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...
However, there was a certain non S-chassis that caught my attention - it was a white R32 Nissan Skyline with license plates from Washington state. It wasn't until the end of the last day of All Star Bash that I met the owner of this car - Jon Jaffe from Washington's own Team Instant Party. When we spoke at Willow Springs, it was hot, so I just gave him props on his car and a couple stickers, and went on my way.
Fast forward about a month - on my way back from the Formula D Seattle trip, BN Sports Raymond and I found ourselves chillin out in Bothell, Washington with Instant Party driver Roland Gallagher and his dad. On the day I was supposed to return to Los Angeles, I asked Raymond if we could stop by Roland's house on the way to the airport so I could check out his car really quick and say what's up. Shortly after we arrived at Roland's house, Jon took a break from his workday to come over and say hello. Perfect timing. I wanted to get a closer look at his Skyline anyway! Read more...