Kumakubo Drifting the Yukes/Takakaira Subaru WRX STi @ Irwindale

This is actually an “old” picture (shot 12/17/2005), but this is another one of my favorites. It has nothing to do with photographic ability or skill, other than possibly “timing”. But these guys (the Subaru drivers) were putting up so much smoke, it would’ve been hard to capture an image without a large amount of smoke.

The first time I saw these guys, you could instantly tell they were going much faster (higher entry speed) than most of the other drivers on the track (especially the US drivers).

Its a shame the Subarus only make it out twice a year (beginning and end of the year) for the D1 Grand Prix events.

This image was published in DSport magazine and I think its on the front page (the subscription button or something). Just checked and its not THIS image, but one of the many I did capture that day of this car

The image was processed (again) using Adobe Lightroom, cropped, sharpened, contrast’ed, saturated, and whatever else I could adjust to make it look better. It was shot with Ed’s Canon EOS 20D and his 70-200 f2.8L IS USM.

Blitz Racing Nissan Skyline R34

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Well, since there has been no Canon EOS 40D announced at PMA (yet, fingers crossed), I figure I’d post a picture (you guys probably didnt think I actually shot pictures, huh?).

This image was shot during the NASCAR vs D1: “Drift vs Grip” exhibition promoted by Kasey Kahne for his charity foundation. This was back in August 31st 2006, but its one of my favorite pictures.

Its not as (consistently) sharp as it could’ve been, but thats probably due to the combination of:

. shallow depth of field due to being forced to shoot at f2.8
. shooting at ISO1250 or 1600, maybe 3200.. too lazy to look it up, but it was Noise Ninja’ed.. or maybe it was Noiseware Pro’ed..
. shooting at 1/100 shutter because thats all I could muster given the poor night time lighting at Irwindale

In any case, its one of my favorite, thus far..

I posted this using the “Blog This Photo” feature on Flickr.. pretty cool.. maybe I’ll make more use of it in the future..
EDIT: Photo was shot at ISO1600, 70mm, 1/100, noise reduction by Noiseware Pro in Photoshop CS2, cropped

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..


Drifting : Why?

A couple weeks ago, I and my “teammates” presented our DSport marketing research project.. during the question and answer part, a fellow classmate asked me, “what’s the deal with drifting?”.. I simply responded that it was entertaining to watch.. he countered with “why???”.. on the spot, I didn’t know what to say.. I mean, its entertaining, period.. I thought about it afterwards.. and I was thinking, “what does he mean ‘why?’.. its just.. just.. its just fun to watch..”..

This past Saturday, I went to Irwindale, CA again for the D1 Grand Prix : USA vs. Japan drift event.. I and my friend were shooting pics for DSport for fun and for free entry to the event.. I couldn’t stay for the whole event.. so I was only able to capture the practice session (700 pics in 1.5 hours through the magic of a Kingston CF Ultimate 2GB card,a Canon 20D, and a Canon 70-200mm f2.8L IS zoom lens).. afterwards, I thought again about the question posed to me 2 weeks earlier.. why is drifting entertaining to watch.. and I have an answer..

Everyone should be able to agree that “drifting” a car (or driving sideways) is not particularly easy.. sure, its easy to get the rear loose around a corner or in a parking lot.. I’ve put my RX7 on a curb and spun my MR2 a couple of times back in the day.. but to actually execute a controlled drift at high speeds around a track is an entirely different matter.. also, we’re not talking about ‘drifting’ your dad’s 1978 Oldsmobile with a small block V8 and some skinny whitewall tires.. we’re talking high horsepower (the Takakaira Subaru made 650 whp, I heard), highly tuned racecars.. so to answer the question, I’d say that drifting is entertaining because I know drifting is not easy.. so to be able to watch 32 guys driving around in cars I like, smoking tires like they were free, and to do it all without slamming the wall and killing themselves, is fun to watch.. I’m amazed by the level of talnet involved in hitting a banked turn at 90+MPH with the rear bumper inches from the wall.. maybe I’m not doing such a good job of communicating my “answer”.. but think about this.. MOST people would say watching golf is boring.. there’s not much action, no threat of injury to the participants, and one round lasts a long ass time.. so why do people watch, much less attend these events and stand along the course? I’d say its because the people who enjoy watching golf are the same ones who understand the level of skill required to perform at that level.. same thing with drifting.. if you’ve ever tried to drift your car, or even inadvertently drifted your car, you would know that its not just something you jump into a car a do.. so to see what these guys can do in a car at those speeds, is, for lack of a better word, entertaining..

Anyway, here’s one of my favorite pics from the 700 pics I took.. I’ll put some more up later after I sort them out and after DSport picks the ones they want to use for the next issue..

takakaira subaru