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All #FSBletters translated as of August 14th, 2022 - Chronological Order - Look Inside

Before reading these #FSBletters from the #WindofChange, please watch/listen to the following audio for the origin & context of these le...

Friday, March 23, 2007

A little more about FCJ

There is really barely any info on the internet about this series, so these notes might shed a little more light for those who are curious.

At Suzuka, we went full throttle in 6th gear through the 130R at around 230km. Turn one is just slight trail brakes while in 6th gear starting from 240km. The cornering forces are incredible - over 2.6/2.7 Gs at somewhere like Suzuka's 130R or Fuji 100R (The 180 degree right hand turn). Braking is also fun due to downforce - over 2.4 initial Gs in the braking zone after 130R before the Chicane.

My top lap time was 2:04.5, which is faster than most Super GT GT300 class cars. F3 is about 1:55 and Super GT GT500 is around 1:50 in qualifying.

My advisors are Tanaka Tetsuya and Kageyama Masami - both championship-winning factory Nissan drivers. They instruct a group of 8 of us. Toyota and Honda have similar groups, and we are all encouraged to speak with all advisors. There is very little partinsanship in the series - the entire organization is very united in the goal of raising the best possible race car drivers.

We are only allowed to adjust tire pressure on the car.

The cars are equipped with a 34 channel data logger and we are provided everyone else's data after every session. I usually look at RPM, speed (they have overall max speed, left front wheel, right front wheel), steering angle, throttle, brake pressure, and lateral and cornering Gs.

The overall format of the series, where multiple manufacturers are funding and promoting the program in completely equal cars, and sharing everyone's data with everyone, is probably first time ever in history of motorsports.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Super Taikyu test - Nissan Fairlady Z shakedown

We conducted the shakedown of the brand-new Nissan Fairlady Z racecar the day following delivery from NISMO at the Suzuka Circuit. In class 3, the competition is four other Z33 Zs, RX7s, NSXs, and an M3. The cars are blazingly fast despite low power - a little over 300hp. With the car in the as-delivered suspension setup/height, we were able to get a time of 2:18.8 within a few laps.

The next item on my schedule is the Fuji Speedway race with FCJ, on March 31 and April 1. We have two test days prior to the race weekend, and I am certain that I will be posting a much better result report here compared to the season opener at Suzuka.

Monday, March 19, 2007

FCJ Race Rd.1 and Rd.2 - Suzuka

Some photographs are up from the first race weekend of Formula Challenge Japan:
View the FCJ image gallery

The race results were not satisfactory - 26th in the first race and 21st in the second race, but the season is long and the next race is in 10 days at Fuji.

Suzuka is an extraordinary race track and I am looking forward to coming back here three more times over the year - once for Super Taikyu with the Nissan 350Z and twice for FCJ races alongside Formula Nippon.

This evening, NISMO delivered the Super Taikyu-spec Nissan 350Z race car to Suzuka. Tomorrow will be our first shakedown of the Z.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Season opener with Super GT at Suzuka

Tomorrow is the official practice for the season-opener at Suzuka this weekend. We have tested here for the past two days. All 27 cars got some coloring now. My car looks like this:

View in the gallery

Real photos of the car will come in the next few days.
The yellow and blue represent the Ukrainian flag, the top half is blue (sky) and the bottom half is yellow (wheat fields). The red circle is of course the Japanese flag, as having grown up in Japan from age six through twelve, Japan is as large a part of me as Ukraine.

This series is truly astounding, and I keep reminding myself how fortunate I am to have been selected as one of the 27 drivers. This group is the top driver from all over Japan, who have been raised to for racing since young age. Nearly everyone has done several seasons of go-karts followed by a few seasons of formula cars. The age of the drivers is between 17 and 24.

Nissan, Toyota, and Honda are extremely serious about the series and are spending an incredible amount of money to develop the next Formula One Champion out of Japan.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Preparing for Formula Challenge Japan

Two days ago I went to Suzuka Technical Center to get a seat mold made for the Formula Challenge Japan open-wheel car and to test-fit the Takata harness.

This was the first time I saw the cars in person. They are amazing - the entire car is made of carbon fiber and the aerodynamic structures are obvious. The cockpit is very comfortable, and with left-foot braking and no-lift sequential shifting, this is my kind of car. The transmission is supposedly right out of F3, and is extremely durable.

I am now leaving for the Fuji Speedway for the March 3rd orientation followed by two days of testing, with 3 hours scheduled per day.