4​ Of The Best Japanese Racing Cars

1w ago

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J​apan. It's a very calculated country, where logic and sensibility reign supreme. Engineers focus on the smallest of details to create a finished product that is both practical and sensible. That makes it all the more surprising that they make so many cool and outlandish racing cars. After all, motorsport is just a bunch of people playing with very expensive toys on the weekend. Not exactly Japan's favourite way to spend time...

1​: 1995 Toyota Supra JGTC (TOM's)

M​ight as well start the list with one of the most recognisable Japanese racers. The Japanese Grand Touring Car Championship (JGTC) spawned some of the most zany cars that motorsport has ever seen, and still does in its current guise as Super GT. Making its debut at the start of the 1995 season, the Supra was designed solely to take the fight to the Nissan Skylines that were dominating at the time. However, the JGTC Supra was a fraud. Okay, I might be exaggerating that a bit. The regulations stated that any engine could be used, as long as it was a part of the manufacturers range. Being the clever people they are, the TOM's team ripped the 2jz out of the Supra and dumped the 3S-GT from the similarly-liveried Celica rally cars of the period. It worked though, the Supra cemented itself as a legend of, not just Japanese motorsport, but global motorsport. Did I mention the livery looks pretty awesome?

2: 1995 S​ubaru Impreza WRC

F​rom one legend to another. The '95 Subaru Impreza was etched in the memories of all motorsport fans when they saw rally ace Colin McRae ragging it around the best stages of the world in the WRC. Out of the 8 rallies in the 1995 season, the Impreza won 5 of them. When the team's drivers consists of McRae, Carlos Sainz Snr. and Richard Burns, you're in very safe hands. The most iconic moment of the Impreza's season was McRae's brilliant drive in the Welsh Rally. It was like the stage was his canvas, the car, his brush. Blimey, I got all poetic there...

3​: 1990 Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 Group A (Calsonic)

A​nyone who has ever played any Gran Turismo game ever, will instantly recognise the Group A R32 Nissan. Flared arches, white wheels and that iconic blue livery are all part of package. Not only does the Nissan look like vehicular pornography, it was also extremely fast. Utilising a 2.8 litre inline 6 and an all wheel drive system that would embarrass most supercars, the Skyline went undefeated for 4 seasons of the All Japan Touring Car Championship. A clean sheet that lasted 29 races. That's a bit like a Mercedes winning every race this season and then going on to win a few more races the next season. And F1 fans moaned about Merc domination...

4​: 2019 Toyota Prius GT300

Y​ep. That's a Prius race car. Normally occupying the car pool lane of a busy LA avenue, the race track is not the natural habitat of the Prius. This one competes in the GT300 class of Super GT with the V8 out of a Lexus RCF and a super-capacitor hybrid system. In case you haven't noticed, it's also got the mightiest of all the wings. To sum up, this is a V8 Prius that looks like it crashed through an aerodynamics convention. I bloody love Japan...

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-​Joe Le Corre-

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