Ebisu Circuit, July 2004. Ryuji Miki, Nobushige Kumakubo and Yasuyuki Kazama.
S15s were definitely the flavour of the month back in 2004. This was the first time I had ever shot drifting in Japan, and it was with a little Nikon Coolpix 4300 that I borrowed from Mum. I didn’t even have my own camera back then, let alone a digital SLR. The delay between pressing the shutter release and the camera actually firing was so long that I had to track the cars for about four seconds to get a single decent frame.
Luckily, there was so much crazy action going on that it made it hard to take a bad shot. This was during the free practice sessions, and the “Need For Speed” theme song was playing in the background over the P.A. system.
This event was the first time I saw drifting in Japan, and finally seeing it up close with all the smoke and noise and speed irreversibly hooked me on it.
Thanks to Ben Ellis, the former editor of the now defunct Drift Battle magazine, for helping me with vague directions to the track, and reassurances that the taxi drivers at Nihonmatsu Station knew where it was! Come to think of it, the first magazine article I ever wrote was a report of this round.
This was also the same round that had the big Miki/Hibino crash.
If we’re talking about D1GP S15s, you can’t forget about Taniguchi. He seemed more interested in playing alone though.
Note to self in the past: Don’t use digital zoom. It makes photos look pants.
Tanaka’s Tex Modify S15.