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BigSmoke

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Posts: 710

Location: Indonesia
Occupation: Train Chaser, Food Orderer
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V$: Broke
#157112   2019-07-06 17:15          
Two Sides of the Coin











With the rest week over, it is time to get back into the action one more time!
And this time I'm not alone as some of my friends joined into the action as well!
And uh, there's also something I should tell you as well. Don't worry, nothing big actually.
But as usual, let's delve into them by checking the update below!














[24 Jun 2019]
Paycheck time! Yap another V$940 landed safely into my pocket as usual. As you might remember form the last update, Rifky(Shez) has agreed to enter the third round of Eastern Kanto Circuit Trial Championship with me, and I offered to pay the registration fee for him as well. To my delight, he agreed and seemed enthusiastic about it. After all it's been a while since the last time he had a proper trackday, and it seems his DC5 has been undergoing a major upgrade as well. So obviously it needs a proper proving ground to see how the upgrades affected his DC5.

So before I register myself and Rifky into the event, I asked him over the details of himself and his DC5 so I can accurately enter them in order to be assigned into one of the four classes of EKCTC. Turns out Rifky still has his MSV-issued MSA UK racing license he brought over from England, which can be used as a replacement of JAF license that is required to enter. It is a good thing JAF is kind enough to accept and evaluate international racing licenses, as well as national racing licenses from other countries. Seeing as his license came from the home of lots of motorsport discipline and series, including Formula 1 and rallycross racing, and the one issuing the license is a well-known name in UK Motorsport as well (they own Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Donington Park, and Cadwell Park to name a few. The owner is the Palmer family, whose dad(Jonathan) and son(Jolyon) has raced in F1), I'm pretty sure Rifky's chance to qualify for the event is more than absolute ;)

Ah yes, if you didn't remember the class system, let me refresh your memory again:
NT1: <=1600cc Road cars, including MX-5s of all generation, but no VTEC/MIVEC/Similar sytsem allowed
NT2: <=2000cc 2WD and 4WD Road cars
NT3: >2000cc 2WD and 4WD Road cars, as well as rotary-engined cars
AT: Anything from above-well, pretty much anything with automatic transmission

As per usual my Silver Queen will enter the NT3 class. And seeing as Rifky's DC5 is equipped with K20A engine, you'd expect him to enter NT2 class right? Well turns out Rifky had installed a stroker kit inside his DC5 like I did to my Evo, therefore bumping him into the NT3 class. Yep, not only I've got companion for this round, he'll be racing in the same class as me! :D As for the stroker kit, I'll let him tell you about it some time.

And as the last step, I asked him to pick a number he likes as his car's start number. In the end he picked number 5, and fortunately no one has picked it yet. Speaking of which, JAF and it's sanctioned series and auto clubs would usually differ numbers that has the same value but different number of digits. So in this case, had someone picked '5' for Rifky's start number, he could alternatively pick '05' or '005' instead. And with everything sorted, I sent him the directions to Tsukuba Circuit for the main event at Thursday. And oh, the registration costed me V$340 in total.

"Hang on Smoke, a race at Thursday?" Well yes- "I though races are held at weekends?" WELL YES, it's at Thursday since the track is used for D1GP season opener (though technically it's been opened with an exhibition at Odaiba) at both Saturday and Sunday, where D1GP will have a double-header event there. Actually this year's D1GP calendar composed almost entirely of double-header events, with the final round at Autopolis being the only single event. In total there will be seven rounds held at Tsukuba, Tokachi Speedway, Ebisu and Autopolis. Back to the calendar issue, this results in some trackday events and the Circuit Trial to be rescheduled earlier, except for those that takes place at the 1000 Junior course and the Gymkhana lot course.

After registering both of us, I surfed the internet for a while and found an announcement: To celebrate the D1GP opener, there will be an open drift session at Tsukuba Circuit at Friday evening, when all the D1 teams have finished unloading their cars and finished their track walks and/or paid practices. The session runs for a full hour from 16.00 to 17.00, and all kinds of drift cars are free to join. With this in mind, and having never drifted at Tsukuba despite experiencing multiple trackdays and competitive events, I decided to join in the fun. But I would like to have someone to share the fun and delivering inputs to my HR34, so I hatched a plan..........

"Yo Muza(Niatross), it's me Edo. Hopefully I don't disturb your work at Omori"
"Oh hey Edo! Don't worry man, I'm pretty much finished for the day. Sup?"
"So I've come across this event announcement, a drift day at Tsukuba"
"Ooooo interesting, when is it?"
"Friday this week at evening. I'm sure you've finished working by then"
"Probably, but chances are I indeed have. I think I could join in"
"YAY! But how about the others?"
"AJ had his own dose of Tsukuba drift already, and he's restoring his RS13U at the moment. As for Marc, you know him"
"Ah I see......so it's only you and me then?"
"Yeah, I'm afraid"
"It's okay though, see ya at Friday my man!"
"See ya there boi"


So there you go, Muza has agreed to join me as well. For the rest of the day, I tried doing Ziga(Lagano)'s suggestion of peeling Kaede's rubber trim (the 240SX vert, if you're wondering) for a cleaner look. After some amount of fuel to remove the glue and polish to refine the results, safe to say he's right indeed. The clean 90s kyusha vibe is even stronger with this one ;)


I plan to attach this slap sticker on Kaede as well, which features......someone named Kaede. Would this fit the vert or should I leave it clean? Let me know! (And my stickers collection has just been updated, feel free to look at and/or pick them here!)



[26 Jun 2019]
Finally, after a loooooooong wait, all of the original parts of Kaede the vert I've put for sale has been sold, netting me a grand total of V$800. But if you're looking for other parts from me, don't worry, chances are some are coming soon to the parts classifieds. Here, I give you a bit of hint: I'm considering to change the wheels of my Silver Queen and HR34.

For the Silver Queen, after hearing suggestions from Muza and AJ(RocketBunnyS13), it looks like I'm going to switch into Volk ZE40s. They're strong track wheels, can be ordered in dark colours at no additional price, and more importantly, 0.5 kg/wheel lighter than the TC105Ns I currently use. The weight saving might be meagre on paper, but hey, in motorsport, every gram counts. And the wheel design itself actually looked like TC105N in some ways. I'm automatically sold.

For the HR34, I've been aspiring to fit Advan TC3s on it. It looks quite fitting and cool to be fit on R34s and drift cars in general. It's ultra strong and quite sturdy for drifting purposes. Normally they're available in gloss or chrome finishes, and I'm seeking the chrome one to complement the HR34's current simple look.

The only problem would be I can't actually buy them yet. Both wheels are rather expensive and I'm aiming to save some money in order to continue the progress of my S15 TA build, which now focused on aero works first. Oh well, to the wishlist they go.


[27 Jun 2019]
IT'S RACEDAY! Just like at the round 2, the Circuit Trial race is held by Team Magnus Auto Club (TMAC). The circuit trial starts after lunch, with driver's briefing held at 11.30, so I don't need to go at early morning. After preparing my race suit and spares as usual, I went off from my crib to Tsukuba Circuit at 09.30. Thankfully brunch time means traffic wasn't so crowded. It was a hot day though, so AC is deployed on full power. Summer has come indeed, and it isn't being kind to me so far.

After arriving to the circuit's gate to pick up the timer beacons and number stickers, I went to the paddock to apply them. This time, I was beaten to my favourite parking spot. But the good thing is, it's Rifky who occupied it! I'm glad he eventually made it to the event! So I giddily parked my Evo beside his DC5, which already has race number stickers attached on the doors. Admittably, my Silver Queen looks timid when it's parked beside the DC5, which turns out has undergo huge changes aside from the stroker kit. Just look at that beauty! :D

"RIFKY MY MAAAAAAAAAN! Finally you're here!"
"AAAAAY EDO! I'm glad I could be here man, the cars here are awesome man! Are they going to race as well?" *points at other cars*
"Most likely so. Ah anyway how's the trip from Tokyo?"
"Had to go from Gunma to Tokyo yesterday evening, which was pure hell. But today's ride to Tsukuba is much better"
"Ah did you drive on the expressway as well?"
"Oh yes! That's pure joy as well, though I can't go as quick as I expected due to traffic. And uh, one thing"
"What is it?"
"Do you know how to install these?" *hands the timer beacons*
"Oh sure sure, let me install it for you. Watch and learn"


And so, I installed the timer beacons to Rifky's DC5 before installing mine to my Evo, as well as applying number stickers to it as well. And then I went off to the bathroom to answer my call of nature, and then to the locker to change into my racing suit. If you're wondering, Rifky has his own gloves and boots, but he simply wears long sleeves and jeans to race. As for the helmet, he rented one from the equipment rental, which is located beside the circuit's canteen. To kill time before the driver's briefing starts, we had some chatter with other drivers and attending enthusiasts and fans, as well as introducing Rifky to the amateur competition world.


11.30
Driver's briefing started and our cars are put under parc ferme condition. For the format of the race, as I've explained before, racers are given only one session to score their time, which consists of five laps: One to get off the pits and warm up, three to score your time, and one to get back into the pits. And as usual we're spilt into some groups of 2-3 cars for the running.

There are 30 cars for the day, which consists of 12 NT3 cars including mine ad Rifky's, 10 in NT2 and 8 in NT1. Understandably and for obvious reason, there's no entry in the AT class. Rifky will start 5th, while I'll start 10th. Thankfully we'll run the cars after lunch so there are still some time to have lunch and do the last-minute preparations before getting into the car. And it looks like Rifky enjoyed the lunch menu a lot here! :D


12.45
It's time to race! Because he's running earlier, Rifky already lined up at the pit exit. As for me, I'm still waiting at the pitlane with AC on full blow. Of course I already told Rifky to turn off his.

Pit lights went green and Rifky's on his way to set his first lap of Tsukuba. Although we had a thorough discussion over how the track goes along the day, we didn't have any sort of track walks, and as I've mentioned he never had a track day here or anywhere else in Japan, so I was a bit worried. I can only hope he could learn quickly.

Loud engine blares were heard from distance and Rifky blasted past the main straight, marking his first hot lap here. His DC5 sounded like an angry legion of hornets with the new stroker. Then he enters T1, fighting understeer in the process.


In the process Rifky seems to learn quickly and produced blistering lap times. I don't have stopwatch on my hands so I have to do by counting with fingers, but from what I can tell he's adapting quickly and his lap times are relatively fast.


In his last final hot lap I had a good feeling this would be his fastest, so naturally I screamed "COME ON BOY PUSH NOW!" internally as he started the lap. Not sure how this ended up at the moment, but of course we'll get to this later.

Finally, Rifky finished his first day at Tsukuba and scored his first lap times. He went for a cooldown lap and returned to the pits. And with the next group running for the track, I turned my Evo's AC off and my group prepares ourselves in the pit exit.



13.10
With the group before us finished their hotlaps, as they went past T1, lights went green and we were off for our session. Here we go for the last laps before summer break kicks in! And oh, the weather might be cloudy when it's my turn to run, but weather forecasts shows no sign of rain. The air was still hot as well, giving one last sauna torture inside my Silver Queen.


START!
It looks like lowering my Evo does have a good effect for it, as my exit for the last corner went much faster and stable. Though this means I have to modify my approach for most of the hairpins so far, I really hope to improve my laptime this time, even if I can't touch 58 seconds territory here.


First impression felt quite good nonetheless, boosting my confidence. This might ended up as my best lap I've ever had. But for now, I gotta curb my enthusiasm. Particularly since both the air and asphalt are hot, frying me, my engine and my tyres simultaneously like I've been thrown into a huge oven.


Lap 2
Lap 1 went very well, much better than I expected. This made my pace for Lap 2 felt better as well, and I've adapted my driving style over the lowered suspensions quickly. Now I've got the clear idea how to drive the Silver Queen even faster.


Now, I have absolutely no idea if this setting will be friendly with other tracks, like, say, Nikko, but so far it doesn't compromize me on public roads (though obviously it absolutely dislikes potholes now) and look, it suits Tsukuba much better, so I guess I'll keep my Silver Queen this way (apart from the ZE40 switch plans obviously).



Lap 3
Final lap! As usual I tried to give all I could so score one more laptime, since it could be a game changer. Since it's very hot inside at the moment, I tried to regulate my breathing in order to keep my concentration and rythm around the track. This is one hell of an unhealthy sauna I should tell you, but nevertheless it's fun and I enjoyed it! :))


As I reached the back straight, everything felt like it's almost disappear, as if I warped into another place with the raucuous, screaming 4G63 engine as the soundtrack. Thankfully, I was still aware enough to notice the final corner. Though does this translate into a fast lap remains to be seen.


Finally, I crossed the line. I took a deep breath and almost choked by my own breath after crossing the line. Cue myself heavily coughing as I enter T1. Thankfully it doesn't turn into something worse, and thus I returned into the pits safely.

14.30
Finally, everyone has fnished running despite some yellow flags in between and the last car has returned to the pits. I and Rifky went to the stewards office to return the timer beacons. Then as we wait for the final results to be announced, I and Rifky had more and more banters with other drivers as we compared our laps and experience, as well as with other enthusiasts and fans.

And for once, Silver Queen received not a lot of attention. The star of the paddock definitely was Rifky's DC5. Rifky turned out to be a fast newcomer, as well as his DC5 looks very fit for purpose, which of course is a perfect recipe to grab instant fame here :))

15.30
The results are here! Let's see how I and Rifky did for this event........................

First off, Rifky's result.
Lap 1 = 1 minute 03.328 seconds
Lap 2 = 1 minute 01.667 seconds
Lap 3 = 1 minute 01.527 seconds

That last lap's time was great enough for him to secure 9th place in class and 10th place overall! And turns out he was the fastest FWD driver of the day as well, though sadly there's no honor for that and he was actually the sole FWD entry of our class. But this proves that Rifky's competence, skills and potential are a lot and is definitely one to watch should he ever make a comeback. I'm glad his first track time in Japan actually ends up very well! And as the reward for finishing in those positions, Rifky receives 2 points in the class standings, 1 point in the overall standings, memorabilias from TMAC as the host of the event, as well as V$100 for the class result and another V$100 for the overall result. I'm not sure if he'll ever going for a TA event again, but if he does, he might still be able to qualify for the championship standings.

And now, my own result.
Lap 1 = 59.534 seconds
Lap 2 = 59.193 seconds
Lap 3 = 58.992 seconds

OH HOLY S**T WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT! The lowering upgrade actually works very, very well indeed! I never expected to touch the 58 seconds territory yet I actually (barely) did it! But what's more unbelievable is this: That lap was enough to have me finish at 3rd place, both in class and overall!! I seriously can't believe this! Not only I have scored a new personal best, I also have set my best racing result so far. Everyone who knows me from the Tsukuba CIrcuit Trial Series and some other, including Rifky, congratulated me for the result. We in turn also congratulated Rifky as well for his spectacular debut.

As for me, here's what I net: I received 15 points for both the class standings and overall standings. This gave me a huge bump at both standings, where now I'm sitting 6th in class and 8th overall. I also received bronze medal for the class podium, as well as a trophy (finally!) for the overall podium. As for the monetary prizes, I won V$750 for the class result and V$1000 for the overall result.

After the podium celebration, I and other drivers celebrated the result. But being a regional event, there was no champagne to be found even for the official podium ceremony, so we have to substitute the champagne with lots of soft drinks bought by the drivers bar me and Rifky. Cue myself and other winners having a Sprite and 7up bath thanks to Rifky and other drivers spraying them for us for the rest of the evening :)) Thankfully, this was done near the canteen, so our cars were safe from the soda torture. After washing my hair in the bathroom and one last call of nature, I and Rifky left the track, with me still in my wet racing suit and Rifky totally being wet from his sweat and the soda sprays.


[28 Jun 2019]
With the grip action over, it is now time for going sideways! As I've mentioned earlier, the event starts at 16.00 so I can go to the track a bit later. But here's a problem: Tsukuba is a pretty fast track even for grip purpose, while so far my HR34 has only drifted at Nikko, which has much slower character. I'm not sure how much power my HR34 currently rolls on, but I reckon it might be too slow for going around the track, let alone going sideways around the track. Thankfully though I still saved the RB25DET turbo from AJ, which still has the OEM turbo and pipings set on. As a precaution should my hipothesis comes true, I brought them along to the track.

When I come to the track, my usual spot has been occupied again, but this time it's Muza and his E46 that occupies it. Just like Rifky's DC5, Muza's E46 has undergo a lot of changes since the last time I saw them. Now it wears full-on CSL kit, sitting on R34 stock wheels, had a custom exhaust and obviously sitting ultra low with lots of camber around. I though this thing was going to be a grip build! The Bavarian Knight has undergo a complete diversion it seems.



As we waited for the track to be green-lit for the run, I and Muza spent some time chattering about the HR34, the changes done on the M3, and my podium the day before. Muza had a rather busy day at Oomori it turns out, and he's still a bit tired. So he told me that he'll going down to the track, but only for several laps to assess the M3 after all the upgrades done to it.

16.00
Eventually, we're ready to run. Muza told me to run first, and he'll catch up later as he opted to do some final adjustments. And so, I lined up at the pit exit.

Lights went green and I went.......into a pool of issues. Of course I can't immediately going sideways at T1, but for the chicane afterwards it didn't have the power to go sideways. Even it has none for the hairpin, which prompts me to pull the handbrake. And it's not a hydro handbrake, so keeping up with the car's rythm is a bit difficult. The power issue bugged me so much eventually I didn't take the final corner sideways in fear of crashing or gravel bathing.


I tried to do a walltap as well. It was successful........kinda. I also failed to do a proper manji entry as I almost cannonballed the HR34 into T1 with somehow entirely locked wheels. This almost destroyed the car and myself. Eventually I can define the problem: The car could pull a drift, but so far I have a problem on holding it sideways.


How about Muza, you ask? Iit looks like he had fun in the E46 even if it's only for while. He were flowing nicely in the E46, frying the tyres like a five-star Michelin star restaurant chef (no, he didn't use Michelin Pilots sadly). Even though E46 is a rare species to be drifted around Japan, it feels like home going sideways here. Ad Muza is arguably the first guy to properly fling an E46 here: Well there was Ryuji with his own E46, but his drift were a form of save from a spin in a grip trackday, so that can't be counted I guess.


He also didn't hold back when it come to the approach of the last corner and T1, where not only he deliviered a lightning fast drift at the last corner, he chained it with a reverse entry at T1! As you can guess, this prompted a fair amount of cheering and hollering from everyone at the paddock. All in all, Muza let himself and his E46 loose and wild once more even though he only went into the track for a while.



After some time, I had enough with the lack of power in the HR34, so I went back into the pits. Shortly after Muza went back as well.

And so, I and Muza spent some time installing and prepping the turbo kit into the RB20DE engine to make a quick solution over the lack of power. We did this quite quickly, as if we're a pit crew in an endurance race. So We gut the front a bit to ease the process........

......install the turbo and the piping, and return the body parts. It is a good thing that RB20, RB25 and RB26 has the same head construction so their parts can be mixed and matched easily and saves quite a lot of time and effort on installing them, as I've once explained here. Welp, the installation might felt like a makeshift lab grade work, but hey, at least it (might just) works.

As we've done the work, Muza was suddenly approached by someone that by the looks of it might has connection to or working for ASSIST, a famous Japanese tuner house that usually works on BMWs. Muza told me he had enough for the day and will wait for me in the paddock while he has a banter with the ASSIST representative. Well I don't mind really, so I went back to the pitlane to enjoy the rest of the allocated time. Noticeably though the car now backfires at some time. Maybe because it still runs NA internals while being turboed.

The turbo installation really has it's magical effects to the car's performance and behaviour. Not only now it's much, much faster, it's also a bit more rowdy and keen to go sideways. This results in much easier and controllable drifts......and also a lot of backfires in between. And oh, also my first reverse entry as well! :D


This also allows me to do what Muza did before: Have a fast drift at the last corner, connect it with a manji and walltap and the main straight, and connect it with a drift around T1. Previously it was pretty much impossible to do, but now? It's a piece of cake arguably, though admittably I'm still a bit too afraid to do a wall tap. I guess I grew up loving this thing soooo much......time for a new missile I guess? Preferably with a car I could feel less remorse when I crash it of course.



The drift day gave me quite an insight of how to enjoy Tsukuba in a different, brand new way. Drifting here requires a different mindset and approach compared to when I have a track day here. But despiyte this, I still could have fun and enjoy the ride along the way. Just like those two sides of a coin.



17.00
Finally, the alloted time to run is over. I went back to the pits to meet Muza and uninstalling the turbo. Yes, it might be powerful and helps me on drifting faster (and going faster in general), but it seems like it had some arguments with the egine internals given the constant backfiring it results along the run.

After a short evaluation over my HR34 and Muza's E46, we parted ways to our own cribs. Speaking about the turbo, I want to have them again, but I gotta balance the setup first. And I guess it is time to have a proper brakes, handbrake and suspension setup for the HR34. But uh, there are still lots of things I have to sort first.


[01 Jul 2019]
Paycheck time again! Yup another V$940 landed on my wallet safely, as well as the monetary prizes from the Eastern Kanto Circuit Trial Championship. For July and August there will be no time attack action at all at both Tsukuba and Nikko as Japan enters summer break. Both are still open for track days though, but so far I have no plans to do one in either locations. I would like to have another tour to Tokyo as well, but it looks like Muza will face busy days at Omori as Nissan drivers seeking summer discounts on parts, AJ still have to sort his RS13U and Marc will either have a trip to Europe again or finishing one of his cars.

As for my own group......Kenichi has returned to Ooarai for the summer break, Rantaro is going to Okinawa again wih his now-fiancee (I'm happy for him!), Ryuji and his sister, Ryoko, is going to New Zealand for the vacation season and Genzo is going back to......somewhere I can't remember in the Kanagawa region. I could go somewhere else like to a beach or a touge route alone, but currently I don't really want to. I need to save my money and admittably I'm yearning for some time of peaceful rest.

I'm still going to reply your messages here, just expect a less frequent amount of updates or even no updates at all. And don't worry, I'm only resting for a while. I'll be back in action and resuming regular update schedule at one of these dates:
-10 August 2019, Ebisu Summer Drift Matsuri preps and main event, probably using HR34 or something else
-18 August 2019, something I can't be sure to happen yet, but definitely attend. It's a secret ;)
-23 September 2019, 4th round of Tsukuba Circuit Trial Series

From my lovely and comfy crib, I wish you all a happy, joyful, and memorable summer holiday. Stay safe and healthy, and have fun! :cheers:
















Welp finally finished the last update before the summer break!
Now though, time to see how my wallet prepares for the summer break (counted per July 6th):

















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

This post was edited by BigSmoke (2019-07-06 17:32, 16 days ago)
Still following the damn train since 1992

Visit my RP HERE!