Grassroots drifting, J-side style /// Feature

Grassroots drifting, J-side style /// Feature

Car Modify Wonder Soukokai drift day

July 20th 2014 at Nikko Circuit, Tochigi Prefecture

Event memoirs by Charles ‘Zee’ Zayas

The Nikko countryside is a beautiful place, it made getting up at 6am an easier pill to swallow as I drove towards the Nikko circuit. With adverse weather scheduled I had prepared to spend most of this event shooting in the pouring rain. It was to my surprise that I arrived to the venue with the sun beating down.

After parking up my rental, it wasn’t just the sun that was intense, the cars parked trackside were next level level. The first car that caught my attention was a SW20 Toyota MR2 ‘track stanced’ to hell. It has to be the coolest looking MR2 out here right now. Usually cars that looked like this are suited to hardparking. This man wasn’t there to spectate as the owner was prepping his ride for a solid beating on the track.

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So now I’m in fanboy mode as everything I see is mouthwatering. This JZZ30 and JZX 100 were from the same crew and had arrived at the parking to get ready for the event.

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Across from that was Nishikata-san’s S-14 Kouki slammed on XXR527’s and some pretty nice wheel poke. He reps the “SELFISH” crew. They are a infamous crew from the Daikoku street days and Kawasaki port drift days. Once I met with Nishikata-San he mentioned one of his teams JZX100 Toyota Chasers is running the circuit today with fresh paint and new wing.

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First class of the day was expert class. Nikko’s famous long sweeping turn gives the spectators a 180 degree view point of the track. This makes the Nikko track great for putting on a show of crazy angles and lots of open wastegates.

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I was also impressed on the N/A class. ‘Car Modify Wonder’ proving you don’t need tons of power to have fun, just a heavy foot and some skills. Hearing a car on limiter as it drew closer at lightning pace was an indication that an N/A vehicle was about to slide past. Amongst them was the notorious KE driven by Manabu-San.

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Without any fucks given Manabu-San and the rest of the ‘old school drift car crew’ were there to drive hard. Nikko seems like a track made for them as they were throwing their cars into ridiculous angles with lots and lots of smoke.

‘Funky Racing’ represented at Nikko with a cool 180SX that had amazing track stance and cool livery. This car was also in the expert class, with bright red paint and huge lettering on its side it was hard to miss. It was my favourite car of the day, I just couldn’t get enough of it.

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Another expert class vehicle was Keigo-San’s X-chassis big body sedan. It had massive presense on the track with it’s monster wing a in-your-face paint. J-side paint jobs cost massive amounts of cash. Seeing this car getting thrown around without an ounce of care was an awesome sight.

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Next were Saito-San and his S14 drift/stanced car. Not sure how the rest of the world is coping with those two cultures intertwined at drift events. But I know for sure that in Japan, more and more stanced cars are proving the narrow minded people of the world wrong.

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Saito-San was looking like he was having some mechanical trouble. It was later found he was having transmission problems.
After sorting the issue he then decided to throw on his full set of TE37V’s on, this is a cool looking car when sideways. I shot the car back when I first started doing this shit and knew we established an awesome friendship. As I type this the car is stripped down and going through the paces again for some more tuning and repairs. You can see when I first shot the car for StanceNation here http://www.stancenation.com/2013/03/25/yokohama-beauty-shun-saitos-nissan-silvia-s14/

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Seeing sponsored D1 cars was awesome too, with the Car Modify Wonder and the Bee-R Toyota Crown cars out on the track was a great to see. I guess the pro’s need to stay sharp as well in-between the big events.
All in all it was a wicked event, you got to see pure drifting where the passion to drift is driven by love rather than money.

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Lots of cars were out and lots were leaving plenty of rubber on Nikko’s trackside. I was honored to be invited by Yamashita-san and Team Charme, your big Body JZX’s are awesome!

Keep an eye out on the site for more J-side ground level reports soon. Peace.

Zee.

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