Posts Tagged ‘Mike Kojima’

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.
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GALLERY> Ken Block Gymkhana Grid Invitational

Here are some more much overdue photos from Ken Block’s Gymkhana Grid Invitational. At first, “gymkhana” may sound like a martial arts discipline (to those unfamiliar with the automotive version) but it's actually a starting line and a finish line joined together by all sorts of interesting obstacles such as cones, tires, and barrels which, when arranged just so, require a driver to perform all sorts of interesting maneuvers such as reversals, 180 and 360 degree spins, and figure 8s - all while racing against the clock. The reason I stressed that this is the automotive version is because, you may be interested to know, there is an equestrian version as well. As you can imagine, there's a lot less smoke - unless they figured out how to get a horse to do a burnout when I wasn't looking.   Read more...

NEWSWORTHY> Dai Wins FD Twice In A Row!

For those who were logged in to the Formula D Driftstream on Saturday, you mostly likely have already heard the news! Daijiro Yoshihara won 1st Place at Formula Drift again... taking home top honors TWICE IN A ROW! Driving his Discount Tire/America's Tire/Falken Tire S13 Silvia, Dai was able to beat all his competitors, thanks to his crew - Scott Dodgion from SPD Metalworks, Mike Kojima from MotoIQ, and Owen Orrego from Falken.

If you were unable to watch the climactic final battle that pitted Dai against his Falken teammate, Vaughn Gittin Jr, then make sure you scroll to the bottom of the page and watch the video of the tandem battle!   Read more...

COVERAGE> Daijiro Yoshihara’s Triumph in Atlanta

Most of our readers who have been following us on Facebook or Twitter know that the members of the MotorMavens Crew just got back from an exciting Formula Drift weekend at Road Atlanta; we're happy to have been receiving tweets and Facebook messages from everyone all weekend! We're also happy to hear that many of our friends who were unable to make it have been watching the event through our website's live stream. Since most hardcore Formula Drift fans already knew the podium results on the night that it happened, I thought it would be pointless for us to do the same type of play-by-play recap that most other websites will be publishing.

MotorMavens was never intended to be an online newspaper. Instead of focusing on the results, with Daijiro Yoshihara and the Discount Tire S13 taking the win; Vaughn Gittin Jr's Mustang coming in 2nd Place, and Chris Forsberg's NOS Energy 350Z finishing third; I thought I'd take a minute to focus on the importance of Daijiro Yoshihara's win.

Round Two of the Formula Drift Championship was important to Dai's sponsors, because it marked the first-ever win for his title sponsor, Discount Tire. Those who have been following Formula Drift since its beginning might also recall that it was Discount Tire's first podium since 2004, when Calvin Wan took 3rd Place in Sonoma with his Discount Tire RPS13 240SX. (There should be a party breaking out at Discount Tire's Phoenix, Arizona-based offices!)

Formula D Atlanta was also the second FD event in a row that resulted in a 1st Place finish on Falken Tires, which is huge for the massive teal and blue army! I know everyone involved in the Falken drift team is extremely proud of their drivers; winning both events back to back is no easy feat! On the corporate side, I'm sure these wins help justify the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Falken's been spending on drifting for the past few years!

While these milestones might be important to the corporate sponsorship side of Formula Drift, most fans don't care about that at all. What made Daijiro Yoshihara's First Place win significant to the fans is the fact that it proves that the popular, yet "old and outdated Nissan S13 240SX chassis" is able to remain competitive and WIN in professional level Formula D Competition!

Sponsorships aside, winning First Place at Road Atlanta was a huge win for Dai personally. According to Dai, winning in Atlanta "was huge for me. It was my fourth 1st Place win in Formula D, but actually... for me, [winning Formula D Atlanta] was even bigger than the very first time I got 1st place, at in Irwindale in 2006."   Read more...

COVERAGE> Redline Time Attack at Buttonwillow

Many automotive media outlets, drivers and teams traveled out to Buttonwillow Raceway this weekend for Round 1 of the 2010 Redline Time Attack Series. I've been so pre-occupied with other projects that I almost screwed up and forgot that Redline was this past weekend, but luckily I received a friendly reminder about the event from Brandon Scarpelli from WebRidesTV! If it weren't for Brandon, I probably would have spaced out and forgotten about it - and that wouldn't have been a good thing! I drove up to Buttonwillow with Edward Uche and his boy Asim; both of them FC3S RX7 owners hoping to see some rotary goodness out at the track. When we arrived, we split up so they could check out the Mazdatrix RX8, while I stopped in to check out Chris Rado's World Racing Scion TC.

There has been a lot of controversy (including some trash talking and hating) surrounding Chris's Scion TC. I've read some comments on the internet that bashed this car, hating on the usage of the huge front wing. I gotta admit, it does look a bit crazy, but as long as I've known him (10 years I think), Chris Rado has always been a bit of a crazy individual. He's a forward thinking, rule-breaking person that's always trying to dream up some new sort of innovation for his car. I remember back in 2000, we were hanging out at the SEMA "International Auto Salon" in Pomona, and he was telling me about how he installed videocameras on the back of his JZA80 Supra turbo with a small video screen inside the car. I thought it was a pretty crazy thing to do back then, but now it's commonplace on OEM cars.

This being said, when Rado says that having a big ass F-Wing on the front of his Scion TC really helps the performance of his car, I believe him. Of course there are critics out there who say it looks dumb, but remember... people said the same thing about putting wheelie bars on front wheel drive drag cars, but it has been proven to work.

At the end of the day, numbers talk. Chris drove his F-Wing fighter and ended up breaking his own course record at Buttonwillow, winning top honors in the Super Modified Front Wheel Drive Class with a time of 1:46.736.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Formula D Seattle, Part 3

I'm sure many of you have been waiting for my photos and stories from Formula D Seattle, so I apologize to our readers for uploading these kind of late. It's been a pretty hectic weekend. There was plenty of drama at Formula D on Saturday, and I apparently added to it by pissing off the Formula D safety steward while grabbing a quick shot of Dai Yoshihara's smashed Lexus IS350 as it was getting loaded up onto a tow truck and pulled off the track.

It's a long story, but in a nutshell, the Formula D/SCCA guy Randy Hembrey got pissed off at me and pulled my hard card on Saturday (competition day), which allows me to get track access for shooting photos. This was definitely a problem, as I was expected to produce good images that weekend (I was shooting the event for clients, who helped pay my way to get up to Seattle). I had a hell of a time trying to get photos for the rest of the day, especially without access to the hot areas, but I still managed to get some photos somehow.

So here it is... Formula D Seattle through my eyes.   Read more...