Posts Tagged ‘autocross’

COVERAGE> Speed&Stance Swarms SpeedVentures

This weekend's inaugural Speed&Stance meet was crazy!!! I can't believe so many people turned up to the event, because we organized and promoted the entire thing in only five days. FIVE DAYS! Thanks to our friends at Speed Ventures, we were able to throw this gigantic car event in the parking lot of Auto Club Speedway in Fontana!

We advertised the meet to run between 12 noon and 5pm, but every single one of the infield parking lots at the speedway were FULL by 2:45pm! There was a crazy line of cars backed up from the infield parking, through the tunnel, wrapping all the way around to the Cherry Avenue entrance! I was told that once the parking lots allocated to the event hit capacity, the people at the gates had to turn away well over 100 cars! Insane.

Since traffic and road congestion became an issue, the good folks from Auto Club Speedway quickly opened up a couple more parking lots so that cars could pre-stage before rolling in to the actual show area, which saw both autocross and high speed road racing with Speed Ventures on the ROVAL course, and a beginner level car control clinic for Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ owners called the 86 Dynamic Driving Academy.   Read more...

COVERAGE> FR-S, BRZ & AE86 Passion at 86FEST

On October 7th, over 2500 Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ, and Toyota AE86 enthusiasts from all over the Western United States converged at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana CA for the very first 86FEST, and the energy was just incredible! The newly introduced Toyota/Subaru "86" platform (sold as Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ in the USA) has received international acclaim as the second coming of the legendary AE86, which has a huge cult following worldwide.

With help from sponsors like Falken Tire, OEM Audio Plus, Turn 14 Distribution, Whiteline Suspension, Motul, Spec Clutch, Mann Engineering, Flossy Shift Knobs, and M7 Japan, it's pretty crazy how quickly our inaugural 86FEST came together! Just a few weeks ago, I was driving at a Volkswagen event at Big Willow, and got to talking with the Speed Ventures organizers about how cool it would be if we could get a bunch of FR-S, BRZ, and AE86 owners together at a track day. They both expressed a lot of interest in the idea - especially since we have been thinking about ways to work together for nearly two years!   Read more...

DRIVER SEAT> Scion FR-S Driving Impressions

The fact that Toyota (Scion) has reintroduced an affordable FR-Sports car (front engine, rear wheel drive) back into its product lineup is so exciting! Everyone has been talking about it, dreaming about it, and hypothesizing about it for quite some time now... but last week, I actually had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the new 2013 Scion FR-S.

As a member of the automotive media and an AE86 owner, it's no secret that I've been blessed with the opportunity to see the new FR-S up close on a couple different occasions, but this would be the very first time that I had any quality seat time with the car.

This being said, once I received the gracious email invite from Scion, I cleared my schedule and eagerly jumped on a plane to Las Vegas to find out what it would be like to drive the highly anticipated FR-S on a winding road, open highway, autocross course, wet skidpad, and perhaps the most enjoyable - a high speed handling test at one of Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch's racetracks.   Read more...

VIDEO> BF Goodrich Comp 2 AWESOMECROSS

Just what is BFGoodrich AWESOMECROSS? I asked that very question last month as I found myself wrapped up in a whirlwind of a night-time autocross event out at El Toro Field. Part autocross, part science experiment, part movie set… AWESOMECROSS definitely lived up to it’s name. Also living up to it’s name was the new BFGoodrich g-Force™ Sport COMP-2™.
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VIDEO> Japan Cup Gymkhana Is Still King

A long time ago, in a country far, far away… long before drifting became mainstream; long before fake GAB wheels existed; long before energy drinks and MTV cared about motorsports… gymkhana was already going pretty strong in Japan. Even before I ever had a chance to see a Japanese gymkhana video on VHS tape, I used to go to the Japanese bookstores in the San Francisco Bay Area (Kinokuniya in Japantown SF or Yaohan bookstore in Saratoga CA) and look at photos of all the amazing cars in the Japanese magazines that I couldn’t (and still can’t) read.

This is a YouTube video of the 1989 Japan Cup Gymkhana’s C3 Class, which features some pretty amazing looking cars! The Ken Block Invitational event at Irwindale was super fun, but I wish the cars in gymkhana competition today looked as incredible as the ones in this video! Vintage cars with period correct graphics, widebody AE86s that are actually used for racing, AW11 MR2s spinning around cones… I love it!

This Japan Cup video definitely brings it back to the roots for me, because of the amazing cars featured in the clips! To steal a quote from a friend of mine named Kero One, “innovation is useless if you forget the essence.” This statement definitely holds true when it comes to motorsports! Even before all the big sponsors and professional drifting existed, this is the type of motorsports activity that got me excited about driving! Traditional gymkhana is fun, skill-based, relatively low speed, and has a relatively low barrier to entry in terms of money. (more…)


COVERAGE> MotorMavens Mass Appeal Experience!

When most people think of the term car culture, they immediately (and possibly unconsciously) picture particular types of cars in their minds - cars that fit their own personal spectrum of interest. That is car culture’s dirty little secret – it can be extremely balkanized, or broken up into little niches and peer groups.

If you’re into muscle cars, then screw those four bangers. If you're into rotary powered vehicles, then screw those pistons! If you're into road racing and time attack, then screw drifting. If you’re into Formula One, well, screw everybody. If you’ve been around car culture for any length of time, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You also probably know that not everyone feels this way. As we get a bit older and experience some of the great aspects of other car cultures, more and more of us are discovering that we’re all the same under the hood – we're all just car guys.

In the middle of 2009 when we started MotorMavens, we established the site on a basic principle – that everyone’s voice is validated by their passion for the cars and car culture because the one thing that brings the entire spectrum of car culture together is passion. We call it the “passion principle.” Wherever you find some mind blowing interpretation of the automobile and the lifestyle that revolves around it, you also find some passionate person wrenching away – usually with a ton of pride and satisfaction in his/her accomplishments but very little money to show for it. That’s exactly what the MotorMavens Crew searches for; we look for that passion in every possible niche of car culture so that we can broadcast it loud and clear to everyone when we find it.

So, what does all of this have to do with the Mass Appeal Show? It’s simple. When Ken Block and the Gymkhana Grid team approached us to produce a car show at their Ken Block Invitational, we already knew that it would need to be different than what most people might expect. We knew our car show would need to represent the driving principles of MotorMavens... the car show would have to be multi-car-cultural; reflecting the wide spectrum of car culture that we love so much. It would have to have mass appeal - get it?   Read more...

COVERAGE> Gymkhana Block Party!

This weekend, while I was out of town handling some family business, drifting sharpshooter Larry Chen was out at Hollywood Park attending the media preview day of DC Shoes founder Ken Block's Gymkhana Invitational. I'm pretty disappointed that I wasn't able to make it to the event myself, as I absolutely LOVE gymkhana.

For those who don't know, gymkhana is kind of like a cross between autocross (slalom/solo racing in a parking lot, in a course laid out with cones) and drifting. Back before I started working the media end of the drifting scene, I was pretty active in driving at autocross events. It's fun, it improves your driving skills, and it's not too expensive.

Ken Block isn't the first person to try to organize a gymkhana event though. Erik Jacobs from DG Trials in Atlanta GA was the first person that I had ever heard of trying to make a series of drifting and gymkhana events... this was back around 2004 or so, when drifting was just beginning to blow up! To put things in perspective, back then, Vaughn Gittin Jr was still working on getting sponsored by Falken, and he was driving an S13 240SX, not a Ford Mustang!   Read more...