There is simply nothing like it, the Drift Matsuri is a truly unique event and this third and last one for 2009 has probably been my favorite. With the surrounding mountains around Ebisu Circuit exhibiting the most intense autumn colors drifters were as ever spoilt for choice with 8 tracks at their disposal for the whole weekend. I've selected my favorite shots for this first post, pictures that best summarize what these last two days were like up in the drifter's paradise.
The rain didn't stay away even this time round but it certainly made for some pretty incredible driving not to mention shots! Check out that rainbow in the background as the Minami course begins to dry!
The backdrop in Ebisu is always stunning, especially when the sun is shining. Here is a panorama of the lower section of the Minami course…
…and the Nishi pits late on Saturday afternoon.
This Yamaha quad was my means of transportation within the Ebisu compound, courtesy of Andy at Powervehicles.com, the man behind the Drift Life blog. The 200 cc 2-stroke engine provided tons of speed allowing me to move from circuit to circuit in no time! No I know why Suenaga usually rides around on a cross bike at Ebisu!
All the tracks were packed, which meant tons of action!
Here is Bomber, the "Drift MC," out on the rain-soaked Minami course with his NA 180SX. He was having a blast with the slippery conditions, and he came extremely close to striking the pit wall on various occasions. This is his daily driven car too!
How about this for camouflage…
…very seasonal to say the least!
Dry conditions allowed drivers to carry some more speed through the corners…
…something Paul "Driftking" Vlasblom was really enjoying with his recently acquired JDM missile. He joined a massive group of Australians who also came over experience Ebisu at its best.
Once he nailed the tricky Minami course he couldn't get enough putting on a great show on Saturday night with plenty of pit-wall "kisses" and the occasional tire burst.
Andy, Suenaga and Kumakubo helped organize the first ever "G1-GP," a Gaijin-only drift competition! Suenaga even had cups made!
Of course I made sure participants were well stickered up!
I will dedicate a post to the G1 competition, so make sure you don't miss it!
After checking out the action and cars down at Nishi I made my way up to the North course…
…to see what was going on there. The first corner is the best to shoot from as drivers always experiment with fast, full sideways entries.
This beaten up S13 was driven by Daigo Saito…
…who on Saturday had a rather unfortunate encounter with the barriers behind the wheel of a JXZ100 missile. Here is one of his buddies trying his best to smash the front part of the chassis back into shape.
As ever the Minami course was the one that everyone tries to master, edging closer and closer to the wall all the time keeping a smooth and consistent line down towards the first corner.
It's not all missiles at the Matsuri! Check out this candy green R32…
…and the spotless blue S15 from the opening picture.
This is the only shot I managed to get of this cool AW10 wearing menacing AE86 N2 overfenders!
It's well past 2 am here so that will have to be all for tonight from the Matsuri…
…but stay tuned for more in the next few days. Hope you enjoyed this first selection of shots.
-Dino Dalle Carbonare