Formula Drift: Streets of Long Beach 4/12/08

Well, I have to admit, I was kind of excited that the 2008 Formula Drift season finally got started. Drifting events (and maybe soon, Time Attack) are the one time where I’ll go out and spend a whole say shooting pictures. I’ll goof around with the camera at home and whatever, but shooting cars at speed going sideways is a different thing altogether. So when you do nail a good shot, its much more rewarding.

Oh, also its a good reason to buy new photo gear too. 🙂

When Formula Drift was in Long Beach in 2006, I struggled with a 70-200 being long for most photo spots on the track. I tried a 16-35, but that was generally too wide/short. So prior to the 2007 Long Beach event, I bought a 24-70mm f2.8L. That was pretty much all I used this year. If you’re good, you can probably get by with a 70-200mm, even from the inside of the long sweeper. But there’s no way you’d be able to get two cars drifting in tandem unless they were on top of each other. And even then, you’d probably only get 1.5 cars in the frame. So what did I buy this year? Canon 40D 🙂 .. but more on that later.

Anyway, you can check out more of my Formula Drift: Streets of Long Beach pictures on my flickr page: 2008.04.12 Formula Drift: Streets of Long Beach

Mazdaspeed’s Most Elusive Part?

So you fancy yourself a rotary enthusiast (or “rotorhead” as they like to be know) do you? You lust for Mazdaspeed parts like crack to a crack whore? Well, I bet you never seen a rotor like this.. much less a rotor like this AND made by Mazdaspeed.. Check this out:

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Yeah, thats right bitch.. a real Mazdaspeed part number and everything

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Mazdaspeed Part Number 9AA782710

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My Mazdaspeed Rotor has only been out of the bag twice, the 2nd time was today. The first time was because a black widow had crawled in there and died so I had to get it off my my Rotor

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And if you doubted the authenticity of this Mazdaspeed Rotor, doubt no more.. he’s even got a Mazdaspeed tag on his ass

Either Ed or Jeff picked this up for me while they were in Japan. I’m thinking it was Ed. He also brought back a Mazda ashtray in the shape of a rotor, a Mazdaspeed ashtray, some Mazdaspeed stickers, and I think a Japanese Mazdaspeed catalog. This was probably back in like 1996 or 1997. I’ve seen the ashtrays in use by people over the years. But I’ve never seen the Mazdaspeed “stuffed” rotor.. ever. When I got it, I referred to him as Robbie the Rotor. It’s always stuck with me. So unless someone knows what his real name is, I’ll just keep calling him Robbie. 😎

Nissan Skyline R35 GT-R vs. Porsche 911 Turbo (Videos)

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It’s going to be the rivalry that is the topic of GTR discussion for the next few months since Nissan has publicly claimed that one of their objectives was to smoke the “benchmark” Porsche 911 Turbo. I’ve read differing reports, but apparently its already been done at Nurburgring in Germany.

My friend Rich emailed me a couple links tonight from Car Magazine in the UK. They were able to get a hold of the FIRST Nissan Skyline R35 GT-R that was imported into the UK. The owner of the car picked it up and drove it to Rockingham where they were conducting the test. The Porsche 911 Turbo was a “press car” and the commentators mentioned that the car was prepped for this test since Porsche wanted to know what the car would be tested against. Since the Porsche 911 Turbo suffers the “not my car” syndrome, the driver beats on the car for about 6 or 7 laps. His best time was 83.10 seconds (and if you watch the video, you’ll see he had many in the 84 second range).

After some goofing around (to dry the track, they destroy the rear tires of a BMW E92 M3), he jumps in the Nissan Skyline R35 GT-R. It seems like he only does ONE lap, mainly because he’s scared of trashing the car and its brand new and privately owned. But that one lap was 82.10 seconds. Yes, one (1) full second faster than the Porsche 911 Turbo. And again, this was his one and only lap. Even after getting out of the car, he felt the car could’ve gone faster if he could spend more time with it.

Anyhow, watch the video. The BMW E92 M3 makes a good drift car.

Part I: The Porsche 911 Turbo @ Rockingham, inner track, 83.10 seconds best lap

Part II: The Nissan Skyline R35 GT-R @ Rockingham, inner track, 82.10 seconds best lap

BMW 135i vs Porsche Cayman (Video)

Here are a couple of video clips from the UK’s Fifth Gear television show, comparing a BMW 135i to a Porsche Cayman. They run them through three tests: (1) 200m slalom, (2) drifting contest (complete with subjective judging), and (3) time attack.

I wouldn’t call the test scientific since its two different guys driving (presumably the 2 hosts?) and the guy driving the BMW 135i even cheated a bit before the slalom course by warming up his tires. Surpisingly, the BMW 135i (even though it has 60 more horsepower and 100 lbs-ft more torque) doesnt really smoke the Cayman. In fact, I’d say its pretty darn close. I was actually surprised the BMW 135i was such a crappy drift car (again, probably the driver) because the 135i does pretty darn well drifting in Gran Turismo 5 Prologue 😆 .

Part 1: Slalom and Drifting
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-4yqvcpDE4

Part 2: Time Attack
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Obeofxn1Zi4

BMW 135i + PS3 + Gran Turismo 5 Prolgue + Logitech G25 Steering Wheel:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QxLwUb2B58
(man, watching that video, the Logitech G25 looks like it reacts a lot like a real steering wheel.. unlike my Logitech Driving Force Pro)

New and Improved DSport Magazine

I just got an email from David Rahemi, Sales Director for Hard Media Inc, publisher of DSport Magazine, stating that starting with the April 2008 issue, they’ll be rolling out a new look for the magazine.

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DSport Magazine – April 2008 Cover A

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DSport Magazine – April 2008 Cover B

I like it. I think it looks very professional and a little “J” (thats J for Japanese).. only, more professional. The new look was designed by Kevin Convertito, who originally designed Import Tuner when it was launched many ages ago by the same crew that brought you Turbo Magazine (before McMullen Argus originally bought them). It’s ironic that Kevin was the one who re-designed DSport considering I, and many I have spoke to, have long felt that DSport’s “look” closely resembled Import Tuner (I havent seen Import Tuner in a while though since I was removed from the comp list and would never pay $8 or whatever they charge for it).

I’m sure the inside of the magazine will hold the most improvement. I remember flipping through some old DSport mags thinking that some of the stories had some funky graphics. I personally felt it was hard to read, but I figured I wasn’t the “target market”.