Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan McWhorter’

COVERAGE> Southern Wörthersee Show, Helen GA

For two decades, the beautiful Lake Wörthersee vacation area in Reifnitz, Austria has played host to Volkswagen Audi Group enthusiasts (VAG) from all over the globe in what has become known as the Wörthersee Tour. Southern Wörthersee, commonly referred to as SoWo by fans, formed and bore the name as an annual gathering in the Bavarian-themed town of Helen, Georgia.

The spirit of this gathering is truly authentic as the entirety of this small town honors the tradition. In no other gathering of imports could a clean Evo look out of place! The local restaurants prepare bratwursts and fill steins at a reduced rate and the streets proudly bear the SoWo insignia as European cars arrive from all over the country.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Formula Drift Atlanta 2012 Qualifying

Formula Drift at Road Atlanta for 2012 brought a few new changes to the course this year. First and foremost, the layout of the track has been changed in the famed Turn 10 Complex. Instead of going through the "horseshoe" in a counterclockwise direction, it now is reversed. At first glance, one might think that this configuration is awkward, as the straightaway leading uphill (quite steep, mind you) to the horseshoe is rather long in relation to the tight corners of Turn 10a and 10b. However, the drivers have managed to adapt pretty well by adjusting their strategy for taking the course. Since drivers must keep momentum and speed to climb the hill, this layout change prohibits the extreme entries that we are used to seeing from previous years.   Read more...

PERSPECTIVE> My First Experience At Nurburgring

First impressions are lasting impressions, and my first impression about the Nurburgring is that it's absolutely unreal. As you make your way into the Eifel Mountain region of western Germany, it becomes more and more difficult to comprehend that something like the Nordschleife exists. The cascading mountains covered in dense forest, although the perfect place for your dream course or a video game, don't seem a feasible locale for a high speed, high stakes race track. I would liken the feeling to going to an amusement park as a kid and trying to fathom that so much awesome could be in one place. In today's world of rules, regulations, and protocol, this place should not happen (at least not easily and with lots of paperwork). However, the automotive dreamland that is the Nurburgring was conceived in a time when they only cared about one thing: racing.   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> Fifteen52 Volkswagen Jetta Variant

The first time I met Matt Crooke, co-owner of Fifteen52, was on a cold night in Upland, California. We were at a locally-famous restaurant called The Hat, which is known for their great pastrami sandwiches. However, I wasn't there for the beef. I was there for the weekly gathering of Volkswagens that come out in droves just to hang out and chit-chat about the trials and tribulations of owning and modding a Volkswagen. We quickly got acquainted and I soon found out what Fifteen52 really meant.   Read more...

OH SNAP> Taka Aono’s AE86 Turbo at Road Atlanta

In continuing with our celebration of 8-6 Day, I wanted to bring back this shot I took of Taka Aono at Road Atlanta earlier this year. Seeing this car still compete at a top level in professional drifting really adds to the excitement and the theater (theatre?) of the event. As much fun as it is seeing two high-horsepower Goliaths battle it out, replacing one of those monsters with a David only makes things more interesting. This might be why the AE86 is still a crowd favorite, well over 20 years after its inception.   Read more...

VIDEO> Low n’ Slow VW Beetles in the UK

Low n’ Slow – A Beetle Film from Stephen Brooks on Vimeo.

Stephen Brooks is at it again with his video camera. This time around instead of drifting, we get a spotlight on some dope Volkswagens of the Low n’ Slow Club VW from the UK. I’m definitely diggin’ these two uber-low Type 1 Beetles, you just can’t go wrong with a classic design laying frame. However, there are no airbags here. The lows you see are brought to you by static drops. That takes “form over function” to another level.

:: Jonathan McWhorter


CENTER STAGE> Fresh & Clean BMW E30 in Atlanta

Cleanliness, it seems, is a bit of a relative term. Whether you are following Webster's definition or the definition that has been popularly sculpted within the car scene, there are varying degrees of what could be considered a clean car. There even seems to be some disagreement as to what exactly that means. Is it the application of the owner's taste? Is it the degree to which he has maintained his vehicle? Is it keeping a simplistic/minimalist approach or just doing things right over all? Whatever it may be, this gorgeous BMW E30 owned by Georgia native, Ryan Sermonet, epitomizes all of the above.   Read more...

VIDEO> Drift Posse – Road To Formula Drift Atlanta

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPvpCt5KZeY

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…)


COVERAGE> The Formula D Atlanta Experience Pt. 2

Keeping our coverage of Round 2 of Formula Drift at Road Atlanta coming, we bring you more photos of the Pro Am rounds as well as the main event. Road Atlanta is a unique venue in that it is a world class road course that sees everything from the likes of Le Mans prototype cars to your neighbor who enjoys exercising his right foot every now and again. The Formula Drift weekend is no different - you get a mix of high-dollar, corporate-backed monster machines competing door to door with a backyard creation that you saw built from the ground up on your local forum.   Read more...

COVERAGE> The Formula D Atlanta Experience Pt.1

For the MotorMavens Crew, Round Two of the 2011 Formula Drift Championship at Road Atlanta represented a lot of hard work, and about 6 or 7 total hours of sleep for the entire weekend. Since our Associate Editor Jonathan "J-Mac" McWhorter lives in the Atlanta area, he volunteered to be the team leader for the weekend, and coordinated everything for the out-of-state crew members that would be flying in for the event.

Some people may not realize this, but Road Atlanta is a very special place for the MotorMavens Crew. Anyone who knows MotorMavens co-founder Andy Sapp can tell you that he has a very fond place in his heart for Road Atlanta. Even though Andy coined the now famous phrase Keep Drifting Fun, he has been drifting competitively at Formula D events in Atlanta ever since 2004 - the very first event in the Formula Drift series. Ever.
  Read more...

COVERAGE> Live From Formula D Atlanta Day 2

I'm back in the media tower at Road Atlanta and clicking away at my keyboard while open practice adds clouds to the cloudless sky over the track. I swear, it was clear and blue before the drifting started, now we've got puffy white clouds everywhere. Coincidence? Probably. Our sharpshooters Yoshi Shindo and Oliver Petalver are still on track right now and I'm going to give you a mix of what they've gotten so far today as well as some more shots from yesterday's practice.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Formula Drift Atlanta Practice Session

Right now I'm sitting in the media tower at Road Atlanta while practice continues just over the hill on the course. That's right, Allen Iverson, we're talkin' about practice! Not the game, but practice. With that being said, even though it was practice, the drivers were pushing it to the limit and beyond. Many cars ended up in the kitty litter on the initiation corner and some went into the wall.   Read more...

NEWSWORTHY> Scion FR-S (FT86) Unveiled

Today at the New York Auto Show, Scion unveiled their FR-S Concept. Harking back to Toyota's days of small and affordable sports cars, the FR-S is powered by a flat-four, 2.0 liter boxer engine that powers the rear wheels. Not only do they keep with the tradition of everyone's favorite front engine/rear wheel drive configuration, but they are also offering a six-speed manual transmission as well as a limited slip differential. And for those of you who swear you are Formula 1 drivers, you can have the flappy paddles that come along with the six-speed automatic. With all of this "go", Scion didn't forget about "show." The FR-S flaunts a pretty aggressive stance and sharp lines.   Read more...

GALLERY> Formula Drift Review in Pictures

Formula Drift at Long Beach is just around the corner. Yes, it is already April again. As the MotorMavens Crew gets ready for another season of tire smoking excitement, we wanted to take a look back on the 2010 season and recap the big moments as well as showcase some of the shots that didn't make it into some of the posts.   Read more...

VIDEO> Rancho Deluxe Hot Rods in Australia

Hot rods are slowly becoming a new obsession of mine. A crackling V8 through short exhaust coming out the side of a small roadster and wire wheels wrapped in skinny tires has got to be the coolest form of transportation on the road, hands down.  Ben Thomas builds hot rods full time at his shop, Rancho Deluxe, in Melbourne Australia. While the rest of the world progresses with new technologies and methods for making cars faster, safer, and the like; Ben has been working his way backwards. He apprenticed with Porsche for four years at age 18 and since then has stuck with the classics. By classics, I mean 30′s and 40′s era cars. I think that makes the jump from ‘classic’ to ‘OG.’  His pristine 1932 Ford is the perfect example of what hot rods are all about – small car, big engine, and a driver’s seat. (more…)


VIDEO> Sights and Sounds of Group B Rally

Keeping with my current obsession with Group B rally and looking to keep a pattern going, I present to you a compilation video of various Group B cars, and more importantly, the glorious sounds they make. While there are always going to be cars that make wonderful noises that make you feel all tingly inside, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything that is as aurally pleasing as the likes of an Audi Quattro hammering on the rev-limiter. Everything about Group B was absolutely mythic. The speed, the power, the sound, the driving conditions (whether that be the weather itself or the audacity of the crowds). One might even think that the Gods themselves took on the sport, which would explain the talent behind the wheel. But that’s enough rambling from me. Sit back, turn up the volume, and enjoy! (more…)


VIDEO> Ari Vatanen Tears Through the Isle of Man

While cruising through the internet recently I stumbled across this video of Ari Vatanen, Finnish World Championship rally driver. You might recognize some of his work in the classic short, Climb Dance.  Here you’ll see him blasting down the narrow roads on the Isle of Man in the Manx Rally, scaring the crap out of his co-driver in the process.

While I’m sure that we all like to think that we are somewhat competent behind the wheel of a car or are, in fact, very skilled armchair racers, I bet you can’t watch this and not feel a little bit uneasy or say anything other than (or the likes of) “Dear God.”  I’m making that bold assumption because, after all, if you’re here and reading this you must have some interest in cars and therefore you can see my connection. This is driving at its purest.  Just take notice of how much he works the wheel even when the car is going in a straight line. The amount of skill and absolute balls these men possessed blows my mind completely.  One might even say he is a master of sisu, a Finnish word which translates to “driving with guts.(more…)


RANDOM DOPE> Garrett Turbo Boost Adviser App

For people who aren’t brainiac rocket scientists, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out what kind of turbo you need if you’re trying to build a motor that pushes out 500 horsepower. Or 750 horsepower. Or a thousand!

Luckily for those of us that are mathematically challenged, our friends over at Garrett Turbo Systems have put their knowledge in our hands (err, our iPhones… which are in our hands)!  They’ve developed an app that will help you decide on a turbocharger for your specific application.  This is like having all the smarty-pants Garrett engineers in your pocket.

With some basic inputs on your power goals and engine parameters, the app will recommend the appropriate Garrett Turbos to meet your custom specifications.  It will even lay out compressor maps so that you can check things like your efficiency, boost pressure capability, and even turbo speed!

(more…)


FORUM> Angelo’s AE86 Corolla with Texas Swag

We call it 'webmining' for a reason - we slave away tirelessly in the dark and the heat. There's lots of dirt everywhere and our little canary to let us know when oxygen gets low. However, every now and then we'll come across a nice little gem like this.

While browsing through our forum's introduction section, a super clean AE86 Corolla from the great state of Texas stood out to me. In his thread, the owner, Angelo, quickly introduced himself and his car, which, in his own words, he "loves dearly and abuse like a red headed step child." Frankly, that's what I like to hear. Trailer queens aren't at all my thing.   Read more...

WEBMINING> AWOL Driftcember at Summit Point

AWOL Short: Driftcember from AWOL on Vimeo.

If you’ve heard of AWOL, then you’re probably familiar with their well-produced, high production value webisodes exhibiting all aspects of motoring culture.  If you haven’t heard of them, familiarize yourself.  Their latest offering being passed around the internet is the short titled “Driftcember.”  They covered a local grassroots event in West Virginia in a way that even a lot of higher end events aren’t, with chase helicopters.  If that doesn’t impress you I’m not sure what will because everything is better when you add a helicopter.  I really enjoyed this video because it gives a fresh look on something we’ve all seen before.  Hopefully this will get other photographers and videographers to step up their creative game.

Check out awol.tv for more shorts and episodes of their automotive conquests.

:: Jonathan McWhorter


PERSPECTIVE> Formula Drift Irwindale 2010 Finale

This past weekend, the Formula Drift Season Finale at Irwindale Speedway went by quicker than I could ever have planned. Whether it was the severe lack of sleep, being on the move at all times, nonstop action, or the three hour time difference, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. It all started at 5am EST in Atlanta when I woke up to head to the airport in hopes that I could catch a flight to LA.

Flying standby, which may be cheap, is very risky and can be stressful when flights that were empty the night before, are full in the morning. Luckily, only the first flight out of Atlanta that morning was full and I could hop on the second flight to John Wayne at Santa Ana. If time had not been an issue, I could have arrived much later and taken an easier flight, but since I had to be there by 1:30pm PST to make it to the (all-caps) MANDATORY media meeting, I was starting to stress when I noticed the flights starting to fill up. I’m no stranger to the pre-Formula D stress syndrome though. I almost didn’t make it to this point after all.

Media passes are a hot commodity, and the MotorMavens Crew rolls pretty deep, so actually getting a pass to cover the event for the site was an episode in itself. Even though we're an official Formula D Media Partner, and we have a legitimate high traffic automotive site, Formula D's PR agency didn't want to approve all our media pass requests. I didn't really understand the thinking behind that, but I suppose we did have a lot of photo and video shooters asking for passes!

This being the last round of the year for Formula D, and me traveling all the way out to Irwindale CA from Atlanta GA, I had to do it big. I always like to say ‘go big or go home.’ It’s corny but it’s a great way of seeing things - try it and see where it gets you.   Read more...

COVERAGE> FD Irwindale Title Fight Weigh-In

25 hours and 2,200 miles later, I am still awake and in California for Formula Drift at Irwindale Speedway -the final installment for the 2010 Formula D season. I woke up at 5am EST to head to the airport in Atlanta, Georgia for my flight out to LA earlier today - Friday, the 8th of October. Right now it is nearing 3am on the 9th; I just might be tired. It's all for a good cause, though. The weather is fantastic this weekend, and the drifting is even better. Everyone came out to play, and I'm sure it's going to be quite the battle to win the championship.

This post is definitely going to be a short one but it will not lack in content. Below you'll find some selected images from the day of qualifying just to whet your appetite for the main event.   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> SR Datsun 620 WarMachine Pickup

"I couldn't find the sports car of my dreams, so I built it myself." Ferdinand Porsche

Datsun didn’t make a fast enough truck for Chad Copeland, so he followed Ferdinand Porsche’s example of persistence and built his own. After three tours of duty in the Middle East as a part of the Air Force, Chad took some driving courses and practiced on Eglin Air Force Reservation trying to slide his truck around corners and hang it out as far as he could. This was long before the artform of hooliganism now known as drifting became a sport.

That first truck is now long gone but Chad is keeping the interest alive in the form of his current Datsun 620 pickup. At first glance, it’s obvious that this isn’t your everyday 620…just in case you happen to see these every day. In fact, as much as this truck shows you with its exposed components and armed forces-inspired livery, there is more to be found beneath the proverbial surface.   Read more...

PERSPECTIVE> Drifting Changed My Life

There are so many cool aspects of being a part of MotorMavens but, to me, one of the coolest is witnessing the heart and passion of the automotive industry through the eyes of the ones who live and breathe it - the true mavens. We here at MotorMavens consider ourselves to be in that number as well but we're not here to tell our own story. Our vision has always been to showcase your story - your passion. Seeing this industry through the innovative eyes of guys like Roland Gallagher, Justin Shreeve, Lucas Perez, Yuta Akaishi, Daniel Bridle, Yoshi Shindo and all of the many others who love and live what they do (including you) - that's our way of keeping our eyes glued to the real motivating force behind the stats.

That's why this story by Jonathan McWhorter was so compelling to me. It's not about the money or the fame. It's not about your company budget or your connections. It's not even how long you've been in the industry. Those are not the things that make this industry so awesome. I could tell you but Jon did such a great job - I'll leave it in his capable hands. After all, he reminded me. So, without further ado...   Read more...