Retrospective>> D1 In Tsukuba

With the 2009 D1-GP in full swing, and Round 2 at Autopolis coming up this week-end, I thought it would be appropriate to take a look back in history. Well, only 6 years at least! This is one of the first D1 events I covered, back in November 2003. Armed with my new Canon 10D I headed to check out what these pro-drifters could do, little did I know that I'd be covering drifting for many years to come!

This '03 final was the first time I saw D1 cars at Tsukuba, with only one round being held there the previous year. It still saddens me that D1-GP has stopped using the famed Ibaraki-ken circuit as it's one of the best IMO for non-stop action. At least SL is back at Tsukuba every December for the season finale.

Here is Tsuyoshi with his old JZX81 Cresta MarkII getting hard on the power on the exit of the judged corner.

Kazama's old S15, I still can't believe he is not in D1, I always rated him as one of the best out there!

As you can see the set-up back n 2003 was a little on the low-budget side, with the judges having to do with the bare minimum.

And the turn out was not quite as large as what we are all used to seeing these days, a perfect example of how the popularity of drifting has exploded.

Some of the seeded drivers getting ready to head out form the qualifying round. NOB  Taniguchi was up first with his old HKS S15 with Nomuken right behind with the Blitz Skyline.

Here is a blast from the past, the chopped-roof DRFT S15 driven by Akinori Utsumi. Looking at this car now I wonder if it's the same one we saw at the Exciting Car Showdown in Nagoya running a 1JZ?!?

I always liked the two-tone look of Tanaka's Tex Modify S15. Wonder where this disappeared off to!

HKS used to be really serious about D1, always had a back-up car ready to go if NOB ended up running into some trouble. NOB won the final round at Tsukuba back in '03 but it was Imamura that took the championship in the Apex FD.

I can't believe how much the Blitz ER34 has changed in the last six years. I think Blitz are probably the only team in D1 that have never changed car. I really hope the R35 will be ready soon!

5Zigen JZX100, can't recall who was driving it.

This FD proves that the Donut King guys in Australia were not the first to go with a full pink livery! LOL

Back then the Silvia was by far the most popular choice for teams, well it still kind of is now…

…while the AE86 is still the embodiment of the whole drift movement. Hope you enjoyed this short look back into history. Next up Sugo, another track I wish they didn't drop from the calendar.

Dino Dalle Carbonare



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Love these old posts, it aint like the old days now is it Dino


Dino, do you have more shots of the pink FD3S and Tezuka's JZX81? These are one of my favourite car in ol' D1GP, they are the bomb!




Judging from his appearance in the JDM Insider DVD (Kansai Adventure 2, lol, to get technical), I'd say the 5Zigen Chaser is driven by Seigo Yamamoto. What's happening to all our golden day legends? MSC, FTW.


Nomukens ER34 was realy good looking back then, now with the new GT-uras kit and livery its just plain ugly!


HKS S15 to me was one of the most iconic D1GP cars in D1GP history, when I see or heard of D1GP, the red HKS S15 always flashed through my mind.

Same goes to Imamura's Apexi FD, Nomuken's Skyline and many more... the good'ol days were awesome ^^


Hoshino's old FC in Renown colours.



awww man. I miss Ken Maeda in the Up Garage 86


Thanks and wow. Nuff said.


First time i saw the HKS S15 was in GT4.


Wow. I can't believe I have these photos without the Speedhunters watermark. So it was Dino who shot them. Who knew?


I wish D1 was still cool :(


wow apexi rx-7 kazama and nomukens old livery team orange wouldnt have had major sponsorship so seems like decades ago shows how fast drift has come

and are you serious no sugo wth that track was awesome for d1


There is such a 'glow' about these early days. A certain vibe if you wish.


dino i'm loving these post of the old events!


Kazamas S15 is in Norway atm and is for sale ;)


It's great there is a recall before the next round comes..

I'm very curious that where's Kazama now? He has been MIA for ages..Anyone knows the reason he quit D1GP? since he was a gorgeous drifter and got championship before also..



You may get a kick out of this.

Before I met you, some crazy guy kept getting in my shots on that day.

I wonder who that was...



No such thing as a "Cresta Mark2", that's just a Mark2. Good shots.


Russ, my apologies sir!

zhenkin....I hear he had a quarrel with the organizers and decided he had enough of the pro side of drifting.


That UPGARAGE Yellow AE86 D1 machine is still doing the rounds. And it sits 2 doors down the road from me!


There is no doubt that years ago D1 used to be a little more diversified when it came to venues. Looking


This brings back some memories, this is the year i discovered D1!


Please, please do a feature on Kazama's old S15. Im beggin u. In fact include ALL of his cars that he professionally drifted.


I wonder what happen to a lot of these cars after their careers come to an end?