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Long Beach


Formula Drift 2012 – Long Beach

April 9, 2012

New old friends, that is best description I can give Formula Drift Long Beach. On a day where I expect to see all new faces, all I did was see familiar faces of my past. It was good to see the A’PEXi Lexus SC430 running again with Pat Mordaunt. Seeing other notable drivers such as Ryan Tuerck in the Retaks S14 and Tyler McQuarrie jumping in the Gardella Mobile 1 Camaro was a new take on old things. It was also nice to see some new vehicles introduced, such as Ken Gushi’s Scion FRS and Daigo Saito’s nutty 1200hp Lexus SC430. I tell you those Achilles tires make a ton of smoke and they give off a sweet stench to them.

If Falken had a dream this must be part of it as it was a all Falken final.

Vaughn Gitten Jr showing off his new livery on the all brand new 2013 Ford Mustang.

Daigo Saito’s Achilles Lexus SC430 throwing a ton of smoke all weekend long. He finishes 3rd overall.

Ken Gushi rocking the all new Scion FRS. This car looks pretty sleek and Ken did very well with a 9th place finish. Amazing considering it’s debut in the Formula D and the Long Beach track is not very forgiving.

As mentioned above, Ryan Tuerck is now in the Retaks S14 and his color scheme was pretty wicked. I never orange and gray would work together, but it has a nice look to it.

Pat Mordaunt in the A’PEXi Lexus SC430 leading Daijiro in his Falken Discount Tire S13. Pat just has a whole 700hp less than Daigo’s Lexus, but he’s holding his own. Pat eventually gets knocked out by Ryan Kado in the Top32.

Speaking Ryan Kado, he opted for a new white and red livery instead of the green from last year. Ryan qualifies 10th and eventually gets knocked out by Tyler McQuarrie and his Mobile 1/Go-Pro Camaro. In case anyone wanted to know which cars I thought looked the best this weekend. It was definitely these two, I have a fondness for white cars.

Fredric rocking the Scion TC creating a ton of smoke after the first corner. Sometimes I wonder when another driver is driving a newer version of their car, if they are jealous?

Mike Essa ran consistently all weekend and his BMW Z4 is apparently my mother-in-law’s favorite car. I personally think she doesn’t like imports.

During the Formula D events I always look forward to the last practice session of qualifying day. It’s the perfect time to get really aggressive with slowing the shutter speed of the camera down to get some really interesting photos. Here is Nick D’Alessio getting crazy at 1/5th of a second.

And Toshiki Yoshioka. Panning also helps with blurring out other media members, the fence, those annoying cones and even the wall. It’s just really fun to try to nail one of these pictures, like learning how to down shift to first gear as my buddy Edward would say it.

Yoshioka has amazing control over his car since the shutter is so slow his car always stay at a consistent line so that I’m able to catch him when the shutter closes again. At 1/5th of a second the shutter literally opens and turns black in the view finder and you don’t know where the car is until it closes. The best thing you can do is just guess where the driver will be at all times and the pictures are more consistent with Yoshioka than any driver at Long Beach.

Darren McNamara before his huge wreck. There is hope in me some where one day that they would change the liveries on the Falken cars just so my pictures from 2012 doesn’t look like the same ones from 2010.

It’s always nice to find some time to catch a break. It’s nice to just sit down for a moment, grab a bite to eat, or just plain out have a cigarette break.

This roast beef sandwich comes with rubber shredding.

Keith Covey and Jayson Faiardo doing work in the A’PEXi booth getting the Lexus SC430 new tires and cleaning it up.

I believe these are George Marstanovic fans. They really like their ricer wings.

In the middle of all the action there was also a Fatlace Slammed Society car show on the other side of the fence, I stopped by and took a few snaps. All I could think is that my drive way would take off every single one of their bumpers.

I wasn’t the only person taking photos of these rides.

Personally this McLaren would be what I purchased if I won that half a billion dollar lottery we had two weeks ago. Maybe in a different color though, however this orange was gorgeous still.

Back to more action, watching Daigo chase people down all weekend was a blast. He was very aggressive but still in control so that he doesn’t just run people over. I really look forward to seeing his SC430 run all season.

Conrad Grunwald always smoking the Hankooks. One of the drivers that always consistently puts up a lot of smoke.

Another shot of Ryan Tuerck’s Retaks S14.

Mister consistency Chris Forsberg. That guy must have veins made of ice. Always consistent with all his runs and always very competitive and never an easy out.

Surprisingly, two cars I didn’t think that would look good actually looked really good is Tony Angelo’s Scion TC formerly of Ken Gushi and Chelsea DeNofa’s e36 M3.

Chelsea’s BMW was especially gorgeous in these long pann shots. I just love the gold color on his car.

Daigo has a ton of photos, but I couldn’t help myself to post this one as you can see how Matt Powers in an under power car still being able to keep up and compete against Daigo.

Dai vs. Daigo, pretty epic matchup for the first event of the year. We are really getting our money’s worth at Long Beach.

In the finals, Justin Pawlak beats Daijiro Yoshihara. I have good reason to think that this is going to be another crazy Championship runs for both these guys.

Who is this Jarod guy?


Formula D – Round 1 Long Beach Day 2 Top 32

April 13, 2010

Day two proves that two is better than one, cars going sideways that is. The day started off cold and heated up as competition started amongst the top 32 drivers from qualifications on Friday. The A’pexi crew qualified 11th and Ryuji Miki had some tough competition beating Ross Petty and his ganja Nissan S14. However, he lost to Ryan Tuerck and his Pontiac Solstice in the top 16. Overall Vaughn Gitten JR and his once again brand new Monster Ford Mustang won 1st place with Rhys Millen and Tanner Foust finishing 2nd and 3rd respectfully. Ryuji Miki and the A’pexi Mazda RX-7 finished 11th overall.

Oh that’s right, my  logo is not in this picture or is it?

Yo Antonio, can I catch a ride to the track? You can’t see this but he runs me over trying to make a left hand turn.

Dean Kearney knocks the cone and his part of his wing off. This guy is quite consistent because he does it again the next run.

Hi Viv! Picture by Ivi Huang


Formula D – Long Beach Day 1 Qualifying

April 10, 2010

First time showing up to any Formula D qualifying day. I usually work on Fridays, but this year I’m trying to be more committed to motorsports photography. The first day was full surprises, crashes, and great display of drifting. Here are the qualifying results and pictures of the day.

Here is Robbie Nashida in the media meeting, curious why he is here at not practicing. Check out the next picture below, it’s because his brand new Nissan Skyline is not done yet. It looks like a hell of a ride though.

Joon Maeng’s newly sponsored Mazda RX-8 by Full Tilt Poker

Here is Mike Essa’s BMW 350R which is a 335 with a M5 motor, too bad he met the tire wall during qualifying because I was really looking forward to see more of this ride.

Charles Ng meets the wall with his Mazda RX-7 FC

Conrad Grunewald’s new Chevy Camaro sponsored by Hankook tires

Of course the main reason I’m here is to shoot Ryuji Miki’s A’pexi Mazda RX-7 and he qualified 11th.