Posts Tagged ‘Calvin Wan’

COVERAGE> Sonoma Drift: Guiness Record Breaker

On Tuesday, March 21st, 2012, Sonoma Drift attempted to break the world record for the most donuts at one time. The event started off with everyone warming up by drifting on Infineon Raceway's famous Turn 11, which is also used in NASCAR and IndyCar racing.   Read more...

VIDEO> Formula D Irwindale 2011 = Best Thing Ever

Seriously though, this year’s Formula Drift Finale was one of the greatest weekends of my life. All the media, drivers, and industry people I’ve met over the last few years all in one place to be a part of arguably the greatest drifting spectacle in US history. I say “arguably,” but I will fight you. FD Irwindale 2011 was the best thing ever. Period. (more…)


VIDEO> Formula Drift Hits the Las Vegas Strip!

Now that you’ve heard the story behind and seen all the amazing photos from Formula Drift Las Vegas, courtesy of Oliver Petalver and Mike Kim, take a quick moment to wipe the drool from your keyboards and prepare yourselves for a short video from myself and Joe Ayala. (more…)


COVERAGE> Formula Drift: Vegas After Dark!

Round 6 of the Formula DRIFT series was held in the scorching heat of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway where locals went to witness Rhys Millen, in the Red Bull/Hankook Tire Hyundai Genesis, take first place in an already competitive season. Prior to Round 6, Daijiro Yoshihara in the Discount Tire/Falken Tire Nissan S13 was the leader in the Championship Point Standings with Justin "JTP" Pawlak (in the Falken Tire Ford Mustang) in second. Both failed to make it to the to the Final Four in Vegas, making the points spread even more slim.

In addition, this past event made people do a double take as FD Asia drivers Adwitya "Dio" Amandio & Saranon "Non" Pornpatanarak each made their U.S. debut. There was also a bit of controversy as Justin Pawlak switched seats with Tyler McQuarrie in the Falken Tire Nissan 350Z while McQuarrie piloted JTP's Falken Tire Nissan S15 instead.

All in all, with a nail biting points race, Rhys Millen back on the podium, new faces, and driver crossovers, you can see how someone might say that Vegas was the place to be this past weekend!   Read more...

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> Ken Block Gymkhana Grid Invitational

Here are some more much overdue photos from Ken Block’s Gymkhana Grid Invitational. At first, “gymkhana” may sound like a martial arts discipline (to those unfamiliar with the automotive version) but it's actually a starting line and a finish line joined together by all sorts of interesting obstacles such as cones, tires, and barrels which, when arranged just so, require a driver to perform all sorts of interesting maneuvers such as reversals, 180 and 360 degree spins, and figure 8s - all while racing against the clock. The reason I stressed that this is the automotive version is because, you may be interested to know, there is an equestrian version as well. As you can imagine, there's a lot less smoke - unless they figured out how to get a horse to do a burnout when I wasn't looking.   Read more...

VIDEO> AWFILMS does Formula D Seattle

AWFILMS | Formula Drift | Seattle from Abbitt Wilkerson on Vimeo.

Abbitt Wilkerson needs no introduction. You know who he is. 18 and famous. Haha! Anyway, check out his new cut from Formula Drift Round 4 at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington. Better late than never and definitely worth the wait. This video has great energy and had me excited from beginning to end. With plenty of creative shots and a surprisingly appropriate song choice, I couldn’t be happier with this video. Good work, Abbitt!

:: Justin Shreeve

AWFilms on Vimeo

More Formula Drift stories on MotorMavens


COVERAGE> Daijiro Yoshihara’s Triumph in Atlanta

Most of our readers who have been following us on Facebook or Twitter know that the members of the MotorMavens Crew just got back from an exciting Formula Drift weekend at Road Atlanta; we're happy to have been receiving tweets and Facebook messages from everyone all weekend! We're also happy to hear that many of our friends who were unable to make it have been watching the event through our website's live stream. Since most hardcore Formula Drift fans already knew the podium results on the night that it happened, I thought it would be pointless for us to do the same type of play-by-play recap that most other websites will be publishing.

MotorMavens was never intended to be an online newspaper. Instead of focusing on the results, with Daijiro Yoshihara and the Discount Tire S13 taking the win; Vaughn Gittin Jr's Mustang coming in 2nd Place, and Chris Forsberg's NOS Energy 350Z finishing third; I thought I'd take a minute to focus on the importance of Daijiro Yoshihara's win.

Round Two of the Formula Drift Championship was important to Dai's sponsors, because it marked the first-ever win for his title sponsor, Discount Tire. Those who have been following Formula Drift since its beginning might also recall that it was Discount Tire's first podium since 2004, when Calvin Wan took 3rd Place in Sonoma with his Discount Tire RPS13 240SX. (There should be a party breaking out at Discount Tire's Phoenix, Arizona-based offices!)

Formula D Atlanta was also the second FD event in a row that resulted in a 1st Place finish on Falken Tires, which is huge for the massive teal and blue army! I know everyone involved in the Falken drift team is extremely proud of their drivers; winning both events back to back is no easy feat! On the corporate side, I'm sure these wins help justify the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Falken's been spending on drifting for the past few years!

While these milestones might be important to the corporate sponsorship side of Formula Drift, most fans don't care about that at all. What made Daijiro Yoshihara's First Place win significant to the fans is the fact that it proves that the popular, yet "old and outdated Nissan S13 240SX chassis" is able to remain competitive and WIN in professional level Formula D Competition!

Sponsorships aside, winning First Place at Road Atlanta was a huge win for Dai personally. According to Dai, winning in Atlanta "was huge for me. It was my fourth 1st Place win in Formula D, but actually... for me, [winning Formula D Atlanta] was even bigger than the very first time I got 1st place, at in Irwindale in 2006."   Read more...

COVERAGE> Wekfest Weekend in J-Town SF, Pt.2

For the second installment of the MotorMavens coverage from my trip to the San Francisco Bay Area last weekend, we'll take a look inside the Wekfest itself. For those who really couldn't wait, I'm sure you could have just Googled "Wekfest" and found a bunch of Flickr pages and other galleries with random photos from inside the show.

However, our story is going to be a bit different, because I'm not planning to post up photos of every single car (250+ for sure) at the show. Instead, I'm only going to focus on the cars that caught my eye; the cars that either had the best style, or cars that had something different going for them, which piqued my interest. After all, I've been lucky enough to have attended a LOT of car shows and a LOT of racing events all over the world. This being said, seeing the same old thing over and over can get kind of dreary at times; not to worry though - the cars at the Wekfest definitely had flavor.

The dimly lit parking structure in Japantown San Francisco that served as the venue for the event might not have had the best looking "background" or ambiance for photography, but it was filled with some of the West Coast's best looking cars, so we'll just let those shine through...

Up above, the entrance to the underground parking structure was packed with cars and spectators... I was surprised that the City of San Francisco allowed that many people in a place that had so few exits! Nevertheless, the show had a good vibe to it... at times, it kind of reminded me of what it felt like to be in the parking structure scenes when I was on set shooting NBC Universal's Fast & Furious 3 Tokyo Drift movie... if only you replaced the Japanese (and Japanese-looking Chinese, let's be honest here) cast members with a bunch of young Filipinos, Chinese, and Vietnamese car owners. LOL   Read more...

COVERAGE> Wekfest Weekend in J-Town SF, Pt.1

This past weekend, I went up to San Francisco to hang out with some of my old school friends from the Bay Area... but unfortunately a lot of them were out of town! Hawaii, Japan, Philippines... damn! Sometimes I have such bad timing! It was a good thing Calvin Wan was in town - he told me he had two events that he needed to attend that weekend. He needed to bring his FD3S RX7 to a motorsports show in Vallejo, and then bring his S14 Silvia (it really is a RHD Silvia from Japan) to the Wekfest Car Show in Japantown San Francisco. I've been hearing about (and seeing pictures of) the annual carshow in San Francisco's Japantown for quite some time, but this weekend was the very first time I had ever had a chance to attend it myself. I think in the past it used to be called the JDM Theory J's Gathering, but apparently they decided to rename it Wekfest (pronounced like 'weak-fest'). Or it could be that the organizers are different now? Not sure.

Anyway, the Weksos Wekfest event was pretty crazy... TONS of cars, TONS of people in attendance, and a line of impatient people that stretched around the block. Seriously... that was a pretty long line!   Read more...

COVERAGE> HellaFlush Scrapes Buttonwillow Pt.1

This weekend, many of the best stanced cars in California made their way to the HellaFlush 3.5 meet at Buttonwillow Raceway, which was located in the middle of BFE, along the Interstate 5 highway. The stretched tire movement has finally been getting a lot of attention in the past couple years, which is awesome because I've trying to promote it for quite a while... but it took a long time for it to catch on. Now that insane offset cars have been popping up all over the internet for the past couple years, people have started building their cars with a focus on aggressive stance and aggressive wheel offset. It sure took a long time for the message to spread though. I first began writing stories about how "Offset is Everything" in magazines, websites, and talked about it at drifting events/carshows that I emceed since... 2004? 2005? It's funny to think that people used to make fun of me when I would talk about rocking negative offset wheels, demon camber on AE86s, super low down (shakotan) stance, hippari tires (stretched tires), and tsuraichi (cars running aggressive offset wheels and tucking tire). In fact, I distinctly remember emceeing a Drift Showoff event out in Houston TX in 2005, and some of the DA homies were like, "Dude. It's like negative offset is all you ever talk about!" (HAHA, they were absolutely right.) I'm so glad that multiple forward thinking websites, forums and blogs across the internet have virally spread this message and made aggressive stanced cars popular; now it's a whole different ball game!

The way a car sits has absolutely everything to do with the image it projects - it all has to be just right! Aggressive offset wheels that stick out too much = lowrider. Big wheels with thin tires (non stretched) on cars that aren't slammed enough = DUB style. (Yuck.) Slamming cars to the ground without enough width, offset and tire stretch = 1990s FF Honda style.

Since neither of the aforementioned styles are desirable when it comes to making a fashionable looking car, it's nice to see that car owners all over North America have been stepping up their wheel game - a game that was rumored to have started in Europe (gotta give props to those Euro car guys... Mk1 Golfs FTW!) or Japan (Bosozoku/Yanki car builders, kyusha kai car builders, and VIP car builders). While I'm not exactly certain of the exact origins or history of this style of automotive stance, I personally first noticed it in the late 1990s/early 2000s, thanks to AE86s that were built by my favorite drift teams - Running Free and Rough World.

It was awesome to see some of the West Coast's most dedicated car owners with aggressive stances come out to the event. I saw Toyota, Honda, BMW, and Lexus owners from Southern California; Northern Cali Toyota, Nissan, Lexus, and BMW owners from as far as Fairfield CA and Sacramento... I even saw a slammed Mercedes Benz from Las Vegas!   Read more...

RANDOM DOPE> Drift Sumi-e iPhone Game

During this off-season I teamed up with Objectify, a start-up in the San Francisco Bay Area on an iPhone / iPod Touch App called Drift Sumi-e (su-me-eh). We wanted to create an all-new game concept that incorporates authentic drifting dynamics with the beautiful art form of Sumi-e (that’s “su-me-eh”) brush painting. The game carries a calming Zen-like nature as you watch your art come to life, and a unique yet simple game play dynamic, specially designed for the touch controls.   Read more...

COVERAGE> San Francisco Auto Show 2009

I got a call from the Extreme Autofest folks asking me if I want to show one of my cars again at the annual San Francisco International Auto Show at the Moscone Center this year. The only problem was that my FD3S RX7 was still unavailable because we were still working on getting it back from the Brahma Light Drift Track Opening in the Dominican Republic.

Since the FD wasn't back in San Francisco yet, I figured it would be a good chance to debut my RHD S14 and display it at this week-long show so I could show some love to my sponsors.   Read more...

GALLERY> The Irwindale Experience

Since I'm new to MotorMavens, most people don't know much background info on me. I was born and raised in the Northwest, so every time I visit California, it becomes a great adventure. The final round in the Formula Drift series was my very first visit to Irwindale. From the hot weather and good looking girls, I could tell I was in for a real treat! Not to mention all the sick cars that California has!

When I arrived at LAX on Thursday, I got my rental car and drove straight into L.A. traffic to get to Irwindale Speedway, working my way though all that traffic while trying to find a good radio station to listen to. I finally arrived at the Speedway about 45 minutes later.

Walking though the pits, watching all the vendors getting set up for the event, I noticed the pit area is so much bigger than the one we have at Evergreen Speedway where Round 5 was held . This was a subtle hint that more vendors and drivers would be attending this event than the one at Evergreen.

Another thing that I noticed was the weather. Seattle summer includes two months of decent heat and sun after which it's back to the infamous rain season that happens to have started a couple of weeks ago. So, even though I caught myself wiping sweat off my forehead every few minutes, I was enjoying every minute of the sun. I wish it was like this in the Northwest.

Fast forward to the opening day of the Final round of Formula Drift. I got there bright and early to start taking photos and meet lots of new people. Since I'm pretty new to MotorMavens, a lot of people didn't know my name or my face. I took that as the perfect opportunity to introduce myself to the locals. The attitude that California people have is really great! Everyone was friendly and awesome to hang out with!   Read more...

COVERAGE> Drifting is alive in Santo Domingo!

You might not immediately think of the Dominican Republic when you think of drifting, but last month, the biggest drifting club in the DR, the Club Dominicano de Corredores de Drift (referred to as CDCD) put together a huge drift event and concert together with their racetrack's title sponsor, Brahma Light. Casper Canul and I were invited to do a drift demo with our US-based Formula D cars during their drift series-opening event on September 19th, 2009.

We went out there a couple of days early to prep our cars, test and setup their new drift track, marking all of the clipping points and track outline of the course. We spoke with the drivers and setup a driver’s meeting on competition day to go over all of the judging criteria and track rules with their local judges.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Sevenstock Rotary Festival, Pt.1

This past Saturday at Mazda Headquarters in Irvine CA, rotary engined fans from all over the nation gathered at the annual Sevenstock Rotary Festival. I saw cars with license plates from a variety of different states there; it was cool to see how hardcore and dedicated many of these rotary owners were! I used to own a white FC3S RX7 (NA) for a little while before I bought my first AE86, and I loved it. I can definitely see where these rotary guys get their enthusiasm from.

In fact, one of the dedicated RX7 owners in attendance was our own Calvin Wan, who flew down to LA with his wife just for one day because they scored some super cheap plane tickets to Orange County for only $29 on Southwest! After picking them up at the airport, we went to eat dim sum at Capital Seafood in Irvine before heading to the show. I suppose the entire day had a "rotary theme" because Calvin noticed that even the plates that our dim sum was served in were round and triangular in shape, just like the rotor inside a 13B. Crazy.   Read more...

VIDEO> Calvin Wan X ThunderDrift/Graphtech/Fatlace

Calvin @ Thunder Drift from iPhilms on Vimeo.

I brought my Falken FD3S RX-7 out to Thunderhill Raceway with the Fatlace / 360 Video / Graphtech crew this past Tuesday, right after I got back from FD Seattle. ThunderDrift set up a full-track drift day, which does not happen too often at Thunderhill, because the tracks get so busy throughout the year.

I love taking advantage of these relaxing drift events to enjoy my cars and to get in extra seat time with some friends. This track has some of the most amazing rhythm sections and variety of corners that makes it super fun to drift on – you can connect turns 2 through 7 as well as many other sections of the track.

My boy Phil Velasco from 360 VideoMagazine brought out some pretty fancy gear to get some of these unique camera angles. Check it out… it’s like the drifting version of a skate video.

::Calvin Wan

Calvin Wan
360 VM
iPhilms
ThunderDrift
Fatlace
GTstickers | Graphtech Signworks, Daly City CA


WEBMINING> Calvin Wan's FD3S at ThunderDrift

Team Fatlace at Thunderhill Raceway from fatlace on Vimeo.

While most people still have the recent Seattle event fresh on their minds, some of our Northern Cali friends stopped reminiscing and kept on drifting. Geoff Pitts hosts the ThunderDrift Events at Northern Cali’s Thunderhill Raceway. He told me about his events when I saw him at All Star Bash Weekend, and again at FD Seattle, but unfortunately, it was only two days after Seattle and I wasn’t able to make it all the way up there for his event.

Either way, we want to show our support of his events! Northern Cali peeps should definitely take advantage of the opportunity to drift at high speeds on a track like Thunderhill! I’ve never been up there myself, but I can’t wait to drive that course. It looks AMAZING.

Thanks to Twitter, I just saw this new teaser video that was produced by my friends Mark Arcenal (Fatlace), Philip Velasco (360 Video and JDM Insider). It features car-to-car footage of our homie Calvin Wan driving his FD3S RX7 at Thunderhill… check it out!

:: Antonio Alvendia


COVERAGE> Formula D Seattle, Part 3

I'm sure many of you have been waiting for my photos and stories from Formula D Seattle, so I apologize to our readers for uploading these kind of late. It's been a pretty hectic weekend. There was plenty of drama at Formula D on Saturday, and I apparently added to it by pissing off the Formula D safety steward while grabbing a quick shot of Dai Yoshihara's smashed Lexus IS350 as it was getting loaded up onto a tow truck and pulled off the track.

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...

VIDEO> Riding the Wall at Ebisu Circuit

So last night on Facebook, I was talking to Luke Huxham, an Aussie-living-in-Japan who is producing a documentary film about drifting in Japan called “We Are Drift.” Undaunted by hard work and a shoestring budget, Luke spends most of his waking hours either shooting drifting footage or urging others to support his new documentary film. In my experience, I’ve come to learn that relentless persistence like this can only mean one thing – EVERYONE is going to know about this film in the drifting scene.

As Luke showed me the newest teaser video clip he shot at “The Holy Land of Drifting,” Ebisu Circuit just this past weekend, I was pleasantly surprised to see some familiar faces in it!  Namely, Formula D driver Calvin Wan (and his RHD zenki S14 Silvia) and Naoto Suenaga (and his white RPS13 180SX) from Team Orange. We even see a brief cameo from Team Orange’s hilarious crew chief, Igusa, driving his girl’s black R32 Skyline 4-door.

Look at how close Calvin gets to the WALL at Ebisu’s School Course! Awesome! And look how close these guys lead and follow! Since this is just a small sampling of the action we can expect in Luke’s video, I can’t wait to see the whole documentary film!

:: Antonio Alvendia

PS: Bonus Points>> Can anyone spot other D1 drivers in the video? And can anyone recognize the shirt Naoto is wearing?

We Are Drift Documentary Film Website

Luke Huxham’s Youtube Channel


COVERAGE> Formula D Brings Heat to Vegas, Pt 1

The latest round of the Formula Drift Championship took place this past weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was sooooo incredibly hot in Las Vegas this past weekend; the Formula D teams had to work hard to make sure the drivers remained hydrated enough to perform at peak levels (last year, I remember seeing one of the drivers pass out because of the intense heat inside the car).

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...

COVERAGE> Motorsport Auto Z-Car Nationals 2009

Yesterday, we attended the annual Motorsport Auto Z-Car Nationals in Orange County! Admittedly, we were out late with some out-of-town friends on Saturday night, so we got to the show a bit later than expected. On our drive to the show, we saw lots and lots of 240Zs, 280Zs, 300Zs, and a few 350Zs cruising all over Orange County, some heading towards the show, and some apparently heading in the opposite direction. (Maybe they were leaving already, because we were late? Oops!)

We took tons of photos at the event yesterday, so we'll have to spread out the Z photos into more than one posting. We admired Japanese Classic Car Show organizer Koji Yamaguchi's gorgeous orange 240Z as it basked in the sunlight, with it's straight up Japan-style look, fender mirrors and all.

Click here to check out more of our Z-Car Nationals photos after the jump!   Read more...

WEBMINING> Calvin Wan's S15 on Streetfire

We just saw this awesome video of Falken Tire works driver Calvin Wan on Streetfire.net, which features Calvin driving his S15 Silvia at a pre-season private practice event.

The “test track” in the video is an EVOC facility in San Bernadino CA, which is actually an Emergency Vehicle Operations Center used by the California Highway Patrol for training. However, we’re pretty sure that the CHiPs don’t get drifting training yet. And certainly not in a vehicle as stylish as Calvin’s S15 Silvia, his 2009 Formula D competition car that we’ve seen previously in red and yellow and black and yellow liveries. You know which liveries we’re talking about, right?

::Motor Mavens