Attack Tsukuba 2020 Coverage… Part 1…


And now…we finally can dive into the photos from one of my favorite events of the year; Attack Tsukuba. I know I don’t cover time attack or motorsports in general all that much, but I love Japanese car culture and Attack exudes all that I thoroughly enjoy about it. I went for the first time last year and I knew immediately that I would return some day to cover the event again. For the record, I had no idea it would be so soon, but sometimes things just fall into place. Ryan Der hits me up one night back in December to tell me that Attack Tsukuba was happening just one week after Osaka Auto Messe. I was like “oh that’s awesome” not thinking much of it but then Der tells me that he actually wants to go. I’ve been to Japan many many times with Der over the years but it has been difficult to get him out to Japan these last few years. He loves traveling but he’s turned his focus more to traveling for music festivals and exploring other countries outside of Asia. I don’t know if it had anything to do with my coverage from Attack Tsukuba last year that intrigued him but he seemed really stoked to go. Auto Messe was another event he hadn’t experienced before so we’d make the trip to both regions of Japan to see two very different styles of Japanese car culture…

Der is a much more technical guy than I am so I immediately knew that he’d like what he saw at Attack. The race cars that compete at Attack are just so mind-blowing that there’s no way he wouldn’t like it. It’s more a matter of just understanding how to take it all in. For us, I think we often times see so much stuff in such a short amount of time that it’s really difficult to truly process everything. Thankfully Attack Tsukuba is a two-day event with the first being a practice session under a different name. I think having that first day would help to get Der passed the initial “shock” of all that he was seeing. It’s just so different than what we see at time attack events here at home, you know what I mean? Osaka Auto Messe on the other hand, is a bit more like Tokyo Auto Salon so it wouldn’t be too different than what he was used to. The coolest thing about Auto Messe is that it has its own unique style that only Osaka can offer. And that’s what I wanted Der to feel and experience…

Before we officially begin, I just wanted to wish all of you well in this very strange time that we are all going through as human beings. This COVID-19 thing is truly unprecedented and I think so many of us have never been in a situation where we have to hide at home to avoid getting sick or spreading this illness. I think if we all remain patient and maintain a clean, hygienic lifestyle, we’ll get through it safely. It’s more a matter of being aware of keeping everyone around us safe that is the most important right now. It’s easy to say that we can heal and get over the virus but you just never know how it can affect the people around you. Be safe out there folks, and allow us creators to keep you entertained while you are self-isolated in your homes…

I wish I could convince Der to write a detailed account of what he saw but he’s not much of a writer so I’ll just have to show you what we saw in these photos. To say that his mind was blown would be a true understatement. Just seeing the excitement on his face was worth the trip because it was very obvious that he was just very much overwhelmed by all that was happening around him. By the end of the first day, he already told me that this was probably his favorite automotive event that he’s ever been to. And that’s saying a lot considering all that he has experienced over the years. I knew what he meant because this quickly became one of my favorites of all-time as well. Just the level of cars, the style, the execution, the functionality…there’s just this incredible aura about these time attack vehicles that is just truly amazing. You really have to see them in-person to understand. Photos are great and all but just seeing the people work on the cars, hearing them fire-up, watching them blast down the track…oh man, it is just something you can’t really describe with words and photos. I’ll do my best here but you don’t truly appreciate this stuff unless you step foot on the famed Tsukuba Circuit. I mean, we grew-up only seeing this track in video games or on old Option videos. To be there and to see it in real life is true bucket list material for car guys like us…

It’s important to make note that this was actually considered two different events even though I’m lumping them into one whole “Attack Tsukuba” set. The first day, which was the practice and set-up day, was known as the “Zummy Racing Family Event”. The following day was the actual “Attack” event and featured way more competitors.

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If you want to have your mind-blown at Attack Tsukuba, perhaps there was no better race car to see first after initially stepping foot on Tsukuba Circuit than the Friends Racing S15 Silvia. This car came driving up the moment we got there and we couldn’t wait to get our cameras out to capture it…

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Der’s whole mission on this trip was to shoot all film with his Leica but he got so excited about shooting right away that I suggested that he take it easy since he might go and use all his film in the first few hours we were there. It was a two day event and film is, well, film. Once it is shot, it’s used so you can’t go back and review it or delete it to make more room. I remember I was shooting like crazy last year but at least it was digital so I could move files around if I needed more space…

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The Friends Racing S15 was originally a drift car chassis, if I remember correctly. It has since been re-purposed as a time attack vehicle but it’s probably one of the best-looking race cars you’ll ever see because it’s just so cleanly executed…

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Just looking at the custom wheel tubs and all the polished bits on this SR engine, you’d think it was an engine bay from a award-winning show car or something….

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In reality, it’s a built Nissan SR20DET engine with a VE-head on it. The SR20VE is their NEO VVL engine which offers variable valve timing with lift control. The engine itself has also been moved back significantly to allow for better weight distribution…

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Radiator overflow, fuel pressure regulator and more assorted -AN fittings mounted to the firewall of the Friends Racing S15…

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The V-mounted radiator and intercooler, now with plenty of space with the engine moved back. Like the intercooler piping to the Precision turbocharger, the cooling system also utilizes custom hard pipes with silicone ends…

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A massive chassis-mounted rear wing with large carbon end plates and the center-exit exhaust of the S15…

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Endless brake kit for that necessary stopping power…

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The front bumper has its grill section blocked-off with a large vent right underneath it to drive air to the intercooler…

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The Friends Racing Silvia on the ground with its black set of Advan GT wheels…

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Tomo from ASLAN’s K24-powered EG6 getting ready to go out for its first practice session of the day…

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Hiroki’s K-powered EF9 Civic SiR running a set of Osaka JDM front wide fenders and rear wing, along with black Volk TEs wrapped in Advan A050…

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As we started walking the paddock area, I was delighted to see the Yellow Factory Racing EG Civic again. This was one of my personal highlights after seeing it for the first time last year at this event and it was back this year with some major improvements…

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The rear of the YFR Civic looks so much better this year with the new rear quarter panel work that’s been seamlessly molded to the body of the car. If you remember, it had a makeshift metal plate bolted to the stock quarter panel to give it some more width but it has been completely remade now with the modified rear bumper still detachable from the body…

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Modified front fender which has been widened significantly to hold 18-inch Volk TE37 with a Track Life Composites fender cut-out added…

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Inside we get a glimpse of the shifter mechanism from the Quaife sequential transmission set-up…

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Mounted to the floor where the passenger seat once was is the entire fuel system for the YFR Civic…

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The front of the Yellow Factory Racing EG is a Garage Work front bumper with massive canards added and even wider end plates for the front splitter…

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Chopped rear bumper, rear diffuser, and a custom chassis-mounted rear wing…

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The engine, which I’ll show you in just a bit, was built and prepped by Kanagawa Engine Works, which is proudly represented on the custom rear quarter panels…

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A look at the front aero from the side where you can see just how large the end plate is coming off of the splitter…

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One of the really cool aspects of Japanese time attack is the variety of cars that show up. Every now and then you’ll even see an old Datsun in the pit area getting worked on…

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Pretty nifty headlight mod with just the frame in place and a large “NGK” logo replacing the bulb…

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As mentioned, these events have a ton of variety and you just never know what you’ll see. Here we have the M’s Machine Works Porsche Cayman GT3…

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Center-locking hub on the M’s Cayman GT3 and AP Racing brakes…

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The inside of the M’s Cayman GT3 with its MOMO steering wheel full of buttons for accessibility. Notice how the rearview mirror is now mounted on the dashboard likely just a camera provision because the driver is unable to see out of the rear window…

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It’s not like visibility would be high with the small rear glass partition anyway but this Porsche has been so heavily modified that there’s no a cage in the way as well as the intake unit which pulls air in from each side of the car to the Boxer engine…

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The whole entire rear half of this body actually comes off of the car so that the engine and drivetrain is full accessible when necessary. Here you can also see the cantilever rear suspension lay-out and how the chassis is essentially just a metal frame around the engine…

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As noted, each side of the car features this area that was once the rear quarter glass that is now used for air induction. The carbon shroud and Sparco filters help to pull fresh air directly into the twin intake tubes…

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A different angle of the M’s Machine Works centerlocking hub, multi-piece rotor, and AP Racing brake caliper…

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The magnesium forged centerlock Volk Racing wheel and Advan A050 tire mounted onto the M’s Cayman GT3…

Just an overall fantastic race car build that I personally would have never expected to see at Attack Tsukuba…

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Speaking of fantastic race cars, it was awesome that Der was finally able to get a good look at one of the fastest time attack competitors currently in Japan; the Escort Evolution IX piloted by Fire Ando…

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Ando is now running the Hoosier A7 tire on the Escort Evo which is actually a Autocross-specific tire. The compound is extra soft and on Tsukuba, is probably only good for one session so they have to change tires after every run…

It’s interesting to see the influx of Hoosier tires now in Japan, specifically because they are now a sponsor of the event, but after talking to a few of the guys who are running the tire over there, there are some mixed reviews. It was crazy to see Will Au-Yeung break the record on them last year, and that’s one of the main reasons why there was so much interest in them soon after, but I wonder how long this fascination will last and/or how soon some will switch back to the Yokohama Advan A050…

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Spoiler alert but because I don’t know exactly how many photos of the Car Shop Dream FD RX-7 I actually took, I should inform you now that it was the third fastest car in competition that weekend with a 54.666 lap time…

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Top Fuel Racing FD looking ultra aggressive with its huge front aero and giant flat-panel rear diffuser…

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The Friends Racing S15 in action…

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We walked back over to the Yellow Factory Racing EG to see if there was anything new under the hood…

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From the looks of it, the powerplant remains the same featuring an Kanagawa Engine Works-built K24 engine featuring a TODA Racing Sports Injection kit…

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You’ll probably recognize these TODA individual throttle bodies right away with their custom-fabricated velocity takes that angle downward…

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This allows the four throttles to take an air directly from the large opening of the Garage Work front face…

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Here’s another angle of the TODA ITBs from the backside where you can also see the custom titanium front strut bar and the signature painted two-toned valve cover. The YFR Civic also had this same style of valve cover when it was running a B-series engine set-up…

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The Friends Racing S15 features a graphical livery designed by MSR, a company more known for their designs on various D1 Grand Prix drift cars in the past. Remember the Top Secret S15 drift car driven by Ryuji Miki? Cars like that featured MSR-designed liveries and its good to see that they are still around in 2020…

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After the first practice session of the day, Kenneth Lau pulled-up to TC2000 with his Acura Integra Type R. This was the same Championship White ITR that competed last year alongside Will Au-Yeung and the boys from JDMYARD. After Attack last year, the ITR stayed in Japan in Osaka with ASLAN, who helped transform it into what we see today…

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Everything under the hood remains the same as it did in 2019 but the exterior has seen a drastic makeover with the M&M Honda Hyper Widebody kit and Voltex swan-neck rear wing…

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The front of Kenneth’s ITR is unique because he chose not to run the C-West front bumper, which the kit was originally designed to use. Instead, ASLAN cut the front of the kit, modified it, and molded it to the OEM front face. The front over fenders of the kit have also been molded to the chopped OEM fenders. There are also some new minor aesthetic changes to the car like the Osaka JDM mirrors and the chopped rear bumper…

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Two of the ASLAN competition cars all set-up and ready for Attack…

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The Car Shop Dream/Voltex FD3S RX-7 from above. I don’t know if you guys remember this car but I originally first encountered it back in 2017 at the World Time Attack event in Sydney, Australia…

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Oya G.’s Koyo KBC Evolution V…

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From what Sean from NDF mentioned, the Koyo KBC Evo V is recently rebuilt with a brand new 4G63 engine powering it to an eventual 57.820 lap time…

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I loved the unintentional symmetry of the YFR EG and the TFR FD together, viewed from the top of Tsukuba Circuit, so I had to capture it…

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One of the best things about Tsukuba Circuit is the ability to see the entire pit area from up-top…

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The tried and true Yokohama Advan A050…

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Here you can see the rear diffuser on the TFR RX-7 and the vented rear over fender…

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In Japan, they literally put TEs on EVERYTHING…

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Ryo Kaneko from Yellow Factory Racing shaving down his Advan A050 with his Makita planer…

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This older gentleman appeared to be reading the instruction manual for his Maziora-painted race car…

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By the late afternoon, more cars arrived on trailers for the next day’s competition, including the Auto Rescue Izu FD…

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Along with the Auto Rescue FD was this gray FD from Mid Night racing team wearing RE Amemiya aero which I first saw last year at this same venue…

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The famed “Mid Night Car Speciall” decal is always placed in very specific locations on all of the team member’s vehicles…

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Team Up Garage GT300-class ZN6 race car prepped by Asano Racing…

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Ton from ASLAN’s insanely fast K-powered EG6 Civic situated on the grid-side of the pit area as it got prepped for Attack…

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Kenneth Lau’s M&M Hyper Widebody DC2 Integra Type R elevated by the car’s airjacks for easy access and tire changes…

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Lau’s collection of Volk Racing TE37SL for his ITR all wrapped-up to protect any debris from collecting on the Advan A050 rubber…

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Sunburst widebody Porsche 993 from Private Power wearing a Red Bull-inspired livery…

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Not sure if this was a competition car or not but this orange 911 Carrera RS was absolutely stunning…

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Orange Ball kept their DC5 Type R at home this year and only brought out this AP2 S2000 to compete…

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The S2000, though relatively simple under the hood, is quite impressive on the track and was capable of running a 1’01.590 lap time at Tsukuba…

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Love that the TEMPLE RACING “Osaka Kanjyo Zoku” decal is still proudly represented on the back window of the ASLAN cars. A reminder to never forget where you came from…

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And thus ends Part 1 of many, many parts to come from my Attack Tsukuba 2020 coverage. Here’s a shot of excited ass Ryan Der in front of the Friends Racing S15 to close things out for today. Thanks for looking!!…

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3 comments

  1. Thanks for Entertaining us with awesome and amazing content as always.

  2. Incredible. Informative. Insightful. Cars and passionate people is a dynamic mix! Thank you

  3. Really love this content bro! Thank you so much

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