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, Dave and Aaron, 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...
Yesterday, I got up before dawn and made my way to the Westfield Promenade Mall off Topanga Canyon and the 101 freeway to meet up with other members of the MotorMavens Crew for a morning of photo taking, Instagramming (Follow us: @MOTORMAVENS), and talking cars! Read more...
Finally, a straight answer!!! There has been a LOT of talk and speculation about Formula Drift Irwindale First Place Winner Tyler McQuarrie and his decision to part ways with his juggernaut tire sponsor, Falken Motorsports. (more…)
Today is Dan Cyr of Cyrious Productions‘ Birthday! If you don’t know who Dan Cyr is, he’s the brother of the Pat Cyr, the baddest privateer AE86 Formula Drift rookie who cleaned up at the Irwindale Pro Am event in the tail end of 2010. What a better way to honor Dan’s efforts as a drift documentarian than posting his latest video from Formula Drift Round 2 – Atlanta. It’s the best we can do Dan! We are all starving artists for now. Happy Birthday!
What does it feel to be the proverbial black sheep? Or better yet, the wolf in sheep’s clothing? Before you contemplate and think that I’m going to throw all kinds of cliché’s at you, consider where privateers like Pat Cyr sit right now in the world of Formula Drift. It’s hardly cliché at all to see a 360hp, garage built, ratty AE86 in a field of expensive dream machines and famous drivers. To me, and to countless others, the story of the “underdog” never gets old. (more…)
Oh Snap! Today is May 13th (5-13), officially referred to as S13 day to all my ichisan friends from Japan. In honor of the S13, I thought I’d post up a photo of a certain Koguchi Power RPS13 180SX built by a man who is revered by many as the King of the S13s – Yoshinori Koguchi. (more…)
"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 AmericaDespite 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...
Just like the gypsy camps in the days of old, this year's Las Vegas round of Formula Drift brought thieves out of the woodwork. I was really surprised to find out that former Formula D judge (and current Tanaka Racing Corvette driver) Alex Pfeiffer's helmet was stolen. I suppose someone was a fan of Alex's Hawaiian print helmet, which had the traditional Hawaiian plumeria flowers painted on one side. The only question I have about that is... Okay, thieves. Now that you have Alex's helmet, what the hell are you going to do with it? Read more...
Wow. Formula Drift at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was sooooo HOT. Ridiculously hot. Intensely hot. We just got back to Los Angeles, after an eight hour excursion, creeping at around 10mph in traffic-swamped freeway lanes all the way back to Southern California. This being said, we aren’t posting up our event story just yet… everyone in our group is about to pass out from the heat and exhaustion.
However, we just wanted to take a minute to congratulate Tyler McQuarrie on his First Place victory in Las Vegas! In case you weren’t following the Formula D Driftstream, Team Falken emerged victorious, with an all-Falken podium sweep once again, with Tyler McQuarrie bringing home First Place, Daijiro Yoshihara winning Second Place, and Vaughn Gittin Jr taking home Third Place.
We’d also like to welcome Las Vegas-based photographer Farrel Dee to the Motor Mavens Crew! We’ll let him write up a proper introduction later, but for now, we’d like to invite YOU to upload your Formula D Las Vegas and Vegas Pro Am photos to the MotorMavens Forums! We saw a lot of people shooting photos this weekend, and we’d love to see your photos with links to your website and/or Flickr pages! Post them up so everyone can see!
That’s it for now… sleep calls! However, don’t worry… we’ll be back very soon with our photos and observations from Formula D Las Vegas!
:: Antonio Alvendia
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
Formula D Round 2 Atlanta has been a subject of the past now, but our boy Justin Shreeve had extra footage and decided to make a sequel to his original FD Atlanta video. In my opinion Justin did a great job showing the great experience a Formula D event can have on someone. These events are more than just the cars and drifting to me. It’s about the people, friends, vendors, and of course the girls! I’m not going to lie though, that clip of Daijiro Yoshihara dirt dropping was sick! Great job Justin Michael Shreeve!