Words by : Ben Wong, Photos by : Neo & JieYong
The Japanese, some call that place the Land of the rising sun, Nippon, Nihon, JDM land and countless other names with too many to list down here. There are many names to call that country but the its the only place that seems like automotive heaven if you love cars. I’m not talking about the mid-Tokyo jams that is so famously shown in Tokyo Drift. I’m talking about everything else in between. The wangan, the Daikoku gatherings and even Tsukuba, one of the first places that is most likely to pop to mind at the mention of “Time attack” before World Time Attack started. It is no secret that the Japanese probably have the coolest car culture and the most lenient rules with regards to vehicle modification and racing / drifting. Even if it is strict, that’s definitely not what is portrayed to us.
Just simply use Google and you will see the abundance of car content you can always find about Japan, be it the wangan or just plain drifting. Its almost as if once you slap on a Japanese plate on to any car regardless how “rice”, it automatically becomes cool. Look at the Bosozoku and those large trucks with enough neons to allow a blind man to see. Any where else in the world, that would be branded as “Rice”. In Japan however, its simply the Japanese culture and its cool! It’s no wonder why so many aspire to have a JDM badge on their car, that green and yellow arrow shaped thing that actually means “P plate” in Japan. Some how that became the Japanese symbol of JDM. Even the US companies name their companies after JDM, Password : JDM. It is simply proof that people worldwide continue to draw inspiration from this amazing country.
Sebastian here is no different. Back track a several months and you might remember that Sebastian was the person who got us pit access in our coverage of last year’s MME. He is also a good frriend of mine and the purchase of this Evo was partially due to my constant brainwashing to get him to switch from a WRX. What sealed the deal was when he took a ride in my own personal Evo on the track. Long story short, we decided his car was to be featured and it “happened” to be arranged on a weekend where he was out of town for holiday. This meant the car had to be left with me…. for a week.