The annual 86-section Tsukuba Circuit pilgrimage is a must-see for any AE86 enthusiast. This was evidenced at last year’s event at Christmas, which saw one of the largest turnouts ever seen for the occasion.

More than 300 AE86s from all over Japan landed in Tsukuba, and some fans even traveled from as far away as Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s four major islands, to take part.


For a one-off event like this, there’s no shortage of variety in style and construction. On Eighty-Six, that means everything from purpose-built drift and timed attack cars to low-kilometer factory-spec Panda Truenos that rarely see the sun.


One of my favorite things about Tsukuba Circuit is its pit location. The restaurant is right in the middle of the entrée, surrounded by activity, creating a great atmosphere.


With no garage doors, enclosed areas or exclusive areas, the Tsukuba paddock is perfect for capturing everything that happens throughout the day. There’s a lot to see and do at the Basix Festival.


Many of Japan’s most well-known eight six Specialty stores have their place at the festival. Tec-Art has released a range of AE86s, including their famous drift car and one of my favorite cars – their metallic green time attack Trueno.


The day is divided into several tracks, mixing drift and time attack. Drifting is certainly a highlight and some of the best guys have done it in the AE86s they’ve owned for over 25 years.


However, there was something special about some of the N2 time attack cars, some of which ran for less than a minute. For those unfamiliar with Tsukuba TC2000 lap times, that’s faster than the McLaren Senna on the 2.0km track.


Seeing Tetsuya Hibino at the wheel of his original D1 Grand Prix car was another highlight of the day.Watch Hibino-san climb the gates of other drifts Hachiko The T1 by Tsukuba shows just how good this 80’s chassis is.

Hiroshi Takahashi, aka Kaicho, is back with his now-repaired Running Free AE86, an impressive turnaround since his split with the guard rail last November. In typical Kaicho fashion, he used the entire tarmac to leave the audience dusting their bobby pins.


In a shade of green very similar to Tec-Art’s N2 AE86, Kojima-san’s 20V Trueno also showed up that day. This was easily one of the neatest drift cars at the festival.


Impossible to be a favorite at an event like this, but, this street inspired stuff is so timeless Eighty-six. The 13-inch wheels might be a bit of a moot point in the AE86 world, but the car looks gorgeous.


Despite the countless number of AE86s exported around the world, events like the Hachiroku Festival are reminders that the Hachiroku scene is still very much alive in Japan.


As the owner of an AE86 in Australia, I can’t help but empty my pockets and spend a lot of money on my car. I’m sure I’m not the only one either.

The countdown to August 6th 2023 is now, but until then you can check out a lot of More photos below, plus a video I shot the day above.

Alex Pender
Instagram: Noplansco

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