One of our favorite pictures from the 2018 edition of HKS’s Premium Day at Fuji Speedway is the image below, of the tuning company’s iconic Group A R32 GT-R negotiating circuit traffic – namely two tour buses that appear to be experiencing severe body roll. Ok, so it’s partly the camera being tilted, and possibly some track banking, but that misses the point – that when you go to events like Premium Day, fans get the chance to be on the same track of some of their favorite cars as they’re taking hot laps (or hot-ish laps).
It strikes us as both super-cool and somewhat unusual, since as far as we know most motorsports-based fan appreciation events in the U.S. don’t offer something like this, yet we see it all the time in Japan (Honda, Toyota, and Nissan all have a similar feature to their appreciation days, if memory serves). At this year’s Premium Day, HKS stuck mostly to the script, with activities both on and off track; there were tons of opportunities to watch some high-powered machines tackle the F1-level road course, from the stands or the passenger seat, or even drive it if they were so inclined. The paddock offered space for the vendor village, a couple car meets, and a mobile dyno, and if you wanted to learn more about HKS product – both in a showroom setting and on a demo vehicle – that was covered, too. HKS even had a place to drop off the kiddos.
Scroll on to immerse yourself in the scene at HKS Premium Day 2018.
Japanese tuning shops battled in the Option Fuji Superlap time attack, while enthusiast-level track cars also got to set fast laps in Premium Day’s Hiper Challenge. HKS additionally hosted the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ Challenge, and if you didn’t bring your own circuit-ready whip you could always ride shotgun with a pro.
International HKS dealers took Premium Day to get acquainted with the company’s latest offerings in the Premium Salon; reps were on hand to educate potential buyers, and if a demonstration was called for, HKS had several cars outfitted with their gear at the ready, including a Honda S660, Suzuki Swift, Civic Type R, Toyota 86, and others.
Premium Day’s Power Bazaar was just that, a cool mishmash of outdoor marketplace and car show. The vendor village featured several aftermarket brands – including HKS’s own booth – and to emphasize the horsepower-loving aspect of this midway, HKS provided the GT III & GT Supercharger Max Power dyno challenge.
Driving living legends like Manabu "MAX" Orido and Nobuteru Taniguchi came out to help HKS give back to the fans.
The Japanese love their little cars (obv), as modified kei cars not available in the U.S., like the S660 and Swift, played a big role in Premium Day.
Shortly after Premium Day, HKS’s Toyota 86 TRB-03 time attack car traveled to the storied Tsukuba Circuit in Ibaraki Prefecture and set a new lap record for a so-called “tin top” car. In the hands of NOB Taniguchi, the ZN6 lapped the track in 49.445 seconds, but the feat is already being called into question due to the fact the car ran slicks for that lap and not on street-legal R-compound rubber, which is how time attack records are generally set at Tsukuba. Still, the achievement is impressive and has the entire time attack community buzzing.