Also part of the proceedings was a drift competition, which attracted some high profile entrants, like Mad Mike Whidett from New Zealand with his crazy triple rotor RX-8.
Australian drift champion Beau Yates with his TRD sponsored 86
Plus plenty of local entrants
Rounding out the drift field were two cars from Team Orange in Japan, and you might recognise Nobushige Kumakubo in the background.
The drift event was held at night, after the time attack event had finished, and I didn't stay to watch, but it was won overall by Naoto Suenaga in one of the Team Orange cars.
But the headline event was of course the Time Attack itself. To give you a bit of context, the defending champion is Tarzan Yamada in the Cyber Evo HKS Lancer Evolution, and in the past few years it's been fair to say that the foreign teams have outpaced the local entrants. And so the story for 2012, is really about how new local cars being unveiled, to try to take the competition back to the Japanese teams.
Naturally, all eyes were on the Cyber Evo car, which returned to Australia with some aggressive new aero.
Unfortunately, this was a common sight throughout the weekend, with the HKS car having constant engine troubles. The Japanese engine never ran very well, with the Cyber team calling upon local workshops for help. Eventually a local engine was hurriedly installed and a standalong Haltech system wired up from scratch overnight. But sadly, the doors to the HKS garage remained closed for most of the final day, and in the end they never got it running properly.
Poor Tarzan Yamada (who is easy to spot in a crowd!) only managed a few laps during the last session on the final day, before an oil leak put the 2011 champion back into pit lane with an engine bay fire.
Another JDM entry was the M7/Re-Amemiya FD, piloted by NOB Taniguchi.
This thing screamed around with a proper rotary wail, and was on the pace straight away, putting away laps consistently in the 1'29 range (last year's winning time by Cyber Evo was 1'28). NOB would finish sixth. Taniguchi was pulling double-duty and was also driving the Top Fuel S2000, which came 5th with a slightly faster time (also in the 1'29s).
Ahead of Taniguchi, was Under Suzuki, a JDM privateer entry in his S15
Just pipping NOB, with a 1'28.
By the way, how cool is this...one of my mates had NOB sign his 2yr old daughter's coat
Also in the Pro Class was the Pan Speed RX-8, a totally bonkers 500hp all-motor triple rotor that was a bit further down the field cutting 1'35s, but was a crowd favourite with its insane exhaust note, which was louder than pretty much all the other cars combined
Best-Motoring co-host Naoki Hattori was behind the wheel.
No Kev, you are eating a duck fetus.