The Last Hurrah
[pullquote]THE TOUR ALSO INCLUDED AN EXCLUSIVE, EYES-ONLY, NO-PHOTOGRAPHY LOOK AT THE STI WORKSHOP[/pullquote]On the last day of the tour, two new destinations were added to the itinerary. The first stop took the tour group to Mitaka, the home of Subaru Tecnica International (STI). The DSPORT Tour took part in a special tour of the STI facility, hosted by many of the STI staff. After a video presentation and introduction by STI’s Toshiya Azuma, attendees got the opportunity to view and photograph some of STI’s coveted and limited edition machines.
An Impreza 22B STI serial number 000 along with an S206 were on display, alongside two of Petter Solberg’s WRC rally cars and STI’s NBR Challenge racecar. The tour also included an exclusive, eyes-only, no-photography look at the STI workshop. There, one of STI’s engineers, Tatsuya Otsuka gave a brief tour of the engine building and development area. While we were obviously limited to certain areas of the facility, it was fascinating to take a close look at the difference between the street-going EJ engine parts and Subaru’s Super GT engine components; the difference between a professional racing engine and a street engine became very apparent.
GReddy, Set, Go!
After departing the STI facility in Mitaka, we took a two-hour bus ride to Chiba to pay a visit to TRUST headquarters, known as GReddy in the U.S. There, the TRUST staff, along with GReddy USA’s general manager, Kenji Sumino, greeted us. Before taking a walk around the TRUST facility, the staff presented its 35RX GT-R (DSPORT’s cover car from Issue 114) alongside its new D1 Grand Prix entry, the 35RX spec-D drift car. The 500-horsepower GReddy FR-S demo car was also on display, which showcased GReddy’s new turbo kit for the 4U-GSE/FA20 boxer engine. The visit ended in TRUST’s cafeteria and gift shop, where the attendees went on a GReddy apparel-shopping spree.
Back to Reality
[pullquote]WITH A TOUR GROUP OF 45 PEOPLE FROM ACROSS THE U.S. THE 2014 DSPORT TOKYO AUTO SALON TOUR WAS THE BEST TOUR TO DATE[/pullquote]After leaving TRUST and Chiba behind, the tour returned to Shinagawa for the last time, to spend a few hours doing last-minute shopping and to eat dinner. We packed up our luggage, parts, swag and souvenirs, and took the airport limousine bus back to Haneda Airport for the flight home.
With a tour group of 45 people from across the U.S., the 2014 DSPORT Tokyo Auto Salon Tour was the best tour to date. With new ideas and plans in negotiation, the foundation for an even bigger and better 2015 DSPORT Tokyo Auto Salon Tour is already being laid. If you missed out on the 2014 tour, you won’t want to miss out on 2015. Stay tuned.