Gallery>>d1gp Usa Round 1: Anaheim

It has seemed like so long since D1 was last in the United States.
There have been many fans (including myself) that have relished the
glory days of D1GP USA. Fans that have locked in their minds that those
events were the best drift events ever put on in the states. Those were
the days when the events actually counted as points towards the overall
D1GP season. Many Japanese drivers attended the state side events because it really did matter that they came! Who can
forget the hysterical screams from Mana-P, the slapstick comedy between
D1 judges Keiichi Tsuchiya and Manabu Orido, or the fantastic
translator and announcer Toshi Hayama? Who can forget the days when
the "one-more-time" actually had a sense of magical purpose? The
days when everything else (the car shows, the vendors' booths, import
models, etc.) at D1 was just a side dish or appetizers to the entree
that was the D1GP event. We came for drifting and nothing else.

A year has passed since D1 was last on US soil. Many of us
hardcore drifting fans were thrilled when we heard the news that it was
returning state side. Though, it was not returning to the familiar ground of
Irwindale Speedway but the parking lots of the Los Angeles Angels
stadium in Anaheim, California. The D1 brand is now under
new management, and the moment you stepped onto the event, you can feel
the difference in the regime change.

There were some D1 drivers from Japan. But there were also drivers from
the states (and one from Finland) from that came from the amateur
level and had been awarded D1 invites. There were no appearances from
the FormulaD drivers since they wereheading to the Road Atlanta.
There was no comical bantering from Tsuchyia, or Orido in the judging
box. No hysterical yelling from Mana-P. D1 did not feel like the D1
that we all fell
in love with over and over again from years past. But even if it D1 was
not the same,
it was still D1. It was still a treat to each the select few drivers
from Japan kill it. And a few of the amateurs really gave these D1 guys
a run for their money!

Here's a familiar face to D1, Ken
"Nomuken" Nomura. Is it wrong of me to say that I missed his old Blitz
livery with the blue underglow? 

Sadly, Nomuken did not qualify for the top 16 because of the scores he
received from the new and computerized judge, the "Drift Box." More on
that in a little bit.

Ross Petty killed it in his Garage Boso Nissan S15 and qualified 6th.

The skill gap between the US drivers and the professional D1 drivers was extremely noticeable…

 But even so, it did not take away from the action.

Takahiro Ueno, with his iconic Vertex Toyota Soarer, was a crowd
favorite with his insane turn 1 corner entry, constant wide open throttle, and the amount of tire
smoke that his car produced in the process.

Here are some local Southern California drift rockstars living it up
hardcore. The one in the zebra pants is none other than rising star,
Matt Powers. He is followed by his close San Diego buddies, Tommy
Roberts and Nate Deck. These guys walked around the event blasting
amazing butt rock and really rocking it out hardcore. What are those
signs that they're carrying? You'll find out soon enough…

Garage Boso vs. Drift speed.

Team Orange's Tanaka wowed the US audience with his insane first corner
entry. A few times he came in so hot that he spun out, but the crowd
did not complain!

Ueno working hard in his smoke factory.

Daigo Saito putting complete pressure on Ueno to take the win go on to the next round.

Forrest Wang in his FullRace S13 was on top of things the whole

He came out and surprised everyone with his consistancy and
absolute balls-out drifting.

The battle between Forrest Wang and Nobushige Kumakubo became an epic struggle of who will be the first to lose their concentration. One driver pushed hard and the other driver responded by pushing even harder. This resulted in a strung out battle where the judges were completely stumped and the crowd called for multiple one-more-times. The crowd was split with who they wanted to see win. Chants for in support for the local San Diego driver, Forrest Wang, and chants for D1GP driver, Kumakubo, errupted throughout the stands. In the end, the judges decided, with the help of the the "Drift Box," that Kumakubo had a slight advantage and so he took the win to advance to the finals.

By now you must be wondering what this "Drift Box" is. In a nut shell,
it is a computerized judging system which calculates corner entry,
speed, angle and g-forces. The computer then calculated how the driver
did and then gave a score. It is designed to make the judging of
drifting a bit easier. But as you can see in the photo above, the
rockstars from San Diego (and the rest of the crowd) was not pleased
with this system. Is it possible to let a computer judge the art of

The sun started to set as the final battle between Kumakubo and Saito
approached. Here were the two finalists as they parade around the track
before the start of their single practice runs.

Kumakubo was the first to start his single practice run…

…followed by Saito.

The resulting battle was a straight forward two round battle which ended with Saito taking the win.

at its essence, has always been about human drama. It may have the
cover of amazing engineering and masculine sex appeal over it, but even
the engineering behind motorsport is driven (no pun intended!) by
people. It's hard to find reasons to dehumanize a sport where the human
drama unfolds in front of the audiences' eyes. The reasoning behind the
Drift Box makes sense, but I'd like to see a future where we are not
controlled by robots who only use us to make batteries! In all
seriousness though, I find it impossible to judge something that is so

The change in the D1 brand's ownership in the United States made for a
different D1 experience. There may have been many hallmarks that were
missing. But in the end, it was a D1 experience none the less. We got
to, again, witness the drifting prowess of the pro drivers from Japan.
And we also had the chance to witness the that the skill level, from
drivers at the more amateur level, were becoming increasingly
competitive. The days of the old D1GP events are still sweet memories
in our mind. But if the rapidly melting ice caps or the roller coaster
stock market are of any indication, these are changing times –and D1
has changed for sure.

Let's keep those nostaglic memories warm, but let's also be thankful that we again have the opportunity to experience that D1 magic.

-Linhbergh Nguyen



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Linhbergh, you're killing it again, lol.

Honestly, I think the only reason the driftbox was there was because the judges didn't know ish about drifting, lol. Good job, braddah Forrest! 808STATE!!


Really nice shots !!! Well done!


we need some desktops.....
thing is all these pictures are soo awesome that i cant decide which i want most....


i love these pics, whos the photographer? i love there work!


PP is ruling, Linhbergh


great coverage, the vent looks like it will either be very fun, or a bit of a let down. i wish imammura was still driving that Z33. that car looked so good.

and great shots too!! all these pictures are amazing, we definatley need some wallpapers... like pic 1 and 13


Awesome pictures! At least first must be in 'Desktops' ;)


Oh my god, this photography is exceptional. Looks fantastic.

I agree with dave, pic 1 and 13 are a MUST for desktops, they'd just set my PC off.

That said, virtually every picture here would make an exceptional wallpaper.


first ueno pic for desktop plz. i miss that car so much.


the solo shot of ueno coming in on turn one is epic!!!!!! desktop plz!!!


My god, those are awesome pictures.

You must make these into desktops


Your shots are amazing.


You are insanely skilled. Those pics are amazing.

Desktop on the Drift Box Sux ^__^


why are they always trying to take the fun out of something? Drifting as you say its a lifestyle its not a motor sport and slowly but surely they are trying to change that. Drifting is nothing with out nomuken making jokes and everyone having fun but again they are taking away from that. we know its time for change but not drifting pls..not drifting. Have they forgot why we fell in love with drifting in the first place? Just going out and drifting your heart out? The illegal drifting on the streets? The fact that it is a rush just watchin these low cars drifting at mind bending speeds into corners that bend into 90 degree turns? I Hope this is not what its gonna change to be.


how did nomura not qualify, does that not say anything, he can win a round of d1 Japan but not qualify in D1USA? anymore feedback on the driftbox would be appreciated, interested to see how it through up wrong results


Nomukens car is butt ugly.


wallpaper of the 7th photo (S15) pleassssssssssseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee



My thoughts on this:

-The D1 USA owners should read this article and consider our feedback.

-Drift box sux. It literally sucks. It drains the sport's intensity.

-Nomuken's car is ugly, but w/e... as long as it runs well.

-If we had a D1SL division it would make drifting porn-like again... but every state has different requirements for street legal cars.. maybe we could build our cars to the Japanese street legal regulations? That would make the D1SL USA fair. <--thats something the D1 USA owners should think about too.


First off, great pics as always. Keeps encouraging me to step up my game. As for the D1 of Anaheim experience, it was possibly the worst I've had. THEY NEVER LET THE PUBLIC NEAR THE PITS. What gives?? That's one thing I've loved about drifting, you could go up to the drivers and their crew and look at the cars close up, even while they're working on them. But this time, it was all fenced off, and even when they said to wait till the end of the event to check the pits out, they ended up denying access anyways. Also, this was the first event that I've been to that refused to allow people to return to the event if they left (unless you bought the VIP package, media package, or were with the drifters) which was really frustrating knowing that my jacket and back-up memory card that I needed was sitting in my car 100 feet away. Plus the audio set-up was a joke, no one could hear anything. Oh, and the drift box is lame too. *sigh* At least the drifting was awesome. :)


uh, when and where is the gforce being tallied in a drift for points in this stupid drift box??? after seeing many drift styles and initiatons to a drift its easy to tell the gforces differ upon entry... nomukans ugly car has a long wheel base and alot of power so im assuming hes usualy doing feint entries which doesnt give the gforces any "snap" entry would? maybe im wrong, feedback please?

even if i am wrong about the gforce factor....we need to stop relying on machines to give us our answers. Please judges if you need a job with electronic assistance for your hard decisions get a job at a fast food restraunt. The exact change is specified.


Nice write-up! Perfect shots!

Linhbergh, you possess an outstanding photography skill!

All photos are flawless for me, so I would say all wallpapers!! >.<



and drift box sucks!!!


wallpapers now! :D


I agree with Powers, drift box sux. What a stupid idea. D1 USA owners def. need to rethink a lot of things they are doing.


To D1 USA we understand that everything is being modernized but not drifintg PLEASE not drifting. If it comes to that i would take my HARD EARNED MONEY and go to japan instead just to keep the old culture alive.


Nice work!


Kinod killin' it at D1GP!

Oh, the glory days...


You've got to STOP, Linh!!! Stop MURDERING it all the time!!!


Amazing pics really goods.

But about of "drift box" I think is imposible because a machine never going to apreciate the mona lisa or maybe another pice of art.


D1GP as we knew and loved truly is dead indeed. why just the fact that i had to pay 25 dollars for a ticket with no seats made me furious! also the drift box SUCKS ASS! just wanted to get my 2 cents in.


and like the mona lisa they have many arts of drifting!!!


wallpaper of that first pic please?


haha lihnbergh you rock

nice photos tambien


was there and was really disapointed that pretty much no fd drives were there

but it was a great deal of fun anyway.

i was blow away by forest he killed it!


I agree with many above; you need to stop killing it Linhbergh before we run out of things to kill!


The geek in me loved the data from the Drift Box. Especially when at NOPI in Arizona the radar gun clocked me at an entry speed of only 36 miles per hour! I was in the middle of 3rd gear, couldn't've been anything less than 55 miles per hour and that's how far off the radar gun was. The drift box at least let the judges know the true entry speed. Also, the drift box was only part of the scoring, about half, the other half was the three judges. One of those three judges had never judged drifting before. So, I don't think the drift box should be the only judge but I think it should help the judges or at least be part of the judging. It pushed the drivers to get more angle. Especially out of the exit, drivers were pushing hard past the exit making the runs more exciting. I frequently think Formula D drivers drift too shallow, not enough angle thru parts of the course. But hey, that's what's great about drifting, it's all subjective right? I could go on and on obviously a topic I'm passionate about but I really need to get back to work.


awesome linhbergh!

also, joe dycus quit drifting already. drift box saved your life from sure abomination.


I want all as Wallpapers... lol.. theyre amazing..


Actually there were three drivers from Finland, but only one made it to the top 16, because other guys had technical problems.


lihnbergh your pictures are a work of art


Ok, me like many others feel really angry with the new D1 settup. How in the world would anybody let some dude who has NEVER judged a drift event, judge a D1 event!? WTF it the new owner crazy, idiot or just trying his best at killing drifting?! No access to the pits!? WTF!? That's one of the greatest things part of D1 and drifting, FULL ACCESS to the pits!! Compared to the stuck-up F1. Drifting is not some super-secret military exercise, it's a sport of pure fun !! A human art!! What gives with the drift-box!? Like one said earlier, the judges need to quit anything related to drifting and go get a job at some restaurant. And these organizers or whateva didn't forget why and what we fell in love with, they never knew!! Why every once in a while there has to be a bunch of people to swing by and destroy the beauty in the things we love !? If you're a geek, stick to your damn pencil and mathematics!! Art is not for you nimrods!! Maybe I'm going a bit far, but it's enfuriating to see that even DRIFTING got targeted by business-calculus aswholes!! Somebody burn them or kick them of the plannet!! So much anger that I could wright a book full of it !!

Speacking of books, Linhberg, dude, seriously... maybe not a book, but you should make DVD's with your work! Get all your photos and wright-ups together and maybe get someone to help with some video as well, slide show or whateva, but you really can get out there!! No offence to SPEEDHUNTERS, I'm a huge fan, but Linh, go some serious skills!

Don't listen to them, KEEP ON KILLING IT!! Maybe it resurects, so you need to KEEP KILLING IT, OVER AND OVER AGAIN !!!

Great work! Excelent, masterpiece!





desktops of rock n rollers


Thanks for all the kind words of encouragement guys. I really appreciate it. As for the whole book/dvd thing, I see such compilations of work as an end-of-career sort of thing. I just started my photographic journey and I'm nowhere near halfway decent!

Hachiroku: I stand corrected. You're right there were 3 drivers from Finland!


Forrest Live's in Arizona and works at full race when he's not drifting, and is originally from Hawaii, Not San Diego..


"We came for drifting and nothing else."

How can one little sentence mean and explain everything. Genius!!

Request wallpaper for the first image.


Big props to Forrest for killing it out there! And even bigger props for reppin' the 808 state!


these pictures are incredible, we need some desktops.


That first photo is epic. Incredible photos.


Top photography.

I think drift box could be the end of this sport. What about noise, smoke and crowd response?

I have judged a few different drift events and would only ever use it as a guide for what you can't see from 1 vantage point. Still shouldn't rule the decision.


The drift box is one of the best things that happened to D1, It eliminates a good portion of the politics.


I thought Ueno was supposed to be rocking that new BMW project for d1gp. what happened?




The Drift Box is one of the worst things i've seen, drifting is about style and no computer is able to actually feel it.


forrest wang is sick!!!!!!!


Incredible shots Linhbergh!

Desktops of the first pic and Uenos smoke factory, PLEASE!


incredible pics... desktop of the top pic would be great!!!!