As a former AE86 owner I really feel for Taka Aono but at the same time, it also confirms what Allen Lorenzo was saying the other day to us guys. Being Japanese; he is stubborn in his ways, with too much samurai honour, much like many AE86 owners back in Japan. However, I also can see the awesome side things much like our mate Phouc- living that Intial D- Takumi dream of not wanting to give up on the AE86 chassis. There are many people like that, may it be AE86 to old Datsuns to RX3, Cortinas etc.. some people just love one particular make or model, those are the guys you look up to, go to and have massive respect for, that in itself is already winning, its living the dream and being a part of the lonely drivers club is something not many car people, including myself can (I’ve tried) absolutely commit too. So there is something commendable about going down that path, however at what cost- never winning an actual championship, losing all sponsors?
One can only wonder, what if that particular day instead of driving his mates AE86, he drove an S-chassis instead, where would he be now?
The last scene for me really puts it into perspective, showing the real struggle and strain it puts on him and his teammates. The racecar driver in him and everyone around him wants him to win, but his pride and passion for the “old days” maybe be his last nail in the coffin. Its a real catch 22.
None-the-less, it was a great doco and with some great parallels; Taka Ano being one of the very few original guys who started drifting in the States, driving an AE86 ( the car that started it all). The doco revolving around Taka gives a heap of insight on Forumla Drift and its grass root history, with many of his points I totally agree with.