A Memorable Visit To The Famed Suzuka Circuit…

Now that I finally have some time to show you guys from photos, I thought I’d switch things up this time around by going out of sequence. I think that after enough time has passed, it is totally okay to just show the photos of out order in which they happened because they all have their own stories. If you wanted to see things in sequence, it’s shown as it happened during my trip in Japan on The Chronicles Vlog Series. It presents a much more personal look at how my life is but for the photos, I thought it would be cool to just show you cool shit, and not be stuck in this structure or pattern where everything has to be chronological. I guess that goes against what a “chronicle” would be but after 10 years, man, fuck it…

We really wanted to try to do some new things this year in Japan. I love all the places we regularly visit but it has been 5 years since we started going to Japan and I felt it was necessary to see new and different things to keep everything fresh. Though we have seen much, there is still lots of Japan left to be explored, especially when it comes to different shops in different locales. One of the places that Der and I really wanted to see for the first time was Common Snapper, a shop owned by my friend Noriyaki Miyamoto. He is also the owner of Barramundi Design wheels, a company that you guys should be familiar with if you’ve been a long-time visitor of The Chronicles because I had done some work for him in the past promoting his wheel company and even had a set on my own car for a while. Miyamoto had visited the U.S., I had run into him a number of times while I was in Japan but we never had a chance to really see his shop. He’s a bit of a unique character and all his own cars, as well as the projects he produces for customers, represent that. To say he builds some crazy cars would be an understatement. His flagship car is a 20B rotary-powered S30Z race car that makes about 600HP and he regularly races it. One of the key factors that had prevented us from visiting his shop was just based purely on location. We just didn’t know how to get out to his area or how to get to his shop. Mie Prefecture is a more countryside location and it isn’t nearly as tourist-friendly as say, Tokyo or Osaka, so we were a bit worried about how to get around. We didn’t want to ask Yasu to drive us there because it was really out of the way for him and he was busy taking care of some of our other friends who were visiting. I’ve been to Japan plenty now and I guess you can say I’m pretty confident in understanding the train system, and thanks to the advancements of an ever-changing Google Maps, I thought it would be a good time to test if I really knew my way around Japan…

I messaged Miyamoto a couple weeks before we left for Japan via Facebook Messenger and he didn’t respond. I don’t know if he even uses FB Messenger and I didn’t want to keep bothering him, so I left it at that. If he wasn’t going to respond, I wasn’t going to visit. As the days went by and our trip got closer, Der and I were making some more plans to do different shop visits and I remembered I had not received a response from Miyamoto. I see him on Instagram quite a bit and he’s always live so the night before we left for Tokyo, I messaged him via IG and sure enough, he responded right away. He let me know that he was actually going to Suzuka Circuit on one of the days when we were free and mentioned that if we could manage to get over to his area, he’d pick us up from the train station and then take us to Suzuka Circuit to watch him race. It sounded like the perfect plan. Not only could we visit Common Snapper, since it was not too far away from Suzuka Circuit, we would actually be able to go to Suzuka and see the world-famous race track for ourselves. It was never something I had planned on doing ever, but it is hard to pass-up an opportunity like that when it presents itself.

Things just sort of fall into place sometimes and well, we found ourselves at Suzuka Circuit…

We arrived on a Wednesday so there wasn’t a whole lot of stuff going on at the track, but there was some testing going on and boy were we in for a surprise when we saw the field of cars driving around. We thought it was cool to see the Common Snapper Z on the track already but then flying by during a hot lap was the famed Esprit NSX! None of us ever thought we’d ever run into this car but holy shit, what an amazing opportunity. It was a mixed bag of really interesting cars at Suzuka that day but I spent most of my time taking photos of the ones that stood out to me the most, which were the GT-Rs from Auto Select, the Esprit NSX, the Common Snapper S30Z of course, and a super cool looking Accord Euro-R. The photos speak for themselves so just sit back and enjoy some of the sights that I captured at Suzuka Circuit…

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The Common Snapper S30Z, featuring custom aero, Barramundi Design wheels, and is oddly enough, left-hand drive…

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Sitting inside the engine bay is a turbocharged 20B rotary engine pulled from a Eunos (Mazda) Cosmo that still sits outside of Common Snapper. The guts of the 20B are still internally stock but the outside hosts a catalog of upgrades from both HKS and Blitz…

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Here’s a look at the tried and true HKS T51R turbocharger, mounted to the 20B utilzing a custom turbo manifold and custom intercooler piping…

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Can’t really go wrong with the T51R even though there are a ton of more modern, more efficient turbochargers out there…

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A Honda S2000 Type S ripping through the straight at Suzuka Circuit. The front mount intercooler indicates that it does host forced induction in the form of a HKS GT Supercharger…

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The one and only Esprit NSX. A couple years ago I actually got to see the Kakimoto NSX in person as well and both are just amazing machines. They have this presence about them that is hard to match…or explain…

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I’m pretty sure this FD3S RX-7 is from tuning shop, Auto Craft Evolution…

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Auto Select R35 GT-R looking aggressive as it returned to the pits…

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We spotted this privateer EK9 CTR running a C-West front bumper and Shift Sports hood…

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When you’re in the presence of the Esprit NSX, you snap as many photos as humanly possible. I especially love how raw and aggressive the dry-carbon rear end looks…

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The S2000 Type-S with its hood popped to reveal the HKS GT-Supercharger…

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The EK in the pit garage with its mismatched Volk TEs/SSR Type-C and Sergeant rear diffuser…

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Loved seeing two track-prepped Accord Euro-Rs at Suzuka. Definitely an awesome sight to see, especially a CL1 R which I rarely ever encounter…

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This Hakosuka didn’t hit the track that afternoon but still looked great parked in the paddock. Classic combo of RS Watanabe wheels under the flared body of the Skyline. It also had a carbon hood, front lip and Recaro seats…

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I guess one of the cool things about hanging out at Suzuka on a week day was that it was super relaxed and everyone was just chillin’, not too worried about competition or lap times…

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Lurking in one of the pit garages was the Auto Select R34 “White Shark”. Auto Select is one of those all-time great Japanese tuning shops that have long been known to stay a bit in the shadows, not really demanding much media attention or even wanting it…

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Most of these guys were testing that day and there was no major event going on, so I think some of them were surprised that we were walking around taking photos. Auto Select was probably the only people who asked us not to really show any plate numbers or anything and we respected that…

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The White Shark looked pretty crazy with the massive center-exit exhaust…

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Auto Craft widebody RX-7 with its traditional 13B set-up…

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CL7 Accord Euro-R getting its brake pads inspected and swapped-out….

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We had no idea the Esprit NSX was even blue now, since we always remembered it being in white. Can’t say it’s a bad look though. And the black contrasts work perfectly…

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Look at all that aero from front to rear, with canards even mounted toward the rear wheel. I also really dig the somewhat peculiar-looking Prodrive wheels that we almost never see here stateside…

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From this angle you can see more of the gigantic rear carbon GT wing and dry-carbo rear bumper and diffuser…

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Huge rear vent in the widened rear quarters exposing the wide Advan A050 tread…

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Vented carbon rear hatch revealing the intercooler set-up for the HKS turbo set-up. You can also see here how the wing risers run to the chassis and exit through the hatch…

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Serious front aero set-up with massive canards and front splitter….

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Auto Select R35 GT-R and R34 GT-R, both running Volk TE37 of course…

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I really loved the touring car-look of this CL1 Accord Euro-R. The wing, wheels, and ride height is just on-point…

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The lighting around this time was just perfect so I just snapped away and got as much of this Accord as I could…

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Driver-select with Auto Select…

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I believe the driver is Eiichiro Sawa from Auto Select (obviously)…

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The front lip on this CL1 is actually a modified Mugen CL7 front lip that has been trimmed to fit the CL1 front bumper…

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Rarely seen and often forgotten FK2 Civic Type R on Advan GT wheels…

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A couple more of the Esprit NSX with the guys from Auto Select next door…

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I love how the Esprit car actually has plates so it could be driven on the street too…

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Sometimes you just make the right moves and you get to see really, really, cool shit…

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If you guys watched the Vlogs, you’ll know that the Common Snapper S30Z didn’t last very long out there on the track. Turning-up the power resulted in a destroyed driveshaft and the Z was loaded back onto the trailer soon after…

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Thought the tow track gate served as a great frame for this shot…

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After we left Suzuka, we went to Common Snapper to see what Noriaki has been working on lately. One of them being this Rauh Welt Porsche 993 dubbed “RWB MARVELOUS” running a 3.8L engine utilizing MoTec engine management…

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He was also working on this pristine 930 Porsche retrofitting 964 suspension and brakes to it…

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Wrapping up this set with a shot of the 20B S30Z back inside Common Snapper. In the distance you can see the Honda F20C engine which will soon go into that Datsun Fairlady roadster parked against the wall.

Thanks for looking and a huge thanks to Noriaki Miyamoto from Common Snapper for all the hospitality!…

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