Monday, August 30, 2010

GT300 Honda CR-Z?

If you follow internet car news sites at all you have probably seen something mentioned this week about some sneak peak pictures that GT Channel was able to snag of a Honda CR-Z going under the knife.  The CR-Z in the pictures is getting a widebody body kit, monster rear wing, mid-engine layout and Carbon Fiber bits and pieces.  What could all this mean?

Well that's the kicker everyone is repeating the same thing...Could this be a new GT300 car for next year's season of the Super GT series?  Or is it just a one off concept for next year's fast approaching Tokyo Auto Saloon?  Nobody at the moment knows.  The GT Channel article doesn't have any specifics nor does anyone else.  GT Channel says they'll keep on the look out for more information as the car is developed and you know I'll probably follow up on it if it does turn out to be a new Super GT GT300 car.

You can check out the rest of the pictures GT Channel snagged here -- GT300 Honda CR-Z

I'm going to make a seriously outrageous prediction and see if comes true.   With their aging GT300 Garaiya platform due for a replacement or at best an update.  Will Team ARTA (AUTOBACS Racing Team AGURI) replace their outdated GT300 effort next year with a new Honda supported CR-Z? It could only help Team ARTA if they did so.  I kinda hope Jon Sibal sees the car in the news somewhere and decides to put his impressive talent to use and create a digital mock up of what it might look like.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

RQ Team: Hasemi Sport Lady & Nijigen GT Girl

This weekend was a mess so sorry this RQ Team round up is a bit late and once again it's a double team who support the same GT300 Race Team.  The Race Queen double team of the Hasemi Sport Lady and the Nijigen GT Girl both support the HASEMI SPORT TOMICA Z one of two GT300 Nissan 350Z race cars.   Currently the Hasemi team is sitting in 4th tied with the second Nissan 350Z team after 6 races.  But then you're here for the ladies and here they are.

This double team is a bit of a Ying and Yang of the Race Queens.  The dark Ying is the Hasemi Sport Lady Race Queen Takahashi Toshimi (高橋としみ) and her Race Queen outfit is another Yellow and Black outfit that features a yellow/black mini skirt and Black/yellow halter top with yellow/black jacket and thigh high boots.  She's definitely a good looker that is for sure.  As for the light Yang that is Nijigen GT Girl Sugisawa Yuuka (杉澤友香) who's Race Queen outfit is a white and yellow number that features a white/yellow miniskirt with a yellow/white tube top and white/yellow jacket finished off with all white thigh high boots.

Now the question is has either one of them done any professional Race Queen photography shoots and the answer is...Yes for one of them.  Yuuka has been a featured Race Queen for RQ-Star and since I'm no longer posting links to those picture sets just do a good search and you'll find some still working links for her sets.  As for Toshimi I haven't found anything for her even though I did find out that she is also working for Dechau Girls as well.

Anyways lets get on with the rest of the Race Queen pictures.  Remember to check out the main sites for updates after each of the race which is getting closer to the end with only a handful of races left this season.

Motor & Cos -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3 and RQ4
Race Queen Photogallery -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3 and RQ4
Kurumaerabi -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3, RQ4, RQ5, RQ6, RQ7, RQ8 and RQ9 
That Dude's Blog -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3, RQ4, RQ5 and RQ6
Car @nifty -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3, RQ4, RQ5 and RQ6
Power of Seven Blog -- RQ1
Some other Dude's Blog -- RQ1, RQ2 and RQ3
Lapin Merchant -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3, RQ4, RQ5 and RQ6 
Yet another Dude's Blog -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3, RQ4, RQ5, RQ6, RQ7 and RQ8
Tyoro Aki's Blog -- RQ1

Of course this post wouldn't be complete without video of the lovely tag team Race Queen either.
The Hasemi Sport Lady is at 0:37 

The Hasemi Sport Lady is at 1:30

Here's Toshimi at TAS this year

Yuuka has been in a few interesting YouTube videos as well

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Business Cards

I have been meaning to make new business cards for some time even before I started this blog because it was getting to be a serious pain in the ass telling people how to find the autocross videos and pictures and how to get a hold of me.  I had old business cards with my basic information and of all things my myspace page.  So I would have to write out the URL of flickr, youtube and my blog so people could find them.

Then I made this blog and I was tossing around the idea for a new logo graphic and I made what you see now.  While I was at it I was thinking this would be a good graphic for a new business card.  Fast Forward to two weeks ago and I finally took the plunge once again and ordered up 250 new business cards.

They took forever to get here for some reason.  Two weeks later and they were finally here and I could check them out.  I'm really happy with them but I do wish I could have gotten the green a bit brighter but I think that might have something to do with the inside drop shadow more than my color  choice.  It'll be something to mess with the next time I order some cards.

Finally my Ranka Lee card case has a meaningful use again.

Monday, August 23, 2010

2010 Super GT Rd 6 Pokka GT Summer Special

This weekend the Super GT series went back to Suzuka for the 39th International Pokka GT Summer Special the longest race of the season at 700km.  And boy what a race it was.  The F1 style knockdown qualifier say my favorite team Good Smile Racing qualifying in 4th place.  I believe their highest qualifying position so far.  Just to bad they couldn't stay there.  Once again this was a race for the light weight cars and a pretty interesting finish for the GT300 group.

121 laps of the Suzuka Circuit makes for an interesting race with several pit stops and driver changes.  Even though the GSR Porsche started in 4th it quickly fell several places at the start of the race with it ending up finishing the race in 10th place and while that's a really respectable position for them. I found out that the car was having braking issues with the first driver and the cause of them falling so far in the beginning.  What was supposed to be a good race for the Porsche group with the Cinecitta Porsche claiming pole position it turned into a not so good race for the Porsche group even with a new addtion of the LMP Porsche.

The GSR Porsche was the top finishing Porsche followed by the new Porsche addition.  The Bomex Boxster finished last of the running cars and the Zent Porsche and Cinecitta Porsche both retired during the race.  The Zent Porsche had a bit of help in it's retirement thanks in part to the Cinecitta Porsche.  Really guys you shouldn't be taking each other out.  You guys owed that Apr Axio Corolla a good punting for the Hankook Porsche that wasn't there this race.

The big winners for this race were both first time this season podium finishers.  In the GT500 series it was another big win for the new Honda HSV-010 this time around it was the Arta HSV-010 who hasn't seen a podium since the last race of season last year at Motegi.  It wasn't an easy race for the Arta even after taking the pole position.  Like many of the cars during this race the Arta collected a marker and did some damage to the rear end of the car requiring some pit side alterations to the car.  However, thanks to spins and other collisions the Arta was able to work it's way back up to 1st where it finished the race.

The biggest jaw dropper was the GT300 finish which found the R&D Sport Legacy claiming the 1st place podium spot.  I know shocking for a car that up tell now just had a hard time finishing a race this season.  With this finish they were able to jump from 20th to 11th place in the points standing.  Thanks in large part to fast pit stops and others misfortune the Subaru was able to make it's way from it's 11th place starting position to take it's first ever podium finish. 

On an odd little note the last F1 race saw a car leave the pit and lose a wheel.  Well the Epson HSV-010 got to experience the same misfortune as well during it's last pit stop where it also lost one of it's wheels as well.  Thankfully the body work kept the tire from causing as much mayhem as the F1 wheel did.   You can find some pictures from the race on Car@nifty and once again the YouTuber PM910 uploaded a great 15 minute recap of the race.  If you're like me and want to know the point standings and read the winner's comments than check out the blog post from Thai Automax

Friday, August 20, 2010

RQ Team: Queen's TOKYO Girl

TGIF and hey it's time for another round of the RQ Team feature.  This week it's the Queen's TOKYO Girls the Race Queen Team that supports the TOMEI SPORTS/Kosei RUNNUP PORSCHE 911. It's that funky looking 911 that you hardly ever see in the races because it is usually way in the back of the races.  In fact at the moment that team is ranked dead last with only 2 points.  If it wasn't for their spicy little Race Queens the team would hardly even make a riple in series.

I'm kinda glad I waited until now to do this team as they did a little changing of things during the 5th round of the Super GT by adding a new girl and changing the outfits.  Something that a few other teams did as well.  At the beginning of the year there were two girls Misaki Maika (三咲舞花), and Reina (相沢れいな) and their cute little outfits were pretty different than the rest with the pink corset and black frilly mini skirt thing.  Toss in the dayglo pink neon fishnet stockings, white elbow gloves and those itty bitty top hots and you have one of the funkiest Race Queen outfits from the Super GT series.  It's kinda cute but the corset isn't tight (a serious fail in my opinion) and that frilly dress is just a touch weird looking I think.  When the 5th round of the Super GT season came around they added another girl Kei Maeda (前田慶) and they changed their outfits as well.  A little bit for the better I think.  The latest outfit is a purple miniskirt with bikini top and some lacey tub-top and sleeve thing which I don't know how to best describe it.  But it's a marked improvement over the old one.  I just wish they would have kept the fishnet stockings.   All three girls are doing gravure modeling stuff as well and you can find random non-Race Queen stuff all over the place. A couple of the ladies also do other second tier Race Queen works as well.  But we're not talking about that right now.  We're just focused on the Race Queen stuff.

I check to see if any of the three did the professional Race Queen stuff and Misaki Maika has been busy working with Top Queen with several different sets including a couple for Top Queen Excite and Maid Queenz. As far as I can find the other two girls haven't gotten into the mix just yet.  You can find all of Misaki Maika's pro stuff is here -- TQ1, TQ2, TQ3, TQ4, TQ5, TQEX1, TQEX2, MQ1, MQ2 and MQ3 

Now we just need to move on to the real Race Queen stuff.  As always remember to check out the main sites for updates after each of the remaining races. 
Random Blogs -- RQ1RQ2, RQ3, RQ4, RQ5
Motor & Cos -- RQ1 and  RQ2
Race Queen Photogallery -- RQ1 and RQ2
Kurumaerabi -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3 and RQ4
That Dude's Blog -- RQ1 and RQ2
The Ponpon Blog -- RQ1 
Dante's Blog -- RQ1, RQ2 and RQ3
Car @Nifty -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3 and RQ4
Tyoro Aki's Blog -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3, RQ4, RQ5, RQ6 and RQ7

What's better than Race Queen pictures but Race Queen videos:
The Queen's TOKYO Girls are at 8:13 So far this was the only video of the ladies that I could find.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Hakosuka Mistress

If you spend any time reading my blog you know that I'm a die hard Porsche 911 fan and love them to death.  However like many car guys I also have a car mistress something that could easily take my mind off a sweet looking 911 and it's only been for a couple years but the love affair has been growing.  That Mistress is the Nissan Skyline "Hakosuka" from the early '70s.  That's right I have a secret love affair for a muscle car from the country of the rising sun from the '70s.  Oddly enough the love affair started with a diecast model.

Yeah a diecast car in a dusty old box caught my eye at the local hobby store.  It was a Kyosho Racing Skyling GTR sadily the car was going for $60 and out of my price range but every time I went back to that hobby store it was still there and I had to check it out again.  Then they had a sale and it was gone as well as my interest for a while.  That is until I started surfing import tuner blogs more and rediscovered the Hakosuka again from pictures taken at Japanese car shows with the external oil coolers and piping with the flaired fenders and massive grippy tires.  The love affair was back and growing.

The Hakosuka is the nick name (Japanese for box [hako] skyline [suka]) for the first Nissan Skyline GT-R that started in 1969 and lasted until 1972 when it was replaced by the latest generation of the Skyline nicknamed the Kenmeri.  The GT-R started as a 4dr sedan called the PGC-10 and later when the 2dr coupe hit the scene KPGC-10.  I like the 4dr but that 2dr is just old school muscle car awesome. 

During it's production lifetime the Hakosuka had a very successful racing career racking up a combined race victory of 83 wins.  That's pretty damn impressive. Sadly I only started finding out more about these bad ass old Japanese Muscle cars a couple years ago and thought that I'd never get the chance to see one up close and personal considering they were never official imported and sold in the states and finding an imported model would be damn near impossible.

Fast forward to only a couple months ago while I was surfing some other import tuner blog.  I'm pretty sure it was JDMEGO though and I found out there was a pretty cool blog about a company importing and selling old school Japanese Muscle cars from that era.  Sure enough they had imported  a few of those older Nissan Skylines fixing them up and re-selling them.  The kicker is they are just down the freeway a couple hundred of miles away.

That's a lot closer than I thought I ever would be to a Hakosuka.  When I discovered the JDM Legends blog was for a company based out of Salt Lake City, UT, I was thrilled and even though I'm not going to be making a trip to Salt Lake City any time soon I keep checking out their blog weekly for updates because the blog is doing a write up about one of their restorations of the latest Hakosuka that they got in from Japan.  If I ever had the cash to pick up a Hakosuka JDMLegends would definitely be the place that I'd go.  They are definitely fueling my love affair for the Hakosuka.

Here's a pretty sweet video of one in Japan

Another pretty sweet video

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

SRRSCCA Drift School

This last weekend was the first official Drift event in Boise, ID.  The Snake River Region SCCA chapter held a Drift School at the Expo Center for beginner drifters and those who just wanted to go out and get sideways and kill their tires for a weekend.  Since this was the first official Drift event I wanted to check it out and took the photography and video gear with me as well to catch some of the action.

I headed out there with high hopes and great expectations for this first event.  Everyone has been clammering for an official Drift Event on the local car forums and it wasn't any surprise that the Drift School filled it's maximum driver slots and then some before the start of the event.  Of the cars at the event it was mostly Nissan 240SX, Mazda Miata, Ford Mustangs and old school Toyota Corollas with a couple BMWs tossed in for good measures. 

The course was laid out the doughnut box was set up and the cars were ready to go.  I was set up to take pictures and video and fun began.  Since it was a Drift School many of the drivers were out learning to drift for the first time so many of the runs were spin outs and some just looked like a really slow and wandering autocross run.  The few drivers that were a bit more experienced were doing some good drifting though and as the day went on many of the drivers started to improve on their drift skills.

I on the other hand was not really improving on my drift photography skills all that much.  I came away from the event understanding that drift photography takes a bit more experience and practice than regular autocross as does the video work as well.  I had a hell of a time following many of the cars in the beginning and was getting better but not good enough in my opinion.

I do have a gripe about the whole event and that's the part where it's not like an autocross event.  An Autocross event has run groups where one group runs and the other group works the course and then they trade off.  The Drift School did nothing like that and after shagging a couple cones myself  (hey don't make the fat man run damn it) I said screw it and after that it only took a while until the cones were just tossed all over the place willy nilly.   So cars pretty much were driving just all over the place however they wanted to.  I thought that was pretty dangerous but what do I know.

Over all did I have fun did I enjoy going out there was it worth it in the end to attend this and skip the last nocternoX of the season?  Well yes and no.  Watching the drifting was really just kinda meh due to the underwelming performance of the noobs but hey they did start to improve during the day but by then I was bored, tired and wanting to get out of the sun.  I did like going out there and giving it a shot with the pictures and video but honestly I probably wouldn't go out to another one unless it was a pro-drift event. 

In any case you can check out my lame attempt at drift photography on flickr and including the drift event I also did some trolling of the parking lot for cool cars but a lot of people parked the wrong way so some pictures aren't all that great considering what I had to work with.  -- flickr set

As for the videos I filmed about 21 videos and you can find them on at the usual place on YouTube.  It's all raw video footage not snazzy film editing or anything so don't expect much from the videos. 

Here's one of them for a taste.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Porsche 918 Spyder

OK it's been a few weeks since Porsche has green lit the awesome as hell hybrid 918 Spyder but earlier this weekend they leaked out a little something something like a new video of the concept car driving around on a closed road in Monterey, CA, the car definitely looks and sounds cool.  Sadly it's still rocking what in my opinion are the fugliest rims ever on a production car.  Hopefully those will get updated around it's final roll out time.  Let's take a look at that video after the jump.  Ignore the picture that's just an awesome rendering of what a 918 race car might look like.  For the real pictures look here.

The Porsche 918 Spyder is Porsche's foray into super car green territory.  Even though they have the hybrid race car but that one is still in the non-production status still.  The 918 Spyder was confirmed for production at a Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance event that also revealed a lot of new information regarding the 918 Spyder's specs.  And here they are from the WorldCarFans blog --

Engine -- Mid engine 3.4L V8, 3 40-kW electric motors
Horsepower -- V8  rated at 498hp, electric motors rated at 210hp for combined total of 708hp
Drive -- AWD with PDK only tranny. Electric motors power front wheels
Price -- $650K
Will include soft and hard tops
No side mirrors, replaced with video cameras
22-inch wheels
Carbon Fiber and Aluminum construction
Emissions level -- 70 grams CO2 per kilometre
Fuel Economy -- 94 mpg
0-62 time -- 3.2 seconds
Top speed -- 198mph+
Ring time -- less than 7:30 minutes

All that adds up to some serious business and a lot of potential fun and smugness all at the same time.  Of course right now you're probably more interested in checking out the video of Porsche AG Design Chief Michael Mauer taking it out for a lilttle cruise on a closed road in California. Now if they'd get rid of those damn fugly rims...

Friday, August 13, 2010

RQ Team: DUNLOP Race Queen

Oh hey look it's time for another RQ Team feature.  This week's feature is Race Queen Team Dunlop. One of the two RQ teams that are part of the GT500 Lexus Team Sard.  I'll take a look at the other team later.  Until then lets focus our attention on the two lovely ladies that make up the Dunlop Race Queen team.

The Dunlop Race Queen team is made up of the due of Yuna Kureha (暮羽優奈), and Misato Kashiwagi (柏木美里).  This team's outfit features yellow and black with a touch of white accent in a typical Short Shorts with tiny tight tanktop and jacket.  Add in the thigh high boots and you have a complete outfit.  It's also the second of the Race Queen Teams that sponsor one of the three tire companies that provide tires for the Super GT series.

Of course in the looking around for their pictures the only one to jump into the professional RQ modeling with sets for Top Queen and RQ-Star was Misato Kashiwagi.  She did her RQ-Star sets when she was with Keihin last year.  I also found some video clips of her as well as another odd Race Queen outfit from 2008. For her Top Queen set you can find those here -- Race Queen, Swimsuit and second Swimsuit.

Of course it's really all about the Race Queen outfits at the races and it's time to find some examples of the ladies in their Race Queen outfits doing what they do best.  Don't forget to check out the main sites after each race to find hopefully more pictures.
Random Blogs -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3, RQ4, RQ5, RQ6, RQ7 and RQ8
Motor & Cos -- RQ1
Race Queen Photogallery -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3, RQ4, RQ5 and RQ6
Kurumaerabi -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3, RQ4, RQ5, RQ6, RQ7, RQ8 and RQ9
That Dude's Blog -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3 and RQ4
Lapin Merchant's blog -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3, RQ4 and RQ5
Car @nifty -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3, RQ4 and RQ5

What's better than pictures is of course videos and I've found a few of the Dunlop Race Queen ladies.

One of them is at 1:40 and 6:50

She's at 3:55

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

To keep things interesting and in an interest of posting on this blog more than just Friday for the Race Queen Team and after race events I thought I'd post a blog about some other interesting things in the automotive world.  And I figured it might get a bit boring if I keep posting about cool Porsche stuff especially since I don't get to take pictures of them very often.  So today I thought I'd post up about another car that's been on my Radar for a while.  And thanks to autocross and the internet I've developed a fondness of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (Evo) and the number of videos and pictures of the cars that I've taken can attest to that.

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo is Mitsubishi's high-performance sedan that incorporates a 4-cylinder (2L) Turbocharged AWD system that pushes 400 hp stock.  There has been 10 generations of the Lancer Evo of which only the 8th generation and up have been officially sold in the States.  Soon the Tuner market got a hold of the cars and with the capabilities of the Tuner market you can easily find Lancer Evos pushing the 1200hp envelope. But I'm not really interested in the drag car scene of those 1200hp Lancer Evos  I'm more interested in the Time Attack and Autocross Lancer Evos that show their entire capabilities. 

Then I started seeing them more and more at the local autocross events and could see just how powerful these cars could go around the track.  So now I find myself often looking for the Lancer Evo at car shows and car events to see what's going on with the scene and there is definitely plenty going on even here in Boise, ID, even if the scene is smaller than many places there are several high horsepower cars prowling the streets.  I'm always looking forward to the autocross events to see if any of the Lancer Evos running in our region have added anything new and exciting.  Lately that hasn't been the case.  Still though they are tearing up the competition and often get branded with the nickname cheater car thanks to their all wheel drive system that many believe gives them an unfair advantage against other cars.

Actually this unfair advantage has caused a big stink in the regional SCCA program where it was lately discussed what to do with the overpopulation of winning Lancer Evos in the BSP class and other classes.  I don't know what ever became of that little bit of panty bunching but we'll probably find out later what they end up deciding.

Now lets get to my coverage of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo I've been shooting them on film and video for a little over 3 some years and I hope to keep doing it and maybe later get to expand my coverage a little outside the local scene.  You can find the pictures that I've taken on flickr it's mostly autocross stuff but I think there are some decent still shots as well.  I want to see my favorite local car back out running though as I love that dark gray with florescent orange rims.  I love that color combo and so far have only gotten to see it once for a short stint.   On the video side of things while there is a shit ton of Lancer Evo videos I also have a farely large collection of Lancer Evo videos from autocross events on youtube

As for that favorite Evo I did manage to grab one video of it before it's untimely retirement.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

RQ Team: MOTUL Circuit Lady & Autech Race Queen

Oh hey look at that it's Friday already and it's time for another RQ Team feature.  I think this week I'll do the tag team duo of the MOTUL and Autech Race Queens.  Yet another GT500 team that's two teams in one.  These two Race Queens both support the Nismo MOTUL Autech GT-R that has been having a rough year in the race series sitting at 10th place currently.  Since the two girls support the same car I thought I should feature them together instead of separately  in their own posts. 

Since it's two ladies with different teams I'm going to do this post a little differently.  The MOTUL Circuit Lady is Iris Aoyama (青山イリス) and she is decked out in a red with white outfit that consists of a Mini-skirt and halter top with Jacket.  She is set apart from the others though with thigh high red leather boots.  Then you have  Minami Chinatsu (美波千夏) who represents the Autech Race Queen and she is the polar oppiste of Iris in a white and red outfit that is also a mini-skirt with tube top and jacket.  She also sports a set of  thigh high boots.  Both of them are drop dead gorgeous and can easily be in the running for the Race Queen of the year.  Even though I'm still holding out for Saki winning that.  Both girls are more than just Race Queens a quick search shows that both girls also does other Booth Babe type work as well.  But we're here for the lovely Race Queen stuff and here it is.

Both girls have been featured on TOPQUEEN but none of the other professional Race Queen companies and you can find those sets below. 
Iris Aoyama -- RQ1 and RQ2
Minami Chinatsu -- RQ1, RQ2 and RQ3

And now for all that borring other Race Queen stuff.  Don't forget to keep checking out the main sites after the races for new pictures. 
Motor & Cos -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3 and RQ4
Race Queen Photogallery -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3, RQ4, RQ5, RQ6, RQ7, RQ8 and RQ9
Kurumaerabi -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3, RQ4, RQ5, RQ6, RQ7, RQ8, RQ9, RQ10, RQ11, RQ12 and RQ13
That Dude's Blog -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3, RQ4, RQ5 and RQ6
Car @nifty -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3 and RQ4
Scanlover Forum -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3, RQ4, RQ5, RQ6, RQ7, RQ8 and RQ9
Random blogs -- RQ1, RQ2, RQ3, RQ4 and RQ5

Of course what's better than pictures are videos and there are a couple videos of the Ladies

The Motul and Autech Race Queens are at the 40 seconds mark

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