For those that don't know, Comrades started from humble beginnings when four local drift teams decided to unite under one banner years ago. Now that banner has grown to include all NW grassroots drifters from Oregon to Canada.
May 15th set a new benchmark for drifting in the NW when the Comrades were invited to tear up the track at Pacific Grand Prix in Kent, WA. New Pros and old schoolers came out to drive on this newly created track, owned and operated by Paul Zalud, that spans a little less than a mile with a layout "that kinda gives you that Bihoku vibe."(Haha, it's a reference to a Japanese race track, Bihoku Highland)
The Mighty MotorMavens Crew was out in full force as well. Covering the entire event from the driving (by me), video from Abbit Wilkerson and Justin Shreeve to, of course, photos from Yoshi Shindo and new comer Jeff Santiago - both armed to the teeth with their new Canon EOS 7D cameras. Read more...
In the last year or so, our friends from Team Instant Party up in Seattle, WA have been doing a great part in putting the Pacific Northwest’s drifting scene on the map. Their crazy style, matched with great driving skills grab the attention of anyone who lays eyes on their easter-egg-colored cars. Needless to say, after the Evergreen Drift Invitational on March 14th, I had plenty of footage of them; too much for just one video. Here are most of the leftover clips of TIP, mixed in with a couple of previously used shots, roughly cut with a bit of color grading.
:: Justin Shreeve
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...
When I arrived at LAX on Thursday, I got my rental car and drove straight into L.A. traffic to get to Irwindale Speedway, working my way though all that traffic while trying to find a good radio station to listen to. I finally arrived at the Speedway about 45 minutes later.
Walking though the pits, watching all the vendors getting set up for the event, I noticed the pit area is so much bigger than the one we have at Evergreen Speedway where Round 5 was held . This was a subtle hint that more vendors and drivers would be attending this event than the one at Evergreen.
Another thing that I noticed was the weather. Seattle summer includes two months of decent heat and sun after which it's back to the infamous rain season that happens to have started a couple of weeks ago. So, even though I caught myself wiping sweat off my forehead every few minutes, I was enjoying every minute of the sun. I wish it was like this in the Northwest.
Fast forward to the opening day of the Final round of Formula Drift. I got there bright and early to start taking photos and meet lots of new people. Since I'm pretty new to MotorMavens, a lot of people didn't know my name or my face. I took that as the perfect opportunity to introduce myself to the locals. The attitude that California people have is really great! Everyone was friendly and awesome to hang out with! Read more...