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Z1 is heading to Japan (Mr. K, Zama & the 2010 NISMO Festival of Speed)!!

Everyone, We have some exciting news! Although we were not able to attend SEMA this year in Las Vegas. We have been planning a trip of a different kind that

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Old 11-19-2010, 01:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Z1 is heading to Japan (Mr. K, Zama & the 2010 NISMO Festival of Speed)!!

Everyone,
We have some exciting news! Although we were not able to attend SEMA this year in Las Vegas. We have been planning a trip of a different kind that has us all very excitied.

Between November 29th thru December 9th, four of us from Z1 Motorsports will be leaving from our shop for Tokyo, Japan for 10 days of Z related events and meetings in the "Motherland of the Z Cars".

Some of the planned highlights of our trip will include:
  • Lunch with Mr. Katayama-san himself!
  • Guided tour of the Nissan Zama Storage Facility
  • Attending the 2010 NISMO Festival of Speed
  • Guided tour of the Autech assembly plant
  • Guided tour of the Tochigi assembly Plant
  • Various lunch and dinner gatherings with engineers, execs and officials from NISMO, Nissan Japan and Autech
  • Trip to the Yokohama Proving Grounds
  • and ALOT of other sight-seeing venues (Temples, shrines, etc)

We have alot to prepare for, especially since our trip is directly following the Thanksgiving Holiday. Look forward to daily updates from me including pics, video and highlights from our trip.

We hope that we can strengthen our relations overseas in Japan with some of the various manufacturers and companies in order to bring more of the JDM parts all of you want to the US.

With this said, please note that I will be out of the office during this time. The only way I will be reachable will be thru email or PM's.

Last edited by Dustin@Z1; 11-19-2010 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Monday, November 29th

Today marked the beggining of our adventure to JAPAN! The day started at 4:00 AM (EST). BTW...keep up with me on the time stamps, it changes alot throughout our trip.

Shawn Holleman and myself got to Hartsfield ATL Airport by around 6:45 AM for our 8:15 AM flight. Breezed right thru security (no grab *** security check points, etc). (Note: TAKE YOUR LAPTOP OUT OF YOUR CARRY ON. I failed to do so and ended up having to re-check my bags which delayed me a few minutes here).

We finally made it to our terminal by around 7:20 AM and begann to wait patiently.

For those of you who do not know me. This trip was a milestone for myself already at this point for two reasons:

1) I have never been out of the country
2) I have never flown before - at all

Fact 2 was tested when we recieved the notice from Delta that our current 777 sitting at the terminal was being taken out of service due to mechanical issues. Sited as engine problems that could only be repaired in the hanger. This was definitly NOT a confidence builder for myself.

After a 1 HR and 10 MIN delay. We were finally taking off from Hartsfield bound for Detroit, Michigan. THe total flight time was roughly an hour and twenty minutes ( and was really not that bad).

Once in Michigan, we had to quickly transfer over to a connecting flight outbound for Narita, Japan. I was excitied about taking a 747 for this leg....which proved to be a big disappointment. Although the the 747 was an impressive plane on the outside, the inside was definitly outdated. 777 > 747.

~ will finish and add pics later tonight ~

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Old 11-19-2010, 01:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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FUJI SPEEDWAY - NISMO Festival 2010; McDonalds in Japan??

Sunday was hands down probably one of the hardest, most physically demanding days of the entire trip for me and my co-worker (Shawn Holleman).

Sunday began at 6:00 AM like every other day during our trip. We boarded our tour bus and headed North to Fuji Speedway, nearly a 2 hour drive from our hotel in Tokyo. Today was one of the highlights of the trip for me, we were actually going to the NISMO Festival!!!

For those of you who are not up to date on the event, the NISMO Festival is a ALL NISSAN gathering hosted by NISMO Japan and NISSAN. During this single day event, NISMO pulls all of their resources and places them on display for the crowd to enjoy. Famous road race drivers from Japan and International road racing are all on hand, putting their vehicles thru their paces. NISMO brings out a wide variety of cars, ranging from vintage Skyline Road Race Cars all the way to the 2010 FIA GT R35 GT-R that will be campaigned next year.

I can basically sum the NISMO Festival up in one sentence....

(Given that you have played Forza or Gran Turismo in the past) Imagine every NISSAN car you have dreamed about and watched on JDM videos or youtube.com. Now imagine that everyone single one of them are gathered into one place, all either on the race track or on display in the parking lots.

This thought was only led to shear PANIC when you only have about 6 hours to experience all of them. At some points in the day I was literally sprinting around Fuji Speedway trying to take it all in. I received a lot of laughs with the goofy American sprinting about. I know for a fact that I sprinted the entire length of Fuji's race track.

Here are some of my highlight pics from the 2010 NISMO Festival @ Fugi Speedway:


The scenery headed up to the race track was incredible. We were offered a few great opportunities to see Mt. Fuji in the distance. Japan has a stunning landscape, its something that is has to been witnessed in person.





Traffic got increasingly dense as we approached the entrance to the circuit. On multiple occasions we were passed by entire groups and car clubs. Here a group of Z's passed us. In total there were about 10 cars in this group.




Thru our friends made in Japan, we were allowed the Platinum Room Pass. This allowed us into most places, but not all. It did give us a little more freedom over the average attendee.




A quick shot of the track from the NISMO Hospitality Suite where we were staying:






By the time we arrived, the day's festivities were already underway. Many cars had already been on the track for the morning practice sessions as well as a few smaller feature races. I was able to snap the closing laps of the morning's warm-up session and the GT-R Pace Car on track.


NISMO 370z Race Car...I looked ALL DAY for this car to try to get a closer look but never found it again. I never saw it back on track either.









Later on in the morning, we ventured down to the vendor paddocks to see some of the vehicles and booths setup. Some of the most notable names in Japanese Tuning were on hand, including: NISMO, MINE's, Central 20, Endless and HKS. Many of the feature cars viewed in both import and domestic magazines were on hand showcasing some of the industry's latest products. It is safe to say that the new 370z is a popular platform as there were many on hand...Just about every booth had one.




MATCHLESS CROWD RACING (MCR) Fairlady Z (Z34):




NISMO (Omori Factory) Fairlady Z (Z34):




MINE's Fairlady Z (Z34):






HKS Power Fairlady Z (Z34):





I moved from the vendor paddocks to the nearby staging paddocks where the Z Challenge cars were being held. This series is open to any and all 350z and 370z models. There were a handful of 370z's and even an odd ball convertible 350z on grid as well. One of the interesting rules about this series was that all cars had to be street legal. ALL of them were tagged and had majority of their interior still in place.








It was not long until the main feature race of the day was underway. This feature race was open to ONLY JGTC and FIA cars. Many JGTC 500 and 300 class 350z and GT-R's were on hand. Again, think of the cars that you have played in the various video games. The Calsonic R34, the Pennzoil R33/34, and the Motul R35...all on track together.











It was during this feature race that I did the MOST sprinting. I am familiar with Road Atlanta and the various "Photo ops". I know where to stand to get some nice pics. Being that this was my first trip to Fuji, I had to move FAST to get around and find the ideal spots. At an event like this, its easy to find them. Look for the cluster of guys with the 2 ~ 3 foot camera lenses.


Eventually I realized that I was running out of both usable day light and time. I wanted to take a trip to a few parking lots to get some pics of the various personal cars people had driven to the event in. Keep in mind that such cars as the GT-R, Silvia, etc are all common place to the Japanese. For someone like myself, it completely blew my mind. No matter where you looked, there was an interesting car (...or group of cars in some cases) that I had to get pictures of. Here are just a few:





This particular white 350Z attracted my attention for many reasons...the biggest in particular was the fact that a woman owned and built it! This thing was no joke, featuring a full roll cage, insane stance and forced induction. She spoke very little English, but understood (and was gracious enough) to allow me to take a few pics of her car. One of my favorite pics was this one, where I asked the proud owner to stand with her prized Z.




I saw MANY super clean Silvia S15's during my trip. This was one of two that was stunning.




At one point in my expedition around Fuji Speedway's parking lots, I came across an entire Silvia S15 car club all parked together. Again NONE of them spoke any English, so we all enjoyed a good laugh as I tried to ask them if I could take pictures of their cars. I was even able to get them together for a group shot with their cars as a bonus!





I eventually found out who the car club leader was. This gentleman owned this incredible Blue Silvia S15. It was sitting by itself, idling..... perfecto.




Our day at Fuji Speedway closed shortly thereafter with Shawn and myself again sprinting to catch up with the rest of the group. Like my other days while in Japan, it will not be one I will ever forget. I encourage any Nissan fanatic, given the opportunity, to go to the NISMO Festival at least once in their life.

On our way home, I did have a realization. Since landing in Japan on Tuesday (6 days prior), I had ONLY eaten traditional Japanese food. At one point on our journey back to the hotel, we stopped off at a rest stop on the expressway. I will admit, I have never thought of McDonald's as comfort food before now. But this particular rest area featured its own, full-service McDonalds restaurant. I snuck away from the group (suffering from a slight mental breakdown) and went and bought Double Quarter Pounder w/Cheese Combo. Without a doubt, that was the BEST McDonalds I have EVER HAD! I was caught shortly there after by the others in my group, who all shared my thoughts when I passed around the French fries. The old saying..."you don't truly appreciate something til its gone" definitely applied here.

Check back for updates and the rest of the pics/stories from our event!

To view the rest of the pics from the 2010 NISMO Festival @ Fugi (December 5th) check out the following link:

Z1 Goes to Japan - 2010 NISMO Festival (December 5th)

Last edited by Dustin@Z1; 12-27-2010 at 08:58 PM. Reason: FINALLY DONE WITH ALL OTHER DISTRACTIONS!!!
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 11-21-2010, 01:14 AM   #13 (permalink)
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As stated and told to you... i is jealous.. japan is an awesome country.
You guys will have a great time, just remember to bring back that item for your girl.
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Old 11-21-2010, 07:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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have fun!!!!!!
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Old 11-21-2010, 10:08 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daisuke149 View Post
As stated and told to you... i is jealous.. japan is an awesome country.
You guys will have a great time, just remember to bring back that item for your girl.
I is jealous, too! At least I can enjoy looking a few Mine's parts on my car and pretend like I'm in Japan every day....hahaha!


Dustin, have a great time! Can't wait for the daily updates!!
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