86 days are the best days

If you have spent any length of time in Japan, you will certainly appreciate a sunny spring day. This particular spring day was made even better with one Hachiroku drifting event at the Mobara Circuit.

Join me as I nerd out on 86-only chaos.

Mobara 86 days - Speedhunters - Alec Pender-3-2
Mobara 86 days - Speedhunters - Alec Pender-2-2

For the uninitiated, Mobara Circuit is a multi-purpose motorsports complex located across Tokyo Bay in Mobara City, Chiba. Although most know Mobara for its various drift and time attack competitions, the venue also hosts motorcycle and kart track days, most of which take place on the lesser-known short track circuit right next to the main circuit.

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Having attended my fair share of events at the Mobara Circuit and being quite familiar with the AE86’s average power output, I was curious to see how these cars handled the ‘Gallery’ corner – a large left turn on the main straight . Normally this is the main judging area in D1 Divisional and similar grassroots competitions. For anyone who hasn’t visited Mobara in person, it’s difficult to capture on camera just how much elevation change there is at this point on the track.

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Mobara 86 days - Speedhunters - Alec Pender-24

Walking through the pits there were more AE86s than you could shake a stick at. As expected, Team Mouse and Major Force were present in large numbers, with some of the most beautifully built and most recognizable cars. You’re kidding yourself if you thought they would miss an event like this.

A friend of mine, Marcello, rode his Garage Matsuyama-built Levin at the event for the last time before returning to Australia. While Marcello and the rest of Club 4AGE spent most of the day charging hard, things were unfortunately cut short for my Australian counterpart when the high-strung engine of his Levin threw the timing belt loose, causing some contact between the piston and the valve . Not good.

That’s the funny thing about drifting, though. Despite the catastrophic failure, it was all smiles and laughter. I don’t think I would have been able to keep the same brave face on if it had happened to me.

Mobara 86 days - Speedhunters - Alec Pender-5-2

If you’d like to see more of the chaos in video format, I’ve put together a quick recap of the event that you can watch above.

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Mobara 86 days - Speedhunters - Alec Pender-19

I think it’s safe to say that this over forty year old chassis isn’t going anywhere anytime soon when it comes to motorsports, especially when it comes to drifting in Japan.

Alec Pender
Instagram: no plans co

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