NZ Performance Car - - Inside Line -

For time-at­tack cars, Tsukuba Cir­cuit in Ja­pan is the bench­mark for fast. Post a solid lap time there, and you’ll have ul­ti­mate brag­ging rights, which is why tun­ing house HKS has stopped at noth­ing to re­claim the record, they last held with the CT230R, de­vel­op­ing the TRB-03 ( Tsukuba Record Breaker), based on a GT86. HKS has spent 13 months test­ing the TRB-03 on and off the track, mak­ing mul­ti­ple mod­i­fi­ca­tions to­wards its tar­get. Of note was the change from su­per­charger to turbo on the 2.5-litre 4U-GSE heart. Pre­vi­ously, the TRB-03 had been equipped with an ex­ten­sively mod­i­fied HKS GT su­per­charger kit, but that has been binned in favour of an HKS GTIII-5R snail that helps to make up­wards of 600kW at the wheels. It also fea­tures a ton of aero de­signed by An­drew Bril­liant of AMB Aero.

Un­der Suzuki ran a 50.366-sec­ond lap in the Scorch Rac­ing S15 in De­cem­ber last year, to set a new record. That record was su­per­seded by the TRB-03 the same month, with 50.259s on semis­licks. How­ever, HKS was not so naive as to think that Suzuki would not at­tempt to knock HKS off the throne, so con­tin­ued to push the car’s ability, and that has re­sulted in a crazy 49.445-sec­ond lap time — the fastest ever of its kind at Tsukuba.

As a re­sult, de­bate has arisen among timeat­tack fans, with many ar­gu­ing that the pre­vi­ous records were set on semi-slicks as gen­eral prac­tice. How­ever, the lat­est lap time saw the TRB-03 shod with Ad­van A005 rub­ber — a slick com­pound tyre. Whether HKS used it to be faster or due to a safety con­cern is un­clear, but, re­gard­less, the time has been rec­og­nized and sets a new bench­mark for the cir­cuit.

We’re just wait­ing for Suzuki to re­spond.

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