Since I had plans to hit up the GReddy meet with my friend Brian Urbano, we decided to cruise one of his Supras down to Orange County for the event. On this particular day, the vehicle of choice would be his black JZA80 Supra twin turbo. 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
This year's Formula D Seattle marks my first anniversary as a part of the Motor Mavens Crew. At last year's event, I didn't even know Antonio yet. In fact, I only met him at the end of the event, when he was out in the parking lot, chillin with our friends Ian Dillon and Raymond Vazquez.
I gotta say... this year has been one hell of a ride! Just in this past year, I've attended three other Formula D events, done multiple local drift event coverages, car features, cruises, meets, and everything else in between. As a local Seattle-based contributor for MotorMavens, my main goal was to blow up the Pacific Northwest scene since I know it has some of the sickest cars around! We also have some highly skilled drifters up here - such as Formula D drivers Roland Gallagher, Nikolay Konstantinov, Ian Fournier, and Victor Moore. Since this event was local, there was no doubt that all these guys would be attending. I knew this was going to be a great event! Read more...
With all the great things I’ve been hearing about last week’s Formula Drift Seattle event, it’s getting me amped to see what will happen at the Las Vegas round of the championship series. I’ve been checking out a lot of our video footage from the event, but I remain drawn to the great POV (point-of-view) footage that Justin Shreeve captured with a ContourHD mountable/wearable video camera.
This particular video clip shows former D1GP Series Champ Ryuji Miki drifting his newly built Lexus SC430 on the banking at Evergreen Speedway. For those who havent driven or ridden along on the Evergreen Speedway course, this video is a great way to check the track out – from a driver’s perspective.
We’ve got more clips and we’ll be showing some of our favorite POV footage from time to time. Meanwhile click this link to see other shots from Formula D Seattle and Formula D Irwindale, as featured on the new MotorMavens Channel on ContourHD’s website.
:: Travis Hodges
Last weekend’s Formula Drift Seattle event at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington was unforgettable. Tons of familiar faces and unusually warm weather made for the best FD experience I’ve ever had. Since I’ve been shooting at this location so much lately, I was able to take my time and really enjoy the event, rather than scrambling to get shots.
Last weekend also marked a milestone for me, as it had been one year since shooting my first FD event with a media pass. FD Seattle ’09 was also when I met quite a few friends in the industry, such as Antonio Alvendia, Larry Chen, Drew Fishbein, Ross Fairfield, Will Roegge, and Josh Herron, among many others. Last year around this time, I knew next to no one and now I can comfortably say I feel at home in the professional and grassroots drifting communities.
With this video, I chose to take a much lighter approach than last year as a representation of the comfort and relaxation I now feel among my fellow videographers, photographers, and drivers who congregate for these great events.
This year, I also met a guy named Jason from ContourHD/VHoldr, who was nice enough to let me test out a couple of his HD 1080p wearable/mountable POV cameras for some of the shots!
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me along the way, especially the MotorMavens Crew, Formula Drift, Evergreen Drift, and KP Race. Without all the love, it just wouldn’t be worth it.
Last night Antonio and a few of the MotorMavens crew were chillin’ with our friends from Apex’i and Lexus at a pretty sick party they were hosting. In anticipation of this weekend’s FD event and to celebrate Ryuji Miki’s new Lexus SC430, they showed this video – “Lexus Drift”.
A highlight for me was the POV footage using the ContourHD camera. I first discovered this company and camera last year when looking for a great POV camera. We had our first opportunity to use the camera at last year’s Formula Drift Championships at Irwindale. We captured some killer footage! My favorite part was seeing Justin Pawlak as he scraped the wall. Super dope!
So enjoy this video from Apex’i, Lexus and Kevin Lee. Don’t forget to check out our live feed tomorrow. Be on the look out for MotorMavens’ epic coverage of the event. Make sure you check out our video highlights. We’ll being using our ContourHDs, so you KNOW its going be SIIIIICK!
Have a great Formula Drift weekend!
:: Travis Hodges
Just in case you guys haven’t heard the sad news from Nurburgring yet… while test driving a Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition on the 410 highway just outside Nurburg, Germany, Toyota’s chief test driver died in a head-on collision with two other drivers test driving a new BMW.
Both BMW drivers survived the crash (but are hospitalized in critical condition), but unfortunately, Toyota’s driver (who Autoblog speculates is Hiromu Naruse – the personal driver of Toyota head honcho Akio Toyoda, and a highly esteemed driver who is known within the Toyota organization as the Godfather of the LFA) didn’t survive the crash.
For more information and photos, follow this link to Autoblog.
:: Avon Bellamy
We're excited to report that some new cars were debuted at Wall Speedway Read more...
Oh snap! Now this is newsworthy! I’ve been hearing about this car for quite some time now, and I’ve been waiting for its debut with eager anticipation! It seems that our favorite Koala-faced ex-D1 Grand Prix series champion Ryuji Miki will be at Wall Speedway in New Jersey, debuting the Lexus SC430 Formula Drift competition car that was recently built for him, thanks to the good folks at Apex’i in Orange County CA!
The masterminds behind this project, Masaki Nakayama and Chuck Griffice from the United States arm of Apex Integration have been gracious enough to keep me updated with the build, but we’ve been keeping all the information under wraps until now! (more…)
So yesterday I was sitting at my desk, cleaning up my external hard drive. I realized I’ve got TONS of extra footage of Formula Drift Long Beach and quite a bit of footage from the Fatlace OneOfOne Showcase that didn’t make it into the final edit.
My girl had the car for the day, and I wasn’t getting anything else done… so I decided to make another edit. This one has a much lighter vibe than the first, with no color grading and very little audio work; just lots of familiar faces, pretty cars, and loud engines.
:: Justin Shreeve
Since the FD wasn't back in San Francisco yet, I figured it would be a good chance to debut my RHD S14 and display it at this week-long show so I could show some love to my sponsors. Read more...
I was just at the LA Auto Show earlier today, when an older gentleman walked up to me and said, “Hey… are you the guy from that Lexus LFA video online?” Totally puzzled, I replied, “Uhh… yeah..?” Then I began receiving some text messages from people saying, “Hey man… your MotorMavens LFA video is on Autoblog right now!” Oh yeah? Coooool.
As I was walking through the Lexus booth, I got a few “evil eyes” from certain corporate folks too… and as much as I tried to play it off with a “Who, me? What did I do?” look on my face, I think maybe they might have seen the video too. I guess a lot of normal car people spend a whole lot of time on Autoblog.
I’m glad that someone tipped them off about our video though, even though they don’t believe it’s legit! I don’t care, at least people are talking about our video, even if they (some of the readers, and even Autoblog’s own contributing writer Dan Roth) are criticizing the video for looking fake, and even criticizing me personally for looking like a Lexus fanboy or having, as Dan Roth puts it, “meaty, indiscriminate paws.” Hahaha, it’s cool, I don’t care… unlike many other automotive writers, I don’t feel the need to take myself so seriously.
And so what if I do sound like an unprofessional, Lexus fanboy in the video. That’s just how the Lexus LFA makes me feel; it makes me feel awe and inspiration like I was a little kid again. (Well, let’s be honest. I dunno if I was ever a little kid.) And if I was still a kid, I’d be tearing the poster of the Lamborghini Countach off my wall and replacing it with the limited edition screenprint of the Lexus LFA that I got at SEMA. Yes, I like the LFA that much.
On the Autoblog post/comments, I was criticized for sounding totally unprofessional and being way too excited like a fanboy, sure… but I don’t feel like I need to use Business English when I’m creating content for our site; so excuuuse me for being enthusiastic, because quite simply… the Lexus LFA genuinely excites the sh!t out of me.
If other automotive writers are afraid to show their real emotions or lack that type of enthusiasm when dealing with incredible cars like the LFA, then that sucks for them… they should get out of the game. After all, isn’t genuine enthusiasm for cars what makes us all tick?
So call me a fat ass fanboy if you will… but this fat ass fanboy got to drive the LFA before most of the USA did, even though it was just in a circle, inside a warehouse. Good enough for me, for now.
Either way, now a whole lot more people have heard of the MotorMavens website. Win.
:: Lexus Fanboy Antonio (LFA) Alvendia
Okay, well… I hope I’m not going to get into too much trouble for this, but I just couldn’t help myself. Ever since I first saw the spy photos of it online, and ever since I first laid my own eyes on it at SEMA, I’ve been absolutely crazy about the Lexus LFA.
Come on… what’s not to love? It’s the epitome of sexy, futuristic, high tech automotive styling and technology… and it’s a Lexus, which means it’s bound to be the most reliable of the luxury supercars. The only problem is, it costs $375K, which leads me to believe that there won’t be any Lexus dealerships letting me test drive one anytime soon. So what do you think a devoted Toyota/Lexus owner (and hyperfan) like me would do when I get a text message saying, “the Lexus LFA just arrived at our warehouse. Come down ASAP if you want to check it out in person.” Naturally, I dropped everything I had to do that day and made my way down to the [secret location] so that I could get a sneak peek at the car in person.
Apparently, the LF-A was temporarily brought to a top secret secured storage facility to keep it safe in between its appearance at SEMA and its big debut at the LA Auto Show this upcoming week. When I saw the car at SEMA, they had round the clock security guards around the car that wouldn’t even let you touch the car, much less sit in it… so when my friend who works at the warehouse texts me and says, “if you want to see the car, come down now cause nobody else will be here,” you absolutely KNOW I’m gonna jump at the chance!
So here’s my first actual encounter with the Lexus LF-A. You’ll have to excuse the crappy video quality, because I was unprepared and I only had a point and shoot pocket camera with me when I went to see the car. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. This car excites the hell out of me. (So you’ll have to excuse how completely unprofessional I am in this video! LOL. I was a bit excited. This video isn’t at all professional automotive journalist-like. But hey… I couldn’t help myself.)
We did a kind of ghetto edit on the glass door of the warehouse so the storage location could remain secret and my friend’s identity could remain secret. Okay, enjoy the video!
:: Antonio Alvendia
PS: You’ll have to excuse the ridiculous music that was blaring inside the car. I didn’t know how to turn off the radio! The thing was so complicated with all these buttons and stuff, and I couldn’t even turn down the volume of the radio for some reason.
This video of the 2009 Summer Drift Matsuri at the famed Ebisu Circuit is just plain awesome. It’s got tons of variety in cars and courses and lots of high speed fly-bys. I haven’t been to Ebisu yet personally, but by the looks of this video, it’s no wonder everyone is so crazy about Ebisu. I can’t wait to go!
Check it out!
While there was much on the news front in terms of debuts, to be honest, there was nothing that excited me personally more than the new Lexus LF-A. I might be a bit jaded, as I am a Toyota man. My first car was a Toyota, and I've owned many many different types of Toyota and Lexus vehicles in my life; I've lost count of the actual number, but if you figure that I currently own 6 Toyota/Lexus vehicles, then I'm pretty sure the total number is somewhere around twenty. Yup, TWENTY! So maybe I do have a slight personal slant towards the Lexus brand, but regardless, I think the new LF-A that Lexus debuted at SEMA is nothing short of amazing.
Sure, there are skeptics out there who complain that the LF-A hasn't yet beat an R35 Nissan GT-R's record at the Nurburgring. There are also people out there who also say there are a lot of other cars they would rather buy for the LF-A's hefty $375K price tag. Sure it's pricy. And yes, maybe the R35 GTR can currently beat it around Nordschleife. However, in my mind, there's just no denying how outstandingly bad ass the LF-A is. Read more...
As the gloomy rainy season begins for many of us, I thought I’d post up a cool rainy drift video, reminding us that the rain isn’t all that bad… it saves tires!
Chasers, Mark IIs, Soarers, Silvias, 180SXs, Skylines, Levins, Truenos and RX7s… I stumbled across this gem on Vimeo recently, featuring lots of awesome Japanese cars at the famous Nikko Circuit. The entire three-part series is viewable on MayDayGarage.com, check it out!
:: Justin Shreeve
Following up the announcement of the Lexus LFA’s SEMA debut, I came across this video of the car in action. I think this car’s stunning looks only get accentuated with speed thrown in the equation. The sweet note this car exudes is merely icing on the cake.
:: Andy Sapp
Most Motor Mavens readers have been following Antonio’s photos and stories from Nisei Showoff, so we’ve decided to release a video of the event as well! We really wanted to highlight something that impressed us at the show – the fact that so many of these great cars are stepping up their game with aggressive offset and negative camber!
Forget the trophies – for us, the super slammed cars with the best wheels, stance, engine mods and paint jobs were the stars of the show. Nisei Showoff wasn’t about the models (although there were a few that showed up, haha); it was about the hottest street cars. Events like this are becoming more and more rare. We feel privileged that we were there to support Ken Miyoshi on his last Nisei Showoff, because of the great feeling that this show produced. Props to Ken and the Mainstream Productions crew for bringing us an awesome day of street cars and good friends in the middle of Little Tokyo.
We hop you enjoy the video, and don’t forget to leave comments!
:: Travis Hodges
Willow Springs is in the high desert - the Mojave Desert to be exact. It's two hours north east of Los Angeles, and the summertime sun just seems to sear anyone or anything it sees. As I write this, the event is far from over! In fact, we're about to leave the hotel in a few minutes to get back to the track, where the course just went hot - literally and figuratively.
This weekend's All Star Bash was exciting because there were drivers and cars that came from all over the United States just to drift with California's best. Cars came from as far as the San Francisco Bay Area, the Pacific Northwest, Arizona, Las Vegas, Chicago, and even South Dakota! Read more...
Hey Lexus owners and owners of cars with 5×114.3 PCD wheels!
Lexus is offering 20% off F-Sport (Lexus performance accessory line) parts expires at the end of this month. Consumers can print out the attached coupon and take it to their Lexus dealer to receive a 20% discount on purchases on any F-Sport accessory up to $2,000 (20% of a $10,000 purchase).
Lexus recently extended its F-Sport accessories to IS 250C, IS 350C and GS 350 (AWD and RWD) and GS 460. F-Sport is also available for IS 250 (AWD and RWD) and IS 350. Of course, F-Sport parts carry a warranty. When installed by a dealer, F-Sport parts have a 12 month/12,000 mile warranty OR the balance of the new car warranty at the time of installation (4 years, 50,000 miles) which ever is greater. If F-Sport parts are not installed by a dealer, the warranty is 12 months/12,000 miles.
Here’s the link to the coupon on Lexus’ F-Sport website:
PS: You can buy anything in the F-Sport lineup… but we like these 5×114.3 F-Sport wheels! You don’t even need a Lexus IS350 or GS350 to rock these! If you bought all four of the wider REAR wheels… just imagine how cool those would look on a Toyota Cressida or a Previa… or Lexus IS300! Imagine the possibilities…!
Being a web junkie I search the outer boundaries of the web looking for cool content and most importantly cool cars. With the internet train making a regular stop at Risky Devil’s blog I was greeted with some new imagery from AJ of ILL Photography. After ending the hiatus of one of my favorite Risky Devil cars and sporting a new front lip got me really wanting to make a trip to Chicago and meet up with these guys. Who wants to see me do a photoshoot of the Risky Devil cars? I sure do!
:: Dax Rodriguez