Posts Tagged "Japan"

Michie Mimoto & Rie Shinmi Head to D1GP Round 1 at Fuji Speedway

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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ES: Any big plans for 2014?

AM: Turbo the V8, move to Japan, and have fun in Japan!

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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!

KE70 vs. AE86 at Nikko Circuit [VIDEO]

Shot at Nikko Circuit by Noriyaro this video features a KE70 vs. AE86 video which has 4+ minutes of tandem drifting featuring Manabu Mitsumori and Takuya Takahashi along with some friends in pursuit. The guys are at Nikko Circuit in the video which involves some door banging fun.

D1GP Going Green in 2014 – More Regulations and Clearing Up Rumors

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After talking with several sources and getting some great translations from Japanese drift forums we have learned about the changes as close to 100% as we can get for the new drift season. Several people have confirmed the ban on nitrous in the series which we reported on earlier this week.

D1GP will also require all drivers to run a catalytic converters for the 2014 season which we are told is part of an effort for D1 to help align with regulations and become more of an official motorsport in the country. Some rumors have been going around that D1GP will be banning race gas and venting wastegates but we have confirmed these reports are incorrect.

We are being told that some teams and various supporters of all the D1 series ranks are waiting for the Formula Drift Japan schedule to be released and looking to run events with that series instead. Check out the Kick-Off D1GP gallery we covered earlier this month showing the series kicking off strong in 2014.A big thanks to the help we got from Powervehicles.com, Robbie Nishida, various D1 teams, and some bilingual readers.

Here is a recap of regulations being put in place for 2014:
1. Nitrous is banned
2. Catalytic Converters Are Required
3. Exhausts Must Be Pointing to Ground
4. Race Gas is Still Legal (other sites reporting illegal)
5. Venting Wastegates Legal (other sites reporting illegal)

D1 Grand Prix Bans Nitrous for 2014 and Beyond [RUMORMILL]

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A very reliable source this evening has told us that the D1GP series in Japan has made provisions for the 2014 season to ban the power adder nitrous. While exact details are not clear yet (I have reached out to D1GP for exact clarification of rule change) it seems that various teams are changing how they build a car for the 2014 season. We have heard talks of drivers swapping to smaller turbo setups already due to the inability to spool fast without nitrous along for the ride. This is quite a shake up announcement for the world of drifting as the race for big horsepower cars is giving nitrous an ever more frequent home within the drift world. D1GP is one of the most loosely regulated professional drift series in existence so a blanket ban on a product is a tad shocking. Companies like NOS and NX will be looking closely at other series to hope they don’t make the same rulings we are sure!

 

2014 Drift Muscle in Japan [SCHEDULE]

The 2014 Drift Muscle schedule seems to be all the more exciting to the world drifting stage as Formula Drift sets to release a schedule with MSC next month. The Drift Muscle schedule is full of American Formula Drift conflicts meaning that they will most likely avoid conflicts with the MSC / Formula Drift collaboration series. Also, no driver is going to be running a full season in either of these for 2014. They have 3 Formula Drift conflicts and one D1GP event conflict in this 8 event schedule:

Round 1: Nikko Circuit (March 8/9)
Round 2: Maze Circuit (April 12/13)
Round 3: Sports Land Sugo (May 17/18)
Round 4: Honjo Circuit (June 21/22)
Round 5: Tsukuba Circuit (July 26/27)
Round 6: Maze Circuit (September 13/14)
Round 7: Fuji Speedway (October 25/26)
Round 8: Nikko Circuit (November 29/30)

 

Complete Drift Calendar Here: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/find-a-drift-event/

Formula Drift Announces that Formula Drift Japan is Coming

File this under things we didn’t expect to here just before the Christmas Break!? Starting in 2014 MSC and Formula Drift are doing a joint venture under a three year deal in Japan. “It’s very exciting to be taking our brand to the birthplace of drifting with MSC. MSC is a reputable company that has been involved in drifting for many years. We feel that this is a great way to expand our brand as it fits with our global aspirations,” said Jim Liaw.

Launching in 2014 will be two competition events held as a pre-cursor to the 2015 Formula Drift Japan Championship. One of the 2015 Formula Drift Japan rounds will also be a Formula Drift Asia points round for the season. The 2015/2016 season will be a minimum of a four round championship as announced by Formula Drift.

Japanese motor sport icons Nobuteru Taniguchi and Max Orido have committed to judging the events, notwithstanding any other racing obligations. The three-year plan will include a groundbreaking marketing and promotions campaign never done before in Japanese drifting such as a weekly television show, live stream of the event competitions and a media partnership with Kotsu Times.

 

Formula DRIFT Japan details will be announced at the official launch at the 2014 Osaka Auto Messe on February 14th.

MCR Factory Takes on YZ Circuit – HUGE Tandem Train [VIDEO]

This video has just one insane tandem train at YZ Circuit. This is more insane than anything we have really seen anywhere including Drift Matsuri! Check out this huge group of drift cars lead by MCR Factory as they fly around this circuit towards the end of the video.

Drift Muscle Championship Finale [VIDEO]

The Drift Muscle series came about in Japan after a falling out within D1GP. A 10 minute preview video/commercial of the series final shows some content from the Muscle Class and the Ladys Class. Yes, they do spell it Ladys class and we know the proper spelling is Ladies but that is what Drift Muscle calls the series. Plug in and watch some familiar faces competing in the Drift Muscle series which lacks the big media/impact of the D1GP days of old. It still looks like the competition is quite entertaining at least.

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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