Thursday, April 28, 2011

2011 Super GT Itasha Racers

This really seems like the year of the break out Itasha Racers in the GT300 class for the Super GT race series.  There are six anime related/inspired vehicles running in the GT300 class starting this year.  Some time this year there may even be a seventh Itasha themed car as well.

If you are not aware of what exactly is an Itasha car it's literally translated as Pain Car and is the term coined for cars that are covered in anime/manga themed cute girl graphics.  The trend has been around for a while and three years ago GoodSmile Racing started the trend of Itasha Racers when they introduced Racing Miku on their first entry into Super GT with the older BMW Z4 race car.  Later that year S Road Mola also added Itasha graphics to their GT300 Nissan Fairlady with Kagamine Rin/Len.

Although not exactly like the others Team Mach GoGoGo had the Mach5 livery on their Vemac racer as well.  This year I believe the Mach GoGoGo team will be back with the same Vemac and Livery.  We haven't seen it yet so I'm not entirely sure.  That's the only Anime themed GT300 car that I haven't seen any current news on.  However I've finally seen what the other five teams look like finally thanks to AS-web who just released a slew of pictures for the team cars.  Not all of them but a good number of them.

Thanks to Jon Sibal we have already gotten a really good look at the new GoodSmile Racing BMW Z4 GT3 car and it was looking a lot better than their first BMW Z4 that is for sure.  One of the things that I love and hate about the GoodSmile Racing team is their cool little collectibles they have which you can only get if you live in Japan or have a way of spending a crap load of money to use third party shipping companies.  It's really sad that with today's exchange rate it is really expensive to be a part of that group.  I wish I could but unless I win the lottery it's just not in the cards at the moment.

Last year there was one Racing EVA team that was driving one of the Team Lexus IS300 cars this year however there are two EVA racing teams.  The first is the EVA Type 01 that changed from the Lexus to the Apple Shidon Mooncraft car.  The second one is EVA Type 02 which is the new Porsche that is run by the Direction Racing team.  Their car is up at the top of the page.  It will be interesting to see how these two cars do in the series that is for sure.

The fourth car that we knew about from the start was the LMP Pacific NAC Ferrari F430 car that will be running the Squid Girl Livery.  I never did watch that anime but it'll be interesting to watch this car run and check out what the Race Queens will look like.  They have already done some promo work with a Cosplaying spokesmodel of the Squid Girl character.   I did also finally find the blog for the LMP team so hopefully we'll have some new news about the car and team.

Now we have the surprise of the season with the second Hankook KTR team car which is sporting a Haruhi Suzumiya theme that is run by Team Dijon Racing.  I didn't here anything about this Itasha until it popped up on AS-web last week and I was really surprised to see that it was Haruhi Suzumiya not because I don't like Haruhi Suzumiya but because there just hasn't been anything new from her in a while.  Not that I'm complaining though.  I'm just glad to see more Itasha Racers out there.

The last team that will more than likely have an Itasha theme is the AS Racing Team that announced that they were entering the GT300 series but then said they were not going to enter a car until late in the year.  They started in Super Taikyu with the Kyosho EVO and announced that they were going to be running the old GoodSmile Racing BMW Z4 but we'll have to see how that all pans out later in the year.

I was looking for some testing footage on YouTube and ran across this series of videos that was showcasing some of the new race cars as well as a segment on last year's series.  I've included all five segments.

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