Any enthusiast with a passing interest in the Japanese car scene will know of Tsukuba: it featured heavily on Gran Turismo, it's hosted a tonne of Best Motoring vidsand they even do MX-5 endurance races there. It's about as Japanese as Japanese race tracks get.
It's therefore appropriate that a Japanese car - a new GT-R NISMO, specifically - has claimed the production lap record at Tsukuba. And while it doesn't carry the kudos of something like the Nurburgring - chiefly because Tsukuba is only 1.2 miles long - a lap record is still a lap record. And 59.3 seconds is still very, very fast.
In fact, it's the first production car we know of to dip under a minute, the majority of supercar laps, including the old NISMO, around the 60- and 61-second mark. What a shame, then, that the video supplied with the release doesn't really get across the speed of a 59-second lap, interspersing onboard footage with interviews and drive-bys. But something is better than nothing.
As for the NISMO GT-R, to beat rivals like the 911 GT3 RS, Audi R8 V10 Plus and Radical SR4 must rank as some achievement for a 10 year-old car. How might it fare on a UK circuit? Hopefully that's a question that can be answered soon enough. We'll make a better video, too...