Gallery>> Firesmoke And Tiresmoke

This is sort of an alternative-styled post for Speedhunters. It's not necessarily focused on a car, and not necessarily lifestyle either. I just wanted to point this out to our loyal Speedhunters readers in other parts of the world – this past week, Southern California has been on alert because of several wildfires spreading throughout  all ovdry brush and foliage-covered mountainser Southern California, coming dangerously close to many residential areas near the Red Bull World Drift Championship in Long Beach.

Long Beach, as its name implies, is a coastal city… it's one of the largest shipping ports in California; that's why you see big shipping cranes and overseas containers stacked up in the background of many of the Red Bull/Long Beach drifting photos. However, one aspect of the event that just wasn't talked about too much in the play-by-play coverage you've been seeing on Speedhunters is the super dark, polluted sky. Gross.

Check out this photo of Ireland's own Eric O'Sullivan drifting past the photo pits as the sun set over the Long Beach dockyards, making the gray sky look deep red. That looked crazy!

The sky and atmosphere at this event was filled with dirt, debris, and
ash from all the fire smoke, and mixed in with the smell of burning
rubber from the tire smoke. It lingered low in the atmosphere, so we had to breathe it all in; the charred smell, ash, and burnt rubber smells all mixed together to stick to your
clothes, get into your hair, become embedded into the crevasses of your
ears, and stick to the paint of your cars. Horrible! In fact, the
breathing conditions trackside were getting so bad for many
photographers, that people began using bandanas, scarves, and even
filtered gardener's masks (aka "Sars Masks") while walking around the
track on the following day. It may have looked weird, but if you had as
much ash and rubber particles in your ears and nose as we did, you
would understand.

As the sun set some more and the event ended on Saturday, I was able to capture the last fleeting moments of brilliant red sunlight as the sun set over the stacks of tires positioned around the track.

And even though I showed you the dusk photos first, here's a photo of the nasty looking sky during the middle of the afternoon! If this doesnt convince people to go green, I don't know what will! Okay, I'm going to recycle this Gatorade bottle now… more car photos later today!

Before that though, please post up your reaction to the sky in these photos! I want to see what you guys think – these photos are legit! The sky really looked like this!

-Antonio Alvendia



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I assume when the world ends, the sky will resemble the one seen in that last picture.



Real Cyberpunk :)


scary stuff.


I was sitting in the far right of the last frame and i can tell you at the end of the day i was covered in ash. The grandstands looked like an ashtray for cigarretes, it was disgusting and super filthy


Alright Antonio, we get the point. You've lost your faith in drifting due to it's thrashing of the environment at a time when Global Warming is more prevalent then ever. Just admit it, you traded the 86's in for skinny jeans and a fixed gear, we won't hate on you lolllll. But the day you buy a jade green Prius, expect the hate lol.


I've been down to SoCal during numerous large fires and it always ends up looking like this; about 3 years ago or so it rained ash from a black sky for like 3 or 4 hours in the afternoon. Fires are not really the stuff of global warming I'd say but take a look at the SoCal sky during normal conditions and you can see that it is still pretty dirty (NorCal represent!). Anyway what a scene it made for the competition, perhaps one of the few venues in the world where ash falling from the sky provided a hardcore dramatic setting instead of simply being the sign of Armageddon for all the crazies in town!


Cool pics, Global warming is a lie, in a few million years the sun will explode....none of this will matter.


Great shots man. Proper drama thrown up by all that smoke. Aesthetically its stunning, shame about the ash falling pon yer heads


Interesting, my photographer buddies had the opposite reaction. While shooting on the track on Saturday when the smoke was the thickest they were super stoked that it acted like the worlds biggest light filter and produced a dramatic orange light condition that made for good shooting.

At least some good came out of so destruction with many people losing their homes.


that first pic is awesome. love the setting


Desperately want a hi-res image of that first pic!!!


That is intense looking! Seems like the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic zombie flick.


yeh id take snowing ash over east coast snow anyday! lol

ship me to cali plz haha


i was too busy moving sh!t out of my house when all this was happening. inhaling that nasty ass smoke and ash in the air while trying to lug out heavy furniture.


Well, I guess it can't be all that bad. I mean Malaysia had it worse a few years ago, where the forest fire from Sumatra caused so much haze that the parts Malaysia (most notable, Kuala Lumper) was covered in smog. It was so bad that you can't barely even make out things from the background. School has to be cancelled, people having to take days of work because of getting sick, its pretty much as bad as it gets. Hopefully the wildfires would end and everything gets back to normal.....


I apreacate geting to see these photos... The sun in that first photo is how I Imagin the sun would look like viewed from Mars. And that last photo does indead look quite apocalyptic.


The internet demands a High resolution picture of the first picture.


if everyone goes green does this mean we'll have hybrid or even electric drift cars like f1? lol

well living here in SoCal wild fire is kinda a normal has it happens every year

and yes it was horrible to breathe at the redbull drift but i didn't stop ppl from coming and showing there love for the sport


man you should make that first shot a wallpaper. that image is gorgeous...


i'm going to agree with everyone that a hi-res or wallpaper of that first pic would be awesome.


as much as some of u guys liked these photos. i thought all that stuff in the air put a real damper on the event wen i was there, and damn it was hot that last day.


MUST MAKE THE TOP PIC A DESKTOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

great article as well