Last weekend’s Formula Drift Seattle event at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington was unforgettable. Tons of familiar faces and unusually warm weather made for the best FD experience I’ve ever had. Since I’ve been shooting at this location so much lately, I was able to take my time and really enjoy the event, rather than scrambling to get shots.
Last weekend also marked a milestone for me, as it had been one year since shooting my first FD event with a media pass. FD Seattle ’09 was also when I met quite a few friends in the industry, such as Antonio Alvendia, Larry Chen, Drew Fishbein, Ross Fairfield, Will Roegge, and Josh Herron, among many others. Last year around this time, I knew next to no one and now I can comfortably say I feel at home in the professional and grassroots drifting communities.
With this video, I chose to take a much lighter approach than last year as a representation of the comfort and relaxation I now feel among my fellow videographers, photographers, and drivers who congregate for these great events.
This year, I also met a guy named Jason from ContourHD/VHoldr, who was nice enough to let me test out a couple of his HD 1080p wearable/mountable POV cameras for some of the shots!
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me along the way, especially the MotorMavens Crew, Formula Drift, Evergreen Drift, and KP Race. Without all the love, it just wouldn’t be worth it.
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!
I’m beginning to notice a trend. It seems as though during my adventures with Formula Drift there is never any down time, sleep, boring moments, or lack of awesome activities to shoot.
For me, Formula Drift Atlanta this year began with a cross country journey involving three layovers and an entire day of flying. After losing three hours, getting no sleep, and feeling noticeably more sick, I touched down in a little town they call Atlanta, Georgia. Just kidding! That place is huge!
This being my first time visiting Georgia, I was sure to soak it all in. The hot, humid air and enormous, flying insects were easily overshadowed by the incredible scenery, delicious sweet tea, and of course that good ol’ Southern hospitality. (more…)
That said, the Tail of the Dragon is an 11-mile stretch of two lane road in Tennessee and is said to have 318 curves - and one very large cliff face to launch off! The speed limit is 30mph and there are Tennessee Troopers there to graciously remind you. They are quite nice when they hand you a ticket and, after nine tickets (hand delivered) that Saturday, I am very qualified to testify to their manners. Read more...
There were actually several rotary powered vehicles in attendance for the drift demo, but by far, the best looking car (in our opinion) was certainly Justin Pawlak's mean green FC3S RX7. Read more...
I mention these particular events because they were all milestone events for the grassroots drifting community. Since then, Irwindale has become a recognized name and a home for grassroots drifting in the West Coast. This past weekend marked the first ever XDC (Xtreme Drift Circuit) event at Irwindale. Whether or not this XDC event (or the series in general) will turn out to be a major milestone in the minds of drifters in the United States remains to be seen. However, I can tell you that I observed some re-invigoration and renewed interest in high level grassroots drifting competition from some of the drivers. Hell, if having high-skill-level grassroots drivers spend the time and effort in making the journey from most major regions of the United States (and Canada too) just to compete in this event doesn't indicate what kind of hype this new series is generating, then I don't know what will. It looks as if XDC is heading towards becoming a major force in the grassroots drifting arena.
I'll be honest - when I first heard about yet another drifting series launching this year, I kind of rolled my eyes, just like everyone else did. "Oh jeez," I thought. "Another drifting series is trying to come up and compete with Formula D again?" Well, if you observed how the whole "Nopi Drift Series" turned out, you might understand where some of the drifting community's skepticism comes from. However, when I found out that this new XDC Series was actually slated as a "feeder series" which would sharpen up the skill levels of grassroots drifters across the country and allow them to graduate into Formula D competition, I thought, "hmmm... I think this might actually work out."
The Motor Mavens Movement is all about supporting grassroots drivers and local street teams and crews from all over the world. Formula D did a good thing by empowering the local drifting organizers in different regions to hold Pro Am "driver search" events (like Vegas Pro Am and Evergreen Pro Am, etc), but what I think really boosts the level of drivers that want to graduate into the Formula D series is having the ability to compete regularly on different tracks, against different drivers from different geographical regions.
This "nationalization" and/or "globalization" of competition between the drifting community's hometown heroes is the only way grassroots drivers can really prove how good they are. However, with the level of drift car builds and big money that's required to actually run an entire Formula D season nowadays, it's nearly impossible for REAL grassroots drivers with REAL grassroots style drift cars to actually compete against the Formula D series' hundred-thousand-dollar engine builds, Nascar V8s and full race cars with silhouettes of their OEM bodies dzus-fastened onto tube frames. It saddens some people to see drifting turning into a major pro motorsport like Nascar, but it's all a natural progression, I suppose. Read more...
Yes, the rumors are true. The green FC3S RX7 that we all know and love is returning to Formula D competition!
A lot of our Facebook friends have been talking about this for a couple days already… but I just figured I should probably post this on the website too, since there are a lot of people out there who read our blog, but aren’t necessarily in the know about the latest news in the world of Formula Drift. Yes again… contrary to popular belief, there are still people out there who aren’t checking Facebook every five seconds. It suddenly dawned on me when I casually mentioned the FC’s return to a friend of mine today, and he was like, “Whaaaaaaat?! No wayyyyy!”
I just got off the phone with Justin Pawlak, the driver of this awesome green rotary monster. Even though he and Bergenholtz Racing have parted ways in the professional drifting world, Justin is quick to dispel any rumors in the mill by saying, “Ron and I are definitely still cool. In fact, I just spoke to him on the phone earlier today. We just have different ideas and figured it would be best to go split the team up.”
While their timing is certainly less than perfect, with the 2010 Formula D season approaching very, very quickly… I’m sure both JTP and Ron B will make it happen for both of their respective drift teams. Justin says, “Ya know what? I just realized I had more qualifying points than anyone else in the 2009 Formula D season.” He’s sure to make a strong statement this year, whether he has solid financial backing or not.
And Ron Bergenholtz? Well, if anyone has any doubts about Bergenholtz Racing’s ability to have a strong presence in Formula D this year, let me just remind you that he (and his brother Ed) didn’t win all those NHRA Wally awards and get inducted into the NHRA Museum for nothing. In professional drag racing, Bergenholtz Racing proved that an underdog actually can compete against (and beat) competitors with big dollar corporate funding. As long as there’s a will, there’s a way.
Bergenholtz Racing will be revealing their official plans for 2010 on Thursday, along with publicly announcing the new driver they’ve signed to pilot their blue Mazdaspeed RX8.
If you’re a fan of JTP and his FC3S, and you want to help him find sponsors for the 2010 season, please visit Justin Pawlak’s Official Blog by clicking this link. Justin says, “Please don’t mind the ghetto GoDaddy banner, cause my webpage was FREE. haha. I might have a ghetto banner on my blog, but at least I got REAL VOLKS on my car.”
Hell yeah, Justin. Word.
:: Antonio Alvendia
I’m mad, seriously. Christmas weekend it is, but man….I can’t hold back this level of hurt. Friends of mine can vouch for the level of anger I experience when seeing a Mazda RX3. When I let mine go up for sale, I thought it might feel good to let something move on… WRONG. I now fully regret the transaction and wish life had a rewind button like that of a DVD player – call it seller’s remorse.
While I’m watching this video, gritting my teeth and wiping tears from my eyes, you can enjoy viewing this beautiful Mazda Savanna GT as it graces the country side roads of Japan. Take a closer look at the interior shots, and wish upon many stars that I may one day accomplish supreme levels of cool when building my next old school Mazda. Recaro front seats and Burberry-esque cloth covered rear seats. Observe the fresh RS Watanabe wheels which appear to be somewhere in the realm of 14 inches with a healthy tire side wall. Awesome fender mirrors? Check. Front lip with aero? Absolutely. If you own an RX3, please use this footage as a template and do not… I repeat, DO NOT sell your RX3. Unless of course I come knocking at your door inquiring about it. Then and ONLY then is it permissible. **sniff sniff**
: : Edward Uche
What happens when you combine a national holiday and time off work with family and friends? ...a well devised plan for a cruise, that's what. During my Thanksgiving festivities this past week, I couldn't help but squirm with anticipation for this weekend's big rotary event, RX7Club.com's annual "Turkey Run." The meeting location launching the rotary/old skool massive would be RX3 owner and MMA trainer Savant Young's Fight Academy in Pasadena CA. There were so many varieties of cars to be seen; RX2s, RX3s, FCs, FDs, Miatas, and even Toyota TE21s and S13s.
Keeping up with the latest in grassroots events, the members of the Southern Cali Motor Mavens Crew were on a mission to bring our viewers a look into the organic Los Angeles car culture. Witness. Read more...
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!
As the gloomy rainy season begins for many of us, I thought I’d post up a cool rainy drift video, reminding us that the rain isn’t all that bad… it saves tires!
Chasers, Mark IIs, Soarers, Silvias, 180SXs, Skylines, Levins, Truenos and RX7s… I stumbled across this gem on Vimeo recently, featuring lots of awesome Japanese cars at the famous Nikko Circuit. The entire three-part series is viewable on MayDayGarage.com, check it out!
:: Justin Shreeve
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...
Hey guys, it’s Justin again. Last Sunday, I visited Monroe, Washington for Round 4 of the Evergreen Drift series. The final round saw a lot of upsets as some drivers weren’t able to attend and others were plagued with car troubles. Overall, it was an exciting day, making for lots of good footage.
For more information regarding the Evergreen Drift series, please visit EvergreenDrift.com.
:: Justin Shreeve
I’ve been checking out Stephen Brooks’ work lately on Vimeo. The man from the land of tea and crumpets makes great videos, but this one really stood out to me in particular. It was shot during a team drift event (hence the name) at the Norfolk Arena, which is about 2.5 hours North of London.
Although I’m not too keen on the song choice, I think it matched the content of the video very well. Beyond that, I feel like this piece does a great job to portray all the emotions behind the scenes of a drift event. Don’t worry though, there’s great drifting footage as well!
Even though I was still exhausted and burnt from our skin cancerous Saturday in Fontana, I somehow dragged myself out of bed and prepared my camera gear for yet another day at the track. While I found it extremely hard to pry myself from the ice cold air conditioning blasting throughout my house, I reminded myself that I made a commitment to show up. My friend Luke Pakula kept dropping me friendly reminders about the event the Slide Assassins guys were throwing at Irwindale Speedway, so I wanted to come through and show support of their event, on behalf of the Motor Mavens crew.
After all, the Motor Mavens movement is all about supporting grassroots drifting! Everyone on our team does their best to show how much we genuinely care about the scene by being out there as much as we possibly can. Actions speak louder than words, so hopefully people will notice that our site doesn't only cover the big events like Formula D and All Star Bash... Motor Mavens shows love by shining a light on some of the smaller events as well. And luckily for us, some of the grassroots drifters have been showing us love back!
We just can't tell you enough how much it means to us when we see people showing their support of the site by rocking our stickers on their cars, by leaving comments on our blog posts, by reposting our links onto different forums, blogs, Facebook and Twitter pages! It is especially means a lot to us when people voice their support when they see us at events. We love that people appreciate our site, because we put a whole lot of heart and hard work into it! Read more...
We at MotorMavens have a strong affinity for 1980s Japanese cars, and it’s easy to see why – techno-angular design, generous use of turbos, and an excess of electronic gizmos. All of these could be found on light, affordable RWD sports coupes. In a few short years front-drive cars would take over, but this video captures some of the best machines of the heyday: the Mitsubishi Starion, Toyota AE86 twins, R30 Nissan Skyline and Mazda FC RX-7, all captured in their natural environment.
:: Ben Hsu
So here you go... enjoy the photos! Read more...
In the pit area right before qualifying, the Apex'i crew was busy at work - either their differential or ring and pinion seized up, because the rear wheels on Ryuji Miki's FD3s wouldn't spin at all - they were completely locked up! The Apex'i crew always seems to be working tirelessly, as we always see them working on their cars on the side of the track.
In this photo, we see Jeren Walker from DSPORT Magazine offering to lend a helping hand, so that the Apex'i crew could get the car back on track and Miki could qualify. Jeren works for a magazine - he wasn't hired to help Apex'i; he had nothing to gain from getting down and dirty, helping to get Miki's car back on track. Yet he willingly volunteered to help, because that's what people do from the grassroots drifting scene. Wait... Apex'i..? Grassroots? Read more...