Over the past few weeks, I’ve shown you several different aspects of Attack Tsukuba 2023.
We start off with some major reporting, I talked about this 10th anniversary event being the biggest ever, then some weird timed attacks on the Suzuki Jimnys (yes, really), a couple of Hondas today Tie Auto, then revisits Fire Ando’s all-conquering Escort Racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evo earlier in the week – Japan’s time attack king. For the final story of this event, I want to share with you four of the Attack Tsukuba heavyweights.
Let’s start with the AutoBahn BCNR33 Nissan Skyline GT-R from Kunihiko Bando…
this is only back I’ve heard that Bando-san’s Auto Bahn/Joyo Z30 Toyota Soarer — which has been a mainstay of Attack since the series began — is currently being rebuilt. From the sound of things, it will return in a form similar to Tomohiko ‘Under’ Suzuki’s Scorch Racing Nissan Silvia S15.
The AutoBahn GT-R, meanwhile, is an all-new car, but it’s safe to say it’s already impressed everyone.
The engine build features some of the best components you can put into an RB26, designed and built for reliable output. Among the specs are a large single Garrett turbocharger, an electric throttle body, Hypertune intake manifold, Scorch Racing clamps, high output ignition coils, a Ross cam trigger kit and a dry sump system.
The Skyline posted a lap time of 54.184 seconds out of the box, and the power and setup are clearly there.
I have to say, I just like The way this thing looks. The yellow and black scheme immediately evokes the Penzoil GT500 GT-R that Eric Comaz drove in the 90s. The huge front splitter comes straight from Under Suzuki’s new “Full Throttle Carbon” catalogue.
The carbon fiber decklid, massive rear spoiler and doors are also from UnderSuzuki.com. I’m not sure what happened to the rear bumper, but it’s a cool look.
A pair of custom carbon-fiber front fenders could be the next addition, as the generic fender flares fitted with massive 295-section tires look a bit out of place.
Inside, there isn’t much left of the original car, probably just the main dashboard, steering column and firewall. I found an old MoTeC M800 ECU, PDM15 power distribution module and a C125 dash unit, and a carbon panel to hold all the switchgear and fuses.
While I’m excited to see what the AutoBahn Soarer becomes, I have to say I’m just as interested to see how the Skyline hones itself into a car in the low-50s over the next few seasons. The Evos, S chassis and FD RX-7 have been the fastest time attack cars at Tsukuba, and it would be great to see the GT-R in the top class.
The ADMIX GT-R is another historic Japanese time attacker that has changed dramatically since I first encountered it during the Super Battle and Battle Evome events.Back then it was simply called That mysterious RWB skyline “Real of the World” printed in gold lettering on side.
In those days, owner/driver Seyama-san ran a 58-second lap, which is considered a very respectable time for a car like this. Fast forward about eight years and Seyama-san’s best lap time at Attack Tsukuba 2023 is 54″993.
I can’t stress enough how big a 4 second gap is on this track, especially when you’re already running in the sub-1 minute zone.
It’s great to see that Mr. Seyama and his colleagues at ADMIX are still developing this BNR32 Skyline GT-R. It’s nice to see that the base body is still painted in the deep red/purple satin black paint that Mr. Nojima painted Nissan bodywork at the RAUH-Welt years ago.
Next up was the Wacky Mate FD3S Mazda RX-7, owned, driven and developed by Suzuki’s younger brother, Kengo ‘Lock’ Suzuki.
This FD is perfect for the other cars I’ve shown you in this post, as it’s been around traps for a long time too. Kengo built the RX-7 into a sub-minute Tsukuba track car about a decade ago, but I guess having Under Suzuki as your older brother means he can’t park there. The Mazda has been picking up speed over the years, but eventually its 13B let go and Kengo temporarily hung up his racing gloves.
When it was time to take the car out, Kengo teamed up with Wacky Mate — no stranger to building fast Tsukuba specials, including their own BNR32 GT-R — to take building to the next level.
Today, the RX-7 not only features a heavily tuned three-rotor 20B engine to produce the power needed to tackle tough situations, but it also comes with a fresh new look. Essentially, the once-white FD3S is now a beast clad in raw carbon fiber, stylistically looking very similar to Under Suzuki’s S15.
The car proudly features Under Suzuki branding on the front lip spoiler and rear wing Serious A piece of aerodynamics that generates downforce.
Check for extensions. There are even canards on the outer section to take advantage of the passing airflow.
Kengo had a best score of the day of 55.548 inches, which was fast. But this is a car we can definitely expect to see faster lap times when fully dialed in.
Last but not least, the GNR Racing/Garage Rise Up EK9 Honda Civic Type R, which emerges from Attack Tsukuba in 2022 with a new FF record, repeats its performance. This time it was a manic 55-inch 144 that was actually set on Friday’s test day.
What makes this lap time even more impressive is that the Honda is naturally aspirated.
I should also mention that being based in Sapporo, Hokkaido, just north of Japan means that the GNR/Rise Up team’s time at Tsukuba is always very limited. So to achieve what they have with this car, it’s just amazing.
The Civic is pleasing to the eye, starting with the dry carbon fiber front diffuser, impressively dieting (weighing just 850kg!) and 17in 225s at the front and rear.
At its heart is a single-stroke 2.7-litre K-series engine, currently making around 350hp. You can see how much of the stock chassis was pre-cut.
The EK9’s most impactful angle has to be the rear, where you’ll find a dry carbon-fiber hatch and a massive wing that dangles above the car, sitting on a pair of struts that double as aero fins.
I think this build, and all the other builds I’ve shown during my Attack Tsukuba 2023 coverage, are proof enough that the Japanese Time Attack is now the most powerful ever. That can only be a good thing.
dino dal carbonal