Time to head back at Nikko for more coverage from the third round of the Street Legal championship which as we saw in Part 1, was won by Nakamura, in his D-max S15. Every time I go to Nikko I end up taking way too many pictures, bad for me as I need to sort through all of them once I get home, but good for you guys as you can see how the crazy Japanese drifters do their thing.
One of the biggest spectacle at this little drift track in Tochigi-ken has to be the first corner, where the track dips down at the extremities towards the kitty litter. If you want to impress you need to come in fast, with plenty of angle, using the dip to throw the front left wheel in the air. Some drivers were getting some pretty wild air on Sunday like Kajiwara in his ATS S15.
Take a look at Saori Ishikawa's Yashio Factory 180SX. The G-Sonic GP-Sports aero is pretty extreme, with massively blistered front fenders and a snowplough bumper. The complete kit sells for US$14,000!!
Before the Best 16 got under way the drivers were invited by the D1 staff to kindly line up and sign autographs for the fans. They were lined up according to point ranking so number-1 seed Jikuya was first in line.
It was good to see a few AE86s at Nikko, they seem to be slowly but surely disappearing from the professional drift scene. Lack of power is the culprit unfortunately, as turbocharged cars always have the upper hand when it comes to lighting up tyres. It seems the only way is to bolt on a turbo to the little 4AG, like was done to Tadokoro's Trueno…
…as well as Wakita's Levin.
As you can see it was doing acceptably well in the smoke department.
Here is Jikuya in the V-Factory S15 getting a tiny bit of air. Not sure what to make of the GP Sports aero on this S15, it looks so good on the Yashio Factory RPS13 but it just seems to sit way to high on this Silvia.
During the qualifying for the Best 16 Kawakami came in way too fast in most of his runs and ended up in the gravel…
…leaving behind his rear bumper! Daijiro Inada, who was watching the drifting from the same place I was shooting from sprinted to grab the bumper and move it out of the way.
And on the subject of losing bumpers…
The action during the Best 16 was top notch, here is Mikami in his ECR33 winning his battle against Deura and moving on to the Best 8 where he was beaten by Tezuka.
The number plate says it all!
Some more air from the other Moty's sponsored car, Fujino's S15.
Battle of the Silvias, S14 vs. S15, Yokoi vs. Jikuya.
While chatting to a member of the D1 staff he expressed his surprise at the turn out for the Nikko round, especially considering there is pretty much nowhere to sit!
Might not be AWD but it's a Skyline so it's good enough for me!
Thought this was pretty cool, on top of the regular company sponsorship Kuroi's S15 was sponsored by his family!
These guys had to make some pretty hard calls during the Best 16, the battles all looked so close from where I was standing.
I wish I had the opportunity to get this close to cars at other tracks!
There is one final installment coming from Nikko so check back soon for more sideways action from D1-SL!
-Dino Dalle Carbonare