Your Cart is Empty

LIVE FROM JAPAN 3: Circuit Trips in Japan (and Type R Brakes)

September 27, 2017 2 min read

After finally getting behind the wheel of a car worthy (read more about that HERE) of taking to Japan’s large number of racing circuits I was on the prowl for a place to take the DC5 to really open it up.

In Japan there are basically three ways to get onto a track:

  • Enter a race series
  • Join a track day event with various organizations (Honda, Mugen, various Tuning Shops, Clubs etc.)
  • Get a track license for open track sessions (they call this ‘Sports Driving’ in Japan)

I decided to go for the track license as it offered the most flexibility. After looking around at the options I landed on Sodegaura Forest Raceway which has been getting a lot of international press attention lately thanks to lots of press events for the new BRZ/FT86 being held there (see here and here).

SFR is very similar to Tsukuba with about the same overall length and a similar length straight. It is a very technical corse with many off-camber turns and a lot more elevation changes that Tsukuba.


The process of getting a track license was fairly simple, have your car exhaust measured for sound (must be under 95 dB – say wha??), pay the money (15,000JPY entrance fee + 10,000 yearly fee ~$280US), take a simple training course (about 30 minutes), and wait an hour for them to stick a photo on the paper and laminate a license for you:


After securing the relevant papers it was time to get out on the track. The line up was somewhat intimidating.

2011-09-19 at 11-40-58

2011-09-19 at 11-41-09

2011-09-19 at 12-28-38

I managed to beat the goal time of the day just ever so slightly

2011-09-19 at 13-53-17

After some time with the DC5 on the track it was clear that the Type R is built for exactly this kind of driving. I have never driven an front wheel drive with as much balance and control. Lift off in the middle of a corner and the rear will slide over with perfect balance, something that made it feel like you are driving a rear wheel drive.

The only issue was brakes… Even with those big brembo’s in the front, there was a lot of fade with the stock pads and it was clear that brake balance was being hindered by 10 year old brake lines. So that was that – the first upgrade to the DC5 would be brakes…

As your resident guy on the ground in Japan I hope I can bring you some insight into the Honda scene, tuning and life in Japan. If there is something you really want to see in these posts let me know via the comments.



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Hybrid Racing

FE1 Civic One Make Race!
FE1 Civic One Make Race!

March 24, 2023 1 min read

We teamed up Street Metal & the Honda One Make race series in Thailand! These FE1 Civics will use our short shifter systems to improve driver ergonomics and gear change feel! 
Read More
Rollercoaster Weekend At Circuit Of The Americas!
Rollercoaster Weekend At Circuit Of The Americas!

March 16, 2023 5 min read

Excitement level was off the chart and everyone has been extremely excited to get back racing after what seems like a year long off season for us. After the highs the weekend, we never expected how the trip would end. 
Read More
Hybrid Racing Golden Era Honda Keys
Hybrid Racing Golden Era Honda Keys

February 24, 2023 2 min read

We know how important cars are. Spending thousands of hours and dollars on something to make your own, means it becomes a part of your personality. Having a special key for that special project makes it even more meaningful. Our Golden Era Keys are a perfect touch! 
Read More