Red Bull Drifting World Championship

Well, I have to hand it to Red Bull.. if there’s anything worth doing that you can do better by throwing money at it, they’ll do it.. the event was pretty big.. at least as big as Irwindale, but felt bigger.. more people, more vendors, etc etc.. I’d say the ticket prices were a little steep, but I guess that didnt phase the people who were willing to spend $35 for a 2-day event.

The competition was “eh”. I expected more from the international folks.. I was VERY impressed with the Red Bull FD RX-7 from New Zealand.. it was rockin’ a 4-rotor NA motor that had a very NON-rotary sound to it.. one photographer mentioned that it sounded very “F1-ish”.. at which point a grizzled and seasoned UK photographer (John Brooks, who had photographed F1) said.. “uh, no”.. but secretly, I thought the same thing.. hey, don’t talk smack.. not like I ever been to an F1 race.. ok, how about, the Red Bull FD sounded like an F1 car on my TV? better?

Most of the international guys were ousted after the first round. Too bad really.. I mean, these guys have the most to prove to the US crowd.. the Formula D drivers could care less (aside from the big prize money).. the US cars were, overall, much more polished.. newer/current/relevant model cars.. pretty paint jobs, nice vinyl jobs, etc etc..

The winner was Rhys Millen.. he’s sponsored by Red Bull, by the way.. he is definitely one of the best.. so I wont say it looked rigged.. but to people who dont necessarily follow drifting.. um, it probably looks rigged..

I’ll be uploading pics to Flickr in a bit.. but for now, here’s one thats different from my normal perspective..

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Shot with my Canon EOS 40D, Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L, 27mm, 1/125 @ F14

Also, for you So Cal folks, check out JTuned.com’s Second Coming Meet and Thanksgiving Food Drive on Novmber 23rd, 2008 @ Super Autobacs in Stanton, CA!

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

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..