In Japan, there are a handful of special cars that get a day designated just for them. For the legendary Nissan Skyline for example, it is a series of days at the beginning of March (3/2, 3/3, 3/4, and 3/5 to correspond to R32-R35). For the timeless Mazda RX-7, it is July 7th, more popularly known as 7 Days (7/7). For the cult classic Toyota AE86, that day is August 6th.
To celebrate 8/6 Day, we headed to Suzuka Twin Circuit located in Mie, about a five-hour drive from Tokyo. We arrived in time to see the roll-in, which included mostly trailered cars but there were a few that drove. Those that drove loaded up their spares on their roof racks, which is a common sight at events in Japan.
Organized by legendary AE86 tuning shops Expert OZ and Half Moon Racing, the 19th running of the Hachiroku Running Meet included 140 AE86s and one Toyota 86. Being a drift meeting, the drivers were divided into seven groups based on skill level. The upper skill levels had fun names such as waku waku, doki doki, and uki uki and included famous AE86 teams such as Mouse and Running Free.
Most of the AE86s in attendance were still running the original 4A-GE 16-valve engine with many choosing to run the throttle body with no filter. There were also plenty of 20-valve swapped cars - the purists would be mostly satisfied as we didn't find any other types of swaps.
The day is broken into five sessions giving each run-group 10 minutes at a time on the track. In the morning, everyone runs clockwise; however, in the afternoon, the course switches to counter-clockwise. It is after this switch when the accidents occurred. Most would cringe seeing very pristine AE86s get into some of the collisions we saw, but for the participants, it's all a part of drifting.
For fans of Initial D, we are sorry to report that the only tofu was found in our bento boxes.
NOTE: A small detail that can be spotted in the photos is the cars that still have old windshields are easily identified due to the waves that appear.