On a recent trip to Japan, I had the awesome opportunity to drive three laps around Fuji MotorSpeedway. Resting just below gorgeous Mt. Fuji, the track was as much challenging as it was fun.
Keep in mind, it was only my second time driving a right-hand drive car. The last time saw me blasting up a mountain side in an off-road-ready Mitsu Pajero. This time, it was not ideal to go off the course.
Thanks to Nitto Tire, I was the only journalist allowed to get behind the wheel of a car at Fuji Speedway and I wasn't going to be smart, I mean cautious. Shifting with my left hand, the Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86 (equipped with Nitto NT-01 tires) quickly left the pits and was cruising behind a turbo EVO driven by a Super GT champion. Three laps went by fast and the learning curve was steep, especially after one spin out, but I'm happy to say my top speed down the straightaway was 157kmh (or roughly 98mph). It may not seem super fast, but when the car owner who you just met is riding shotgun and doesn't speak English, 157kmh is plenty fast.
Special thanks to Tim Coltey and Tomo of Nitto Tire North America.