NIKKO QUEEN 2009: Nagoya at Nikko

April 21, 2009 1:40 pm Published by

Let’s have a look at a couple of drivers that competed in Expert Class at last weekend’s Nikko Queen, Rie Shinmi in the R34, and Michiko Yasue in the bronze S14 Silvia.

I knew that Tsuyoshi Tezuka was coming up for this event to support the two girls, which was cool because I don’t usually have a chance to talk to him in person outside of D1 events, where everyone is usually busy for most of the time.

Without fail, the first thing Tezuka always says when I see him is “I’m sleepy.” This was a justified comment in this case though, since he had worked all day on Saturday, then drove a loader with the two cars on the back all the way up from Nagoya to Nikko Circuit that morning.

He was also working as a support mechanic and spotter for the two. He here is changing the front toe on Michiko’s car after a practice session.

Both of them looked really good in the practice sessions.

Rie seemed the most comfortable and consistent though.

At one point when Tezuka and Rie were talking, this kid came up and said “You’re D1 driver Tezuka, aren’t you?”

He was a little walking encylopaedia of drifting! He hung around for a few minutes talking about this and that, and after he left, Tezuka said “He really knew a lot, eh?”

I had actually met Rie without remembering it a few years ago on a trip to Gifu. Tezuka took us to an Autobacs Second Hand store to buy some cheap parts (I bought some Poncams and a Power FC) and Rie gave us a big discount. This is her mascot sticker, which kind of does actually look like her. I think it’s based on the design of “Nyoro~n Churuya-san”, which Bee-R boss Imai-san (the guy who owns Tezuka’s D1 car) is actually a fan of. More about that another time.

Neat. That’s Tezuka’s helmet in there too.

Rie’s engine is completely standard apart from a turbo upgrade…and I forget which one!

During the competition, Tezuka sat up in the judging stand with a video camera…

…then took Rie’s car out after the competition was over to have some fun.

Michiko was keen to show her custom sakura-themed helmet paint, because her surname used to be “Sakurai”. That’s right, “used to be”. She was just married recently. Sorry to break any fantasies that were running through your heads!

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This post was written by Alexi