Tuesday, November 29, 2011


HKS and Taniguchi have for years been a winning combination, setting records wherever they go. Time attack has always helped push the tuning envelope further, as extreme parts and modifications eventually trickle down and are able to be used on street applications. This is what will eventually happen with the R35 GT-R. HKS definitely have something up their sleeves as we all saw at the recent R's Meeting event

Once Taniguchi pitted after his second track session I went to take a closer look at the R35. The temperatures on the screen showed that a good thrashing was given but they weren't as high as I've seen on these new GT-Rs so I'm guessing that whatever cooling upgrades they have carried out, are working efficiently. 

Then came the big surprise as I glanced at the HKS lap timer. While most tuners were out for nothing more than a few demonstration laps, HKS was out to break records! On the second outing Taniguchi managed a best lap of 1'45"82, the fastest an R35 has ever gone around Fuji. The top speed, 300 km/h (186 mph)!

That puts the R35 in hot pursuit of established older GT-Rs like the Autech Tsukada ATTKD BNR34 and Auto Gallery Yokohama BNR32 which both lap in the 1-minute 43-seconds (on street-legal, semi-slick tires)

HKS, up until late last year, were using the stock radial tires on the R35, managing a best of 1'48"94 before switching to slicks. Their first attempt on the sticky race tires yielded a best of 1'47"126 with Orido behind the wheel. You can see the video of the lap here. Now with the new 20-inch Advan A-005, the time has dropped further.

The very loud titanium exhaust.

Behind the 20-inch Yokohama AVS Model F7s are serious Endless brakes, forged monobloc 6-pot calipers front...

...the laptop to be connected, making last minute ECU program alterations quick and easy.

The dry carbon wing has been bolted down directly to the trunk lid... 

...the aluminum stays allowing 9 different angles to be selected.

Taniguchi looking through his lap times on the HKS Circuit Attack Timer module.

The R35-specific EVC boost controller is fitted in front of the gear selector along with the HKS AFK A/F meter.

I would personally love to see what the HKS R35 would be able to do around Tsukuba, with and without the slick tires. The bar has obviously been raised, so it will be interesting to see how all other R35 tuning shops will respond.
R35-only time attack even at Tsukuba anyone?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

2011 Porsche Race Edition Pilot by Adidas Review

Exceptional functionality coupled with a striking design - since 2006, that has been the standard of the Porsche Design Sport Collection, a collaboration between adidas and the Porsche Design luxury brand. As part of its Spring / Summer 2011 collection, Porsche Design Sport is presenting its first made in Germany shoe: the Race Edition Pilot. 

The manufacturing of the Race Edition Pilot takes place at the long-established adidas shoe production facility in Scheinfeld (Bavaria), where football shoes, such as the Copa Mundial and World Cup are produced. About a dozen employees are currently entrusted with manufacturing the Race Edition Pilot. 

Inspired by open-road racing, the Pilot features a rounded heel and collar padding for comfort. A TPU midsole shell is engineered with shock-absorbing adiPRENE® for platform stability and a smoother ride, while low-profile rubber outsole inserts facilitate fluid pedal work. Supple and lightweight, the Pilot's elegant silhouette is crafted from premium Italian full-grain aniline leather. 

One hundred pairs of Porsche Design Sport's most innovative Driving shoe to date are currently produced each day, employing components, uppers and soles supplied from Asia. This requires about 30 production steps, of which the following are crucial: attaching the insole, lining up the toe, pre-spreading the lasting margin (lower edge of the upper), clipping the side margin and heel, buffing and finely polishing the uppers, cementing the lasting margin and sole, applying and pressing the sole, finishing, and final inspection. 

Porsche Design Sport is a collaboration between the adidas brand and Porsche Design. Launched in 2006, the Porsche Design Sport collection fuses engineering excellence with an inherent commitment to refined style. The range of luxury sportswear utilizes the industry's most advanced technologies in concert with luxurious, exclusive materials, performance-enhanced details and impeccable craftsmanship. Stylish yet understated, casual yet technical, Porsche Design Sport is defining a new era of engineered luxury sportswear. 

adidas is a global designer, developer and marketer of athletic footwear, apparel and accessories with the mission to be the leading sports brand in the world. Brand adidas is part of the adidas Group, a corporation that includes brands such as Reebok and TaylorMade-adidas Golf. 

Porsche Design is a luxury brand with particular focus on technically inspired products. The brand was founded in 1972 by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, whose products have ever since stood for functional, timeless and purist design. The product portfolio includes classic men's accessories, a sport and fashion collection as well as electronic products and a men's fragrance range. The products are designed in the Porsche Design Studio in Zell am See, Austria, and sold worldwide in the company's own stores, shop-in-shops, high quality department stores and exclusive retail outlets.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

2011 Nissan PlayStation GT Academy 3 Review

GT Academy's global footprint is growing. 2011 marks the third season of GT Academy in Europe, as well as the inaugural year in the USA. 

This year's European competition will run across 10 countries with the online gaming phase starting on 4 March and continuing until 17 April. Leaderboards for each participating territory will highlight the fastest 20 racers who will proceed to a live territory final. Only two from each final will make it to the intensive six-day driver training `Race Camp' to be run at the world-famous Silverstone circuit. The winner of Race Camp will continue to be trained in high-performance Nissan race cars and compete in a series of national-level races in order to qualify for an international race licence and an entry into the Dubai race. 

Since the first GT Academy in 2008, the innovative competition has established itself as a real and credible route into top-level motor sport for Gran Turismo gamers. Lucas Ordoñez, the Spanish winner of the first instalment in 2008, went on to finish second in the 2009 European GT4 Cup and fourth in 2010. Frenchman Jordan Tresson, the winner of last year's GT Academy competition, finished equal fourth with Ordoñez in the GT4 series. Both racers are expected to announce new programmes for 2011 soon. 

"In Gran Turismo 5 we continue to bring the worlds of real and virtual racing closer together and the GT Academy programme, in partnership with our friends at Nissan, perfectly illustrates this ambition," explained Kazunori Yamauchi, the creator of the Gran Turismo games and president of Polyphony Digital. "It is also a great showcase for the fact that GT5 will continue to offer players more than just the game they have bought. It fully utilises the online functionality of GT5 and highlights the community elements. I think that we shall see a lot of friends challenging each other to take part in GT Academy and seeing how good they are against others. I am sure that most people with an interest in motor sport have dreamt about having a go for real. The competition has already made that dream a reality for the previous two winners, so it is well worth entering - even if it is only your friends you want to beat!"

 When the virtual racing stage of the game ends, the emphasis will shift to Nissan's stunning sports cars with the 370Z and GT-R playing starring roles at the Silverstone Race Camp. "It has been a great pleasure for us to see so many of our cars recreated in stunning detail on the new GT5 game," said Nissan International's Vice-President of Marketing, Vincent Wijnen. "But GT Academy is even more special as we watch the incredible progression of somebody racing our cars in the game to enjoying great success racing them at full speed on international race circuits. GT Academy has become a great `grass roots' mainstay of our international race programme and we enjoy the partnership with PlayStation very much." 

GT Academy in 2010 enjoyed enormous success with 1.2 million gamers taking part. The competition found a very high-profile fan in judge, and former Formula One team boss, Eddie Jordan, who commented at the Silverstone event: "This has been extraordinary, I have been absolutely blown away. I could not believe that these gamers, with no experience of racing cars, could do this. They really are great drivers, all of them, and they can be rightly proud of what they have achieved. I know that they have all had an amazing experience that will stay with them forever." 

Residents from 10 European countries, combined into six territory groups, are eligible to take part in GT Academy 2011. They include: 1. Germany and Austria; 2. France and Switzerland; 3. UK and Ireland; 4. Spain and Portugal; 5. Italy; and 6. the Netherlands. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

2011 Honda Civic Ti Review

Race-car looks are combined with high-spec interior equipment on Honda's new limited edition model, the Civic Ti. Based on the 1.4 and 1.8 i-VTEC SE variants, the Civic Ti comes with £3,700 worth of extra equipment over and above the standard model. 

The 5-door Civic is inspired by this season's Honda Racing British Touring Car challenger, and is fitted with unique, 17-inch `Pro Race' wheels from Team Dynamics, Honda's racing partner in the BTCC. 

The sporty image of these matt black wheels is enhanced by Honda's `GP' body kit finished in Crystal Black, which provides a stark contrast to the exclusive Premium White Pearl body paint and body colored trim. The race-like GP kit includes front spoiler, rear spoiler (finished in white), side skirt inserts and rear body skirts. Inside, the Civic Ti is equipped with a state-of-the-art Pioneer Navigation Multimedia System, which offers full-scale sat nav, entertainment and communication with a 3D graphic touch screen. 

This high-end multimedia unit includes a map database covering 44 countries, multiple sensors to ensure more accurate positioning, a traffic message channel receiver to avoid traffic jams and a hands free telephone system. It also plays CD, DVD, iPod, iPhone and USB devices, with on-screen controls. 

The Pioneer system provides another link to the BTCC team, as the global audio/video and electronics firm is the main sponsor of Honda Racing Team's attack for the 2011 title. 

Honda dealerships in the UK will sell just 500 of the limited edition Civics, which go on sale in March. Prices start at £15,995 OTR for the 1.4 i-VTEC and £16,995 for the 1.8 variant.