Posts Tagged ‘Kumakubo’

ARCHAEOLOGY> Team Orange CT9A Lancer Evo 9

Last week, Mitsubishi decided to announce that they were discontinuing sales of their popular Lancer Evolution, as Evo fans across the world shook their heads in disappointment. Out of respect to Evo owners out there, I thought I'd dig into my archives and publish some photos of one of my favorite Mitsibushi Lancer Evos of all time - the Team Orange Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9, owned by D1 Grand Prix champion driver Nobushige Kumakubo.

These photos really are old - I shot most of these photos back in 2007, when the car was first built. In fact, I shot these photos with a Canon 40D and my old school 20D - that lets you know how old these pics are - those cameras are archaic now! That being said, I apologize for the crap photos. Old as they may be, these photos depict Kumakubo's then-new Lancer Evo 9 - the world's very first Mitsubishi Lancer ever to be built for professional drifting competition.   Read more...

NAME DROPPING> Hey Man! Hachirokus at Yokota!

HAHAHAHA AWESOME! I love how people have been uploading all their old VHS videos to YouTube. I wonder how many people have seen this old school video!

It’s not the craziest drifting action video or anything, but that’s not the point anyway. I love it because it shows the real style and culture of hashiriya life in Japan. This is what it’s really like… just a bunch of friends screwing around and having fun with their cars!

This particular video features a particular AE86 crew based in the Tokyo/Fussa area; these are the members of a drift team with a pretty strange name… Hey Man! (As if all drift team names weren’t strange.) I love this video because it shows old school footage of some of my real good friends that I hang out with when I’m in Japan.

The driver intros are pretty funny too… these guys look soooo young in the video! This video has a special cameo appearance by none other than Hiroshi Takahashi (Kaicho) from the legendary AE86 drift team, RUNNING FREE. The very first time I met Hiroshi was when he came out to Buttonwillow Raceway (2000? 2001?) to do a drift demo here in the United States as part of a special event hosted by SpeedTrial USA and Club4AG. (Props to Tommy and Moto for arranging that event!) Hiroshi is an AWESOME drifter, and a dedicated Toyota guy… in fact, he now works at one of the Toyota dealers in the Tokyo area. (I won’t say which one, so people don’t go and bug him at work.)

Shinji Minowa, who’s rocking an old school surfer haircut in the video, eventually became a D1 Grand Prix driver sponsored by Toyo Tires. He actually came out with Hiroshi to do the drift demo at Buttonwillow, which was the first time we met. Since then I’ve had the chance to hang out with him in Japan and the USA several times. Just like all the other members of the Hey Man crew, Shinji is super cool. He has a shop near the Yokota area called Hey Man Products… Anyway, if you’re interested in seeing more stuff about Shinji, his AE86 and his shop, let me know. I can probably arrange it!

This video also features some in-car footage with Charlie Tyson! Again, this video isn’t super crazy like one of Ueo’s sick manji videos or anything, but it’s one of the few times I’ve seen Charlie on a video, so I think it’s cool. He’s a pretty low key guy, but the crazy thing is, he’s the very first member of the Hey Man crew that I ever interacted with; he helped me get a set of redline taillights for my kouki AE86 back in 1999 or 2000 when I didn’t even know him! (Thanks a lot to PJ Peji for hooking that up!)

We also see other friends like Jimmy, Maurice, and Christine in the video… but the guy with the Hitler mustache is none other than Robbie Nishida, who most US drifting fans know. I was introduced to Robbie at the Ebisu Circuit booth at Tokyo Auto Salon in 2004. Kumakubo introduced him as a good friend of his, but then I recognized his face from an old AE86 video I had… I think it was an AE86 Club video, but I’m not sure. Robbie told us he would be interested in drifting in the United States, so my friend Kenta and I walked over to the other side of the show with him and introduced him to Nick Fousekis from Falken Tires. In fact, Kumakubo walked over with us too, and he told Nick if Falken would sponsor Robbie with tires, Kumakubo would let Robbie drive one of his own cars. (The famous K-Style S13 K-truck!!!)

At the very first American drift event he ever competed at (Formula D Wall Speedway 2005), Robbie made Formula D history by beating Mopar’s unbeatable Iceman, Samuel Hubinette in a tandem battle! It was pretty damn epic for that time. Everyone was like whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!!! I remember the reaction in the pit area and grandstands… EVERYONE was going bananas and jumping up and down when the judges announced that Robbie won the tandem match. It didn’t matter if they were supporters of Falken or not… even people from other tire brands were jumping up and down, because they had never seen anyone beat Samuel in tandem until that day. What a good way to start your drifting career in the USA!

Anyway, Robbie will be driving an R35 Nissan GTR in this year’s Formula D Championship series, so if you see him at an event, make sure to walk up to him and say, “Hey Man!”

:: Antonio Alvendia


VIDEO> Honeymoon at Ebisu Circuit

Exactly one year ago, my good friends Jody and Chris Manacop (you might recognize the covers he’s shot for Performance Auto Sound Magazine, but you probably wouldn’t know his name cause PASmag effed up more than once and put someone else’s name under the photo credit! LOL) got married… on the day before Toshiki Yoshioka won first place at Formula D Las Vegas.

So today, on the 1-year anniversary of our good friends getting hitched, I decided to post up a video from their honeymoon. (No, no, you won’t see any night-vision camera stuff here… Google Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian for that.) I’m posting up a pretty cool video from their honeymoon in Japan; these two decided to go to the Summer Drift Festival at Ebisu Circuit for their honeymoon!

As luck would have it, I had just finished a photo mission in Germany, Belgium and the UK, so I met up with them in Japan during their “Honeymoon at Ebisu.” So there we were… Chris, Jody, Kumakubo, Naoto and the rest of our Ebisu Family in Fukushima Japan… just chillin out, looking for delicious Japanese drinks and snacks at the kombini (7-Eleven)… when Kumakubo asked Chris and Jody if they wanted to check out Ebisu’s Touge course.

In the words of Tokyo socialite Kenta Ogawara, Chris responded “well, OBVIOUSRYYYY!” and hopped into Kumakubo’s yellow Autech PS13 Silvia Convertible with his Canon SD 800IS point and shoot camera and an old school drifting helmet, which looked more like a baseball helmet.

So here’s the video that Chris shot with his SD 800IS, on his first ride up and down Ebisu’s touge with the King of the Hill himself, Kumakubo at the wheel… and the white RPS13 180SX in the background is being driven by Team Orange’s Naoto Suenaga with Chris’s wife Jody sitting shotgun.

So HAPPY ANNIVERSARY Chris and Jody! And thanks for the funny ass video! See you in Vegas tomorrow night! I’m gonna stop name dropping and get on the road now!

:: Antonio Alvendia

(PS: Excuse Chris’s high pitched laughter, LOL)


WEBMINING> D1GP Miami, shot by Floridaracing.org

Since we didn't have time (or money) to go to the D1 Grand Prix event at Gulfstream Park in Miami FL last weekend, we asked all our photographer friends if they were going, in hopes that we would get to see their photos. Well, we struck out. None of our close friends were going, even the ones that lived right there in Florida. Everyone seemed to have other plans that weekend - what's wrong with you guys?


Thankfully, with the help of our friend Google, we were able to find images posted on a forum by one of the guys from Floridaracing.org. (We've seen some of these guys at the track before - whenever we see them at the track, we see them with multiple Canon DSLR bodies and some huge Canon lenses.) We were searching the internet for photos for a few days, and the ones found on Floridaracing.org's album seem to be the best photos we've found from D1 Miami thus far. Props, guys!   Read more...

COVERAGE> D1 Grand Prix USA, Anaheim

As the anticipation for the return of the original drifting series that started it all built to nearly a fevered pitch, fans in Anaheim were anxiously chomping at the bite to fill the stands and catch a glimpse of some of Japan's finest drifters. There were some familiar names in attendance, such as Nobushige Kumakubo, Ken Nomura, Takahiro Ueno, Kazuhiro Tanaka, Toshiki Yoshioka, as well as numerous hopefuls from the US and around the world.   Read more...