Let’s face it: some people have a better commute to work than the rest of us. This is particularly true if you’re Ara Seiji taking your BMW Z4 GT3 to Hakone Mountain to do a hill climb with other race cars on Japan’s famously twisty Mazda Turnpike.
The gentleman racers at the Japan-based Motorhead magazine hosted a hill climb sponsored by Recaro, where they closed off eight kilometers (about five miles) of the public highway to challenge a variety of race cars against the course’s fast straights and sweeping bends.
Kicking off the video is a run by the aforementioned BMW Z4 GT3, which is a modern, legit racing car that comes from BMW with a 4.4-liter V8 engine that can produce around 500 horsepower. It’s built to racing specifications, and would be the best way to tackle the climb with a degree of extreme precision.
The classic GT40, however, while still a fast endurance car that bested Ferrari at Le Mans in its heyday, doesn’t have any of the modern trappings to keep it pointed in the right direction. It’s a raw, heavy steel machine, and watching how this legendary car takes a hill climb is a particular treat.
Okay, forget the best technical vehicle to attack the turnpike. If Japanese drivers are known for anything, it’s taking mountain roads sideways and making it look as easy as a run to the supermarket. This discipline of racing certainly wasn’t neglected as Kawabata Masato takes a Greddy-tuned Nissan GT-R downhill, carving a spectacular smokey swath the entire way.
A few other cars get into the mix as well, but watching the seven-minute video is the perfect way to shake off a bad Monday morning commute.