Spotlight JDM: Idlers Race with RWB @Tsukuba Circuit – Mega Coverage

3N8A7009Ok, so it isn’t a big secret that we are in love with Rauh Welt Begriff and as of late, Porsche 911s in general. So if you’re tired of reading about these sorta things and seeing rad pictures of events related to this kinda stuff… turn back now.

For the rest of you, oh boy are you in for a treat, because we got the chance to attend an Idlers event at Tsukuba recently! So sit back and relax as we walk you through the pits and introduce a few of our favorite cars of the day.

3N8A6914Idlers is a club racing series that was started by the owner of “The 911 & Porsche Magazine”, a quarterly Japanese-only publication that has been around for over 15 years. They run several events throughout the year at various tracks around the Kanto area (central Japan), like at Motegi where they have a 12-hour endurance race, or Tsukuba Circuit where they hold an all day event with different races for separate classes.


All makes and models are invited, with not so many strict rules when it comes to specifications and restrictions, which makes for a fun time. Classes are speed and skill based (and sometimes based on the car’s age) so that no one gets hurt trying to pass an inexperienced driver. Per usual, it’s a time attack event, so you’re really racing against the clock and not your track mates.


Being huge Nissan nerds, we just had to take a look at this R32 Skyline GT-R who’s owner must have a thing for Group A racecars. The particular hue displayed here, Championship Blue, was never sold as a factory option for production cars, but was the choice of the Calsonic Racing team that made the car famous in JGTC.

We really liked the simple function-oriented mods done to the car. Huge GT wing and rear diffuser for downforce, meaty R-compound rubbers for grip, stripped interior for weight reduction, and safety latches to keep everything battened down at high speed.


So if the last R32 owner had a thing for nostalgic racing colors, then this guy took it to boss level. The exterior is completely modeled after the Calsonic R32 that was piloted by Kazuyoshi Hoshino and Toshio Suzuki in the early ’90s. Every sticker from the real car has been faithfully recreated and applied to this tribute version, which is also clad in the same Championship Blue. Even the intercooler has been painted to match!


Although Idlers is open to any make and model, some of the annual races are dominated, attendance wise, by Porcshes 911s, with most of them being built by Akira Nakai of Rauh Welt Begriff. It’s like a full day advertising opportunity  for the now-legendary man and his business.


Japan has a lot of Porsche shops, but one that is gaining traction on the internet recently is Crosspoint 25 out in Saitama Prefecture. They opened a new shop and cafe last year and threw a huge opening bash with Magnus Walker of Urban Outlaw fame.

Crosspoint 25 even built an exact replica of Magnus’ 277 Porsche 930, which we weren’t sure would go over well, but it was given a blessing from the punk-rock fashion magnate and everything was cool.


Probably one of the more famous of Nakai’s creations, this 993 has had a few makeovers in its time. It started out in 2010 as a silver-colored 911 named Royal MontegoBay, the first car to sport RWB’s super-wide 993 “street kit”. It would later be renamed TunerHaus in 2012, and then later that year sold to its current owner, Kunihiro Itakura, only to be renamed once again to Rauh Passion.


Since then, Itakura has fully flogged it for the past few years both on the touge and the circuit. Our friend Dino from over at Speedhunters got a chance to take this car for a ride when it was resprayed back in 2013, and given that Hossy and Itakura are good friends, we are hoping that we get an opportunity to do so someday as well.


We aren’t sure if this is a real 993 RS or not. It is indeed a narrowbody with a rear seat delete and no headlight washers, and even the plenum is the same style found on the RSR, but still, people do love to make replicas. It’s hard to imagine that someone is wheel-to-wheel racing a rare $300,000 car, but stranger things have happened. We might have to call up the guys at Maintenance Garage ShinRyu to find out.


No, this isn’t a McDonald’s sponsored car, and no Ronald is not the driver. This car is owned by Mr. Idlers himself, Atsushi Seike, the founder of the club. Currently it is helmed by Takaya Tsubobayashi and both he and the car are monsters.

It was commissioned to be built by Nakai some years ago, and although it doesn’t wear the RWB banner, much like Shakira, those hips don’t lie. And if you were wondering about the color scheme, it is an homage to the 964 Cup Cars of the early 90s. Gotta love that funky style.


Did we mention that we like duck-tailed 911s? Another great example of the simplicity of the 930 design brought to you in turbo form. “But it’s not a turbo engine!” I hear you say. Well given that the RSR was an incredibly limited car and it’s impossible to find one at a reasonable price, many folks recreate them, at least on the outside. This is done by welding on widebody fenders to match the RSR width. Incredible.


Another duck-tailed 930, this time built by Challenge Racing, a Porsche tuner based in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, was also done up in the style of the old Turbo RSR. We really liked the paint choice as well, as you don’t really see too many mandarin-colored Porsches roaming around.


This late model 930 was prepped for some serious track duty. A front mounted oil cooler and functional brake ducts make use of the RSR style front bumper, while vents in the rear bodywork help bring temps down on the air-cooled engine.


Kind of a throwback RWB car, this car is possibly an early one from Nakai. The bumper and sideskirts are not the normal fare for RWB builds from the past 5-10 years and when we spoke to our RWB buddy, he confirmed that perhaps they are from the Sunburst parts bin. It’s possible that Nakai used parts from Sunburst before designing his own stuff.


This car is owned by a guy named “Tommy” and is visually inspired by Porsche’s own 934 Turbo RSR that was raced back in the late ’70s (which we will get to later on). That huge wing is the main attraction and was used to push the old racecar onto to road as much as it was meant to funnel air through the top mounted intercooler. Tommy’s car sounds surreal as it cruises around Tsukuba; we really wish we got a video… perhaps in the future.


Now this car is pretty special. You may have noticed the hints already – some pink decals and a collection of miniature plush capybaras. This car is driven by a woman, and not just any woman, but RWB’s host mom Yoko. Yoko has been racing for just over 15 years and graduated from starting out in a 2nd-gen Toyota Celica to driving this 996 GT3.


You might ask why she isn’t sitting on widebody fenders from Nakai, but the answer is simple. RWB currently only makes kits for air-cooled Porsches. Her car’s windshield banner is also a little curious as it says RWR instead of RWB. If you look a little closer you’ll see that it is subtitled Rauh Welt Republik, a shop owned and operated in Hachioji by Nakai’s friends. Yoko stores and works on her cars there, and the owners are just as welcoming and friendly as Nakai himself.


Alright, so you might be thinking that this car looks just like all the other RWB 964s you’ve seen, and you’d be right in doing so, but for some reason we were stuck to it like white on rice. Maybe it was the early RWB 964 bumper (the newer ones are a bit different), but the Idlers official car also had it as well.



So what was it then? No matter how many times we walked away to check out other rides, we found ourselves being drawn back to this car. It’s like the camera was attracted to it like a magnet. Whatever it was, we were more than happy to spend some time admiring it.


Perhaps the best Turbo 935 replica we have seen yet, this thing was insane. Seeing it was like stepping into a time machine and exiting in 1978. The crazy Group 5 spec bodywork harkened back to a time when racing was literally death-defying.


You can see how the rear bodywork was made to provide extra downforce, rather than as a space to mount fluid coolers, which we are so used to seeing. This was to make sure the car stayed planted as it barreled down the straights at upwards of 190 miles per hour.

The headlights being relocated to the bumpers was a way to get around the Group 5 rulebook which stated that the front fenders could be modified. Since the headlights of the 930 were located on the fenders, Norbert Singer, the car’s designer, sought to make the car more streamlined. You can see another quirk of the 935 on the rear bootlid as well; that interesting “scoop” that channels air towards the intercooler.


It was a privilege to be present while this car made laps around Tsukuba. Although it isn’t the real thing, it is as close to one as we’ve ever seen and it even spits fireballs like the original! Every time it came around we were trying to immortalize it in picture format. The only thing that could have made it better would have been if it was wearing the 1980 Apple Computer rainbow livery instead of the Martini Racing one.


Well, we’ve saved the meat and potatoes of the day for this final feature – Nakai’s personal race car, and his first turbo car ever, the purple people eater Rotana. Created in mid 2013, the 993 was sent off to tuner Front Row who, aside from doing Porsches, also builds GT-Rs and Supras.

We wondered why it wasn’t handed over to Promodet, the people who built Stella Artois’ engine, but given the severe wait times over there, we’re sure the reason is because Nakai wanted his car built right away.


It’s hard to keep up with what parts are on the car as Nakai uses it as a testbed for sponsored stuff. On this day it was sitting on super wide 14 inch rear and 12.5 inch front Work Brombacher wheels that are fitted with Pirelli P-Zero Slicks for ultra-traction.

The car has so much girth that the wheel faces have been reversed and bolted facing the inside of the barrel, essentially meaning that the lip we see is, in actuality, the back of the wheel. Brakes for the event were supplied by PFC, a company who’s products can be found in racing series such as NASCAR.  The exhaust is clearly marked as being made by ING and the suspension, well, who knows. Originally it featured Quantum coilovers out of the UK, but right now it’s possibly a set of Aragosta 1-ways.


The car makes about 600 horsepower out of its 3.6-liter turbo engine that was donated by a 964. Enough to propel this matte missile around Tsukuba in less than 58 seconds with Nakai at the handle. Oh, and it also has an afterburner akin to an F-16, apparently.


This is the first corner of Tsukuba after the long straight, and if you saw the photo from the top of this article, you’d have noticed that the R34 seen here had to brake heavily into this first turn. Nakai on the other hand is a staunch practitioner of no-lift and late-braking theory.


One funny thing about Nakai is that he never bothers to run the qualifying round. He runs the track for a few laps during the shakedown portion of the day, but after that it’s a nap and then a hearty lunch of Tsukuba’s cafeteria curry. During the real race he goes balls-to-the-wall and, barring any mechanical failure, usually beats out everyone in his class. 


After that he comes back in and rests a bit before heading off to dinner and back to his shop. A busy man indeed, he is a bit like Nikola Tesla, sleeping in short intervals and thus working for the majority of his life. You gotta realize that in any given month the man is hopping aboard 8-10 flights to go build cars for foreign customers who, frankly as of late, have more money than brains, but that is up for debate.


Caroline Park, a driving instructor for Hyundai in Korea, also made it out to the race with RWB and just by pure luck we got this great picture of her posted up next to Rotana. These upskirt shots really show off the best side of the old gal, if we can toot our own horn, and Caroline isn’t so bad herself either.


Finally, we’d like to leave you with this candid of Nakai, showing that no matter how legendary one becomes to his fans, deep down he is just another enthusiast who likes to snap photos of cool car stuff.

Special thanks to Nathan Vosburg for helping decode a lot of the mysteries of the RWB world for us.

About the author

Francis Maraj

First picking up a DSLR camera in 2011, Francis Maraj turned to his other hobby, cars, for subject material. A past owner of several Nissan S-chassis cars ranging from a 1987 200SX all the way up to a 1998 240SX. Working and living in Japan, he spends his time soaking up the unique car culture. Francis enjoys shooting a wide variety of cars, from restored Japanese classics, to high-end European exotics, and even the occasional American musclecar that somehow manages to squeeze down Tokyo's narrow streets.
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