The pacing for my time in Japan so far has really been a big ebb and flow, August being a prime example! The month started with a few trips to see friends and was fairly relaxed, which was a total opposite to how the month ended.
In the course of the last week of August, I won an auction for an Ae86 (Huge shout to AutoSport Rival for helping me find and purchase a car) and had to sort transportation and possibly going to 86Fest all over the course of a long weekend (Blog post on the car coming shortly!). Everything ended up being set for me to travel to Tokyo and drive the 86 back, but prior to that I was going to go to 86Fest Okayama with Arato Japan.
Plans for 86Fest really came together at the very last minute, with me joining Jacob (Jacmob) at about midnight the night before and catching a small bit of sleep before getting up at 4 to travel to Okayama.
We’d arrived really early, which ment we got to see the car park slowly fill up with 80’s classics. It’s an odd experience seeing such a huge collection of these cars when I’ve only seen a handful in Japan and the UK on my travels. It felt crazy to be in a position to say that maybe there was too many panda Ae86’s (Black over grey is the one!)!
The day started slow and started to pick up around mid morning, all the garage’s were full and cars were getting prepped for track time. Luckily the atmosphere at most Japanese events seems to be really relaxed so I had no problem walking into the garages and meeting the drivers and speaking with them about their cars.
I love that these events feel more like extended family gatherings, everyones so open and positive to meeting anyone who shares the love of the Hachiroku platform.
As the day went on, cars would head out of the pits and onto the track to get some much needed practice in before the races later in the day. Being able to get up close to the cars as they got prepared and watching from the pit garage’s as they charged onto the track was amazing.
At the start of the day everyone entered a raffle to win a ride in an N2 Ae86 and I was fortunate enough to be given a winning ticket by Chris (Thanks so much dude!) to go for a lap round the track. The experience was honestly crazy, they have some real power and grip like you wouldn’t believe. Mad to think my first experience in an 86 was an N2 spec race car!
To top off the day, the various classes of 86 had their races, all of which were incredible with plenty of aggressive driving. These racer’s honestly were amazing to watch, battling hard throughout each session, with a handful leaving with some pretty significant battle scars.
The day definitely went far too quickly and of course I didn’t take half as many photos as I should of (I may post some more at a later date when I’m happy with the edits). Definitely a perfect start to the journey of Ae86 ownership for myself, I really hope to take mine to next years event if I can.
I strongly urge everyone to go to one of the various 86 festival’s, the community and racing displays were honestly second to none. Everyone we met on the day was so kind and open and really helped to get us involved in as much as possible.
A huge shout out to the organiser’s, Arato Japan and Jacob/Chris, you guys rock!