They’ve cultivated a definite “legend car” ambiance on this side of the Pacific, but back in Japan, they’re attainable sports cars that are regular sights at track days and club racing like the kind seen here. The R32 is lighter and less expensive, which makes them quite popular in this form of racing, but the R34 benefits from a six-speed Getrag gearbox and a more modern chassis. Whatever their starting attributes, these cars have been lightly modified for track work, but still likely double as road cars. It seems that in Japan, the standards for civility with road cars is slightly different than it is here – I’ve met a few Japanese drivers who wouldn’t bat an eyelash at the idea of putting a full cage in their daily drivers.
Somewhat like what’s seen inside the R34 camera car. Though the car benefits from the rigidity and safety of a cage, it’s not a dedicated track car yet: the interior is all there. It’s what might be called a “boost up” car, which usually entails stock turbos with modified intake, exhaust, and fuel delivery, if the engine note is anything to go by. So all in all, not a crazily modified monster, but something that could be had by someone with a decently-paying job. Yet, it still is remarkably quick on the track.
That all-wheel drive traction comes in handy as the two Skylines leave the other RX-7s behind at the start, and begin a frantic dice of their own. The R34 enjoys more rear stability but is less willing to make direction changes, while the R32 looks like a dartier handful. Straightline speed is about the same, though it seems the weight of the R32, or perhaps driver skill, helps it off the corner just a bit better.
Perhaps slightly tentative, the R34’s driver finally pounces at 5:05, and then, the R32 returns the move. Some back-and-forth ensues, and a wonderful bit of timing determines the deserved winner.