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Formula Drift 2012 – Irwindale

October 15, 2012

Congrats Daigo Saito. An amazing season deserves an amazing finale. Thank you Formula Drift Irwindale.




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 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?