This render is for Italian driver Filippo Pirini who is showing off the look this his FC Mazda RX-7 powered by a 2JZ-GTE engine. Here is some progress of the build below and it will be set to unveil at Round 1 in England.
Female drivers Rie Shinmi (KIDS HEART) and Michie Mimoto are set to both make a debut in D1GP Round 1 at Fuji Speedway. Mimoto is the 2013 D1 Women’s League champion giving her the proper credentials to compete in the D1GP series. Her debut in D1 will be with a newly built vehicle. Rie will remain in her R34 Skyline which is already D1GP spec/ready for the event at the end of this month. This is the first time a woman has driven in the D1GP series dating back to 2004 at Ebisu Circuit where Akemi Okazaki drove as the first woman in the series.
A huge thanks to David Atkinson who provided great coverage of Round 4 from the Taupo Motorsport Park in New Zealand. This world class track brought some real excitement to this D1NZ circuit. If you want to check out an event recap of D1NZ Round 4 it can be found here. Otherwise, you can view a ton of images from Round 4 via the link below showing off all the close tandem runs of the weekend in image form.
Check out the Gallery: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=377
With the halfway point behind us the competition was really starting to heat up for round four of the Cody’s D1NZ National Drifting Championship. After two rounds of drifting on smaller custom built tracks, the drivers welcomed the return of Taupo Motorsport Park. Not only did it mean getting away from the dangerous concrete walls, but the fast and flowing layout would allow the drivers to really push their cars to the limit.
For Gaz Whiter and his team however it was a disastrous start before the competition had even begun. During the Friday test session Whiter’s LS7 suffered engine failure caused by loss of oil pressure. Shortly afterward the team went about the huge process of stripping the engine, inspecting, cleaning and rebuilding it from the ground up.
You have to admire their dedication because at this point most teams would probably pack up and go home. At 4pm the next day however, to everyone’s amazement, that familiar V8 rumble was heard once again in pit-lane and Whiter went about his business as usual – qualifying in P6.
Current leader in championship points Mad Mike Whiddett was aiming to extend his sizable lead this round in the quad-rotor ‘Madbul’ RX7. Mike knows the track well and went on to lay down two 85 point runs in qualifying claiming 8th spot.
More drama occurred in the battles when Matt Lauder, a newcomer to Pro this season, defeated current champion Fanga Dan Woolhouse. After a first run that was too close to call the battle would go one more time where Lauder would capitalize on a slow exit from Fanga on the final corner.
The best battle of the round would definitely go to that of Nico Reid vs Mad Mike Whiddett. With Reid’s RB powered Silvia having the speed and angle down to a fine art, and Mike’s superb chase runs it was another battle that went one more time. Again it was too close to pick a definitive winner so the pair would go once more. On the last corner Nico Reid got a little too close to Whiddett, making contact and spinning Mike handing him the win.
Fast forward to the final battle now with Curt Whittaker in the Autosure 2JZ R34 who had taken out Mad Mike, coming up against Gaz Whiter who was simply destroying his competition despite having almost no practice time. Whittaker was first to lead, picking up an early advantage when Whiter made a small mistake.
After swapping over Whiter went all out, piloting the Tectaloy S14 to a near perfect line. At the end of the section he was able to create enough of a gap in proximity on Whittaker and walk away with the round win!
Gaz Whiter and the team will be absolutely stoked with the round win, especially after a spell of bad luck in the previous rounds of competition. The win puts Whiter in second place overall in championship points, followed closely by Whittaker in third place overall. Mad Mike Whiddett remains in first place overall retaining a substantial lead in the competition. Next round the series travels to New Zealand’s south island based track Ruapuna Raceway. With the local drivers having far more experience at this track than the majority of the field, round five will be exciting to watch!
The C’s Garage Nissan 240sx is a build beyond gorgeous and this video shows it in slow motion at 240fps. The footage all comes from D1NZ Round 2 Whangarei, New Zealand which took place recently. We even have a feature coming out of a C’s Garage build in a upcoming feature of Wrecked Magazine so stay tuned!
While we don’t have many details at this time here is what we do know about a D1GP driver heading into Formula Drift for 2014. A source has told us that a new D1GP driver who has never been in Formula Drift in previous seasons is applying to run in Formula Drift via a petition. D1GP licenses are not recognized by Formula Drift or the FIA so the driver is forced to petition in to Formula Drift based on his merits and experience or face the Pro Am circuits. I can only assume if the rumors are true that Formula Drift will approve the petition.
To take the rumors one more step forward I think it is a good chance he will fill the shoes of the APEX’i Lexus SC430 that Patrick Mordaunt is leaving in 2014. Its an interesting connection someone made and APEX’i has had a history in supporting Japanese drivers. What do you think of the news? Who do you think the D1GP driver could be?
It’s that time of month again when I sit down and look at a new driver of my choice and asks him some questions. Since living down in Florida I really wanted to dig in and look for a Florida driver I found interesting. I remembered this kid that showed up late to one of the events I was running a couple of years ago in the Cleveland, and when I asked him why he was late he replied, “I just drove from Florida bro.” Andrew Mensah was that driver and he is this months Up and Comer.
Edgar Sarmiento: Andrew, so I noticed you speak all these languages on your Facebook. Where are you from?
Andrew Mensah: Well I was born in West Palm Beach, Florida but when people ask I tend to say South Florida or Miami because most people don’t know Florida too well. Though now that Formula Drift was at Palm Beach International Raceway, people in the drifting community tend to know finally where I’m talking about.
ES: Yeah, South Florida sounds about right. How long have you been drifting?
AM: This past weekend was the official fifth anniversary of my first track drifting experience. I got into it before I started driving by watching videos and reading about it in magazines.
ES: I know you drive wherever you can, what events are you planning for in 2014?
AM: My main priority this year is making a transition to international drifting so I will be exporting my BMW to Japan, and entering a few Drift Muscle events, D1SL and other events to get my name, car, and driving into the Japanese drift scene. I am going to seek sponsors for next years season and hopefully come out strong for a good season of Japanese drifting.
ES: Yes, I did notice that you are always talking about Japan this and Japan that. Is it that cool?
AM: Yeah, Japan is really that cool. When you’re a person, like me, that initially goes because you know of the cool cars and technology, and then you see that but you also see so much more. My first trip to Japan I did all of my drifting at Ebisu, my friend Shane showed me the Japanese car culture, and then I left. That alone was amazing. My last trip to Japan was on a completely different level, I stayed at Shane’s house and made friends with local drifters, went to tracks like Nikko and Fuji, drove with locals, and had a blast learning the language and the culture all while having exciting door to door tandems in the rain at Fuji and hanging the front tire in the air at Nikko.
ES: That’s amazing Andrew! You barely ever hear about someone leaving the US and heading to Japan to do some sliding around. Make sure you share some details later with me. What would be some your highlights in drifting?
AM: Some of the highlights of drifting for me was the first time I put my car into third gear and stayed on the throttle, it was so much better than I ever thought. The first tandems I had at Central Florida Racing Complex and getting used to following another driver instead of only thinking about what I was doing myself. The V8 swap in my car. Driving with a lot of angle for the first time and loving it. Doing my first official backwards entry. Driving East Coast Bash in my missile on 4psi, and tandeming with Drift Alliance. Driving for the first time Drift Matsuri at Ebisu. There are so many more, but every time I do or learn something new in drifting is a highlight in my book.
ES: So since you have experience some Japanese drifting; what would you say a perfect set up is?
AM: It’s different! My personal ideal American setup would be an E36 because I love them and they make amazing grip, LS7 crate engine with at least 500hp stock, Hinson LSx RX7 Turbo manifold headers, GTX4201 turbo, with a huge wastegate dumped out the center of the hood. Hollinger 6speed, quick change diff, SLR, WiseFab, BMW OEM (if your lucky), or some other angle and control arm kit BC Racing ER type Dual reservoir coil overs Big spacers and wheels for the rear, add some flares or a wide body kit to fit the new width Nitrous because everyone at the top has it, so why not. And obviously necessary seats and safety equipment you need.
My ideal Japanese set up would be the same car with a smaller turbo and no nitrous. Ha! But seriously I love cars so much that saying what setup is really perfect is something I cant really do because every car has its own thing about it that makes it awesome.
ES: Seems like you have a game plan already! Do you have any thoughts or opinions on the American drift scene?
AM: American drifting is as good as it can be. We don’t have tons of circuits within driving distance in most of the country. I’m just glad that drifting exists in America, and it has its own thing going on that’s different than the rest of the world.
ES: I know you have attended a lot of different events. Which one was your favorite and why?
AM: My favorite event I ever attended, despite having gone to awesome events like Matsuri, East Coast Bash, Lone Star Drift, and Street Wide Drift, would be the 2012 Black Friday event at Central Florida Racing Complex. It was our first overnight event in Florida, and it was a smashing success. We partied hard, and drifted around a giant bon fire until the sun started to come up. Ebisu Matsuri is definitely a second place.
ES: Any recommendations you can give to anyone getting into drifting?
AM: Don’t give up! Go faster than you think is okay, and use the drift to slow you down. Modify your suspension before swapping your engine. Make sure you have fun responsibly within your own limits. Respect you limit, but know when to push them at the same time!
ES: Any big plans for 2014?
AM: Turbo the V8, move to Japan, and have fun in Japan!
ES: Thanks Andrew! I can’t wait to check out anything you share from your move to Japan. Any shout outs?
AM: Chelsea DeNofa – for recognizing the thirst in me to drift at a decently competitive level and helping me to get there
Erick Gomez – for caging my car when I really had no way to get it done and I was in school with other priorities, but he got me caged up on the super bro rate, and changed my drifting for good.
My past and present mechanics: Pablo Garcia, Aaron Messmer, Alberto Rosa, Ben Brandner, Fred Conkling, Mickey Figueroa, Kevin Smith, Antonio Diaz, and Hayato Tomaru.
And everyone else that has helped me along the way!
Formula Drift is heading to Tegucigalpa, Honduras next month for a demo on March 22nd, 2014. More details will be available as we get closer to the date but four cars have been put on containers for the event. Dai Yoshihara is set to drive Forrest Wang’s backup S14 Nissan at the event. Here is the rest of the drivers list participating in this demo: