Chapter 1 - Introduction My name is Hiroto Matsuda. I am 23 and I live in Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture, Japan. Our city's main attraction is the Suzuka Circuit. My father and his best friend own a garage about 2km from it. It's not one of these great tuning garages you hear about on Hot Version, e.g. HKS, Spoon, Amuse Power House, MINE'S etc. Rather, all my father's garage does is basic car repairs. You know, fixing dents, fitting new wheels, panel replacement, all that junk. I'm the accountant for my father's business. It pays well, you know. 100,000 yen per week, or about US$1,150. That allows me to fund my addiction. To what, you say. You probably assume that it's drugs, but no. It's this baby. The Nissan Skyline GT-R R32. Sure, some think it's slower than a Honda NSX in some opinions (and on some circuits) but it's a much more recognisable car than other Japanese sports cars, such as the RX-7 and the Supra. By the way, I hate Supras. Supra fans and Skyline fans hate each other's preferred cars like North Korea and South Korea hate each other. I just think the Supra is some wannabe supercar without the performance. The Skyline GT-R is unique. It doesn't take any inspiration from Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Chevrolet or Dodge. Why did I mention Dodge and Chevrolet? Ever heard of the Viper or the Corvette? Enough said. But anyway, back to my other habit. Racing. Every Sunday, I take part in race meetings. Consistent practice has managed to bring down my times significantly. First, I was doing 1'10s when I started. Practice (as well as several modifications such as throwing out the back seat) has brought my time down to the 0'56 - 0'58 range. Here's what I recall of my last session: - "Come on, I need to go fastest on the time sheets!" Today was a time trial competition. Cars in my car's category were in the 0'58 - 1'00 time range. The category winner wins 150,000 yen, and the overall winner gets 500,000 yen. Examples of top category competitors were RUFs (tuned Porsches) and other tuned cars, such as MINE'S' famous Skyline GT-R V-Spec II N1. I was one of the last in my category. The fastest time was held by a '02 Honda NSX-R - 0'57.327. But that had already came back to the pits. - "A Mercedes? Go back to the bank and repossess some houses you jerk!" I passed the banker at the imaginatively named "Last Corner" on my first lap. At S curve I passed a Subaru. He put up a fight, though. By my second lap I had passed him. The session was coming to an end, with seven minutes left. My time was somewhere in the 0'57.5 region. I then out-dragged some tool in an Audi at the start of my third lap. At the end of that lap I had another Subaru in my sights. I then out-dragged him at the start of my 4th lap, which saw me record a 0'57.353. Damn it, so close! At the start of my 5th lap I thought I could spot a car in the distance at the end of the straight. It took me 2 laps but I caught up to the NSX. My radio link to the pits had broke, though. NSX driver - "A Skyline? What the ?!" - "I'm coming to get you!" At S Curve I was right up the tailpipe of the NSX! NSX driver - "Damn! He's gonna get me!" At Dunlop I dived down the inside of the NSX! Unfortunately I ran out of time...or rather, fuel. - "Damn...I hope I did well." I got out of my car. I went up to the prize office. I checked my time. Well, it was really complicated as all the cars had some sort of 10-character code. Thankfully though it wasn't too complicated - it was based on chassis codes, e.g. my car's code was BNR32-A64J1. A man suddenly tapped me on the shoulder. ??? - "Excuse me, are you Hiroto Matsuda?" - "Yeah...holy ! Ryosuke Sato!" Ryosuke Sr. - "Yes, Ryosuke Sato senior. My son has the same name." - "Oh my God. Listen, I know you get this a lot of the time, but I can have an autograph?" Ryosuke Sr. - "Sure, no problem. And by the way, I don't actually get it a lot...in Japan, anyway. You see, I have a notorious desire for privacy. When you see me in a restaurant, you should leave me alone." - "So, what do you want with me?" Ryosuke Sr. - "You have impressed me with your skill. Besides you were the fastest in your category. 0'56.632! I haven't seen times like that from a stock GT-R R32 ever!" - "Well, it's not stock." Ryosuke Sr. - "Well, I know that. I didn't see a back seat in there, you know. Hiroto, I want you to join my racing team, Edospeed. Unfortunately, one of our racers had a pretty bad crash on the Special Stage Route 5 in Tokyo. Apparently he was in a time attack against some punk in a Supra..." - "Supras...I hate them." Ryosuke Sr. - "Yes, I can feel your animosity. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, long story short, he crashed his car at the first corner. He broke his leg, 10 ribs and his neck. He was lucky to survive." - "Well consider me the newest member of your team, then!"