V$ BigSmoke's Bizzare Builds and Life

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BigSmoke
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Joined: 03 Oct 2019 11:19
Location: Indonesia

03 Oct 2019 21:40

P o i n t // Z e r o





Wassup y'all it's me Melvin Harris of Grove Street Families, otherwise known as Big Smoke. I like two number nines, a number nine laaaaarge, a number six with extra dip, a number seven, two number 45s, one with cheese, and a laaaarge soda


Nah I'm just kidding, let's get serious now.






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Upon entering this forum, you might notice the name 'BigSmoke' or 'Yuan' being flung, mentioned and spoken around. You might wonder "who's this BigSmoke guy and why he's seemingly everywhere?" Well, here I am, and finally I've got time to introduce myself. If you came from the old forums, you might recognize me as that guy who wrote ultra-long RP updates that you might not be able to finish reading because either you simply dislike long reads, can't comperhend much English or you're tired of waiting the images to load, eventually it took all your internet bandwidth. If the latter actually happens to you, I'm terribly sorry for that :P

As you all might already know, my name is Yuan Edo, either Yuan or Edo is acceptable nicknames, though I prefer to be called Edo. I'm 25 (though I'm younger IRL. Guess how much), I'm hailing from Indonesia and currently living at the city of Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. I live roughly 18 km to where the Tsukuba Circuit is, which is located in Shimotsuma city, a direct neighbour of Tsukuba city. Sometimes the Japanese has this tendency of naming race tracks not based on where it is, but instead naming them based on a famous landmark near the circuit. A good and easy example of this is Fuji Speedway, which obviously located near Mount Fuji, and you can see it in the background as you race there. Other examples including Tsukuba Circuit, which I've explained above, Nikko Circuit which is located near Nikko waterfall and hot springs, and Ebisu Circuit which is located near Ebisu hot springs.

When I'm started my petrolhead journey, I was a literature (e.g. poems, novels etc) and scientific (thesis, scientific journals etc) translator, and used to teach English and Bahasa Indonesia as well for my living. I'm still translating stuff these days, but I'm not a teacher anymore. Instead I found a new form of living: Semi-professional race driver! All of this stems from my curiosity over how competitive I could be.....and turns out I actually am. How did I stumble into the world of racing? We'll get to that a bit later. Also, recently I was chosen as the salesperson of Ibaraki branch of Side to Side Auto Parts. Back when I start, the challenge was to see if I could live my petrolhead and motorsport dreams on a budget. Fast forward now and the challenge becomes to see if I could juggle between my professional life as race driver and salesperson and personal life as a petrolhead, motorsport enthusiast and car builder.

As I've mentioned above, I'm a huge motorsport fan, ever since I saw Michael Schumacher making his way to victory when I was just a toddler. As for now, my main focus is in endurance racing, GT racing and time attack. That's why I chose to live near Tsukuba Circuit, practically the spiritual home of time attack. Tsukuba is also seen as the Japanese version of, say, Top Gear's Dunsfold Park, Evo Magazine's Angelsey Circuit, Lotus's RAF Hethel Base, Honda's Suzuka Circuit, or in broader context, in the lines of Circuito Jerez de la Frontera or Circuit de Catalunya. You can test and race absolutely everything here, to the point where Best Motoring used to race kei cars and minivans here :lol:

But of course lots of bewinged, ultra-fast race cars are aplenty here, ranging from vintage racers to modern ones, from improved production cars to open wheel cars, and of course there are time attack heroes like Scorch Racing S15, Escort Evo, Carbon Junkie AE86, Admix R32, Rasty Joyo A80, ASM S2K, Aslan EG, Auto Rescue Izu FD and so many others. Legends like every single cars made by Mine's, Voltex, HKS and JUN are also made their names here., and I'm seeking to follow their steps. I didn't expect that I, a trackday enthusiast, would end up being a semi-pro driver participating in various time attack events :lol: Oh of course I'm also a huge fan of non-Japanese TA builds, such as MCA Hammerhead S13, PR Technology RP968, Tilton Evo, Lyfe Motorsports GT-R, J-Spec Performance Evo, Audi R8 1:1, 101 Motorsport 'Mighty Mouse' CRX and many more.

Right, enough introducing myself and blabbering about.....well just about everything. Hereby I welcome you to my bizzare world of car projects, builds and my personal life. I love to talk about motorsports, car culture and mods, driving experience.....but at times I might also slip a bit of a slice of my own life, so expect a rollercoaster of story on every update.

Click here to follow the story from the very first one and find out about my origins and early days of petrolhead chronicles
Or.......
Click here to catch up with the last pages of the thread at the old site. It was stopped at post #425, some time after I came back from USA.

Or let me take you through some of my personally assorted updates to sum up my journey so far chronogically:
The Rise of the T H O T // B A I T E R
Leg Day and Memories of a Tuner
Relaxation Route (first touge drive)
Urban Touring
The Rise of the Silver Queen
Hyper Experience: The Debut! (first competitive TA event)
United Colours of Petrolheads (biggest car meet attended so far)
Out of Comfort Zone (first trackday outside Tsukuba)
Land of the Free (first USA trip)
Two Sides of a Coin
Heavenly Ocean (summer update)
Burning Rubber Festival (Ebisu Drift Matsuri update, also the biggest update so far)
Aerodynamic Building Blocks (final update before forum migration)


As I've mentioned, the updates are tend to be very long, so uhhhh.....take your time :lol: :P

In the meantime, let's take a tour of my garage to see how bizzare my builds are:
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III GSR 'Silver Queen'
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Build highlights:
  • Tomei 2.2L Stroker Kit
  • Tomei ProCams
  • NAPREC Big Valves
  • HKS GT-II 8262 Turbo
  • Fujitsubo Legalis-R muffler
  • Handcrafted modded ECU (coded by yours truly!)
  • Hypertune intake manifold
  • TMZ Performance transmission rebuild and strengthening
  • Cusco front and rear LSD
  • HKS Hipermax II suspension kit
  • Wilwood Superlite BBK 6 pot F/4 pot R
  • WedsSport TC105N 17 inch
  • Advan AD08R tyres
This is my first car that I still kept on driving until now, both as daily car and racecar (of course I remove those race numbers for daily usage). Originally only intended as a trackable daily(hence stock exterior), soon it's drunk on power and turned out to be fast enough to be brought into the competitive scene. The rest is kinda history and both I and it never looked back ever since. Producing 450 BHP thanks to a combo of Tomei stroker kit and HKS turbo, it's tuned based on the tarmac setup for Evo III WRC. Nicknamed Silver Queen due to it's body colour (Queen's Silver) and there's a brand of choco bars called Silver Queen in my homeland. Want to know who's that on the sticker? Click here.


Nissan Silvia Spec-S
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Build highlights:
  • RB26 swapped
  • Nissan 350Z transmission + Collins Performance short shifter
  • Chase Bays hydro handbrake
  • Apexi GT exhaust + N1 Evo muffler
  • GReddy intake manifold
  • Varis carbon bonnet
  • GP Sports G-Sonic Evo bodykit
  • SARD GT Wing
The second car that I bought, I envisioned this to be my ultimate TA car. While the Silver Queen takes the duty for streetlegal class events (e.g. Attack Real Tuning Class, RevSpeed Festival Street class, pretty much regional championship), the S15 will take the duty of more open, less restricted class (e.g. Attack Second or Turbo class, RevSpeed Festival Open class). Yup, it started life as an Spec-S rather than Spec-R, but this comes into the advantage of being cheap to buy. It's now powered by an RB26 sourced from an R32 GT-R, though it's still RWD since I mated it with the stock transmission of Nissan 350Z. It can already run, but handling department needs to be completed first before returning to engine and transmission, and then finally rewrap it in a proper livery. Fun fact: This car featured the most expensive purchase I've ever done, namely the GP Sports kit at V$11.5k


Nissan Skyline GT HR34
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Build highlights:
  • Homemade stroker made from RB25 internals (it has an RB20DE inside if you're wondering)
  • RB25 Transmission
  • Kaaz 2-way rear LSD
  • Drifworks Geomaster knuckles
  • Enkei RPF1 18 inch
  • Nankang tyres
The third car that I bought, originally serving as my grassroots drift car. It's the base model of every single R34, powered by RB20DE engine. But turns out not only it's a comfy daily alternative, it's actually looking quite good. Which leads to a bit of worry and remorse should I, god forbid, destroy this thing in a failed drift attempt. I'm looking forward to drive it again though, it's a nice cruiser.


Daewoo Tico SX
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That's right, a Daewoo Tico. This one's the european version built by FSO, sourced from the Romania, otherwise known as the homeland of Dacia and Count Dracula. Why did I bought this? Well let me ask you, have you seen a Tico going fast? The plan is to make this a lethal joke vehicle: Swap in a Honda D16 engine, upgrade the suspension, fit slightly bigger wheels, et viola, a mad kanjo fighter. Installing a rollcage would be a great idea as well since this thing is as fragile as a wafer biscuit, thus turning it into a high speed weapon also means turning it into a rocket coffin. At the moment though it's sitting in my garage and collecting dust. The original engine's probably dead by now.


Mercedes Sprinter 311cd
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Build highlights:
  • Turbosmart turbo actuator
  • RaceChip plug-in ECU tuning
"What the hell is a Sprinter doing in Japan?" Ha I told you, bizzare innit? :lol: the Sprinter is my parts and tow van, since I can't seem to find anything suitable to tow my S15 effortlessly (mind you, it's not streetlegal). It's soooo big I can sleep inside it, and the actuators are there since it came broken when I bought it. Oh yah, this Sprinter came from the albion lands of UK (screw the fact that the mod is LHD :P ), which is an RHD country like Japan and most of Asia, and the car prices there are quite cheap, so driving this thing shouldn't be a problem.


Chevrolet Silverado CK1500 'Vetterado'
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Build highlights:
  • GM LS7 swapped
  • Custom toolbox on the bed
  • Work Crag T-Grabic 18 inch
A gift from the Side to Side crew, originally their parts truck. Don't worry, they've got somethign even better as replacement. The LS7 swap was also their idea, since they got a spare LS7 pulled off a wrecked Corvette Z06. Why would they do this I got absolutely no idea, but it actually worked and god damn it worked very, very well. Currently awaiting brake upgrade so it won't turn into a sledgehammer or battering ram while driven on speed.....it has 505 BHP, mind you. Aside from being a spare parts truck, I 'd like to bring it to drag racing events around Japan........if I can find one.


Ford Mustang Foxbody LX Hatch'
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Build highlights:
  • Ford Modular 4.6 swapped
Brought from the US of A alongside the Vetterado and another car, this Foxbody was originally a 2.3 model. Previous owner wanted to 5.0 swap it but got no time as he had two other Foxbodies to maintain so he sold it for cheap. I never knew how slow the 2.3 was until (a)I drove it along the highway and (b)Franklin (FranklinAnderson) pointed out that it only has 105 BHP brand new, and probably 80 BHP as of now. Fortunately, he also raised the idea to do a Modular 4.6 swap to it, which was sourced from Lincoln Town Car. With a little bit of tuning now it producesaround 250 BHP. Sadly though ever since I brought it back to Japan I never drive it. In fact it's for sale right now, drop a comment if you're interested! V$5000 or suitable offer.


Nissan 240SX MS13 Convertible 'Kaede'
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Build highlights:
  • Lightly tuned KA24DE
  • Weds Albino 16 inch
  • Dunlop SP Sport stretched tyres
  • Cusco springs
  • R33 brakes
Convertible S13s, both the Japan version (which has the PS13 front) and the American version (which has the 240SX front and S13 back. No, this ain't a Onevia conversion) are quite a rare but underrated commodity, so upon seeing one I immediately took my chance and grab it quickly. Brought home from the US of A alongside the Vetterado and Foxbody, the build goal is to see if people can accept a gaijin/foreign version of S13, specifically a rare one that has been built to emulate Japanese kyusha style. Original plan was to make it into a lowrider, since lowrider culture is actually quite big in Japan, but upon spotting the rare Albino wheels the goals changed into combining kyusha and lowrider style. And oh, it's called Kaede since KA24DE can be misread as Kaede.......at least to me. And of course the sticker features a character named Kaede.


Toyota Mark II JZX110 'Meme Machine'
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Build highlights:
  • 1JZ-GE+Rev9 turbo kit
  • GReddy Spec-LS intercooler kit
  • Nissan 350Z transmission
  • Welded diff
  • Chase Bays hydro handbrake
  • Cusco front arms
  • Dunlop SP Sport stretched tyres
  • Work Euroline DH wheels 18 inch
  • Yokohama Ecos tyres
Due to my own worries of wrecking HR34, I decided to get something I could feel less guilty upon damaging, which automatically translates as drift missile. My choice fell upon this X110, since it was cheap, already got a 1JZ (albeit GE as opposed to GTE), and Marcus(marcus915) said it's quite tough to whip around. I did some minimal mods to it, including turboing the JZ and brought it to my first Ebisu Drift Matsuri to see if it can survive for a full 36 hours there.....and it did, albeit with damaged front arm and losing the passenger window in the process. I might repair it and get it running at Ebisu or Nikko one day. Fun fact: This was my fastest build, and I burnt a bit of my hair while welding the diff.[/url].
I think that is it for now, I don't really want to torture everyone if I combine my intro with my first update :lol: Anyways normal service will resume as soon as at next week. And oh, feel free to visit my crib, have a track day together with me or invite me to go somehwere or do something, as long as it doesn't interfere with my time attack season calendar. There should only 4-5 event left though for this year, so don't worry.

And oh, I made some slap stickers too in my free time, feel free to use them on your RP cars! Check out the entire catalogue here! Or you can see some examples below:
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Finally, let me check just a little bit of my wallet.......
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That's all my updates for now, thank you for stopping by and see you soon!
Last edited by BigSmoke on 06 Nov 2019 19:44, edited 1 time in total.
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NotPerfect
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03 Oct 2019 22:05

Ayy big smoke wb uwu, those are some sick cars and even better stickies. I might use the ultra power on my 14 just for the memes of the memes lmfao
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insolivion
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03 Oct 2019 22:25

Uhh, your stuff is actually pretty inspiring, you write a bible out of a every car haha, that's a good thing, it's nice to read, but my personal favorites are the 240sx and jzx110, damn i need to get one in the future.
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~00s japanese drift~
~HotBoiz~
~EST-2019~

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FranklinAnderson
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03 Oct 2019 23:49

Boiiiiiiii, i still miss Ebisu Matsuri, it was fun to see you wrecking that JZX lol
It was epic, also the 500$ challenge! So good memories lol

Also CONGRATS ON THE S2S PARTNERSHIP! Hopefully all goes great with that, rootin' on you!
Keep it up!
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marcus915
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04 Oct 2019 01:25

I love how detailed all the writeups on your cars are, not to mention the diversity. I will always admire your Evo, its so crazy to see how far its come since the first day you got that car!!
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BigSmoke
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04 Oct 2019 06:08

NotPerfect wrote:
03 Oct 2019 22:05
Ayy big smoke wb uwu, those are some sick cars and even better stickies. I might use the ultra power on my 14 just for the memes of the memes lmfao
Thank you so much! Oh please do, I'm glad you love those stickers :lol:
insolivion wrote:
03 Oct 2019 22:25
Uhh, your stuff is actually pretty inspiring, you write a bible out of a every car haha, that's a good thing, it's nice to read, but my personal favorites are the 240sx and jzx110, damn i need to get one in the future.
Ahaha thank you so much, glad you like them! :lol:
FranklinAnderson wrote:
03 Oct 2019 23:49
Boiiiiiiii, i still miss Ebisu Matsuri, it was fun to see you wrecking that JZX lol
It was epic, also the 500$ challenge! So good memories lol

Also CONGRATS ON THE S2S PARTNERSHIP! Hopefully all goes great with that, rootin' on you!
Keep it up!
Man it was soooo great to drive together with you and everyone! Also thank you so much, here's hoping everything went well! :lol:
marcus915 wrote:
04 Oct 2019 01:25
I love how detailed all the writeups on your cars are, not to mention the diversity. I will always admire your Evo, its so crazy to see how far its come since the first day you got that car!!
Thank you so much, glad you like them! The Silver Queen has went quite far indeed :lol:
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Buzzsaw
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04 Oct 2019 08:35

Ayeee, just perfect handful of car collection, you should sell stickers for your hungry wallet.
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BigSmoke
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04 Oct 2019 11:24

Buzzsaw wrote:
04 Oct 2019 08:35
Ayeee, just perfect handful of car collection, you should sell stickers for your hungry wallet.
Thank you so much! :D
For the stickers.......hmm let's see what fate has in store for us :P
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Nightkid
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04 Oct 2019 13:07

The Ichigo is starting to look S P I C Y and i love it !
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BigSmoke
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04 Oct 2019 16:00

Nightkid wrote:
04 Oct 2019 13:07
The Ichigo is starting to look S P I C Y and i love it !
Thanks so much, I'm glad you like it! But what else I can say other than.........
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Benny
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04 Oct 2019 16:51

WB Bro, who else would I chose for my main sales man hehehe.....
Hey just a heads up, I am challenging you on a wangan race on 21st August 2020. ( If you prefer to be legal then lets do a time attack race) I will have a similar layout to yours, just FYI.
Cars in RP:
Lamborghini Aventador
Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R
Nissan Skyline R34 GT-T
Toyota Supra A80 (EU Spec)
Nissan 180SX

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BigSmoke
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04 Oct 2019 17:33

Benny wrote:
04 Oct 2019 16:51
WB Bro, who else would I chose for my main sales man hehehe.....
Hey just a heads up, I am challenging you on a wangan race on 21st August 2020. ( If you prefer to be legal then lets do a time attack race) I will have a similar layout to yours, just FYI.
I'm quite honoured to be your trusted man, bossman :lol: Thank you so much!

Hmmm as you might expect I'd like to keep things on the legal side (well, says the man who occasionally did touge runs.......though it's actually been a while), so time attack it is! Waiting on what your crafty hands will bring to the Japan shores and my home turf ;)
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Niatross
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06 Oct 2019 21:32

I love how diverse ur car list is, just like Benny and Lagano's collection over at StS!
And silver queen is pretty much no short of an icon now with its countless Tsukuba achievements

Great stuff as usual chief!

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BigSmoke
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07 Oct 2019 11:06

Niatross wrote:
06 Oct 2019 21:32
I love how diverse ur car list is, just like Benny and Lagano's collection over at StS!
And silver queen is pretty much no short of an icon now with its countless Tsukuba achievements

Great stuff as usual chief!
Yoooo thanks my man! It's been a long journey for the Silver Queen, and........one year celebration coming soon! ;)
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Ren
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07 Oct 2019 12:20

Ayy nice to see you on here! Also was super nice to meet you and the other guys at Ebisu!

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BigSmoke
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07 Oct 2019 14:12

Ren wrote:
07 Oct 2019 12:20
Ayy nice to see you on here! Also was super nice to meet you and the other guys at Ebisu!
Nice to see you coming back as well! I'm quite honoured to be able to run beside you and the boys! :D
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alex876
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07 Oct 2019 15:51

Still loving that evo iii bro, good work
The good stuff

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masaharu1015
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07 Oct 2019 16:16

Nice your Danganronpa character reference cars!
I love it! :D

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BigSmoke
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07 Oct 2019 17:42

masaharu1015 wrote:
07 Oct 2019 16:16
Nice your Danganronpa character reference cars!
I love it! :D
Arigatou Masaharu-san! :D
Yup, I'm a Danganronpa fan since my friend introduced me to it some years ago :lol:
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RocketBunnyS13
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09 Oct 2019 22:45

YEEEEET welcome to the FUTURE of RP 8-)
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s t a y c l a s s y

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BigSmoke
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10 Oct 2019 07:49

RocketBunnyS13 wrote:
09 Oct 2019 22:45
YEEEEET welcome to the FUTURE of RP 8-)
Ahahah thanks my man :lol: everybody's updating faster than me these days so I felt a bit falling back, next one should be ready soon!
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BigSmoke
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12 Oct 2019 20:34

The Reunion













Finally it's time for another update! Hot damn everybody's updating quickly these days :lol:
This time, let's see if my car can be a learning tool....to drive of course. And also, a comparison between Euro and Japanese sedans!
And finally I also got to visit someone I haven't seen for so long as well!
Let's see how all of them unfolds by jumping into the update! :D
NOTE: It's highly suggested to read my older updates, as there are a lot of character here coming from there












[03 Oct 2019]
The winds of autumn has hit quite hard these days, requiring people to wear their jackets more frequently, though not as often as winter does. What about me? It's not really a problem, I wear my hoodie almost everytime, except at summer when it's blazing hot. I don't want to accidentally bake or even roast myself under the glaring sun :lol: Anyways, between the time of my re-intro and this update, I continued working on various documents to be translated as I continue to save money to continue upgrading the S15 as well as to grab myself an Evo V. "Hang on Smoke you already got an Evo III, what's the Evo V for?"

If you haven't followed me at the last moments of the old forum, I should say it's been a fun and amazing times with the Evo III as I explored this world and made a lot of amazing friends thanks to it, but sadly, I think the time's running out soon for the SIlver Queen. Yes, I plan to buy the Evo V as refreshment. But that's not all, the Evo V will be raced as well just like the Evo III, don't worry. I feel like the Evo V has more potential to be developed and deployed over Evo III, which at least in my opinion has reached it's maximum potential and possibly has been tired from all the power it contained. It can only receive so much, after all. And no, despite the emerging memes surrounding it, I'm not going to buy a yellow Evo V :lol:

Technically speaking, The Evo V shares the same platform with the Evo IV and VI, which was significant update from the first platform used by Evo I, II and III. This means most of the parts for Evo IV to VI are interchangeable. The Evo IV itself was a vast improvement over the Evo III, and the Evo V was a huge upgrade over Evo IV. The Evo VI? It's simply an Evo V being perfected a bit more. The improvements the Evo V has over Evo III and Evo IV includes but not limited to wider track width, bigger brakes, better and stronger engine internals and, for the first time in Evo history, adjsutable aero. These two last bits are what particularly made me interesed. And oh, since the Evo IV to Evo IX shares the same engine and transmission assembly, this means almost everything from Evo IV to Evo IX are interchangeable.

From the economical side, used Evo V price are ridiculously cheap. Evo IV prices are even cheaper, but that's kinda explainable since Evo IV is arguably the second least-favourite Evo among all Evos, only being slightly better than Evo VII. I'm not really sure why, but I guess I'll just let our resident Human Lan Evo @topy explains about it some time. He's not here yet i the RP forums at the moment, but when he does, he'll show you his mad, on-progress Evo X build as well as his current daily whips, an S15 and a Mustang 302. Meanwhile, Evo VI prices has been skyrocketed thanks to the fame of the TME model. A lot of car collectors resorted to buy the non-TME Evo VI when they failed to grab themselves the TME ones.

Historically speaking, the Evo III, IV, V and VI are the cars that yielded Mitsubishi WRC driver titles four times in a row from 1996 to 1999, in the hands of the legendary Tommi Makkinen. Between all these driver titles, only at 1998 Mitsubishi secured both the driver and manufacturer titles. If you're wondering, Subaru won the 1996 and 1997 manufacturers title, and Toyota won the 1999 title. The 1998 title fight was one of the fan-favourites as it was ended in a spectacular fashion. The title almost never happened to Tommi and Mitsubishi after Tommi crashed at the opening day of the final rally of the year, Wales Rally GB. Tommi's rival, Carlos Sainz Sr. was almost certain to become the world champion that weekend, but at the final day, disaster struck upon Sainz: His car broke down at the final stage, 300 meters from the finish line. Tommi, who was going to catch a plane home, was called by Mitsubishi crew and informed about that mishap. Here are some pics of the rally, where Tommi broke his Evo and Sainz stranded near the finish line.
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Right, enough talking about Evos for now. I finished working on all translations later that day as the sun was going to set. Whilst having a quick rest I received a call from Ryuji. It's been a while since he called me last time, I wonder what's going on?

"Hello Edo-kun, Ryuji here"
"Ah hey Ryuji-san, good evening. It's been a while, anything I can help?"
"Been a while since I called you indeed. Ah I wonder if you have anything to do this weekend?"
"Virtually none, only have to send my works to Tsukuba uni as usual and that's it"
"Oh perfect timing! Um, other than the Evo, do you got any RHD cars?"
"Well yes I do, but why not the Evo?"
"Let's get straight to the point shall we?"
"Okay go on"
"I want to teach my sister to drive but uhh, I'm afraid she'll be confused if I use my E36 Compact"
"Aaaah I see, classic non-petrolhead problem. Okay okay I'll help Ryoko-chan as well"
"Oh yah one more thing, what car is it?"
"HR34, circa 200 BHP. Should be slow enough to learn in"
"I think she'll be okay with that. So, tomorrow at the usual spot?"
"Tomorrow at the usual spot, yup. I'll be there after lunch"
"Great, see you tomorrow then"
"See you tomorrow Ryuji-san"


Welp, about time I should say! It's time for Ryoko, Ryuji's little sister to experience the freedom of driving indeed. Speaking of which, the decline in car sales amongst youth markets upsets just about everyone, including obviously the auto industry themselves. Sure, the public transportation in Japan are brilliant, but the youths these days are missing quite a lot. The freedom of driving, in my opinion is what everyone should experience. Yes, city driving is plain mundane for most but that's because there isn't much to do. But countryside driving, backcountry exploration, touge runs, highway runs, track days.......now that's how you enjoy driving properly.

Once you're going behind the wheels, you thoughts starts to flow quickly, and stimulated better than usual. You'll think about.....just about everything, from your current condition and predicament up to the meaning and purpose of the universe itself. It's a joyous feeling that we can't express properly, because it's just like love. We can't describe love perfectly in words, we have to experience it by ourselves in order to understand it.

At this point I have to stop being poetic and sentimental because I received yet another call, this time from Rantaro. We haven't met since summer and recently he imported a Merc W140.....I wonder if it's finished?

"Yooooo Edo-kun, it's ya boi Rantaro"
"Ah hey Rantaro, been a while man! Summer must've been fun to you, yeah?"
"Absolutely! Remember the Merc I bought some time ago?"
"Oh yeah yeah, I do. How's it going with that Merc?"
"It's finished and ready to roll! Man I'm eager to show it to you"
"Niiiice! Hey tell me, you got anything to do tomorrow?"
"I don't think so, only a quick meeting at morning"
"Perfect! Let's meet up at the usual spot shall we? I wanna see the Merc! Ryuji will be there as well"
"Great idea! And you're right.....gotta flex this to Ryuji as well" *laughter*
"Eh speaking of Ryuji, he got a new car as well"
"What is it?"
"E36 Compact"
"Not really what I expected but still, this I have to see. Anyways, see ya tomorrow boi"
"See ya"


Well, Rantaro has gone quite a long way, from someone driving a Mark II disguised as a classic Merc, to finally importing and driving a proper Merc. And to top that, it's a W140 S-Class as well! He's ready to live the 90's luxury life :lol: And oh, this Merc is also famous in the Initial D fandom for all the wrong reasons :lol: I wonder if he can attract high schoolers just like when he did with the Mark II?

Later that day, I packed up everything I'm going to carry to Tsukuba University and went to sleep. Oh yah, the usual spot I talked about with Ryuji and Rantaro is the souther parking lot of the uni. It's not so crowded there usually and actually quite cool, so perfect for small to large car meets. The last time I had a car meet there, it was huge and amazing.

[04 Oct 2019]
I woke up rather late that day, so I decided to have lunch at the uni's cafetaria instead of cooking one for myself at home. Thankfully though I wasn't severely late I still have time to get a shower and wear proper dress to meet one of my customers for the day, Kitagara-sensei. Kitagara-sensei is a history lecturer in the uni, and also an avid petrolhead, having an AE86 Levin Nothcback as a daily. He's quite a wise man and I really love to talk with him whilst working. And he's also a touge runner back in his youth, and also regularly attends the AE86 Festival in Tsukuba as well.

Later that day I arrived at the uni parking lot, and I spotted Kitagara-sensei's AE86................
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.......and I also spotted a Crown S170 I've never seen before. I wonder who owns it? Perhaps Kitagara-sensei knows?
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I decided to park my HR34 a bit close to the Crown so I could check it for a while, as well as took some photos of it and the AE86. From what I can see so far it rides on Work Emitz wheels, has a cutom leather front seats, and it's either riding on airbags or very low coilovers. Engine-wise I'm not really sure, it's probably a 1JZ with some mods. After taking these pics I went to Kitagara-sensei's office room.
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Inside the office, we have some talks as he inspect my works.

"Incredible job as usual, well done. Here's the documents for next month, you can start anytime" *hands me a bundle of documents*
"receives document* "Thank you very much sensei, is there anything else? Soft copies perhaps?"
"Ah yes, soft copies will be delivered via email"
"Alright sensei, I'll start after I receive the email. Um, excuse me sensei, a question"
"Go ahead, what is it?"
"Are you going to the AE86 Festival at Nikko?" *shows the event page on phone*
"Hmmm, I'm not really sure, are you going there?"
"I don't think I will, sensei. After all I don't have an AE86 yet"
"Ah, it's okay. I think I'll have you along at the AE86 Festival at Tsukuba Circuit"
"Oh, really? That's so kind of you sensei, thank you so much. And oh, another question"
"Yes?"
"I saw a red Crown at the parking lot today......I wonder if you know who drives it?"
"A red Crown......ah, should be Miyuki-san from law faculty. A lecturer as well."
"Ah, I see. Any chances I can meet him? I'd like to know more about his car."
"Let's go to the cafetaria shall we? I'd like some coffee and I think we can meet him there"
"Sure sensei, I haven't actually had a meal yet"

And so, we walked to the cafetaria. Later at the cafetaria we met with Ryoko and, to my luck, Miyuki-sensei. After Kitagara-sensei introduced me to Miyuki-sensei, we sat together as we enjoyed various snacks and drinks. I myself had a plate of chicken curry and a can of UCC coffee. Miyuki-sensei is in his mid-40s, and is a huge fan of VIP modification style, hence he bought a Crown and lowered it. Aside from being a lecturer, he's also an attorney, serving various clients around Tokyo and Tsukuba. Which law firm he worked on though isn't so clear, probably not the same as either Sera or Adrianne(@RocketBunnyS13). And oh, because he studied and researched over international law systems, his English is actually very good, and he also understands German, French and Dutch.

Later that day we went back to the parking lot. Kitagara-sensei had a matter to be done, so sadly he can't stay with us for the remainder of the day.
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To spend the time while waiting for Rantaro and Ryuji, I decided to have some talk with Miyuki-sensei.

"Ah, sensei, can I ask something or two about your Crown?"
"Ah, sure, go ahead. It looks like you took a liking on it, and I appreciate that"
"Ah sure sensei, thank you. Is it riding on airbags or on coilovers."
"Coilovers. It's running on 326Power Chakurikis to be exact."
"Awesome! I thought the Crown runs on airbag seeing it sits so low. How about the engine? Is it still 1JZ?"
"Close enough, I've changed it to 2JZ."
"GE or GTE sensei?"
"GE plus turbo. Guess how much power it produces."
"400? 500?"
"Quite close, it's 600. Sometimes I do highway runs as well, also useful for emergency runs as well!"
"That's amazing! Lots of my friends are highway runners but I've never seen something unusual as this"
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"Ah yes Edo-kun, Kitagara-san said you have an Evo, so why did you brought this R34 sedan today?"
"Ah, Ryoko-san's brother told me to bring it here, sensei. He wants to teach her how to drive"
"Right here, right now?"
"Uh, yes sensei, that was our agreement"
"Ah, I see. I'd like to see things unfold later"
"Ah, one more question sensei, what else has been done to the car?"
"Brakes, they're now a set of Project Mu brakes, and I also modded the audio system. You want to check them?"
"Oh sure sensei, that's quite kind of you"

I, Miyuki-sensei and Ryoko enters the Crown and Miyuki-sensei proceeds to showcase his audio system, as well as his music collection. Turns out he has similar music taste to mine! He kicked off the showcase by playing Bach's Air on G String composition. Next up he played Meiko Nakahara's 'Fantasy', which coincidentally also my recent favourite. Then Miyuki-sensei capped it off with Kraftwerk's new rendition of 'Dentaku'. The audio system feels amazing, it's just as if I attended a concert directly at a theatre.
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Sometime later, finally Rantaro arrived in his brand new Merc. It looks like a classic yacht arriving to a boat pier, so amazing! I had to get off Miyuki-sensei's Crown and screamed "WOOOOOOOOOOH!" upon seeing the Merc. "Ah senpai look, that car's huge!" remarked Ryoko in surprised voice. Then Rantaro lowered his window as he throws a smug face towards us :lol:
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Rantaro then decided to park between my HR34 and Miyuki-sensei's Crown. After introducing Miyuki-sensei to him, Rantaro seemed eager to flex his Merc upon me :lol:

"What do you think, eh boi?"
"This is amazing! Pure luxury vibes! You can roll along Tokyo at night with style with this!"
"Ha I know you'll like it! It's quite comfy as well and look, wooden trim!"
"Yeeees now this is 90s Euro car at it's best! As for the wheels.....what are those?"
"SSR Vienna Kreiss. And yup, they're lowered."
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Rantaro then continued, saying that this one is the 300SE model, which means it's equipped with 3 liter inline 6 petrol engine. Rantaro was actually split between keeping the original engine on or swapping it for something else. Miyuki-sensei opposed against it though, since there are so many electrical assembly and sensors inside the Merc.

The influence of the Merc's styling, interestingly, can be felt on the Crown.....or is it just me? They're looking smilar and as far as I know, competed in the same market segment in several countries where both are sold. Well yes, the Merc looks tidier and if you opted for the V12 engine, much more luxurious with the additional of rear central console and TV. I guess you can opt for champagne holder as well! But here, the comparison can be done in fairer terms. Nevertheless, back then people always wanted a Merc, but some opted for the Crown or something else since they're slightly cheaper. The experience though, are different surely.

The Crown, W140 and HR34 looks like a set of yacht docking at a boat pier I should say.......cue up the 'What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor'(otherwise better known as 1700s Sea Shanties) composition shall we? :lol:
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"It's quite huge to me, is it difficult to drive, senpai?" Ryoko asked to Rantaro in curiosity. "It's not so hard if you could drive it. All you had to do is remember the width and length of your car." Rantaro answered in confidence, half-unaware that Ryoko can't drive properly yet. Obviously Ryoko answered, "How do I do that?"
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At this point finally Ryuji arrived with his E36 Compact. I and Ryoko sighed a breathe of relief, while Rantaro remarked "Hey that's actually nice!". Ryuji parked his E36 Compact on the opposite side of the parking lot.
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As we shared brofists with Ryuji and introduced Ryuji to Miyuki-sensei, another vehicle arrived. This time, a Suzuki GSX-1000R with its rider on full leather suit, rucksack and full face helmet. At first I was trying to figure out who is this rider, but eventually I figured out as he parked beside Ryuji's E36: It's another of my friends, Kenichi! But why is he riding a Suzuki instead of his usual Honda Grom?
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"Oi Kenichi! Great to see you man, but where's your Grom?"
"Yoooo everybody's here!" *fistbumps and brohugs ensues* "You see, the Grom is under maintenance, so I have to borrow this"
"But dang man, what a ride you're bringing today! Much faster than usual!" *chuckle*
"Admittably, yeah. I miss that sense of speed, you know"
"Ain't your back got tired with that rucksack though?"
"Not really, I didn't bring much"
"Oh yah, now that everyone's here, I remembered something........"

Then I explained my plans to enter the K-1 Sports Tsukuba 50 Minute endurance race at October 14th, as well as my need for a small crew for the day. Thankfully, turns out everyone can make it at the race day. Ryuji is particularly eager to help, since it's been a while since we're on the Tsukuba Circuit together. Even Ryoko want to join the fun as well! Sadly though we might not be able to go with Ryuji's friend, Genzo, since he's a bit busy lately due to his father fell ill some time ago. But it's okay though, I think I've got enough people on my side.

With the endurance crew problem sorted, and Kenichi heading to the uni to deliver his translations, we moved on to the second schedule of the day: Teaching Ryoko how to drive. I handed the HR34 keys to Ryuji, guided Ryuji to exit the parking lot and decided to have some banters with Rantaro and Miyuki-sensei as we watch Ryoko swap seats with Ryuji and keeping up with Ryuji's method of tutoring.
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Eventually after multiple times stalling my HR34, Ryoko got it going slowly. Now I'm not really worried about the clutch, since it's relatively fresh since I don't use it so often compared to my Silver Queen. What I worry a bit is simply Ryoko not getting used to it since I set the clutch pedal a bit hard. Nevertheless, watching Ryuji and Ryoko tiptoeing around the parking lot reminds me of myself back when I learn how to drive my family's car back home.
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The good mood was slightly offset when Ryoko stalled the car again when Ryoko stalled the car again as she tried to do a full stop. Rantaro and Miyuki-sensei laughed quite loud, while I can only shake my head in light dissappointment, and shouted "Come on, try again! Don't worry about the car!" to raise her confidence. Eventually she did it!
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And I guess Ryoko had a shared penchant of going into speed just like her brother. Sometimes I can see the HR34 lurching into speed as Ryoko drives it in 2nd gear, sometimes she forgot to balance the accelerator and clutch in the middle of corners.......I wonder if Ryuji teached her heel and toe already? :lol: There's also this when Ryoko tried to do a U-turn. It looks like she failed to balance the pedals while turning again, causing her to accidentally floor the accelerator, and release it to yet another stall. I can only imagine Ryoko panicking inside........ :lol:
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Finally, after a while, it looks like Ryoko got the hang of driving, though understandably, she had a bit of difficulty while parking. At least she didin't mow the pavement with my HR34...... :lol: I applauded her as she gets off the car.
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Ryoko's training though didn't stop there. This time, after a bit of resting, it's my turn to get inside my HR34 with her. My job is simple: Be a backseat driver (and yup, I have to actually sit on the back row) and monitor her as she recall all the tutorials taught by Ryuji, while occassionally jog her mind over all the the tutorials. In Ryuji's opinion the one who can deduce if a driver drives well in general are their passengers, particularly those who sits behind them. I actually agree with this, since a lot of road sickness are caused by drivers who aren't driving smoothly.

And so, Ryoko slowly gets off the lot again and started going around as she recalls all the tutorials given to her. To ease her mind and make her relax a bit, as well to motivate her and sway her mind a bit off concentration (Because come on, who didn't choose to have a banter with the driver when they drive together?), I decided to talk about my times back then when I still learn how to drive. Ryoko actually responds enthusiastically ("So it only took you a week to learn senpai? That's brilliant!"), to the point she almost crashed my HR34 as we have a great banter ("Watch the road next time!"-"I-I'm sorry senpai!"-"It's okay, let's continue shall we?") :lol: Eventually she could drive it smoothly, I could enjoy the ride while laying my back all over the rear seat.
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As the day passes and the sun starts to set, finally Ryoko parked the HR34 again and ended the training session. I praised Ryoko's pace of learning to Ryuji ("She's a quick learner I should say, I didn't expect that"), who clearly was quite happy with the result. Rantaro and Miyuki-sensei looks pleased as well, seeing Ryoko learn as well as having a very long banter with Rantaro. And secretly they have another cans of coffee without me :lol: thankfully Rantaro still got a can left, which he tosses upon me. I really need one after a very loooong day. Before Rantaro and Miyuki-sensei left, I took some more pics of their rides.
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Before I, Ryuji and Ryoko left, I proposed a final test for Ryoko: Drive me home as I guided her through traffic. Ryuji seems amused with this idea and Ryoko reluctantly agrees this. Well, at this point I felt a bit bad to her :lol: but the again, all the tutorials she received for the day will vanish quickly if she didn't practice it in the streets.

Other than some stalls at traffic lights (cue Ryoko panicking again over starting the car: "SENPAI IT'S DYING!"-"Calm down calm down!") and we accidentally holding back some traffic, the trip back home actually went very smooth and well. And as the sun sets, we finally arrived at my crib. After some time of resting while sipping warm earl grey tea and Ryoko adoring my model kit, figure and medal collections, finally Ryuji and Ryoko thanked me for assisting them with the driving tutorials and went back to their home in Tsukubamirai. I guess it's only a matter of time before Ryoko got her own personal car......I guess she can't really stand being inside either Ryuji's E46 M3 or E36 Compact anymore :lol:
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[06 Oct 2019]
At this point the S15 stock parts I've listed in the old forums has been sold for a grand total of V$2000. Here's the rundown:
- S15 stock front bumper, V$300
- S15 stock rear bumper, V$300
- S15 stock front fenders set, V$150
- S15 stock bonnet, V$200
- S15 stock side skirts set, V$150
- S15 stock side mirrors, V$100
- S15 stock steering wheel, V$100
- MS13 stock brakes and handbrake drum set, V$ 500
- MS13 stock springs set, V$200
Since I've earned some cash for my wallet, I think it's the right time to register for the endurance race. The race registration costed me V$380 after I completed all the papers and data needed to register into the race. And oh, speaking of the race itself, the format for the day would be 2x10 minute of qualifying, followed by, obviously, 50 minutes of racing. The event will split entrants into five classes:
- GT1: >=2000cc cars with slick/competition tyres
- GT2: 1400-1999cc cars with slick/competition tyres, or >=2000cc cars with radial/semi-slick tyres
- GT3: <1400cc cars with slick/competition tyres, or 661-1999cc Asian cars with radial/semi-slick tyres
- GT3 Euro: <=1999cc Euro cars with radial/semi-slick tyres
- GTK: 660cc Kei cars

Turbo and supercharged cars capacity are multiplied by 1.5 and rotaries are multiplied by 2 to make them easier to be classified and segregated.
As I've expected before, my Silver Queen will enter the GT2 class since it has stroker kits. Well, I don't have money to get some fresh slicks to bump myself into GT1 class :lol: As I've mentioned back then, you can enter this race either with 2 cars with 2 separate drivers, a car with 2 drivers driving on turns, or a single car with a single driver as I did.

[07 Oct 2019]
Paycheck time! Yet another V$940 lands into my pocket safely. This week I gotta put some focus on improving my physical conditions so I don't drop myself down in the middle of or after the endurance race. I mean, that's the reason a lot of race drivers train themselves so much. Okay, there are actually a lot of fat bois who race as well (just ask Tony Stewart or Enzo Ide. Bonus points for Ide since he's an endurance racing driver), but the focus here isn't over growing muscles, but rather than that it's all about increasing your stamina.

A bit of fun fact: Race drivers lost around 2-5 kg everytime they're in the car. That loss comes from not only the loss of fat but also the loss of body fluids (water, not blood, mind you). Obviously, this would affect their physical and mental conditions, particularly over concentration and physical power. At races under humid and hot conditions, such as races in South and Central America, as well as Southeast Asia and Australia, the loss can be even more severe.

That's why in several race series such as Formula 1, WEC, Super GT and DTM, drivers are supplied with a small tank (around the size of regular drinking bottle) of water or electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade, Lucozade or Pocari Sweat to keep drivers well-nutritioned during race sessions. You can try racing without them, but it's very dangerous and not recommended at all. Suffering from dehydration could make racers lost their concentration or severely exhausted after being drained of lots of energy. At worst case, they could suffer from dizziness or even fell unconscious while racing, which obviously you don't want to experience. Well, I don't, so thats why I should train myself just ike the pro racers does. I guess it's time to reduce the amount of number nines as well :lol:

Another fun fact: At one Australian Grand Prix round (can't remember what year it was), the temperature was quite hot even though the race was held near sunset. It was so hot it was enough to boil the water carried by racers. Mark Webber, the local hero and the 3rd place finisher that time complained that he got his tongue burnt from the water during the race, and later on he said he should've brewed a tea inside the water tank instead of carrying only water so he can enjoy the race better :lol:

[09 Oct 2019]
Day 3 of the endurance training regime and continuing my translation work. After finishing the work for the day and went through my training session, where I almost ran out of breathe, I received a phone call from Ohira-sensei.....who has never called me before, usually it's the other way around. Ohira-sensei is the owner of the Summer Yume garage, where I finished the first half of the Silver Queen's mod list, as well as learning on how to work on my car and successfully transformed me from someone who has never held a spanner in their whole lifetime to someone who can work on their car pretty quickly. Though in my case, I still prone to injure myself while working. Ohira-sensei isn't a teacher as I've pointed out, but I still call him sensei anyways since he taught me a lot of things.

You can read my first meeting with Ohira-sensei here and discover his background story here, but the short story is he's a Mitsubishi specialist, in particular classic Mitsubishis, though he doesn't mind working on other brands of cars. Ohira-sensei and his wife built and found the garage shop to honor the dreams of their friend, Eikiji-san, who died in a highway run accident before he found the garage shop. He explained his dreams of owning his own garage shop to Ohira-sensei at one fine day in the summer back then, hence the garage is called Summer Yume. Ohira-sensei himself used to be a touge racer himself, unexpectedly winning races inside his Galant VR-4 which he still drives until today.

At the moment his crew consist of himself, Nato, Goro, Mishima, Kei and Yuuta. They also had another crew member, Gary, but he later on graduated from university and moved on to work on a local rally team based near Gunma. Sometimes Ohira-sensei's wife, Minami-san can be seen in the garage as well whenever she's not busy teaching at a local kindergarten.

"Hello Edo-kun, I hope I don't disturb you in this peaceful evening"
"Oh Ohira-sensei, good evening! It's a bit unusual for you to call me"
"I know I know, it's usually the other way around" *chuckles*
"Exactly sensei. Anyways, anything I can help for you?"
"Ah, just a small thing really. Do you have any free time this week?"
"Um, I'm pretty much free all the time I think. Though at Monday I'll attend an endurance race-"
"So it's actually true, you're racing regularly now"
"Correct, sensei, how did you know that?"
"Well you and your Evo has been discussed regularly by the Mitsubishi community here. They were praising your performance"
"I'm quite elated to hear that sensei"
"Also, Goro, Kei and Yuuta has spotted you racing at times"
"Really? I've never seen them though!"
*laughter* anyways, come to my place whenever you got free time, could you? I have some things I'd like to talk over with you"
"I think I could come there at Friday noon, is that okay sensei?"
"It's all okay I say"
"Oh, I think I've got some things to talk about as well, sensei, I'll save that for Friday"
"Oh nice. Anyways, I'll go back to work. See you at Friday, young man"
"See you, sensei"


I wonder what's in the mind of Ohira-sensei at the moment? Well, I can only find it out in the next two days.

[11 Oct 2019]
After having my usual modest lunch of instant ramen, I went off to Summer Yume garage in my Silver Queen. The sky was blanketed with thick, dark coulds, in the brink of a possibility of storm or even Typhoon coming into Japan shores for the week. Everybody has started to anticipate this moment, since the severity of the storm can't be predicted yet at this point. Well, I gotta start mine soon I should say.

Later that day I arrived at Summer Yume garage. As usual, Goro directed me to go inside the garage properly, and he decided to direct me to park my Silver Queen near two things: Ohira-sensei's Galant........and a Mirage I've never seen before, lurking at one of their working bays. Judging from the sponsor stickers, as well the garage's insignia, I could tell this is their new toy, but what for?
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After I stepped off my Silver Queen, Ohira-sensei welcomed me while handing me a warm cup of green tea. And then, rain starts pouring outside the garage.

"How's it going young man?" *hands the green tea, as thunder growls over the skies*
*receives the green tea* "I've never feel this much better after everything I've went through all this year"
"You've turned into a race driver, we know that"
"Yes, but that's not only it. I've made a lot of friends as well! And oh, one of them has a TME as well"
"TME you say?"
"Yeah, here. It's in America, owned by my friends." *shows him a pic of @Benny and @Lagano's TME*
"That looks great! And not in red as well!"
"Ah sensei, your Galant looks sprightly as ever," *sips green tea* "But what's that Mirage doing over there?"
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"Ah, I see you've seen the Mirage. We've just bought it some time ago, sadly it's not the Cyborg model but no matter. We hadve a solution for this"
"And what is that solution, sensei?"
*sips his green tea* "This thing is the 4G92 variant. At this point you should know what we replaced it with"
"......is that what I think it is? 4G63?"
"Absolutely!"
"That's awesome!"
"I know you'll like it. This one though, is naturally aspirated and FWD. We'd like to retain the character like the original ones"
"I can understand that. Anyways, what are you going to use it for?"
"Time attack racing, just like what you do usually."
"Ah, I see, but who's going to be the driver?"
"You, of course! And Yuuta-kun"
"Yuuta?" *Yuuta responded with "Oh yeah that's right aniki!"*
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"So here's the plan: You'll drive for us where it's possible for a driver to be employed in different class"
"So....like, Attack series and the likes?"
"Exactly! Your duty depends on that mostly. Whenever you can't, Yuuta will fill your position instead"
"Ah, seems plausible, good idea for me."
"You and Yuuta will also responsible to test the car when we can call you. All you had to do is come if you could"
"Okay, quite reasonable. Speaking of which, which class are you going to enter with the Mirage?"
"Somewhere in the lines of Radial or Second Class. In Attack Ebisu Nishi that would be NA class"
"My Evo might enter either Second or Real Tuning class, so I could enter Radial or NA class"
"Nice! We'll pay you on per race and test basis. Don't worry, you'll start racing competitively next year, there's a lot of things to do at the moment"
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Speaking of which, Ohira-sensei's plans makes sense actually. Often some drivers are employed by the same or even different team to run in different classes of a time attack event. A good example is Nobuteru Taniguchi (yes, that Nob Taniguchi). For Attack Tsukuba events, he usually contracted with Garage G-Force to run with their absolutely bewinged Evo IX (though it's still nothing compared to Escort Racing's Evo IX) in the Turbo class, as well as contracted with ASSIST to run their BMW M4 in the Second class. Pretty sweet deal, don't you think? Double the payment, double the track time, and double the experience as well! ;)

After having some banters with Ohira-sensei for a while, I moved on to talk some stuff with Yuuta.

"Since when you've got the skills to drive, eh boi?"
"I've completed my racing license tutorial at summer! Look!" *shows me his racing license*
"Now that's how you spend summer!" *pats his back* "Looking forward to see you drive it!"
"Thank you so much aniki!"
"Ah, how much power this thing has?"
"Um, around 200 BHP aniki. That's how far we can push it so far"
"Quite makes sense since this isn't turbocharged. Amazing figures I should say"
"I think I could say so as well"
"With a lot of weight reduction so far as I can see, I'd like to have my hands on the Mirage soon"
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As you can see, they got sponsorship from SSR and Toda to back them up. The rain becomes even more intense, so I decided to stay in the garage for a while.

Goro said originally they want to start with an Evo IV or an Evo IX estate (because there's a team who fielded an Impreza GF8 estate in Attack Tsukuba) to start their effort. But because they want to learn for a while before fielding AWD cars and because they wanted to cut costs even further, they decided to start from the bottom of the ladder by getting a Mirage instead and experimenting with it. "The Evo IV could wait for another 6 to 12 months, and come to think of it, the IX estate might be too boxy to run after all," Goro added. As for the test plans, they plan to test the Mirage at Tsukuba, Nikko, Ebisu Nishi and.....Tsukuba Fruits Line touge. Yup, fortunately this thing is still street legal.
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Later on, I talked about my plans to switch from Evo III to Evo V. Despite the initial shock from Kei, Yuuta and Ohira-sensei, eventually Ohira-sensei and Kei approved of the plan, seeing as originally the were going to run an Evo IV as Goro said, and after all it's an upgrade over Evo III. This way they can do an early research for their future contender.

As the rain starts to dissipates and eventually we ran out of green tea, I decided to go back home before anything worse happens that day. Thankfully Ohira-sensei could understand this. His main purpose to summon me to his garage has been fullfilled after all. And more importantly, I've got his and his crew's insights over the switch plans. For now, though, here's hoping the weather would be friendly for Sunday.
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With the update over, let's check how much I've got in my wallet at the moment:
► Show Spoiler








That's all my updates for now, thank you for stopping by and see you soon!
Last edited by BigSmoke on 12 Oct 2019 20:49, edited 1 time in total.
Still following the damn train since 1992

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Niatross
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Joined: 01 Oct 2019 17:47
Location: Tokyo, Japan

12 Oct 2019 20:48

Thats a nice little gathering of boats y'all had there :lol:
And ohira-senseis garage is basically a mitsubishi haven
Would love to take a trip there ngl

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NotPerfect
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Posts: 113
Joined: 24 Sep 2019 21:59
Location: Japan, Utsunomiya

12 Oct 2019 20:57

UwU that's a big chunk of update , damn another e36 just as i get one lmfao every single time, a very nice meet damn, a time attack colt/mirage? Is this an invite for me? Also a galant? uwu
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r o l e p l a y

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Nightkid
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Joined: 24 Sep 2019 13:43
Location: Gunma, Japan

12 Oct 2019 22:41

god damn i don´t know what it is but there´s something really special
about the Merc B O A T that i can´t even explain .
But anyways , your Evo looks AWESOME and congrats on the ohira-senseis garage visit ! :)
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FranklinAnderson
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13 Oct 2019 00:41

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO boi
YOU ARE GETTING AN EVO 5?! Damn dudeeeeeeeeeee, I'm too excited to see it in the biggie fleet! lol
Also, good driving student, and she learned in the HR!
And your new experience with your new crew and the incoming season with da mirage will be great!
I'm rootin' for you, keep it up boyo!
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Benny
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13 Oct 2019 02:44

Oooh an Lan Evo V, nice this will spice the comp up a notch.
That was a nice meet.

Keep it up boiiiii
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Annyeong-bruh-saeyo
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13 Oct 2019 03:26

BigSmoke wrote:
12 Oct 2019 20:34
The Reunion













Finally it's time for another update! Hot damn everybody's updating quickly these days :lol:
This time, let's see if my car can be a learning tool....to drive of course. And also, a comparison between Euro and Japanese sedans!
And finally I also got to visit someone I haven't seen for so long as well!
Let's see how all of them unfolds by jumping into the update! :D
NOTE: It's highly suggested to read my older updates, as there are a lot of character here coming from there












[03 Oct 2019]
The winds of autumn has hit quite hard these days, requiring people to wear their jackets more frequently, though not as often as winter does. What about me? It's not really a problem, I wear my hoodie almost everytime, except at summer when it's blazing hot. I don't want to accidentally bake or even roast myself under the glaring sun :lol: Anyways, between the time of my re-intro and this update, I continued working on various documents to be translated as I continue to save money to continue upgrading the S15 as well as to grab myself an Evo V. "Hang on Smoke you already got an Evo III, what's the Evo V for?"

If you haven't followed me at the last moments of the old forum, I should say it's been a fun and amazing times with the Evo III as I explored this world and made a lot of amazing friends thanks to it, but sadly, I think the time's running out soon for the SIlver Queen. Yes, I plan to buy the Evo V as refreshment. But that's not all, the Evo V will be raced as well just like the Evo III, don't worry. I feel like the Evo V has more potential to be developed and deployed over Evo III, which at least in my opinion has reached it's maximum potential and possibly has been tired from all the power it contained. It can only receive so much, after all. And no, despite the emerging memes surrounding it, I'm not going to buy a yellow Evo V :lol:

Technically speaking, The Evo V shares the same platform with the Evo IV and VI, which was significant update from the first platform used by Evo I, II and III. This means most of the parts for Evo IV to VI are interchangeable. The Evo IV itself was a vast improvement over the Evo III, and the Evo V was a huge upgrade over Evo IV. The Evo VI? It's simply an Evo V being perfected a bit more. The improvements the Evo V has over Evo III and Evo IV includes but not limited to wider track width, bigger brakes, better and stronger engine internals and, for the first time in Evo history, adjsutable aero. These two last bits are what particularly made me interesed. And oh, since the Evo IV to Evo IX shares the same engine and transmission assembly, this means almost everything from Evo IV to Evo IX are interchangeable.

From the economical side, used Evo V price are ridiculously cheap. Evo IV prices are even cheaper, but that's kinda explainable since Evo IV is arguably the second least-favourite Evo among all Evos, only being slightly better than Evo VII. I'm not really sure why, but I guess I'll just let our resident Human Lan Evo @topy explains about it some time. He's not here yet i the RP forums at the moment, but when he does, he'll show you his mad, on-progress Evo X build as well as his current daily whips, an S15 and a Mustang 302. Meanwhile, Evo VI prices has been skyrocketed thanks to the fame of the TME model. A lot of car collectors resorted to buy the non-TME Evo VI when they failed to grab themselves the TME ones.

Historically speaking, the Evo III, IV, V and VI are the cars that yielded Mitsubishi WRC driver titles four times in a row from 1996 to 1999, in the hands of the legendary Tommi Makkinen. Between all these driver titles, only at 1998 Mitsubishi secured both the driver and manufacturer titles. If you're wondering, Subaru won the 1996 and 1997 manufacturers title, and Toyota won the 1999 title. The 1998 title fight was one of the fan-favourites as it was ended in a spectacular fashion. The title almost never happened to Tommi and Mitsubishi after Tommi crashed at the opening day of the final rally of the year, Wales Rally GB. Tommi's rival, Carlos Sainz Sr. was almost certain to become the world champion that weekend, but at the final day, disaster struck upon Sainz: His car broke down at the final stage, 300 meters from the finish line. Tommi, who was going to catch a plane home, was called by Mitsubishi crew and informed about that mishap. Here are some pics of the rally, where Tommi broke his Evo and Sainz stranded near the finish line.
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Right, enough talking about Evos for now. I finished working on all translations later that day as the sun was going to set. Whilst having a quick rest I received a call from Ryuji. It's been a while since he called me last time, I wonder what's going on?

"Hello Edo-kun, Ryuji here"
"Ah hey Ryuji-san, good evening. It's been a while, anything I can help?"
"Been a while since I called you indeed. Ah I wonder if you have anything to do this weekend?"
"Virtually none, only have to send my works to Tsukuba uni as usual and that's it"
"Oh perfect timing! Um, other than the Evo, do you got any RHD cars?"
"Well yes I do, but why not the Evo?"
"Let's get straight to the point shall we?"
"Okay go on"
"I want to teach my sister to drive but uhh, I'm afraid she'll be confused if I use my E36 Compact"
"Aaaah I see, classic non-petrolhead problem. Okay okay I'll help Ryoko-chan as well"
"Oh yah one more thing, what car is it?"
"HR34, circa 200 BHP. Should be slow enough to learn in"
"I think she'll be okay with that. So, tomorrow at the usual spot?"
"Tomorrow at the usual spot, yup. I'll be there after lunch"
"Great, see you tomorrow then"
"See you tomorrow Ryuji-san"


Welp, about time I should say! It's time for Ryoko, Ryuji's little sister to experience the freedom of driving indeed. Speaking of which, the decline in car sales amongst youth markets upsets just about everyone, including obviously the auto industry themselves. Sure, the public transportation in Japan are brilliant, but the youths these days are missing quite a lot. The freedom of driving, in my opinion is what everyone should experience. Yes, city driving is plain mundane for most but that's because there isn't much to do. But countryside driving, backcountry exploration, touge runs, highway runs, track days.......now that's how you enjoy driving properly.

Once you're going behind the wheels, you thoughts starts to flow quickly, and stimulated better than usual. You'll think about.....just about everything, from your current condition and predicament up to the meaning and purpose of the universe itself. It's a joyous feeling that we can't express properly, because it's just like love. We can't describe love perfectly in words, we have to experience it by ourselves in order to understand it.

At this point I have to stop being poetic and sentimental because I received yet another call, this time from Rantaro. We haven't met since summer and recently he imported a Merc W140.....I wonder if it's finished?

"Yooooo Edo-kun, it's ya boi Rantaro"
"Ah hey Rantaro, been a while man! Summer must've been fun to you, yeah?"
"Absolutely! Remember the Merc I bought some time ago?"
"Oh yeah yeah, I do. How's it going with that Merc?"
"It's finished and ready to roll! Man I'm eager to show it to you"
"Niiiice! Hey tell me, you got anything to do tomorrow?"
"I don't think so, only a quick meeting at morning"
"Perfect! Let's meet up at the usual spot shall we? I wanna see the Merc! Ryuji will be there as well"
"Great idea! And you're right.....gotta flex this to Ryuji as well" *laughter*
"Eh speaking of Ryuji, he got a new car as well"
"What is it?"
"E36 Compact"
"Not really what I expected but still, this I have to see. Anyways, see ya tomorrow boi"
"See ya"


Well, Rantaro has gone quite a long way, from someone driving a Mark II disguised as a classic Merc, to finally importing and driving a proper Merc. And to top that, it's a W140 S-Class as well! He's ready to live the 90's luxury life :lol: And oh, this Merc is also famous in the Initial D fandom for all the wrong reasons :lol: I wonder if he can attract high schoolers just like when he did with the Mark II?

Later that day, I packed up everything I'm going to carry to Tsukuba University and went to sleep. Oh yah, the usual spot I talked about with Ryuji and Rantaro is the souther parking lot of the uni. It's not so crowded there usually and actually quite cool, so perfect for small to large car meets. The last time I had a car meet there, it was huge and amazing.

[04 Oct 2019]
I woke up rather late that day, so I decided to have lunch at the uni's cafetaria instead of cooking one for myself at home. Thankfully though I wasn't severely late I still have time to get a shower and wear proper dress to meet one of my customers for the day, Kitagara-sensei. Kitagara-sensei is a history lecturer in the uni, and also an avid petrolhead, having an AE86 Levin Nothcback as a daily. He's quite a wise man and I really love to talk with him whilst working. And he's also a touge runner back in his youth, and also regularly attends the AE86 Festival in Tsukuba as well.

Later that day I arrived at the uni parking lot, and I spotted Kitagara-sensei's AE86................
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.......and I also spotted a Crown S170 I've never seen before. I wonder who owns it? Perhaps Kitagara-sensei knows?
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I decided to park my HR34 a bit close to the Crown so I could check it for a while, as well as took some photos of it and the AE86. From what I can see so far it rides on Work Emitz wheels, has a cutom leather front seats, and it's either riding on airbags or very low coilovers. Engine-wise I'm not really sure, it's probably a 1JZ with some mods. After taking these pics I went to Kitagara-sensei's office room.
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Inside the office, we have some talks as he inspect my works.

"Incredible job as usual, well done. Here's the documents for next month, you can start anytime" *hands me a bundle of documents*
"receives document* "Thank you very much sensei, is there anything else? Soft copies perhaps?"
"Ah yes, soft copies will be delivered via email"
"Alright sensei, I'll start after I receive the email. Um, excuse me sensei, a question"
"Go ahead, what is it?"
"Are you going to the AE86 Festival at Nikko?" *shows the event page on phone*
"Hmmm, I'm not really sure, are you going there?"
"I don't think I will, sensei. After all I don't have an AE86 yet"
"Ah, it's okay. I think I'll have you along at the AE86 Festival at Tsukuba Circuit"
"Oh, really? That's so kind of you sensei, thank you so much. And oh, another question"
"Yes?"
"I saw a red Crown at the parking lot today......I wonder if you know who drives it?"
"A red Crown......ah, should be Miyuki-san from law faculty. A lecturer as well."
"Ah, I see. Any chances I can meet him? I'd like to know more about his car."
"Let's go to the cafetaria shall we? I'd like some coffee and I think we can meet him there"
"Sure sensei, I haven't actually had a meal yet"

And so, we walked to the cafetaria. Later at the cafetaria we met with Ryoko and, to my luck, Miyuki-sensei. After Kitagara-sensei introduced me to Miyuki-sensei, we sat together as we enjoyed various snacks and drinks. I myself had a plate of chicken curry and a can of UCC coffee. Miyuki-sensei is in his mid-40s, and is a huge fan of VIP modification style, hence he bought a Crown and lowered it. Aside from being a lecturer, he's also an attorney, serving various clients around Tokyo and Tsukuba. Which law firm he worked on though isn't so clear, probably not the same as either Sera or Adrianne(@RocketBunnyS13). And oh, because he studied and researched over international law systems, his English is actually very good, and he also understands German, French and Dutch.

Later that day we went back to the parking lot. Kitagara-sensei had a matter to be done, so sadly he can't stay with us for the remainder of the day.
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To spend the time while waiting for Rantaro and Ryuji, I decided to have some talk with Miyuki-sensei.

"Ah, sensei, can I ask something or two about your Crown?"
"Ah, sure, go ahead. It looks like you took a liking on it, and I appreciate that"
"Ah sure sensei, thank you. Is it riding on airbags or on coilovers."
"Coilovers. It's running on 326Power Chakurikis to be exact."
"Awesome! I thought the Crown runs on airbag seeing it sits so low. How about the engine? Is it still 1JZ?"
"Close enough, I've changed it to 2JZ."
"GE or GTE sensei?"
"GE plus turbo. Guess how much power it produces."
"400? 500?"
"Quite close, it's 600. Sometimes I do highway runs as well, also useful for emergency runs as well!"
"That's amazing! Lots of my friends are highway runners but I've never seen something unusual as this"
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"Ah yes Edo-kun, Kitagara-san said you have an Evo, so why did you brought this R34 sedan today?"
"Ah, Ryoko-san's brother told me to bring it here, sensei. He wants to teach her how to drive"
"Right here, right now?"
"Uh, yes sensei, that was our agreement"
"Ah, I see. I'd like to see things unfold later"
"Ah, one more question sensei, what else has been done to the car?"
"Brakes, they're now a set of Project Mu brakes, and I also modded the audio system. You want to check them?"
"Oh sure sensei, that's quite kind of you"

I, Miyuki-sensei and Ryoko enters the Crown and Miyuki-sensei proceeds to showcase his audio system, as well as his music collection. Turns out he has similar music taste to mine! He kicked off the showcase by playing Bach's Air on G String composition. Next up he played Meiko Nakahara's 'Fantasy', which coincidentally also my recent favourite. Then Miyuki-sensei capped it off with Kraftwerk's new rendition of 'Dentaku'. The audio system feels amazing, it's just as if I attended a concert directly at a theatre.
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Sometime later, finally Rantaro arrived in his brand new Merc. It looks like a classic yacht arriving to a boat pier, so amazing! I had to get off Miyuki-sensei's Crown and screamed "WOOOOOOOOOOH!" upon seeing the Merc. "Ah senpai look, that car's huge!" remarked Ryoko in surprised voice. Then Rantaro lowered his window as he throws a smug face towards us :lol:
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Rantaro then decided to park between my HR34 and Miyuki-sensei's Crown. After introducing Miyuki-sensei to him, Rantaro seemed eager to flex his Merc upon me :lol:

"What do you think, eh boi?"
"This is amazing! Pure luxury vibes! You can roll along Tokyo at night with style with this!"
"Ha I know you'll like it! It's quite comfy as well and look, wooden trim!"
"Yeeees now this is 90s Euro car at it's best! As for the wheels.....what are those?"
"SSR Vienna Kreiss. And yup, they're lowered."
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Rantaro then continued, saying that this one is the 300SE model, which means it's equipped with 3 liter inline 6 petrol engine. Rantaro was actually split between keeping the original engine on or swapping it for something else. Miyuki-sensei opposed against it though, since there are so many electrical assembly and sensors inside the Merc.

The influence of the Merc's styling, interestingly, can be felt on the Crown.....or is it just me? They're looking smilar and as far as I know, competed in the same market segment in several countries where both are sold. Well yes, the Merc looks tidier and if you opted for the V12 engine, much more luxurious with the additional of rear central console and TV. I guess you can opt for champagne holder as well! But here, the comparison can be done in fairer terms. Nevertheless, back then people always wanted a Merc, but some opted for the Crown or something else since they're slightly cheaper. The experience though, are different surely.

The Crown, W140 and HR34 looks like a set of yacht docking at a boat pier I should say.......cue up the 'What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor'(otherwise better known as 1700s Sea Shanties) composition shall we? :lol:
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"It's quite huge to me, is it difficult to drive, senpai?" Ryoko asked to Rantaro in curiosity. "It's not so hard if you could drive it. All you had to do is remember the width and length of your car." Rantaro answered in confidence, half-unaware that Ryoko can't drive properly yet. Obviously Ryoko answered, "How do I do that?"
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At this point finally Ryuji arrived with his E36 Compact. I and Ryoko sighed a breathe of relief, while Rantaro remarked "Hey that's actually nice!". Ryuji parked his E36 Compact on the opposite side of the parking lot.
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As we shared brofists with Ryuji and introduced Ryuji to Miyuki-sensei, another vehicle arrived. This time, a Suzuki GSX-1000R with its rider on full leather suit, rucksack and full face helmet. At first I was trying to figure out who is this rider, but eventually I figured out as he parked beside Ryuji's E36: It's another of my friends, Kenichi! But why is he riding a Suzuki instead of his usual Honda Grom?
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"Oi Kenichi! Great to see you man, but where's your Grom?"
"Yoooo everybody's here!" *fistbumps and brohugs ensues* "You see, the Grom is under maintenance, so I have to borrow this"
"But dang man, what a ride you're bringing today! Much faster than usual!" *chuckle*
"Admittably, yeah. I miss that sense of speed, you know"
"Ain't your back got tired with that rucksack though?"
"Not really, I didn't bring much"
"Oh yah, now that everyone's here, I remembered something........"

Then I explained my plans to enter the K-1 Sports Tsukuba 50 Minute endurance race at October 14th, as well as my need for a small crew for the day. Thankfully, turns out everyone can make it at the race day. Ryuji is particularly eager to help, since it's been a while since we're on the Tsukuba Circuit together. Even Ryoko want to join the fun as well! Sadly though we might not be able to go with Ryuji's friend, Genzo, since he's a bit busy lately due to his father fell ill some time ago. But it's okay though, I think I've got enough people on my side.

With the endurance crew problem sorted, and Kenichi heading to the uni to deliver his translations, we moved on to the second schedule of the day: Teaching Ryoko how to drive. I handed the HR34 keys to Ryuji, guided Ryuji to exit the parking lot and decided to have some banters with Rantaro and Miyuki-sensei as we watch Ryoko swap seats with Ryuji and keeping up with Ryuji's method of tutoring.
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Eventually after multiple times stalling my HR34, Ryoko got it going slowly. Now I'm not really worried about the clutch, since it's relatively fresh since I don't use it so often compared to my Silver Queen. What I worry a bit is simply Ryoko not getting used to it since I set the clutch pedal a bit hard. Nevertheless, watching Ryuji and Ryoko tiptoeing around the parking lot reminds me of myself back when I learn how to drive my family's car back home.
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The good mood was slightly offset when Ryoko stalled the car again when Ryoko stalled the car again as she tried to do a full stop. Rantaro and Miyuki-sensei laughed quite loud, while I can only shake my head in light dissappointment, and shouted "Come on, try again! Don't worry about the car!" to raise her confidence. Eventually she did it!
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And I guess Ryoko had a shared penchant of going into speed just like her brother. Sometimes I can see the HR34 lurching into speed as Ryoko drives it in 2nd gear, sometimes she forgot to balance the accelerator and clutch in the middle of corners.......I wonder if Ryuji teached her heel and toe already? :lol: There's also this when Ryoko tried to do a U-turn. It looks like she failed to balance the pedals while turning again, causing her to accidentally floor the accelerator, and release it to yet another stall. I can only imagine Ryoko panicking inside........ :lol:
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Finally, after a while, it looks like Ryoko got the hang of driving, though understandably, she had a bit of difficulty while parking. At least she didin't mow the pavement with my HR34...... :lol: I applauded her as she gets off the car.
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Ryoko's training though didn't stop there. This time, after a bit of resting, it's my turn to get inside my HR34 with her. My job is simple: Be a backseat driver (and yup, I have to actually sit on the back row) and monitor her as she recall all the tutorials taught by Ryuji, while occassionally jog her mind over all the the tutorials. In Ryuji's opinion the one who can deduce if a driver drives well in general are their passengers, particularly those who sits behind them. I actually agree with this, since a lot of road sickness are caused by drivers who aren't driving smoothly.

And so, Ryoko slowly gets off the lot again and started going around as she recalls all the tutorials given to her. To ease her mind and make her relax a bit, as well to motivate her and sway her mind a bit off concentration (Because come on, who didn't choose to have a banter with the driver when they drive together?), I decided to talk about my times back then when I still learn how to drive. Ryoko actually responds enthusiastically ("So it only took you a week to learn senpai? That's brilliant!"), to the point she almost crashed my HR34 as we have a great banter ("Watch the road next time!"-"I-I'm sorry senpai!"-"It's okay, let's continue shall we?") :lol: Eventually she could drive it smoothly, I could enjoy the ride while laying my back all over the rear seat.
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As the day passes and the sun starts to set, finally Ryoko parked the HR34 again and ended the training session. I praised Ryoko's pace of learning to Ryuji ("She's a quick learner I should say, I didn't expect that"), who clearly was quite happy with the result. Rantaro and Miyuki-sensei looks pleased as well, seeing Ryoko learn as well as having a very long banter with Rantaro. And secretly they have another cans of coffee without me :lol: thankfully Rantaro still got a can left, which he tosses upon me. I really need one after a very loooong day. Before Rantaro and Miyuki-sensei left, I took some more pics of their rides.
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Before I, Ryuji and Ryoko left, I proposed a final test for Ryoko: Drive me home as I guided her through traffic. Ryuji seems amused with this idea and Ryoko reluctantly agrees this. Well, at this point I felt a bit bad to her :lol: but the again, all the tutorials she received for the day will vanish quickly if she didn't practice it in the streets.

Other than some stalls at traffic lights (cue Ryoko panicking again over starting the car: "SENPAI IT'S DYING!"-"Calm down calm down!") and we accidentally holding back some traffic, the trip back home actually went very smooth and well. And as the sun sets, we finally arrived at my crib. After some time of resting while sipping warm earl grey tea and Ryoko adoring my model kit, figure and medal collections, finally Ryuji and Ryoko thanked me for assisting them with the driving tutorials and went back to their home in Tsukubamirai. I guess it's only a matter of time before Ryoko got her own personal car......I guess she can't really stand being inside either Ryuji's E46 M3 or E36 Compact anymore :lol:
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[06 Oct 2019]
At this point the S15 stock parts I've listed in the old forums has been sold for a grand total of V$2000. Here's the rundown:
- S15 stock front bumper, V$300
- S15 stock rear bumper, V$300
- S15 stock front fenders set, V$150
- S15 stock bonnet, V$200
- S15 stock side skirts set, V$150
- S15 stock side mirrors, V$100
- S15 stock steering wheel, V$100
- MS13 stock brakes and handbrake drum set, V$ 500
- MS13 stock springs set, V$200
Since I've earned some cash for my wallet, I think it's the right time to register for the endurance race. The race registration costed me V$380 after I completed all the papers and data needed to register into the race. And oh, speaking of the race itself, the format for the day would be 2x10 minute of qualifying, followed by, obviously, 50 minutes of racing. The event will split entrants into five classes:
- GT1: >=2000cc cars with slick/competition tyres
- GT2: 1400-1999cc cars with slick/competition tyres, or >=2000cc cars with radial/semi-slick tyres
- GT3: <1400cc cars with slick/competition tyres, or 661-1999cc Asian cars with radial/semi-slick tyres
- GT3 Euro: <=1999cc Euro cars with radial/semi-slick tyres
- GTK: 660cc Kei cars

Turbo and supercharged cars capacity are multiplied by 1.5 and rotaries are multiplied by 2 to make them easier to be classified and segregated.
As I've expected before, my Silver Queen will enter the GT2 class since it has stroker kits. Well, I don't have money to get some fresh slicks to bump myself into GT1 class :lol: As I've mentioned back then, you can enter this race either with 2 cars with 2 separate drivers, a car with 2 drivers driving on turns, or a single car with a single driver as I did.

[07 Oct 2019]
Paycheck time! Yet another V$940 lands into my pocket safely. This week I gotta put some focus on improving my physical conditions so I don't drop myself down in the middle of or after the endurance race. I mean, that's the reason a lot of race drivers train themselves so much. Okay, there are actually a lot of fat bois who race as well (just ask Tony Stewart or Enzo Ide. Bonus points for Ide since he's an endurance racing driver), but the focus here isn't over growing muscles, but rather than that it's all about increasing your stamina.

A bit of fun fact: Race drivers lost around 2-5 kg everytime they're in the car. That loss comes from not only the loss of fat but also the loss of body fluids (water, not blood, mind you). Obviously, this would affect their physical and mental conditions, particularly over concentration and physical power. At races under humid and hot conditions, such as races in South and Central America, as well as Southeast Asia and Australia, the loss can be even more severe.

That's why in several race series such as Formula 1, WEC, Super GT and DTM, drivers are supplied with a small tank (around the size of regular drinking bottle) of water or electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade, Lucozade or Pocari Sweat to keep drivers well-nutritioned during race sessions. You can try racing without them, but it's very dangerous and not recommended at all. Suffering from dehydration could make racers lost their concentration or severely exhausted after being drained of lots of energy. At worst case, they could suffer from dizziness or even fell unconscious while racing, which obviously you don't want to experience. Well, I don't, so thats why I should train myself just ike the pro racers does. I guess it's time to reduce the amount of number nines as well :lol:

Another fun fact: At one Australian Grand Prix round (can't remember what year it was), the temperature was quite hot even though the race was held near sunset. It was so hot it was enough to boil the water carried by racers. Mark Webber, the local hero and the 3rd place finisher that time complained that he got his tongue burnt from the water during the race, and later on he said he should've brewed a tea inside the water tank instead of carrying only water so he can enjoy the race better :lol:

[09 Oct 2019]
Day 3 of the endurance training regime and continuing my translation work. After finishing the work for the day and went through my training session, where I almost ran out of breathe, I received a phone call from Ohira-sensei.....who has never called me before, usually it's the other way around. Ohira-sensei is the owner of the Summer Yume garage, where I finished the first half of the Silver Queen's mod list, as well as learning on how to work on my car and successfully transformed me from someone who has never held a spanner in their whole lifetime to someone who can work on their car pretty quickly. Though in my case, I still prone to injure myself while working. Ohira-sensei isn't a teacher as I've pointed out, but I still call him sensei anyways since he taught me a lot of things.

You can read my first meeting with Ohira-sensei here and discover his background story here, but the short story is he's a Mitsubishi specialist, in particular classic Mitsubishis, though he doesn't mind working on other brands of cars. Ohira-sensei and his wife built and found the garage shop to honor the dreams of their friend, Eikiji-san, who died in a highway run accident before he found the garage shop. He explained his dreams of owning his own garage shop to Ohira-sensei at one fine day in the summer back then, hence the garage is called Summer Yume. Ohira-sensei himself used to be a touge racer himself, unexpectedly winning races inside his Galant VR-4 which he still drives until today.

At the moment his crew consist of himself, Nato, Goro, Mishima, Kei and Yuuta. They also had another crew member, Gary, but he later on graduated from university and moved on to work on a local rally team based near Gunma. Sometimes Ohira-sensei's wife, Minami-san can be seen in the garage as well whenever she's not busy teaching at a local kindergarten.

"Hello Edo-kun, I hope I don't disturb you in this peaceful evening"
"Oh Ohira-sensei, good evening! It's a bit unusual for you to call me"
"I know I know, it's usually the other way around" *chuckles*
"Exactly sensei. Anyways, anything I can help for you?"
"Ah, just a small thing really. Do you have any free time this week?"
"Um, I'm pretty much free all the time I think. Though at Monday I'll attend an endurance race-"
"So it's actually true, you're racing regularly now"
"Correct, sensei, how did you know that?"
"Well you and your Evo has been discussed regularly by the Mitsubishi community here. They were praising your performance"
"I'm quite elated to hear that sensei"
"Also, Goro, Kei and Yuuta has spotted you racing at times"
"Really? I've never seen them though!"
*laughter* anyways, come to my place whenever you got free time, could you? I have some things I'd like to talk over with you"
"I think I could come there at Friday noon, is that okay sensei?"
"It's all okay I say"
"Oh, I think I've got some things to talk about as well, sensei, I'll save that for Friday"
"Oh nice. Anyways, I'll go back to work. See you at Friday, young man"
"See you, sensei"


I wonder what's in the mind of Ohira-sensei at the moment? Well, I can only find it out in the next two days.

[11 Oct 2019]
After having my usual modest lunch of instant ramen, I went off to Summer Yume garage in my Silver Queen. The sky was blanketed with thick, dark coulds, in the brink of a possibility of storm or even Typhoon coming into Japan shores for the week. Everybody has started to anticipate this moment, since the severity of the storm can't be predicted yet at this point. Well, I gotta start mine soon I should say.

Later that day I arrived at Summer Yume garage. As usual, Goro directed me to go inside the garage properly, and he decided to direct me to park my Silver Queen near two things: Ohira-sensei's Galant........and a Mirage I've never seen before, lurking at one of their working bays. Judging from the sponsor stickers, as well the garage's insignia, I could tell this is their new toy, but what for?
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After I stepped off my Silver Queen, Ohira-sensei welcomed me while handing me a warm cup of green tea. And then, rain starts pouring outside the garage.

"How's it going young man?" *hands the green tea, as thunder growls over the skies*
*receives the green tea* "I've never feel this much better after everything I've went through all this year"
"You've turned into a race driver, we know that"
"Yes, but that's not only it. I've made a lot of friends as well! And oh, one of them has a TME as well"
"TME you say?"
"Yeah, here. It's in America, owned by my friends." *shows him a pic of @Benny and @Lagano's TME*
"That looks great! And not in red as well!"
"Ah sensei, your Galant looks sprightly as ever," *sips green tea* "But what's that Mirage doing over there?"
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"Ah, I see you've seen the Mirage. We've just bought it some time ago, sadly it's not the Cyborg model but no matter. We hadve a solution for this"
"And what is that solution, sensei?"
*sips his green tea* "This thing is the 4G92 variant. At this point you should know what we replaced it with"
"......is that what I think it is? 4G63?"
"Absolutely!"
"That's awesome!"
"I know you'll like it. This one though, is naturally aspirated and FWD. We'd like to retain the character like the original ones"
"I can understand that. Anyways, what are you going to use it for?"
"Time attack racing, just like what you do usually."
"Ah, I see, but who's going to be the driver?"
"You, of course! And Yuuta-kun"
"Yuuta?" *Yuuta responded with "Oh yeah that's right aniki!"*
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"So here's the plan: You'll drive for us where it's possible for a driver to be employed in different class"
"So....like, Attack series and the likes?"
"Exactly! Your duty depends on that mostly. Whenever you can't, Yuuta will fill your position instead"
"Ah, seems plausible, good idea for me."
"You and Yuuta will also responsible to test the car when we can call you. All you had to do is come if you could"
"Okay, quite reasonable. Speaking of which, which class are you going to enter with the Mirage?"
"Somewhere in the lines of Radial or Second Class. In Attack Ebisu Nishi that would be NA class"
"My Evo might enter either Second or Real Tuning class, so I could enter Radial or NA class"
"Nice! We'll pay you on per race and test basis. Don't worry, you'll start racing competitively next year, there's a lot of things to do at the moment"
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Speaking of which, Ohira-sensei's plans makes sense actually. Often some drivers are employed by the same or even different team to run in different classes of a time attack event. A good example is Nobuteru Taniguchi (yes, that Nob Taniguchi). For Attack Tsukuba events, he usually contracted with Garage G-Force to run with their absolutely bewinged Evo IX (though it's still nothing compared to Escort Racing's Evo IX) in the Turbo class, as well as contracted with ASSIST to run their BMW M4 in the Second class. Pretty sweet deal, don't you think? Double the payment, double the track time, and double the experience as well! ;)

After having some banters with Ohira-sensei for a while, I moved on to talk some stuff with Yuuta.

"Since when you've got the skills to drive, eh boi?"
"I've completed my racing license tutorial at summer! Look!" *shows me his racing license*
"Now that's how you spend summer!" *pats his back* "Looking forward to see you drive it!"
"Thank you so much aniki!"
"Ah, how much power this thing has?"
"Um, around 200 BHP aniki. That's how far we can push it so far"
"Quite makes sense since this isn't turbocharged. Amazing figures I should say"
"I think I could say so as well"
"With a lot of weight reduction so far as I can see, I'd like to have my hands on the Mirage soon"
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As you can see, they got sponsorship from SSR and Toda to back them up. The rain becomes even more intense, so I decided to stay in the garage for a while.

Goro said originally they want to start with an Evo IV or an Evo IX estate (because there's a team who fielded an Impreza GF8 estate in Attack Tsukuba) to start their effort. But because they want to learn for a while before fielding AWD cars and because they wanted to cut costs even further, they decided to start from the bottom of the ladder by getting a Mirage instead and experimenting with it. "The Evo IV could wait for another 6 to 12 months, and come to think of it, the IX estate might be too boxy to run after all," Goro added. As for the test plans, they plan to test the Mirage at Tsukuba, Nikko, Ebisu Nishi and.....Tsukuba Fruits Line touge. Yup, fortunately this thing is still street legal.
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Later on, I talked about my plans to switch from Evo III to Evo V. Despite the initial shock from Kei, Yuuta and Ohira-sensei, eventually Ohira-sensei and Kei approved of the plan, seeing as originally the were going to run an Evo IV as Goro said, and after all it's an upgrade over Evo III. This way they can do an early research for their future contender.

As the rain starts to dissipates and eventually we ran out of green tea, I decided to go back home before anything worse happens that day. Thankfully Ohira-sensei could understand this. His main purpose to summon me to his garage has been fullfilled after all. And more importantly, I've got his and his crew's insights over the switch plans. For now, though, here's hoping the weather would be friendly for Sunday.
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With the update over, let's check how much I've got in my wallet at the moment:
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That's all my updates for now, thank you for stopping by and see you soon!
Holy mother of tea! what an intresting story aaaaaaa. we could have a meet at ur Uni tho
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BigSmoke
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13 Oct 2019 10:32

Niatross wrote:
12 Oct 2019 20:48
Thats a nice little gathering of boats y'all had there :lol:
And ohira-senseis garage is basically a mitsubishi haven
Would love to take a trip there ngl
The boat pier is where the party becomes alive......except sadly this isn't Monaco :lol:

Having you and @topy hanging around at the Summer Yume garage is actually a great idea I should say :D
NotPerfect wrote:
12 Oct 2019 20:57
UwU that's a big chunk of update , damn another e36 just as i get one lmfao every single time, a very nice meet damn, a time attack colt/mirage? Is this an invite for me? Also a galant? uwu
As I've said in the very beginning, this is what my update regularly looks like: Thicc, just like the real Big Smoke and his number nines :lol:

That depends actually, but Ii think you can examine theirs as a benchmark for yours ;) Llooking forward to see yours again! :D
Nightkid wrote:
12 Oct 2019 22:41
god damn i don´t know what it is but there´s something really special
about the Merc B O A T that i can´t even explain .
But anyways , your Evo looks AWESOME and congrats on the ohira-senseis garage visit ! :)
Thanks a lot! ikr, the Merc looks majestic innit? ;)
FranklinAnderson wrote:
13 Oct 2019 00:41
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO boi
YOU ARE GETTING AN EVO 5?! Damn dudeeeeeeeeeee, I'm too excited to see it in the biggie fleet! lol
Also, good driving student, and she learned in the HR!
And your new experience with your new crew and the incoming season with da mirage will be great!
I'm rootin' for you, keep it up boyo!
YOOOOOO that's right my man, I'm looking forward to get an Evo V and upgrade it, though parting with my Silver Queen would be very, very hard :cry:
And of course I'm also looking forward to my double duty next season! ;)
Benny wrote:
13 Oct 2019 02:44
Oooh an Lan Evo V, nice this will spice the comp up a notch.
That was a nice meet.

Keep it up boiiiii
I know you'll support the Evo V switch, thanks bossman! :D
Annyeong-bruh-saeyo wrote:
13 Oct 2019 03:26
Holy mother of tea! what an intresting story aaaaaaa. we could have a meet at ur Uni tho
Oi you quoted the entire post! :lol:
I think we could meet up sometimes, probably in winter so we can meet with the bois as well :D
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Soju
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13 Oct 2019 18:02

Nice update as always! Teaching someone to drive is the hardest thing for sure :D
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BigSmoke
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14 Oct 2019 08:53

Soju wrote:
13 Oct 2019 18:02
Nice update as always! Teaching someone to drive is the hardest thing for sure :D
Thanks my man! It was quite difficult at first but eventually I and Ryuji got the hang of it! :D
alex876 wrote:
07 Oct 2019 15:51
Still loving that evo iii bro, good work
Thanks a lot man, I'm glad for that :D
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16 Oct 2019 21:24

And Now, for a Taste of Things to Come........




To fit the theme of the next update, cue up the music as well, shall we?
Hit the spoiler below to play it. In the meantime, here are some teasers......
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COMING SOON
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Buzzsaw
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17 Oct 2019 07:52

So, it does means Silver Queen has join NFS Heat?
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BigSmoke
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17 Oct 2019 10:19

Buzzsaw wrote:
17 Oct 2019 07:52
So, it does means Silver Queen has join NFS Heat?
I wish it could but sadly nah it won't be :lol: :lol:
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Nightkid
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17 Oct 2019 13:31

Well i can see that the silver lady survived (?) the Typhoon Hagibis in one piece :)
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FranklinAnderson
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Joined: 02 Oct 2019 21:53
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17 Oct 2019 21:25

BOI, This hurricane was a damn pain in the 8
Luckily you are okay and Silver queen is safe too.
I had a lot of stuff going on with the Evacuation, now i'm safe in Osaka in SLP HQ, but idk for how long...
Hopefully this damn typhoon stops soon...
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BigSmoke
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18 Oct 2019 18:23

Nightkid wrote:
17 Oct 2019 13:31
Well i can see that the silver lady survived (?) the Typhoon Hagibis in one piece :)
FranklinAnderson wrote:
17 Oct 2019 21:25
BOI, This hurricane was a damn pain in the 8
Luckily you are okay and Silver queen is safe too.
I had a lot of stuff going on with the Evacuation, now i'm safe in Osaka in SLP HQ, but idk for how long...
Hopefully this damn typhoon stops soon...
Thankfully all my cars are survived, and Tsukuba received slightly fewer impact compared to Tokyo

Still, it was probably the most stressful 36-48 hours in my life. I had to evacuate nine cars in a single day :?
Hopefully y'all are safe as well, looking forward to your stories :)
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NotPerfect
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18 Oct 2019 21:01

OwO is this the best color of the sky to exist? Hope you're alright we need you <3
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r o l e p l a y

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19 Oct 2019 19:15

NotPerfect wrote:
18 Oct 2019 21:01
OwO is this the best color of the sky to exist? Hope you're alright we need you <3
Arguably yes, but when it signal an arrival of a disaster, I can't really enjot it well. I'm all good, I'll tell you all about it soon ;)
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topy
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20 Oct 2019 14:19

Glad your nine cars and you are safe, those 36 hours were absolute chaos.

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20 Oct 2019 14:55

topy wrote:
20 Oct 2019 14:19
Glad your nine cars and you are safe, those 36 hours were absolute chaos.
Holy crap it was quite a hectic times to save every single of them, but eventually I made it
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20 Oct 2019 21:15

Riders on the Storm















As you all might already know, Japan was struck by the Typhoon Hagibis last week.
The typhoon wreak havoc across central regions around Japan, including even Tokyo.
So how does the event unfolded at Tsukuba, which is mere hours from Tokyo?
Well let's take a look, shall we.......















[12 Oct 2019]
I woke up to the news of Typhoon Hagibis approaching Japan and currently wreaking havoc on the southern part of Japan. The affected areas so far including but not limited to Gunma, Saitama, Fukushima, and many more. At the moment meteorologist predicted the typhoon would set their course onto Kanto and Ibaraki regions in less than 24 hours. To put it into perspective, that means Tokyo and Tsukuba are the next on the list. Makes sense, since Ibaraki is the neighbour of Kanto, and Tsukuba city itself is just some hours away from Tokyo. Speaking of which, Tokyo has got their evacuation orders issued.

Speaking of which, if you wondered why typhoons an hurricanes are given names, it's to make it easier to identified by meteorologists, geologists, scientist, marines and the like, as well as to make it easier to be introduced and informed to citizens like us. The names are given as codenames on alphabetic basis according to their order of appearance and location, so it goes such as Anastasia, Boris, Cedric, Denton, Eren, Fausto and so on. The names can be changed over the years, and it should be changed if any of the typhoon/hurricane resulted in a huge damage, loss and victims in its wake, in order to respect those who are affected and to avoid triggering any traumas cuased by it.

Upon more info gathering, I found out that it looks like the southern part of Tsukuba would be affected by the storm the most, whereas Tsukubamirai and Shimotsuma, the location of Tsukuba circuit, are predicted to only receive minor damage from the storm. I myself live in the northwest part of Tsukuba, which is near Shimotsuma, so theoritically I'm still fairly safe. But then again, when you're facing the force of nature itself you can't be so sure over your plans and lives. I mean, when the skies are cloudy, I'm sure you'll initially assume it'll be raining. But that's not always the outcome: It could be raining slowly, it can turn into a heavy rain in an instant, or it might not be raining at all.

And there's another problem: I have to evacuate nine cars in less than 24 hours. Just how hectic is that? I instantly went into a panic state. Of course I can't do this alone, but then again basically I barely have anyone to help. Everybody that I know living in Tokyo has started their evacuation process. Even Sera, who normally resides at the northeast Tsukuba, turned out to be in Tokyo as well to evacuate her family and her little sis, Hinako. Rantaro was in Tokyo as well to evacuate his fiancee, since she works at Shinjuku. Thankfully though, being locals for their whole lives, they tipped to me some locations where I could store my cars around Tsukuba safely. Most of them turned out to be multi-storey parking lots so they're ideal for me.

Later that day Kenichi said he's actually able to help me, even though Ooarai, his hometown, is more prone to be hit by storm. How come? "Eh, I've spent some bits of my lifetime doing exactly this, so it's all bread and butter for me!" so he said. Obviously though he need to evacuate his stuff and his family first, so he'll come to my crib after he finished with those things. To spend the precious time remaining before the typhoon comes in, Kenichi suggested to me to evacuate the cars first. He also assured me that I can do it after all, in his own words, "because you're a race driver after all, I'd say you can outrun the typhoon itself!" Well not sure if it actually works, but that sure enlightens me.

The plan goes like this: Grab the car, go to one of the locations pinpointed by Sera and Rantaro, park them, get back to my crib with public transportation or just walk back, and repeat until there are only the Silver Queen and HR34 left, which will be saved last. I put the priority to evacuate the cars that are difficult to drive or otehrwise fragile first.

One of the first cars I evacuated first was the Silverado. The Silverado, as I've mentioned in the intro, has a GM LS7 pulled off a Corvette Z06 to empower it, but still runs on shoddy brakes, and after all it's still a huge pickup, so it's heavy as hell. This makes driving it quite a chore, as you have wide view of just everything around you and you can run fast......but not too fast, or else you'll turn the Silverado into a huge battering ram. Technically I don't even have to save this thing because it sits quite high from the ground, but then again, as I've said before you can't be so sure when you're facing the nature itself. This Silverado is a gift as well from the Side to Side crew, so I really have to keep it alive. Thankfully though, I made it.
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And then there's the Tico, the lightest on the fleet. Rescuing this car was a bit troublesome, as the engine was barely alive and it was slooooooow it felt like the universe itself is revolving around me faster as I drive it. And with its wafer-thin body panels, every mile of the rescue mission felt like a horror flick. Basically I'm the only thing in the car that prevents it from being blown off the road and flying away to oblivion.......or into someone's roof. As if being overtaken by a truck inside this car isn't terrifying enough already. And if something hits the Tico (as opposed with the Tico hit something), basically I and it will turn into a steel pancake or wafer with my internal organs, bits of glasses, my blood and various oils as the topping and sauce. Thankfully it didn't happen, and the Tico arrived safe and sound.
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The rest of the cars are realtively easy to rescue. Bonus points for the Sprinter and the S15, since I only need to drive the Sprinter while towing the S15, making it two drives in car. Or as everyone would say, killing two brids with a stone, saving a lot of precious time to save the others. Minus points for Kaede and Meme Machine, though. Kaede was actually too low to be driven everywhere, and the soft canvas top had a rough time battling against the strong winds along the way. Meanwhile the Meme Machine were still a bit wounded after its latest outing at Ebisu and still got no passenger side window....I had to tape various plastics to replace them after I parked them. And near the end of the day, all public transportation ceased their service. I understand that everyone needs to save themselves after all, but this made me had to literally run all the way back from northeast Tsukuba to my crib at the Northwest under drizzle and strong winds. I almost lost my breath as I arrived at my crib.

I noticed that the skies has changed colours from the usual blue or grey to a purplish pink. Obviously this is an ominous sign of a disaster coming to our shores, but being a rational man, I checked what actually happened as I took a rest. Later on I found that this phenomenon is called light scattering. As we might all know, the sunlight, coloured in white, are a result of the combination of various colour rays hitting the earth. As the humidity and air pressure became heavy under a storm, typhoon or hurricane, those rays projected into various directions, and some didn't make it to the earth, leaving some colours behind.

Obviously this is an extremely rare occassion, and there are still some time both before the sun goes down and Kenichi arriving to my crib to assist me. Since my photographic desire rises before me, I decided to be brave and turn into a storm chaser for some hours. I decided to get some pics of it at an open place, which is the parking lot of a supermarket behind my favourite fuel station. Traffic was chock full with people evacuating away from Tokyo, where I heard heavy rain has hit, so I had to take alternative routes to get there as this blared on the speakers all the way around.
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After I arrived at the parking lot, I discovered that I wasn't alone. Fellow storm chasers, photographers, meteorologists and various other civilians gathered to take pics as well. I though decided to face the strong wind in the middle of the lot with the storm chasers and meteorologists rather than ducking over at the supermarket building. There's this strange, blissful feeling as I continued to take pics under the increasingly strong wind and darkened skies. I know that I'm in the brink of disaster and probably even death, but I don't really want to move from the spot as I enjoy every second capturing the skies.
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Later that day Kenichi finally arrived after the sun goes down. So here's the the plan we made for the next 24-36 hours: Take everything movable from the first floor to the second one.....including Kenichi's Honda Grom, and then move everything from the second floor away from the edges of the building and waterproof them with just about everything waterproof. And then store everything breakable inside something sturdy like a cupboard or travel bags, and finally store all the tools, consummables and all techs possible to carry around into the Silver Queen or HR34 to be carried along while we're evacuating.

With the preparations done and both of us being quite tired for the day, we slept together in my bedroom. We agreed to make our escpae once the rain becomes heavy. Later that night, the public electricity was cut off and the rain began to fall...........


[13 Oct 2019]
"EDO-KUN! EDO-KUN!"
".....what up?"
"EDO-KUN WAKE UP MAN!"
"......" *gasp* "is it time already?"
"YES! LOOK!" *points at the window*
*sees lightning and heavy rain through window* "Oh good god......"
"It's raining hard outside man let's get outta here!"
".....right right let's go" *runs downstairs*

We woke up at early dawn only to discover that Tsukuba has been showered by ultra-heavy rain and very strong wind that tries to peel some layer of my neighbourhood's rooftops. Loud thunder and lightnings can be seen from distance. We got into the car while coping with the absolute lack of lighting. It looks like everybody in the neighbourhood has saved themselves before me, so at least I don't have to evacuate anything else. But I swear it was frightening.
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We made haste and carve our way around various neighbourhoods to get into the highway that leads into the northeast side of Tsukuba. Everywhere was dark and dead as we blasted around the urban roads, with only the SIlver Queen's headlights and the occasional lightning strikes to guide us on where are we going. I decided to lead the pack since after all, my Silver Queen is an AWD car, therefore being superior in wet. As for Kenichi, he and the HR34 followed me in the back. I commanded him to keep up with me, but keep it steady and not too fast, otherwise he might went out of control in the RWD HR34 as this song played in the background.
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Some time later we finally enter the highway as the sunlight tries to enter the earth. The rain was still intense but at least I could see anything ahead right now, as we blazed through the quiet highway. The only thing that broke the silence there are the sound of rainfall, the sonorous sound of the 4G63 and RB20 engine and the sound of myself screaming "AAAAAAAAAAA HEEEEEEELP"
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As the sun supposedly rises up, the sunlight got scattered again, indicating the typhoon might approach this region after all. Thankfully though I noticed this as I and Kenichi arrived to our shelter for the day.
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The place I selected for shelter is.....yet another supermarket, but this one fortunately has multi-storey parking lot tower. Seeing as the wind has got stronger and people are already gathering inside the supermarket, we decided to dwell in the parking lot instead.
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After we parked the cars and set up our uhhh.....camp for the day, we met with other civilians sheltering in the parking lot, exchanged infos about the current situation, and basically later on having simple and nice banters to relieve and relax ourselves in the middle of the typhoon crisis. Later on, as I and some other were deprived of some sleep time, I decided to continue my sleep for a while.............
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I woke up again just in time for lunch.....relatively speaking. All we can eat for the day is instant ramen and onigiri, but eh, that's how I live my life everyday, so this is just enough to have us move and keep on living for another day :lol: We circled together and have some nice banters as we had our lunch. Sometimes it's just amazing how the Japanese can cope with disasters quickly....probably because there are so much of them, some of the community can brush it off as yet another day in their lives.
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Finally, some hours after night falls, the rain has reduced to a slight drizzle and the wind has died down. Everyone was allowed to get back to their homes and clean them. Before we came back to our crib, we decided to volunteer on driving the others home first, mainly to check the post-typhoon conditions around Tsukuba. All in all though, it's quite fine, even though there are some damages here and there, and obviously it's a bit grim from all the dirt and rainwater flung by the wind.

And unfortunately, that includes my crib as well. Structural wise it's all fine and great, but.....it's been slightly flooded in the garage and first floor, and the smell is spectacularly unpleasant. We were physically and mentally tired, so we decided to take back the cars and clean up my crib the next day.


[14 Oct 2019]
We woke up in the morning in my now-humid and still grimey crib. As we cleaned the first floor and the garage, as well as redecorating everything from the second floor back to the first one, I decided to get some updates on the conditions over Tsukuba Circuit. Today is supposed to be the raceday of K-1 Sports Tsukuba 50 Minutes endurance, where I took part in. As it turns out, Tsukuba Circuit survived the typhoon as well, only suffering from drainage overflow and some of their hey bales and other properties blown away across the track, as shown in their Twitter post. They alsi stated that the race day is still on, only postponed to after lunch time.

At one side, I'm quite happy because I get to race after all. But on the other hand, we're still mentally exhausted after defying the nature itself while escaping from typhoon, and it's only six hours before we're supposed to go to the racetrack. And to make matters worse, with Rantaro, Ryuji and Ryoko possibly being far away from Tsukuba at the moment, I only got Kenichi as my crew for the day.

Thankfully though Kenichi didn't mind to spend another day as my sole crew member. I can't thank him enough for this, even after I bowed upon him for like 5 minutes. After we clean my crib and garage, as well as having a quick breakfast, we went off to collect my cars and drive them back to my crib to spend some time before the race is on.

After all the cars has returned back to my garage and lunchtime is coming, we headed to the circuit. This time, Kenichi is in the passenger seat, and don't worry, everything has been unloaded from the car. Gotta do that weight reduction, y'know :lol:

After we arrived at the circuit and received my race numbers, for the first time ever in my life, I parked my Silver Queen inside the pit box, rather than the usual back side of the paddock. After we put the race numbers on, installed the timer beacons and adjusted our walkie-talkie (as opposed to proper two-way radio :lol: ), I went off to the locker room to heed my call of nature, while Kenichi went ahead for lunch.
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With lunchbreak over, it's time for driver's briefing to see what should we expect for the day. At this point, the track has been dried and cleaned, so it's in good condition to race but absolutely green since there's no rubber on the tarmac at all. Ah anyways, the format of the day goes like this: 2x10 minutes of qualifying using the one-shot shootout format at 14.10 and 14.30, then everyone's heading to the pitlane at 15.00 to prepare for the rolling start. The green flag will be dropped at 15.10 as the rolling start procession is finished, and the race goes on until the 50 minutes mark kicks in at 16.00. Once the leader finished the lap he's in, checkered flag will be waved. During the race, tyre change and refuelling is prohibited, and pit lane is open only for driver exchange (which I didn't have to do) or if you had to retire the car (which I might end up had to do).

There are 30 cars attending the race today, and I'm classified in the GT2 class......which turned out to be the top class for the day. Turns out no one registered for the GT1 class! I guess nobody got time to grab themselves a proper slicks eh? :lol: But with today's humid conditions and with the tyre change prohibition, it's best to stick with radial or semi-slicks anyway, as the slicks might get toasted quickly in conditions like this. Oh yah, speaking of the classes, here are how the classes segregated:
- GT1: >=2000cc cars with slick/competition tyres
- GT2: 1400-1999cc cars with slick/competition tyres, or >=2000cc cars with radial/semi-slick tyres
- GT3: <1400cc cars with slick/competition tyres, or 661-1999cc Asian cars with radial/semi-slick tyres
- GT3 Euro: <=1999cc Euro cars with radial/semi-slick tyres
- GTK: 660cc Kei cars

Turbo and supercharged cars capacity are multiplied by 1.5 and rotaries are multiplied by 2 to make them easier to be classified and segregated.
There are 6 GT2 cars today including mine, 10 GT3 cars, 8 GT3 Euro cars and 6 GTK cars participating. Why do the GT3 and GT3 Euro had to be made a separate classes I don't really know why. In the GT2 class, I have to face against an Evo VIII, a K24-swapped Integra DC5, an R33 GT-R, and to my surprises, a Porsche Cayman and a Porsche Boxster. They're really going serious about this! The GT3 class was chock full of Miatas and Toyota 86s. Another DC5, this time with it's K20A engine and an Altezza also made it into the entry list. GT3 Euro meanwhile was fullfilled with BMW 318i from the E36 and E46 generations. An Alfa 156 and even a Peugeot 206 was also in the list. Finally, GTK class saw some Alto Works, a Cappuccino and a Honda Beat duking it out.

It was a loooong raceday with multiple sessions in between, and the race itself is longer than I've experienced as usual, so I'll try to make the weekend report as compact as possible.

Qualifying 1 - 14.10 to 14.20 - 1:01.756 - P6
The race tower played this song to cheer the drivers and spectators during the session.
With the track being absolutely green, as well as the Silver Queen and I only had a bit of rest after running away from the nature itself, I was a bit overwhelmed at the very first qualifying. I wasn't so confident running around the entire sector 2, where water from drainage overflow gathered there at the morning. Nevertheless, I didn't end up far from the top of the pack, though I ended up at the last position of my class.
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Qualifying 2 - 14.10 to 14.20 - 1:00.342 - P4
The race tower played this song to cheer the drivers and spectators during the session.
Now with more rubbers on the track, thought the track is still humid and rather dusty, I could set a better laptime. This time, slightly better than before and barely just taking away P4 ahead of the Evo VIII....e were only separated by 0.02 seconds!! :o The Cayman took the class and overall pole, followed by the Boxster, then the R33, then there's me, and then the Evo VIII, and finally the K24 Integra.
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For the GT3 class, a Miata ND took the class pole. GT3 Euro saw a E36 318i taking the class pole, and finally GTK has the Cappuccino taking the class pole. After the qualy session, I emptied my bladder for another time and washed my face to cool down for a while. Then I also had myself massaged by Kenichi to relax a bit :lol: Afterwards we bought some isotonic drinks to prepare for the race. Originally I'd like to drink one of those mid-race.....until I remember that I have a full-face helmet with no drink nozzle, which means drinking would be quite complicated. And of course I can't take off my helmet and balaclava mid-race. So this time, I have to do without drinks at all for 50 minutes straight, though I know this will be risky. Whether I'll survive this remains to be seen...........
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As I refuel my Evo before the race comes, let me quote myself why i'm quite concerned about drinks this time:
A bit of fun fact: Race drivers lost around 2-5 kg everytime they're in the car. That loss comes from not only the loss of fat but also the loss of body fluids (water, not blood, mind you). Obviously, this would affect their physical and mental conditions, particularly over concentration and physical power. At races under humid and hot conditions, such as races in South and Central America, as well as Southeast Asia and Australia, the loss can be even more severe.

That's why in several race series such as Formula 1, WEC, Super GT and DTM, drivers are supplied with a small tank (around the size of regular drinking bottle) of water or electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade, Lucozade or Pocari Sweat to keep drivers well-nutritioned during race sessions. You can try racing without them, but it's very dangerous and not recommended at all. Suffering from dehydration could make racers lost their concentration or severely exhausted after being drained of lots of energy. At worst case, they could suffer from dizziness or even fell unconscious while racing, which obviously you don't want to experience. Well, I don't, so thats why I should train myself just ike the pro racers does. I guess it's time to reduce the amount of number nines as well :lol:
With refuelling over, I went back to my pit box to do final preparations with Kenichi.


Rolling start preparation - 15.00 - P4
The race tower played this song to have everyone pumped for the race.

The marshalls have given us the signal to line up in the pitlane and get ready for the rolling start a la your usual endurance races. I get into the car, with I and Kenichi shared one last brofist and him wishing good luck before I went off my box. When I was called for my turn to line up, I went off slowly.
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Some time later, we're moving off the pitlane behind the pace car, which was a Suzuki Swift, and as we exited T1, we formed a two-car formation. I'm in the left side of the pack, which means I'll be automatically on the outside lane at the race start, which can't be really good. Still, being side by side with an R33 and running behind two Porsches got me quite thrilled.


Green Flag! - 15.10 - P4
As the green flag drops, race tower played this song to open the race session.

We're underway! I had an average start as I tried to keep up with the R33 while minimizing contact, with the two Porsches breaking away from the pack. Eventually though the R33 went away as well, so my priority changed to keep up my pace as I defend myself against the pesky Evo VIII. I'm gonna show him that old Evos still got what it takes to win!

Eventually though at the 8 minute mark I gave up to save my tyres for the rest of the race and gave way to the Evo VIII. Lesson learned: Always bring fresh units before an endurance race. I could lay off a bit though, since the K24 DC5 is a bit far behind, apparently also struggling from all the understeer caused by frying the front tyres. All I had to do is keeping up......smoothly.
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10 Minute Mark - 40 Minute to Go - 15.20 - P5
Race tower switched to play this song.

I'm still trying to keep up with the Evo VIII, but I've dropped bit by bit to save tyres and fuel. My laptime drops from 1:00s to 1:02-1:03 in order to achieve this. Predicting that the K24 DC5 won't do faster than 1:01 or even 1:02, I took solace for a while.....until I saw two Miatas from the GT3 category in my side mirrors as the 15 minute mark passed.

I know that the Miatas are light and tyre-friendly, but I didn't think they could took the advantage to be driven this fast. Even Kenichi surprised with this, commanding "what the hell are you doing man?! Let's keep them away from your back!" to me. And so I did, but as the 20 minute mark gets near, I have an idea........
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20 Minute Mark - 30 Minute to Go - 15.30 - P7
Race tower switched the soundtrack again, this time they picked this song to be played.

"Hey Kenichi, I need you to check something"
"What is it?"
"Do the Miatas behind mes has one or two drivers?"
"Okay hold up" *pause* "They got two, they got two"
"Great, thanks! I've got an idea"
"What is it?"
"I'm gonna duck behind them until they enter the pits. Then I'll start pushing"
"You sure this works?"
"If I can outrun a typhoon, I can outrun them. You told me so!"


When you're driving in an endurance race with more than one driver, the uncertainity of making the win, or even making it to the end doubles exponentially. As we all know, everybody has different skills and personality, and even if they're pros, they still could contribute to a loss instead of a win by making mistake or, god forbid, crashing the car. Along with budget constraints, this is why I don't want to employ a second driver in the race: I don't want anyone to be unfortunate enough to bin the silver Queen.

And so, I started my backing move and let the Miatas pass me up normally, while positioning myself ahead of the K24 DC5, which I'm rather sure he won't catch me anyway, though how the hell he ended up in the back of the Miatas I'm not even sure. With the 30 minutes mark nearing, it's time to see if my gamble along the race works........
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30 Minute Mark - 20 Minute to Go - 15.40 - P3
Race tower switched the soundtrack again, this time they picked this song to be played.

Most of the field has changed their drivers as I predicted, and I quickly making up places, boosting myself into P2. But then the Cayman caught up with me and easily overtook me on the backstraight, dropping me into P3. The Boxster meanwhile didn't need to change its driver, just like me, and kept on pushing.

And that P3 didn't last long either. at the 36 minute mark I did a fatal mistake as I went wide at the exit of the sector 3 hairpin. All my effort of defending P3 from the R33 and Evo VIII has come to a huge waste. It looks like I'm starting to fall apart in the end.
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40 Minute Mark - 10 Minute to Go - 15.50 - P4
Another song switch by the race tower, this time this song got played.

"The Boxster's down! The Boxster's down!"
"What the-really? How come?"
"I don't know, but you'll see it soon!"


As I passed the main straight, I can see the Boxster stopped dead in their box, with white fumes blowing off the engine.

"Well looks like they've been terminated......hasta la vista!"
"Right, you're P4 now. P3's already far away but keep it up"
"Okay thanks, I'll push further"


The Boxster, surprisingly, nuked its own engine near the end of the race. That's quite a heartbreak I should say, particularly with the fact that they led a huge portion of the race. But then that's the uncertainity nature of an endurance race, and that's why I love it so much: Being dominant doesn't always mean you'll got to keep the victory on your hands. Only a bit more to go until the race ends! All I need to do now is to keep my Silver Queen alive........
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50 Minute Mark - Final Lap - 16.00 - P4
"Last lap, mate, last lap. Bring her home"
"Roger, bringing her home in one piece"


Since everyone's been far ahead of me, and everyone else's also far behind me, I only need to cross the finish line in normal manner while trying to save fuel.....I need ome to go back home after all! :lol: I'm quite tired and my face were absolutely sweaty. Come on, just one to go........
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Checkered Flag! - 16.01 - P4
Finally after 50 minutes racing around Tsukuba, the checkered flag waved in front of our eyes! I was soooo glad I could make it to the end after all, and counting the fact that I've got to race after all, particularly after rescuing myself and the car from a devastating typhoon, this is one of the most impressive and memorable race I've ever done in my life. 36 hectic hours of horror has been paid handsomely by a fantastic endurace race.

"We're P4, we're P4, solid job. Congratulations"
"Thank you so much Kenichi, I can't do this without you"
"Ah don't mention it, I'm here to help you after all"
"Still, you've helped a lot. Let's talk for a while after this"
"Sure"


I raised my left fist in the air to celebrate, as if I've won it. Well I didn't, but just making it to the end really makes me happy.
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The final result goes like this: The Cayman took the win, followed by the R33, Evo VIII, my Silver Queen, a Miata ND, a Miata NC, K24 DC5, an E46 318i, a ZN6, and the 206.It was a spectacular raceday, it was sooo enjoyable and it gave me new insights. As the cooldown lap is almost over, I entered the pitlane and went back to my box to end the raceday. And oh, I've scored myself various memorabilias from K-1 Sports, as well as V$1000 for finishing 4th overall and another V$400 for finishing 4th in class.
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As I've stepped off my Silver Queen, my throat was drier than the Sahara, and I had lost all the energy I have from the entire day, so as I staggered to the pit box, Kenichi handed me another bottle of isotonic drink. I was soooo tired I almost opted to skip the podium celebration, but then I remember I need to return the timer beacons in the end, so I did anyways. Before we went back home, I thanked Kenichi once more for helping me for almost 3 days straight and apologizing to him to had me as an extra burden. Kenichi says it's all okay, because that's what friends are for.
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In the end, we drove back home, brought back his Honda Grom from the second floor of my crib, and I had a long rest as he went back home to Ooarai.

And oh, if you're wondering, don't you worry, the Japanese/Asian branch of Side to Side Auto Parts has been active again ever since the typhoon, so if you want to order something from the shop, order up there, don't be hestitate! American branch is also still active as well! Click here to visit the shop, thank you! :D















Finally with the update over, let's check how much money I've got in my wallet:
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That's all my updates for now, thank you for stopping by and see you soon!
Still following the damn train since 1992

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NotPerfect
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Posts: 113
Joined: 24 Sep 2019 21:59
Location: Japan, Utsunomiya

20 Oct 2019 21:26

owo damn it was crazy, from getting all the cars safe to driving in an endurance race next day after rain and you got 4th that's amazing stuff :D Keep it up for sure!!
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r o l e p l a y

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Buzzsaw
Gangster
Posts: 115
Joined: 25 Sep 2019 10:48

20 Oct 2019 23:46

Having race after storm, that just nuts mate! :lol:
My Roleplay Link: viewtopic.php?f=55&t=13063

RP's My vehicle owned:
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BigSmoke
Gangster
Posts: 135
Joined: 03 Oct 2019 11:19
Location: Indonesia

21 Oct 2019 05:04

NotPerfect wrote:
20 Oct 2019 21:26
owo damn it was crazy, from getting all the cars safe to driving in an endurance race next day after rain and you got 4th that's amazing stuff :D Keep it up for sure!!
Thanks man, that was the most hectic hours in my life indeed. Glad I made it through :D
Buzzsaw wrote:
20 Oct 2019 23:46
Having race after storm, that just nuts mate! :lol:
I know, right? I expected the raceday to be postponed to another day or simply cancelled altogether. Upon learning that the circuit was okay and all race activities will be resumed after all that morning, I can only think "Holy s**t they work fast! What kind of human being are these guys?" :lol:
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Soju
Associate
Posts: 56
Joined: 25 Sep 2019 15:28
Location: Seoul

21 Oct 2019 08:50

Lucky that your cars are now all safe, and the Evo is running fantastic as ever!
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BigSmoke
Gangster
Posts: 135
Joined: 03 Oct 2019 11:19
Location: Indonesia

21 Oct 2019 19:42

Soju wrote:
21 Oct 2019 08:50
Lucky that your cars are now all safe, and the Evo is running fantastic as ever!
I'm quite lucky, yeah, thanks :lol:
I didn't expect my SIlver Queen to excel at an endurance race yet we did it! :D
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BigSmoke
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Posts: 135
Joined: 03 Oct 2019 11:19
Location: Indonesia

23 Oct 2019 15:39

365 Days and Beyond






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October 18th 2018 marked my first foray into the roleplay world at VS forums (the old one that is), where I begin as a humble man with a high-miler Evo III which costed me half of my starter budget. And from there, things just went........escalated. From a trackday enthusiast with a low weekly salary and a sole daily and track toy into a semi-pro time attack driver with weekly salary more than twice from what I started with and a staggering collection of nine cars. Oh how time flies so quickly...............and yet, it's actually just 365 days and a bit more.

If you still haven't got the idea of what's going on, it's been officially one year (and some days) since I started this bizzare, adventurous and colorful roleplay thread. If you want to see how I started back then, head over here! Or if you can't be bothered of doing a simple click on your mouse or phone screen, let's see how Silver Queen looked like when I bought it.
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Although it's the GSR model, the previous owner fitted it with steelies to resemble the RS model for some reason. It was like, a third-hand or even fourth-hander car. It has run some distances along its lifetime before it landed on my hands, and obviously the transmission and engine internals are rather tired. Even so, some mods installed on the car like the Fujitsubo Muffler and radiator expansion tank remained until today.

Back then I don't even have a vision or plan on how long I'm going to keep this thread running. A month? 2 months? Half a year? A year or two? It was just far from my grasp, added with the fact that there are a lot of people who started way earlier than I did, and not a bit of them stopped after just one to four weeks.

But in the end, here I am, still going on strong after 365 days and a bit more. Writing those updates actually kept my right brain on fire, fuelling my thoughts and inspirations, keeping and training me to be a creative human being. Having a roleplay thread opens a new way for me to express my vision and opinions about everything that is happening in this world, and also giving me new insights and knowledges about motorsport and car ownership in general. Yeah, now I know just how hard it is to own and modify your car in real life. It's like playing Motorsport Manager, but instead of owning a motorsport team with some assistants at the start, you're literally on your own........

Except when you have friends on your side! I've met a lot of friends ever since I started this thread and kept on creating connections ever since. Friend of mine introduced me to his friend, then to another of his friend, and another........it's like a swarm of viral internet content. Not only I get to befriend people around the world, I get to see their ideals and visions as well! The world is a huge place, but sometimes, distance is just an illusion when we have a strong sense of friendship and brotherhood, even if it's just a virtual one. Even they gave me new hobbies like checking out used car prices, which I never did before! :lol:

I hereby thank you for all of you who has followed my journey, whether if you've followed my chronicles form the start, or if you've just joined into the fray of storyline. People come and go as I kept on running and telling my stories, and there are a lot of people who I once seen often that is now inactive, mostly since reality ensues and they have to kept on living in real life. But it's okay, since after all I still have one as well. I appreciate and salute those who come, stay and went away as I'm keep going. There are a lot of people I'd like to thank, some of them aren't active anymore, and it'll be a hell lot of time to list them, so I'll just say thanks to everybody! :lol:

If you've just started your roleplay or still continuing yours, I say don't give up, keep on developing yourself, explore new things, make connections, and most of all, be creative. There are some times in my updates where I didn't get a lot of responds, or just downright none at all. But that doesn't made me stop. As I figure what did I do wrong, I try new things and topics to keep people interested while trying to give them some new insights as well. I mean, I know not all people likes trackdays or going fast, so I balanced things out with working on my cars, or going sideways, or viewing other's rides. Well you don't have to go all-out and create long narratives like I did, but hey, there are reasons why novel stories like Sherlock Holmes series, Harry Potter series, Tom Clancy series or even Twillight series are some of the most sought-after literatures in the world, y'know.

And oh, my thread at the old forums stopped at post #425. It is only some more posts to go until the next milestone of 500 posts! :D And yes, that means another paycheck raise. So I'll try to keep myself active on the forums to see this become reality. Normal service will resume at either this or next week. But before that, a little bit of teaser.............
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That's all my updates for now, thank you for stopping by and see you soon!
Last edited by BigSmoke on 23 Oct 2019 17:43, edited 1 time in total.
Still following the damn train since 1992

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insolivion
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Posts: 74
Joined: 03 Oct 2019 10:14

23 Oct 2019 17:38

Oh yeah that thing is a monster, and i agree on the don't give up part, i was thinking if i should start rp or not, so i decided to give it a try, and i got like really addicted, it's so motivating actually, build cars that you want, do anything with them, build your dreams etc, rp is one of the reasons which gives me motivation to make new liveries, to this day i'm addicted to rp, and the people around it, really cool and friendly people here, need help? everyone helps out, there's never "ah do it yourself or learn it yourself" no such thing, i dig the positivity.
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~00s japanese drift~
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~EST-2019~

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BigSmoke
Gangster
Posts: 135
Joined: 03 Oct 2019 11:19
Location: Indonesia

23 Oct 2019 17:52

insolivion wrote:
23 Oct 2019 17:38
Oh yeah that thing is a monster, and i agree on the don't give up part, i was thinking if i should start rp or not, so i decided to give it a try, and i got like really addicted, it's so motivating actually, build cars that you want, do anything with them, build your dreams etc, rp is one of the reasons which gives me motivation to make new liveries, to this day i'm addicted to rp, and the people around it, really cool and friendly people here, need help? everyone helps out, there's never "ah do it yourself or learn it yourself" no such thing, i dig the positivity.
I'm glad you felt the great vibes and spirit of the roleplays as well, and boi you've conveyed those spirits very well with your liveries :D
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