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. 😆

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? 🙂

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..