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TAKATA Dome NSX Scores Victory

 In the second round of the 2006 AUTOBACS SUPER GT series, the OKAYAMA GT300km held on April 9 at the Okayama International Circuit (3.703km), the TAKATA Dome NSX driven by Ryo Michigami and Takashi Kogure scored a decisive runaway victory.

 The race started at 14:00 with the TAKATA Dome NSX starting from the pole position with Michigami at the wheel. Racing from the front, he proceeded to build up a commanding lead of 15 seconds over the second place machine by the time of the driver change. After the driver change, Kogure continued the charge, eventually running up a 40-second lead over the 2nd place RAYBRIG NSX by the time he took the first checkered.

 This was Michigami's 6th career GT win and his first in three years, since round five of the 2003 series at Fuji Speedway in August. For Kogure, it was his first GT win.

 In the GT300 class, the win went to the direxiv ADVAN 320R driven by Shogo Mitsuyama and Nobuteru Taniguchi. It was the team's first GT win. (Spectators:56,000)

Winners' comments

No.18 TAKATA Dome NSX [GT500]
Ryo Michigami: "All weekend things had been going well, so I thought we could probably win and that is what we did、Before the race, we were talking with the other NSX drivers and saying that it would be great if we could get a 1-2 NSX finish. So I'm glad that eventually that is what happened. Last year we weren't able to race well, so everyone on the team agreed that we had to try get good results this year, and I personally did a lot of thinking about what I had to do. Things started getting better from the first round and I think that momentum led to today's result. I am very happy with it."

Takashi Kogure: "I feel fantastic. Since I became a GT regular last year, Michigami has taught me a lot. It was very easy for me to run in the race today because of the great shape Michigami had the machine in after the first half of the race. I also want to thank the team for building such a good machine that has made it possible for Michigami and me to win."

No.27 direxiv ADVAN 320R [GT300] Shogo Mitsuyama: "It inspired me to see Taniguchi run so long and so well today and I knew I had to live up to that by driving hard myself. At the driver change the starter wouldn't turnover at first. Then our team Director, Ms. Haga, shouted "Turn!" and that seemed to do the trick. Thanks to that, we only lost a little time. Once the tires got warmed up I was able to run confident and relaxed. I want to keep winning like this and go for the title."

Nobuteru Taniguchi: "In the early stages of the race I was making myself hold back. I ran with the confidence that I could then start to push it in the second half of my run. The team and Vemac and the ADVAN tires were all great. This has been a fantastic day for me. I want to thank everyone."

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Dead Or Alive Movie Trailer!

This August, Tecmo is releasing Dead Or Alive live action movie based on the popular video game series. It will be directed by Hong Kong director Corey Yuen, who directed Jet Li HK hits Fong Sai Yuk and many others. This movie is set to star many sexy fighting chicks as well as Mortal Kombat star, Robin Shou.

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Audi's 2007 TT

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Formula D Streets of Long Beach

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Formula D continues to break new ground as they held the first ever sanctioned drift competition on the streets of Long Beach. Held a week, before the Long Beach Grand Prix, Formula D used a portion of the course for competitive drifting which had more than a few competitors heading into the walls.

With spectators packing the stands for Round 1 of the 7 series event, the crowds watched the best drifters in North America battle it out on the street course and on the live big screen TV. In the end, it was Sam Hubinette claiming first place defeating last years series champion, Rhys Millen, in the process. Next stop...Wall, New Jersey

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SPL DVD Review

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Overall Grade: A-

SPL is ahot new action flick starring legendary martial artist Sammo Hung and Donnie Yen. It also features the superb acting of Simon Yam, as he plays a police officer obssessed with putting a triad leader, played by Sammo, behind bars.

The story is built around many themes of crime, loyalty, and kharma. But we all really just watch these movies for the butt-kicking action. The fight scenes don't dissappoint as the action is blazingly fast. Donnie Yen looks better than ever as he blisters on screen with lightning quick speed which in some cases the human eye can't even seem to follow.

The fights between Donnie and Sammo are simply epic. Two legendary actors and martial artist really seem to give it their all for the cameras. Despite his age, Sammo can still carry his own and his on screen bad guy character is refreshing. The final battle included many jujitsu grapples and submission moves mixed in with the stylized wushu choreography for the new breed of mixed martial arts fans.

Another plus, is the addition of Wu Jing(Jackie Wu) to the action as he plays a hitman working for Sammo carrying out his murderous plots. Wu Jing is a former Beijing wushu team member in the 90's and brings some fancy martial arts including a memorable weapon-battle versus Donnie.

Overall, the story has some typical Hong Kong lame storylines, but the action is what you really look for and it won't disappoint even the most jaded martial arts fan.

DVD Available here!

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Watch SPL DVD Trailer!

Martial Arts legends Sammo Hung and Donnie Yen star in this cop vs gangster action movie.

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Buy it Here!

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What's the Story Morning Glory

We're back in black after a long weekend of drinkin' and racing at the Long Beach GP. The GP is super fun; especially if there is booze and hot women around. The crowd was down w/ the Formula D drifting demos and the World Challenge races were dope as well.

We want to give a shot out to DJ Cheapshot and Styles of Beyond who just came back from tour in support of Fort Minor. These boys are blowing up with featured appearances on the Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel and Last Call with Carson Daly; etc… SOB is set to record their major label debut for Warner Bros. later this year.

Pick up the new issue of C16 magazine. The content in this little mag that could just keeps getting better and better. Notables include the feature on gravel crew member and direct-to-video star Travis Brock and the loveable screwballs at Destroy Entertainment that we have to deal with on a regular basis.

Shameless plug…Lemon Drop Kick will be playing an all ages show April 30th in Canoga Park at the Cobalt Café. They will rock so you don't have to.

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Chasing the Touge Goes Big

Ok keds,

Chasing the Touge comes out in stores tomorrow. Go to your local Best Buy, Tower...etc and ask for it. Tell 'em large marge sent ya!

The Formula Drift: Battlegrounds is at the printers but you can pre-order your copies ASAP. The DVD covers the entire 2005 season and contains over 6 hours of footage from the G4TV broadcast on a 2 DVD Set. This is a must have for all drifting fans!

In Motorsports news…Formula D hits the streets of Long Beach this weekend to kick off the 2006 season. Look for lots of crashes on this slippery, tight street course.

WRC…Sebastien Loeb won his 2nd rally of the season holding off Marcus Gronholm in Catalunya and Rossi ended his chances in Spain w/ a crash at the start of the MotoGP of Spain.

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Center Line, Mich. - When Team Mopar decided to campaign the Mopar Dodge Charger in Formula D Drift competition in 2006, it went in with the knowledge that it wouldn't be a simple task. Transforming a Dodge Charger chassis into a drift car that Samuel Hubinette could pilot to another Formula D championship hasn't been easy, but it's a challenge that Team Mopar has faced head-on.

"This wasn't a typical project," said Eric Vickerman, the SRT (DaimlerChrysler's Street and Racing Technology division) engineer heading up the Mopar Dodge Charger project. "We had a lot of challenges. This is the first-ever attempt at a race car based on the SRT8 Charger platform. We are really breaking new ground, and under a tight deadline. It's hard work, but everyone who worked on the project at SRT enjoyed the challenge."

One of the main challenges for the SRT group was to trim the fat out of the Charger.

"We did quite a bit to get the weight down," explained Vickerman. "The street Charger clocks in at about 4,100 lbs. To cut weight, we removed the interior for the largest weight savings, and replaced the body panels with carbon fiber panels. Replacing the glass with polycarbonate also significantly lowered the weight."

Another challenge was the disparity between the Charger and the Viper SRT10 that Hubinette piloted to a runner-up finish in the 2005 Formula D Series.

"They're not similar at all. Everything is different," Vickerman said. "The weight, the length, the engine, the starting platform, everything is different. We really had to start from scratch. It was not easy. We didn't have a lot of reference for what we were doing. That was probably one of the greatest obstacles."

Vickerman and his group made do with the little info they had.

"We worked with Formula D in the off-season to answer our questions, as we built the Charger," said Vickerman. "When it came to the suspension, we had three previous events from which to draw data and driver feedback. SRT competed in the One Lap of America with a Chrysler 300C (based on the same platform as the Charger), which gave us about 5,000 miles of development, and we also had two cars (the 300C and Charger) compete in the Targa Newfoundland event, racking up another 2,800 miles. All this feedback and data was invaluable to the suspension development."

Another major factor in overcoming the buildup obstacles was the help and input of driver Hubinette and the NuFormz Racing team, led by owner Shaun Carlson.

"We've really worked hand-in-hand with NuFormz," Vickerman said. "With Shaun's job description changing [after being named to pilot the Mopar/SRT Pro Stock car], we agreed to help out with building the Mopar Dodge Charger. Shaun came out to the SRT headquarters early in the year and we reviewed the entire project. His contributions of input and data have been invaluable. We had a lot of feedback from Sam, and e-mailed back and forth. We had his input on the seats, the steering, and the seatbelts. We also developed the roll cage specifically to accommodate tricks that Samuel performs, such as hanging out the door while drifting, without compromising the integrity of the car."

Phase II of the Mopar Dodge Charger buildup is currently in progress, as Carlson and the NuFormz Racing team take the baton from SRT and finish up the final work on the Charger. Hubinette and the NuFormz Racing team will aim to debut the Charger at the first Formula D event of the season at Long Beach, Calif., on April 2.

For more info on Mopar, Hubinette or the Need For Speed Underground Formula Drift Series, log on to www.moparspeed.com, www.mopar.com, www.samuelhubinette.com or www.formulad.com.

Mopar is based in Center Line, Mich., and is the exclusive original equipment supplier of parts and accessories for Chrysler, Dodge and JeepR vehicles.

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Drivers Juichi Wakisaka and Andre Lotterer drove their OPEN INTERFACE TOM'S SC340 to victory in the season opener, the 2006 AUTOBACS SUPER GT Round 1 SUZUKA GT 300km. The 52-lap race was held in front of a turnout of 30,500 fans on 19 March at the 5.807km track of Suzuka Circuit in Mie Prefecture.

The race got underway at 14:30 under strong winds. Lotterer was first to take the wheel of the TOM'S SC340, and shot off the line well from the number five spot on the grid to challenge the pole position starter, the ARTA NSX driven by Ralph Firman, setting off a series of heated battles that lasted throughout the day. After receiving the wheel of the TOM'S SC340 from Lotterer mid-race, Wakisaka held off a hard push by Tsugio Matsuda in the Xanavi NISMO, and then drove away from the field to secure the win. The Lexus SC340 comes to the GT series for the first time this season, and has made a grand entry with a victory in its debut race.

There was reason for celebration in the GT300 class as well, with a first time win for Marco Apicella and Yasutaka Hinoi in the No.88 AKTIO Murcie RG-1.

(Attendance: 30,500)

■ Winning Driver's Comments: No.36 OPEN INTERFACE TOM'S SC430 [GT500] Juichi Wakisaka: We knew that the car would be faster than our rivals' on the straights, and were able to take good advantage of this. The understeer was terrible, but thanks to the excellent drive by Andre today, we were encouraged and stayed focused on winning. This victory is due to the results of an all-around effort by the team, Toyota and everyone involved."

Andre Lotterer "Always the best situation for everybody to be in first place but I was, honestly to say, surprised because I was quite happy with Juchi's job and qualifying and I started from fifth and we always worry about performance. We were working a lot and I was thinking to keep my position and Hondas were really so strong. We made a really good change last night and I did a great start and I was able to do a really strong race and place the car at the first place and he did a good job as well. And for me it is a new team, so to start the season like that… "

No.88 AKTIO Murcie RG-1 [GT300] Maruco Apicella "Arigato Gozaimasu. I'm the happiest man in the world at the moment. The car was really good today and also yesterday in the rain. We already understood at the start of the season that the car could be quick in this class. but actually we did not really expect to win the first race of the season. This happened and we are really euphoric."

Yasutaka Hinoi: "I joined the team from this year, and I really need to apologize to all the veteran drivers out there... I feel bad for winning before you (laugh). In speaking of the team, my aim is to claim the championship of the GT300 class, and I plan to be participating in the LeMans 24 Hours this year. I promise I'll be trying my best."

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