Posts Tagged ‘Chaser’

COVERAGE> Formula Drift Long Beach Qualifying

It's such a beautiful day here in Long Beach at the first round of the 2012 Formula Drift Championship season! The sun is shining, with a cool ocean breeze blowing the clouds of tire smoke. The loud roar of race engines at full throttle somehow mixes harmoniously with the squealing sounds of tires being decimated on the pavement. Not a bad way to spend a Good Friday.   Read more...

NEWSWORTHY> D1GP Champ Daigo Saito Joins FD!

Daigo Saito JZX100 Toyota Chaser D1GP Champion Formula Drift Bridges Racing

Oh whaaaaat!!! The rumors are true! Just released today – it seems that D1 Grand Prix Champion driver Daigo Saito will be joining good friend Robbie Nishida at Bridges Racing to campaign a two-car team in the Formula Drift Championship. I suppose the question everyone has on their minds NOW is which car will Daigo be driving? (more…)


VIDEO> Drifting With Team Yellow’s JZX100 MarkII

If you’ve been tuning in to MotorMavens lately, you’ll know that Joe Ayala and I recently returned from a trip to Norway to cover the three day Gatebil Festival in Rudskogen. Thanks to Team Yellow Drift and Racing, we were able to shoot virtually nonstop action as well as live comfortably in between drifting spectacles. We enjoyed local cuisine, local people, and most importantly – local race cars. Joe and I saw an endless number of home built drift and grip machines, ranging from 100-1000hp strong. No vehicle is turned away at Gatebil. (more…)


CENTER STAGE> Retrofitted Ranz Motorsports RX4

The term retrofit is defined as the replacing of existing parts, equipment, or systems with updated parts or systems. This 1974 Mazda RX4 is a perfect example of the concept.

My first glimpse of this ride didn't come at a car show, as is usually the case. No, I actually saw a picture of this car on Facebook - a picture that my friend, June Masermsin, took at Wekfest in Long Beach. So, I guess a case could be made that a car show was technically where I saw the car - in a third party, social media-inspired and facilitated manner.

Technicalities aside, I immediately expressed an interest in shooting the ride and, the following week, I received a random text from a buddy of mine (who happens to be a childhood friend of the owner) informing me that the car was available for shooting the same day! How's that for serendipity? And, since I started by defining retrofit, wouldn't it be nice if I kept the trend going by linking you to a definition of serendipity? However, there was one caveat—I had exactly one hour to shoot the car. So, what was an enterprising photographer to do? Take a look!   Read more...

VIDEO> 1JZ Drift Festival at Fuji Speedway

If you like 1JZGTE powered Toyota Soarers, Chasers, Crestas and Mark IIs of the JZZ30, JZX81, JZX90, JZX100, and JZX110 varieties… if you like watching videos of cars from Japanese street drifting teams like Team Julius, Canopus (Hi Tokichan!), then you’ll love this video of the ST Garage 1JZ Drift Festival at Fuji Speedway! It even features cameos of some of our ‘drifting blogosphere’ friends from Japan… Hello Alexi! Congrats on your trophy! (more…)


COVERAGE> JDM Allstars Wembley Stadium Pt.2

Things have been pretty hectic lately for the MotorMavens crew and myself. With work responsibilities as well as travelling around shooting, I haven't had much time to sit down and write this properly. What's crazy is it's only been a little over a week since Wembley and I've already been to Silverstone for the final round of JDM Allstars!

I don't like to do things by halves and I couldn't leave you readers hanging on just one feature. So, while I work on the photos from Silverstone, here are the highlights of what happened on day two of JDM Allstars at Wembley Stadium.   Read more...

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...

ROADTRIP> Drifting Culture is Alive in Brazil!

A few months ago, my good friends Ameen and Amir Rizvi, owners of 786 Motoring, a drift and performance shop in Houston, told me that a big opportunity had come up and they wanted a photographer to come along. I said, "Sure, no problem!" Then they said we'd be going to Brazil. Wait, BRAZIL!?

They explained that Leo Malfatti, owner of TTR Tuning, wanted to hold a drift event in Brazil in collaboration with Drift Company Brasil, the country's leading drift crew. Leo felt that 786 Motoring had the reputation and experience to assist and contribute. Leo had approached many shops, but Amir and Ameen were the only ones that had taken him seriously. I wasn't surprised that 786 Motoring was the shop he connected with -- they're a great bunch of guys with an extreme dedication to the sport.

After considerable planning and collaborating, things started to take shape and the trip was scheduled. Our plan was to meet and hang out with Drift Company, document our trip, discuss cars and setups, and talk about the overall logistics of drifting in Brazil. Unfortunately, Ameen had an issue securing his passport at the last minute. However, if everything worked out as planned, we also knew we'd probably have the chance to return to Brasil.   Read more...

NEWSWORTHY> Hubinette Driving D1GP Japan

I’ve been holding this info back for a couple days, and trust me – it’s pretty hard not to say anything when you have news like this! This is a pretty interesting piece of news here – Samuel Hubinette is currently in Japan, and plans to drive at the D1 Grand Prix event at Odaiba this coming weekend!

I received an email from Samuel, asking my opinion on which car I thought he should borrow for this weekend’s D1GP event – Daigo Saito‘s D1 Championship car, the FNATZ JZX100 Chaser, Takahiro Ueno‘s widebody JZZ30 Vertex Soarer, or Takahiro Ueno’s normal fendered JZZZ30 Vertex Soarer.

My vote was for Daigo’s super sick Chaser – first of all, it’s a D1GP Championship winning car for crying out loud; second of all, I thought the long wheel base and the big pendulum swinging characteristics of such a long drift car would be perfect for Samuel’s driving style. However, since I heard reports that Samuel was currently in Yokohama at Ueno-san’s car shop, Sui Vax, I’m guessing he opted for one of the Soarers. Either way, S.Hubinette is one hell of a driver, and I’m confident that he can drive anything with four wheels – probably even an Ikea Expedit bookcase or a Malm dresser. LOL

Speaking of Ikea, I can’t believe that Samuel has been drifting professionally this long, and Ikea still hasn’t sponsored him. They’re both Swedish after all; now that Mopar is no longer his title sponsor, I think Ikea needs to step up and sponsor the crazy Swede. Samuel has told me before that he loves going to Ikea in Irvine, because it reminds him of Sweden. He can chill out there and drink all the lingonberry juice he wants!

Could you just imagine Samuel’s pit area if Ikea were to sponsor him? Instead of an EZ-up with folding chairs, he’ll be rocking a bright red Ikea couch that folds into a bed; a furry white carpet on the ground; a difficult to assemble cabinet, and a million cheap tealight candles scattered all over the place.

Oh, umm… but back to the topic at hand, I’m sure Samuel will be putting on quite a show for the Japanese D1 audience. I just hope we don’t see Option Videos of Keiichi Tsuchiya and Manabu Suzuki saying “DRIFT YA RATER!!!”

:: Antonio Alvendia


COVERAGE> UK Grassroots Drifting at Santa Pod!

Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire, England is home to one of the most famous drag strips in the world, where records have been broken and legends have been made. Now it is also home to one of the most popular practice days for drifting in the UK. Drift What Ya Brung (or DWYB for short) officially started in 2007 to provide a safe place off the streets for drifters to practice their skills and for beginners to learn the art of drifting without fear of the deadly kerb dragon or getting in trouble with the police. The whole emphasis at DWYB is to have fun drifting and get plenty of seat time to build up your skills!

The drift area itself is in a fairly large plot of land on the left side of the drag strip, and is split up into five tracks, ranging from a larger "main track" for more experienced drifters (which is based on the 2008 European Drift Championship layout), a smaller "kidney track" which is set up for practicing transitions, and finally, there are 3 small "play pens" for practicing donuts, figure 8s, etc. There's also a make shift pit area for people to change tyres and work on their cars. Mint Tyres is always on hand to provide tire support for the drivers; they will fit tyres at very good prices to keep you on the track all day, and Sue's Cafe makes AWESOME cheese and bacon burgers to fill the appetites of hungry drifters.

DWYB also happens to be where I started out photographing drifting and the culture that surrounds it... so I headed up last weekend to catch up with some friends, have a lot of fun and bring back a few photos to shed some light on grassroots drifting in the UK for you Motor Mavens readers!   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> Now That's Ameen MX83 Cressida

While many of the best grassroots drifters in the United States (oh, and don't forget Canada, eh!) were out in Southern Cali for the Formula D Pro Am at Irwindale, I had the chance to catch up with Ameen Rizvi from 786 Motoring in Houston, Texas, the driver of everyone's favorite metallic brown MX83 Toyota Cressida.

Since Ameen and his Cressida were busy doing another shoot on the Irwindale banking on the actual day of the Pro Am, I asked Ameen if he'd be down to meet up with me and the other members of the Motor Mavens Crew the following day. Ameen and his brother Amir graciously obliged, and decided meet up with us for a late, late breakfast at Flappy Jack's on Route 66 in Glendora CA, with a whole bunch of other trucks from Texas with drift cars in tow not too far behind.

Those of us who have been following the drifting scene pretty closely have known about Ameen and his Cressida for quite some time now. After all, it's not often you see a four door, non-240SX rise up through the ranks of grassroots drifting competition in the USA. Wait a minute... but Ameen did drive a 240SX. To clarify things, Ameen used to drive an S13, but when he first began drifting in 2001, he was doing it in a Mk3 Toyota Supra (MA70). Since he started out in a Supra, it was only natural that he would become enamored of Toyota's mighty 1JZGTE straight-six engine, which came as stock in the Japan-market JZA70 Supra Turbo. Well, that and he blew up a ton of US-market 7MGE engines when he was trying to use them for drifting. Bad idea. 7MGE engines are notorious like BIG for blowing head gaskets, overheating, and cracking the stupid OEM plastic intake piping. Just like Biggie, they're ready to die.

So if he started out with a Toyota Supra, why move to a four door family car like a Cressida one might ask..? Well, when Ameen was doing research on building his MA70 Supra, he discovered that the chassis of the MA70 Supra and MX83 Cressida were extremely similar, and many of the engine and suspension parts were the same as well. The tipping point was when Ameen saw an internet clip of D1 driver Tsuyoshi Tezuka's JZX81 Chaser. "When I saw Tezuka's 81 on the internet," Ameen explains, "that's when I knew I was gonna build up a Cressida for sure."   Read more...

WEBMINING> Diary of a Serial Tire Killer

Motor Mavens has never really featured any “build videos” on the site before, but today as I was browsing the internet looking for information about MX83 Cressidas, 5-speed swaps, and 1JZ swaps… I found this video, from the Serial Nine guys in Canada. This has GOT to be the most entertaining, amateur made “build video” I’ve ever seen. Yep, gotta love those amateur videos. Wait… what? Oh… umm, well I mean the video is informative, but it’s funny at the same time! The Serial Nine crew definitely looks like they’d be fun to kick it with.

So what do you guys think…? Some of us were thinking of having a little fun by building a Motor Mavens project car on a BUDGET. Ideally, the car would be inexpensive and also daily drivable on the street without much hassle from cops. Just brainstorming, some of us were talking about maybe building an FC or an S13… but this video is sparking some MX83 dreams… what do you guys think? MX83 build? Yay or nay?

:: Motor Mavens

The Beginning of SERIALNINE. from SERIALNINE on Vimeo.


WEBMINING> D1GP Miami, shot by Floridaracing.org

Since we didn't have time (or money) to go to the D1 Grand Prix event at Gulfstream Park in Miami FL last weekend, we asked all our photographer friends if they were going, in hopes that we would get to see their photos. Well, we struck out. None of our close friends were going, even the ones that lived right there in Florida. Everyone seemed to have other plans that weekend - what's wrong with you guys?


Thankfully, with the help of our friend Google, we were able to find images posted on a forum by one of the guys from Floridaracing.org. (We've seen some of these guys at the track before - whenever we see them at the track, we see them with multiple Canon DSLR bodies and some huge Canon lenses.) We were searching the internet for photos for a few days, and the ones found on Floridaracing.org's album seem to be the best photos we've found from D1 Miami thus far. Props, guys!   Read more...