial tires.

With competitors times being so quick the pressure inside Top Secret's pit was building up.  With their car experiencing failures during previous runs everything was at stake today.

The runs looked very promising as the 1200HP R35 GTR looked stable and incredibly quick in the hands of experienced Super GT driver Yasushi Kikuchi.  But bad luck seems to follow the Top Secret super GTR as one of the tires failed during at the high speed section and caused expansive damage to the front fender and components around.  The time recorded does not do the car any justice as only 1.46.430 was showing on the clock.  Following this disappointment Smokey Nagata decided to go back to drawing board and essentially rebuild the car.

We had a quick encounter with the Kansai Service R35 at Tokyo Auto Salon where I specifically highlighted the track oriented build.  Much to my delight the car was in capable hands of Nobuteru Taniguchi who scored an impressive  1.42.752 and was a runner-up...

to himself.. Yes, Nob Taniguchi took the most out of his track time as he spent entire day jumping from one car to the next, while obliterating lap records in the process.  It was his last run of the day that turned most heads as many people had the privilege of witnessing the Varis Kitted 4.1L 1200HP Kamikaze R going out on track for the first time

and absolutely killing it.  Many have said that such performance would be impossible on radial tires, but the perfectly executed tuning and setup by HKS Technical Factory and incredible driving skills by Nob Taniguchi have proved everyone wrong.

1.41.743 was displayed on top of the board at the end of the day and that is the best result ever for an R35 on radial tires.

On this note we wrap up the time attack event and track-side coverage of the HKS Premium day.

We have seen some amazing cars stationary on display at the paddocks and being pushed to the limits and beyond on the track combining for a magnificent event defining what Japanese car culture is all about.

I am grateful that aftermarket and OEM parts manufacturers like HKS take time and invest in what started off as a pure marketing showcase and has grown into one phenomenal automotive event.

This concludes our coverage of HKS Premium Day at Fuji Speedway, but make sure to check back soon for more events, crazy cars, and test drivers here on  As always, thank you for your comments, shares and follows.




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