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Tsukuba Circuit - Idlers Sprint Race

For me Tsukuba Circuit is the ultimate track, not because of how technical it is, or the length or even the speed of the straights. This is the track I grew up racing and watching my favorite JDM cars compete and at the time try and break that 1 minute lap time. Tsukuba Circuit has just the perfect mix of straights and tight corners that make it the track for time attack numbers and the testing ground for the tuning of new/old cars.

Growing up playing for hours on Gran Turismo trying to perfect every corner and every braking zone and of course playing with all the best JDM cars. Tsukuba Circuit wa alway showcased in the Hot Version videos I would import, where they would take a full grid of cars either in stock form or fully tuned and pit them head to head against each other with Keiichi Tsuchiya typically piloting the expected fastest of the group.

Today though was not made up of a bunch of professional drivers, Idlers Club is a grassroots racing organization, probably best known for their RWB Porsches that always come out. This would be just my second time visiting Tsukuba and as much as I would like to pontificate about my thoughts and feelings for being on these hallowed grounds the best word that comes to mind is just "Wow".

Wow, The track, the cars, the sounds and even the smells. There is something that hard to describe in the sensory overload that you get at the track and at Tsukuba everything just feels amplified. One great thing about a grassroots event is the access you are able to get vs when all the big Pro's are doing their thing. I was able to walk into the pit garage spaces and onto the edge of the hot pit.

So I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to see out there for cars, besides of course a handful of awesome RWB Porsches. The field of cars which was broken up into different run groups had a beautifully diverse group of cars. Ranging from EK9s and AE86s through FD Rx7s and up to the RWB's. I was surprised at the amount of BMW's that were on hand, It was good to see such a large following of Euro cars.

While I was shooting one of the Porsches a R32 GTR decided to show up and basically shut down the event. It was funny how the focus of so many people was immediately redirected to the GTR (including myself)

This R32 was perfect.

I know I'm bias but really I found no complaint with what I saw in the paddock area and once this R32 was out on the track things only got better, with the cars killing everyone in its way. I really need to get my GTR running (more on that later)

So after watching the all the run groups go out on their practice sessions it was time for things to get real serious, all the cars lined up on the grid, the countdown came and it was time for a wheel to wheel sprint race. Photos don't do this part justice if you want to see check out the link below to my vid of the day.

Now if this had been the whole day I would have been super happy but as a bonus for the day they also had drift demo's. This was cool. Watching these drift cars take the same corners as the grip cars but linking them in one continuous slid they cars just looked so much more graceful and fluid vs the hard attacked grip cars.

What was really amazing to me was to spectate on the outside stands was free and to watch from inside the track was only 500 yen (less than $5) so to me this was amazing. The entire day was just amazing and I can't wait to get back. I need to work on getting my license so I can actually drive a on Tsukuba. That would be a dream come true.

Everything Else. Enjoy!!


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