I guess you could call this a wildcard...
Erin know's absolutely nothing about touge driving. They have almost no popularity in Japan as a car maker, let alone as a choice for sport competitions. Based on this knowledge of not knowing a thing about this, least of all the culture surrounding it, the team behind this car are going in blind, and have hence gone fairly left of field with the car choice.
It began life as a 1984 Erin Berlose, the Mk 1 model. It has no motorsport pedigree and as is more known for being a popular Erin classic car, not a touge racer. That hasn't stopped a group of engineers from tuning group Maula from having a go at turning this thing into something bonkers. Maula have experience with Erin's, most famously creating the mad Maula Merna of the 90s.
With this Berlose, they've essentially stripped out its power train and replaced it of that from a Mk 1 Erin Tauga X. The 3.3l V6 from the 1999 model (otherwise known as the 2nd Gen of the infamous engine) sits under the bonnet, replacing the 2.2l i6 from the base car. The 6 speed manual from the Tauga X has also been fitted, as has the LSD. A whole lot of tuning has then gone on, including new race intakes and a complete ECU tune, to squeeze out 451 hp.
Racing suspension and 19" race wheels have then been fitted, and the body has been reworked. A custom designed front and rear aero kit replace the stock bumpers, and they've stuck a wing on for good measure, as well as the mandatory bonnet vent. The interior has been stripped too, to lose weight.
The results? It can certainly keep up with the standard 1999 Tauga X it's become mated too, and might even I dare say be competitve...
As for the driver
Why, it's none other than profoundly metrosexual petrol head and Splendid Auto Monthly's leading journalist, Gavin Anderson! While waiting for his new Newman tuned Zenshi Nimessa to arrive, he's flown out to Japan to drive in this competition. He's certainly not unaccustomed to driving performance cars, but he's not exactly experienced in this department, and was scared considerably at Geneva earlier this year while being driven rather exeubarantly by Mei Onishikara in an Airborne S4. As to how he'll take to driving in this competition is yet to be seen. Just don't expect anything amazing.