Posts Tagged ‘Robbie Nishida’

COVERAGE> Formula Drift Long Beach Qualifying

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...

GALLERY> Formula Drift Finale at Irwindale

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...

GALLERY> More Scenes From Formula D Las Vegas

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...

COVERAGE> Formula Drift After Dark: Las Vegas!

The MotorMavens Crew is once again back at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Formula Drift After Dark. For those of you that couldn't make it, consider yourself lucky that you don't have to deal with the searing desert heat. Luckily it's not as hot as it was last year, but we're still baking in the sun so we can bring you imagery of whats current in Formula Drift.   Read more...

NEWSWORTHY> D1GP Champ Daigo Saito Joins FD!

Daigo Saito JZX100 Toyota Chaser D1GP Champion Formula Drift Bridges Racing

Oh whaaaaat!!! The rumors are true! Just released today – it seems that D1 Grand Prix Champion driver Daigo Saito will be joining good friend Robbie Nishida at Bridges Racing to campaign a two-car team in the Formula Drift Championship. I suppose the question everyone has on their minds NOW is which car will Daigo be driving? (more…)


VIDEO> Formula D Irwindale 2011 = Best Thing Ever

Seriously though, this year’s Formula Drift Finale was one of the greatest weekends of my life. All the media, drivers, and industry people I’ve met over the last few years all in one place to be a part of arguably the greatest drifting spectacle in US history. I say “arguably,” but I will fight you. FD Irwindale 2011 was the best thing ever. Period. (more…)


VIDEO> Formula Drift Hits the Las Vegas Strip!

Now that you’ve heard the story behind and seen all the amazing photos from Formula Drift Las Vegas, courtesy of Oliver Petalver and Mike Kim, take a quick moment to wipe the drool from your keyboards and prepare yourselves for a short video from myself and Joe Ayala. (more…)


COVERAGE> Formula Drift: Vegas After Dark!

Round 6 of the Formula DRIFT series was held in the scorching heat of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway where locals went to witness Rhys Millen, in the Red Bull/Hankook Tire Hyundai Genesis, take first place in an already competitive season. Prior to Round 6, Daijiro Yoshihara in the Discount Tire/Falken Tire Nissan S13 was the leader in the Championship Point Standings with Justin "JTP" Pawlak (in the Falken Tire Ford Mustang) in second. Both failed to make it to the to the Final Four in Vegas, making the points spread even more slim.

In addition, this past event made people do a double take as FD Asia drivers Adwitya "Dio" Amandio & Saranon "Non" Pornpatanarak each made their U.S. debut. There was also a bit of controversy as Justin Pawlak switched seats with Tyler McQuarrie in the Falken Tire Nissan 350Z while McQuarrie piloted JTP's Falken Tire Nissan S15 instead.

All in all, with a nail biting points race, Rhys Millen back on the podium, new faces, and driver crossovers, you can see how someone might say that Vegas was the place to be this past weekend!   Read more...

COVERAGE> The Spocom Experience at Anaheim

When it comes to automotive lifestyle, some people prefer hitting racetrack events, and some people prefer going to car shows. While the members of the MotorMavens crew definitely love going to the racetrack, we also realize that it's important to go to all kinds of indoor and outdoor car shows to promote our website to people that may not have seen it before.

When we were contacted by the organizers of the Spocom Tour to work with them as a promotional partner, we were definitely excited by the opportunities it would bring! Although the Southern California-based members of our MotorMavens Crew gained a little experience in throwing and promoting a big outdoor automotive event (Mass Appeal at Ken Block's Irwindale Gymkhana event), we had little to no experience in seeing what it's like to run a big indoor car show. We thought it would be extremely interesting to see the inner workings of a big car show series from people who had a track record of doing it, and so began the relationship between MotorMavens and Spocom.

The first thing we noticed about the Spocom Tour - it didn't feel like a normal car show from our standpoint! It felt like a big, fun party - a hype party that just happened to have a bunch of friends and cars crowded in between the vendor exhibits!   Read more...

COVERAGE> 2011 Formula D Seattle, Day One

Once again Formula D makes the stop in my hometown Seattle, Washington! This is always one of my favorite events because, not only is it my home track, it's also where we see the Northwest grassroots drivers come out and show everyone what they're really are made of. Seattle has a way of making people rise to the occasion!

Earlier in the day, I received a phone call from Rob Primo telling me that practice was rained out. It was very disappointing because practice is my favorite time to shoot the cars on track. Seattle strikes again. However, she can be forgiving at times. A couple of hours later I received another call from Rob. The rain had stopped and the track was dry. Practice was on again! I think you already know that I quickly grabbed my camera gear and drove straight there before Seattle had a chance to change her mind. So, I guess you can thank beautiful Lady Seattle for what you're about to see.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Formula D Long Beach Experience Pt.1

Right now, I'm updating the website live from the Formula D Long Beach media center (aka: the parking garage on Linden Ave), and all the drivers are practicing, so the sounds of screeching tires and thundering V8 motors are loudly echoing off the concrete walls all around me.

If you live in Southern California, you need to drop everything you're doing and head down to Long Beach RIGHT NOW. The line at the gate is already huge, and everyone is amped up from all the excitement (or it could be from all the energy drink sponsors giving out free drinks at the track). This is what Formula Drift is all about! Let's go through some of the photos that the MotorMavens Crew has collected from Long Beach thus far!   Read more...

COVERAGE> Formula Drift New Jersey Preview!

As I sit at my desk late into the night and write this, most of the people that have gathered at Wall Speedway for the New Jersey round of Formula Drift are probably sleeping... that is, unless they're doing some late night wrenching on their cars! I had some other commitments here in Los Angeles that prevented me from making it out to Jersey this year, but luckily for us, we have our sharpshooter Larry Chen planted in the middle of the Wall Speedway punchbowl shooting coverage. (Damn, speaking of punchbowl, I just realized I'm missing out on the outstanding fruit punch at WaWa in New Jersey... and good times with our Dirty Jersey crew, the Eat Sleep Race family!)

We're excited to report that some new cars were debuted at Wall Speedway   Read more...

COVERAGE> Insider’s Look: Formula D Atlanta Pt.1

Even though everyone else in the United States is still feeling the effects of the country's economic slump, I'm happy to observe and report that the Formula Drift series has been growing! Not only have new non-endemic (non-automotive) sponsors joined the series for 2010, but the attendance at both the Long Beach and Atlanta rounds of Formula Drift have been out of control, with seats completely packed! I'm really amazed to think that I've been watching Formula D grow into a stronger and stronger series from the very beginning. I've been traveling to all these events and documenting the growth of the series ever since it started out, with it's inaugural round in Atlanta in 2004. Formula Drift, you've come a long way, baby.

Not only has the series progressed businesswise, but the media outlets, drivers, and cars have all been stepping their game up to become more powerful, making Formula Drift a serious force to be reckoned with, on a worldwide stage. I bet the people who run the D1GP series in Japan are thinking, "Damn yo! That could have been us!" (Although they probably wouldn't be saying it in those words.)

Enough of my theory and random thoughts on the state of drifting in America though... let's get down to business! After all, the reason why people come to MotorMavens is because they like our taste in cars! So let's get down to it - our first installment of my insider's look at Formula D Atlanta. Let's go!   Read more...

COVERAGE> Formula D Fun at Long Beach

I know, everyone has been waiting to see our first installment of Formula D Long Beach pics. So have I! We just had to get some other deadlines out of the way before we could begin posting our images from this weekend's Formula Drift event on the Streets of Long Beach!

This past weekend was certainly an exciting one. I was excited to see all the new cars that were debuting at Long Beach, as well as seeing a lot of good friends from different parts of the world, even if it would be only for a brief moment. Unfortunately, when you're working at the event like I am, you're usually hustling about, going from one spot to the next, and you don't have as much time as you'd like to just chill and spend time with good friends. This event was definitely like that for me.

I was trying to juggle shooting photos for the website while overseeing the Motor Mavens Crew's event promotions efforts. Not an easy task! Also, on the Saturday of the event, I was asked to help out with the filming of The Grid, which is a UK-based motorsports television show that airs in 120 countries around the world! And... on top of all that, we debuted the new MotorMavens X DSTROYR "Follow The Leader" shirt at our booth, which was managed by super designer Jon Chase, the creative genius behind the brands DSTROYR and Famous Stars and Straps. I and the entire Motor Mavens Crew definitely had our hustle mode switched ON this weekend!   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> Joshua Herron's FD Year In Review

Formula Drift 2009 from Joshua Herron on Vimeo.

While 2009 may have come and gone, Joshua Herron dug through hours upon hours of footage to give us one last glimpse at what the ’09 Formula Drift season held in store for us. This video is amazing on so many different levels. The cinematography is top-notch, it is jam-packed with unreleased footage, transitions through three songs – each with a unique vibe, and it does it all seamlessly. The last segment definitely feels like a throwback to the old skate videos I grew up with.

Amazing work on this video, Mr. Herron! I’m going to go watch it again (and again, and again)!!!

:: Andy Sapp


VIDEO> The Spirit of Irwindale Formula D


The+Spirit+of+Irwindale+Formula+D

There’s just something about Irwindale Speedway at the end of the season. After all the teams in the Formula Drift Championship have faced countless trials and tribulations, dealing with mechanical problems and financial stress of how to get their cars and teams from event to event as the series travels all over the country; the Formula D homecoming at Irwindale Speedway for the last event of the year has a different feeling to it than the other events in the series.

The drivers and teams in the points race are anxious, knowing that they must be on point and professional every step of the way, as even the smallest mechanical hiccup or driver error could take them out of the running and give the advantage to an opposing team.

At the same time, the fans are excited to see the cars and drivers return to the birthplace of American drifting after they have spent the whole year on tour, cutting their teeth and taking their epic fender-to-fender dogfights to race tracks across the nation in an attempt to attract more sponsors, build more publicity, and most importantly… attract new drifting fans.

I’ve been traveling with the Formula Drift series since the very first event; since the series started in 2004… and every year, as the season ends at Irwindale Speedway, there’s a shared feeling of excitement and pride of accomplishment running through the pits.

This video, by Motor Mavens shooter Travis Hodges, is our attempt to capture that feeling. And it was captured entirely with two cameras, the new Canon 7D digital HD SLR and the Twenty20 ContourHD.

We hope you enjoy the video, and CONGRATULATIONS to all the teams, drivers, umbrella girls, and FANS that make the Formula D series what it is. RESPECT!!!

:: Antonio Alvendia

More Spirit of Formula Drift videos on MotorMavens


COVERAGE> Formula Drift Seattle, Part 1

It's really, really late. I just got to the Formula D "host hotel" in Bothell, WA not too long ago, where tons of the Formula D tour regulars are sitting out in the lobby and outside patios with drinks in hand, being loud and cracking jokes, trying to unwind from a long day at the track.

However, some teams had a longer day at the track than others... when I arrived to the Formula D pit area, I noticed Robbie Nishida's Dynamic Autosports/Hankook Tire 350Z up on jackstands, in the dusty, dirt covered pit area of Evergreen Speedway. Apparently, just a few minutes before I arrived, Robbie's 350Z made contact with the wall on one of his practice runs, severely damaging the left side of his car. Above is a photo of the car, with hood, fender, and suspension off... as the Dynamic team hustles to collect parts to repair the car in time for tomorrow's main qualifying session.   Read more...

VIDEO> Drifting Dirty with Dynamic

So check it. Our homie Tree just linked us to this new video that Eddie from Dynamic Autosports was talking about in Las Vegas. It was shot by this video crew that has experience doing extreme sports (Is that what he said? Can’t remember, due to the intoxicated state we were in. We apologize).

It’s great to see well produced footage of the Dynamic Autosports/Apex’i/Hankook team. The video team definitely had some great equipment, and we were glad to see someone showcasing the Hankook drivers this way! It’s about time those guys got some love – they’re the most slept on group of drivers in the Formula D series!

:: Motor Mavens

PS: What’s with the S&M outfits on the girls? It looked like it was HOT out there; those chicks must have been dying! LOL at their facial expressions and poses when the cars pass them by!


COVERAGE> Formula D Brings Heat to Vegas, Pt 1

The latest round of the Formula Drift Championship took place this past weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was sooooo incredibly hot in Las Vegas this past weekend; the Formula D teams had to work hard to make sure the drivers remained hydrated enough to perform at peak levels (last year, I remember seeing one of the drivers pass out because of the intense heat inside the car).

As a member of the media with a trackside photo pass, I remember being extremely uncomfortable because of Formula D safety rules requiring us to wear long pants instead of shorts at the track. However, just think about what the drivers must be feeling like - wearing full fire suits and Nomex underwear and HELMETS, sitting inside hot cars without air conditioning; with hot metal roofs working like a broiler due to the lack of headliners and insulation in a professional drift car.

Nevertheless, the crowd at Formula D remained upbeat and excited, due to the level of driving prowess they were treated to. Vegas drift fans are hardcore! Regardless of the heat, these fans were down to sit outside in the stands, sweating and cheering as their favorite professional drifters slid past them, dousing the grandstands in a bath of tire dust.   Read more...