Event>> D1-gp Round 8 – Fuji – Part1

Youichi Imamura must be a very happy chap. He is now the only professional D1 Grand Prix driver to have won two championships, his first one back in 2003 when he was driving the Apex'i FD3S. His celebrations started early during the Best 16 after he beat Daigo Saito in a series of very close runs. He grabbed the 2009 Championship trophy at the end of the day along with a ¥1,000,000 prize.

Unlike Round 7 the day before, Sunday was warm, dry and sunny throughout allowing the drivers to go full out, taking advantage of that fast entry at Fuji…

…shown here by Kumakubo, as he blasts towards the hairpin at insane speed.

No this is not a picture from Saturday! Unbelievably Kawabata ended up going into the final against his teammate Kuroi. And again he grabbed first place allowing him to climb up to 6th place overall for this 2009 season.

Keiichi Tsuchiya, the head judge, had some pretty hard calls to make yesterday. He, along with the rest of the judges panel were far from impressed with the qualifying runs of…

…Tsuyoshi Tezuka…

…and Ken Nomura, here he is doing one of his usual entrances during the driver's presentation. Both were within reach of the 2009 Championship along with Hibino and Imamura but ended up not even making it into the Best 16. The crowds were surprised and for the first time in D1 I even heard some booing going on!

The level of drifting throughout the qualifying was simply awesome, so I can understand the tough calls that had to be made. 

Takayama managed to make the cut by landing in 14th position with 98.7 points.

Takahashi was on fire, and so were his tires when he got back on the power on the exit of the main corner! Just look at that thick creamy smoke, yummy!

Drift Samurai was in great form too, but he screwed up the entrance during his first pass ending up on the grass, well, where there used to be grass!

His second pass was very clean and he nailed the exit with tons of power allowing him to make the cut for Best 16.

I walked through the pits as usual to get a closer look at the cars and check out the teams preparing for the Best 16. 

Saito's car was lifted up at the front for some quick work.

Having tons of power obviously takes a toll on the driveline but the mechanics are always ready with spare gearboxes…

…and replacement diffs ready to go. Notice these have a different final drive so Saito can choose what works best at each track.

Suenaga's Evo didn't get to see much action, as he didn't make it through the first qualifying for Round 8 the day before. I'm sure he will have more luck next year!

The car that defies physics, the Team Toyo Tires RPS13 180SX.

The man behind those crazy rear-end-first entries, Masato Kawabata, as he paces around his car.

The sunny warm weather on Sunday brought twice the amount of people compared to Saturday, as well as additional cars on display in the paddock. This is RE-Amemiya's fully "itasha-ized" FD. Even the wheels got the treatment! The vinyl wrapping and design was taken care of by Art Factory.

Some people have asked to see more of the JUN Akira Supra so here it is, looking even better with the hood shut! Can't wait for December to see this car in action!

Spotted this kouki RPS13 180SX in front of the Nismo booth wearing the full GP Sports aero kit.  Looked very nice and worked well with the carbon rear end. 

Before the Best 16 tsuiso rounds got under way Nomura… 

…and Tezuka came in front of the crowds and apologized for not having qualified. Both bowed, and began to cry. I have been covering D1 for a long time and I've never seen anything like this! They were both in with a chance to grab the championship and had a lot of fans giving support and they were very sorry for having let them down.

Next up a look at the Best 16 action, so make sure you check back for some seriously close battles like the one above between Tokita and Kumakubo!

-Dino Dalle Carbonare



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Wow, do you have any more information and pictures about that amazing widebody-180SX? Looks really hot and i would really apreciate to figure out some more information about it..


Wow sucks to hear about tezuka and especially NOMUKEN as he mere than deserves a championship:-(

Any more onto on that widebody 180sx at the NISMO booth?


This is amazing. Thanks!


You've been covering D1 for a long time and never saw a driver cry because he haven't qualified? Open your eyes dude, it happen almost at each round!!


Tezuka has been doing so well this year and has both pride in himself and respect for the people that support him. Him crying just shows how much it means to him.


MORE PICS AND INFO OF THE WIDEBODY 180!!!! pls and thank u


Please post more pictures of the kouki RPS13 180SX with Nismo livery one of the coolest cars ive seen in awhile


<3 kouki 180's. They're great inspiration for my build. :P


Well guess its tough luck for both Nomuken and Tezuka. Both did really look like winning and yet the win just slipped out of their grasp. Can't deny that Imamura has definitely earned his 2nd championship, being one of the most consistent drivers as well as having the most wins in D1GP it is hard for anyone to top him anytime soon.

But wow, already the last round?


Warren...I meant I haven't seen drivers apologize and cry to the fans. They cry all the time in D1, so do I, every time someone wins the tears start to flow. It's all very emotional.





thnx dino. dat cawr look sik


That really sucks. I mean, congrats to Imamura, but Tezuka really kicked ass this season, and AGAIN, for like, the third time for both drivers, Nomuken and Suenaga both come so close to winning a championship, but lose it right at the end.


Man what happened the D1 cars theres about 3 sexy cars there and the rest are sky high with no fitment....the RE Amemiya fd looks like a poor quality plastic model wtf? cant believe nomuken didnt qualify though


Yes Imamura is the only D1 champion and he is one of the best drifters in the world BUT almost all of the past D1 champions dont have a chance to repeat - Ueo, Taniguchi, Kazama are no longer in D1. Just a thought..........


I really don't see why people have to sound like friggin' know it alls ('specially people like Kyshro).

Hey man, JUST A THOUGHT: Saito, Kumakubo, and Kawabata are still in D1. I don't see how they don't have a chance to repeat. ANOTHER THOUGHT: A normal ellipsis contains 3 periods. Anything more than that makes you sound like a pain-in-the-ass so................................................... oh, whoops. Well, that's a pretty good example, right? See how that works?


NISMO kouki RPS13 180SX!!!

MORE plz.


I agree. Ueo could definately do it again.

And what happened to Kazama?


More pics of the nismo 180sx!!!!!


more pics of nismo 180 with carbon rear end! pleaseeeeeeeeee


thats classy as hell. i have so much respect for japanese drivers, no way would you see drivers here in the states get out and apologize for not making a final and then begin to cry. so much respect for these guys.


Oh I see what you mean Dino, although it already happened.

Seeing japanese D1 drivers crying when losing, just show how different Japanese drift is compared to US drifting.

There its just about showoff and being pretentious, almost no pressure (atleast compared to JP drift)...


i vote for more on the nismo 180sx! along with everyone else


TEZUKAA!!! nomatter what...UR THE BEST!!