When you think of Motorsport, you might think about the British Touring Car Championships, the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, the World Rally Championship, Blancpain GT series, Formula 1, or even the legendary World Endurance Championship. When you think about Japanese Motorsports, you might think about the Super GT series, where, similar to the Blancpain GT series, touring cars from different manufacturers race against each other.
But there is another type of Motorsport that comes from Japan, which is relatively new to the entire motorsport grid. Similar to the Super GT series, only with less wings, less modifications, less powerful engines, less power focused and more focused on the driver’s skill, experience and agility. Let me introduce you to the Inter Proto series, a relatively new racing series that dosen’t focus on the car, but focuses on the driver.
Back in 2012, Le Mans champion and McLaren F1 GTR racing driver Masanori Sekiya decided to create a motorsport series called the Inter Proto Series. Its main founding principle was not depending on how good the car was, whether the car was advanced or not, or how powerful the engine of the car is. It all depended on the driver. In the Inter Proto series, the driver’s skill determines who wins the race, not the car. Because of its founding principle that the driver’s skill determines the champions of the race, only one car is produced and will be used in the race called the Kuruma (Insert GTA 5 reference here).
The Kuruma is a unique car. It’s completely built by hand, from scratch inside Fuji Raceway garages. They’re all built with one thing in mind, the driver. It features a carbon fiber tub for the purpose of weight reduction, also equipped with a full roll cage for the purpose of protecting the driver in case of a crash. The dimensions of the car are pretty small, about the relative size of a Porsche 911 997. The car only weighs 1,000 kilograms, and does not have a wing for the purpose of a high top speed.
The car is powered by a mid mounted V6 engine derived from a Toyota FJ Cruiser, modified into making 335 horsepower limited at 6400 revs per minute, while all that power constantly goes into the rear wheels, making the car rear wheel drive. That V6 engine is combined into a Ricardo manufactured 6-speed sequential gearbox. It also features a FIA approved racing fuel tank, a fire extinguisher just in case things go wrong, and air jacks to prepare the car in the pits for a tyre change.
All drivers in the race drive the same Kuruma, with the same specs, drivetrain power, and the only thing that is different is probably their liveries. There are two classes of races. Semi-Professional, for new drivers, and Professional, for drivers who are already experienced. All eight races will be held in the Fuji Speedway. Drivers who participate in this race usually come from Japanese Motorsport backgrounds, mostly from the Super GT series.
Some notable names who are racing in the Inter Proto series are Super Taikyu ST-X champion Yuudai Uchida, top female driving prospect Miki Koyama, and All-Japan F3 gentleman driver DRAGON. Professional and Semi-Professional drivers usually share the track and cars during races, and one race would usually take 6-15 laps long, depending on how much drivers participate.
If you are interested in this racing series, I have some good news for you! You are able to watch all events held by the Inter Proto Motorsport Series through the official Inter Proto UStream channels online!
Well, that's it.
For now, not much is known about this racing series, but more interesting events and races are yet to come, more teams will join, more racing drivers will participate, and more champions will be made. Hopefully, more fans will come and watch, and will help this race to become more popular in the racing world. By the way, sponsorship and investment opportunities are open if you would like to support them.
We’ll see how this race will go on in the future…
Why does it look like an ASL Garaiya
Huh. It kinda looks like a road car version of the Kuruma.
Welp kuruma = car in Japanese so 😐
Looks like a Zenvo ST1
When local NASCAR tracks have been doing this for years