Event>> D1-gp Round 3 – Fuji – Pt1

The Dunlop people must have been very happy yesterday with the one-two finish from both of their top sponsored teams. Yoichi Imamura in his M7 Boss S15 grabbed the victory after beating Ken Numura hands down in a pretty straightforward final battle of what was a great actin-packed weekend. The pressure was on for most of the seeded drivers after their dismal performance on Saturday, where it looked like most were suffering from mid-season blues!

But they had to step their game up for Sunday as tons of fans had made the trek down to Fuji Speedway to see some proper high-speed D1 action!

They certainly weren't disappointed as every driver was pushing well beyond the limit, throwing their cars sideways at barely believable speeds. The biggest spectacle however is always the pedal-to-the-metal exits to get that all-important tire smoke to pour out of the wheel arches. Here is Ginushi with his 4-Real Works Soarer showing how it's done!

I caught most of the cars lining up in the pits early in the morning right before heading out for the short practice session. Fuji is a massive circuit and it literally takes a good 15 minutes to walk from the pits to the inside of the hairpin. Needless to say, I got a good workout over the week-end!

The opening ceremony is a very important part of each D1 round as Mana-P takes lead role in presenting each key member of the judges as well as the drivers that have qualified.

When it comes to popularity nobody comes close to Orido, he is the the D1 superstar! His trademark cowboy hat is becoming a hot seller at the Ridox stand and I spotted quite a few spectators wearing them over the weekend.

He was really getting the best of his rebuilt Supra, qualifying in 6th position, ready to get some battles on in the Best 16.

Nakamura, who managed to finish in second position on Saturday, was just not impressing the judges yesterday. He ended up in 21st place; so no Best 16 battle for him this time round.

Imamura Takahiro, aka Drift Samurai, went from first position on Saturday to 11th place. You gotta love this guy's poses!!

After a very poor performance on Saturday that saw him not even qualify, Nomuken nailed his solo run in the morning grabbing second place with 99.90 points. 

Here he is confused at why his second place medal broke on the podium at the end of the day!

It seems D1 might be heading to the United Arab Emirates later this year. Organizers from Abu Dhabi were over to get a feel for this new kind of motorsport, checking out the action over the two days at Fuji. I for one can't wait to see D1 cars blast through the corners of the Yas Marina F1 circuit! This is something everyone is looking forward to!

D1 wouldn't be complete without the race queen presence. I wonder if the girls will also be shipped over to Abu Dhabi LOL

Fujinaka's FD is quick becoming my favorite car in D1. The 4-rotor turbo engine sounds so damn good at full rpm! I want to see him up against Yoshioka and his soon to be finished 4-rotor RX7 at Okayama in three weeks! They will have to provide spectators with ear plugs!

Paul Vlasblon, here with his loaner T&E Soarer, along with Mike Pollard and Robbie Bolger ended up at the bottom of the points ranking. It seems they were just not impressing the judges enough. I'd like to see these guys compete in D1 with their own cars and a limitless supply of tires so they can have more time and chance to practice and prove themselves!

Ueno, despite using every last horse his 2JZ BMW develops, didn't make the Best 16 cut ending up in 26th place.

It was much the same story with Hirota and his Auto Service Mori 2JZ GS350. He screwed up his solo run and was out of the competition. I hope we can see him get into the Best 16 in Okayama! We'll be taking a more detailed look into this new D1 machine this week so stay tuned.

It was all over for Suenaga the moment he cut the apex too tight, ending up on the grass. He finished in 28th place.

The complete Team Orange, including the latest addition Oshima on the left, and Sumika on the right who participates in the D1 Venus Challenge series.

Kumakubo's constant mistakes caused him to miss the Best 16 cut by two places, ending in 18th position. I'm sure he will do much better in Okayama.

The two M7 cars, now wearing identical livery.

Before the Best 16 got started in the afternoon I had a walk through the pits bumping into Nakamura and his S15…

…and Tezuka's Bee-R BNR32. It was the car that actually let him down. It progressively started to run rougher and rougher until the engine let go altogether. Imai-san from Bee-R said it will be getting an all-new RB26.

One of the stands on the paddock was Vanadium Fuji water, who had this hot BMW M1 on display.

Couldn't pass up the chance to drool around it for a while and checking out the mid-mounted 3.5L straight six lump.

What motor powers your car?

In the quest to find suitable wheels for my Legacy Wagon I always check out ever wheel displays at events which is where I found these very nice Work Emotion 11R rims finished off in matte black. Very hot!

D-Max always has an impressive selection of suspension arm components on display at drift events. This is the perfect place to get some advice on what to fit to your car from people in the know.

Here is Bomber doing what he does best, talking! He set up camp in the press room doing a live-feed and talk-show for the D1 mobile website.

I was so disappointed for Matsukawa as he ended up in 17th place, 1 position short from making it into the Best 16. 

Orido went on to beat Imamura in this Best 16 battle. But fear not, a Samurai never gives up, he will be back in Okayama to prove himself again!

Sakuma won his first battle against Takayama in the R-Magic FD, and ended up getting beaten by Nomuken in the Best 8 tsuiso.

Don't miss Part 2 of the D1 round in Fuji, which will be packed with more action and behind the scenes coverage.

-Dino Dalle Carbonare



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JDM D1GP is soooo much more legit that USDM Drifting of pretty well any sort. <3


D1 is all corrupted ! Just to name few drivers:

A couple of years ago"Toshi King" was one of the main character, winning left and right in his AE86, then switched to the SC430 and disappeared.

Same thing with Kazama Yasuyuki, incredible driver....won left and right and now.....nowhere to be found.

Ken Nomura is another individual that has ALWAYS been a great-great driver, putting up a great show, yet, he ALWAYS score 2nd. place. How come? No seriously, how come?

How about Mr. Ueo? Been drifting for ages, being part of the all drifting community in Osaka since day one, yet fail to qualify? (as usual)....can't tell me he can't drift !

Follow up are Kumakubo, Masao Suenaga, and Kawabata always 2nd, 3rd, 4th position in no particular order......where's everyone else? D1 is getting beyond boring ! Kinda sad actually.


D1 has been dead for years.


i think there was a fair bit to do with a demo in the U.S where taniguchi kazama and orido were suggested not to drive by d1 officials due to sponsorship differences and were not allowed to compete the following year but i know kazama and someone else created the msc challenge.

EIther way d1 is still the pinacle of the sport love it, minowa's jzx90 is porn!!!!

disspointing nakamura didnt qualify, one of the bet drivers in the world for sure


you ROCK dino!


the complete team orange? wut? where's Tanaka?


And when you see Japanese drivers in Europe they never score, just as last year Kawabata in the JDM series.

And Euo was defeated by Paul Vlasblom in England at the D1 Great Britain long time ago?

It's a pity that the foreign stars who compete in D1GP Japan use loan cars with shit performances, like Hubinette en Vlasblom, how can they score with cars with a lack of power, mechanical problema all the time, no tyres?


Well, anything is better than Formula 'Money Wins' D


i agree with alex dont really like the changes of D1

i remember when orido was a joke and couldnt drift lol

kazama's was a crazy underdog battling it out with everyone and getting his first victory

and wtf happened to Youichi Imamura was the guy to hate i miss that loud mouth muthafucka lol

nomuken and ueo aint seen as much media attention as back in the day miss the grassroots D1

i dunno as cool as the car they have now are i kinda miss the old small cars duking it out with big cars and the old school tandems

think ima put my old D1 vhs in and watch it


D1 best ever.looks like the seeded drivers are getting their groove one


That JZX90 kit is really really nice. Front shot of it really shows it off. And the stance is ridiculous.


Wow !! it amzing


D1 = based on mates and sponsorship

Formula-D = money wins, serious built cars without the knowledge and drivers to drive them (Ueo schooled them all!)

MSC and JDM Allstars FTW!


American grassroot drifting is better than anything. It "Keeps Drifting Fun".


D1GP still classic! luv the orange-autobacs-D1 logo..


Maybe one of these days Nomuken will get 1st...


D1SL instead anyone? The suggested sponsorship problems haven't crept in their yet so what you're left with is a big bunch of enthusiasts on often, not always, shoe string budgets battling it out for the sheer love of the sport. Personally I find the D1SL car builds to be far more interesting as the D1GP cars are hard to relate to. Kinda like the way Matt Powers' car had everyone rightly fixated on it when we saw it first on this site....


I don't usually see eye to eye with most things Alex has to say, but in this case I'm with you 100%.

D1 is as much a sport as wrestling, only in this case it's the judges that decide who has to win.

The main culprit is "Dorikin" Tsuchiya who runs the sport as a business first, and as a sport second.

Those drivers that don't get along with him, end up never winning and eventually leave.


Don't think I've ever read more bollocks in a comments thread. Austin - Imamura won the Championship last year.............................


2nd picture for desktop plz :D


Peter, the kawabata you are speaking of is not the one od D1 fame, he is the owner of a small company called Driving Sports and is only a regular privateer like the rest of us.

Paul didn't beat anyone in the 2005 D1GP exhibition match in the UK. The controversial decision was between Darren McNamara and Kazama Yasauki, which was ultimatley decided in Kazama's favour, must to the discontent of the uk crowd. Although i would say both Paul and D-Mac's involvement has had nothing but positive effects for them.

You should get your facts straight before you start ranting my friend...

Good work Dino, thats the most mixed up D1 field in a long time with very suprising results! Whats happening with Yokoi? In my opinion, he's one of the most incredible drivers in Japan, but i've only seen him in D1 once!


Until D1 decides we are a worthy audience and resupplies us with JDM International vids, or makes a DIGP site that actually has anything to do with the Japan series, or STREAMS D1 LIKE YOPARTS!!!!! I will be disappointed.

Tell you guys what, though: I think D1 is starting to get worried about the US drivers. Think: Up until 2006, D1 was willing to compete with US drivers as long as it guaranteed the Japanese drivers would rule the show. Ever since then we got a terrible D1USA series with maybe 3 D1 drivers, and occasionally a current D1 driver in FD (Yoshioka last year). I'm really sick of "D1 is blown out and FD is only $$$$". Put the money on the table and lets do D1 vs FD, on a NEW TRACK. As it stands you will never have true competition as the costs for these teams to run their car to the other side of the world is too high. Sucks for us.

Wouldn't we all want to see Gittin vs. Saito? Faust vs. Kumakubo? Nomuken vs. Millen? Drift Zamurai vs. Matt Powers? Suenaga vs. Dai?


Hey B-Glasses, you gotta give props to Formula D in the US, they can give you a show no matter what, so saying that its not as legit as D1, is bullshit.


street drifting > everything


D1 needs a bit of a change. But it's still way better than Formula D or any European drifting.


Need to find video of Fujinaka`s 4 rotor!?! Anyone?


thanks for the post dino, great update for me

D1 rules


not a V8 in sight(i think)


well if d1 goes to abu dhabi we'll see epic euro vs jdm battles. i really hope that materializes


LOL @ references to D1 being corrupt and Formula-D being legit, world championship 2008

Rhys Millen Racing backed by redbull finish 1st and 2nd and only japanese driver that came over, Ueo, was completely robbed of a final spot! IRONY


All drifting is a silly motorsport, because it's based on a subjective scoring. Leave the racing to the grip guys. It's easy. The car that crosses the finish line first, wins. Duh.

How many points do I get for "sick angle?"



Great coverage! D1 is better than FD in my book. Love FD but its just missing some of the magic of D1. Everything is freakn V8 in FD and drivers dont push it as much. They are both great series and both have stuff thats lame and stuff thats awesome. I always have so much more fun when I'm in Japan and checking out a D1 round. I would love to see D1 vs FD, but I'm pretty sure it will never happen.


tbh you cant compare D1 to formula-d at all so no competition is going to determine whose the best due to soo many external factors on the driver with most of these events being competed in by drivers who turn up with their cars last minute with barley any practice, huge mechanical failures and settling in with an unknwon atmosphere. Along with the controversy that seems to be attracted to all the 'big brand' series especially Formula-D & D1, to be completely fair it would have to be judged and held within a mutual battleground by an independent company that actually knows what their doing which means its pretty much impossible.

If D1 could strike a balance with Formula-d or any other series for that matter then they'd sure be onto a winner. Maybe the sheer talent and huge knowledge of the japanese drivers incorporated into the workmanship and technology of the USA then surely the results would be amazing.

Saying that I reckon if someone sent Bon Bon over Formula-D properly with his car funded and some actual time to adjust, he would school you all!

Natural Talent>$$$$$$$ Car


nice post !

any videos in part 2????


D1GP is really on life support right now. A lot of stars aren't doing as well as they used to and some have vanished all together. I'm going to vote for Imamura to win the championship this year. I really hoped for Tezuka last lear. Seriously a lot of these drivers and teams need to establish here in the good ol USA. Please come over here and join Miki, Takatori, and Ueo to name just a few. In my honest opinion I think that Formula Drift is going to expand in Asia. Then just outright buy out D1. It has a good chance of happening, that or more D1 drivers are going to FD. Either way D1 is on life support right now. It needs to go back to the glory days of 2005 and 2006. Go back to move forward. Right now in Japan drifting is all about D1SL.


d1 may be corrupt or whatever but, the cars..... the cars look so much better here than in any other series...


meh, the D1 vs. FD debate is stupid. To me it comes down to just going to the events and having fun. Not getting to mixed up in the results.

Competition drifting is political and it always will be. But if you don't take it too seriously you can have alot of fun just being along for the ride.


That team orange's evo is FR layout or 4WD??


It is cool that D1 is finally, after 10 years, having some diversity but too bad it is by them buying plane tickets for drivers like Hubinette, Bolger and Vlasblom. Its sad by they are losing their luster and have to spend money for drivers to come... and Mike Pollard repping US drifting... omg.


What was the highest entry speed on saturday? anyone know? shits getting rediculous!


The way the sport is developing in USA and Europe is the future... too much politics and cultural traditions are the reason D1 ran into problems. With all due respect to the forefathers of drift...but we know what Vlasblom, Niezen, Chapman, Fink, Morrison etc are capable of and I would much rather watch that than be annoyed by silly arguments over 0.2 judging points and stuff like that.. One day there will be a real WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP and then we will see..


yes i am representing america and guess what .... 98.8 score qualify runs on 2 of the fastest tracks in a rhd car for the 2nd and 3rd time ever with a car that has a non working e brake and other issues each event is a amazing feat! and the fact that the judges respect and praise my performance means more than any of your hate and negative comments... come on guys... lets be positive.ALL I DID WAS ACCEPT WHAT ANY OTHER AMERICAN DRIFTER WOULD ACCEPT CONSIDERING I HAVE BEEN DRIFTING FOR 10 YEARS NOW.. D1 IS MY DREAM AND I WILL KEEP PUSHING TILL I GET A TOP 16 SO QUIT BEING JEALOUS