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D1 STREET FAIL: This is about as exciting as it got for me.

By in 20-07-2009 12:30 am

Before my recent short trip back to Australia (it was actually the day before I got on the plane to leave), I attended a D1 Street Legal Central round at Honjo Circuit. Here’s a pic of the paddock shortly after I arrived.

In the practice sessions, I was smooth and fast, and managed to follow the line that judge Youichi Imamura had laid out for us, which was completely different to the line that everyone had always used in competitions and practiced for. Even though I knew I didn’t really have a chance to get into the top 16, at least it looked like I had a chance because the surface was wet, and every second car was spinning out. Even Mikami-san from 3-UP said that my runs looked really good.

Then, the worst thing possible happened: it dried up.

From then on, everything went out the window. All my fiddling with tyre pressures and learning the course timing counted for nothing, as the conditions basically turned back into completely dry.

So, I stuffed up my three qualifying runs, packed up and drove home. At least I’ll get another crack at it in August for MSC!



HIGHWAY TO THE DANGER ZONE: Osaka to Ebisu Circuit road trip

By in 29-06-2009 12:30 am

Here are a couple of videos made by Jos Roder, an Australian guy who used to live in Osaka a couple of years ago.

I was on a short trip to Japan at the time, and wanted to go and see the Autumn Drift Matsuri at Ebisu Circuit. After working out the best way to rig my itinerary, it turned out that‘s Laurence wanted to go too, and so did Jos, who was kind enough to volunteer his drifter S14 Silvia to get there if we split the costs.

Osaka to Nihonmatsu is a fairly long drive by Japanese standards though, and the highway tolls would have cost 15,550円 according to the trip planner on the Nexco (highway company) website. We decided that this was money worth saving, so we took the low roads to get there. This seemed to be cheapest (but definitely not most stress-free) way of getting there.

Slow average speeds, no open petrol stations, traffic lights, stopping for roadworks and navigating in the dark made for a much more interesting trip than taking the boring-old highway. Laurence’s planning with the map was spot-on though, and we didn’t take a single wrong turn the whole way.

2007 Autumn Drift Matsuri Epic Road Trip (Part 1) from Jos on Vimeo.