With the month of August fast approaching teams around the world are spending countless hours looking for any little detail that may give them an edge over the opposition and claim the title as “The Fastest Time Attack Car in the World“
On Friday two of the Japanese teams were at Fuji Speedway for some testing prior to leaving for Australia. Fuji Speedway is the preffered test track for the Japanese teams as the long sweeping ciruit is much closer in layout to the Eastern Creek track. The traditional home of time attack, Tsukuba circuit, is much shorter and tighter.
The big news that everyone was waiting for was the RE Amemiya “Hurricane” RX7
would be hitting the track for the first time in anger. This is a car that the whole rotary tuning community around the world has been waiting to see since it was unveiled at Tokyo Autosalon a year or two ago.
Even though the car’s first shakedown is only a few weeks before it’s scheduled to be loaded into an Australia-bound container, we expect this RX7 to be very close to the mark straight out of the box. There would be very few, if any, tuners anywhere in the world that would have more data on racing Mazda RX7s than Amemiya -san and when you have been GT300 champion in a car not too dissimilar to this one it is fair to assume you know what you are doing.
The time attack master himself, Nob Taniguchi, was on hand to put the Hurricane RX7 through its paces and had the media waiting to interview him every time he returned to the pits.
This time it was a simple “shakedown” to ensure everything is working properly and the team will return again to Fuji Speedway before leaving for Australia to push the car a little further. Our guess is that testing will be conducted with no other teams present, not to disclose how fast the car really is, and with a 750+ horsepower 20B triple rotor on board, we’ve got a feeling the “Hurricane” will live up to its name!
The other car that was out testing at Fuji Speedway was the insane Top Fuel/Voltex Honda s2000RR. There was absolutely no mistaking the Voltex designed aero on this car and it appeared to be the focus of the track testing with Nob Taniguchi performing double duties on the day.
It is interesting to note here that time attack racing is one of the few racing disciplines that it is possible for a driver to finish on more than one place on the podium as Tarzan Yamada so famously showed at WTAC in 2010 where he took 1st and 3rd place in the Cyber Evo and the Tomei Cusco WRX respectively. Many insiders quietly believe that these two may well be the guys to beat this year.
The car was exceptionally fast, even in its previous guise, lapping Tsukuba in 55 odd seconds and it will certainly benefit from the brand new “proper” aero package.
The engine is apparently making close to 700 flywheel horsepower and is guaranteed to be giving the all wheel drive brigade a big hurry-up in August.
The front of the car is extremely agressive and we can’t help but think just how sinister this would look coming up behind you in the rear view mirror.
There was a lot of attention being paid to the underside of the car with many changes being made to the aero and suspension settings every time the car returned to the pits.
The Top Fuel team are unquestionably at the top of their game when it comes to Honda tuning. The guy in the foreground below is Top Fuel senior engineer Yuya Nakagawa, who despite his youthfull looks has probably more Honda tuning experience than just about anyone except his boss Hirano-san!
A big thankyou
to Daniel Farrand for dropping out to Fuji Speedway and getting us this report. Daniel is one of the “behind the scenes” guys without whose help this event would not happen. By day he is manager of GCG Turbos Japan office but spends many hours behind the scenes as our “Japanese team co-ordinator” ensuring that all the teams have their paperwork filled out correctly, the cars are at the dock when they are supposed to be and helping the Japanese with any interpreting they need in the lead up to the event.
Want to see more? Check out this awesome pictorial gallery from the day at www.7tune.com
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