When Mimi and I moved to Japan last year, I was a couple days too late to join RWB in the Idlers 12 hour endurance race at the Twin Ring Motegi racetrack (The inaugural event for Nakai-san’s international friends and clients). When Nakai-san extended the invitation for me to attend this year’s festivities, I made sure to clear my calendar. Not only would this be my first time driving on a Japanese track, but also the first time behind the wheel of the famous Rauh-Welt Porsches. Needless to say, I was stoked.
The journey began on Saturday afternoon. Danny was in town for the race and crashing at my place so we drove the Hakosuka to RWB in Chiba to meet with the rest of this years team. I was forewarned that there would be little to no sleep over the next 48 hours and to sneak in naps whenever possible. I gave the warning little thought as I let the excitement and adrenaline carry me through the next morning.
Immediately after arriving. I’m greeted by this sinister black 996 with a prototype RWB widebody.
The Hako parked amongst the horde of Germans.
A closer look at the rear fender wing/vent.
Inside the shop, everyone was lending a hand in the last minute preparations.
The magical number for this event. RWB48… When we asked Nakai if it was really to mimic AKB48, he responded with a smile, “Yes AKB48, you know them?”
Spray painted onto one of the cars from last years event.
This 993 was freshly built off a pristine 48,000 kilometer chassis. It wouldn’t be spotless for long…
The immaculate headlights. Wish I could have traded them out on the 993 back home before they get blasted during the race.
Overspray? What is that?
This was my first encounter with a Racetech bucket seat…
so I had to jump in for a test fit. Not bad, but I prefer my Recaros. Thanks to Larry for snapping this pic after my camera ended up in his hands.
Nakai-san naming the car. The one for lovers…”lovers rough”
A little statement we would be seeing much more of over the weekend.
As the vinyl was setting and the spray paint dried, a priest arrived to bless the race cars that would be competing in the event.
It turns out the priest happens to own the white convertible RWB 993, known as the “Spearmint Rhino.” Quite an amusing choice for a guy that runs multiple shrines.
Danny and Gary double checking the vinyl.
Danny doing the honors and unveiling the name.
Amidst the last minute preparation chaos, a fire extinguisher was set off. I didn’t know they make the extinguishing powder in pink.
Rain was coming down hard by the time everyone was ready for the caravan to Motegi. I was assigned to drive the pink 993.
Nakai-san’s purple turbo 993 would be sitting out this race.
The first stop for our small group to assemble at was the Lawson convenience store down the street.
All the participants and friends of the shop would eventually meet at Moriya parking area. Our group was the first one to arrive around 11pm, so Larry and Dino from Speedhunters decided to do an impromptu shoot with the Cayenne Turbo press car.
The new super wide “Royal” fenders for the 964. Not so fun in the narrow Japanese side streets.
About 30 minutes later some more RWB Porsches started to arrive.
Nice beading action. I wonder what wax he uses.
While we waited for the cars with no ETC (Japan’s version of EZ pass for toll roads), Porsches started to pile up.
Arrival at Motegi was around 1:50am
We arrived a bit later than planned so the cars were actually allowed to drive into the paddock.
In the next bay were these cool cars with Gulf livery and the Idlers Club president’s personal 911.
The Baby Cobra in the foreground was one of my favorite cars at the event.
Aside from the 8 year old worn out tires, she was actually pretty nice to drive.
A Lotus 2-Eleven waiting to dominate the field.
This long hood 911 had a full 3M carbon vinyl wrap.
Fortunately this was true for most of the race.
Waiting for the sun to rise and the fun to begin.
Final preparation taking place.
The cockpit I’d grow accustomed to during the endurance race.
Nakai decided to add flags representing the nationality of all the owners and friends that came to participate with team RWB.