Drift Matsuri 2014 – The Autumn Drift Festival at Ebisu Circuit [VIDEO]

Check out Taylor Wright’s (BrokenImage) trip to Drift Matsuri over the November 15-16th weekend in northern Japan at the world famous Ebisu Circuit. The big Drift Matsuri festival saw some poor weather and smashed up missile cars wrapped up to finish out the 2014 Matsuri drift season. The big names of Japan bring out missile cars along with other foreigners who rent/buy cars to smash up in a 24/7 drift festival that lasts for three days. Drift Matsuri made our #1 ranked spot in our Top 10 Drift Vacations list we made earlier this year as well.

Top 10 Drift Vacations to Take Before You Die


Regardless if you are independently wealthy or have a credit card to max out I put together the Top 10 drifting vacations you need to take before you die. The list is compiled upon driving, fan entertainment, atmosphere, and all the fun you can have in the area!


10. D1NZ Final Round – Mt. Smart (Auckland, New Zealand)


The D1NZ season ends at Mt. Smart under the lights! The venue is a custom built and it puts fans very close to the action. The track does take place in the Mt. Smart Stadium parking lot which normally holds duties for the National Rugby team. Once the race ends you are just a quick cab from downtown Auckland where some of the real fun can begin. Don’t miss some top drivers like Mad Mike Whiddett and C’s Garage take on the New Zealand night.

9. Irish Drift Championship – Mondello Park 


The most fun you can have in Ireland is by far Mondello Park. It puts you pretty close to Dublin and has the most energy over a drift weekend in Ireland. Big name drivers such as Dai Yoshihara, Darren McNamara, and other international stars tend to come and drive at this Ireland track as well. If you happen to come here and enjoy watching a weekend of pro drifting then you could also do the ProDrift Academy and drift on your own at Mondello!

8. Formula Drift Irwindale Speedway (Los Angeles, California)


The “House of Drift” as everybody knows it had to make the list. So many people attend this event now parking has been moved off site and stands have been put anywhere they can fit. The driving here tends to be world class and over the last few seasons a championship has been sorted out during the event weekend. Once the Irwindale weekend is over you will find yourself not very far from Los Angeles, Hollywood, and other places to finish out a great weekend.

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Daigo Saito & Robbie Nishida Running Misslies at Ebisu [VIDEO]

Here is one awesome video from Matsuri showing Formula Drift drivers and teammates banging doors all around the various tracks of Ebisu Circuit! Daigo Saito is in the white missile car in the video and is flying around courses with Robbie Nishida in what might be the most fun you can possibly have in a drift car period!

Up and Comer: A Sit Down with Andrew Mensah [INTERVIEW]


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.

(Footage of our last staff trip to Japan for Matsuri. It is a blast!)


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!

Robbie Nishida Interview – Wrecked Weekly Episode 2 [VIDEO]

Wrecked Magazine weekly Episode #2 has arrived and we got a hold of Formula Drift x Achilles Radial driver Robbie Nishida before he headed back home to Japan. Robbie dishes on the current declining state of car culture in Japan along with its movement and changes in the drifting scene. Robbie also talks about how he almost left Formula Drift before his program came together with Achilles Radial and his Toyota Soarer.

We also had Robbie Nishida walk us through Speedhunters Battle of the Weekend from Irwindale with his Achilles Radial teammate Daigo Saito. He gives us his perspective of the tandem battle breakdown. Robbie talks about how his build and Daigo’s are the same and different. He even hints about some things he has in store for the 2014 season.


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Daigo Saito Flips His Missile Car at 2013 Fall Matsuri [VIDEO]

Daigo Saito has some well documented history with insane follow runs around the Ebisu Circuit during the Matsuri weekends. In fact, this springtime we caught some awesome ReplayXD footage of him flying around the Nishi cirucit where he flipped over this weekend. Through the Matsuri weekend I saw several other cars fly hard into this hill and flip over and make nasty contact with each other but it seems that Daigo Saito was just inch off from perfect on this run which sent him flying end over end.

Wrecked Magazine Issue 27 Is Out Now [READ THIS]

Issue 27 of Wrecked Magazine brings Michael Essa back to our cover to interview him after his first ever Formula Drift victory. Jacob Leveton writes a guest editorial on the state of the 2013 rookies and then Danny George gets put In Focus. Wrecked Lifestyle puts a focus on what our staff has deemed “track essentials” with items from Electric Visual, ReplayXD, and Otterbox. The big finale is our amazing trip to Japan for Drift Matsuri including a write up on how cheap you can participate converted already into American dollars. Our Mustang RTR gets a huge drivetrain overhaul with help from Tremec and ACT Clutch.

Read the issue:

2013 Spring Matsuri with Wrecked Magazine Part 2 [VIDEO]

Here is a second video feature from our trip out to Japan thanks to ReplayXD and Enjuku Racing. Part 2 shows more clips of Minami, School course, and North course with footage from our Replay XD cameras over the weekend. The weather I would call perfect for Japanese spring and with over 400 registered cars for the weekend we have plenty of things to shoot.

In case you missed our other Matsuri videos here are links:
Part 1-
Daigo Saito RAW Chase –
ReplayXD Minami Jumps –

Drift Matsuri – RAW ReplayXD Footage of Minami Jump [VIDEO]

Another video installment from our 2013 Spring Matsuri trip to Ebisu Circuit. This video is a quick compilation of all the drivers we captured flying over the Minami jump on the D1 Grand Prix course over the weekend. We hung a front and rear mounted ReplayXD over the jump for a few hours along the Matsuri weekend and captured these great jumps including the D1GP UpGarage Toyota Supra taking a few trips over the hill.

RAW Footage of Daigo Saito in Tandem at Nishi Short [VIDEO]

Formula Drift reigning champion was in attendance when we visited Ebisu Circuit a few weeks ago with a white Toyota Chaser in tow for the Drift Heaven Matsuri weekend. We caught him at the end of the weekend in a multiple lap tandem chase with another Chaser (that flipped early in the weekend on North Course) for a good solid 5 minutes. Here is the raw and untouched footage shot on a ReplayXD 720.