COVERAGE> New Drift Program at Infineon Raceway

"Drifting will continue to grow, but that's only if we continue to support drifters on the amateur level, and most importantly, the people who organize the grassroots drifting events. After all, it is those people who are building new drifters and teaching them how to drive." - Antonio Alvendia in Drifting: Sideways from Japan to America
Despite the obvious plug (forgive me), what Antonio said in 2006 is evident five years later. These grassroots events are where many of the nation's best drifters first made their marks. While Japan was fortunate to have small, frequent drift events, Americans were left to figure out ways to get their tracks open to such a sport. Now, after years of consistent growth and the expansion of our own small drift events, we've come to see plenty of tracks around the nation become accustomed to drifting. These events have been paramount in molding skilled drifters, some of whom have made it in the big leagues. However, for many years now, the San Francisco Bay Area hasn't been able to provide a consistent outlet for its "home grown" talent. Sure, the ThunderDrift events are great, but those are nearly two or three hours away from The Bay. Many drivers simply don't want to make a four-to-six-hour round trip. Now they won't have to.   Read more...

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...
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NEWSWORTHY> Scion FR-S (FT86) Unveiled

Today at the New York Auto Show, Scion unveiled their FR-S Concept. Harking back to Toyota's days of small and affordable sports cars, the FR-S is powered by a flat-four, 2.0 liter boxer engine that powers the rear wheels. Not only do they keep with the tradition of everyone's favorite front engine/rear wheel drive configuration, but they are also offering a six-speed manual transmission as well as a limited slip differential. And for those of you who swear you are Formula 1 drivers, you can have the flappy paddles that come along with the six-speed automatic. With all of this "go", Scion didn't forget about "show." The FR-S flaunts a pretty aggressive stance and sharp lines.   Read more...

VIDEO> YAER Productions Does FD Long Beach

Formula D LBC 2011 – YAER Productions from Ryan Davis on Vimeo.

YAER Productions is on a quest to conquer the world. Check out this Formula Drift Long Beach edit from Ryan Davis. It features some close up footage of what it’s like to be at Formula D Long Beach on the night before the event, and also behind the scenes footage of the starting grid! (more…)

CARSPOTTING> Scotland Street Style Redux

Scotland - a country that's home to some of the freshest street cars that I've seen in person since I've been shooting for MotorMavens. You may remember awhile back I did a feature (which you can check out here) on a crew of sweet drift cars in Scotland's capital city of Edinburgh.

Well, once again, I happened to be in the land of the rising Haggis (click here if you're unfamiliar with Haggis), and thought it would be cool to catch up with some of the guys and see how their cars were getting on! I hope you enjoy the dramatic "black and white" theme - it seemed to go so well with the cars and the scenery of Edinburgh.   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...

VIDEO> Straight Outta Compton with Mad Mike

If for no other reason than getting a last minute “before they were famous” view of certain icons in West Coast gangsta rap, you should check out this video. In this second installment of interviews we did with the judges of the new SPEED Channel program Car Warriors, we meet the very down-to-earth Mad Mike, who most people might recognize from the television show Pimp My Ride.

If you were alive in the last six years and had any exposure to MTV, you probably think you know Mad Mike, but this interview introduces you to someone you’ve probably never met before – Mike Martin, a shade-tree, car stereo installer from Compton (in his own words). Whatever your preconceptions about Mike might be – leave them at the door. Nothing you see on TV is real… not even “Reality TV.” (more…)

VIDEO> Formula Drift on Long Beach Street Course

This is officially the first teaser video for Joe Ayala and my upcoming 2011 DVD. Don’t let the serious video fool you, this project is all about having fun, which is blatantly obvious in the TANDEM OF DIE logo. Shot by Joe Ayala, Will Roegge, and myself and edited by yours truly. (more…)