Formula Drift: Streets of Long Beach 4.7.2007

I had the opportunity once again to head out to Long Beach to shoot some pics of drifting at the Formula Drift Streets of Long Beach season opener. For those who have never been to the event or even read about it, the event actually uses a portion of the actual Long Beach Grand Prix. Last year when I went, I was using Ed’s 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM and 16-35mm f2.8L USM. I realized that at most of the track side photo spots, something in the 50-70mm range would’ve been good.. or, if you’re good, then you just pack the 70-200 and compose tight.. well, I’m not good, so something in the 50-70mm range would’ve been good for me.. so this year, I headed out with my 24-70mm f2.8L USM (yes, 24-70, not 28-70.. but that’s another story) and my 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM. During the qualifying sessions, the 24-70mm worked out pretty good.. I could’ve gone tighter, but there weren’t that many “windows” cut out in the chain-link fence so each window was packed.. having the 24-70mm allowed me to get good panning motion without slapping someone in the face with 14″ of hard lens..

In the afternoon, I picked a new spot and switched between the 70-200 and 24-70.. a 18-250mm lens would’ve worked out nicely.. anyway, I shot small JPG + RAW.. small JPG for the quick reviewing on my laptop and RAW for any images that need to be processed for whatever.. I picked out a few that I thought I’d share..
Speeding Fork Lift
My first panning shot with my new 24-70mm f2.8L USM

Q Racing/Peak Performance 240SX S14
Finally, a decent shot of the Q Racing/Peak Performance 240SX S14

The final, Haruguchi vs Foust
The finals, Haruguchi vs. Foust.. Tanner didnt make it to the final run so Haruguchi won the season opener.. keep your eye on this guy.. he’s good..

Formula D: Streets of Long Beach Pictures

Robbie Speed Racer Nishida

Robbie “Speed Racer” Nishida.. check out his helmet.. now you know why they call him Speed Racer

Robbie Speed Racer Nishida

Robbie “Speed Racer” Nishida puttin’ on his game face

Peak Performance 240SX S14 drift car

Peak Performance/Falken Nissan 240SX S14 in action

AEM 350Z

AEM Nissan 350Z

Tenabe Nissan Skyline R34 GTR

Tenabe Nissan Skyline R34 GTR

Falken Mustang and Viper

Tandem drifting

American Idol Season 3 chick

Here’s a pic of the American Idol Season 3 contestant.. I looked up her name, but now I forgot it and am too lazy to look it up.. she’s puttin’ on her game face before singing the American anthem

Hulk Hogan @ Formula D

Hulk Hogan.. I think he was looking at me because I was flashing gang signs at him :lol:.. he really sounded like what he sounds like on TV and he was a pretty big guy.. he doesn’t look bad for being 53 years old..

All pictures were taken with my Canon 20D and Ed’s Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM or Ed’s Canon 20D and Ed’s Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM.. pictures were all cropped, shrunk, sharpened, leveled and whatever else I could do to make the pictures look better (with the exception of major sharpening artifacts.. but who’s looking, right?) and then saved at ~30% quality..

It was an OK event.. there werent that many good picture taking spots.. you probably noticed lots of the pics I took were of the back of the car, almost.. it was because that was the only “open area” (no fence) where you could take panning shots.. by the time the car was ending that wide sweeping turn, the back of the car was facing the “good spot”.. also the section of the Long Beach Grand Prix they used for the drift course was relatively slow.. about 60-65MPH, max.. compare that to Irwindale where they’re going like 90-95MPH on the bank.. it kind of sucks that D1 and Formula D only hit up So Cal twice per year and G4TV won’t be broadcasting the Long Beach event until June 18th or something like that.. man, listen to me.. I’m like a drifting event junkie..

I’m heading to the IDRC season opener at Palmdale tomorrow to shoot some pics.. hopefully I’ll get some good Skyline GTR shots from the Skyline Shootout..

On another note, I got my Canon 30D on Friday.. but I’ll talk about that later when I run out of car stuff to talk about..

Peak Performance Nissan 240SX S14

This week, I had some spare time so I was hanging out at Dynamic Autosports and watched as the guys wrenched on the Peak Performance 240SX S14 in preparation for D1GP at Irwindale on March 4th.. the car started up Tuesday night.. but it wasnt until Wednesday night until they started tuning.. unfortunately, I had to get up to go to work on Thursday, so I couldn’t stay for the show.. but I managed to snap a few pics before I left.. the guys from XS Engineering were there prepping their Nissan Skyline R32 GTR for Modified Magazine’s Time Attack at California Speedway on March 5th so I got a few of them “in action”..

Dynamic Autosports took the Peak Performance Nissan 240SX S14 down to Irwindale today for some test laps and tech inspection.. Robbie Nishida of Falken will be driving the car this season, so it was his first time behind the wheel.. I heard he was pleasantly surprised with the car.. I heard he kept repeating, “this car is amazing.. this car is amazing..”.. I guess he really liked the 2.4 liter SR20 with the HKS sequential trannie..

Here are a few pics.. unfortunately bandwidth doesnt grow on trees, so I resized the images and saved them at 30% quality.. most of the pics were shot at ISO1600 or 3200.. cleaned up with Noise Ninja 2, sharpened (USM) with Photoshop CS2..

HKS GT series turbo on Peak's S14

Here’s a shot of the HKS GT turbo used on the 2.4 liter SR20 that was just rebuilt for this season

Peak Performance 240SX S14 drift car

A shot of the Peak Performance Nissan 240SX S14 (minus front bumper) waiting on the dyno to get its HKS VPro tuned..

Fei-Lo of XS Engineering

Fei-Lo of XS Engineering putting the finishing touches on their roll cage.. I heard Fei-Lo is a master welder now.. I guess thats why he can wear a mask like that..

XS Engineering Nissan Skyline R32 GTR

A front shot of the XS Engineering Nissan Skyline GTR R32.. they were corner balancing the car in preparation for the Modified Magazine Time Attack.. you G4TV viewers may recognize the car from the Street Tuner Challenge TV show.. the car is insane in real life.. the Nissan Skyline GTR R32 has still got to be one of the most aggressive looking cars.. ever..