Gallery

GALLERY> Scenes from the Long Beach Grand Prix

This past weekend, the Toyota Grand Prix took over the streets of Long Beach, CA. This annual three-day festival of speed consisted of the Izod IndyCar Series, the American Le Mans Series, Firestone Indy Lights, Toyota Pro Celebrity Race, SCCA Pro World Challenge Championship, and a team tandem competition from Formula Drift. We don't normally cover open wheel racing on Motor Mavens, but since we were all in Long Beach two weeks ago for Round 1 of the Formula Drift series, we thought it would be pretty interesting to experience the annual Long Beach Grand Prix to show a little bit of contrast on the site. Britain's Mike Conway (above) emerged as the winner of the IZOD IndyCar race. Last year, Conway fractured a vertebrae and broke his leg during the Indianapolis 500. An injury like that would spell the end of a racing career for some people, but Conway was able to overcome that incredible setback and take his first IndyCar win at Long Beach. What a way to make a comeback!   Read more...

GALLERY> Mazda Shinari Concept

When I saw the first pictures released of the Mazda Shinari Concept, my immediate thought was Art In Motion. Corny, maybe, but it was an honest reaction. It was so beautiful to me. So, imagine my recent good fortune to get an opportunity to attend a Mazda press event!

At the event, I was given some information concerning what lies ahead for Mazda - the design path (and general mindset) that they will be taking to bring you a Mazda worthy of the 21st century.

As a part of this new direction that Mazda is taking, the Director of Communications briefly highlighted The Shinari. He didn't go into specifics but my mission for MotorMavens was clear - to find as much information about this car as possible. Not to mention, it wouldn't be MotorMavens if I couldn't find good pictures as well, right?   Read more...

GALLERY> Formula Drift Review in Pictures

Formula Drift at Long Beach is just around the corner. Yes, it is already April again. As the MotorMavens Crew gets ready for another season of tire smoking excitement, we wanted to take a look back on the 2010 season and recap the big moments as well as showcase some of the shots that didn't make it into some of the posts.   Read more...

GALLERY> Gripwerks & S2Ki Forums BBQ Meet

There are times in life when one should expand one's horizons, embrace diversity and appreciate things that are personally "outside the norm." These Zen-like thoughts came to me while driving home from work one afternoon and I eventually came to the temporary conclusion that I COULD enjoy other vehicle makes and models and let my devoted passion for RX7s rest a little. I did stress that this was a temporary conclusion, didn't I?

The result of my moment of enlightenment? A new appreciation for Honda's road grappler - the Honda S2000. Which came just in time since a good buddy of mine, Scott Soonthonum, informed me that he was the proud owner of the CR edition S2K during my birthday celebration shortly thereafter. Funny how these things work out. We exchanged info with the intention of keeping in touch so that we could connect sometime in the near future.

In just a matter of days, I received a text from Scott inviting the MotorMavens crew to attend the Gripwerks & S2kI Forums' 1st Annual BBQ Meet. Let's take a look at what photographer Horacio Flores captured as I delve into the welcoming unknown.   Read more...

GALLERY> Global Rallycross at Irwindale Speedway

This past weekend's Global Rallycross event at Irwindale Speedway was definitely not what I expected. I mean, I've been to amateur rallycross events in the past... but this was just... different. To most people in the racing community, the term rallycross is what people use to describe an event that looks like an autocross event in the dirt. A rallycross normally takes place in a large dirt area, with marker cones denoting the course layout. The cars that normally participate in rallycross are the type of cars that you would see in an issue of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine - budget built, weekend racers built by everyday people like you and me.

Well, I suppose the Global Rallycross Championship is just like that - but replace the budget rallycars with fully-built factory-backed professional race cars with full welded rollcages, built engines, and top notch suspension and safety equipment. Also, replace the everyday-Joe shadetree mechanic type with professional drivers from the X-Games, Formula Drift, Pike's Peak International Hillclimb, and the World Rally Championship (WRC). Oh yeah... and replace the dirt parking lot with a humongous man-made dirt course, complete with dirt ramp for catching some big air! This, my friends, is the Global Rallycross Championship. It sure as hell sounds exciting, doesn't it?!

Before you look at the rest of the photos, I really should mention that the Global Rallycross Championship at Irwindale was pretty much the coolest event that nobody knew about.   Read more...

GALLERY> Ken Block Gymkhana Grid Invitational

Here are some more much overdue photos from Ken Block’s Gymkhana Grid Invitational. At first, “gymkhana” may sound like a martial arts discipline (to those unfamiliar with the automotive version) but it's actually a starting line and a finish line joined together by all sorts of interesting obstacles such as cones, tires, and barrels which, when arranged just so, require a driver to perform all sorts of interesting maneuvers such as reversals, 180 and 360 degree spins, and figure 8s - all while racing against the clock. The reason I stressed that this is the automotive version is because, you may be interested to know, there is an equestrian version as well. As you can imagine, there's a lot less smoke - unless they figured out how to get a horse to do a burnout when I wasn't looking.   Read more...

GALLERY> Older BMWs at the Bimmerfest!

If you've read the previous story I published about the 2010 Bimmerfest at Pasadena's Rose Bowl, then you already know that this event was HUGE. I mean, I knew the Bimmerfest was a pretty big event... but I just don't think I was mentally prepared for how huge this event actually was. There were so many BMWs from so many states, it was really hard to concentrate on all the details of all the cars at the event! While some of the showgoers tended to stick to the newer BMWs at the show, I definitely spent more time admiring the older, classic BMWs... after all, I live in Southern California - this means I can't even drive a mile without seeing at least five newer BMWs.   Read more...

GALLERY> Southern Style’s Journey to Silverstone

You may remember my last feature about the JDM Allstars Driver Search at Silverstone a few weeks back. Well, I failed to mention that I had a pretty interesting journey up to Silverstone, and since I was heading up with Southern Style, a group of people who own some of the dopest grassroots drift cars on the UK streets, I thought it would be rude not to show you MotorMavens readers some of the photos I took and tell you about what happened on the way!   Read more...

GALLERY> SoCal Hondas Swarm Norm Reeves

Two weekends ago, my friend Scott Toshima invited me to come out to a meet he was hosting at Norm Reeves Honda, off the 605 freeway in Cerritos CA. I've never owned a Honda in my life, so I never had a reason to go there previously, but I was definitely down to support whatever function Scott was throwing... plus, he said that several of the best offset Hondas in Southern Cali would be attending.

Well, Scott wasn't lying. I was honestly quite impressed with the level of the cars that came out to this gathering, which wasn't even a major carshow or anything; it was just a simple Honda meet in the parking lot of a local dealer! Even though it wasn't some sort of big event like Import Showoff or something like that, the H crowd showed up strong to show off their new wheels!

That's right, I said wheels! It seems that there are more and more Honda owners catching on and joining the low offset/stretched tire movement, and I think that's a good thing. Sure, there are a lot of people who hate on this new trend in the Honda scene, saying that it makes no sense to stretch the tires and camber the rear wheels on a Front Engine, Front Wheel Drive car... but hey, Volkswagen guys have been doing it for years, and their cars are FF too!   Read more...

GALLERY> More Scenes from JCCS 2009

Cressidas and Levins and Sprinters and Skylines, oh my! I was just clearing out some images on my Mac and transferring them to one of my terabyte drives when I stumbled upon these images I shot at the Japanese Classic Car Show last month. Before I transfer them to the HD archive and forget all about them for another year or so, I thought I'd just share some more pics of these awesome Japanese nostalgic cars!   Read more...

GALLERY> E30s at H20 After Hours

Recently my buddy Dave Mucci made the trip from Chicago to Ocean City, MD, all for the love of automobiles! I figured it'd be pretty whack of me to write an article about H20 International since I've yet to go myself, so I asked the man, the myth, my buddy Mooch, to provide some guest commentary. Some of you may be familiar with Dave's work in 0-60 Magazine, doing detailed engine illustrations. The kid is one hell of an artist, but he isn't a writer by trade and I'm not much of a grammatical genius so bear with us. Hopefully you will be too engaged with the dope photos to give a crap. For the photography, Dave enlisted the help of Patrick Mizenko who took tons of killer photos, only a sliver of which you'll see here, the rest you can check out at Patrick's site. Thanks again to you both!!!

Enough rambling, on to the story!!   Read more...

GALLERY> The Irwindale Experience

Since I'm new to MotorMavens, most people don't know much background info on me. I was born and raised in the Northwest, so every time I visit California, it becomes a great adventure. The final round in the Formula Drift series was my very first visit to Irwindale. From the hot weather and good looking girls, I could tell I was in for a real treat! Not to mention all the sick cars that California has!

When I arrived at LAX on Thursday, I got my rental car and drove straight into L.A. traffic to get to Irwindale Speedway, working my way though all that traffic while trying to find a good radio station to listen to. I finally arrived at the Speedway about 45 minutes later.

Walking though the pits, watching all the vendors getting set up for the event, I noticed the pit area is so much bigger than the one we have at Evergreen Speedway where Round 5 was held . This was a subtle hint that more vendors and drivers would be attending this event than the one at Evergreen.

Another thing that I noticed was the weather. Seattle summer includes two months of decent heat and sun after which it's back to the infamous rain season that happens to have started a couple of weeks ago. So, even though I caught myself wiping sweat off my forehead every few minutes, I was enjoying every minute of the sun. I wish it was like this in the Northwest.

Fast forward to the opening day of the Final round of Formula Drift. I got there bright and early to start taking photos and meet lots of new people. Since I'm pretty new to MotorMavens, a lot of people didn't know my name or my face. I took that as the perfect opportunity to introduce myself to the locals. The attitude that California people have is really great! Everyone was friendly and awesome to hang out with!   Read more...