Although we didn’t see any sort of official press release, it looks like this year’s entire Drift Muscle / MSC series will be branded as Formula Drift Japan. The first event took place over the weekend at Tsukuba, and former FD USA driver Kuniaki Takahashi took the win in his big body Toyota Mark X. Round 2 will take place in July at Fuji and will count towards the Formula Drift World Championship.
James Deane started the new season off exactly where he left off last season, on the top rung of the podium. Deane looked flawless in his 2JZ-powered S14, consistently hitting the clipping zones as requested by the judges. It was an all-Irish podium as Nigel Colfer took second place and 15-year old Tomás Kiely took the final spot, with Australian Luke Fink finishing just outside the podium positions.
1st – James Deane
2nd – Nigel Colfer
3rd – Tomás Kiely
4th – Luke Fink
In the middle of the 2JZ era the guys at Team Raidopower from Sweden have built a 700hp Mercedes powered S14. The car features a Rocket Bunny kit and will be driven by Tokan Bielkelof in the Drift All-Stars series for the 2015 season. I couldn’t find exact details easily on the Mercedes power plant but it appears to be a 3.2L turbocharged setup. We except to see many more Drift All-Stars cars debut over the next couple weeks.
HOLY COW, the guys famous for building insane and over the top BMW’s delivered with this Formula Drift legal bat shit insane E46. If you follow the “more” link below you can find some pictures of this beast without it’s body cladding on to see how wild the engine setup really is. Kristaps has opted for an all motor setup with some big ITB’s. His suspension is helped by WiseFab suspension and Achilles Radial to make that big horsepower stick. Follow the jump to see more photos of this beast!
Imamura has silenced all the doubters and haters by doing some drift testing with his Lexus LFA. It sure looks like this build is progressing into a legit D1GP build. My favorite part about this video is that this wildly exotic and rare car sliding around this parking lot sounds just like every car on the Formula Drift grid pretty much. Someone also needs to go film this thing ASAP with a better camera please and thanks.
Andy Gray is another driver heading to American for the 2015 season. You might not recognize his name off-hand but his company Power Vehicles has been renting missile cars to people worldwide from Ebisu Circuit. In fact, over the years, he has been kind enough to loan Chris Forsberg a car when we came into town. They have always taken great care of us when in Japan so he is already a fan favorite of mine. More importantly though, Andy Grey is a destroyer of Ebisu Circuit and probably only drives it second best to Daigo Saito. Above is the car he will be bringing stateside for the Pro 2 season. Here are some videos of him running:
Darren McNamara has his 1983 Toyota AE86 up for sale without an engine and transmission. The car right now is short an engine, gearbox, dry sump system, and intercooler setup but you can buy it now for 15,000 Euros. The car has been featured in Need for Speed Shift 2 video game. It has also been seen on the cover of MAX Power and Japanese Performance car magazine. If you had plans to build an over the top AE86 this season or year it might be a worthwhile purchase for you. The car is currently located in Ireland.
The guys at Failcrew are showing off an amazing wrap done to Mark Webb’s Mazda RX-7. The car has a 1JZ engine and quite an aggressive setup all around. The car lacks a ton of sponsorship representation outside of Failcrew in these renders as well. From what we hear, the car will be attending some sporadic Drift All-Stars events over the 2015 season! What do you think of this 1JZ powered Mazda RX-7?
They say a picture is worth 1000 words but this image of a dismantled Lamborghini Murcielago set to become a drift car has my speechless. Once I reported that this build was happening last month I didn’t know what to think or do other than heading to Kayak.com and looking for a flight deal to Japan this year so I can see this drift car in person. Part of me has still struggled with the reality that this drift build could be happening in the first place. That doubt comes to me regardless of my very reliable sources who have continued to confirm that this is his D1GP plan. Well, inside Daigo Saito’s million dollar+ drift shop they have started dismantling the Lamborghini in preparation for the upcoming D1 Grand Prix season. Here goes nothing?
I don’t even know if I really believe Daigo Saito and all his rumors/nonsense for 2015 at this point. First, he unveiled plans to drive a Lamborghini in D1GP which I thought was completely insane. Now, it looks like he is set to repurpose this Ferrari F430 track car into a drift machine. No idea how he intends to do this within the spirit of the Formula Drift rulebook. On top of all that……. he is bringing an insane Nissan GT-R to America that will run the season on a 21 inch tire. I almost don’t know what to think anymore….. but he is single handidly keeping the 2015 season interesting in case you think nobody else in the sport is.