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