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Formula Drift Las Vegas 2012

August 28, 2012

Formula Drift Last Vegas is probably the hardest event to photograph each year. Between the 100′ degree temperature, gambling, and many things I can’t speak outside of Las Vegas itself. I don’t even know how the drivers stayed so focus. Especially Mister Rhys Millen who won this event and now has won Vegas in back to back years. This year’s event was insane with the sun, random rainstorm, and heavy winds, I’m just glad I made it home safely.


Formula D – New Jersey 2012 Coverage

June 26, 2012

Formula Drift New Jersey. It was a hot stormy night when all the people dreaded the humidity and were scared of the thunderstorms. Wait, it was just me being scared of the thunderstorms. It was not very smart on my part to also be standing next to the metal fences neither.

The round of New Jersey is always a weird one for me. I find some of my best images are produced here yet I am never excited to attend this event. I guess it’s because I’m always lost on the roads, seriously you have to make a right hand turn then turn left and then turn left again to make a U-turn. At Wall Stadium the bowl shaped track blocks in the tires and smoke, so you get these little particles all over the place. In your hair, ears, and neck fat.

Unexpectedly found this nice open area after I had to find a place to nosotros nosotros.

Also found a Joshua Herron lurking in one of the trailers. Be aware of stealing his sandwiches because this is how he shows up in your dreams.

Being in one of the bigger team’s rig you find that these guys actually have backup parts laying around like these complete rear ends with Wilwood brakes. Looks hot, I’ll take two please.

Bil Baldwin is now a marketing masterpiece comes with stickers, t-shirts, and peace signs. Awesome, now only if I can step up to his level.

Only one of these guys is really who he seems to be.

Vaughn Gittin JR is impressive, imagine doing an interview with everyone staring at you. Such composure and focus comes with being a driver in Formula D.

Matt Powers running over my foot. Screams on my behalf.

Mr. Linhbergh scouting shooting locations. We found the sun instead.

Tony B, checking out the Top 32 bracket. A random question, is it arrogant to do the math of who you have to beat in each round to get all the way to finals? I mean you have to be tempted too right?

Justin Shreeve eating a banana. No really, he’s eating a banana.

JTP rocking the wall along with all these all drivers. He hates his rear bumper takes it off twice against Chris Forsberg.

Usually you would think that it’s difficult taking photos of a black car, but the Bergenholtz Mazda RX-8 for some reason is very photogenic.

Kenny Moen leading Ryan Kado. Cones removed.

Jeremy Lowe’s reverse straight entry. Would have been amazing if he could have pulled it off.

Toshiki Yoshioka sandbags his practice and tears it up in competition. Pretty smart that’s what I do when I bowl.

Odi was the number 1 qualifier, pretty impressive considering it’s only his second season and I think Wall Stadium is one of the toughest places to drive. The Wall eats many drivers yearly.

Gabe Stone before and after. The Wall ate him good.

Robbie Nishida was very consistent all weekend with his Lexus SC300. One of my favorite cars to photograph.

Chelsea DeNofa, the main center figure of this weekend’s drama. If you don’t know by now, then you don’t need to know.

Rhys Millen leading rookie Jhonathan Castro into the first bank.

Pat Mordaunt showing that clipping points are very resilient.

Vaughn Gittin JR had a hell of weekend, including this sick wall ride, loses rear bumper in process. Both Mustangs don’t like their rear bumpers,

Walker Wilkerson had a rough weekend, didn’t qualify into Top 32 due to some unfortunate circumstances.

Ryan Tuerck and his colorful Hoonigan Retaks S14. Wheels are still weird to me.

JTP lining up with Kenny Moen for practice. Look at how steep the incline is, I almost pulled a cramp on my calf walking up this incline.

The Gush!

Corey Horsford getting acclimated with the Wall ride.

Pat Mordaunt chasing Darren McNamara’s new ride.

DA brothers roll in together. Nice tribute to their home track.

Chelsea’s car right before it explodes into the wall crashing into Tyler McQuarrie.

Matt Powers and Kenny Moen promoting the “close in proximity” request from the judges.

Daigo Saito no front bumper no care.

Chris Forsberg and Vaughn Gittin JR riding off in the sunset.

These epic sunlight piercing through the forest made for some amazing photos. This one with Daijiro Yoshihara.

And finally back on Top Vaughn Gittin JR takes 1st place at Formula Drift New Jersey beating teammate Daijiro Yoshihara and Chris Forsberg taking 3rd place.


Formula D – Palm Beach 2012 – Round 3 Coverage

June 6, 2012

Formula D Palm Beach is the ying and yang round for me. It’s whole yet half of it is really unenjoyable, try 90′ degree heat plus 90% humidity and random thunderstorms. At the same time creating epic skies and beautiful colors as background. The track is wide open yet the cones that guide the drivers around the track make it awful to shoot in-between them. With little media photo/video spots I tried to get as much variety but it was extremely difficult to push hard as both days my shirt was sweaty it had salt lines in them by the time I dried off. Hopefully it was worth the photos I was able to capture.

Walker Wilkerson getting ready for the driver meeting and practice. Tried the groom getting ready approach and I thought it was pretty good, now only if his best man will zip up his suit.

Jim, Ceso, and company paying attention during the drivers meeting. Sometimes I think I should pay attention too to see how the track is laid out and what the judges expect, but the lure of shooting focus personel and drivers is much funner. I never paid attention in class anyways.

You can see that the drivers start getting focus and each person does something to show their anxiety. It’s like an episode of “Lie to Me” probably a bad reference as most of you probably don’t watch it.

As mentioned above, random shower would happen throughout the weekend. This shot above shows how sunny and gorgeous it is and at the same all the rain that’s coming down.

The Palm Beach track is reversed from last year as this time they brought in fences to catch any debris if crashes occur. I thought it was nice that they extended the middle section part as it creates more difficulty and the lines are more technical. Also allows the judges to evaluate the drivers better in overall execution in my opinion.

However, with all the additional items on the course, you end shooting with tons of objects along with the car, clipping points cones, fences, and barriers are apart of the equation now.

Not often do you see both Camaro’s battling each other. Was a nice little treat during practice.

The track had some high speed areas which the drivers made good smoke and if they didn’t smoke, well just use dirt.

The feeling around the track was pretty intense. The teams that are in play for a Championship this year is gearing up for the run and since Formula Drift only has seven rounds, there isn’t any room for mistakes.

Over at the Falken rig, it’s very quiet when it comes down to getting ready and prepping the cars. Those cars work in very efficient manner with little to no directions. Vaughn having a quick word with Justin Pawlak. Justin is currently sitting in first place and would love to take home his first Formula Drift Championship.

Walker Wilkerson’s car always looks nice in the Palm Beach scenery. The purple has a nice pop to it.

As Friday night practice started Matt Fields got really tight with Fredric Aasbo which was a very nice start to the practice session

Legendary Rhys Millen battling Yoshioko

Digging Robbie Nishida’s Lexus SC300, always wanted one of those with a 2JZ swap.

Some of the rookies this year came out in full force and did was necessary including tearing off the bumpers.

The crew over KMR trying to get Kyle Mohan’s motor back into the car.

Even with all the seriousness there were plenty of fun still. Chelsea says it’s all good, I believe you man.

The KDF peeps are the best at keeping everything fun. Even when they are a little down, they know how to turn that frown upside down. Thank you Thao!

Matt Powers also having tons of fun, his job don’t suck and I have photos to prove it =P

Still there was plenty of work to do. Here is Randyl Dawn at the Falken booth working it in the 90′ heat.

The girls over at Hankook are trying to keep cool as well. Danielle Lo, Megan Belet, and Vivian Nguyen signing autographs for the dedicated fans of Florida.

Kenny Chieu working hard mounting tires at the Hankook pits. I can’t imagine replacing all the tires in this heat.

Last minute interview before Walker takes the track. Epic flare in background, damn I love Florida and hate it all at the same time.

Daigo Saito took on Conrad for three long battles. This is the reason why the kept going one more time, both cars were sticking to each other.

Beautiful skies before Top 16 ceremony.

Battle of the Nissan orange Z’s. Which orange is better? Feels like they need bigger body kits though.

Daigo rolls through Darren McNamara in the top 16

Vaughn was doing pretty well before he got knocked out by teammate Justin Pawlak. Vaughn and Justin’s battles were pretty tight which cause a one more time, but Vaughn spun his car after the first entry turn leading to an easy victory for Justin Pawlak.

There were tons of one more time including this Ryan Tuerck battle against Daijiro, Dai beats Ryan and goes on to get 3rd place.

At the end of the night Daigo Saito beats Chris Forsberg to win his first first place.

Congrats to Daigo Saito, Chris Forsberg, and Daijiro Yoshihara

You can keep your heat, humidity, and bugs Florida. Till next time.