Racing today has become about closeness
. Photo finishes, improved safety and lowered operating costs have made many sanctioning bodies look to spec racing
, where all the cars are the same and the contest then becomes a driver vs. driver
The major casualty in these forms of racing (ie: IndyCar, NASCAR, etc.) has been truth in engineering
and innovation. There is not much you can do to innovate without breaking the rules - and being hung out to dry for it.
When the American LeMans Series
(ALMS) came to the Monterey Coast at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca,
this theory was thrown to the dogs as multiple chassis, motor, and tire combinations had no hindrance on the level of competition. The four hour enduro proved to be an absolute slugfest. It looked far more like a 20 mile sprint
as it proved one of the most closely contested, nail biting, bump-and-rub fests of sports cars and prototypes lapping the twisty, hilly 2.238 mile circuit in 1:13.948 while making insane 10,000 rpm noises. Read more...
This weekend's inaugural Speed&Stance
meet was crazy!!! I can't believe so many people turned up to the event, because we organized and promoted the entire thing in only five days. FIVE DAYS! Thanks to our friends at Speed Ventures
, we were able to throw this gigantic car event in the parking lot of Auto Club Speedway
We advertised the meet to run between 12 noon and 5pm, but every single one of the infield parking lots at the speedway were FULL by 2:45pm! There was a crazy line of cars backed up from the infield parking, through the tunnel, wrapping all the way around to the Cherry Avenue entrance! I was told that once the parking lots allocated to the event hit capacity, the people at the gates had to turn away well over 100 cars! Insane.
Since traffic and road congestion became an issue, the good folks from Auto Club Speedway quickly opened up a couple more parking lots so that cars could pre-stage before rolling in to the actual show area, which saw both autocross
and high speed road racing
with Speed Ventures on the ROVAL course, and a beginner level car control clinic for Scion FR-S
and Subaru BRZ
owners called the 86 Dynamic Driving Academy
. Read more...
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
kicked off this morning with the American LeMans
cars circling the track. At 7:30AM, the pleasant sound of birds chirping was interrupted by an even better sound - a symphony of exhaust notes produced by the thirty three competition cars of the ALMS Series. All the people in the neighboring apartments definitely woke up to the sound of screaming engines if they weren't awake already!
The Streets of Long Beach get transformed into a race track about 2 months before the annual Long Beach Grand Prix
and as it gets closer to race day you can almost feel the excitement in the air. This will be the last year in which the ALMS will be running as a stand alone series, merging with Grand Am racing in 2014, and ultimately becoming the United SportsCar Racing Series
. Read more...
The Formula Drift 2013 season kicked off here in the streets of Long Beach! Every year as the roads in Long Beach get prepped for the Grand Prix, Formula Drift always has the honor of christening the pavement with tires and the air with tire smoke. With many new drivers debuting their car for the first time in pro leagues there are also a lot of returning veteran drivers on the lot. Every year having to outdo themselves a lot of drivers bring new cars and even more horsepower with them to the track. As we bring you live coverage of the weekends events follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, at @MOTORMAVENS and @86Fest, for updates and images of the First Formula Drift competition of the year. Read more...
always holds a Preseason Technical Inspection Day
before the annual race season starts. The objection of the tech inspection is to go over each car to verify that all safety equipment and chassis modifications are fair and accounted for. When it comes to building a race car, whether its for drift, drag, road racing or rally, safety has to be a high priority for any team.
Source Interlink Media
was the host of this year's tech day. This was a free event to attend for those enthusiasts and fans who want to get up close and personal with the cars and drivers. They had food trucks, free energy drinks, and of course, lots of local car show enthusiasts and their rides in attendance! Read more...
We're here at SEMA 2012 in Las Vegas! We once again arrived to the capital of customizations in the automotive world. From everything old school, to the latest in cutting edge automotive technology we'll bring you the latest and greatest in automotive aftermarket industry. Follow our @MOTORMAVENS
for our live feed with the latest photos from the show and the afterparties. We'll be posting photos of cars and models live in real time as we encounter them! Read more...
It doesn't matter if you're male or female; young or old. Everyone loves exotic cars - especially Ferrari
. They're beautiful; they're fast; they're exclusive. Unfortunately for most, this exclusivity stems from the fact that they're also very rare and expensive; some people never even get the chance to drive an exotic super car in their entire lifetime. The lust for exotic automobiles begins when you are a child - every car lover dreams of driving an exotic car, but usually they only get to play with smaller scale toy versions.
Luckily for us, MotorMavens sharpshooter Mike Kim
and I were given the rare opportunity to test drive a pair of exotic supercars on a race track at Exotics Racing
in Las Vegas! Located just a few freeway exits away from The Las Vegas Strip
, Exotics Racing
blends all the luxury and service that one expects from a Las Vegas Resort
with an amazing supercar driving experience
To be honest, Mike and I have always thought that test driving cars like the Ferrari 458 Italia, Lamborghini Aventador, Mercedes Benz SLS AMG, Audi R8 and Aston Martin V8 Vantage were out of our price range, so we never really bothered to look into it. Big mistake. As it turns out, our stupid assumptions were wrong. Completely wrong! Read more...
Even if they didn't attend the jam packed Formula Drift Finale
at Irwindale Speedway
, all drifting fans with an internet connection already know that Daigo Saito
has been smashing the competition repeatedly all year, ascending the ranks of the Formula Drift Championship
and ending his first year in Formula D in First Place
as the Formula Drift Series Champion
Here's a collection of some of our favorite images captured from the event! Read more...
On October 7th, over 1500
Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ, and Toyota AE86 enthusiasts from all over the Western United States converged at Auto Club Speedway
in Fontana CA for the very first 86FEST
, and the energy was just incredible!
The newly introduced Toyota/Subaru "86" platform (sold as Scion FR-S
and Subaru BRZ
in the USA) has received international acclaim as the second coming of the legendary AE86, which has a huge cult following worldwide.
With help from sponsors like Falken Tire
, OEM Audio Plus
, Turn 14 Distribution
, Whiteline Suspension
, Spec Clutch
, Mann Engineering
, Flossy Shift Knobs
, and M7 Japan
, it's pretty crazy how quickly our inaugural 86FEST came together! Just a few weeks ago, I was driving at a Volkswagen event at Big Willow, and got to talking with the Speed Ventures
organizers, Dave and Aaron, about how cool it would be if we could get a bunch of FR-S, BRZ, and AE86 owners together at a track day. They both expressed a lot of interest in the idea - especially since we have been thinking about ways to work together for nearly two years! Read more...
This last trip to Las Vegas for Formula Drift
was one hell of an eventful weekend. With a new course layout and drastically changing weather, the conditions took a toll on a lot of the teams. There were lots of tire scraps and car parts littered around the track when the day was done, not to mention the plethora of tire smoke from these high horsepower monsters. The sweltering heat and the freak 45 minute rain storm made it an interesting day at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. With extremely fast entry speeds and high speed turns, the new course layout took out many cars from the running all weekend long. Read more...
Reporting live from Sin City, the 2012 MFest
is already underway... and it's getting HECTIC over here! MFest is much more than a BMW meet. MFest is much more than a BMW car show, and it's definitely more than a run-of-the-mill track day. What started out as a meeting of BMW M-cars has turned into an entire takeover of the Las Vegas Strip, with hundreds and hundreds of cars mobbing the freeways to Vegas in a huge caravan, averaging roughly 100mph (although, honestly, I saw some people that had to be going MUCH faster than 120 because of the speed at which they passed us on the 15 North!).
While there were plenty of M-powered caravans (we're talking multiple M cars, not Dodge Caravans with M engines) driving from other states, we drove along with the Southern California group, and it was super fun!!! While everyone else is out pre-partying it up at Lavo inside The Palazzo
, we're sitting in our suite next door at The Venetian
uploading pictures into the new gallery we made, which contains Images From MFest 2012.
Now our readers can see what the MFest experience is like, whether they're with us in Vegas, or chillin out at home. Enjoy the images, and if you're here at MFest with us, please upload YOUR own photos into the shared gallery linked above, so everyone can see your MFest photos too! Read more...
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
opened today with a practice session of the American Le Mans Series
. Even though the practice session opened with a heavy downpour, we were super excited to shoot the amazing looking cars as rain soaked our cameras and permeated through our clothing, down to our socks. Even though racing on a rainy day through a street course with big concrete barriers may be a grueling nightmare for many drivers, these conditions are perfect for some spectacular photos. The weather may not have been as nice as the Formula Drift event last weekend
, but its a nice change to what seems like an eternally sunny Southern California. Read more...
The first event of the Formula Drift Championship
season is always something to look forward to. It's always exciting to see the newly built (or rebuilt) competition cars attack the streets of Long Beach on the weekend preceding the Long Beach Grand Prix
In recent months, I've actually heard people say that the sport of drifting is in a slump, but I beg to differ. With a first time ever SOLD OUT
event at Formula D Long Beach, the venue was packed with plenty of familiar faces (and a ton of new ones) from all over the world! I received a multitude of text messages over the course of the weekend from friends asking if I could help them get tickets, but the event really was sold out
and packed to legal capacity. The grandstands were completely full, with only standing room available. How about that, naysayers? Drifting isn't dead just because YOU can't get sponsors. Drifting is continuing to grow, and it's now larger than its ever been! Read more...
It's such a beautiful day here in Long Beach at the first round of the 2012 Formula Drift Championship
season! The sun is shining, with a cool ocean breeze blowing the clouds of tire smoke. The loud roar of race engines at full throttle somehow mixes harmoniously with the squealing sounds of tires being decimated on the pavement. Not a bad way to spend a Good Friday. Read more...
The annual WekFest
gathering in San Francisco
always has something tasteful to offer. The event brings a sense of unity and community among car builders and enthusiasts from all parts of California, but especially in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Today's visit is no different. With hundreds of amazing builds to gaze upon packed into San Francisco's Fort Mason Center
, the event becomes a bit overwhelming. It really is a sensory overload. Read more...
When it comes to car shows, judging criteria is usually based on how the car looks or what kinds of modifications it has. Having attended tons of the same old car shows, our good friend Tony Lee
had an idea to make a different type of contest within the car scene.
While driving up or down a driveway may seem like a mundane everyday task for most, it obviously requires a certain amount of technique when you have a lowered car. Tony took that idea and decided to make it into a different form of driving competition, with the help of certain friends. Our own Editor-in-Chief Antonio
was selected to be the emcee of the event, while judging duties were handled by Yogi
, and ItsJDMYo's own Keychain
. Read more...
2011 turned out to be a pretty fun show - it has grown quite a bit since the last show they had. I drove all the way down from LA to El Toro Airbase
in Irvine, CA so that I could start shooting the carshow roll-in
at 10am, but they didn't allow any media to enter the show until 12pm! This definitely put a damper on my plans, because the rest of the normal spectators would be entering the venue at the same time as media.
The scheduling issue left me pretty disappointed to be honest, since my original plan was to shoot roll-in and staging before the large crowds showed up, then meet up with Antonio Alvendia
and Oliver Petalver
at Irwindale Speedway
. I didn't make it out to Irwindale because of the scheduling mix-up, but I still enjoyed the rest of the day at the show. This event looks like it's getting bigger and bigger! Read more...
There were so many great automotive events going on this weekend! As usual, the MotorMavens Crew had to split up in order to check out the best cars at each event. In Southern California, Tamer Omran
, Antonio Alvendia
and I attended the Hot Import Nights
event at the LA Convention Center
. Meanwhile, Seattle-based MotorMavens Crew member Raymond Vazquez
flew out to Hawaii to take photos at Wekfest Hawaii
We've been live blogging photos from the actual events, using our iPhones and various lens adapters - both our Olloclips
and our Owle Bubos
. If you have an iPhone, join @MOTORMAVENS
to see our photo feed in real time! If you're on a Droid or a non-smartphone, you can still follow @MOTORMAVENS on Twitter
. Read more...
Last night, most of the who's who in automotive media were invited to a special party at Milk Studios
in Hollywood, hosted by our friends at Scion
. This party was a celebration, an introduction, and a firsthand look at their new baby... the front engine, rear wheel drive Scion FR-S
Since everyone who has been on ANY form of automotive website in the past 6 months has undoubtedly already heard of the FR-S, I won't spend too much time talking about the specs at this moment - we'll wait for a test drive. However, let's take a closer look at what everyone is hyping up as the new coming of the AE86! Read more...
On our way through the halls of SEMA 2011
at the Las Vegas Convention Center
, we spotted this dope 1964 Chevrolet Corvair
van. Surrounded by Benzes, Camaros, GT-Rs and NSXs, this van stuck out of the crowd - in a good way of course
. The Corvair isn't owned by a large company or a show car team, but rather a photographer
- John Jackson
of Not Stock Photography
. I haven't had a chance to meet him but looking at his van and his website (notstockphotography.com) proves that this guy has some seriously cool style.
From the matte paint job with custom air brushing on the body and roof, there were no details spared on this build. One thing I have to say is that it's pretty dope to see other photographers who are into building cars as much as they are taking sick photos! Read more...
A few years ago, the term "royal flush" wouldn't make you immediately think of cars. Rather then picturing a car's wheel fitment and ride height, it was more associated with card games. However, with wheels right at the fenders, tires tucking underneath them, and frame rails sitting only a few inches above the tarmac,
this Subaru Impreza WRX STi
owned by Austin Mardian
from the Royal Flush Crew
really embodies what it means to have your car sit flush
When Austin rolls out to car meets and shows, he and his friends from Royal Flush crew definitely roll deep, with more than enough slammed cars to back up the name. For those of you local to Southern California that have been to many of the larger car shows, you might have seen several of the Royal Flush "VIP" style cars. Whether it's a Lexus or Infiniti on air ride or Austin's STi, they mob out in big numbers to all of the events they go to. While some of the cars in the crew scream for attention, the clean subtle look to Austin's STi was actually what caught my eye when I saw his car for the first time. Read more...
Formula D driver Cyrus Martinez might not have the widest wheels or the lowest car or the coolest graphics in the Formula Drift series, but he sure has a whole lot of heart, and people love him for that. He started off as an AE86 Corolla driver, and worked his way up through the ranks, eventually earning his spot in the Formula D series with the Megan Racing drift team. It’s great to see that Cyrus is doing a good job of advancing through the rankings too, with his name being hyped up through the loudspeakers during several exciting tandem battles with top ranked Formula D drivers.
With help from longtime drifting videographer “Camera Steve” Reyes, Cyrus has released a year-end video full of highlights from the season, including some pretty cool footage of Cyrus crashing into walls and such! (more…)