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Fuji: Saturday Paddock Notes, Autographs & Photographs

Body Kits and F1 Tribute karters

The weather is holding up beautifully, a slight chill in the air at times but bright sunshine and a perfectly respectable crowd for Qualifying at Fuji.

As always the autograph session was popular with race fans, Clearwater Racing’s Matt Griffin particularly proud of signing his name in Japanese (above), particularly impressive as, truth be told, Matt struggles to do it in English!

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The support races have been out for qualifying and the first race action this morning, the Wako’s Karts putting on a strong show, these two featuring the helmet designs from past F1 heroes!

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The first race meanwhile saw the fastest of the karts circulating in the 1:51s 6 seconds off the Porsche Cup car and 18 off the fastest LMP2! The race win secured by a mighty 0.060 of a second!

The race experience in Japan is somewhat different than many in Europe, a genuine welcome from staff everywhere, concessions open throughout the venue and fully open grandstands a real treat.

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There was the opportunity too to show top Belgian photographer and model collector Brecht Decancq the on-site model stores, this Brecht’s first visit to Japan, and he scored big time, completing his set of McLaren F1 1:43 models with the ex JGTC Yellow Corn long-tail car, the car that scored the last contemporary race win for the F1 GTR, at Mine in late 2001!

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As always here there are some great examples of the uniqueness of Japanese car culture, from the angular Kei cars to the drift and Super GT tribute body kits.

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A very nice Toyota Supra with full house RAYS body kit caught the eye – as did a bog standard, but super rare Lexus LFA.

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