Let's take a look at how this 3-way collaboration came about.
However, this 2011, they have revived once more, partnering GSR again with a lovely BMW Z4 GT as their flagship model, seeing as they're a specialists in BMW models.
But what does a cycling team have to do with the Super GT?
First appeared in the 1991 F1 Grand Prix, he's been infamously known, not for his driving skills, but for his near death crashes, earning himself the nickname "Kamikaze Ukyo" which came about during one of his pre-F1 races, back in the 1987 French Renault Championship when a crash nearly killed him. As a result, Japanese papers printed him as "Died in Crash" due to misinformation.
Since then, he's had a series of fortunate crashes (is that a good thing?) and near misses, one particularly devastating in 1995 during the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Since his F1 days, Ukyo loves to mountain climb, with his personal accomplishment of reaching the summit of the 6th highest mountain, Cho Oyu. However, during one of his climbs on Mount Fuji back in 2009, his climb team was reported missing. Rescue teams later eventually found him alive but two fellow climbers dead.
After safely retiring in 1999, he later formed the TeamUKYO which actively participated in other sporting events, mainly cycling. Currently, he's been active in relief efforts for the earthquake/tsunami disaster that struck Japan in March 2011, delivering supplies to many shelters and centers. Updates can be found at his official blog.
The announcement of the joint collaboration between the 3 factions was held at Wonder Festival 2011 Winter, an event for hobby makers to display their latest creations to the public. I've previously covered the event's figure releases back in February here.
The big bosses from Studie, Good Smile Company and TeamUKYO.
Katayama announcing his participation in the SuperGT, but jokingly, not as a driver unfortunately.
He'll be leading the collaboration as Team Manager.
Sponsorship goodies include the Nendoroid and figma Personal Sponsor packages.
The new Racing Miku Nendoroid is still available for pre-orders (I think).
This paint work of the car is not final, as the final designs were not ready at that time.
Katayama Ukyo (Team UKYO)
Taniguchi Nobuteru (SuperGT Driver for the team)
Banba Taku (SuperGT driver for the team)
Ohashi Itsuo (Vice President of GSR)
Takanori Aki (President of GSC)
Suzuki Yasuaki (CEO of Studie)
A livecast on NicoNicoDouga later revealed the Racing Miku designs the team would be using.
Aoi Haruka, Ayami and Tachibana Saki
(it was on the website)
Anyway, onto the car.
The new BMW Z4 GT3 arrived in March, priced at just over $450,000.
The Z4 already has an impressive record, with having won the marathon in the Dubai 24 Hours Race back in Jan 2011
The "ita" process of the new paint design. Love that "wet paint" scheme ^^.
The complete BMW Z4 GT3 itasha. Just Fabulous.
The car was later sent to the guys at Studie for tuning and maintenance.
Now for a look at the new 2011 Racing Miku.
This will be the new look for Racing Miku as the team's racing queen.
I'm liking the suggestive transparent effect xD
Nendoroid Racing Miku on an F1 car!
And here's Kobayashi Kamui with Racing Miku!
The rest of the Sauber team expressed quite an interest in Miku ^^
Big boss, Takanori Aki with Kobayashi Kamui. This was taken during the F1 Shanghai Grand Prix
If you zoom in at the helmet, there's something interesting stickered on there ^^
The Nendoroid Racing Miku based on the illustration above.
Cost me half a kidney and a few toes for change to order her but worth every limb.
She was available for public viewing at the Good Smile Cafe during their Nendoroid Cafe theme.
The BMW itasha was showcased at publicity events, such as the recent Miku Live Party - 39's Live in Tokyo 2011.
Other itasha to advertise the new Project Diva 2 game.
Taken during one of the practice days.
Previous personal sponsor gathered to get a glimpse of the new Miku-itasha.
GSR supporters (or just Miku supporters lol) at the stands, cheering on even on practice day.
The previous model GSR used while with COX Team was the Porsche 911 GT3
That orange was too gaudy for me.
The new BMW model which will participate this 2011.
This Z4 GT3 is helluva sexy yet muscular looking.
Love the blend and contrast of white with the wet paint effect too ^^
Practice day for the SuperGT Fuji Speedway.
Qualifying and Race Day posts will be up soon, along with other itasha teams.