LEAV­ING BLACK MARKS

LET IT ALL HANG OUT FOR BLACK MARK DAY AT JA­PAN’S FA­MOUS NIKKO CIR­CUIT

NZ Performance Car - - Contents -

IT ISN’T EX­ACTLY NEWS THAT COOL THINGS HAP­PEN AT RACE CIR­CUITS ALL OVER JA­PAN EV­ERY DAY — BUT, AMONG THE MIND-BOGGLINGLY LONG LIST OF EVENTS THERE, SOME STAND OUT. PEDEY HEADED TO THE AN­NUAL BLACK MARK DAY AT NIKKO CIR­CUIT - A MECCA FOR GRASS ROOTS GOOD­NESS

Ev­ery sin­gle day, there are cool things hap­pen­ing at race cir­cuits all over Ja­pan — this isn’t ex­actly news, I know — but, among the mind-bogglingly long list of D1 Grand Prix rounds, low-key track days, vin­tage rac­ing events, time-at­tack ses­sions, and all the rest, some dates on the cal­en­dar sim­ply stand out. One of those events is Black Mark Day. Held an­nu­ally in late spring (be­fore this place gets just too damn hot), Black Mark Day is the brain­child of the crew at N-Style Cus­tom, a high­lyre­spected body shop and oc­ca­sional drift team from Gunma Pre­fec­ture. Black Mark Day is hosted not too far from N-Style’s home base, in the next pre­fec­ture over, Tochigi, at one of Ja­pan’s more fa­mous drift venues, Nikko Cir­cuit. It prom­ises ca­sual track­day vibes com­bined with a much higher qual­ity of both cars and driv­ing, and it al­ways de­liv­ers.

I had been to a drift day at Nikko be­fore; in fact, that was the first track day I ever drove at in Ja­pan. Back then, there were maybe 40 cars and plenty of space to set up your pits, and, for some rea­son, I ex­pected the same this time as we pulled off the ex­press­way and onto the ser­vice road that leads to the fa­cil­ity … How wrong I was. The place was ab­so­lutely and com­pletely

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