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Tokyo Auto Salon 2015 – 8’s and 6’s

Posted in Events, Magazine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

For as long as I’ve had an appreciation for Japanese cars the Tokyo Auto Salon is something that I’ve always wanted to experience. The scale and wide range of cars, styles and ideas on display is second to none. Yes, I know Sema is massive too, but I don’t believe that Sema offers the same level of crazy, quirky builds. Also, I didn’t grow up looking at muscle cars as a realistic option for a way to get me from A to B and do burnouts to C. I always looked to Japan for my automotive kicks so naturally I have a soft spot for the Japanese car scene.

To say I was excited when Toyota Australia offered me an invitation to a week long Japanese adventure, including media access to the Tokyo Auto Salon would be a slight understatement. I was #PUMPED. The weeks between the intial phone call and the plan leaving felt like a whole year in itself.

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As a thank you for Toyota’s hospitality I’m going to open our multiple Tokyo Auto Salon (TAS) pieces with a massive gallery of the (almost) one million 86’s and BRZ’s on display this year. No kidding, almost every single stand had at least one 86 on display!

At the Toyota stand we were immediately greeted by Tada-san, the chief engineer behind the 86 and Toyota’s current sports car projects and also some of the Gazoo Racing Crew that helped the team win team at the Nurburgring 24 hour.

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Let’s kick this off with my personal favourite 86. The TRD Griffin. While the car has been around for a couple years I don’t think anyone has come closer to that perfect level of understated/overdone on the 86. Despite the show piece finish, the Griffon is actually a test mule that’s seen many many kilometres of tarmac. It just adds to the overall appeal of the car.


_DSC7273I’d love to have some after hours access to this machine. Shooting it at a show doesn’t do it justice. The more you look at her, the more details you see and the more impressive it all becomes.

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At this stage, the engine is relatively unchanged. It has a titanium straight pipe exhaust, some different headers and only a handful of small changes. The most impressive thing is that this weapon has clocked a 1.01.873 at Tsukuba! Crazy!

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You may have spied the white 86 sitting next to the Griffin. This is the baby brother of the Griffon, the 14R60. This is TRD’s carboned up production model.

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So much carbon! Pretty serious brake setup too for a lightweight!

_DSC7255 _DSC7257 _DSC7261 _DSC7263 Check out the build plate in the centre console! A seriously cool touch!

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Gazoo Racing also had their special 86 on display. The GRMN, A production version that celebrates their class victory at the Nurburgring 24 hour event. You can check out their GRMN Concept HERE. Good news! The production version is a lot closer to the concept than I thought it’d be after going over the original Concept car at MegaWEB.

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I wouldn’t have imagined that it works so well, but how rad does a Rally prepped 86 look! You can definately see the Celica / GT4 in it.

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Cute girls, Anime and Cars. Seems like a winning combination…

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So now we’ll have a look and see how some of the other tune houses have taken advantage of the 86 platform. I can’t think of a better place to start than with JUN, and their super obnoxious hyper lemon paint! Jun was one of the stands I was really looking forward to visiting. I wasn’t disappointed.

_DSC7369 _DSC7371 _DSC7374Pikes Peak 86! What a monster!

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Here’s a top example of that Japanese Quirk factor I mentioned earlier. DAMD have on offer a complete kit including interior to convert your 86 into something a little more James Bond than the usual 86 look. While you probably won’t be the Spy who fooled me, you’d certainly manage to turn some heads with their ‘Vantage’ kit

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CABANA!

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Some Tofu delivery vehicle…

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The Black Edition 86 had some very neat little touches all over. Especially the carbon tail lights.

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EMC 86, pretty cool looking aero package, but check out the plenum in the bay!

_DSC7494_DSC7561 _DSC7570 _DSC7571 _DSC7810 _DSC7818 _DSC7986stay tuned for a lot more posts about the Auto salon and our adventures in the Land of the Rising Sun.

 

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Bayside Meeting

Posted in Events, Magazine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

The whole group was determined to make the most of our short time in Tokyo. We landed running and had maintained that momentum across the giant concrete jungle. In only 4 days we had seen robots fight over dinner, spent a day at Tokyo Autosalon, visited TRD headquarters and few other workshops, not to mention the sightseeing and exploring. Today was a slightly different pace though, today would be more of a night time adventure as we planned to attack the Daikoku Futo meet that was going down. Everything was coming together nicely, including the weather! What an amazing night!

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We ate earlier to ensure a smooth night, just in time to experience the Shinjuku Scramble. If it looks familiar, this is the drift scene intersection in the FF:Tokyo Drift movie. Three cross walks around a 90 degree corner and about a million people. It’s organised chaos even without the cars drifting and exploding mid street.

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We agreed to meet in the hotel lobby after dinner where we’d meet our driver for the night. The original plan was to head to the Daikoku Futo meet that was going down.

 

_DSC8985_smallWe saw a smaller meet in a parking complex just off the side of the road. Coincidently Matty from DS had stumbled to this very same car park while lost many years ago. Last time he saw a couple of R35’s, we were all hanging to find out what, if anything, was going to be on show tonight.

_DSC8965_smallThe driver noticed our one million cameras and although he didn’t speak a lot of English, he stopped the van to show us something awesome. It took some piecing together by Blake-san to work out what his intentions were and that he wasn’t simply lost. (NOTE: learn at least basic Japanese before next adventure.) We were directed up on to a bridge and headed towards the lights… That’s when we found this guy…

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GUNDAM! With a Gundam movie playing behind him! He would light up according to what was happening on screen. The level of detail on this guy was incredible! It could have passed for a real suit! Crazy! When walking back to the van we noticed a few imports… errr…. local modified cars moving towards the parking complex._DSC9077_smallWe followed.

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The first car that rolled in behind us was a Nur Spec R34 GTR! The thing was mint!

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Along with the sweet rides were the chilled out people. We didn’t share a single word outside of car parts but we were welcomed by the group, they even handed out ‘Bayside Meet’ stickers to all of us! As long as we could point, name car parts and smile everyone was happy to show off their cars.

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The cars were spread out across two levels. So we headed down to check out what was on display.

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We weren’t disappointed. There was such a wide variety of styles and cars on display. Australia really needs to take note and ditch the whole hater thing. It’s holding us back.

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Unfortunately, and not unlike a meet at home, we were moved along by the police.

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What was different was the relaxed nature of the police, they simply asked the crew to move along and leave the parking space in a respectful manner. Everyone simply moved along with no issues or dramas. Maybe our police should take some lessons too…

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Blake, our only hope of translating some poor english into some rough japanese found out from a few of the boys that everyone was heading to Tatsumi Parking Area. So that’s exactly where we headed to next. Stay posted for the Tatsumi Coverage on Speed Nation.

 

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The Gazoo Racing GRMN 86 Concept

Posted in Featured Cars, Magazine, Random, Speed Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Words: Nick Tuyau;    Photos: Matthew Everingham

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Gazoo Racing have an incredible record with their assaults on foreign soil. Winning championships and races with both their 86 bred cars and also the Lexus LFA, their star continues to rise in both motorsport and street scenes.

The car debuted at the 2014 Tokyo Auto Salon, they threw out the red carpet to another prototype, and what they revealed is a street version of their GT86 Nurburgring 24 Hour racing car. This the same car currently on display at MegaWeb a massive showroom and interactive centre at Odaiba in Tokyo. Fortunately, MegWeb was one of the stops on our list during out Epic Japanese adventure with Toyota Australia and the Downshift Boys..

If you live outside of Japan, there’s a good chance that this is your first opportunity to get up close and personal with it.

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Without the need to overcome the incredible torture of the Nurburgring itself, Gazoo Racing were able to tone the street car down somewhat and smooth off those sharp edges. One area in which they’ve done this is with the use of a slightly milder brake package: the Nurburgring car looks to have 6-spot front and 4-spot rear brakes on huge cross-drilled rotors, while the GRMN 86 Concept appears to be wearing 4-spot front brakes on slotted rotors.

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The engine and drivetrain appear mostly unmodified (power and torque figures are unchanged), but the visuals have not been spared, either inside or out! Both cars have carbon fibre bonnets, hatch lids, front splitter, side skirts, mirror caps, front fender vent garnishes, as well as a fixed carbon rear spoiler on aluminium uprights.

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Gazoo Racing 86: GRMN Edition

 

The attention to detail is ridiculous.

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Gazoo Racing 86: GRMN Edition

The rear diffuser has been revised, and there’s now only a single exhaust exit too (with matching carbon trim, of course).

Gazoo Racing 86: GRMN Edition

Gazoo Racing 86: GRMN Edition

The interior cops a new set of carbon-backed buckets with a Schroth harness for the driver, and there is a roll cage and additional bracing fitted.

Gazoo Racing 86: GRMN Edition

Gazoo Racing 86: GRMN Edition

The rear bracing means that the back seat had to go, so a carbon panel has been fitted in its place.

Gazoo Racing 86: GRMN Edition

Gazoo Racing 86: GRMN Edition

The steering wheel, gear shifter and handbrake have also been re-trimmed in Alcantara to match as well.

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Last but not least, what better way to make the most of the reduced weight and lowered centre of gravity than with a revised suspension set up with adjustable top strut mounts.

Gazoo Racing 86: GRMN Edition

 

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Japanese Adventure Highlights

Posted in Events, Magazine and tagged , | Leave a Comment

This is my last night in Japan. I’m trying to gather my thoughts, flip through my archives and select a few highlights from the past week. If I rotate my neck 90 degrees to the left, Nagoya Castle is directly in sight. It’s doing a pretty good job at competing for my attention.

Late last year Toyota thanks the car community by staging a massive party for car owners and enthusiasts at the newly constructed Rose Bay Ferry Terminal. You can see our coverage here: #FESTIVALOF86 and also HERE
One of the cool things Toyota did was run a competition for media officials, the prize being an awesome week long trip to Japan. While the Downshift boys won the prize, rules were bent I was also offered an invitation to join the party.

So here I am with only one day remaining. At first it doesn’t feel like we’ve been here for long, but now that I’m taking the time to reflect on the ridiculous amount of things we’ve witness, experienced and visited it starts to feel like we’ve been here for a month.

I’ll be delving deeper in to our activities, but to sum it up and let you know roughly what you can expect to see if you bookmark the page here’s some of the radness we’ve experienced. I will warn you up front though, you will be jealous :p

Tokyo! WOW! Never in a million years could I have comprehended the size, scale and complexity of this place! It is without a doubt one of the most impressive places on the planet, and the fact that something so super massive and complicated can run so smoothly and freely leaves me feeling inspired about the future. Yes, it’s that kind of place.

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Eating crazy Food I never thought I’d try (and liking most of it.)

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Visiting TRD Headquarters

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Drank coffee like a boss.

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Had a reunion with a childhood friend, Tom. His mates were pretty cool too.

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Tokyo Train Rides during peak hour. #TheCrushIsReal.

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I crossed item #14 off my bucket list, TOKYO AUTOSALON!

speed nationShared a table with not only the designer of the new Toyota 86, but also the TA77 Celica and pretty much every Toyoya sports car that was created between the 70′ and 80’s.

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Hit up my first P.A. F40’s, RWB’s and pretty much every other single car on your dream list.

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Visited a couple of car museums.

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Saw 8 of the 300 2000GT’s in existence, not only that, we got to hear it’s sweet notes.

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There’s a lot more, but that Castle is looking to good. Time to sign off and make the most of my last night in Japan.

 

Stay tuned.

 

as

 

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TRD’s Japanese Dream Garage

Posted in Circuit Racing, Magazine, Random, Speed Central, SPEED FEED and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Words: Nick Tuyau;     Photos:  Matthew Everingham

 

It’s early in the new year, and as just about any motoring enthusiast knows, that means it’s time for Tokyo Auto Salon.  Held yearly at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba city, it’s a chance for Japan’s automotive industry to show off their new wares for the year (or years) ahead.  And it’s not just the aftermarket industry who show up, as plenty of the major manufacturers and their off-shoots regularly display new cars, new technologies and concept ideas at the show.

Fortunately for our Speed Nation readers, our main man Matt has been given the incredible opportunity to attend, courtesy of Toyota Australia, and we would like to share this opportunity with you!

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Day one of the Tokyo trip began with a visit to TRD’s main headquarters in Yokohama, also known as Toyota TechnoCraft.  The building was originally opened in 1961, and over the years has served Toyota in many and various ways.

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Of course, there is the racing division itself, and we’ll get to that, but the headquarters  also plays host to a car restorations section, vehicle and engine development section (including for mainstream Toyota models) and a service and repair (including accident repair) centre for Toyota and Lexus cars.

Beyond this, there is also a special conversions section, which actually caters to over 80% of the Japanese market.The output of the special conversions business mostly covers ambulances, police cars, highway patrol cars, government cars and the like.  As well as the Japanese market, they also do a lot of catering to overseas markets who don’t have the knowledge, technology and facilities to carry out the work, such as the Africas and other developing markets.

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Now, onto that racing history…  The department started off in 1954 as Toyopet Seibi Co. Ltd., and specialised in creating parts and accessories for the regeneration and repair of used cars.  Three years later, they took control of building a Toyota Crown for the Around Australia Trial, as well as providing on-site support for the car as it competed here.  It continued in similar roles all the way through to 1976, where the department’s name was officially changed to Toyota Racing Development.

During this time, in 1965, it was charged with the task of building the Toyota 2000GT for the 1965 Tokyo Motor Show, which has gone on to be known as Japan’s first supercar.

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Co-developed with Yamaha – a partnership which continues to this day – and eventually manufactured by Yamaha under contract, they ran the 3M engine from the Toyota Crown of the day, but with a twin-cam cylinder head extensively modified by Yamaha and a pair of Solex carburetors to produce 150hp.  In 1966 they campaigned a number of 2000GTs and smaller S800s in the Fuji 24hr race, and the cars met some success with several FIA speed and endurance records created along the way.  (As a side note, the “Open Top” 2000GT that appeared in the James Bond film “You Only Live Twice” was also created in the Yokohama headquarters.  The car was originally designed as a targa-top, but due to Sean Connery’s height and how far his head stood proud of the car’s modified roofline, they decided to remove the roof completely.  A roof was never created, just a hump to simulate where one would go if it did exist, so technically the car was not a true convertible.  Two were made for use in the film, and apparently one of those resides here in Australia somewhere!)

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Moving on to more recent times, there is the famous (or infamous) Castrol Tom’s Supra which competed and often dominated the Japanese Grand Touring Championship (JGTC).10830743_740457479383309_1067540409782915688_o

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Powered by the venerable 3s-GTE (which seemed to power almost anything and everything that competed under the Toyota brand name across the world), it was a huge force in 1997, and that tiny 2-litre engine in that huge Supra body went on to conquer even the McLaren F1 that it was competing against that year!

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Here’s yet another Toyota-Yamaha monster of a collaboration:  The Lexus LFA.  Parked next to Toyota’s first supercar, you can get an idea for yourself the incredible way in which all our modern cars have become wider, taller, longer and heavier!

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With that spine-tingling 1LR-GEU engine, Toyota and Yamaha gave us a 72-degree bank angled V10 of 4.8 litres, power of 412kW, torque of 480Nm, a redline at 9,000rpm, and an ability to bounce off its fuel cut-off of 9,500rpm so fast that an analogue tachometer needle couldn’t keep up, so a digital one had to be used!

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With all the work that goes on at TRD/TechnoCraft, there are a lot of hidden gems tucked away behind the offices and factories, so as we sign off, we’ll leave you to check out the treats on display that Matt was priviledged enough to photograph for us…

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Living the Porsche Dream (For a day)

Posted in Events, Magazine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Last weekend Autohaus Hamilton invited Speed Nationer’s Matt Everingham and David Xu out to enjoy a day of amazing views, twisty roads, good company and, of course, plenty of Porsches. 68 to be exact.
Here’s how it went down from the organisers perspective:

We’re not going to lie, we were equally nervous as excited for our final event of the year. When we put the word out through our Track & Drive Mailing List (to join – click here) we had a huge rush of reservations, within the first week we had 50 Porsches and by the second we were sitting on 80!

That’s when we had to make the call and capacity was reached!



When the 14th of December came, sixty-eight Porsche’s made the effort to come along, joined with a handful of other makes and models.  Fortunately and thanks to the car gods we were greeted with a spectacular morning, which was a shock after a week of lightning storms! What better addition to the weekend than an easy Sunday morning to gather and drive.

Porsche fanatics came from as far north as Newcastle, south as Canberra and west as Bathurst; all to meet in the Royal National Park on the southern border of Sydney.  1 Porsche, 2 Porsche, 3 Porsche, 4! As the minutes ticked over, the sound of flat 6’s filled the National Park bouncing off the cliff-faces and sending chills down the spines of all who could hear.  We found ourselves trying to ‘Guess the Porsche’ by distant exhaust notes, then finally seeing them pop out of the bushes and come across a water level bridge.


There was a strong presence of Police through-out the weekend on Sydney’s roads and that didn’t change even this early on a Sunday. But, as the police rolled by there was nothing but thumbs up and smiles ear to ear! It was time to round up the group, give a quick briefing… then ladies and gentleman – start your engines!

Our first leg of the drive was simple, head south through the Royal National Park towards The Scarborough Hotelwhich had kindly opened early for us to enjoy breakfast by the sea! This was by far the easiest leg of the drive; with no real places to get lost there were 68 Porsche’s stretched kilometres down the road!


We had a few extra minutes, so we squeezed in one quick stop at Stanwell Tops, a very scenic look-out just a few minutes before our breakfast destination. We managed to pull all 68 cars over and basically grid-locked all parking available, with spirits so high and adrenaline pumping everyone was soaking up the morning sun and already telling stories about the last 45kms of twists and turns.


Matt (Matthew Everingham Photography) joined us on the day to cover the drive and live the Porsche. This stop-over was too good to be true for eyes like his and with such a great opportunity to take a few cars aside and frame a shot, he didn’t waste any time! Matt has done photography for many well-known publishments and international blogs; he’s also just recently won the 2014 Canon AIPP Advertising Photographer of the Year! (Congratulations and Thank-you!)

As a few cars stayed back to work on the shot with Matt, the rest of us continued down the road and started to fill the 2 car-parks, along with both sides of street parking at The Scarborough Hotel. The hotel living up to their promised word and reserving the best view in town coupled with all our breakfast and coffee ready to consume within minutes!

Breakfast was great, it was really nice to see so many couples, friends, fathers joined with daughters and sons enjoying a shared passion. With breakfast over we swiftly head back up to the carpark where a quick map briefing was held. The gist was basic… “We are going to hit traffic, we are going to hit lights and there will be people getting lost” but, on the up side “Guys, take it as it comes! Remember all these roads are great and even if you’re lost for a second, enjoy the road and when you can stop safely take a quick look at the map. If you’re too far gone, punch in the final destination into your GPS and we’ll see you there!


With so much excitement, cars were already started and moving before you could even count to ten!  Before you knew it there were small groups of Porsche’s all headed in the same direction but on different roads, some lost… some found. At the next check point, about 40 cars arrived. The other 20 were… on a different route. As the southern decent continued, more cars were found and more cars were lost.


But here’s the kicker, we all found our way to the final destination just as briefed! There was so much laughter atBriars Country Lodge, jokes about all the wrong turns made and random places small groups of cars found each other. Suddenly all the ‘stress’ was laughed away and nothing but good reports given. It just goes to show with the right frame of mind, the right steering wheel in your hands and no matter if you’re lost or found, Living the Porsche is an enjoyment like no other.

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Nick Coulson – The Drift Kid

Posted in drift, Magazine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Back in October this year at the 2014 World Time Attack Challenge and the Australian leg of Formula Drift Asia, I had the absolute pleasure in spending some time with the Drift Kid himself, Nick Coulson and his awesome team. If you haven’t heard of this kid yet, welcome to earth, enjoy your stay and revel in his mental drifting awesomeness!

Paul: You’re known as the Drift Kid, how does it a) feel to be a kid racing against these big names in drifting, and b) to be beating them too?

Nick: The Drift Kid name has just stuck from a few years ago. I used to get so nervous going up against the big names in drifting because I watched them all as a spectator & now I was racing against them. Getting the win against the bigger names was cool & just made me push even harder each time I raced. Now days I don’t get so nervous as I’ve raced with these guys for years.

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Paul: Most kids grow up wanting to be Policeman, Fireman, or a Race car driver, you obviously chose the latter, but why drifting?

Nick: Every kid plays computer games & mine was drifting in LFS online. One Sunday afternoon me & dad went to our local go-kart track (Archerfield Drift) & we saw there was a Drift comp on. It was the first drifting in person I had ever seen & that was it I was hooked. I asked my dad if I could get into the sport & some time later I got the chance at a training day.

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Paul: What was the first car you learnt to drift in?

Nick: My first car was a standard R32 Skyline manual with a RB20 & LSD diff. The car saw some big changes over the time I used it as it was just a fun car at first for practice days & then I got to do my first comp & managed 3rd place for my first ever series. We still have to old girl, and it’s for sale if anyone wants a proven track car.

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Paul: With the sport of Drifting originating in Japan and the cars being predominately Japanese, you’ve decided to do it in a VE Ute. Why? What’s so special about this chassis and how do you tame the beast?

Nick: We actually bought the VE Ute for the engine and gearbox for the 32 (after we blew then engine at Wakefield park). When the Ute arrived, we noticed it was still in good shape, and with a bit of TLC and some maintenance, we decided to have a crack at drifting it! After a night out at the local track Archerfield, we came to the conclusion to build this Ute into a full on drift car. Luckily with some great sponsors that came on board, like Fulcrum Suspension, we got to set the Ute up to how we wanted it.

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Paul: Earlier this year you had a fairly decent accident that put your car off the road for a while. What happened?

Nick: The Figure 8 drift track is what happened. It happened at Sydney Motorsport Park, on the peanut drift track called ‘Figure 8′. After getting all the way through to the finals against James Abbott, a tyre popped off the bead at full noise heading towards the first corner. There was nothing I could do but enjoy the ride, and the car ended up on the bank just after the first corner. Bent pretty much every arm the car had, and a fair bit of cosmetic damage too.

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Paul: We’re starting to see a lot of people doing LS conversions into all types of chassis’, you’ve already got that. What have you done to yours and what plans have you got for it?

Nick: Well thanks to Hi-Torque Performance, the car now has a pretty basic setup, but more importantly the power we want and reliability. It’s just a basic 6.0L that comes standard in the VE SS with Hi-Torque doing valve springs, lifters, timing chain, oil pump. And Harrop Engineering with the FDFI2300 Harrop Supercharger. Keeping it simple means it’s reliable and cost efficient.

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Paul: As for you, what’s next? Asia, America, Europe or World Domination?

Nick: I’d love to compete over in the states at a Formula Drift event. Doing a whole season of Formula Drift Asia would be good too!

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Paul: Now your team, we know your parents are obviously big supporters, but I hear that probably the biggest one of them all is your grandma who’s been to all your races. How does it feel to have such amazing family support?

My team are great. My Grandma is definitely the loudest supporter, screaming all the way from the grandstands haha. But everyone on my team; my dad, mum, uncle, 2 close friends and my girlfriend are for sure my dream team. They each have a part to play in the team, and we all work well together!

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Paul: And of course your sponsors, who have you got on board?

Nick: We are lucky enough to have some amazing sponsors on board.

Achilles Radial are the best tyre in drift & the support we get from them is fantastic.

XForce Performance Exhaust is a well know Exhaust company in Australia & the support they give us by show casing their exhaust system is great.

Fulcrum Suspension have done all the R&D on our Ute to help us win events, Their SuperPro package along with Tein have been a big reason for our success.

Hi-Torque Performance are one of Queensland’s leading tuning shops & have defiantly given us the edge when it comes to power.

Harrop Engineering have completed our engine combo with their latest technology in Supercharging.

NPC Clutches are the best in the clutch business & we have never had a clutch issue in the 5 years they have supported me.

Aesthetic Signs in Brisbane have done an amazing job from the original render we wanted to then applying it to the VE for exactly what we wanted.

IMG_0030 WM small

 

Nick thanks so much for your time and all the best for the future.

Words: Paul Jakubicki, Nick Coulson & Martin Coulson

Photos: Speed Nation – Paul Jakubicki, Matthew Everingham, Rhys Vandersyde & Nick Coulson

001

365 DAYS, 225 EVENTS, 50 FRAMES, 5.2 SECONDS FROZEN IN TIME. 2014 THROUGH MY LENS

Posted in Circuit Racing, Culture, drags, drift, Events, film, Magazine, photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Hey Nationers,

2014 has been a crazy year. This year I have covered more events than ever before and tried to push myself as hard as possible to pick up new skills and create the best possible images from every situation in 2014. I have been lucky enough to cover local, interstate and international events as well as a wedding or two this year and would like to share with you my favorite 50 images containing both digital and 35mm film work and giving you insight into what I got up to in 2014 and what to expect in 2015.  Dragphtos is so pleased and honored to be a small part of the Speednation team and look forward to working along side the whole Speednation team again in 2015 bringing you some killer content.

 

Enjoy.

 

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Speed Nation JDMST 2014

JDMStyleTuning EOYM’14

Posted in Events, Magazine and tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Rain and thunderstorm was forecast for 1st of December. The sky was indeed filled with some

quite daunting clouds. That did put off some of the potential attendees to the 2014 JDM Style

Tuning end of the year meet at Sydney Motorsport Park but a number of people still made their

way to the venue.

speed nation jdmst 2014

speed nation jdmst 2014

Considering the size of the venue, only a few cars had made their way at this point. Stalls were

set up and cars were on display. Social media posts about no chance of rain encouraged others

to come.  There was no sign of rain or thunder so more cars started to arrived and the place

started to fill up.

speed nation jdmst 2014

speed nation jdmst 2014

speed nation jdmst 2014

The main attractions, one may say, and subjects of much discussion and speculation were two

“quite special” cars.

The red Honda NSX. Almost every person who walked by, stopped took a good long while

staring at the car, photos and carried on. Except for when I took this shot.

speed nation jdmst 2014

Parked under a marquee, in case it rained, was the Heasman Steering S14. This car also caught

a lot of attention. Why? Because race car.

speed nation jdmst 2014

As the afternoon went on, the hustle and bustle of a social car gathering started to become

apparent. More cars and people came. There was music, people walking about talking, laughing

and it was all still just getting started.

speed nation jdmst 2014

speed nation jdmst 2014

speed nation jdmst 2014

Being a JDM oriented event, there were a lot of Japanese cars around. Somewhere during my

wanderings, a big group of Honda Accords came and lined up together. It was like a mini Accord

meet within the main meet.

Speed Nation JDMST 2014

There was a noticeably large number of Toyota 86s as well throughout the event. The AE86s

were getting a lot of attention from the crowd. Evidently, people loved the great old 86s.

Speed Nation JDMST 2014

Speed Nation JDMST 2014

As the afternoon grew into the evening, the sun lit up the clouds and the sky presented some

remarkable colors. The light brought out the best in every car and the whole atmosphere of the

meet felt very joyous and hearty.

Speed Nation JDMST 2014

Speed Nation JDMST 2014

Speed Nation JDMST 2014

People who had had enough were leaving and new cars were coming in, roaming around

looking for a spot to park. The success of the meet was represented by that.

Speed Nation JDMST 2014

Speed Nation JDMST 2014

Over 1000 cars made their way to the event despite the forecast for bad weather. The event

was a success. It brought together a diverse array of people and great cars at a good place.

Monday evening done right.

Photographer’s choice award goes to this Lexus. Fresh to death!

Speed Nation JDMST 2014

 

Images and Story by Faraz.

V8 Supercars Gold Coast 600 25th October 2014  - 516

600km’s OF HELL!!!!

Posted in Magazine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

V8 Supercars Gold Coast 600 25th October 2014  - 879The Gold Coast 600 is quite unique in its layout and its proximity to the beach. Three days of partying, racing and bikini clad race fans as far as the eye can see. For 362 days of the year tourists flock to the world famous glitter strip for the sun and sand blissfully unaware that for the other 3 days of the year its used to inflict hell on the whole field of V8 supercar drivers and their co drivers and where making the smallest of mistakes can end the weekend or kill any championship hopes.Gold Coast 600 Fri 24th October 1369

V8 Supercars Gold Coast 600 Sunday 26th October 2014 - 997The whole weekend has a massive party feeling its almost easy to forget this is a very important race in the championship with massive points on offer for both races. This track definitely never disappoints with something happen almost everywhere you look from the airshow put on by the RAAF roulettes, static car show,  Showtime FMX and the countless parties on almost every hotel balcony.  Gold Coast 600 Fri 24th October 2214

V8 Supercars Gold Coast 600 25th October 2014  - 136This is my own personal home race with it taking place within 10kms of my house. I personally have attended all but one since its inception as the Gold Coast indy in 1991. I remember dad taking me as a kid and its always had a great vibe for me. Its more like a party than a race weekend. Gold Coast 600 Fri 24th October 1677

V8 Supercars Gold Coast 600 25th October 2014  - 652From a photographers point of view this is one of the tracks where the whole time your shooting you are thinking I could be shooting anywhere else on the track from the beach chicane or from above or even in the pits. With most of the tracks we travel to i draw a path of the sun on a map of the track and we plan our way round the track and chase the light. Here its like those rules don’t apply, As the light is shielded by buildings and trees that litter almost the entire circuit.

Gold Coast 600 Fri 24th October 1399

V8 Supercars Gold Coast 600 25th October 2014  - 320The pitlane here is quite long with multi story corporate suites on top shooting the pits here is as good as it gets. Its 400m of A list celebrities, drivers, and racing personalities all in one spot. Its easy to get caught up and spend a hour or two shooting here at a time.V8 Supercars Gold Coast 600 Sunday 26th October 2014 - 672

Gold Coast 600 Fri 24th October 1454To get 100% out of the lap around the 2.9km circuit the drivers need to be millimetre perfect lap after lap. That means being within mm’s of the concrete walls. With a ambient temp of around 30deg and cabin temps much higher than that it doesn’t take much to make a massive mistake here. The outside wall of turn two is the biggest magnet with countless mirrors being claimed over the weekend. The piles of mirror casings littering the marshal area after every session.

V8 Supercars Gold Coast 600 25th October 2014  - 901

Gold Coast 600 Fri 24th October 1505For me personally coming from WTAC the week before and having a track like Sydney Motorsport Park to work with, And the wide open country side its easy set up shots as nearly the whole track is accessible to the public let alone the media. It took some time to adjust to how non media friendly these street tracks really are. Massive crowds, fences, and some corners even shielded by signage it was easy to use the media holes provided by i wasnt after the general cookie cutter images these holes provide. Sure sometimes these holes are in some of the best spots but if you are after something unique here you definitely have to work for it.

V8 Supercars Gold Coast 600 Sunday 26th October 2014 - 980

V8 Supercars Gold Coast 600 Sunday 26th October 2014 - 343

 

Shot by Dragphotos.com.au