Just before we entered the recent Obon Festival holiday period here in Japan, Suzuka Circuit in Mie-Ken once more beckoned our attendance as it was time for Round3 of this years Honda VTEC One Make Champion Cup Series.
August is the most humid month of the year in the Kansai area, so it was already bright and very warm in the early hours as we headed out of Osaka on the way to the days action.
We arrived just about the same time as Kanbara-San whom got into unloading the Whitehawk EK9 from the flatbed.
Pit space at Suzuka, as you'll be aware if you've followed us for some time is quite generous compared to some circuits around the country,
Other players were also arriving and getting the cars and equipment unloaded ahead of the days challenge.
Round3 offered a different challenge to the standard practice / qualify / race format that is used across the series, and instead takes the form of two main Time Attack sessions, one in the morning and once more in the afternoon. Not an easy task when up against the heat and also the other cars on track from various classes all punching for the best time.
Of course Daisuke-San from ZeroFighter was here as he's the organizer of the series but he's not just checking in the competitors - he's out there doing his best also.
He would have to settle for 9th place on the day with a best time of 02:35.479 from the days two sessions which came from the afternoon session.
Soejima-Sans ZeroFighter EG6 also in the pit, he and car combining to get 11th on the day with a best of 02:35.873
Takuya was here too, not just racing on the day but working with the ZeroFighter team to help prep the team cars and also help with customer cars that were also participating.
Kazu-Chan's Dunlop x IRC Project EG looking mean in the pit box ahead of session one. Running in the much hotly contested N1 Class, he would go on to claim a very well deserved 4th place overall with a best of 02:34.172.
This places him at second in the overall standing of the class on 29 points, but still some 23 points behind Joe-San from Car Make Across whom is out in front on 52 points.
Speaking of Car Make Across, here's the former CMA CR-X being run by Obata-San.
Toshiki-San and his DC5 were looking pretty confident in the morning.
Rightly so as man and machine would claim first in the OP Class, and first overall on the day with a best time of 02:28.814, This gives him a 24 point lead in class going into the next round.
Over in the K-Class and it was great to have @mistbahn back with us again. I was at Central Circuit at the back end of last year when the main Time Attack season gets underway as temperatures start to dip around the country. However he suffered a blown engine going into turn one after a mis-placed gear shift sent the engine into meltdown.
WIth an engine rebuild by Tani-San and the guys at ASLAN just down the road from us, and with a few new additions to the setup, he was now back running. Not a day for new records to be set but to get back into things, test settings, and get that race feeling back.
ACTIVE EG in the pit.
The day wasn't only hosting the One Make Race Series we cover, but also had a private running session for general drivers to take their pride and joy onto the famous cement.
This Bayside Blue R34 looking great in the pit further up the paddock.
Another was this great looking beat. Shame it wasn't running in the One Make series, would have been fun to see it go head to head with Mistbahn's Beat.
Over on track and Tatsumi-San in the Recovery Charge EK9 was giving it his all in the morning session. 10th place secured with a best in that session of 02:35.493
Behind him on the main straight was Yamashita-San in the GET WILD Racing EG6.
He would go on to have a better afternoon session, with the EG struggling in the heat it would be good 20th overall but still a good result to get 3rd place in the SS-Class with a best time of 02:45.547.
Mistbahn coming back to the pit to check pressures before heading back out.
Kiyoshi-San leaves the pit in his EK9 in the afternoon session on the way to 5th place overall finish and 4th place in the N1 Class. 02:33.204 the time he and his 4-wheeled weapon could put on the timing board this time around.
Soejima-San here again leaving the pit and out into the action.
I love this new AlphaTauri livery that Kimura-San has on his EK4.
It's great fun watching these cars battle for track position as everyone wants to cleanest air ahead on the next lap around.
Here Daisuke-San in his EG6 in the N1-Class overtakes Tanaka-San's EG6 that was running in the SS-Class.
Photo wise i'll leave you with another shot of the Whitehawk EK on it's return to the paddock following completion of the second session.
A great day at Suzuka once more, good racing, good people and can't wait for round 4 coming up soon. Of course we'll have coverage of that to share with you so stay with us here as we bring you more original content from the One Make Series.
OPEN CLASS LEADER
Toshiki-San / DC5 / 44 PTS
S CHALLENGE CLASS LEADER
Fu-Kun / AP1 / 28 PTS
N2 CLASS LEADER
Takashima-San / EF9 / 20 PTS
N1 CLASS LEADER
Joe-San / EG6 / 52 PTS
C CLASS LEADER
Obata-San / GK5 / 40 PTS
K CLASS LEADER/S
Mistbahn / PP1 / 20 PTS
Shindo-San / JA4 / 20 PTS