AMAZING!!! Check out violent high speed drifting at its best, from this helmet-cam video of D1 Grand Prix driver Naoto Suenaga from Team Orange in his missile – an RPS13 Nissan 180SX “battle car.” Most people know Ebisu for its legendary Minami Course (the famous South Course used in D1GP competition), but check out Naoto as he drifts the high-speed Higashi Course (East Course) at Ebisu Circuit in Fukushima Japan. (more…)
I love Ebisu Circuit!!! And I’m not the only one. This photo is one of the reasons why! Look at the white S13, being driven by Naoto Suenaga from the world famous Team Orange – his front wheel is right up against the sideskirt of the purple S13, being driven by street drifting hero Naoki Nakamura of Team Burst!
No wonder people from all over the world make the pilgrimage to Ebisu Circuit in Fukushima Japan several times a year! (more…)
I just got a link to this video from Facebook (Connect to MotorMavens on Facebook!), and it really got my attention for some reason. Why? While there’s certainly no shortage of drifting videos online (most of them are pretty bad), but this one was fun and refreshing! This video from Luke Huxham features my fun loving friends from Gunma, Japan tearing it up at Ebisu Circuit‘s South Course; they are a strong drifting family (I say family because the word ‘team‘ doesn’t accurately depict how close these guys are) called Geki Kassou Dan.
The members of the Geki family are certainly a popular bunch of misfits in the Gunma drifting scene. They are easy to spot, with bright orange paint adorning their cars as an homage to their revered friends, Ebisu Circuit’s own Team Orange. (more…)
Oh no! I’ve been glued to my computer screen, unable to take my eyes off the Al Jazeera/YouTube live stream that has been playing nonstop coverage of the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Northeast Japan yesterday (March 10) at 2:42pm, not to mention the resulting tsunami that has been flooding parts of the Fukushima prefecture and other parts of Northeast Japan.
MotorMavens is not CNN or NBC or ABC or NHK. Why post news coverage such as this, then? Simple, really. I have developed many strong friendships in Japan, and I’m praying for all the people in Japan that are enduring this insane natural disaster… especially my close friends and family!
In case you didn’t read the story I posted on the site a couple days ago, featuring the Team Orange CT9A Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9, Fukushima Japan is the home of The Holy Land of Drifting, Ebisu Circuit. It’s also the home of my very close friends from Team Orange. I’ve been trying to call their mobile phones for hours, but I can’t reach any of them. I can only imagine that phone circuits must be jammed, busy, or non-functioning because of the tsunami… (more…)
These photos really are old - I shot most of these photos back in 2007, when the car was first built. In fact, I shot these photos with a Canon 40D and my old school 20D - that lets you know how old these pics are - those cameras are archaic now! That being said, I apologize for the crap photos. Old as they may be, these photos depict Kumakubo's then-new Lancer Evo 9 - the world's very first Mitsubishi Lancer ever to be built for professional drifting competition. Read more...
Here’s just a little teaser from this weekend! The universal MotorMavens Crew was out in full force this weekend. Within the course of two days, the members of our crew hit up FIVE different automotive events, and we’ll be presenting the images to you over the course of the next few days!
However, right now we wanted to give you just a little taste of WHY we love Japan’s Ebisu Circuit. Ebisu Circuit is the epicenter of grassroots drifting culture in Japan. Right this moment, MotorMavens Northwest video shooter Abbitt Wilkerson is up at Ebisu Circuit filming and enjoying the Fukushima countryside. Here’s some raw clips of what he’s capturing up at the Holy Land of Drifting.
:: Antonio Alvendia
The very first time I heard the term "Hachiroku Day" coined was when my good friend, HerbrockOne from Cipher Garage called me up one morning and greeted me, "Hey man. Happy 8/6!" I just had to bust out laughing. I think this happened sometime in the late 1990s (damn, we're old)... but we are really crazy about our AE86s, and for some reason the number 86 just seems to jump out at us wherever we're at.
When we're ordering food or something, Herb and I always seem to get receipts that say "Order # 86" and once when I was at the airport, I've even had to board an airplane at Gate 86... hahahaha!!! I'm also pretty sure I'm not the only one who's stolen the number 86 "plastic table number" from Carl's Jr restaurants (at least, if you live in the United States).
I just wanted to alert everyone else that we've been starting up a thread in our MotorMavens Forum that includes pictures of everyone's favorite AE86s! Please add your own favorites to the thread, if you haven't done so already! Read more...
Okay… this is a super old video, but since I just posted my story about how I felt the first time I ever saw the legendary Best Motoring Volume 41, I figured I should post the video up on the site. To me, this video is totally the shit… it’s a classic that I must have watched about a thousand times, but I still remember how this video made me feel the first time I ever saw it. It was inspiring, to say the very least. And the very first time I ever drove Ebisu Circuit‘s East Course, it immediately brought me back to the first time I watched this video, and the sound that the naturally aspirated blacktop 20 valve AE111 4AG engine made at full throttle as Keiichi drove his white TRD AE86 at Ebisu.
I’m sure that everyone must have a favorite movie or CD that they’ve listened to countless times… Inputs like this become engrained into your head; they eventually become a part of your permanent memory, and a part of who you are as a person. For me, these types of inputs include things like the Illmatic album from Nas, the Low End Theory album from A Tribe Called Quest, the Do You Want More album from The Roots, the Legend album from Bob Marley, and the Best Motoring Video, Volume 41. If you have a favorite book, video, movie, or CD, please share it…
Enjoy the video!
:: Antonio Alvendia
This video of the 2009 Summer Drift Matsuri at the famed Ebisu Circuit is just plain awesome. It’s got tons of variety in cars and courses and lots of high speed fly-bys. I haven’t been to Ebisu yet personally, but by the looks of this video, it’s no wonder everyone is so crazy about Ebisu. I can’t wait to go!
Check it out!
This just in! We just wanted to post up a little sneak preview of our newest Motor Mavens shirt! This is actually the SECOND shirt that we’ve produced for Motor Mavens. We produced a small run of shirts for members of the Motor Mavens crew to wear when shooting events, but we received so many comments from people at events saying they wanted to rock a Motor Mavens shirt too that we actually decided to sell some shirts at this weekend’s Formula D grand finale at Irwindale.
Even though we are all going to be at Irwindale this weekend, we still have the Holy Land of Drifting, Ebisu Circuit, in our hearts… so we had our boy Antonio call up Ebisu’s owner, Nobushige Kumakubo and ask him if he would be interested in doing a collabo Ebisu Circuit X Motor Mavens shirt. Guess what… after approximately .0032 seconds of careful deliberation, Kumakubo made up his mind and responded with a YES!
So there you have it… from the Home of Drifting in Japan to the House That Drifting Built, Irwindale Speedway… stop by the Eat Sleep Race booth on Saturday to buy one of these super legit Ebisu Circuit shirts! And FYI, they’re made for American sizes, so you don’t need to worry about the “One Size Fits Small” Japanese shirts…
BRING CASH MONEY TO IRWINDALE, and make sure to buy a shirt before you do anything else, because they WILL be completely sold out by the end of the day!
See you there!!!
:: Motor Mavens
While I was checking out some videos on Vimeo earlier today, I ran across this Mez Productions video from Club Outrun‘s Japan trip. Very cool! They show footage of some cool looking AE86s at Nihonkai Maze Circuit, some more 86 action at Nikko Circuit, and then some really cool footage from Ebisu Circuit‘s South Course, School Course, and the very famous Touge course!
Let’s all go to Japan already!!!
:: Yoshi Shindo
This weekend, Ebisu Circuit is holding its Summer Drift Festival. In celebration of 8/6 Day, I just thought I'd post up some AE86 photos from my favorite place on Earth... Ebisu Circuit. Read more...
Standing trackside at Ebisu Circuit's South Course (the D1 course) that day, I felt completely happy. I know it may sound pretty weird; this isn't normally the type of thing one writes about on an automotive blog site. Nevertheless, my experiences that day were so incredible... I don't think I'll ever forget the sights and sounds of Ebisu Minami that day... with these two gorgeous red AE86s chasing each other down the track, bumper to bumper... initiating drift close to the intimidating South Course wall, and chasing each other door to door throughout the entire course. It was a hell of a show, but here's the thing. There were no spectators there that day, except for me.
It was as if for some reason, two of my favorite cars in the world (and in my favorite color too!) were chasing each other down at my favorite race track in the world, dogfighting just for my own viewing pleasure. It was amazing to say the least; my words here don't do the experience justice. It was exhilarating and exciting, yet relaxing at the same time. It was as if my whole world was at peace, for just that one moment. I f*cking love red AE86s and I f*cking love Ebisu Circuit!!! Read more...
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
Exactly one year ago, my good friends Jody and Chris Manacop (you might recognize the covers he’s shot for Performance Auto Sound Magazine, but you probably wouldn’t know his name cause PASmag effed up more than once and put someone else’s name under the photo credit! LOL) got married… on the day before Toshiki Yoshioka won first place at Formula D Las Vegas.
So today, on the 1-year anniversary of our good friends getting hitched, I decided to post up a video from their honeymoon. (No, no, you won’t see any night-vision camera stuff here… Google Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian for that.) I’m posting up a pretty cool video from their honeymoon in Japan; these two decided to go to the Summer Drift Festival at Ebisu Circuit for their honeymoon!
As luck would have it, I had just finished a photo mission in Germany, Belgium and the UK, so I met up with them in Japan during their “Honeymoon at Ebisu.” So there we were… Chris, Jody, Kumakubo, Naoto and the rest of our Ebisu Family in Fukushima Japan… just chillin out, looking for delicious Japanese drinks and snacks at the kombini (7-Eleven)… when Kumakubo asked Chris and Jody if they wanted to check out Ebisu’s Touge course.
In the words of Tokyo socialite Kenta Ogawara, Chris responded “well, OBVIOUSRYYYY!” and hopped into Kumakubo’s yellow Autech PS13 Silvia Convertible with his Canon SD 800IS point and shoot camera and an old school drifting helmet, which looked more like a baseball helmet.
So here’s the video that Chris shot with his SD 800IS, on his first ride up and down Ebisu’s touge with the King of the Hill himself, Kumakubo at the wheel… and the white RPS13 180SX in the background is being driven by Team Orange’s Naoto Suenaga with Chris’s wife Jody sitting shotgun.
So HAPPY ANNIVERSARY Chris and Jody! And thanks for the funny ass video! See you in Vegas tomorrow night! I’m gonna stop name dropping and get on the road now!
:: Antonio Alvendia
(PS: Excuse Chris’s high pitched laughter, LOL)