Event>> 4ag Challenge At Willow Springs

Last week, the key members of Drift Association (Naoki, Taka, Yoshie, Hiro, etc) and staffers consisting of several Club4AG members held their very first "Grip Day" at Willow Springs International Raceway.

This was started as a spinoff from their extremely popular Drift Day events, because they thought it would be fun to hone their "driving-the-line" skills and smoothness-of-input by practicing with timed circuit laps (which everyone now calls time attack).  While there were certainly tons of cool and interesting cars present, I thought I'd put a little spotlight on the most interesting run group (at least in my eyes!), which was filled with different types of 4AG powered cars, like AE86s and AW11 MR2s. There were also some similar displacement "non-4AG" cars in the group, like Miatas and Vitzes! (Yaris? I dunno what to call em. I think it's supposed to be Yaris, but I always think of them as Vitz cause fo the Vitz cup that runs in Japan.)

Anyway, the 4AG-powered group ran open practice on Saturday, with a timed "4AG Challenge" competition on Sunday. I heard that more and more people are beginning to take an interest in running an all AE86 class, so Naoki from Drift Association decided to do 4AG Challenge events during the professional drifting "off-season." I know there are a few AE86ers who regularly read Speedhunters… what do you guys think about doing more of these 4AG Challenge events? Naoki was saying that he could do these events several times a year if there were a lot of people interested in driving. If not, he would probably only do it once a year. If you 4AG drivers in California are interested, please chime in and make your voice known!

I was driving the track that day also, so I couldn't take photos of every single car out there (I wanted to though!), but here's a random selection of pics just so you guys can see some of the cars…

Above, Geoff Wise, a friend from the early Drift Day events, accelerates hard into an uphill corner in his kouki AE86 coupe, which incidentally, used to be Naoki's car! I dig those wheels!

Yoshie Shuyama was driving her super mean looking kouki coupe, which was rocking super wide Watanabe Rs up front, and Dori Dori mesh in the back. Notice anything different about the front fender? The fender arch has been cut off. Maybe this fender had overfender flares previously. (Or maybe it will have them in the near future?) Anyway, I love the way this kouki coupe looks… and I think the key to making a good looking 86 coupe is making it LOW ENOUGH! Yoshie and Taka obviously come from the same school of thought. Love it.

My good friend Jay Serrano (hit him up if you need Toyota or TRD parts, he knows all about 4AGs and works at Glendora Toyota in the parts department) was out driving the track in his blue kouki coupe as well. This photo was snapped just a few minutes before Jay's car went off course due to a mis-shift that had his car spinning violently into the dirt! Damn, be careful Jay!

AE86s chasing each other downhill at Streets of Willow – super cool!

Also cool is the fact that Taka Aono was out at Willow Springs, driving his supercharged backup car and giving advice to people who needed help on setup and/or driving tips. Taka is one super nice, super down to earth, professional AE86 driver, and obviously one of my favorite drivers from the Formula D series! Let's show our support of super cool 86ers like Taka Aono and Hiro Sumida! Can't wait to see what they have in store for next year's competition season.

Mike Sanchez, the owner of this blue kouki coupe (wow, lots of kouki coupes at this event!), is an avid autocrosser who also owns a wide body turbo AE86. It just goes to show, most AE86ers own more than one. Once you get bitten by the 86 bug, it's an addiction…

Cool lineup of 86s on the grid getting ready to hit the track!

This satin black painted AE86 Levin 3-door had a lot of presence out on the track – it's Mitsu from Mitsu's Garage in San Gabriel area! More on this car later! 

This silver 1985 GTS coupe (zenki coupe with a kouki facelift) was running Streets hard all weekend – at times, I saw Kenshiro Gushi's dad, Tsukasa Gushi (but most people refer to him as Gushi san, or Papa Gushi) driving it, but most of the time, I saw another driver behind the steering wheel!

I was surprised to find out that the car was mostly being driven by this girl?! Uh oh! An AE86 girl! Prepare for all the internet stalkers, peeps are gonna be hollerin!!! LOL 

Just when you thought this post was going to be all about AE86s, I gotta give props to the guys driving the AW11s out there on the track! Sorry, since I was running around from track to track, I didn't get photos of all my friends out there (Sorry Gus and Ronny!), but I wanted to show a photo of this champagne colored AW11. This guy's car was loud!!! I'm not quite sure what his engine setup was like, but I remember seeing electric fans mounted on top of his NA engine lid!

Steve Choh aka Chohdog from Club 4AG was running his green AE86 hatchback on the track. Hmmm… nice hood, I wonder if that's a B-tune hood? Probably. He has Impul Hoshino G5 wheels on his car, which certainly look very cool… even though Hoshinos are meant for Nissans! Oh well, nm Steve, I'll be nice. Yeah, well they look cool, hehe!

This zenki GTS coupe looked very clean out on the track (lemme know if you need help painting those window moldings, homie!) and he was rocking Hoshinos too!

Kouki panda levin coupe FTW! I'm imagining this car with super wide Watanabe Rs – awesome! Very clean looking car!

Check out one of the 4AG Challenge trophies! Very interesting usage of the spare 4AG parts that most of us have laying around in the garage! Cool!

That's it for the pics, Live The 86 Life!

-Antonio Alvendia

For more 4AG Challenge info, visit: Drift Day and Grip Day Events 



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Cool to see some old school on the Street of wilow. wonder what is lap time they are runing



I wish there woulda been an ae in the pictures as clean as mine is :(


Very cool! Love low 86's with big camber!


Damn, I super miss ae86 days like this..

Hey Antonio, can I borrow the zenki for the next event ;P ?


Grip! Yeah!


Antonio!!!! Hey import model thanks for the pics. Your the shit and the lighting is awesome!

haha no stalkers, but i'm sure that only happens when you take good lighting pics of yourself.haha.

next track day...bring your badass hachiroku!


Very cool coverage and awesome photos Antonio. That's okay if you didn't get any pics of me on the track. There is always a next time. Nice seeing you out there with the 370Z.


Should do this more often


Let's see some pic's of the Vitz's!!


OH MY GOD. This post started my week off RIGHT.

Man I miss my hatch.

This event is AWESOME.


lovin the photos!


good shots antonio!!! any more shots of my car?


Heard these guys were holding up alot of traffic, haha, please tell me you covered the miatas.


u always pointing out the window trims antonio...lol..great picS!


I miss my 86 :(

Hopefully the kid that bought it was out there abusing the hell out of it!


Great photos! :)

+1 missing his 86 here as well!

I think everybody who used to own a hachi is missing it right now. ;)


You just gotta love AE86s!!! :)

That black Levin looks awesome!


What;, only one AW11 pic?


Grip racing, where its at!!!

I race my 4AC Powered SR5 daily driver with that is stock with Tanabe g210 springs and tokico hp blue gas replacement shocks, along with good year eagle racing slicks, and my god is it so much fun to tear that little car around our local race circuit on a monthly basis.

It has no power unlike our demo car, but it's something about these cars.


LOL Zach! That's messed up! hahaha...

Chunks: thanks bro, hahah gotta keep peeps legit with the clean window trims tho!

Barry: which car is yours?

Ronny and Gus: I'll get photos of your cars next time, sorry guys! I was at All Star Bash while you guys were running!

Felix: Absolutely!!!!!!... not. haha. help me get the USDM red hatch together, let's track that thing!

Kassie: no, thank YOU for taking pics while I was out there! See u soon!

Sizzle: dude show us pics of your car! I love clean 86s!

Andy Sapp: get your ass out to Cali son!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


believe me when i say i wanted to be there just like the old 86 track day events! sucks I had a previous engagement. but since i got 4 of 6 of my 86s running i'll try to bring some to the next event if there's another. good to see so many familiar heads out there. thanks for posting!


Great coverage. Love the pics!!!




No B-Tune stuff on my car, EVAR.

Custom 1-off fiberglass hood assembled by Jeff Huang himself. The Hoshinos belong to Alex V, mr gimpy. I only rock knockoff wheels because I'm a cheap bastard.

How come this Kassie girl wouldn't talk to the rest of us dirty Corolla people? I mean, I know we're dirty, but not THAT dirty.


antonio, the blue hatch with gold wheels, polished lips, zenki lip. pic#4 from the top of the page. great pics! i was hoping both you and herb were gonna be driving then we would had some of the purists who still own their 86's out there!


This is super cool!

Every 86 event like this always reminds me that I hanged out with PEAK guys.

Now I really miss them...

BTW sorry I couldn't pick up your phone call because I was super busy with school due to the final.

I'll call you later!


this thread needs more aw11...

Awesome job Antonio you always get mad coverage! come to Puerto Rico some day...


Antonio, I'm not a dude :P lol but I'll take some pictures, I'm about to sell her :,(


Antonio, I'm not a dude :P lol but I'll take some pictures, I'm about to sell her :,(



Thanks for managing to get a picture of my car, very professionally done! I was looking for some event coverage and this is great. I hope this event happens more often. If anyone's curious, the gold AW11 is running a stock silvertop with open headers (muffled to and from the track). Beneath one of the fans is an oil cooler, and the other one blows air at the intake.

Awesome coverage, I will definitely frequent this site.


CoRrOlLa people are chill, not dirty. hahaha.

Antonio... strawberry kitkats all day! Hey call Carina, lets all chill after xmas for new years! woot woot!


if i won the lotto, i would find a way to make the ae86 community more educated about getting their cars ready to go to the track.

maybe even pay for half of everyones track day or something.


great pic antonio. thanks for putting one of me up ;-)


Steve Choh,hows dial visor...still ok!!!let make it in carbon fiber....hahaha!!!