OH SNAP> Taka Aono’s AE86 Turbo at Road Atlanta

In continuing with our celebration of 8-6 Day, I wanted to bring back this shot I took of Taka Aono at Road Atlanta earlier this year. Seeing this car still compete at a top level in professional drifting really adds to the excitement and the theater (theatre?) of the event. As much fun as it is seeing two high-horsepower Goliaths battle it out, replacing one of those monsters with a David only makes things more interesting. This might be why the AE86 is still a crowd favorite, well over 20 years after its inception.   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> Chris Gray’s Irish Grip Spec AE86

There is probably no better way to introduce myself to you guys than by sharing with you, on 86 Day, a recent shoot I did of a friend's Toyota AE86 Levin GTV. As Daniel Bridle has shown you with the Team Tekno article, the AE86 is alive and well here in Ireland! Usually the AE86 comes in two different guises: the Japanese drift spec with drift body kits and crazy camber; and the UK spec with Superlites and Cibie spot lamps. However, there is another type that is rarely seen on these shores and that is - the grip spec AE86.   Read more...
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COVERAGE> Experiencing MotoGP at Laguna Seca

While my colleagues were in the Pacific Northwest shooting Formula D, I decided to take a road trip to Monterey, CA to shoot the world famous MotoGP.

For those unfamiliar with MotoGP, it is the two-wheel equivalent of Formula One. It is an 18-race series visiting 14 countries (with only two stops in the U.S.). Now in its 63rd year, it is the oldest motorsports championship in the world. The world’s best riders pilot machinery that have been crafted with the keenest of cutting-edge technology - technology which has largely benefited from the R&D budgets of four manufacturers: Yamaha, Ducati, Honda, & Suzuki.

For the purposes of competing in MotoGP's premier class, the manufacturers are held within these general parameters: the engines must be 800 cc, four-stroke engines and the motorcycles competing must be prototypes. As you might imagine, first-rate drivers plus high-end, super machines equate to one HELL of a ride!   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> Team Tekno AE86 Crew in Ireland

Late last month my girlfriend and I hopped on a plane and flew to Dublin, in Southern Ireland. However this wasn't your typical romantic getaway, instead, one of the main reasons for the trip was for another kind of love - of the Corolla kind.

When it comes to Japanese cars from the 1980s, I've never quite seen one that evokes as much love, nor as enthusiastic a following, as the AE86 Toyota Corolla. To some people they're just weird old hatchbacks that look more suited to being driven by elderly ladies to the supermarket and back; but to others they are lightweight, rear-wheel drive cars with fun engines that beg you to drive them hard - not to mention a certain character and style that you only get from 1980s Japanese design. It's just crazy to think that, when I was much younger, these cars could be picked up for a few hundred pounds. Nowadays, you can see some examples going for over £10,000!

On that note, if there's one country (excluding Japan) that has the biggest love for the AE86 as far as I've seen, it's got to be Ireland. I'm not sure what it is, but people the Irish are nuts for them and it always impresses me how such a small country can contain so many. There are more in Ireland than in most of the UK combined.

My personal love for the AE86 came about, like many others, through drifting. There's just something so right about seeing an AE86 being thrown sideways, foot to the floor, with the driver giving it everything he has. It's just RAW, and it's always been my dream, since I started shooting cars, to shoot an AE86. Not just any old 86 - it had to be the right one. So, when I came across some new photos of Killian O'Brien and Kevin Reilly's Levin and Trueno, I knew they were the ones I had to shoot. So, after organising things with Killian and Kevin, I and my girl (who happens to be a big fan of Corollas, too - luckily for me!) headed over for a taste of Team Tekno style!   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> JUN Time Attack WRX in Norway

After the dust had settled and everyone had gone home from the Gatebil Rudskogen event, Lars Harlem asked Justin Shreeve and I if we wanted to see his time attack Subaru WRX. He had told us about his car months ago and I had seen it in various videos so I was more than excited to check it out.   Read more...

VIDEO> Formula Drift Visits the Pacific Northwest

MotorMavens | TANDEM OF DIE | Formula Drift Seattle from MotorMavens Dotcom on Vimeo.

Last weekend I experienced my third and greatest trip to Formula Drift Seattle. At this time two years ago, my ’09 Evergreen video graced the pages of MotorMavens and encouraged me to start shooting professional drifting on a larger scale. (more…)

COVERAGE> The 2011 Formula D Seattle Experience

Formula Drift in Seattle is definitely one of my favorite stops on the Formula D tour. It always happens in the middle of the summer, and summertime is the best time to visit Seattle anyway! The event planners at Formula Drift always seem to pick the FD Seattle weekend perfectly, when the rainy state of Washington is blessed with a little break from the gloomy rain, and the sun comes out to put everybody in a good mood!

Since most drift fans outside of Seattle were able to watch the event play-by-play on Justin.TV's Formula D Driftstream, Seattle-based MotorMavens sharpshooter Yoshi Shindo and I decided we'd post up photographic highlights from the event, based on our own experiences there!   Read more...

COVERAGE> 2011 Formula D Seattle, Day One

Once again Formula D makes the stop in my hometown Seattle, Washington! This is always one of my favorite events because, not only is it my home track, it's also where we see the Northwest grassroots drivers come out and show everyone what they're really are made of. Seattle has a way of making people rise to the occasion!

Earlier in the day, I received a phone call from Rob Primo telling me that practice was rained out. It was very disappointing because practice is my favorite time to shoot the cars on track. Seattle strikes again. However, she can be forgiving at times. A couple of hours later I received another call from Rob. The rain had stopped and the track was dry. Practice was on again! I think you already know that I quickly grabbed my camera gear and drove straight there before Seattle had a chance to change her mind. So, I guess you can thank beautiful Lady Seattle for what you're about to see.   Read more...