Drifting is a sport that comes with real risk. It’s not a matter of if you’ll be involved in a crash, but when - that’s the nature of the beast.
Sometimes you get lucky and it’s only a love tap from another car that came in a bit hot, while other times it can be a little more serious…
Unfortunately for Manabu-san and his KE70 Corolla, the latter was experienced during SLY Summit’s grassroots drift event at Sportsland Yamanashi circuit last weekend.
As Manabu was coming around the final bend that leads to the small front straight, two other cars at the top of the hill had spun and come to a complete stop.
Flying up the hill, Manabu said he completely missed the yellow caution light flashing next to the pit lane entrance. To be fair, it would have been hard to see anything with so much sunlight flashing through the trees that surround the circuit.
By the time he realized that the cars on track were stationary, it was too late.
Fortunately no one was injured in the resulting accident, but as you can see in the images, both ends of Manabu’s KE70 didn’t fare well.
The real reason I wanted to share this story is because of Manabu’s positive attitude after the accident. Once he was over the initial shock of the crash and the fact that his KE70 was pretty much a write-off, I asked him what he was going to do now.
“The next event is in October so I’ll try to have it fixed by then, or I’ll re-shell it,” he said with a smile.
Manabu didn’t waste any time either; by the end of the day a random KE70 shell arrived at the circuit on the back of a flatbed. After confirming that the 4A-G engine and drivetrain was still salvageable, he had bought a replacement shell from a nearby seller and was already planning the swap.
When it’s your passion, you should never give up – even if you hit some objects along the way, just as Manabu-san did. What an absolute legend.