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COVERAGE> Grassroots Drifting Action in NorCal

AE86, kouki, trueno, Longchamps, XR4, curtis nguyen

A couple of weeks ago, I shed some light on the Comrades FC3S Truckasaurus RX7 from Fatlace WordUp!, a drift and gymkhana session that’s held once a month in Santa Clara, CA. The event is only open to 15 drivers and members of the media – no spectators are allowed. It is the closest thing we have to Drift Day in the Bay Area and is centered on providing a safe venue for those who wish to better their skills in a safe environment.

240SX 350Z 510 Acura AE86 Bay Area Corolla Datsun drift Drift Day drifting Fatlace great america gymk Gymkhana Honda Longchamps Nissan Nissan 350Z Nissan S13 Nissan S14 Norcal NSX S13 Sam Attal Santa Clara SSR Toyota wordup! zipties Vienna Dish

Different courses are set up in a giant parking lot which belongs to the Great America theme park. Professionals and amateurs from all over the Bay Area take turns trying to get mad angle between cones setup across the lot.

240SX 350Z 510 Acura AE86 Bay Area Corolla Datsun drift Drift Day drifting Fatlace great america gymk Gymkhana Honda Longchamps Nissan Nissan 350Z Nissan S13 Nissan S14 Norcal NSX S13 Sam Attal Santa Clara SSR Toyota wordup! zipties Vienna Dish

Most people bring out their beat-up daily drivers and do their best with lightly modified Nissan S13s, Nissan S14s and Toyota AE86s. Riding “boro” isn’t so bad when you’re going sideways…

240SX 350Z 510 Acura AE86 Bay Area Corolla Datsun drift Drift Day drifting Fatlace great america gymk Gymkhana Honda Longchamps Nissan Nissan 350Z Nissan S13 Nissan S14 Norcal NSX S13 Sam Attal Santa Clara SSR Toyota wordup! zipties Vienna Dish

Others, such as Nick Gledhill, are a bit more privileged. His clean Nissan 350Z sits on SSR Professor SP-1s (19X10 +1  with 5mm spacers in the front and 19×11 -16 with 15mm spacers in the back) and is great as a package. Too bad Nick kept spinning out – his car would have looked really aggressive getting angle.

240SX 350Z 510 Acura AE86 Bay Area Corolla Datsun drift Drift Day drifting Fatlace great america gymk Gymkhana Honda Longchamps Nissan Nissan 350Z Nissan S13 Nissan S14 Norcal NSX S13 Sam Attal Santa Clara SSR Toyota wordup! zipties Vienna Dish

Surprisingly, the best amateur drifter was driving a hachiroku. I don’t think I saw Curtis Nguyen spin out once in his Corolla hatchback on SSR Longchamps. He made driving an AE86 look easy as he took every corner vigorously with smooth transitions in between. This guy seriously needs to consider getting his presence known and entering himself in more than just practice sessions.

240SX 350Z 510 Acura AE86 Bay Area Corolla Datsun drift Drift Day drifting Fatlace great america gymk Gymkhana Honda Longchamps Nissan Nissan 350Z Nissan S13 Nissan S14 Norcal NSX S13 Sam Attal Santa Clara SSR Toyota wordup! zipties Vienna Dish

The main “track” is a nightmare for the cars with lower stance and aftermarket body kits. Due to the unevenness of the lot with its random inclines and declines, some lost their bumpers and side skirts often. This owner was prepared with zipties — colorful ones too! He gets +10 JDM-rice points for living the boro life.

240SX 350Z 510 Acura AE86 Bay Area Corolla Datsun drift Drift Day drifting Fatlace great america gymk Gymkhana Honda Longchamps Nissan Nissan 350Z Nissan S13 Nissan S14 Norcal NSX S13 Sam Attal Santa Clara SSR Toyota wordup! zipties Vienna Dish

However, this guy does not. His (silly-looking) bolt-on overfenders ruined this whole car for me. It’s OK though – he slid hard and fast enough that I forgave him.

240SX 350Z 510 Acura AE86 Bay Area Corolla Datsun drift Drift Day drifting Fatlace great america gymk Gymkhana Honda Longchamps Nissan Nissan 350Z Nissan S13 Nissan S14 Norcal NSX S13 Sam Attal Santa Clara SSR Toyota wordup! zipties Vienna Dish

Even though spectators aren’t technically allowed in the event, they usually show up and watch anyway. Some of them have awesome rides worth checking out in between runs. This Acura NSX attracted me with its beautiful stance and 19-inch SSR Vienna Dish wheels. It’s a really cool combo that works well even with the car’s sporty lines.

240SX 350Z 510 Acura AE86 Bay Area Corolla Datsun drift Drift Day drifting Fatlace great america gymk Gymkhana Honda Longchamps Nissan Nissan 350Z Nissan S13 Nissan S14 Norcal NSX S13 Sam Attal Santa Clara SSR Toyota wordup! zipties Vienna Dish

These Datsun 510s also caught a lot of attention as they pulled in and left together.

240SX 350Z 510 Acura AE86 Bay Area Corolla Datsun drift Drift Day drifting Fatlace great america gymk Gymkhana Honda Longchamps Nissan Nissan 350Z Nissan S13 Nissan S14 Norcal NSX S13 Sam Attal Santa Clara SSR Toyota wordup! zipties Vienna Dish

At the end of the day, the Fatlace crew and professionals took over the lot and had their own fun. After hosting the event and keeping everything in line, they had a chance to show everyone how hard they can swing. This two-tone S13, belonging to a crew member, came really close to hitting me a couple of times as it went into corners with lots of speed, sometimes losing control.

240SX 350Z 510 Acura AE86 Bay Area Corolla Datsun drift Drift Day drifting Fatlace great america gymk Gymkhana Honda Longchamps Nissan Nissan 350Z Nissan S13 Nissan S14 Norcal NSX S13 Sam Attal Santa Clara SSR Toyota wordup! zipties Vienna Dish

WordUp! provides NorCal with a great practice session for aspiring drifters to practice and improve. Grassroots events like these have been missing from the Bay Area for quite some time now. They are what make the drift scene appealing to many. There are no judges — just a place to get better, have fun, and meet other passionate drifters.

:: Sam Attal

WordUp! Schedule

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35 Responses

  1. JDM Rob

    Lovin the nsx, my dream car and he has it sittin nice, as for the overfenders on the 86 i like em, riveted on bodywork on drift cars just look rugged and right

  2. Pingback : COVERAGE> Fatlace WordUp! - Car News

  3. D1RGE.EXE

    Any way you can get more info and more shots of the NSX?? I mean, I love the drifting coverage and all but DAMN son!

    I’ve seen some pretty hot NSX’s but this….I need to see MOAR.

  4. Coverage isn’t narrative. We want to know why only 15 people can participate. Why can’t we come watch? We don’t care what your opinion is.

    Not to sound insensitive. Just general journalism observation and opinion.

  5. Mark was nice enough to invite me to this event after I broke down my beef with fatlace, I feel bad I never replied to him. Would be down if I lived in norcal maybe.

    But I don’t think I’ll be making any road trips back up north anytime soon.

  6. petite pounder

    “This two-tone S13, belonging to a crew member, came really close to hitting me a couple of times as it went into corners with lots of speed, sometimes losing control.”

    i think this speaks greatly about how there is a great lack of safety at these event. motormavens fail.

  7. Doritodrift

    The idea of the event is retarded definitely not a way to get drifters together by limiting drivers to 15 and no spectators, great way to bring in solid interests. The coverage was OK at best…

  8. memo (k-oz)

    i wish they would do it all year long. my car is not ready yet and would like a chance to do more than one event.

  9. Jay

    Horrible write up… in my opinion. I feel like this Sam person is too fool of himself. If you have negative things to say, just keep it to yourself. Seriously, write about the event and the drivers, rather then slightly shit talking….

  10. Weasel

    OMG guys! come 2 my super secret drift club, NO GIRLS ALLOWD!!1

    bring ur worst wheel fitment, we funna lose control a lot.

  11. Drifter

    Get this author out of here. Seriously? Whats up with the hate instead of actual coverage. I have never seen a respectable blog such as this one publish such bull****.

    “Too bad Nick kept spinning out – his car would have looked really aggressive getting angle.”
    “However, this guy does not. His (silly-looking) bolt-on overfenders ruined this whole car for me. It’s OK though – he slid hard and fast enough that I forgave him.”

  12. Grant

    I like to know what’s going on with the fatlace events near me when I can’t go but this article is full of fail.

    Can we get a more mature author please? Haven’t noticed anything too bad in the past..

  13. Aldondre Messi

    @petite pounder- FAIL

    You don’t even get it fool, that’s the money shot right there. This shows what MotorMavens photographers are willing to do to get the right shot. SICK AS FUCK, total win.

  14. drift_86

    Why does It seem like there is a lot of judging going on in this article? The coverage shouldn’t be opinionated or judgemental. You’re hired to snap pics and write about the event, not poke fun of other people’s rides and or driving skill. Very unprofessional.

    Weasel: Also, since when was drifting about wheel fitment alone? Sure flush wheels make things look nicer, but it is not a necessity for drifting and enjoying yourself on track.

  15. Daredevil

    So, this guy injects a couple of his own opinions (which he’s entitled to) and that makes him unprofessional? No respectable blog allows this? Have you read some of these “respectable” blogs out here? Not long ago one of the most respectable blogs out there (Autoblog) trashed the LFA video MotorMavens posted with personal opinions about Antonio – because he was enthusiastic. The flip side of that is to be unenthusiastic. Watch an episode of TopGear and tell me those guys are scared to voice their opinions. Since when is this CNN? Oh. Wait. CNN reporters give their opinions all the time – ask Bush. I suppose that opinions are only valid if everyone agrees with them.

  16. Dan Cyr

    I can kinda see the stance from both sides of this commentary warfare thing going on here. On the one hand, I do kinda agree that a post labelled ‘Coverage’ should maybe be light on the opinions, and more heavy on the info. This could easily be fixed with a more appropriate category like “Editorial” or “Blog” or something to that effect for posts that don’t intend on simply covering the event.

    That said, once I get past the (what some mayyy consider misleading) category, I really find there to be no problem with this article as an opinion/editorial piece. Sure, Sam may’ve been a bit blunt to some degree, but I think if we were all smiley faced bloggers that never had anything negative to say, then there’d be a group of readers who would lose interest due to everyone writing here being a ‘yes-man’ and not giving realistic thoughts in articles. A little bit of razzin’/honesty here and there is perfectly healthy in my opinion, and as long as it’s kept above downright slander, then I think there’s nothing to frown upon here.

    I don’t remember MotorMavens claiming to be the “always serious, no-nonsense source of automotive and drifting news, shot from behind an extremely safe barrier at all times” at any point…as I recall the tagline goes something like: “Original. Authentic. We focus on everything COOL about car culture.”

    Cool post, Sam!

  17. The article comes off as one written by a person that doesn’t actually know what he is talking about.

    “silly looking” bolt on overfenders…..or what most people would refer to as fender flares.

    What professional drifters were there?

    I think I need to talk to Avon about this LOL.

  18. NuggetG60YorkshireUK

    i like the stance of the Ac’ NSX, pity we couldn’t get a side view of those sweet SSR Vienna’s[?]- hmmm? the ‘over-fenders’ look fine to me on the AE86. its not even critical if they line up properly, more of a functional item for minor shunts & bumps, because you can replace them quickly and easily. nice one Sam.. keep it up! great photo’s by the way!

  19. Skurai

    so much hate. I agree in some part,maybe calling an overfender silly is not right, its the owners fault that he couldnt pull the look. but who said a coverage cant have the authors opinion? its his perception of the event ur reading. people hating are exaggerating on this.
    i kinda like the article although it was not much.
    the only thing i dont like is the lack of pictures. Needs more content pics in order to be a proper coverage. i dont want to see pics of zipties nor worn tires, we wanna see action and more cool cars. im kinda mad cause u only teased us with that nsx pic, i need moar

  20. Kyle S.

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, especially the author. But that over fender thing was a tad brash. Whatever though. My main concern is yeah, drift photography is risky, and I appreciate your guy’s job but it is pretty ironic to talk about safety of this event when you were almost hit a couple times. That last sentence was directed more towards a previous comment

  21. todd

    Seriously? over fenders ruined the corolla?

    Antonio get rid of this guy.

    this coverage is more than a month late. and this article sounds super condescending

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