Team Drifting At Final Bout Special Stage Japan

As I mentioned in my first Final Bout Super Stage Japan 3 story, to do the event justice, I had to split the day up between the pits and driving.

So that brings us here, with a look at all the on-track team drifting goodness from Nikko Circuit last weekend.

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Since the installation of fences – and even more recently, meshing on the fences – Nikko has become a somewhat challenging place to shoot at. Fortunately, however, the main corner remains open for spectators and media, and it’s the perfect spot for a team-oriented day like Final Bout.

The Team Wonder S13, S14, and S15 trio was one of best of the day. That came as no surprise to me considering the amount of seat time they get at this track. They even hold their own events here several times a year.

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You will probably notice a slight AE86-leaning bias in a lot of my coverage, and that’s for a few reasons. In this case though, it’s all thanks to the quality Hachiroku drifting at SSJ3.

I mentioned previously that team NGWIRC took home the ‘Best Drivers’ award for the day, and these photos should give a good indication of why. At events like Final Bout, proximity and style is everything, and there is no denying that six beautifully put-together AE86s stacked through the main corner is exactly that.

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While we are on the subject of AE86s, Team 4AGE is one my favorite teams to shoot. And not just at this particular event (they are a relatively local team to Nikko), but at all events they drive. Having been a passenger in a few of the cars, I can attest firsthand that their aggressive driving style provides enough adrenaline for you to skip your obligatory midday can of Boss coffee, even after a 4:00am track day start.

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We all love a car with a good story, and this S13 certainly has one. Shipped from Australia in late 2023, Jake, the owner, has been touring the country on a Carnet de passages document – a government scheme that allows you to drive your car in other countries with the home country registration. It’s safe to say that the Australian licence plates turn heads wherever the car goes, but that’s a story for another time.

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Silvias on Silvias on Silvias! Final Bout Super Stage Japan proves that there is still plenty of S-chassis to go around, even after their mass export from the country. I’ve shot almost all of these cars numerous times, at Gunsai Touge, Sportland Yamanashi, and even previously here at Nikko. It will never cease to amaze me how well these cars present even after all the driving.

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Low Brain is a team of variety. 4A-GE-powered Toyota Corona, BEAMS-driven Mark II, and an RB-planted S13 – they’ve got it.

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Ever since shooting Akira-san’s Mark II Cresta in Yokohama Bay, I’ve spoken to him about making it out to an event he’s running at to grab a few shots. A year later, I finally got the chance at Final Bout SSJ3. Akira-san was in attendance with his all-red Over Night Run team, a harmony of big-power JZXs.

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Final Bout Special Stage Japan 3 was long overdue and did not disappoint. With Japan so vast and offering so many track days and circuits to drive, it’s rare for one singular event to bring out such a vast collection of the best drift cars in the country, but this one did just that. I won’t forget last weekend at Nikko Circuit; it was easily one of the best drift events I’ve ever attended.

Alec Pender
Instagram: noplansco

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