When we were contacted by the organizers of the Spocom Tour to work with them as a promotional partner, we were definitely excited by the opportunities it would bring! Although the Southern California-based members of our MotorMavens Crew gained a little experience in throwing and promoting a big outdoor automotive event (Mass Appeal at Ken Block's Irwindale Gymkhana event), we had little to no experience in seeing what it's like to run a big indoor car show. We thought it would be extremely interesting to see the inner workings of a big car show series from people who had a track record of doing it, and so began the relationship between MotorMavens and Spocom.
The first thing we noticed about the Spocom Tour - it didn't feel like a normal car show from our standpoint! It felt like a big, fun party - a hype party that just happened to have a bunch of friends and cars crowded in between the vendor exhibits! Read more...
With limited seat time he wowed the judges in his purple widebody Nissan S13 240SX coupe, equipped with a stroked 480hp monster SR20DET, during qualifying. Eventually landing high at 7th place, deep within veteran territory. And with that explosive entrance in the pro arena - he secured his spot in the big show on Saturday in the Top 32. Not bad for a first timer in, well, pretty much everything for the day. Read more...
That perception of these four-door beauties changed when engines like the 1JZGTE and 2JZGTE started to become more accessible with the spike in JDM import parts coming into the US within the last decade. With minimal work, and a good knowledge of cars, one could have a powerful car with less investment than, say... a 240SX or AE86. Opting for the straight six turbo 1/2JZ engines was a no-brainer if you had a Cressida. Read more...
This year's Formula D Seattle marks my first anniversary as a part of the Motor Mavens Crew. At last year's event, I didn't even know Antonio yet. In fact, I only met him at the end of the event, when he was out in the parking lot, chillin with our friends Ian Dillon and Raymond Vazquez.
I gotta say... this year has been one hell of a ride! Just in this past year, I've attended three other Formula D events, done multiple local drift event coverages, car features, cruises, meets, and everything else in between. As a local Seattle-based contributor for MotorMavens, my main goal was to blow up the Pacific Northwest scene since I know it has some of the sickest cars around! We also have some highly skilled drifters up here - such as Formula D drivers Roland Gallagher, Nikolay Konstantinov, Ian Fournier, and Victor Moore. Since this event was local, there was no doubt that all these guys would be attending. I knew this was going to be a great event! Read more...
With all the great things I’ve been hearing about last week’s Formula Drift Seattle event, it’s getting me amped to see what will happen at the Las Vegas round of the championship series. I’ve been checking out a lot of our video footage from the event, but I remain drawn to the great POV (point-of-view) footage that Justin Shreeve captured with a ContourHD mountable/wearable video camera.
This particular video clip shows former D1GP Series Champ Ryuji Miki drifting his newly built Lexus SC430 on the banking at Evergreen Speedway. For those who havent driven or ridden along on the Evergreen Speedway course, this video is a great way to check the track out – from a driver’s perspective.
We’ve got more clips and we’ll be showing some of our favorite POV footage from time to time. Meanwhile click this link to see other shots from Formula D Seattle and Formula D Irwindale, as featured on the new MotorMavens Channel on ContourHD’s website.
:: Travis Hodges
Last night Antonio and a few of the MotorMavens crew were chillin’ with our friends from Apex’i and Lexus at a pretty sick party they were hosting. In anticipation of this weekend’s FD event and to celebrate Ryuji Miki’s new Lexus SC430, they showed this video – “Lexus Drift”.
A highlight for me was the POV footage using the ContourHD camera. I first discovered this company and camera last year when looking for a great POV camera. We had our first opportunity to use the camera at last year’s Formula Drift Championships at Irwindale. We captured some killer footage! My favorite part was seeing Justin Pawlak as he scraped the wall. Super dope!
So enjoy this video from Apex’i, Lexus and Kevin Lee. Don’t forget to check out our live feed tomorrow. Be on the look out for MotorMavens’ epic coverage of the event. Make sure you check out our video highlights. We’ll being using our ContourHDs, so you KNOW its going be SIIIIICK!
Have a great Formula Drift weekend!
:: Travis Hodges
We're excited to report that some new cars were debuted at Wall Speedway Read more...
Oh snap! Now this is newsworthy! I’ve been hearing about this car for quite some time now, and I’ve been waiting for its debut with eager anticipation! It seems that our favorite Koala-faced ex-D1 Grand Prix series champion Ryuji Miki will be at Wall Speedway in New Jersey, debuting the Lexus SC430 Formula Drift competition car that was recently built for him, thanks to the good folks at Apex’i in Orange County CA!
The masterminds behind this project, Masaki Nakayama and Chuck Griffice from the United States arm of Apex Integration have been gracious enough to keep me updated with the build, but we’ve been keeping all the information under wraps until now! (more…)
For those who don't know, Universal Technical Institute is a mechanic's training school, located out in the IE (Inland Empire), right across the street from the old Falken Tire headquarters, and right next to Kumho on Sixth Street and Haven. I've had an increasingly extremely full personal calendar, filled with things I need to do and places I need to be... and this weekend was no different. As much as I wanted to, I couldn't even make it out to the tech day myself, so I am super appreciative that new MotorMavens contributors Horacio Flores and Mike Kim (no, not the Mike Kim from UrbanRacer) offered to go to UTI and see what was going on. Thanks a lot guys! Enough about these details though - let's have a look at the cars! Read more...
In high school, where most young men start to entertain their desires, he started to cultivate an interest in the automotive world. He grew up in Texas, so of course he had a truck at first... but that didn't stop him from causing mayhem. Running over curbs, signs and getting sideways in the rain was a common occurrence for Russell and his truck. However, as far away as Japan is from Texas, the drifting bug still bit him. He picked up this Nissan S13 240sx for $500 at the age of 17 and never looked back. It's his first actual car, and I'd say it's come quite a way from being the white hatch with black Silvia front end that it was a few years ago. Read more...
Digging through our hard drive archives, I realized that the Motor Mavens crew often ends up shooting a lot of extra video footage or photos that don’t actually get posted on the site. Some time last week, I was looking through a folder in the hard drive that contained a bunch of video clips from the Formula D Las Vegas event.
The footage was shot with two cameras – While Antonio was busy shooting stills and video clips with his Canon 5D Mark II DSLR, Antonio’s younger brother David decided to try his hand at shooting some drifting video footage with the small, consumer level Canon HF S100 digital video camera that we had laying around here at the house.
Even though they didn’t shoot all that much video footage, and didn’t plan on releasing a video from this event, I decided that I might as well put some of David’s handheld camcorder footage together with the stuff Antonio shot with his DSLR. See if you can tell which cameras captured what.
We’d also be interested in finding out what our readers think… do you think Antonio should spend some more time trying to practice and hone his skills in shooting video? Or should he just stick to the still photos?
Hope you enjoy the video!
:: Travis Hodges
It's a long story, but in a nutshell, the Formula D/SCCA guy Randy Hembrey got pissed off at me and pulled my hard card on Saturday (competition day), which allows me to get track access for shooting photos. This was definitely a problem, as I was expected to produce good images that weekend (I was shooting the event for clients, who helped pay my way to get up to Seattle). I had a hell of a time trying to get photos for the rest of the day, especially without access to the hot areas, but I still managed to get some photos somehow.
So here it is... Formula D Seattle through my eyes. Read more...
However, some teams had a longer day at the track than others... when I arrived to the Formula D pit area, I noticed Robbie Nishida's Dynamic Autosports/Hankook Tire 350Z up on jackstands, in the dusty, dirt covered pit area of Evergreen Speedway. Apparently, just a few minutes before I arrived, Robbie's 350Z made contact with the wall on one of his practice runs, severely damaging the left side of his car. Above is a photo of the car, with hood, fender, and suspension off... as the Dynamic team hustles to collect parts to repair the car in time for tomorrow's main qualifying session. Read more...
In the pit area right before qualifying, the Apex'i crew was busy at work - either their differential or ring and pinion seized up, because the rear wheels on Ryuji Miki's FD3s wouldn't spin at all - they were completely locked up! The Apex'i crew always seems to be working tirelessly, as we always see them working on their cars on the side of the track.
In this photo, we see Jeren Walker from DSPORT Magazine offering to lend a helping hand, so that the Apex'i crew could get the car back on track and Miki could qualify. Jeren works for a magazine - he wasn't hired to help Apex'i; he had nothing to gain from getting down and dirty, helping to get Miki's car back on track. Yet he willingly volunteered to help, because that's what people do from the grassroots drifting scene. Wait... Apex'i..? Grassroots? Read more...
So check it. Our homie Tree just linked us to this new video that Eddie from Dynamic Autosports was talking about in Las Vegas. It was shot by this video crew that has experience doing extreme sports (Is that what he said? Can’t remember, due to the intoxicated state we were in. We apologize).
It’s great to see well produced footage of the Dynamic Autosports/Apex’i/Hankook team. The video team definitely had some great equipment, and we were glad to see someone showcasing the Hankook drivers this way! It’s about time those guys got some love – they’re the most slept on group of drivers in the Formula D series!
:: Motor Mavens
PS: What’s with the S&M outfits on the girls? It looked like it was HOT out there; those chicks must have been dying! LOL at their facial expressions and poses when the cars pass them by!
As a member of the media with a trackside photo pass, I remember being extremely uncomfortable because of Formula D safety rules requiring us to wear long pants instead of shorts at the track. However, just think about what the drivers must be feeling like - wearing full fire suits and Nomex underwear and HELMETS, sitting inside hot cars without air conditioning; with hot metal roofs working like a broiler due to the lack of headliners and insulation in a professional drift car.
Nevertheless, the crowd at Formula D remained upbeat and excited, due to the level of driving prowess they were treated to. Vegas drift fans are hardcore! Regardless of the heat, these fans were down to sit outside in the stands, sweating and cheering as their favorite professional drifters slid past them, dousing the grandstands in a bath of tire dust. Read more...
Apex Integration is a brand known not only for its power products – exhausts, suspension, and electronics… but also for its style. Ever since Apex’i started out in the USA, they have always had some of the most stylish cars and umbrella girls on the track.
At Formula D Long Beach, we noticed a new addition to the Apex’i camp that in our opinions, will attract quite a fan base. Of course we think FD driver (and former D1GP champ) Ryuji Miki is cool, but we think we’d rather have a signed Apex’i poster of Kurumi on our garage walls. Who else is down for a poster of her? We know we are!