WTAC are excited to announce the first confirmed Japanese time attack team entry to WTAC 2023, the Hokkaido Dream Racing Mazda RX-7.
Owner-driver Tetsuhiro Kurokawa makes his third trip to WTAC and he assures us he is pulling out all stops to chase a podium including a radical new aero kit by Japanese aero masters Voltex. He and the car currently hold the rotary record for time attack cars at multiple tracks around Japan and the FD is currently undertaking a complete makeover to ensure the car is competitive on the world stage in September.
We caught up with Kurokawa-san in his hometown of Kitami on the outskirts of Hokkaido in Northern Japan as he works deep into the night to finish his meticulously-prepped RX7 which is clearly a labour of love.
WTAC: You have competed twice before at WTAC what makes you want to keep coming back to Sydney?
Kurokawa: For the past 6 years we have achieved rotary lap records at Tsukuba and Sugo and also hold the lap record at my local track Tokachi Hokkaido by almost 3 seconds. I really want to test our strength on the world stage and there is only one place to do that and that is WTAC in Sydney and this is where we are planning our final challenge. It is very exciting for me and my team.
WTAC: Last time you competed in Open Class in 2017 you stopped the clocks at 1.30.81 in Open Class trim obviously now moving into the far less aero restrictive Pro Am class you will be looking to improve on this what is your new target time.
Kurokawa: Obviously we would love to be on the podium but it is unknown how fast the competition will be this year with the big tyre rule changes. We aim to be the fastest rotary ever so we look to run 1.27.2 or faster. We are coming with a complete new aero package and much more powerful engine package than last time so you never know we may even run much faster than this its hard to say at this stage but we will be happy if we set this time.
WTAC: What is your best time at Tsukuba circuit to date?
Kurokawa: We hold the rotary record at Tsukuba of 53.489 but this was set with our old setup. The car we will bring to Australia will be a totally different animal and although we are proud of it this time is not reflective of what the new setup should be capable of if all goes to plan. We keep pushing forward.
WTAC: What other changes have you made to the car?
Kurokawa: Since 2017 we have changed every part of the engine, the turbo is a GCG G42, new RGN suspension and a brand new Endless brake setup all around.
WTAC: What else do you have planned before departing for Sydney?
Kurokawa: The two big changes will be a new MoTeC setup by AVO Japan and of course a “maximum attack” Pro Am-spec aero package by Voltex.
WTAC: And tell us a bit about your team and how it all came about.
Kurokawa: We are all just a bunch of crazy car enthusiasts that love the rotary engine and pushing the limits of time attack racing. All my team is volunteer-based and share the same passion as I do. We started this project in 2015 then came to WTAC a year later.
WTAC: Lastly you have a bit more of a struggle than most to test your car given your remote location tell us about that.
Kurokawa: My hometown Kitami City on the Eastern edge of Hokkaido in Northern Japan is a harsh weather environment. In summer the temperature can hit 35 degrees but it winter it can go as low as minus 35 degrees giving us only very small windows for car testing in Spring and Autumn. In winter sometimes our city is under metres of snow and it is impossible to leave. So we do have to try a bit harder than most at every opportunity.
WTAC: We really look forward to seeing you again in Sydney in September!
Kurokawa: We are really excited to come back to Sydney too to represent Japan on the world stage and look forward to meeting all the rotary fans again in Australia
Currently both Team Japan and Team USA have one confirmed entry each – stay tuned for many more, as we add names to what may be one of our biggest international entry lists ever!
World Time Attack Challenge is on 1-2 September 2023 at Sydney Motorsport Park.
World Time Attack Challenge Sydney is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW