「A Rotary Slider that Brought Excitment to the Early Days of D1GP」 The Prestigious FD3S of Maker Works Apex 【OPTION Back Number】

Published : 2020/04/20 23:20 Modified : 2020/04/20 23:20

Here’s a famous tuning car that brought excitement to the early years of D1GP. The Apexi FD3S was the strongest rotary drift car that entered competition from the 4th round in 2002 (Tsukuba) and won the series championship the following year. Here, we looks at the tuning approach of Yoichi Imamura’s amazing machine that continues to evolve. (Excerpt from February 2004 issue of OPTION magazine)



The FD3S which took the D1GP title in 2003


The secret to success is build a car that never breaks


For starters, this is the car that was the first series champion in D1. Achieving over 100 points in the points ranking, Apex Works and Imamura set an unprecedented record of 3 wins for the first time in D1GP.



The key to tuning the FD3S for competition is putting an emphasis on durability. There are a number of cars that are serious contenders for top results in D1GP with combat strength but poor durability. “If you aren’t able to keep running, you won’t win. Even if your fighting power falls a little, its better to put work into making the car last” says Imamura. Let’s take a closer look at this car.



When the front bumper is removed it reveals a radiator and intercooler that are v-mounted by one-off original piping. The oil cooler mount position has been modified with an emphasis on efficiency. The engine body has side port expansion and WPC modification of the seals.


The turbo is Apex’s AX75F82 kit. With normal port and 1.0kg of boost the output was limited at 440ps, but with port tuning and increased boost to 1.2kg, max output reaches 500ps.



In order to eliminate lack of torque at low speed, which can be said to be a weakness of rotary engines, NOS dry shot was introduced. It does not change the max output but does add an explosive torque increase at low and medium speed.



The suspension is on the level of normal driving use. N1 damper pro has a high degree of function and spring rate is fixed at 16kg/mm. Brakes are genuine factory 16-inch caliper and rotor. The front is equipped with an adjustable Apex stabilizer.



The FRP rear gate can be opened to reveal a carbon box containing an additional fuel pump, collector tank and NOS cylinder. The car is also equpped with a fuel cooler to prevent percolation.



The one-off original under cover might seem to be installed for aerodynamics, but rather it is there to protect the v-mounted radiator.



The interior has all the gauges to require engine monitoring. A brake balancer and hydraulic controller to adjust the stabilizer are set beside the shifter. The 6-point roll cage has had side bars added and spot welded at each opening to reinforce the body.



The aero parts are a VERTEX full kit. Rear fenders add 20mm of width. Wheels are 18-inch Gram Lights 57F-PRO in 9J +18 at the front and 10J +22 at the rear.



“Because this car represents our work, we took all measures to keep it in top running form at all times. We are thoroughly concerned against even minor trouble” say Apex mechanics. In fact, the relationship of trust between the machine and driver were Apex’s secret weapon.


●Special Thanks:Apex TEL:0544-65-5061


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