2008 IDRC International Finals

It was pretty short notice.. it seemed like this year’s event was a little last-minute.. but it went OK nonetheless. Mike actually asked me to go just to check it out and snap some pics.. to be honest, I wasn’t all that excited. I told him if there was no drifting, then there’d be nothing to watch. He didn’t like that too much and bombarded me with a handful of insults. πŸ˜†

After checking out the schedule and since I’m relatively close to Cal/Auto Club Speedway, I figured I’ll check it out in the morning and get home in time to go to a friend’s kid’s birthday party. But I have to say, one big reason I decided to go was because DLo (AKA Eric Hsu) mentioned on his blog that he was going to be taking out the Beast AKA his XS Engineering Skyline R32 GT-R. I’ve seen the car in person many times, but never “mobile”. Plus, Mike and Wen said that they had contacted a handful (10-12) Skyline owners and that they’d come out for the “GT-R Shootout” at the event (it turned out to be a separate heads-up class, basically).

The event was actually much better than I had expected. There were lots of racers/racecars. I also have to hand it to the Honda drag racers who have kept at it. I saw Honda after Honda blast down the quarter mile running 9s and 10s. When I left Saturday morning, the cutoff for the Pro-Am FWD class was at 10.56 or something like that.. very impressive. I also saw a couple Hondas run 9.60s. But the highlight of my day was definitely seeing the R32-R35 Skylines line up and race down the track. One R35 (from Titek?) was running mid 11s and one that looked stock ran a 12.0 while I was there. Wen’s R33 that made 870+ WHP only managed a 12.1 (while I was there) but he figured he had broken something in the driveline, which is why the car was trying to drive itself into the wall. I heard Eric Hsu ended up qualifying Sunday and won the GT-R Shootout with a 10.40 pass.. not bad.

So anyway, here’s some of the images I took in the 2 hours that I was there.. look for full media coverage in an upcoming issue of DSPORT Magazine or on their website, http://www.dsportmag.com

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Wen’s HKS turbo.. don’t ask me what size it is, but I’m guessing its a T51R

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Hubie Fuh’s 10 second Mini Cooper S.. how about them gypsies, huh Hubie?

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An orange Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R

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TiTek Nissan Skyline R35 GT-R running mid 11s

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Speedline Racing & DSPORT’s Wen Lai and his Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R

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A random 10 second Honda Civic with about 1,100 more feet to go..

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A 9? second Scion tC.. who knew it existed? Not me.. but very impressive

All images were shot with my Canon EOS 40D and Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L. Can you tell I’m trying to be more creative in my cropping? πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ .. 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