When we were contacted by the organizers of the Spocom Tour to work with them as a promotional partner, we were definitely excited by the opportunities it would bring! Although the Southern California-based members of our MotorMavens Crew gained a little experience in throwing and promoting a big outdoor automotive event (Mass Appeal at Ken Block's Irwindale Gymkhana event), we had little to no experience in seeing what it's like to run a big indoor car show. We thought it would be extremely interesting to see the inner workings of a big car show series from people who had a track record of doing it, and so began the relationship between MotorMavens and Spocom.
The first thing we noticed about the Spocom Tour - it didn't feel like a normal car show from our standpoint! It felt like a big, fun party - a hype party that just happened to have a bunch of friends and cars crowded in between the vendor exhibits! Read 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...
It has always interested me to watch the background area of a competition, and all that is involved to bring it to life.
Formula D has so many people working, moving, going… There is a full TV show being produced, professional race event taking place, thousands of fans… And yet, it seems like most things move at a different pace in Las Vegas. The cars are still in a rush, but everyone else, everyone behind the scenes…
Once I started editing to this song (Sundriped), I felt the pace change from some of the other videos I have done more recently, so I countered with a different choice of footage out of my stash.
In the last video, I featured Justin Shreeve, Joe Ayala and Yoshi Shindo. In this video, I threw in a quick clip of Abbitt Wilkerson, another Northwest videographer. His older brother, Walker Wilkerson, acquired an FD license at the final Formula D event in Irwindale. Keep an eye out for what Abbitt, Shreeve, myself and the rest of YAER Productions will do for Walker’s upcoming 2011 driver package.
Ian Dillon, of Factory 83, also collaborated with YAER Productions, providing graphics for this and other upcoming edits.
:: Ryan Davis
The Formula Drift Finale at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, California was mind-blowing. I’ve never seen such aggressive driving, nail-biting tandem battles, or brutal wrecks in one weekend.
This being my first time to Formula D at Irwindale, I had no idea what to expect. I arrived Wednesday night with enough time to head to Long Beach for a few hours with Ross Fairfield and Casey Liston of OMGDRIFT and my good friend, Joe Ayala, to hang out with the likes of Dean Kearney, Eric O’Sullivan, and the rest of the Irish fellows at The Auld Dubliner. It was at this moment that I realized how quickly the 2010 Formula Drift season had flown by. It felt so familiar to be sippin’ on a Guinness surrounded by live music and friends in that Irish pub, though I hadn’t been there since Round 1 in April!
Thursday, Joe and I headed to the track to catch some practice driving, as well as to meet up with more friends. I’m so happy to have made so many new acquaintances in the industry this year. People can hate all they want on professional drifting in all it’s seriousness, but the amount of genuinely good people who congregate at these events is astonishing.
Thursday through Saturday proved to be a grueling test of physical strength as I walked the course day after day, under the hot sun of Southern California, my ears nearly bleeding from the up close action Toyota Speedway has to offer, and covered (more so than ever before) in tiny chunks of spent tire. I was even hit in the eye by a flying piece of tire that was hot enough to burn both my top and bottom eyelids somehow. Haha! That’ll teach me to film burnouts!
Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better conclusion to an incredible season of professional drifting, although I’m sad to see it end. All I know is that next year will be bigger and better and I can’t wait! Also, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the entire MotorMavens Crew for all of your support and the means to accomplish so many of my goals. I couldn’t have done it without your help. Thank you.
I can’t believe its over! The 2010 Formula Drift season went by so quickly! The Wednesday night before Formula Drift Irwindale, Justin Shreeve, myself, and some guys from OMGDRIFT went down to Long Beach to hang out at The Auld Dubliner. At the time, It seriously felt like we were just there for the Formula Drift event held back in April! So much has happened since then. It was so cool seeing almost everyone that I’ve met throughout the entire season come down for one final showdown. The hard fought battles and the high speed drifts at a wall that would eat your soul if it had the chance. Watching the Pro-Am drivers work for their potential spot to compete on the next level in the 2011 Formula Drift season. All of this made for one spectacular event.
MotorMavens literally came from throughout the entire country to cover this event. From the east coast to the west coast, which means lots of coverage. I titled this video “The Prelude” because to me, its just an introduction to all the coverage we will soon be seeing from our fellow photographers and videographers. Enjoy!
:: Joe Ayala
Formula Drift made its yearly stop in Sonoma, California last weekend. I’ve been looking forward to this event, simply because I live less than an hour away and I had a guaranteed bed to sleep in. However, the weekend was not without snags.
Upon my arrival, I found that I was not on the list for media, since KP Race and Victor Moore were unable to make it to Sonoma – this rendered my credentials were void. Therefore, I made the best of my bad luck and decided that if I couldn’t get the really close action shots, I would take a few steps back and shoot a different perspective. The next morning, I drove down to Borrowed Lenses in San Carlos and rented a tilt-shift lens. Over the past few months, my interest in these lenses has grown quite a bit and when I saw Mister Geoff Pitts from Thunder Drift taking photos with one at Formula D Las Vegas, I knew I had to try it. Fate truly couldn’t have presented me with a finer opportunity. Enjoy!
:: Joe Ayala
However, a couple weeks ago, we received a call from DSPORT Magazine's Marketing Director, Tobin Honda, asking for MotorMavens help in promoting the event, and we made a commitment. In the automotive aftermarket industry, there are often times when people make a lot of promises, but they don't have much follow through... Motor Mavens tries not to be like that. Since we're always out at events speaking to car owners and such, we made a concerted effort to promote the car show and the drag event, and we were extremely happy to see many of our good friends in attendance, showing their support! Read more...
Wembley is THE event to go to in the JDM Allstars calendar. Drifters from all over Europe and even outside of Europe flock to Wembley to step up to the plate and show their talents in the competition. So bright and early (way too early) Saturday morning, I headed down into London to check out what was going on.
Usually I like to hang around the pits for a while to chat with drivers and friends, but with briefings to attend to and with the large amount of drivers competing, practice had to get underway pretty sharpish and I didn't want to miss out on any of the action. So I made a move out to the track and started shooting. So here are some photos from practice and qualifying! Read more...
My recent trip to Las Vegas for round 5 of Formula Drift was one of minimal luxuries. Joe Ayala and I could only afford one night in a hotel and a rental car was out of the question. Day one, we got up around noon, grabbed some “breakfast” at the Blueberry Hill next to the hotel, and began our journey to the track at around two. The trek consisted of roughly 2-3 miles, on foot, in 108 degree weather. Luckily for us, we found a shopping cart to carry our backpacks, camera cases, laptop bags, and of course my skateboard. Before long, we had covered the cart in MotorMavens cards (gotta represent) and found fun stuff to do on the way, such as drifting and dirt dropping the cart on the side of Las Vegas Blvd. Joe and I had fun overall, but boy were we glad when an old woman (with a legit mustache) stopped and asked us if we needed a ride. She drove us about a quarter of a mile to the gift shop of Las Vegas Motor Speedway, complaining the whole time about how she would be late to work. Haha!
Anyone will tell you that there’s really no way to describe a trip to FD Vegas other than “hot.” I had a great time making new acquaintances, like when my buddy Josh Herron took us by Forrest Wang‘s shop to BS and look at all his rad cars. I also had fun catching up with friends, like when the amazing Drew Fishbein and Ross Fairfield from OMGDrift let Joe and I stay in their hotel room because 18andFamous Abbitt Wilkerson was too busy napping to answer his door. Haha!
Regarding the video, I apologize for taking so long to finish it. The song I chose has a small introduction that requires specific footage to go with the audio. Hobo and I had arranged beforehand to film what I needed while in Vegas. Unfortunately, the lovely security team at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was very strict about when and who could drive in or out of the gates, so we just couldn’t make it happen. That being said, I had to acquire the help of up-and-coming photographer, videographer, actor, and stunt driver Joe Ayala to finish the timeline.
Special thanks to Jason at ContourHD for hooking us up with the cameras. These things are a blast to use! Definitely one of the most fun moments of the trip was running around the grid, sticking cameras on cars. Thanks again!
:: Justin Shreeve
Abbitt Wilkerson needs no introduction. You know who he is. 18 and famous. Haha! Anyway, check out his new cut from Formula Drift Round 4 at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington. Better late than never and definitely worth the wait. This video has great energy and had me excited from beginning to end. With plenty of creative shots and a surprisingly appropriate song choice, I couldn’t be happier with this video. Good work, Abbitt!
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!
Most of the cars on the track were the competitors for the WTAC, but since it was technically an open practice drive day, several non-competing cars were also out on the track. Let's take a look at some of the cars on the circuit from today! Read more...
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...
Like Wembley and Newcastle before, the track would be a street based circuit in one of the overflow car parks outside the Trafford Centre , a shopping centre that looks like a cross between the inside of the Titanic, Ancient Rome and a giant US mall! When I arrived on Friday, I was blown away by the scale of the track and surrounding area. I had a feeling, with all the hype and build up, that the empty space I was looking at would be packed over the weekend!
Saturday morning came and it was looking like my feelings would be proven right. With the track ready, the crowds pouring in, and a whole heap of new cars, practice got under way. So here's a few photos from day one of a truly awesome drift event... Read more...
The first photo in our series is from one of the practice sessions. I think the practice sessions were actually a lot cooler and funner to watch at times than some of the tandem bouts, because it felt like freestyle drifting chaos within the confines of the white cement barriers and tire stacks that lined the streets of the LBC. Read more...
The story of David's FD3S RX7 starts way back in 1994. He is the original owner of this black beauty - he took it right off the showroom floor. And since he's the only owner of this car, he actually knows everything that has gone into the car and everything it has been through. Here's a little mind blower to start us off. With the exception of the Pettit rear flares and 99 spec front end, the car's paint is as completely original as the owner.
I was no stranger to the story of David's epic tale, as I have been following it since the beginning. All the details of his journey are logged in the RX7club.com forum. If you decide to look it up, be prepared to invest a few days of reading - it's a long story and completely surreal. In fact, his story seems even more surreal than reading his daily updates in the 7club forum thread when you actually get the chance to hear him tell it. But, since you probably won't get that chance, I'll tell it. I promise I'll keep it short. Well, as short as I possibly can with a story like this one. Read more...
For those who don't know, Universal Technical Institute is a mechanic's training school, located out in the IE (Inland Empire), right across the street from the old Falken Tire headquarters, and right next to Kumho on Sixth Street and Haven. I've had an increasingly extremely full personal calendar, filled with things I need to do and places I need to be... and this weekend was no different. As much as I wanted to, I couldn't even make it out to the tech day myself, so I am super appreciative that new MotorMavens contributors Horacio Flores and Mike Kim (no, not the Mike Kim from UrbanRacer) offered to go to UTI and see what was going on. Thanks a lot guys! Enough about these details though - let's have a look at the cars! Read more...
While fellow MotorMavens crew members Antonio Alvendia and Edward Uche were out baking in the Californian sunshine at the XDC event in Irwindale, I was getting soaked to my skin in Northamptonshire, England, at the home of British Motorsport, Silverstone Circuit. Here, JDM Allstars were holding an invitation-only driver search day to give the selected drivers a shot at gaining a provisional entry to compete in this year's series. Also, with only 26 days to go until JDM Allstars takes over Manchester City for Round 1, it gave some of the current competitors in the series a chance to give their updated and freshly built cars a good shakedown!
Silverstone has been a home for UK drifting since the early days. The OPT Drift Club used to hold practice days there and some of the old UK D1 rounds were also held there. It was even the stage for the D1GP Exhibition Rounds (one in October 2005 and the other in 2006) when the Japanese came over to show us what it was all about - pushing our drivers to become even better. Since then it's been home to various drift championships such as the European Drift Championship (EDC) and the defunct, D1GB. Back in 2009, it was JDM Allstars' turn and there they hosted the final round of the series on the famous GP Circuit. This year Silverstone will play host to the final round yet again and it will be bigger and even better. I'm seriously looking forward to it - just as long as it's not raining!
Anyway, on to the Driver Search... Read more...
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...