The G1 Grand Prix is one event that is bound to keep growing in the future and a great idea to hopefully inject a much-needed international component to the whole drift scene in Japan. With the top six finishers at Round 2 getting a D1 Street Legal license, it's something that will hopefully interest potential pro and amateur drivers from around the world, to come over for some fun.
Let's take a look at some of the action from the day. With 30 cars entered, and a few drivers sharing one car, Kumakubo and Suenaga wanted things to keep moving swiftly along, with all drivers getting three chances to show what they could do.
Here is Kyoto Rob in his second pass in his extremely clean and rare LHD 240SX.
Andrew Sunderland JZX90 was performing without any problems considering this was its second G1, and second Matsuri over the coming weekend.
Billy from the US Base clipping the apex nice and tight before flicking the car over and tackling the in field.
This was Paul Austin's second G1, having already competed in the first ever round at last year's Autumn Matsuri. His JZX81 looked so menacing out on track.
More JZX madness with Kaliko's 90…
…an Leigh Pidwell's MarkII against Josh Zamel's Cresta.
Chris DeJager and his red side skirts. Stylish!
With the qualifying over it was back to the pits for a quick break and to wait for the final results. Once announced, Sumika wrote all the 30 names on the battle board so everyone could check whom they were up against.
And so the tsuiso runs started. Here is David Lawrie against Adam Zillin of 7Tune on board his old HCR32. David took the win and moved up to the Best 16 where he ended up losing to Christian Pickering.
Brad Dale in his Sileighty vs Richard Ryan in the ECR33 in their first battle of the day.
The judges, looking comfortable on top of their S13 convertibles. It wasn't long after this picture that Suenaga fell over backwards into the seats of his car when the chair he was sitting on went over the edge of the platform! LOL
One of my favorite battles from the G1 was when Kyoto Rob went up against JC Pepino. JC lost, but it was a series of closely fought runs. I can't recall if it was here that JC lost the baguette from his hood. Maybe that threw him off!
Another great battle was Pickering vs Fine in the Best 8. Leighton went through to the semi where he met Chris in his S14.
And talking of Chris, nice T-Shirt!!
Police chase or battle? Kyoto Rob moved up to the other semi-final against Andy in his red JZX90.
As it's customary in Japan, the two finalists, Andrew Gray and Leighton Fine, had to park their cars in front of the judges and pose for the cameras.
The final battle was very close but it was Leighton that took the win, after Andy made a small mistake in his chasing run and clipped one of the cones on the entrance to the second corner after the hill.
Nothing like warm champagne to cool off after an afternoon of drifting!
With the bigger participation this time round the prizes got pretty impressive with the top three winning adjustable suspension links, and Leighton in top spot taking home a set of adjustable coilovers, all supplied by the sponsors of this round Zenky Racing. On top of that, the top 6 finishers all got Ebisu Gold Cards which allows them to drift their cars anytime at the complex, and as mentioned earlier D1 Street Legal licenses! If these kind of prizes, as well as a chance to drift the best drift circuits in the Japan, isn't enough to get more people over for the next Autumn event, I really don't know what is!
That's it until the next G1 in November. I can't wait!
-Dino Dalle Carbonare