The major casualty in these forms of racing (ie: IndyCar, NASCAR, etc.) has been truth in engineering and innovation. There is not much you can do to innovate without breaking the rules - and being hung out to dry for it.
When the American LeMans Series (ALMS) came to the Monterey Coast at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, this theory was thrown to the dogs as multiple chassis, motor, and tire combinations had no hindrance on the level of competition. The four hour enduro proved to be an absolute slugfest. It looked far more like a 20 mile sprint as it proved one of the most closely contested, nail biting, bump-and-rub fests of sports cars and prototypes lapping the twisty, hilly 2.238 mile circuit in 1:13.948 while making insane 10,000 rpm noises. Read more...
Here's a collection of some of our favorite images captured from the event! Read more...
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…)
For the season finale at Irwindale Speedway, Northern California based Tyler McQuarrie beat the competition to win First Place at the event in his Falken Tire V8 350Z, standing atop the podium with Rhys Millen (Second Place) and Chris Forsberg (Third place). Read more...
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…)
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...
Flying standby, which may be cheap, is very risky and can be stressful when flights that were empty the night before, are full in the morning. Luckily, only the first flight out of Atlanta that morning was full and I could hop on the second flight to John Wayne at Santa Ana. If time had not been an issue, I could have arrived much later and taken an easier flight, but since I had to be there by 1:30pm PST to make it to the (all-caps) MANDATORY media meeting, I was starting to stress when I noticed the flights starting to fill up. I’m no stranger to the pre-Formula D stress syndrome though. I almost didn’t make it to this point after all.
Media passes are a hot commodity, and the MotorMavens Crew rolls pretty deep, so actually getting a pass to cover the event for the site was an episode in itself. Even though we're an official Formula D Media Partner, and we have a legitimate high traffic automotive site, Formula D's PR agency didn't want to approve all our media pass requests. I didn't really understand the thinking behind that, but I suppose we did have a lot of photo and video shooters asking for passes!
This being the last round of the year for Formula D, and me traveling all the way out to Irwindale CA from Atlanta GA, I had to do it big. I always like to say ‘go big or go home.’ It’s corny but it’s a great way of seeing things - try it and see where it gets you. Read more...
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...
That's why this story by Jonathan McWhorter was so compelling to me. It's not about the money or the fame. It's not about your company budget or your connections. It's not even how long you've been in the industry. Those are not the things that make this industry so awesome. I could tell you but Jon did such a great job - I'll leave it in his capable hands. After all, he reminded me. So, without further ado... Read more...
I just saw this from a Twitter link earlier today… it’s awesome! Check out this old school JDM television commercial from the late 1980s for the Falken MC tire… pronounced Faruken Macu taiyah if you have your Japanese pronunciation skills on point! This is a fun little commercial – I wish Falken still made cool clay-mation videos like this! Come on Falken! How about it? The Return of the Mac!
Can you believe it? Back in 1989, Falken was a sub-brand tire. Back then, the Falken brand wasn’t perceived as being cool at all. Back then, Yokohama, Dunlop, and Toyo were the ish. Falken certainly didn’t have much brand awareness in the United States. Falken’s sister company, Ohtsu, which is better known for making truck tires, was considered a much, much bigger brand in the SRI Group (Sumitomo Rubber Industries), which included Ohtsu, Sumitomo, Dunlop and Falken.
It’s funny how things have changed. I remember back at SEMA about 10 years ago, I was at the Falken booth talking to someone named Jim Stobie, and he told me that he was hoping that Falken would bring the Azenis tire to the USA. At that point, they were only talking about doing it… maybe.
When the Falken Azenis RT215 tire came out, everyone loved it because reputable aftermarket performance magazines like Grassroots Motorsports and Sport Compact Car endorsed it after making it go through several tire tests. Those tires were dope back then – they were pretty grippy (it had grip because of the RT215′s big tread blocks, not because of a soft rubber compound) and they were pretty cheap. (I think I paid like $35 per tire for 195/60/14 size?) In fact, we thought the RT215 was pretty cool, because the fact that it used a harder rubber compound meant that the tire would actually last a long time! That was a great selling point for broke canyon runners and weekend autocrossers who also drove on the same tires daily.
The only bad thing about the RT215 was the fact that they were kind of dangerous in the rain. The big tread blocks that were an advantage in the dry months became a huge disadvantage in the rain – they made you hydroplane a lot if you ran them in wet weather! This is probably why Falken redesigned the Azenis in favor of the newer RT615 tires, which have big grooves in the middle for channeling water and siping down the sides for water dispersion. Anyway, I should stop rambling.
By the way… this is not an ad for Falken. They don’t pay to advertise on our site, and MotorMavens doesn’t get free tires from Falken. I’m just saying… this old Japanese TV ad made me remember the way things were… before Nick Fousekis and his original Falken Motorsports Team (which consisted of Mickey Andrade, Kelvin Tohar, Greg Hatton, Joyce Lex, Courtney Day, MJ Castillo, Calvin Wan, JR Gittin and everyone else who I forgot to name drop) began hitting the road and doing all sorts of events, connecting with motorsports fans to make Falken’s image cool. The team would get up early, set up at events, work really hard at promoting the brand, and we would all go and party after the events! Everything was so grassroots back then. Sometimes I wish we could take it back to those days.
Man, those were some good times.
:: Antonio Alvendia
So yesterday I was sitting at my desk, cleaning up my external hard drive. I realized I’ve got TONS of extra footage of Formula Drift Long Beach and quite a bit of footage from the Fatlace OneOfOne Showcase that didn’t make it into the final edit.
My girl had the car for the day, and I wasn’t getting anything else done… so I decided to make another edit. This one has a much lighter vibe than the first, with no color grading and very little audio work; just lots of familiar faces, pretty cars, and loud engines.
:: Justin Shreeve
I just got back from Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory in Los Angeles, where Monster Energy Drink and Falken Tires were having a party to announce their big news. Of course, quite a lot of media people already knew about it before the party, as the email invitations weren’t exactly subtle; especially when several people kept asking me throughout the day, “Hey, are you going to the Monster party tonight?”
As with most of these types of shindigs, the event was pretty a much who’s who of the drifting, automotive, and beverage industries, mixed in with skaters, media people, and a whole lot of females. For me, it was fun because it was a chance to hang out and enjoy some laughs and the open bar with some of my industry friends, as well as meet some cool people from the grassroots drifting scenes in different states (and countries). While several people were out there trying to meet pro skater Rob Dyrdek (of the MTV show, Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory), Motor Mavens’ resident skate fiends Edward Uche and Justin Shreeve were just salivating at the chance to skate the ramps at the Fantasy Factory. (They got to skate for a little bit until the security guards came up and said, “you guys need to stop because your skateboards might hit someone, and we could get sued.” Aw man!
Regardless, I had a chance to chill for a bit with my buddy Vaughn Gittin Senior (JR’s dad) and congratulate him on the new venture. Man, he was just beaming, super proud of his son’s accomplishments thus far. So CONGRATULATIONS to Vaughn Gittin Sr. and to JR… we can’t wait to see that thing out on the track!
:: Antonio Alvendia
PS: For more pics from the party tonight (and by more pics, I mean pics of the girls that were in attendance)… then add Motor Mavens Crew on Facebook and check out our albums! The photo above was shot with my Canon S90 point and shoot pocket camera! (Too bad Eri moved a little though… I forgot to tell her it was a long exposure.)
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...
Check out the latest Falken Tire video that my homie Skylar Smith produced at Formula Drift Vegas. High production value, awesome cars and lots of smoke…what more can you ask for? This video speaks for itself, so take a look and let us know what you think!
PS: How many of you can spot the Motor Mavens sticker in the video? Better watch it carefully!
:: Dax Rodriguez