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
The idea for this video came from a night of goofing off with friends and tossing ideas around. When this song began to play in the background, I knew I had to edit a drift video to it, but not just any drift video. That’s when I decided to make a video using only the help of wearable/mountable cameras. Many questions arise when considering such a project. How will I get my hands on enough cameras? My old, broken GoPro SD sure wasn’t going to cut it. Then, once I have enough cameras, how can I mount them in ways that keep the viewer interested throughout the entire video? I can assure you, this was a slightly daunting prospect that quickly found it’s home in the recesses of my mind. That is, until Antonio Alvendia introduced me to Jason from Contour at the Apex’i/Lexus SC430 debut party in Seattle. I swear, that guy knows everyone!
This video is far from perfect, but I feel it captures some of the excitement and carefree qualities of drifting that are often difficult to see or feel through a lens or computer screen. I chose to leave the colors/exposure/contrast/everything alone with this video. There is zero color grading and very little audio mixing. My intent was to not only create a fun, relaxed drifting video, but to also show the grassroots drivers what these cameras are capable of straight out of the box.
A huge thanks goes out to Jason at ContourHD for making this project a possibility. Without the help of the ContourHD 1080p, my dream of an all point-of-view drift video may have never come to fruition.
Abbitt Wilkerson needs no introduction. You know who he is. 18 and famous. Haha! Anyway, check out his new cut from Formula Drift Round 4 at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington. Better late than never and definitely worth the wait. This video has great energy and had me excited from beginning to end. With plenty of creative shots and a surprisingly appropriate song choice, I couldn’t be happier with this video. Good work, Abbitt!
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.
The fact that Nissan itself was down to hold a drift event outside one of its factories was pretty cool. But the actual location to me was even cooler. Set on a section of land that usually holds hundreds and hundreds of freshly built Nissans, we were surrounded by factory buildings and trees with giant wind turbines looming over head. It's a testament to the JDM Allstars team that they can turn something as bland as a car park into an exciting place to hold their competition. Read more...
I later heard that the plan was to hold it on something called the Donington Alpine Circuit. I had no clue what that was until I came along to the shoot of the promotional video a few weeks back. Then it all became clear. On the outskirts of the main track and the Launch Pad is a fast, wide, almost mountain road-like track that the JDM Crew decided to use. It's made up of four corners and a steep uphill straight where the cars seemingly come out of nowhere and fly over the top. There's a right transition into the second turn, aiming for a clipping point close to the deadly armco, then a transition left into the third turn where you plant the throttle and bring the rear of the car to the armco on the straight, leading to another transition right into the final hairpin turn.
Fast corners, armco barriers on all sides and beautiful scenery all around. This was looking to be one of the most unique and exciting drift events in the JDM Allstars calendar. Read more...
Formula D Round 2 Atlanta has been a subject of the past now, but our boy Justin Shreeve had extra footage and decided to make a sequel to his original FD Atlanta video. In my opinion Justin did a great job showing the great experience a Formula D event can have on someone. These events are more than just the cars and drifting to me. It’s about the people, friends, vendors, and of course the girls! I’m not going to lie though, that clip of Daijiro Yoshihara dirt dropping was sick! Great job Justin Michael Shreeve!
Before you watch this video allow me to give you a little back story…
Mallory Park Circuit has been one of the more recent tracks to open it’s arms to drifting in the UK and has been holding drift days for the past few months. From checking out some photos and reading threads on few a internet forums, it looked and sounded like it was a pretty cool setup. So about a month ago JDM Allstars driver Dan Chapman contacted me and invited me to go to Mallory Park with him to see what all the hype was about! Dan was also bringing along his Driftworks PS13, as it was a long time since he last went drifting somewhere that wasn’t related to competitions. With the trailer loaded and our gear ready we headed up to Mallory for a chilled out day of drifting!
I wasn’t really sure what to expect but when we arrived it was a pleasant surprise. The place was far bigger than I thought and with the first thing I saw being a V8 powered E30 BMW and a little KP61 Toyota Starlet hammering down the main straight, it seemed damn fast as well! As with a lot of days in the UK the rain clouds reared their ugly heads later on during the day and made an already extreme track even more so with plenty of rain, which meant people took things a little slower… until Drift Australia 2009 champion Luke Fink rocked up that is. Managing to borrow another driver’s JZX90 Toyota Cresta for a few laps, Luke showed us how to rip the track up good with some fast-as-hell entries! (more…)
The first Pacific Grand Prix Drift Invitational was a blast! So many good people, live DJ, beer garden, skateboarding, dirt drops, four car tandems. What’s not to love? If you haven’t been to this track, make plans to attend a future event. This thing is beautiful! Super clean grass; I can’t believe dudes were dirt dropping in this shit!
Filming, on the other hand, was quite a challenge. With only a 15mm F/2.8 and a 50mm F/1.4, the strict media regulations made it difficult to shoot good footage without breaking the rules. The super bright sun half the day didn’t help either.
It is what it is. Enjoy.
:: Justin Shreeve
I feel even more of a connection to the grassroots/underdog drivers sometimes, because I think that if the MotorMavens Crew were a drift team, it would be exactly like a team of privateers that's striving to elevate its game to a big time level. The members of the MotorMavens Crew are extremely driven and passionate about car culture. Even though some of us might have backgrounds that include professional experience (working with big print magazines, newspapers, video production companies, or larger blog sites) in our particular niches, we have come together to join our collective talents and build something we truly believe in.
MotorMavens is not a big company with major sponsors and an expense account. Unlike some of the big magazines or corporate-financed automotive blogs, we can't spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year on our travel, marketing, and camera equipment. Hell, almost all of the members of the MotorMavens Crew work other jobs and spend hard earned personal money to travel to the different events we cover for the site. For this past Atlanta event, we didn't even have the budget to stay in the official Formula D hotel with the rest of the people on the tour. Instead, we gratefully crashed on the floors and couches of our good friends in Atlanta (Thanks to Erik Jacobs from DG Trials, Cody Wellons from S3 Magazine, and Andy Sapp from MotorMavens) in order to make this trip happen with the small budget we had to work with.
The grassroots drivers that showed their skills at Road Atlanta's Formula D Pro Am definitely impressed me. I'll be honest... I wasn't necessarily impressed with how all the cars looked or performed... it was very obvious that many of the cars were grassroots "budget builds" and that's just fine. However, what impressed me about the drivers from the South was how much heart they had. They definitely wore their hearts on their sleeves as they drove in the intense mid-day heat of their Friday practice sessions. Pro Am qualifying took place at around 8:00pm on that Friday night, while most of the drifting fans at Road Atlanta packed up and went home. I'm sure it must have been somewhat disconcerting that many of the people in the audience didn't care enough to stay and watch them, but the grassroots drifters of the South were their own support group. They watched their friends and competitors intently from the top of Road A's famous hill, clapping and cheering for each other as each driver took their turn running the course. I suppose some people may just say it's Southern hospitality, but I was honestly impressed that the Southeast drifters seemed to be such a tightly knit group. Now that's the spirit... at least, that's what the real spirit of drifting is all about. Read more...
I’m beginning to notice a trend. It seems as though during my adventures with Formula Drift there is never any down time, sleep, boring moments, or lack of awesome activities to shoot.
For me, Formula Drift Atlanta this year began with a cross country journey involving three layovers and an entire day of flying. After losing three hours, getting no sleep, and feeling noticeably more sick, I touched down in a little town they call Atlanta, Georgia. Just kidding! That place is huge!
This being my first time visiting Georgia, I was sure to soak it all in. The hot, humid air and enormous, flying insects were easily overshadowed by the incredible scenery, delicious sweet tea, and of course that good ol’ Southern hospitality. (more…)
As it's been mentioned on other car blogs before, the latest guise of the Driftworks S15 has made it look angrier than ever, and I'm inclined to agree. It now looks like it wants to punch you in the face and eat children for breakfast.
I heard many rumors before Round 1 of JDM Allstars that this famous car was undergoing some changes and was to have a new look for the event. This car has always been a personal favourite of mine. I'm not a huge fan of a lot of pro competition cars these days, as they seem to have lost their "street car" roots - which (in my opinion) is what makes drift cars so cool in the first place. However, the Driftworks S15, as extreme and track orientated as it may be, has managed to capture the right mix of street and competition style. So as you can probably tell, I was extremely excited to see it in the flesh at Manchester! I had a feeling that our readers would want to see more of this incredible car, so I spoke to Phil Morrison (owner of Driftworks and the S15) and managed to organise a time in the morning before the final day of the JDM Allstars event kicked off to get some exclusive shots for MotorMavens. Read 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
Saturday had given us just a glimpse of what Sunday had in store, and with even more crowds, the atmosphere building, the Krispy Kremes being handed out (oh yes, I said it, free Krispy Kreme doughnuts!) and a huge live screen, it was looking like Sunday would be a very good day indeed. Read more...
Like Wembley and Newcastle before, the track would be a street based circuit in one of the overflow car parks outside the Trafford Centre , a shopping centre that looks like a cross between the inside of the Titanic, Ancient Rome and a giant US mall! When I arrived on Friday, I was blown away by the scale of the track and surrounding area. I had a feeling, with all the hype and build up, that the empty space I was looking at would be packed over the weekend!
Saturday morning came and it was looking like my feelings would be proven right. With the track ready, the crowds pouring in, and a whole heap of new cars, practice got under way. So here's a few photos from day one of a truly awesome drift event... Read more...
The first photo in our series is from one of the practice sessions. I think the practice sessions were actually a lot cooler and funner to watch at times than some of the tandem bouts, because it felt like freestyle drifting chaos within the confines of the white cement barriers and tire stacks that lined the streets of the LBC. Read more...
In case you haven’t yet heard, friend-of-the-MotorMavens Stephane Benini, the French motorsports film heavyweight from ClashProduction has just released a “test shoot” teaser of the new film he’s currently shooting – Vernal Equinox.
I’m not quite sure what Vernal Equinox means, but I do know that this video is pretty damn fresh. Antonio says he loves it and he thinks it’s being shot with Canon DSLRs, but whatever the case, the imagery in this video is just stunning. Big respects to the Clash camera crew in Paris! (And the driver, for drifting that S15 Silvia indoors!)
:: Edward Uche
Don't be confused, this just isn't a "welcome back to the site" for me. Oh no, this is a huge welcome back to fresh cars built by cool people on real world budgets. Welcome back to grassroots drifting and sick street cars, which is what this site was built upon and the whole reason why we keep pushing forward. Like a skilled surgeon, Mike Burns and company have suited up in their drifting scrubs to save the all important life of grassroots drifting; but instead a sharpened scalpel, his finely tuned instrument is this super rad RPS13 Nissan 240SX. Read more...
While fellow MotorMavens crew members Antonio Alvendia and Edward Uche were out baking in the Californian sunshine at the XDC event in Irwindale, I was getting soaked to my skin in Northamptonshire, England, at the home of British Motorsport, Silverstone Circuit. Here, JDM Allstars were holding an invitation-only driver search day to give the selected drivers a shot at gaining a provisional entry to compete in this year's series. Also, with only 26 days to go until JDM Allstars takes over Manchester City for Round 1, it gave some of the current competitors in the series a chance to give their updated and freshly built cars a good shakedown!
Silverstone has been a home for UK drifting since the early days. The OPT Drift Club used to hold practice days there and some of the old UK D1 rounds were also held there. It was even the stage for the D1GP Exhibition Rounds (one in October 2005 and the other in 2006) when the Japanese came over to show us what it was all about - pushing our drivers to become even better. Since then it's been home to various drift championships such as the European Drift Championship (EDC) and the defunct, D1GB. Back in 2009, it was JDM Allstars' turn and there they hosted the final round of the series on the famous GP Circuit. This year Silverstone will play host to the final round yet again and it will be bigger and even better. I'm seriously looking forward to it - just as long as it's not raining!
Anyway, on to the Driver Search... Read more...
Even a broken foot and multiple equipment issues didn’t keep me from running around Evergreen Speedway last Sunday. Evergreen Drift’s invite-only season opener was a great success, despite several wrecks… and even fires. Tires were destroyed on track, while old friends caught up with one another in the uncharacteristic warmth of the Washington sun.
This event was a testament to the true nature of drifting. Pushing through misfortune to create something beautiful, all the while having the collective time of our lives. I find it ironic that although times may be hard, when we come together to share what we love, we find a feeling of euphoria. (more…)
The drift area itself is in a fairly large plot of land on the left side of the drag strip, and is split up into five tracks, ranging from a larger "main track" for more experienced drifters (which is based on the 2008 European Drift Championship layout), a smaller "kidney track" which is set up for practicing transitions, and finally, there are 3 small "play pens" for practicing donuts, figure 8s, etc. There's also a make shift pit area for people to change tyres and work on their cars. Mint Tyres is always on hand to provide tire support for the drivers; they will fit tyres at very good prices to keep you on the track all day, and Sue's Cafe makes AWESOME cheese and bacon burgers to fill the appetites of hungry drifters.
DWYB also happens to be where I started out photographing drifting and the culture that surrounds it... so I headed up last weekend to catch up with some friends, have a lot of fun and bring back a few photos to shed some light on grassroots drifting in the UK for you Motor Mavens readers! Read more...
Back in January I covered the Simply Clean + Stance event in Orlando Florida, which was completely awesome. I am saddened to hear that the next event may not be till November of this year… sad face!! I wish these guys would do a rotating event every 4-5 months or so to help promote proper car building. Cars with sunken wheels are 8 years ago people; change with the times! Flush wheels and no drop don’t count either!
Anyway, the video is awesome and so is the sound track. Quan Vu at Bluemotion did an awesome job, and from the looks of it, it involved a Canon 5D Mark II. Rock on man – for his first car meet video, I am simply stunned. The song “More More More” is from the upcoming LP by SOY Is Real… so if you think it’s dope like I do, just watch the video over and over again.
Lastly, BIG THANKS to Simply Clean’s Nickoli for giving us the first shout out at the end of the video. You know I will be at the next one!!
If you want to view pictures of the cars that did not make it on the video and my coverage check out Nickoli’s link.
:: Scottie Scheetz
Anyway, the Weksos Wekfest event was pretty crazy... TONS of cars, TONS of people in attendance, and a line of impatient people that stretched around the block. Seriously... that was a pretty long line! Read more...