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Posts: 710

Location: Indonesia
Occupation: Train Chaser, Food Orderer
V$: Broke
#154574   2019-03-24 15:03          
S E C O N D // I M P R E S S I O N

After a week of time attack shenanigans, Silver Queen is back for MORE!
Aside form yet another time trial event, the second car that I bought has arrived safely to the Japan shores.
And someone from the forums also visited my crib!
Welp, it's all gonna be clear when we jump into the update! :D

[18 Mar 2019, continued]
As you've read from the last update, there will be an open clubman level time attack event called Clever Circuit Trial, courtesy of Clever Racing Japan. But turns out not only they held a time attack event, they also open a workshop to obtain JAF National A license, which is basically Pro license for national level racing in Japan. With this you can compete in various of Japan's national top level events from Japan F3, Super Taikyu, D1GP, to even premier events like Super Formula and Super GT. But nah, I'm not going that path :)) but it's still useful for some time attack events like Attack Maximum Challenge and RevSpeed Festival, in particular for venues that requires pro license such as Attack Sugo and Attack Suzuka.

If you wonder if I have a race license already, well of course I did. I received my JAF National B license around 8 months before I bought the Silver Queen. It's open for everyone and you don't even have to have a car first (you need a driving license still) so whilst I'm working at weekdays, I attend the B license seminar at weekends. I tell you what, their driving test was fun and easy to do since they use small cars like Swifts, Vitzs, 86s and MX5s to test you. And if you're an avid fan of racing in general and know the general racing rules, passing the written and driving test is easy. The B license allow you to attend amateur and semi-pro racing events around Japan, including Hyper Meeting I attended at the last update. I think this also covers championships like D1SL/D1 Lites, MSC Drift Cchampionship and Drift Muscle/Drift Kingdom.

To obtain A license you have to own B license first. And Clever Racing has an interesting offer: If you attend both the A license seminar and the Circuit Trial, you'll automatically obtain A license without having to attend further driving test. You don't have to win, all you need is to attend both events. Cool deal don't you think? So I applied for the full package, costing me V$310. And oh I should also add, since this is a clubman event, thankfully racing suit isn't compulsory, but helmet and gloves obviously does. This means I don't have to bring a bag full of spare clothing and undies. Or at least my load will be lighter, I might still need undies, given that I was drowning in my own sweat at Hyper Meeting's RAYS Challenge at the last update. Or, god forbid, if I have a code brown moment........

Registration done, I got a phone saying that the Daewoo Tico I ordered from Romania has approached Japan shores, and will be arrived on 2 days. I was asked whether I want to pick it up myself or have it ordered to my crib via tow truck service. Given that it's an LHD car, I need to have a first taste of driving it. Basic driving won't be a problem in these, but as I said previously, Overtaking will be an utter nightmare since your vision over the opposite lane will be significantly limited. Imagine you decided to overtake another car in a whim only to have a truck in the opposite lane. At that moment only you'll now you've commited a grave mistake (no pun intended). I decided to pick it up on my own, so I'll have to go to Tokyo Dockyard and meet the importer service at D-day.

Just like when I'm picking up the HR34 the other day, I aksed Rantaro for help via my phone. That way not only he can transport me to the meeting point, but I also can have him monitor the surrounding traffic on the way back.

"Rantaro-san, it's me Edo. I might need your help"
"Oh hey Edo-kun what is it? Is it urgent?"
"No not really, just hoping you're not busy"
"Uh, okay, just spill it and I'll let you know"
"Remember that time we picked my Skyline? So I bought another car and I want to pick it up on the spot"
"Oh so you want to have me drive you again? Goo-hang on a minute you bought another car?"
"Yap, and it'll be arrived in 2 days"
"Oh perfect timing, I have a business to do in Tokyo. You want to come along?"
"Sure man, I'm not under deadline or something. I might be able to help you as well"
"Nice! Oh anyway what car is it?"
"Hmmmm I can't tell you yet, it'll be a surprise. All I can say is it's an LHD car"
"Wew boi, an import?"
"You bet. I'll explain when we meet"
"Great stuff boi, can't wait to see what is it!"
"I like that kind of spirit, see ya later man"

Welp, he's never gonna see what's coming.......

[20 Mar 2019]
Time to pick up the Tico! I have Rantaro pick me up at 9am wth his Merc II-I mean, Mark II and we immediately hit the motorway. It was a sunny day, but per the weather report I saw before setting off rainfall might happen at midday or afternoon. Nevertheless, spirits was flying high on the air as we have lots of banter along the trip.

"So uh, what sort of car you're going to buy?" Rantaro asked me, continuing his curiosity.
"Hmmmmm you'll see" I answered, tyring to keep it secret from him.
"Oh come on, you said you'll tell me"
"Ah okay, as I said it's LHD, came from Europe, manufactured in Europe as well"
"So it's a European car?"
"Could be"
"What kind of body? Sedan? Coupe?"
"I can't say, but it's lightweight"
"Oh, a track toy?"
"Nah, but can be turned into one"
"Interesting! Say, from where did you import it?"
"Romania, land of green hills, smooth roads and dracula, and Dacia as well"

"Uh, so it's a Dacia?"
"Definitely not"
"Uh, okay. Tell me the price"
"I'm not joking, I'm being honest here. This car cost less than your steering wheel"
"I swear to my every single cell of my body"
"Okay ignoring the car aside, how did you get it so cheap?"
"I'll tell you, UK and Eastern Europe is a used car heaven. Lots of cheap things there"
"Really? Dude I gotta save up"
"Well you should. And if you buy it from UK, they're RHD so you can use it here easily"
"Holy! Though spare parts for euro cars is still a problem here"
"Yeah, that's another story. I'm going to swap the engine of the new car anyways"
"What would it be?"
"Something Japanese, compact and cheap. Just like an Ariel Atom"

Some hours later, we arrived at Tokyo. It looks like it's going to rain, but somehow it isn't so humid. Well yes the air was heavy and wind blows like a hairdryer to Rantaro's car, but we aren't in a hurry anyway.

"So where are we going first?" I asked, unsure of Rantaro's own agenda.
"Akibahara. I'm going to pick something as well"
"Seems interesting. Something electronic?"
"Exactly, a hardware. My office was able to secure some good PC components and I'm grateful for that"
"Whoo glad to hear that! Is it server-spec or just office-spec?"
"Only one of them is server-spec but that's okay. Also currently I'm testing stuff from AMD, but results aren't so convincing enough"
"Hmmmmmmmm I think you should consult abou that as well"
"That's the gameplan as well, if I can meet my friend. he's a local"
"I think I could take some notes from him"

Some time later we arrived at the center of Akibahara. Whilst Rantaro went around the city on foot to pick up some various PC parts, I split up from him and grab some UCC Coffee for the rest of the trip. These coffee really brought me back to the days when I was hanging with Muza(Niatross), AJ(RocketBunnyS13) and Marc(Macaron_moon), as well as Rifky(Shez). I plan to visit them again on summer and have fun, and I think I'll bring more than one car there.

One and half an hour later, Rantaro finished his shopping list and went back to where we parked. Sadly his friend was occupied with something else, so we proceeded straight to the dockyards.

"Woah that's a lot of stuff. Let me help you loading them"
"Thanks man. Load these to the back seat, I'll have these inside the boot"
"Oh yah, I've bought coffee as well"
"That's nice of you"

Two hours later we arrived at the dockyard. The meeting spot is at the impoter's office which is right on the edge of the dockyard, so while we wait for the ship we could talk inside while enjoying the salty sea breeze and the calm ocean. The sea itself is tainted with oil from ships coming in and out, but heck, this ain't a beach so their presence is inevitable. On the other hand, we felt like we're stumbling into an action movie scene. Not necessarily scenes of shootout prelude, but rather those shady, mysterious negotiation scenes. Rantaro's Mark II certainly augmented that feel.

We stopped near the door of the office. I and Rantaro went off the car and meet the dealer who arranged my import, all while surrounded by rather tight security but thanks to my coffee supply, we could have a relaxing chit-chat in front of the office. The dealer told me about the business he done everyday, as well as telling me which ship and cargo box the Tico would be in. Weather was getting fine too contrary to the weather report earlier, so the ship should be able to come on time.

45 minutes later, the ship has arrived and docked in the dockside. We saw the cargo unloading procession with excitement. Then the delaer notified me that my cargo has been unloaded and ready to be opened. I jokingly loaded 'Sicko Mode' to my phone, play them as the cargo box is ready to open.

As it's being opened, I shouted the lyrics from the top of my lungs:
Gone on you with the pick and roll,
Yuan Edo, he's in Tico Mode~

Yep, there it is ladies and gentlemen, the Daewoo Tico I bought for V$90(+V$60 for shipping) from Romania. Probably the most ridiculous, hilarious, different and unusual project car ever to pop here. As you'd expect, Rantaro looked at me in disbelief, as if my sanity has been thrown somewhere into the vast ocean ahead of us. Meanwhile, I can't hold my laughter anymore and blasted it off my chest, while the dealer understandably smiled and shook his head.

"YO WHAT THE--OI WHAT DID YOU DONE MAN?" Rantaro, still in disbelief, rained me with questions.
"WELL HERE IT IS!LHD, came from Europe, lightweight!"
"It's lightweight! It's a Kei car!"
"Why not getting one from South Korea?"
"Can't find them on internet"
"Wait this is also a Suzuki Alto right?"
"Yes. The answer is there's nothing cheaper than this, even after combined with the import price"
"I see, I what's your plan for it?"
"Spare daily, Kanjo car, spare trackster, mini Kit name it"
"You also said you're going to swap the engine......."
"Yap, with Honda D16. Two garages in Poland already did it"
".......good god you're a mad genius, I should say"
"I haven't lost my plot yet but hey, thanks"

After all papers has been signed, we went off the dockside and return to Tsukuba.......but not before doing a size comparison by parking the Tico beside a truck. Indeed if I have an accident with one of those, it's going to be deadly.

"Now Rantaro, this is an LHD kei car, which means overtaking is difficult, it's going to be slow, and it can turn into a death trap if I pull it incorrectly"
"Yes, I could imagine that"
"So I'm going to ask you a favor"
"What is it?"
"You can either lead me or tug behind me"
"Uh, explain?"
"If you lead me, I'll follow everytime you overtake something. If you tug behind, tell me what's on my right heand side"
"Oh okay bossman"
"And uh, don't leave me behind. And don't let my name appear on tomorrow's newspaper obituary"
"Welp, okay mate"
"Thanks, I'll trust your driving"

And so, the trip back to Tsukuba became a long haul with these two cars, with Rantaro leading me. It was fine hours of banter as Rantaro roasted the performance of the Tico's 800cc engine ("Yo how's it going?"-"70 kmh and I'm in full throttle!"-"HAHAHAHAHHAHAH you're gonna get far boi"). It could be worse though: Everytime a truck passed us, the Tico vibrated so badly I screamed in fear everytime it happens ("Truck on your side"-"What the-*truck passes*AAAAAAAAAAAAAA"-"AHAHAHAHAHAHAH"), not to mention the vast size difference demonstrated earlier. Seems like Rantaro has the moment of his lifetime........

As we approached downtown Tsukuba, I've got the hang of LHD driving, so we split up to our own cribs to see if I can manage it alone. Well, the results are not too shabby as I could make it in one piece. As I've mentioned in the previous update, my own crib's already full of cars, so I had to park the Tico on the house across mine.Well Rantaro could pull his roasts back when the Tico project has been completed, but it's still a long way before it does happen.

[21 Mar 2019]
After the Tico, comes the 18in RPF1 set from Brandon(DEADMANE), complete with stretched Dunlop Direzzas. The fact that it came off an ER34 means installing it on my HR34 should be an easy job. But first, I'm quite curious of the tunability of my Mazda Demio. I mean, it shares the same platform with the previous generation of Ford Fiesta, so though it has a different engine, I'd like to see if I could make it as fast as, um, at least the Ford Fiesta R2 rally racer. That thing is a efficient and effective tool for rallying basics as well as, obviously, fun and fast to drive.

What I've done at the moment is having it's cam tuned. I don't expect a huge power jump to be honest, all that matters is these power would result in better towing and load lugging performance. And oh, it's been registered as well!
(I accidentally broke the mod while trying to find slots to fit a tow bed, hence no side windows)

Light tuning done, time to move to my HR34. It doesn't even took an hour for me to fit these, and it certainly fits the car better due to it's bigger size compared to the R33 stockies previosuly fitted. The R33 stockies will act as spares from now. Now all I need is better control arms all around as well as coilovers so I can get the tail lowered in better form, and obviously so I can go sideways even better! ;)

If you've seen the replies of the last update, you'll notice that Jimmy(Buzzsaw, hence my preference to call him Buzz) is coming to my crib to have a deal and pick up my stock S15 driveshaft. Buzz himself owns an S13 with CA18DE inside, while he said his GF owns an AT S15 Spec-S, similar to mine...well before I took out the SR20 and replaced it with an RB26 that is. Well arguably the stock driveshaft out of my S15 is fresher so I can see why he wants one. Just after I've done installing the RPF1s, he came with his shiny S13.

It's bone stock, has almost no mods done to it apart from transmission swap from AT to MT, with transmission taken off an S14. Given that a hell lot of S13s has been modded these days, it's quite refreshing to see something positively plain like this. Comes in my favourite colour too! (Though not in my favourite tone) Buzz has clearly shown a lot of care to his S13, given the condition of this car. Certainly feels like something that you'll see in auto museums or even better, you'd enter in a concours event. I wonder if he's a fan of James May? (James also enjoy concours events, as you can see several times on his days in Top Gear)

With the deal done and V$320 handed, Buzz went back to his crib at Tokyo. But before that, we talked for a long time about buying cars via Yahoo Auctions (which is how Buzz obtained his S13). He said lots and lots of cheap cars are sold there, and given I'm recently bought 2 new cheap cars initially I wasn't really interested. Still, I'd like to give it a shot.

Many hours later, cue myself unable to sleep and rolling in bed for not buying any car from Yahoo Auctions. I mean, there are a lot of great stuff being sold there like S13, S14, S15, Civics, even Evos and Imprezas that can be bid on from as low as V$10(!!!). Then BIN price though, if any, is still reasonable. Some are still in great condition, some has been normally used, some has been....crashed or damaged in any way. Why the hell didn't I went to this site earlier?

[24 Mar 2019]
TODAY'S RACEDAY!But unlike the Hyper Meeting event, I don't have to get up so early in the morning just to enter the track. The seminar starts at 12pm and the race will be held at 2pm, so I decided to go at 9am. All I brought was my racing helmet, the rest of the coffe I bought previously, a spare T-shirt and a spare undie. What I'm wearing today are the race shoes and socks, a denim, a T-shirt under a jacket, and racing gloves.

I arrived at the track around 10.15am. Before the Clever seminar and Circuit Trial, there's a trackday open for cars and bikes courtesy of WITH ME Racing. I decided to skip the trackday session to save tyres and fuel, though I'm fascinated of the idea of running together with bike riders. Also I saw a familiar small bike running around........but I could be wrong. Meanwhile I went to the stewards room to confirm my registration for both seminar and trials, as well as picking up my race number and timer beacons. Once again I selected number 41, just like when I'm attending RAYS Challenge.

After I'm storing my spare clothes on the public locker room though, my suspicions were confirmed. It's Kenichi and his Honda Grom! Turns out he indeed attend today's trackday with his Honda Grom. I wonder if he's safe between all the bigger sportsbikes and cars though?

"Oh, Edo-kun! Are you attending trackday as well?"
"Nah, but I think you know there's a time attack event later"
"Oh, you're joining that? Cool! I should watch it then"
"Yap, that's why my Evo has race numbers on it. Oh Kenichi, I have an idea"
"What is it?"
"Be my spotter for the day, can you?"
"Um, what do you mean by spotter?"
"Since none of us have radios and I can't use my phone whilst driving, all you need to do are this. Please take note"
"Okay, tell me"
"Before I'm off to the track, tell me the air and asphalt temperature, weather prediction, as well as wind speed and direction"
"Okay, got it. Anything else?"
"When I come back here, tell me the same things I've mentioned, as well as any cars other than mine that seems going fast"
"Cool, got it. Seems a bit difficult but I'll try"
"It's okay, do your best. For the infos before racing, feel free to ask officials or browse via internet"
"Okay mate, I got your back. Uh, may I take a rest here with you? I'm a bit tired"
"Oh sure sure, there's still a lot of time before the seminar"

And thus we spent the time having cans of coffee, a lunch break and long banters together. We also have some chatter with other drivers and riders attending the trackday and/or participating in the time trial. Turns out some knew me from the RAYS Challenge and participated in it as well! We compared notes about our cars and bikes and also did some car and bike spotting in between.

I went for the seminar, while Kenichi went back for the trackday session. The seminar went on around 1 hour, consisting of a lecture and a written test. Th electure itself contains a lot of racing knowledge, mainly consisting of advanced racing rules (e.g. how to serve a penalty, judging track limits, driver changes, safe pitstop release etc.) and racecrafts (e.g. wheel-to-wheel/door-to-door dueling manners, maintaining space while racing, what to do if you crash or having mechanical problem, how to rejoin the track if you went off it, clean overtaking, etc.). Watching races, reading racing magazines and playing sim racing games for years helped me to understand those quickly as well as passing the written test easily.

Driver's briefing started. As per the previous event, it consists of a lecture about general racing rules and racing format for the event. For Clever Circuit Trial, the format is two free run sessions for 22 minutes, with each racers having a max quota of 25 laps per session. Drivers are divided into three classes: A class for A license holders, B class for B license holders, and C class for those without racing license. There are 16 A class drivers, 30 B class drivers and 10 C class drivers for today, making today's attendance consisting of 56 cars. I've been chosen to lead the first pack of B-class racers. After the driver's briefing was over, I went back to Kenichi to gather infos. He provided quite verbose information and wished me luck.

With A class driver runs almost over, I and other 9 cars lined up for the start of our first session at the pit exit. Since I've already had my first taste of competition and this one's a clubman level event, I felt a bit relaxed compared to when I'm attending RAYS Challenge.

Lights went green and we went to the track. Knowing how to heat up my tyres properly now, I went at fast and relaxed rhytm for the warm-up lap. Less mind pressure is good for me and my Silver Queen. Track is also suitably hot and full of rubbers.

As I approach the final sector, I prayed while keeping myself calm. And all in a sudden, the last corner disappears from my eyes. Welp, here we go then........

I unleash everything I've learned from RAYS Challenge, and steadily builds my momentum with my Silver Queen. It's still a bit aggressive but I can definitely feel everything somehow went smoother and flows clearly. The harmony is real on this one.

Lap by lap passes by with ease, I've got a good feeling. But it's still too early to judge if this is going to be a good run.

After a rather long time, my first run is over. I finished my last lap under full speed before cooling down for the trip back to the pitlane.

I'm a bit curious about the conditions for the second session. Asphalt will cool down quicker but there will be a lot of rubber and dust on it. This could be a huge call for a game changer......well let's see. Since my Evo is AWD, hopefully this doesn't result in heavy understeer, particularly after I found the harmony this quick today. With these thoughts in mind, I went back to the pits.

I parked my car and went back to the paddock to find Kenichi. He confirmed my predictions as he could also see a huge buildup of rubber, at least in the first sector. Some car also spun and went into gravel, worsening the conditions for later. Thankfully all of this happens when I'm already returned to the pits, when it's the C-class turn to go to the track. Some of them drive kei cars, which caused me to have a sudden interest to field my Tico here :))

Aside from track spotting, I and Kenichi also exchanged notes with other drivers, particularly on how to deal with such conditions. Y'know what? Racing doesn't have to be intense when you're off the track......we're all united by our love over cars after all ;)

After further observation of the track with Kenichi and several other racers as well as seeing the A-class starts their second session, I led the first pack of the B-class again. I and 9 other drivers lined up once more at the pit exit.

Light turns green and we are off for our second runs. I'm still not sure if I can go faster in this condition but eh, let's throw these thoughts out from the window now. No time to doubt about things. Even the legendary Colin McRae himself said 'if in doubt, flat out'. Just don't literally do it irl though, a lot of report of cars being upside down or ditched are caused by comitting said quote without knowing what actually to do :))

As I approached the final sector, yet another prayer is spoken from my lips, then I took a deep breathe. Will this run change anything whatsoever? Well let's see. 3....2......1.......START!!

As I approach the first corner, I can feel dust affecting the track surface. At least cooler asphalt means it helps over tyre consumption, but it won't help at all for hotlaps. I think I have to push like a madman again.

I pushed quite hard I'm screaming "GO!COME ON!" to myself in every lap. It was intense but fun as well, feels like those late-race moments when you fight for every single positions you could. I mean, this could be the very moment you would win or lose. The intensity felt real in my eyes and chest as time goes.

It feels like time has went off the server. And then near the end of the session, it's almost evening as sky starts to darken. Well the pic doesn't justify it, but amount of sunlight decreases slowly as I went to end the session.

Finally, my second run is over. I slowed down for the cooldown lap as I try to gulp everything that has happened and went back to the pits.

I parked back at the paddock, with almost all car has finished their runs. Kenichi reported the current condition to me completely. I'd say if my S15 has been finished, I think I'll have him as my crew chief for TA events :D And thus I went back to the stewards room to return the timer beacons, as well as to the locker to have a shower, then change my T-shirt and undies. I was incredibly sweaty, and having shower after intense TA runs definitely helped me to cool down and reflect on everything better.

The results are in! Cue the drumroll......
So first, bad news, since I only clocked 59.421 at the first session and dropped a bit further to 59.833 at the second one. Definitely far from my personal best of 59.264 I scored at the RAYS Challenge. But now, the very, very good news.......

Turns out the first session time is enough to secure THIRD PLACE IN CLASS!! And it's not that bad it could still stand at 8th overall aswell. So not only I snagged my first Top 10 result, I also snatched my first podium as well! Yes, it's a class podium and this is a clubman level event, but you know what they say: A win is a win! I and Kenichi shared hugs and high fives, and some other drivers congratulated me as well.

As this is only a class podium instead of overall podium, I only get a medal instead of trophy. But of course I've secured other prizes as well, which are V$500 for the class podium and V$300 for the overall Top 10 finish. Hopefully this will be one of many podiums to come in the future, if I can snatch another one again that is......... ;)

The prize money, along with the brand new National A license will be delivered at Monday next week. After thanking Kenichi for his hard work, we went our separate ways as we went home to our own cribs. Still overwhelmed in joy, I blasted Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" along my way home :)) What a day in my life man!

Yap another update done! Took almost 9 hours to write..........
Let's see what comes and goes around my wallet:

That's all my updates for now, thank you for stopping by and see you soon!

This post was edited by BigSmoke (2019-03-25 02:24, 120 days ago)
Still following the damn train since 1992

Visit my RP HERE!