Tag: panspeed

Bon Voyage… Sydney, here we come!

It is that time of the year when we really start the big countdown to WTAC as the Japanese cars prepare for the big voyage down under at Yokohama Port. Pictured above is a car the whole world has waited to see run in anger and it will make its public debut at WTAC, the gorgeous RE Amemiya RX7 known as “the Hurricane”

Next up is what will almost certainly be walking away from this event with the title of the world’s fastest S2000, the infamous S2000RR from legendary Honda tuning house Top Fuel, with all of its striking aero removed for transport, and the ride height wound up looked remarkably pedestrian and certainly gave no inkling of what this car is capable of, especially in the hands of one of Japans best wheel men.

Not long after Panspeed turned up in the newly finished RX8, a car we had not previously had the chance to see.

Next to arrive was the “working class hero” Under Suzuki and the Scorch Racing crew. Like most other Japanese teams this is another car that has undergone “wholesale” changes and is another car that is chasing outright honors in the Pro Class.

And so the Scorch crew pushed the car to into the docks ready to be loaded. This is actually the “whole” Scorch crew, Suzuki-san, Takemura-san and another buddy that tags along to help.

Then the packing commenced and when you are talking Pro level  time attack racing there is a stack of stuff to fit in. The Japanese teams alone will each devour a minimum of 5 sets of semi slick Ao50 tyres over the course of the event. That is 120 of 295/30/18 tyres that we need to ship just for the time attack guys.

Then later that afternoon the Cyber Evo made its appearance in its striking new orange livery. The build of this car has gone right to the wire with the car being finished and have one quick wet weather shakedown just days before. With Tarzan expressing concern about one particular part, the car was shipped back down to C West in Osaka to modify it and then shipped back up the following day making the dock just in time!

The two Team Orange drift cars had left a week earlier as they have some promotional duties with Yokohama Australia prior to WTAC.

And the week before that over in Rutland England, the Redbrick Evo was loaded into a matching orange container for the big trip down under.

So that leaves the Kiwis and the Americans. The Kiwis are due to load next week and no doubt we will see some media releases particularly around the crazy D1NZ guys who have a real thing about keeping Australian trophies in the cabinets.

And that just leaves the Americans… As the Japanese teams were loading their cars into containers, we’ve been quietly wondering how things were progressing in the good old US of A. It’s no secret that Team America have undertaken a massive project with a very limited time available. Then, late afternoon the phone rings: “Ian, it’s Eric Hsu. Dude, we did it, the car is loaded and we are on the way!”

So this year, for the first time ever we will have FIVE countries battling it out for the World Time Attack title! We can’t wait!


One Event. One Track. Two Days. One Winner. Be there!
Book your 2-Day WTAC Pass online now and save!

Panspeed returns with a NA three rotor RX8

Returning for the 3rd year in a row is Saitama-based rotary tuning house PANSPEED in a newly rebuilt Mazda RX8 featuring a Super GT inspired 20B peripheral port engine.

This car was originally their “street” based race car but after deciding their FD Rx7 was no longer competitive they have taken a whole different approach with an emphasis on weight, or more specifically the lack of it!

This is in fact only the second ever normally aspirated car to compete in the Pro Class, (the other being the V8 Supercar of Mal Rose in 2010) and being a peripherally ported rotary is bound to  be a huge hit with Australian fans in August.

The car was stripped to a bare shell and seam welded and then converted to left hand drive to allow for the large induction and exhaust on the right hand side.

The other major change for the Panspeed team is the driver. Replacing Super GT driver Kouta Sasaki, who has driven the FD RX7 the previous two years is another Super GT driver and “Best Motoring” journalist and presenter, Naoki Hattori. Hattori-san is best known for his exploits in the infamous Yellow Hut GT500 Supra but has also driven in Indy car (CART), Indy lights and even tested in Formula 1 in the early nineties.

The whole deal has been dialed in by some of the best brains in Super GT racing and certainly on their maiden shakedown at Fuji speedway the team where all smiles and while they where coy about actual lap times they did tell us it is “faster than you think”.

When you consider why Panspeed made the decision in the first place to “update” to the RX8, and that is their aging yet still successful FD RX7 was no longer competitive against the current crop of time attack machines, you can start to appreciate the thought that would have gone into building this car.

No doubt, hearing a screaming PP 20B engine at full noise around the Eastern Creek circuit is something rotary fans will remember for a long time!

With the competition stepping up a notch, it will be interesting to see how the normally aspirated Panspeed RX8 fares against the turbo cars. The RX8 fans will have without question two of the best rotaries in the world and both with 20B engines!

And after Panspeed have finished for the day and the lights go out on the Drift Circuit – Mad Mike Whiddett will be firing up his turbo 20B RX8 for some serious sideways action!

One Event. One Track. Two Days. One Winner. Be there!
Book your 2-Day WTAC Pass online now and save!

Tsukuba Superlap Battle – Photo Gallery

You ask – we deliver! Below are the highlights of the 2011 Superlap Battle at Tsukuba as captured by our roving shutterman Dave. A feast for the eyes of any JDM or Time Attack connoisseur.


Advance Auto ZO6 C6 Corvette: a case in point that not every time attack car needs to be made in Japan.


Front wheel drive attack: 5Zigen’s Honda.


PanSpeed’s understated (for now, we’re sure) RX8.

WTAC 2011 through your eyes…

Through our Facebook Fan Page we have received a number of photos showing us your experience at the 2011 WTAC. We want to share the best of those with you here…


This is how close to the action you could get as a spectator. Try doing that at any other motorsport event!


International drivers weren’t the only ones in high demand for posing with…


Now Tarzan I want you to drive fast but don’t break the car….


Dangers of posing with a tall model: your attention can get easily misdirected…


Looks like one of the crew is desperately trying to stop the Tilton Evo from getting onto the track…


Now then what’s going on here… Ah, yes now we see it!


If you can’t get a ride in a real car, there’s always the simulator!


Tarzan and me. Take 6476…. and counting!


“It’s about THIS big… honest!”


Dave Empringham and me. Take 452 and counting…


We can’t help but think that the wrong model ended up on the bonnet of the car…

Got some interesting pix to add to this post? Email them to greg@superlap.com.au