Once again, my posing was better than the result…in a way!
My lack of practice on Minami really showed, but by the second practice session, I managed to link the course at least a few times, even though the car kept bogging down in the middle of the corner.
There was nothing really wrong with what I was doing, but I never really got a single good run in from beginning to end. It was always either good entry, good speed, no angle or bad entry, bad speed, awesome angle or bad entry, straighten, then too much angle etc.
I found out a while ago that the Mark II was automatic from the factory, having since been converted to manual. I have a suspicion that there is something going on with the automatic diff and the relatively spaced-out gears in the R154 which is making the car not suited to Minami. It seemed to work great on Kita though, which is what made it so annoying. I’ve heard that the JZX81 automatic crownwheel ratio is the most desirable, but I’ll have to do some more research.
I can honestly say that some of the driving seen in this event, which is the lowest level of D1 I might add, was the sort of thing you’d have seen in D1 a couple of years ago. The winner of the event was Makoto Yoshimura (who drives a gold S15 that I don’t have any pictures of) who almost exclusively practices on the Minami Circuit. It really shows.
After last weekend’s false start, this was a lot of fun, even if the battery ran out almost immediately and I couldn’t film any more. This video was from Thursday morning when I was still messing around with toe and tyre pressure settings.
Even though the car feels a lot more familar now after two whole days of driving it, I still haven’t had the chance to practice on Minami Course for this weekend’s D1 Street Legal East. I might have to sit down with some Option DVDs with in-car video from D1 and do some image training on the couch…
My friend Shino from Shino Kouba garage intended to spend the last couple of days practicing at Ebisu Circuit’s Higashi Course.
Unfortunately, this happened on the fourth lap of the day. Goto-san had suggested that she might want to try a fourth-gear entry on the main straight, something she’s never tried before. Sometimes not trying hard enough with an initiation can be as bad as trying too hard, according to Shino.
While the crash happened at about 140km/h from a 160km/h entry, Shino got away with just a sore neck and shoulders, and she already has another slightly rusty shell ready for all the unbroken parts to be installed in. I hope she’s not making a habit of crashing hachis…
By request, here’s a higher-quality re-upload of this old video, shot by myself and Laurence Janus (who made this famous video).
The driver is my good mate Yoshio Takahashi. His nickname is “Rii-chan”, which comes from the fact he is the leader of his drift team (say “leader” in a Japanese accent to understand), called “Side Attack”. If you put “-chan” on the end of someone’s name, it’s kind of like making their name sound cute, sort of like saying “Stevie” instead of “Steven”.
A few years ago when I was still just visiting Japan instead of living here, I visited a Drift Matsuri at Ebisu Circuit. Rii-chan was quite insistant that Laurence and I ride in his car on the high-speed Higashi course before the end of the event, because linking the front straight over the blind crest with his TD-06 SR20DET was his specialty at the time.
Just before the spin, you can hear the tyres making flapping noises as they delaminated, but Rii-chan wasn’t going to stop, even on the steep downhill section of Higashi. He was more concerned about my having a good time than he was about crashing! Before you ask about his helmet, it was a souvenir from an old job of his, and no, it’s not exactly regulation.
While we’re on the subject, does anyone else think there’s something majorly wrong with a lot of the drifting videos coming out these days? Am I the only person who doesn’t really want to see an entire video of high contrast slow-motion with tightly-cropped focus pulling, shots of weeds blowing in the wind and other things that have nothing to do with anything? Without some sort of narrative, human interest or personality to the video, it’s like eating a cake made entirely of icing.
Come on guys, you obviously have the skills behind the lens and with the mouse. I know you can do it. If you don’t want to change your style, but still want to make a nice cake, I’ll have a chocolate-orange marble sponge please.
I suppose I should put up or shut up and make my own videos eh? Uh-oh, did I just volunteer to do even more work? Who wants to sponsor Noriyaro with a nice little HD camera then?
A few days ago, I posted up these videos, shot and edited by Jos Roder, of what happened before and after our trip to Ebisu Circuit for the 2007 Autumn Drift Matsuri.
Here’s what happened in between, which some people might consider to be the most important part of the series! Jos has also been nice enough to answer some of the many questions you may have about Drift Matsuri in his video.
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 www.dr1ft.jp‘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.