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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...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

April 10th-20th : Fully immersed in Japanese motorsports

On April 10th, I left Yokohama for Okayama - a city 680km south-west, beyond Oasaka and Kyoto. There I watched the Super GT race and spent time primarily with the Bandoh Toyota Celica and interviewed Manabu Orido.

The Bandoh team has a long legacy in motorsports in Japan and Manabu Orido actually began has racing career around 15 years ago at this same company. For the next race, the team will debut a brand-new GT300 Lexus IS racecar - a car that is said to even have some Toyota F1's resources vested in it. But, more on that later.

The Bando website:

The GT300 #666 Bomex Avanzza Vemac team's Junichiro Yamashita is one of my sponsors for the FCJ series this year, as you can see the Bomex and Avanzza signage on the formula-car.
The #666 Team:

After spending the weekend in Okayama, I left for Osaka to visit the 5Zigen facility and met with Kinoshita-san (木下 正治) and also had a chance to sit down with his business development team to discuss internet strategy. 5Zigen looked to be an incredibly tightly-run operation with very smart people, and they are significantly more aware of the value of the internet than most companies in Japan.

I then briefly stopped by Kyoto, as it was the city I lived in at age 6 in 1992, and drove straight to Suzuka for our FCJ two-day test. The first day was in the dry and the second day was in a creek/lake. The rain was so severe that many turns had rivers and puddles at apexes and braking zones. Our times in these conditions were 25 seconds slower than in the dry. Driving a formula-car with an expectation to aqua-plane at 125mph at 130R was an experience. In some parts of the track, I had to zig-zag through a straight in order to avoid the big lakes. For this day, I was 13th out of 26 in overall lap time. Our race is on May 8th at Suzuka.

I got back to Yokohama on Thursday evening and then left for Motegi for the Japan Indy 300 IRL race to watch Danica Patrick win her first-ever race in IRL. The race was canceled on Saturday due to rain and moved to Sunday.

IRL #23 William Rast car driven by Townsend Bell.

A friend of mine, Mike Fink, works for the #23 William Rast car, which gave me an opportunity to really experience the event from within. They even let me sit in the car. I'd love to race an IRL car one day.

Here is a video of a pitstop I took:

Being immersed in motorsports this way sure is a great way to live.