Event>> Ebisu Spring Drift Matsuri – Pt1

My adventure up to the Drift Matsuri started late on Friday night when a couple of friends and I left for Fujkushima-ken. The Golden Week traffic and the toll discounts on the highways, for those using ETC,   meant that a 4 hour drive turned into an 8 hour nightmare! We arrived at the Ebisu gates at 6 am, which allowed us to get in nice an early and set up camp in the pits at the Minami course, where D1 is held. With so much to shoot sleep was just not on the agenda so I began setting up and getting the camera gear ready.

The Ebisu compound is simply huge so there was a lot of space for everyone to use and get their cars ready for the week-end ahead. At 8 am on the dot the tracks opened and the party began. 

I moved around often in an attempt to get as much action as possible, like this bunch of friends drifting their Corolla's around the Kita course, one of the lesser know track of Ebisu. 

Nishi, or West course, is one I hadn't shot at in ages, probably since the last Big X event in 2005. When I dropped by there in the afternoon it looked like an AE86 meeting!

With my "base" at Minami I spent a lot of time there, for the simple fact that that is where the craziest action was going on. As the day progressed drivers began getting used to the scary drop onto the main straight and were pushing harder and harder, literally taking off!

Drift Matsuri went beyond grassroots, there was an element of pure craziness there which I haven't seen before. There were those practicing and enjoying their time out on tack while others were on a mission to go well beyond the limits. See the balloon attached to the RSP13 above? Well, a split second after I snapped this picture it was burst against the wall, literally a couple of meters away from me and bunch of other people shooting! Safety? Who needs it!! And what is that green thing sitting on top of the engine?

The latest in top mount turbos of course! The kit also comes with the world's shortest exhaust system.

With constant impacts and the odd scrape there was a lot of hammer-to-panel action going on in the paddocks, but I was surprised to see that somebody even took their welder to Ebisu. Better safe than sorry!

You guys remember the "rusted-out" look on some of the custom cars from last week's Mooneyes gathering? Well I was happy to see the movement is now spreading into drifting!

Here is one of the Minami "missiles" that was constantly abused on the track. What better way than to get into a junker and go crazy to learn the art of drifting in a reverse-gradual way? Start hard and work your way down! 

And when the rear end gets completely mangled up just cut it off and build a complete rear section out of some plywood! 

On top of the "demolition-drift-derby" cars there were some very clean examples like this Tex Modify built S15 sporting a GT-RS turbine upgrade and full wide body aero.

I spent some time shooting at Nishi where drivers would come down fast from the main straight, get sideways with a flick of the side brake and let the car travel sideways until it slowed down enough to take the next right hander.

This MarkII Grande was set up for night drifting with a roof mounted reflectors. Another "missile" car that probably didn't make it till out alive from Ebisu!

Fellow Speedhunter Alexi was out doing his thing in his HCR32 GTS-t sporting a GT-R bumper…

…as was another Aussie, Adam, who had purchased his first drift car literally 2 days before the event (another GTS-t). Here he is practicing at the school course…

…and on Minami the first track he took out his new car on, as a complete newbie to drifting. What a nut!

There were plenty of Skylines at the event, including an R33 GT-R I saw drifting at night! 

Next up I'm dedicating a post to an aspect that makes Drift Matsuri so unique, night drifting. Make sure you stay tuned for more!

- Dino Dalle Carbonare



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I don't understand why nowadays every driftcar has to look like a piece of rusty junkyard crap... i can't see what's cool about it...


I don't think it's supposed to be "cool." They are just practicing. With those piece of shit "missile-cars" they can push it and not be worried about damaging anything.


I suppose it has something to do with the sensation of drifting being of much greater importance than the image of drifting. Its pure, fun and everyone is enjoying the occasion.

I totally agree too - just drift it! Who cares what it looks like! Not that I wanted my GTS-t to end up looking like that.

Thanks for including me Dino - the photos look much scarier to look at than it was to do from inside the car.


so it supose to be an other variation of "from follows function" :D

I don't know... it's just not my style ;o)


heh heh... you guys really can't help yourselves can you??? is that 3 drift stories just 4 days into vw month??? :D

that mk2 grand looks awesome with the lamps on the roof haha... awesome.


Fabian - you nailed it. Every good designer remembers that exact thing!

Form will always follow function...especially for drivers of missiles practicing for the real thing! :P



It's only gonna get worse because the S cars and corolla's ain't getting any younger and nobody in Japan is drifting the newer platforms like the 350Z and V skyline's. I like US grass routs events more because they ain't stuck in the past.



Remember mate, not just anyone can or will just go out buy a 350Z and start throwing it towards walls... unless your pockets are deep but that's a different story.

Not exactly a cheap skidder to start with, right?

For what it is, these Festival at Ebisu is the best place for anyone and everyone to go and skid on almost 10 different tracks. Without this support you and I wouldn't be writing these posts, perhaps...

Where else in the world can you do that?! :D


They are just out there to learn and have a great time. Buy a beater and get it sidewayz, if it gets beat...so what!

Great pics and awesome drift action. Wish we had something like this here in the US.


Haha, all the "junk" cars looks awesome. Who says you need a good machine to drift? Just get a RWD car, get some extra spare tires and hit the track like there is no tomorrow! People should just learn from that and think for a moment what drifting is all about.

DRIFT FOR FUN and as another member mentioned, NO DRIFT NO LIFE!!!!


Hahaha, go Alexi! Can't wait to see what he has to write on his blog lol.


Hey guys, notice in this thread these are pictures of drift cars, people that drift not just complain and talk about drifting or how good they are.


wow, what a pity... all those future classics being scrapped... s-cars, that z32 etc. ... why can't there be anything in between "show car drifting" like d1 and that "missile car" thing in drifting?


@Schnitzelsemmel: Well, actually there is such thing - safe driving without drifting on public roads. Drifting means pushing your car to the limit and above, so in D1 small accidents is usual thing - just like here. The difference is that guys on the pictures above dont have another couple of hoods and bumpers at the pad - they've got welder instead!


@ jc denton

true, but you actually can't tell me that cars such as that z32 above or that red s13 silvia in the preview will ever drive straight forward again... well, those are the cars you'll find on exporters' site as "authentic drift cars"...


LOL m3gtr... I look forward to seeing you in D1


id rather see grass root beater cars than d1 cars because they have more character and every dent or scratch has a story to it, i think this is the reality of drifting and i also feel that i can relate more to an old beat up drift car versus a coperate drift car.


I love the demo derby drivers...super rad! They don't have to worry about throwing their ride into the wall, because they already have 20 times...haha



Eeek! Busted.


R33 Night Drift FTW! Dino you have to post that up or I will go through life unsatisfied!


Thanks for the shot Dino!


DIno, damn, photos are awesome !


COOL many people here dont get it, respect,battle scars its just like some experience point mark in your bodywork. TRue Drifting Commitment right there


Sweet report ! Nice pictures, and good text ! Keep it up !


Sick drift machines! Over-top-mounted turbine on that sick SX..LOL..Unique top mount! Impressed...

Great Matsuri..Nice shots Dino! PT2..PT2..PT2... ...


I think this is the way drifting should be or start out as for beginners.

Bring some POS out and get F@^K!N crazy with it!!!!

Instead of bring out daddy's bought 350z only to crash and him to buy you another one.

I think that 240 with the top mount turbo was freakin sweet, props for originality!!!


This is the ultimate drifting event. Anyone who doesn't see the beauty in drifting the old dungas doesnt know the first thing about drifting, so go take your un-informed commericalised up-to-f-all comments elsewhere. Awesome write-up, awesome event. More info on the extreme top-mount setup - I love it haha.

Look forward to the night drifting write-up.



Absolutely plus one to the comments about getting out there in what ever rwd car you have and the fact that every dent tells a story and has SOO much more character than any D1 car will have with its shiny new paint and sticker job..

I will always be in love with the whole 'beaten up' style!

Oh and does anyone know anything more about that top top mount turbo set up?! thats unreal!! you'd never see anything like that in australia/usa or anything! LOVE IT!


oath theres nothing wrong with getting sideways in a POS car, any1 who thinks you can just go out there n practice without crashing wouldnt really be practicing at all. i'd rather take a 3-4000$ (AU :P) car to its limits (or my limits :P) than taking a 15-20k drift machine that will take me a few months to save to repair... that or drive round afraid of scratchn it :P just ask alexi ;D didn he wreck the boot a little way back in march? can still see the boot lid pocking up a bit :P thats the way its done ;) tho wats up i thawt hot4's payed well ;D

If u can get it sideways no1 shud b able to diss on u ;D