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Mike Kim

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COVERAGE> Formula Drift Long Beach Qualifying

The Formula Drift 2013 season kicked off here in the streets of Long Beach! Every year as the roads in Long Beach get prepped for the Grand Prix, Formula Drift always has the honor of christening the pavement with tires and the air with tire smoke. With many new drivers debuting their car for the first time in pro leagues there are also a lot of returning veteran drivers on the lot. Every year having to outdo themselves a lot of drivers bring new cars and even more horsepower with them to the track. As we bring you live coverage of the weekends events follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, at @MOTORMAVENS and @86Fest, for updates and images of the First Formula Drift competition of the year.   Read more...

COVERAGE> 2013 Formula D Tech Day & Car Meet

Formula Drift always holds a Preseason Technical Inspection Day before the annual race season starts. The objection of the tech inspection is to go over each car to verify that all safety equipment and chassis modifications are fair and accounted for. When it comes to building a race car, whether its for drift, drag, road racing or rally, safety has to be a high priority for any team. Source Interlink Media was the host of this year's tech day. This was a free event to attend for those enthusiasts and fans who want to get up close and personal with the cars and drivers. They had food trucks, free energy drinks, and of course, lots of local car show enthusiasts and their rides in attendance!   Read more...

STOLEN> Walker Wilkerson’s Formula Drift Car!

Formula Drift driver Walker Wilkerson had his Truck, Trailer and Formula D race car stolen and it was last spotted in Carson, CA! Please Keep an eye out for the truck and trailer. It has Washington State license plates 3614XR. ´╗┐´╗┐Please contact authorities and Walker if you spot the car, truck or trailer. Additional details can be found on Instagram, twitter and tumblr, @MOTORMAVENS @WalkerWilkerson   Read more...

COVERAGE> Carspotting at SEMA 2012 Las Vegas

We're here at SEMA 2012 in Las Vegas! We once again arrived to the capital of customizations in the automotive world. From everything old school, to the latest in cutting edge automotive technology we'll bring you the latest and greatest in automotive aftermarket industry. Follow our @MOTORMAVENS Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr for our live feed with the latest photos from the show and the afterparties. We'll be posting photos of cars and models live in real time as we encounter them!   Read more...

GALLERY> Formula Drift Finale at Irwindale

Even if they didn't attend the jam packed Formula Drift Finale at Irwindale Speedway, all drifting fans with an internet connection already know that Daigo Saito has been smashing the competition repeatedly all year, ascending the ranks of the Formula Drift Championship and ending his first year in Formula D in First Place as the Formula Drift Series Champion.

Here's a collection of some of our favorite images captured from the event!   Read more...

GALLERY> More Scenes From Formula D Las Vegas

This last trip to Las Vegas for Formula Drift was one hell of an eventful weekend. With a new course layout and drastically changing weather, the conditions took a toll on a lot of the teams. There were lots of tire scraps and car parts littered around the track when the day was done, not to mention the plethora of tire smoke from these high horsepower monsters. The sweltering heat and the freak 45 minute rain storm made it an interesting day at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. With extremely fast entry speeds and high speed turns, the new course layout took out many cars from the running all weekend long.   Read more...

GALLERY> MFest VI Brings Heat to Las Vegas

Whether you own a BMW or not, it's really tough to not be blown away by the sheer number of high quality cars that made it to MFest VI in Las Vegas. Even though we didn't even get an ounce of sleep the night before, the caravan, event, and parties were so fun that we had no problem going nonstop throughout the weekend!

MFest weekend started off with the epic, world record setting caravan up from Barstow CA and ended with an equally epic pool party at the Tao Beach Club in Las Vegas. MFest Chris and his team could not have been any more hospitable or welcoming - nor could the weekend have been more mind blowing. No wonder we have TONS of photos!   Read more...

GALLERY> The Road to MFest Las Vegas 2012

Reporting live from Sin City, the 2012 MFest is already underway... and it's getting HECTIC over here! MFest is much more than a BMW meet. MFest is much more than a BMW car show, and it's definitely more than a run-of-the-mill track day. What started out as a meeting of BMW M-cars has turned into an entire takeover of the Las Vegas Strip, with hundreds and hundreds of cars mobbing the freeways to Vegas in a huge caravan, averaging roughly 100mph (although, honestly, I saw some people that had to be going MUCH faster than 120 because of the speed at which they passed us on the 15 North!).

While there were plenty of M-powered caravans (we're talking multiple M cars, not Dodge Caravans with M engines) driving from other states, we drove along with the Southern California group, and it was super fun!!! While everyone else is out pre-partying it up at Lavo inside The Palazzo, we're sitting in our suite next door at The Venetian uploading pictures into the new gallery we made, which contains Images From MFest 2012.

Now our readers can see what the MFest experience is like, whether they're with us in Vegas, or chillin out at home. Enjoy the images, and if you're here at MFest with us, please upload YOUR own photos into the shared gallery linked above, so everyone can see your MFest photos too!   Read more...

COVERAGE> Rainy Day Racing at LBGP ALMS

The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach opened today with a practice session of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). Even though the practice session opened with a heavy downpour, we were super excited to shoot the amazing looking cars as rain soaked our cameras and permeated through our clothing, down to our socks. Even though racing on a rainy day through a street course with big concrete barriers may be a grueling nightmare for many drivers, these conditions are perfect for some spectacular photos. The weather may not have been as nice as the Formula Drift event last weekend, but its a nice change to what seems like an eternally sunny Southern California.   Read more...

COVERAGE> ‘So You Think You Can Stance’ Contest

When it comes to car shows, judging criteria is usually based on how the car looks or what kinds of modifications it has. Having attended tons of the same old car shows, our good friend Tony Lee from ItsJDMYo had an idea to make a different type of contest within the car scene.

While driving up or down a driveway may seem like a mundane everyday task for most, it obviously requires a certain amount of technique when you have a lowered car. Tony took that idea and decided to make it into a different form of driving competition, with the help of certain friends. Our own Editor-in-Chief Antonio was selected to be the emcee of the event, while judging duties were handled by Yogi from Fatlace, Noel from Canibeat, and ItsJDMYo's own Keychain.   Read more...

COVERAGE> AutoCon Show at El Toro Air Base

AutoCon 2011 turned out to be a pretty fun show - it has grown quite a bit since the last show they had. I drove all the way down from LA to El Toro Airbase in Irvine, CA so that I could start shooting the carshow roll-in at 10am, but they didn't allow any media to enter the show until 12pm! This definitely put a damper on my plans, because the rest of the normal spectators would be entering the venue at the same time as media. The scheduling issue left me pretty disappointed to be honest, since my original plan was to shoot roll-in and staging before the large crowds showed up, then meet up with Antonio Alvendia and Oliver Petalver at Irwindale Speedway. I didn't make it out to Irwindale because of the scheduling mix-up, but I still enjoyed the rest of the day at the show. This event looks like it's getting bigger and bigger!   Read more...

COVERAGE> HIN LA & Wekfest Hawaii Live Blogging

There were so many great automotive events going on this weekend! As usual, the MotorMavens Crew had to split up in order to check out the best cars at each event. In Southern California, Tamer Omran, Antonio Alvendia and I attended the Hot Import Nights event at the LA Convention Center. Meanwhile, Seattle-based MotorMavens Crew member Raymond Vazquez flew out to Hawaii to take photos at Wekfest Hawaii!

We've been live blogging photos from the actual events, using our iPhones and various lens adapters - both our Olloclips and our Owle Bubos. If you have an iPhone, join @MOTORMAVENS on Instagram to see our photo feed in real time! If you're on a Droid or a non-smartphone, you can still follow @MOTORMAVENS on Twitter or Tumblr.   Read more...

COVERAGE> More Photos From SEMA Show 2011

The week of SEMA 2011 was one of the most fun and exhausting weeks I've ever had. Between exploring the show floor to scout cars and meet new people, live blog updates on the MotorMavens Instagram channel, and attending all the after parties... SEMA was one hell of an adventure. Since it was my first time at SEMA, I wanted to take full charge of covering everything I could. It was definitely not an easy task to take on - even with some help from my friend Terry Pham from DSTROYR,who helped me scout some cool cars.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Chevy Corvair Boogie Van at SEMA

On our way through the halls of SEMA 2011 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, we spotted this dope 1964 Chevrolet Corvair van. Surrounded by Benzes, Camaros, GT-Rs and NSXs, this van stuck out of the crowd - in a good way of course. The Corvair isn't owned by a large company or a show car team, but rather a photographer - John Jackson of Not Stock Photography. I haven't had a chance to meet him but looking at his van and his website (notstockphotography.com) proves that this guy has some seriously cool style. From the matte paint job with custom air brushing on the body and roof, there were no details spared on this build. One thing I have to say is that it's pretty dope to see other photographers who are into building cars as much as they are taking sick photos!   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> Royal Flush Subaru STi Scraper

A few years ago, the term "royal flush" wouldn't make you immediately think of cars. Rather then picturing a car's wheel fitment and ride height, it was more associated with card games. However, with wheels right at the fenders, tires tucking underneath them, and frame rails sitting only a few inches above the tarmac, this Subaru Impreza WRX STi owned by Austin Mardian from the Royal Flush Crew really embodies what it means to have your car sit flush.

When Austin rolls out to car meets and shows, he and his friends from Royal Flush crew definitely roll deep, with more than enough slammed cars to back up the name. For those of you local to Southern California that have been to many of the larger car shows, you might have seen several of the Royal Flush "VIP" style cars. Whether it's a Lexus or Infiniti on air ride or Austin's STi, they mob out in big numbers to all of the events they go to. While some of the cars in the crew scream for attention, the clean subtle look to Austin's STi was actually what caught my eye when I saw his car for the first time.   Read more...

VIDEO> Following An Underdog: Cyrus Martinez

Formula D driver Cyrus Martinez might not have the widest wheels or the lowest car or the coolest graphics in the Formula Drift series, but he sure has a whole lot of heart, and people love him for that. He started off as an AE86 Corolla driver, and worked his way up through the ranks, eventually earning his spot in the Formula D series with the Megan Racing drift team. It’s great to see that Cyrus is doing a good job of advancing through the rankings too, with his name being hyped up through the loudspeakers during several exciting tandem battles with top ranked Formula D drivers.

With help from longtime drifting videographer “Camera Steve” Reyes, Cyrus has released a year-end video full of highlights from the season, including some pretty cool footage of Cyrus crashing into walls and such! (more…)


VIDEO> Tyler McQuarrie Speaks on Leaving Falken

Finally, a straight answer!!! There has been a LOT of talk and speculation about Formula Drift Irwindale First Place Winner Tyler McQuarrie and his decision to part ways with his juggernaut tire sponsor, Falken Motorsports. (more…)


GARAGE LIFE> JSP Fab K24A Powered AE86 Build

When it comes to drifting, whether it's professional, grassroots, or even street, the AE86 Toyota Corolla GT-S is one of the most iconic cars around. The AE86 'hachi roku' and its 4AGE engine are a staple when it comes to drifting. However some more adventurous and fabrication savvy people have opted to swap in different engines. Not everyone is a fan of cross platform engine swaps, but I think pulling off a swap from a pure engineering standpoint is a feat of its own. One of the most desired AE86 cross platform swaps is the F20C/F22C engine from the Honda S2000 as it is one of the most powerful 4 cylinder N/A (normally aspirated) engines available.

About a week ago, JSP Fab's John Russakoff contacted me about an exclusive update to his Megan Racing/Nexen Tire Formula Drift competition car. For those of you who don't know John, he is one of the first in the AE86 community to perform a F20C engine swap into the AE86 Toyota Corolla Chassis - stateside at least. He has once again broken the cross platform swap barrier by putting a Honda K-Series front wheel drive engine into the AE86 while retaining the RWD platform. Going to be the very first fully completed and running K-Series AE86 in the US (and maybe even the world), he definitely had some hurdles to jump over when it came to engineering and fabrication.   Read more...

COVERAGE> It’s JDM Yo! Anniversary In Cerritos

Over a year ago, when you heard the phrase 'It's JDM Yo!' you would just think of a bunch of Japanese cars with parts from Japan following a trend. Now, as soon as you hear it, the first thing that comes to mind are the hot models and Tony 'It's JDM Yo' Lee with his posse at every major car show representing. The meet turned out more like a car show but with free entrance and in and out privileges for both people and cars. With vendors, food trucks, free NOS Energy Drinks to quench your thirst, and lots of eye candy the day went by without a hitch. A raffle, emceed by Tony and Miss Natalia Marie from NOS, was held and proceeds went to help fund Big Abe's daughter Sophie's funeral cost (if you don't know who Big Abe is, he's the guy with the big ass rim hanging from his neck). I have to give a big shout out to Big Abe for showing up to the meet after going through what he and his family had to endure.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Formula D Tech Day on UTI Campus

Every year, before the Formula Drift series starts, they have a technical inspection of the cars. Rules are strict and inspections are thorough, with a handful of cars not passing on the first look. The Annual Formula D Tech Day isn't just about standards and regulations, it's also a lot of fun. Checking out the newly built cars up close, without the massive crowds at an actual Formula Drift event, is a little more special than seeing it just fly by on the track. It gives you a nice glimpse of what it takes to build one of these cars, which takes more then just a weekend in the garage.   Read more...