Attack Tsukuba 2019 Coverage… Part 1…


Let me start off by saying that this is probably my best work yet. I mean that. Call it inspired, call it being renewed, I don’t know. Call it whatever you want but I don’t think my work has ever plateaued and I’m still getting better—hopefully. In my humblest of opinions, if I stopped doing all of ‘this’ and never picked up the camera again, I think I’d be satisfied with this set of photos. Consider it my coup de grâce’, if you will. I think that weekend at Attack Tsukuba, I shot over 2200 photos. They weren’t all great, many of them were doubles because I have the hand shakes so about 600+ or so photos came out usable and now hopefully you guys will enjoy them in the next few days as we roll out all the coverage…

One of my friends recently told me that he forgets that I’m a photographer sometimes because of the Vlog series and how fast I can pump out quality videos. I guess I’d say that was a compliment because I really enjoy doing videos and what not…but I also still shoot photos, lol. The best thing about Attack Tsukuba is that it was multiple days, so it gave me plenty of opportunities to see and shoot as much as I could. Even though I was technically ‘hired’ to fly out to Japan to do video work, it had no affect on whether or not I had time to shoot photos. For a guy who had long been wanting to see the famed Tsukuba Circuit and all those amazing time attack vehicles, I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity. I really had no idea what or which particular time attack builds would be there for Attack, but whatever it was, I’m sure it’d be a sight to see because it’s Tsukuba. I couldn’t lose…

For context, I guess I should give some of you guys some backstory as to how I even ended up at Tsukuba Circuit…or how I managed to go to Japan three different times within the course of less than two months. During my second visit to Japan, Osaka in particular for Auto Messe, I was contacted by the marketing manager at Vibrant Performance about a possible job. Yuta had been a dear friend and mentioned to him one day that I was thinking about going to Tsukuba for the Attack event and it helped to set the gears into motion. One of the main Vibrant-sponsored vehicles, the PZTuning Civic, was set to compete at Attack and they wanted someone to be out at Tsukuba to cover it, and to get some video footage for them. Art isn’t particularly familiar with Japan and all of its inner workings so he wanted someone on the ‘inside’ that could acquire media assets for them for marketing purposes. The fact that there was a Vibrant-sponsored vehicle competing in Japan was a huge deal for the Canadian company so they wanted to make sure it was documented properly. I knew William Au-Yeung, the owner and driver of the Civic, after meeting him at a few other time attack events around the world so it would easy for me to communicate with him during the event. Like, it wouldn’t be weird, I guess you can say. Not only was the PZTuning car out in Japan, but he also talked to my friends from JDMYARD in Australia about possibly competing at Attack Tsukuba and they actually decided to do it. These crazy Aussies just decided to pick-up and go to Japan to drive. They had done all they could at the World Time Attack Challenge series in their years competing and winning multiple championships that there was no more pressure to accomplish anything else in Australia, so they said ‘the hell with it’ and wanted to drive at Tsukuba…

In my network of friends, Yonas from JDMYARD decided to communicate with Yasu from Exceed over in Osaka and Yasu, being the ever-helpful human being that he is, agreed to be their Japanese correspondent and track support. Not only would he drive out from Osaka, which is about 7-hours away, but he’d also bring all his tools, a spare set of wheels, other friends to serve as track support, and he would also help in receiving the car upon arrival in Tokyo. One of our other friends, Masa Chiba from X-Point, had his shop nearby in Chiba so they’d receive the car and bring it to X-Point where all the guys traveling from Australia could prep the car for competition. Let me add that Yasu and Yonas have never really officially met or hung out before. I believe they might have met in passing one time at one of my Anniversary Meets out in California but that was it. Everything else was just done through online messaging. After I took the gig with Vibrant, I told Yasu I’d be back the following week (I was already in Japan with Yasu at the time). He thought I was joking but I told him I’d fly home and do laundry and them come right back, lol. So I did just that. I flew home, saw my girl, did my laundry, took a nap or two, and hopped back on a plane to Tokyo. Yasu arrived a few hours earlier than me that day and then he picked me up from the airport and we went straight to X-Point to meet up with the boys from JDMYARD…

The rest as they say, is history. The Vlogs tell a more personal side of all that happened at Attack Tsukuba so please watch the 6-part series. Now we can get to the photos, which were an absolute joy to capture. Ironic that it was a time attack event because the best part about being there was having so much time to capture as much as I could…

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After arriving in Tokyo the night before and grabbing dinner with the boys, we were back bright and early to X-Point the following morning and everybody was hard at work on competition prep. There wasn’t much that needed to be done, being as the car had just competed a few months earlier at the World Time Attack Challenge, but there were little things that had to be buttoned-up after it arrived by boat to Japan….

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One of the newer additions to the JDMYARD Civic since I last saw it in 2017 were these AP Racing Pro 5000 R front brakes…

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These Pro 5000 R brakes feature a massive 6-piston caliper and 355mm rotors…

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The suspension has also changed with these new custom MCA Gold coilovers paired with custom front camber arms…

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Propelling the EG to multiple WTAC Open Class Championships is a sleeved K24 engine with a notable Skunk2 intake manifold which has been flipped upside down for better mounting of the intercooler…

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Some new aero additions to the front splitter that happened in 2018…

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Borg Warner EFR 8374 turbocharger mounted near the firewall…

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Drag Cartel CNC ported cylinder head…

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While the others were running around getting tires mounted and taking care of various other errands, the Casmiri brothers took a seat to take in the fact that they’d be driving at Tsukuba for the first time ever…

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Yonas Liu from JDMYARD enjoying some Japanese McDonald’s (‘Maccas’ in Australia) before getting back to work on the Civic….

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The unique carbon front face of the JDMYARD EG, created by Top Stage Composites…

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Once the wheels came back with new Yokohama Advan A050s on it, the guys rolled the Civic out for some photos before loading it up onto the trailer…

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They wanted to keep a matching pair of TEs and A050s for competition day so they decided to mount some Titan7 T-R10 wheels up front for practice…

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It was quite a nice afternoon out in Chiba as the JDMYARD Civic was carefully loaded onto a trailer provided by X-Point…

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JDMYARD driver Adam Casmiri…

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Locked and loaded for Attack Tsukuba 2019…

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Titan7 T-R10 with Yokohama Advan A050…

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After the Civic was loaded, the guys from JDMYARD went home early to get some shut-eye while Yasu, the rest of the Japanese contingency, and myself went to go eat and relax at the mall…

The following day we arrived at Tsukuba Circuit at around 6 AM to start the practice day of Attack…

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While the Civic was getting unloaded from the trailer, I immediately grabbed my camera to get some photos of the Yellow Factory EG, a car that I had only seen previously in photos online…

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It was honestly really wild to be standing in front of it and to see it in real life. Stuff like this I never expected or thought I’d ever see…

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Everyone working together in unison to get the Civic off the trailer with all aero intact…

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It was so great to see enthusiasts from both Japan and Australia working so well together like a well-oiled machine…

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Bright magenta Mitsubishi Evolution VI which had a titanium roll cage within…

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Ryo Kaneko and his Yellow Factory Civic…

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Not long after the JDMYARD Civic was unloaded, the Vibrant Performance/PZTuning Civic arrived, being supported by the team from Hoosier Tires Japan…

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William Au-Yeung returned home to Canada after the 2018 WTAC event but the Civic remained in Sydney, Australia until it was transported to Japan for Attack…

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Will standing on his reinforced front splitter to remove the hood on his Civic…

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L.A. Sleeve-prepped K24 block with a cylinder head filled with Brian Crower-made valvetrain. The turbo manifold, intercooler, and piping are all Vibrant Performance one-offs paired with a Borg Warner EFR 9174 turbocharger…

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For those unaware, the 9th generation Civic was never made available for purchase in the Japanese Domestic Market. Instead they skipped from 8th to 10th generation so many Japanese onlookers at Attack probably had not seen a 9th generation Civic in person until that day…

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Everything worked out so well that trip that my client, Vibrant Performance, was even parked right next to my buddies from JDMYARD. Talk about two birds with one stone…

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A peek through the acrylic windows of the JDMYARD EG and their MoTec digital display…

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Also making the trek from far far away was Kenneth Lau and his Integra Type R. He is actually from Canada as well and a close friend of Will Au-Yeung…

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Kazuhiro Furakawa from Five Mart meeting Yonas Liu from JDMYARD for the first time…

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The widened front face of the Yellow Factory Civic with Garage Work front bumper and carbon front splitter w/canards…

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Track Life Composites fender cut-outs paired with the widened front fenders. Here you can also see the Spoon Sports front brakes and carbon end plates…

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Interesting rear quarter panel set-up that Kaneko created but you work with what you got and this works for his wheel/tire/suspension set-up…

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Over the years the Yellow Factory Civic has been powered by a TODA Racing-equipped B18C paired with individual throttle bodies but in recent years, Kaneko has modernized his set-up with a K24 engine prepped by Kanegawa Engine Works (KEW) mated to a Quaife sequential transmission…

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One of the most unique aspects of the YF EG K24 set-up is the angled horns fabricated for the TODA Sports Injection throttle bodies…

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The angle of these horns are made in a way to receive maximum airflow to the engine…and well, let’s not avoid the fact that they look very, very cool…

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When worlds collide… the Yellow Factory Civic held-up with scissor jacks pitted next to a Canadian ITR with Japanese ITR face elevated by a custom air jack set-up…

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Such a simple aesthetic but with so much more than just its Championship White exterior. The owner, Kenneth Lau, actually built this ITR in Canada and then had it shipped to Hong Kong before sending it over to Japan. He’s an official test driver for Pagani and Apollo but his roots are building Hondas…

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Under the hood of Lau’s ITR is a naturally-aspirated K24 engine…

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The gutted interior of the DC2R with a custom weld-in roll cage, fuel cell, and custom fuel pump set-up…

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From this angle you can see the rear suspension set-up and air-jack system…

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Slight adjustments to the engine management system before the ITR goes out. Check the custom carbon dash and how it is mounted to the roll cage…

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Track Life Composites fender cut-outs, Special Projects P1 front lip and splitter, Tein dampers with what looks like Swift springs, and AP Racing Pro 5000 R front brakes…

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AP Racing brakes in the rear as well with a similar set-up of Swift springs and Tein dampers. No aftermarket sideskirts or rear bumper either, just a Voltex rear wing…

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The view from above of Lau’s ITR showing the fuel cell and roll cage…

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You don’t see very many time attack-specific S-chassis builds these days but Naito’s S15 Silvia seems to be out and about regularly at events like Attack and the Direzza Challenge…

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Most of these cars were floating in the air early that morning which provided so many opportunities to get photos of beautiful brake set-ups. These Endless brakes are on Naito’s S15…

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Another photo of that beautiful Evolution from earlier…

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We don’t see enough FD RX-7s at time attack events here in North America but they were everywhere at Tsukuba…

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Juroku Tomiyoshi’s S2000 looks to draw some inspiration from the original Amuse S2000 demo car but built with a completely different mindset…

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Known as the “Fura S2000”, Tomiyoshi’s goal within a three-year period was to create an S2000 that would be the fastest NA S2000 at Tsukuba, even faster than the ASM race/demo vehicle…

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Not too far away was the TS Factory S2000, which hosts a modified C-West front bumper mated to custom-vented J’s Racing front fenders and rear over-fenders…

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JDMYARD’s Adam Casmiri posing for a photo before heading out on the Civic’s maiden voyage at TC2000…

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Tire-warmers were essential throughout the day during Attack Tsukuba to combat the cold track temperatures of TC2000…

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Casmiri getting settled into the Civic, looking focused and determined…

There is still SO MUCH MORE to come from Attack Tsukuba. I hope you’ve enjoyed the photos thus far. Even if you don’t, there is still a shit ton coming so I’m sorry if you’re looking for other stuff to look at during your lunch break, lol. Thanks for looking though and stay tuned!!!…

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2 comments

  1. Vibrant Performance/PZTuning Civic looks badass👌

  2. Vibrant Performance/PZTuning Civic coupe looks badass👌

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