When Super GT driver Yasushi Kikuchi straps into the Recaro seat, the premise of wrestling with a highly-tuned version of the quintessential Japanese muscle car becomes much more believable. Of course, the car is optimized for the track and a far cry from an antisocial tire spinner. The owner of this machine has outfitted his car with the wild Tamon Design bodykit, which not only generates downforce, but trims weight to sub-3,000 pounds with a carbon composition! Dry carbon doors and hatch from a JGTC Supra are left unpainted, as are the numerous carbon goodies making up the elaborate front end. What this package also offers is more room for a wider set of tires – something which anyone tracking the Supra knows is a necessity.
With lightweight Enkei RPF1 wheels at all four corners, the curb weight of the big bruiser is brought down even further, and the Yokohama Advan A050GS semi-slicks they’re wrapped in gives the car a startling amount of grip and turn-in speed. Some of that incisive cornering comes from the downforce generated by the canards and massive front lip. At slow speeds, where aerodynamic grip isn’t as relevant, the car’s 295-section front tires offer sharp, immediate turn-in and a willingness to rotate, seen most notably in Turn 1. High-dollar Swift coilovers with 18-kg springs at the front axle also crispen the steering response.
At the rear axle, the Supra is equally impressive. What some might expect a powerful, turbocharged, front-engined car to do is blow the rear tires off whenever the throttle is depressed. However, this car is far from a stereotype, and uses an OS Giken locking differential and 14-kg Swift springs at the rear to get surprisingly good traction at the corner exit.
Part of that stellar traction is due the turbocharger’s delivery, which is smooth as butter, and it also builds boost from quite low in the rev range. The HKS TO4Z 0.81 A/R comes on-song with the help of HKS 264° cams and the variable valve timing head, which is ported and polished. The internals are forged items from HKS, which also supplies the 800cc injectors to feed the thirsty mill.
Not only does the motor produce power sweetly and predictably, but it has the supportive cooling one would expect with a circuit racer. HPI oil coolers, an ARC transmission cooler, a massive HKS R-Type intercooler keep the tuned motor cool during these blistering laps. Keeping in mind that fifteen years ago, a fully-built, dedicated GT300 Supra ran similar lap times with far more engineering at its disposal, that sort of speed isn’t anything to sniff at.