Posts Tagged ‘ct230r

05
Jan
09

HKS CT230R

It’s back. Little introduction is needed for this legendary car, as it is without a doubt the fastest circuit racer in Japan. Previously known as the HKS TRB 02, or Tsukuba Record Breaker, this full-carbon bodied Lancer Evolution 8 is back with a vengeance. In February of 2004 this machine, then sporting a bare carbon paint-scheme, lapped the small Tsukuba Circuit deep in the Ibaraki-ken countryside in an unheard of 54.739 seconds. Just to put things into perspective, a stock Lancer Evolution 8 laps the 2.070 m circuit in 1 minute 05 seconds, and this is with pro-driver/living-legend Keiichi Tsuchiya behind the wheel, on a good day. The driver who clocked in at 54 seconds was none other than Nobuteru Taniguchi, official HKS driver and one of the most skilled wheelmen in Japan.

Having already secured the fastest ever tuned car record at Tsukuba, Nob as well as the HKS mechanics knew that the car could go faster. As such, he boldly set off ready to shoot for a time in the 53-second bracket, but then, to everybody’s surprise, it went horribly wrong. Coming into the infield hairpin in fifth gear Nob locked up the front brakes and ploughed straight into the barriers, effectively shattering the TRB 02 into pieces. The mechanics couldn’t believe what had happened. Looking at the various video footage it seemed like there was some kind of steering arm failure, but since the whole front section of the car was damaged pretty badly in the impact there was no way of finding out the real cause.

With Taniguchi thankfully unhurt it was back to the drawing board. It took HKS almost two years to bring the car back to its former glory, and oh man did they do a good job. Shown for the first time at the Tokyo Auto Salon earlier this year, the new vehicle now sports a catchy new paint-scheme and in typical Japanese fashion, a totally new name. Behold the CT230R.

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