COVERAGE> JDM Allstars Rd.2 – Donington Alpine!

When I first heard that JDM Allstars was coming to Donington Park for Round 2 of the championship, I was a little confused as to where the event would be held. Would it be on the actual race circuit? Since it's currently under reconstruction, any idea of that went out the window. Would it be on the large plot of land off to the side of the track known as the "Launch Pad"? Well, since two other drift series have used that area in the past, it didn't seem to fit JDM's approach which usually involves coming up with fresh and exciting course designs.

I later heard that the plan was to hold it on something called the Donington Alpine Circuit. I had no clue what that was until I came along to the shoot of the promotional video a few weeks back. Then it all became clear. On the outskirts of the main track and the Launch Pad is a fast, wide, almost mountain road-like track that the JDM Crew decided to use. It's made up of four corners and a steep uphill straight where the cars seemingly come out of nowhere and fly over the top. There's a right transition into the second turn, aiming for a clipping point close to the deadly armco, then a transition left into the third turn where you plant the throttle and bring the rear of the car to the armco on the straight, leading to another transition right into the final hairpin turn.

Fast corners, armco barriers on all sides and beautiful scenery all around. This was looking to be one of the most unique and exciting drift events in the JDM Allstars calendar.   Read more...

NEWSWORTHY> Monster Suzuki Wins Pike’s Peak

Monster Tajima Monster Sports Escudo Suzuki Falken Pike's Peak Colorado PPIHC Hillclimb 2010

The Monster of the Mountain has done it again. This year’s Pike’s Peak “Race to the Clouds” is now over, and even though most people think of the name Millen when they think of Pike’s Peak… it might just be fitting that the Rocky Mountain behemoth (that peaks at 14,400 feet above sea level) be nicknamed Monster’s Mountain.

Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima hails from Shizuoka, Japan (not too far from Fuji Speedway), and has been doing Suzuki owners proud by holding (and defending) the world record time at the legendary Pike’s Peak Hillclimb in Colorado – previously in a turbocharged Suzuki Escudo, and now in a monstrous Suzuki SX4. (I know that Suz and Tajima have had their relationship going for a while, but for some reason, Suzuki SX4 still sounds odd to me when prefaced with the word monstrous.) Enough of my rambling though… let’s cut to the official press release: (more…)

MotorMavens Readers' Blog

CENTER STAGE> Pat Cyr, DMCC Winner with AE86!

As I write this, Pat Cyr of Drift Posse is sending me a text message from the DMCC – Drift Mania Canadian Championship - Round 2 on Sunday, June 20 informing me that he has won the event! Congratulations Pat!

When I think of the hard campaigning privateer, there's no one that comes more quick ly to mind than Pat. He and his team bring the perfect mix of heart, dedication and style to every event - and it shows.   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> Rotiform’s A4 Avant on the Floor

One thing about lining up a photo shoot is that sometimes it doesn't always go according to plan. After several months of planning, I was finally able to lock down a shoot date with Brian Henderson's 2010 B8 Audi A4 Avant. This, my friends, is what I would call a truly magnificent piece of machinery. Everything about it oozes class and originality - and who doesn't like class and originality?

After hanging around for awhile talking "car guy stuff" with Brian and Jason Whipple, the two guys who run the Rotiform shop, I was able to find out a little bit more about Brian's previous car history. Much more than just the car, I was interested in getting to know the reasoning behind the choice of the beautiful B8 Audi A4 Avant you see here as well as the motivating force behind Rotiform.   Read more...

GUEST BLOG> BMW Mania at Studie Tokyo w/WSTO

It's not often that MotorMavens gets a guest blog but when our friends at WSTO got an opportunity to go to the Tokyo Auto Salon and visit Studie - we were more than happy to let them tell their story. And so, without further ado - Julius Choi of WSTO visits Studie. Enjoy!

Imagine getting a call telling you that you and one other guy are the $10 million winners of the state lottery - all you have to do is split the money. Cool, right? Now, imagine the state lottery commission calling again to tell you that the other guy lost his ticket and the whole $10 million is yours. If you have a good imagination, that about sums up how excited I felt getting a chance to attend my first Tokyo Auto Salon - sort of like that lottery winner. But, when I got to visit Studie, the ultra high-end tuner shop, it was almost like getting that second call.

Studie has five locations; Yokohama, Tokyo, Kobe, Sendai and Kidnie. I had the honor of visiting two of these amazing shops; Studie Tokyo (their latest which opened last year) and the main hub, Studie Yokohama.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Leavenworth Euro Cruise, Part 2

Summer is late this year in Washington state. Usually, around this time, the sickness of the overcast weather breaks and June is quite nice. However, this year the clouds are sticking around longer than expected - make that wanted. But the weather can be beaten - by those with enough motivation to attempt it.

Through the mountain pass where it looks the gloomiest and down the other side; hope shines through. The clouds break away slowly as you come down Stevens Pass and the rays warm you through the windows. As you get closer to the end of the mountains, the river next to the highway rushes and you can hear it now that you've rolled down your windows. There, nestled at the bottom of the east side of the Cascade Mountains, lies a small and amazing little town called Leavenworth - where every year, for the last 10 years, hordes of Euro cars descend from the mountains to disturb its unsuspecting calm.   Read more...

NEWSWORTHY> Fatal Lexus LF-A Crash At Nurburgring

Just in case you guys haven’t heard the sad news from Nurburgring yet… while test driving a Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition on the 410 highway just outside Nurburg, Germany, Toyota’s chief test driver died in a head-on collision with two other drivers test driving a new BMW.

Both BMW drivers survived the crash (but are hospitalized in critical condition), but unfortunately, Toyota’s driver (who Autoblog speculates is Hiromu Naruse – the personal driver of Toyota head honcho Akio Toyoda, and a highly esteemed driver who is known within the Toyota organization as the Godfather of the LFA) didn’t survive the crash.

For more information and photos, follow this link to Autoblog.

:: Avon Bellamy

PAPERCUTS> Project Car Magazine w/ AE86

Project Car Magazine AE86 Special with Taka Aono Corolla Drifter

I just realized that I haven’t posted up a “Papercuts” story in quite some time. To tell you the truth, it’s because I haven’t even bought any car magazines in quite some time. There was a time in my life when I would go to bookstores and hang out, just to check out all the car magazines that were out. My friend Kenta and I would meet up at Barnes & Noble or Borders (or better yet, the Kinokuniya Bookstore in Little Tokyo or Torrance) to check out the latest car magazines every single month. I miss going to bookstores just to chill and check out magazines… I’m not sure if I haven’t been going because I’ve just been busy, or if the magazines these days don’t intrigue me…

Whatever the case may be, I stumbled upon this copy of Project Car Magazine at the CVS Drugstore in Studio City. This issue caught my eye because I saw my friend Taka Aono on the cover; after all, he is the USA’s undisputed top AE86 driver. I thumbed through it really quickly, and decided within 20 seconds, “that’s it. I’m actually gonna buy this issue.” While my 10+ years of Living the 86 Life have led me to own just about every AE86 book or manual that has ever been produced in Japan, it’s honestly pretty rare to see magazines that actually produce good stories about AE86s stateside. I definitely think this magazine was worth the $6 or 7 (ouch!) that I paid at the cash register.

Even though he’s probably the one Source Interlink magazine editor I don’t really know, I really gotta give props to Project Car editor Gary Narusawa and his crew over there. (more…)