Grassroots Drifting: Japanese Style
An Abundance Of Style

I like grassroots events because they serve two very distinct purposes. First off, they’re a perfect and ever-evolving view into car culture, and secondly, to a certain extent they’re still immune to the over-regulated nature of most other forms of motorsport. And guess what that gives you? Fun, and lots of it, for the drivers, the spectators and of course us folk who are there with our cameras attempting to catch all the atmosphere.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-35

And when it comes to grassroots, Japan does it best. Regardless of the discipline, in setting the mood there really is no other place. The cars, the skills and the locations are all coupled to what can only be described as total dedication by those that partake.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-18

No matter how many times I cover an event like the Black Mark Day, which was held at Nikko Circuit this past Sunday, it’s like a whole new journey of discovery. If you take into account how many times I’ve been to events like this over the years, I should be pretty jaded by now. But I’m not.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-17

It’s all down to the way people strive to stand out. They push the style, the driving and the lifestyle, and in the process keep us further entertained. If you love cars, you can’t help but want to be a part of it all.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-04

Then of course there’s all the support and love that we get. It’s humbling to say the least, and at the end of the day it’s what keeps us going, keeps us pushing, keeps that mutual respect alive. On a side note, I was pretty surprised how popular the new pink Speedhunters stickers were – they’re what everyone wanted! You might also recognise Keigo Nakayama and his JZX100 from our recent spotlight feature.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-21

But as much fun as it is to bask in the atmosphere, joke around with old friends and meet new ones, at the end of the day the main thing that truly captivates me is the driving.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-22

Nikko has always a big favourite for drifters, and ever since it had a few paved run-offs added some years back it’s become far more forgiving, allowing everyone to really push hard. It may have sort of dulled the wheel-in-the-air antics on turn one…

Black-Mark-Day-2015-23

But those that know what they’re doing can still pull off this sort of thing by taking a wider line with a ton of speed piled on.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-02

Then of course there are the cars. As the event was organized by the guys at N-Style there was a big showing of JXZs and anything 4A-G powered, as you’ll see in a couple of my upcoming spotlights. But that said, there was actually a good mix of everything else too.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-01

You might recall me featuring a matte white AE86 sporting N2 over-fenders and a carb-fed 4A-G at Nikko earlier in the year. This matte black KE70 is owned by the same guy, Taku.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-28

He was one of the best drivers out there, and watching him use the momentum of the car as he initiated, and then violently throw the car into each turn using the power to keep the angle for as long as possible was truly impressive. When most AE86s appeared to be running out of puff, he was always still sideways.

A Variety Pack
Black-Mark-Day-2015-19

S-chassis machines are still very popular in Japanese grassroots drifting, but it’s obvious that more owners are experimenting with different styles. Aside from the chocolatey goodness of the exterior, check out the impact bar behind the front bumper of this S14 Silvia.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-03

I’m not a big fan of excessive color-matching on cars, but for some reason this Z30 Soarer seemed to rock just the right number of details.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-24

Out on track it looked like a big can of Monster energy drink!

Black-Mark-Day-2015-32

This time around I spent a lot of time looking at the action from Nikko’s final corner. It’s definitely not where the most exciting driving happens, but I love seeing big powerful cars like this Chaser continue drifting this section of the track.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-25

To attempt this you really need power, as momentum alone won’t allow you to carry your drift that far. Big 1JZ-equipped sedans take it all in their stride though, and some drivers actually manage to drift the entire track without ever breaking their slide. Amazing.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-06

It doesn’t really matter what generation the car is, most – like the orange JZX90 Mark II you just saw and this seriously evil-looking JZX110 Mark II – are decently tuned.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-14

Aside from the four cars that I chose to spotlight from this event, this was another big favorite of mine. I’m not sure if it was the simplicity, the color or the subtle fender flares and aggressive stance, but this this Z20 just looked right.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-07

I was pleasantly surprised to see plenty of Skylines out at Black Mark Day this year too.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-29

And with prices dropping quite considerably now, both the coupe and four-door version of the ER34 are becoming popular drift platforms.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-09

I even spotted one sporting the full itasha treatment!

Black-Mark-Day-2015-31

This was one of two san-san GT-Rs doing the sideways thing. It’s not something you see every day, but you can get them to drift by either removing the AWD fuse (bye-bye transfer box) or pulling the front driveshafts.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-30

R32s of course are far more common and don’t stand out quite as much.

FF Drifting, Why Not?
Black-Mark-Day-2015-05

Remember the drift Civic that Mike showed us earlier this year? Well, Hirata-san didn’t miss the chance to sign up for the event and get busy with his handbrake. It was amusing to see, and with the way he’s set up the suspension, the car actually stays sideways for quite a while after he releases the lever. I’m glad I finally got to see this unique EK4 in action.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-08

In the big 4A-G group I came across a car that could have only been painted by one man.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-20

The Nojireal logo sort of gave me all the confirmation I required, but as I was looking at the AE86’s engine, Nojima-san showed up out of nowhere and started fiddling with the carbs on what is one of his customer’s cars. I asked him if it’s hard to get the camo look right, to which he replied, “just paint it drunk and it’ll work out fine!” I don’t think he was joking either!

Black-Mark-Day-2015-10

In a recent post from Offset Kings Japan, I talked about Hachiroku owners really pushing the envelope, so I had that in mind when I picked out one of the Corollas to spotlight. Stay tuned for that coming up soon.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-11

What would a Japanese grassroots drift track be without a constant supply of deep fried food? If you aren’t feeling that brave, there’s always the yakisoba option which you can never really go wrong with.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-34

The action on track never really stopped during the course of the morning while I was there, and at this point these four cars drifted in a train formation for a few laps. It was quite a spectacle to say the least.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-12

Ah, the inevitable side of drifting – breaking stuff. But it’s usually the same things that end up going, so most drivers come prepared with spares and enough knowledge to get it all fixed in time for the next outing.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-13

The N-Style guys are always a fun bunch to hang out with, but they sure had their hands full making sure the event ran smoothly. Black Mark Day was another success for 2015!

Black-Mark-Day-2015-26

As for the driving itself, I was pretty blown away. Even the beginner group was decent and it’s always good to see new people coming into the sport.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-15

With that, more people get into cars and spend time fine tuning and getting the best out of them.

Black-Mark-Day-2015-16

The owner of this GDC Impreza previously had an older generation wagon that we’ve seen a few times at Nikko and other stance events. This is his new ride and it was looking rather cool sitting on RAYS Volk Racing TE37RTs. The GDA next to it was another one converted to rear-wheel drive and both showed that it doesn’t really matter what you use to have fun. Hell, even a Civic works!

Black-Mark-Day-2015-27

These sort of events are why the rest of the world looks towards Japan for inspiration. It’s not only the cars, but everything else – most importantly an abundance of respect and lack of negativity and prejudice. There is something there for each and every one of us to learn a little from.

Make sure you don’t miss the Nikko spotlights I have coming up soon!

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

ADVERTISEMENT

Comments

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.

66 comments

by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest
1

more grassroots please!! :D

2

The US influence is very apparent in some of these cars.  Does that filter down to grassroots level or does it begin there?

3

Wonderful! <3 :)

4

As always awesome pics but please can you show us something else than Japan and JDM????? I'm so bored of this, it's all about Japanese cars, we can't spend a week without seeing some dudes drifting or some shit like that..... Come on guys we all know that you can show us something different....

5

where can we get the Pink stickers??

6

where can we get the Pink stickers??

7

ButcherBill Its because most of us would live in japan if we could. Theres no such thing as too much JDM.

8

ButcherBill Its because most of us would live in japan if we could. Theres no such thing as too much JDM.

9

Love this stuff. You can tell they do this because it is fun! No super expensive builds just guys having a good time with there cars.
I am starting a blog with some of my car based artwork of cars featured from here and around the web. Will have more to come!
http://kngdmdigital.tumblr.com/post/128593852862/ae86-ink-penphotoshop

10

Hey ButcherBill, what about our feature on the BMW V10-powered 1 Series from the Netherlands, our recent story on car culture in Ontario or our IMSA Chevrolet DeKon Monza spotlight from Monterey Car Week? If that's not variety, we don't know what is!

11

Hey ButcherBill, what about our feature on the BMW V10-powered 1 Series from the Netherlands, our recent story on car culture in Ontario or our IMSA Chevrolet DeKon Monza spotlight from Monterey Car Week? If that's not variety, we don't know what is!

14

hnnnnnnngggg, i need a 34 four door now !

15
speedhunters_dino

CharlesChris15 Yessir! :)

16
speedhunters_dino

Slappy_Pistons Like what?

17
speedhunters_dino

@Clutch93 Come find one of us at an event :)

18
speedhunters_dino

@Clutch93 Come find one of us at an event :)

19
speedhunters_dino

sr_mangz I was thinking that too!

20
Chris 'Haffy' Hafner

So much win in this story! I love the way the Japanese do things, well presented and driven cars. It's a huge gap away from drift events here in Aus, where S13 bombs seem to be everywhere.
I will make it to Japan eventually, even if it's a car culture tour and piss the girlfriend off :)
Well done on the story as well Dino, and that picture of the S14 three wheeling is epic. New wallpaper indeed.

21
Chris 'Haffy' Hafner

So much win in this story! I love the way the Japanese do things, well presented and driven cars. It's a huge gap away from drift events here in Aus, where S13 bombs seem to be everywhere.
I will make it to Japan eventually, even if it's a car culture tour and piss the girlfriend off :)
Well done on the story as well Dino, and that picture of the S14 three wheeling is epic. New wallpaper indeed.

22

Love the ae86 drivers that make the little cars sing...  Talent over power....

23

speedhunters_dino Slappy_Pistons Only skin deep I think - Monster, Hoonigan etc.  The older pictures I remember seeing from Japanese grassroots drift seemed like the cars were more unassuming i.e. less stickers, factory paint, just missiles and not too much in the way of decoration.  But, because these things go round in circles and things are more global these days I've lost track of what influences what.

24

These Japanese drifters always get me thinking of the proper way to get into heaven. You're not supposed to just bebop in quietly and tell St. Peter your name. Oh no.


No, you gotta skid your car in backwards, on its roof - or its side -, on fire, in a shower of sparks and wreckage, right up in front of the pearly gates. Make sure to have at least one wheel swaying from what's left of one ball joint.

Kick the door open, crawl out with your hair all a mess and your clothes smoldering, run up to St. Peter with a wild look in your eye and point to where your just came from while screaming:

"DID YOU SEE THAT?! THAT WAS AWESOME!!!"

25

AlexLobanov ButcherBill Only up till the point where I have to start paying those infamously-extortionate road and vehicle taxes, but yeah, you're not far off.

26

dino = godlike

What it means bye bye transfer box?  do some damage to him?  or just turn it off?
sorry for potato english..thanks..god bless..u

27

dino = godlike

What it means bye bye transfer box?  do some damage to him?  or just turn it off?
sorry for potato english..thanks..god bless..u

28

@turbo BEAMS ae86
The r33, r34 and stagea 4wd systems keep some pressure on the wet clutch in the transfer case even when the 4wd system is off and so you wear it out by spinning the rear wheels excessivly relative to the front

29

@turbo BEAMS ae86
The r33, r34 and stagea 4wd systems keep some pressure on the wet clutch in the transfer case even when the 4wd system is off and so you wear it out by spinning the rear wheels excessivly relative to the front

30

Chris 'Haffy' Hafner Japan is just next level with everything! I got to watch the Matsuri at Ebisu earlier this year and its way better than any drift event in Melbourne. You'll love it!

31

I love the Japanese grassroots drifting. Prefer it over the professional stuff any day!

32
Chris 'Haffy' Hafner

Lucky guy, I so want to see the Matsuri at Ebisu. Add that on top of about 100 more things I want to see in Japan!

33

Kngdmdigital  Do a Honda City Turbo II! ;)

34

Kngdmdigital  Do a Honda City Turbo II! ;)

35

Is the GDC Impreza a Spirant dude? Looks like a similar color to Eigo's cars.

36

I want that blck KE70

37

I want that blck KE70

38

@Clutch93 We're also going to release them in our online store in around a month's time!

39

AlexLobanov ButcherBill I do understand that, I've been to Japan a couple of time, I was like "This country looks really funny... Lets find out why!!" and guess what? I really enjoyed it!!!!

40

AlexLobanov ButcherBill I do understand that, I've been to Japan a couple of time, I was like "This country looks really funny... Lets find out why!!" and guess what? I really enjoyed it!!!!

41

Speedhunters ButcherBill That BMW rocks!!! It's just sometimes i'm like "Japan?!... Again..." But i still take a look at Speedhunters every single day to read the latest article 'cause you're doing a really good job. I wish you could show something a bit different like this guy who owns the biggest Corvette collection, he lives in USA (don't know where exactly) or this car museum in the north of France http://www.manoir-automobile.fr/accueil/ (the website is in English as well), this museum is just mind-blowing, 400 cars, Formula 1, Group B.... See what i mean? Anyways Keep going you're doing an amazing job!!

42

VaughanBrook thanks much

43
speedhunters_dino

Chris 'Haffy' Hafner Thanks, and get over here quick before the drifters destroy all the cars lol

44

@turbo BEAMS ae86 VaughanBrook no problem

45

I admit - I don't like drifting and the associated look that comes with drift cars, such as a lot of stickers and train handles (now mass produced so people don't actually steal them like proper gangsters) because it seems like a fad that the younger crowd enjoy. That applies to cars I see out on the street though. But legitimate drifting such as this and people doing whatever they like to their drift car and (loosely) following trends and doing their own unique takes on said trends is awesome.

46

speedhunters_dino sr_mangz so amazing when pulled off right

47

John Key NZ You don't like people following fads, but you like people (loosely) following trends? What? I think you meant to say you don't like poser kids but appreciate real drifting culture and style, but it's hidden deep inside a bunch of contradictory statements.

48

John Key NZ You don't like people following fads, but you like people (loosely) following trends? What? I think you meant to say you don't like poser kids but appreciate real drifting culture and style, but it's hidden deep inside a bunch of contradictory statements.

49

kOOpA John Key NZ yeah, that's exactly what I meant. I worded it pretty bad though.

50

kOOpA John Key NZ yeah, that's exactly what I meant. I worded it pretty bad though.

51

Japanese car makers need to bring some cheap fun rear wheel drive cars back to the scene!

52

Japanese car makers need to bring some cheap fun rear wheel drive cars back to the scene!

53

Japanese car makers need to bring some cheap fun rear wheel drive cars back to the scene!

54

@turbo BEAMS ae86 "...Sorry for potato english...". LMAO, dude you rock at English. It's my native language and you had me laughing out loud! :D

55

@MyLifeAsLouis FRS/BRZ/GT86. They have done. But more are always welcome. What I tend to wonder, is how many big saloon cars are they bringing out with big engines, and are they all becoming too heavy with tech to be used like the JZX are? Most have some poxy hybrid drive, or are diesels (at least in the UK) so I doubt they'll ever be useful to a real petrol head.

56

Looking at grassroots drifting in japan reminds me of Ayrton Senna's quote that his favorite and best racing was karting in his teen days because there 'racing was at it purest'. This is definitely the whole sport of drifting at its purest and at the source.

Fantastic photography, many worthy of framing in a petrol-heads house or man-cave:)

57

Robo_No1 I wouldn't underestimate diesels, the amount of torque some can output surpasses built petrol V8's.
I think there was an article here on Black Smoke Racing's diesel Mercedes drift car, as well as several YouTube videos of the wagon in action.
http://www.speedhunters.com/2012/11/diesel-fury-black-smoke-300td-wagon/


If some company made a RWD hybrid vehicle, or - dare I say - an all-electric vehicle, I and many others would drive/drift it. In my opinion, I don't care what motivates the car as long as that power goes to the rear wheels, and provides me enough control to have fun.

58

Robo_No1 I wouldn't underestimate diesels, the amount of torque some can output surpasses built petrol V8's.
I think there was an article here on Black Smoke Racing's diesel Mercedes drift car, as well as several YouTube videos of the wagon in action.
http://www.speedhunters.com/2012/11/diesel-fury-black-smoke-300td-wagon/


If some company made a RWD hybrid vehicle, or - dare I say - an all-electric vehicle, I and many others would drive/drift it. In my opinion, I don't care what motivates the car as long as that power goes to the rear wheels, and provides me enough control to have fun.

59

I prefer the Japanese car scene , over than the U.S car scene. Just my honest opinion

60

Kngdmdigital Nice Chibi Style

61

Nvm found this pic, Confirmed Spirant dude. Thank you, myself. Don't mention it, myself.
https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/t31.0-8/201703_156799687714340_7686596_o.jpg

62

Nvm found this pic, Confirmed Spirant dude. Thank you, myself. Don't mention it, myself.
https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/t31.0-8/201703_156799687714340_7686596_o.jpg

63

Nvm found this pic, Confirmed Spirant dude. Thank you, myself. Don't mention it, myself.
https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/t31.0-8/201703_156799687714340_7686596_o.jpg

64

the car was very good 
really really like to see the car that shiny new car fits like made ​​for walking trailsthe car was very good http://utamadomino.com/app/img/peraturan.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://utamadomino.com/app/img/peraturan.html and very fast http://utamadomino.com/app/img/jadwal.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://utamadomino.com/app/img/jadwal.html mix of colors http://utamadomino.com/app/img/promo.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://utamadomino.com/app/img/promo.html from which to http://utamadomino.com/app/img/panduan.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://utamadomino.com/app/img/panduan.html make want pobud http://utamadomino.com/ see hatnya http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/peraturan.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/peraturan.html kecepatanya http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/jadwal.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/jadwal.html was very nice ,http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/promo.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/promo.html  suitable for a "http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/panduan.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/panduan.html sharp bend http://dokterpoker.org or not sharp I guess motorists http://633cash.com/Games like this is http://633cash.com/Pengaturan" very skilled in the speed I hope I can membilinya someday will whether http://633cash.com/Daftar http://633cash.com/Promo there are http://633cash.com/Berita new cars http://633cash.com/Livescore are better I http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/peraturan.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/peraturan.html 'll wait for it , with a stylish car classic http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/jadwal.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/jadwal.html style I http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/promo.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/promo.html also like http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/panduan.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/panduan.html to see would be http://raksasapoker.com/ whether there is a http://yakuza4d.com/peraturan" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://yakuza4d.com/peraturan car that is http://yakuza4d.com as fast and forius http://yakuza4d.com/home like in the "http://yakuza4d.com/daftar movie , the car very http://yakuza4d.com/cara_main good car http://yakuza4d.com/hasil designed a way apparently hopefully http://yakuza4d.com/buku_mimpi there will be new cars more good and the price is quite pantastis then chances are I can membilinya the same as you have at this time

65

the car was very good 
really really like to see the car that shiny new car fits like made ​​for walking trailsthe car was very good http://utamadomino.com/app/img/peraturan.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://utamadomino.com/app/img/peraturan.html and very fast http://utamadomino.com/app/img/jadwal.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://utamadomino.com/app/img/jadwal.html mix of colors http://utamadomino.com/app/img/promo.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://utamadomino.com/app/img/promo.html from which to http://utamadomino.com/app/img/panduan.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://utamadomino.com/app/img/panduan.html make want pobud http://utamadomino.com/ see hatnya http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/peraturan.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/peraturan.html kecepatanya http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/jadwal.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/jadwal.html was very nice ,http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/promo.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/promo.html  suitable for a "http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/panduan.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/panduan.html sharp bend http://dokterpoker.org or not sharp I guess motorists http://633cash.com/Games like this is http://633cash.com/Pengaturan" very skilled in the speed I hope I can membilinya someday will whether http://633cash.com/Daftar http://633cash.com/Promo there are http://633cash.com/Berita new cars http://633cash.com/Livescore are better I http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/peraturan.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/peraturan.html 'll wait for it , with a stylish car classic http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/jadwal.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/jadwal.html style I http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/promo.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/promo.html also like http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/panduan.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/panduan.html to see would be http://raksasapoker.com/ whether there is a http://yakuza4d.com/peraturan" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://yakuza4d.com/peraturan car that is http://yakuza4d.com as fast and forius http://yakuza4d.com/home like in the "http://yakuza4d.com/daftar movie , the car very http://yakuza4d.com/cara_main good car http://yakuza4d.com/hasil designed a way apparently hopefully http://yakuza4d.com/buku_mimpi there will be new cars more good and the price is quite pantastis then chances are I can membilinya the same as you have at this time

66

That blue z20 is fucking awesome. I want it.

OFFICIAL SPEEDHUNTERS SUPPLIERS