February 1, 2008

Hot Version - Battles At 10,000 RPM

This months Best Motoring is actually a Hot Version DVD. Hot Version has the same racers (which is always Keichi Tsuchiya, and usually Orido and someone else) as Best Motoring, only it's focused more on the tuning world as opposed to stock car testing.

This episode, "Battles at 10,000 RPM" started off great with a NA only battle. They had various tuner cars, such as J's Racing S2000, to the RE Amemiya RX-7 Super G, to the Spirits MR-S and more. As usual, most of their battles are done at Tsukuba Circuit, with a total of 7 cars this time. Great to sit back and see all the setups of these track cars and what actually goes into making a stock car into a track beast. The RE-Amemiya RX-7 featured a 20B three rotor that was peripheral ported. It sounded so different compared to a normal rotary, as it was deeper but still with that high pitched exhaust note. I really can't say much about this car as I'm impressed with everything about it. The looks, the power, the handling. Only thing Tsuchiya didn't approve of was the suspension setting for the track, as he said the car "wanders around" during the S curves, thinking the dampers might be too soft. Still won the race with no problems.

After that, they featured a great comparision between a 2003 S2000, and a 2004 face lifted S2000 (unfortunately in America, the 2004 also featured the 2.2 engine with lower rev limit, but more torque). After a few comparisions in terms of handling charateristics and wheels, they had a short battle between the two, and a tuned S2000, to show the differences overall.

They then had a tuned S2000 battle with top notch brand names; Spoon, J's Racing, and C-Ken S2000. This battle as well as the previous S2000 comparisions were done on Maze Circuit. I'd say my favorite part is when they explain how to drive the circuit and what to look out for in the turns. They go over simple steps going about when turning, and how to always keep the traction in the rear. Really helps when thinking of the dynamics of track racing. The end of this race was "HOT" to say the least... You'll know what I mean if you see it.

They had a great segment on some of the top Japanese racers right now, Jyuchi Wakisaka, and Orido Mandabu. Small interviews with them with various questions, then descriptions of their careers as of 2004-2005 at the moment. Wakisaka is participating in not only formula, but also JGTC 500 class. Orido is currently (in the video time frame) doing Super Taikyu for team Advan and doing JGTC 500 class as well. It was great to get a glimpse of what it's like to be professional, something I wish to achieve at some point.

The next segment had a small show called "My Car Challenge" in which viewers of BMI/Hot Version are picked out, and get to bring their car out to the track. Once they do, they do a time attack against a professional racer of their choice, using the viewer's car. The viewer will get to do a practice lap or two, then do a full on time attack lap. Then, the professional gets their practice lap with the viewer's car, before doing their time attack. This time they had a 180 SX, and a EG6 Civic.

Lastly, they had a Touge Showdown Special Class episode. It was originally supposed to be the Amuse S2000 against Subaru's STI WRC rally car, but due to the heavy snow and conditions on the course, this was simply turned into a time attack done by none other then, Tommi Makkinen. Tommi really impressed everyone at the level of not only the WRC car, but his driving abilities with being able to control the car in such conditions.

Great video, especially the various different episodes from a huge NA battle, to some battles with the S2000, then about the racers, then back to the small racing shows of my car and touge showdown. Feel I definitely got my moneys worth with this video here.
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