For this special event I’d like to first cover my friend Allen Go. Driving in his Jade Zenki with nothing but a trusty KA and a welded diff with solid suspension parts, Allen has proven to be one of my favorite drivers to watch during this event. Immediately upon arrival, Allen was already hitting the track getting as much seat time in as possible. For those who do not know, this event was Allen’s fourth event but his first Grange event. Grange itself is already quite the technical course for even the most intermediate of drifters, and for Allen to tackle it hard and leave with nothing but the feeling of accomplishment and progression is one thing I loved about that day.
The first half of the day was quite troublesome for me to snap photos of Allen. He would come in, initiate and spin or understeer ultimately making it hard to sense when to snap the photo. Though, through his troubles my good friend Jay Kubota rode along with him most of the morning giving him advice and tips during and after runs. I began to slowly see him take on a corner at a time; the progression was outstanding and extremely satisfying to watch! Soon after I was called in by Jay and was told Allen wished to give me a ride along! “I’m nothing special so don’t expect much.” This was my first time speaking with him so being in a car with him for the first time was beyond exciting. We start with some spins here and there but I continue to cheer him on and express how much fun I am having.
Roughly the fourth lap in, Allen starts linking his first corners on the track. The only way to express his feelings is something along the line of when its Christmas and your friends all have the new PS2 while you’re stuck with a Gameboy Color for the past year working hard at school to keep consistent good grades so your parents finally buy you your long awaited PS2 and you finally get it after so much hard work. Repeatedly he would tell me “OH WOW! I’m finally doing it! I’m finally linking corners I’m getting so much better already!” And on the same level I’d feel that excitement and cheer the man on through successful runs and spins.
The rest of the day consisted of him hot lapping giving the car little to no breaks in between absorbing all of the advice and information he can from not only people but himself. At the end of the day, Allen was linking the entire track with a smile on his face and left with the feeling of accomplishment. Allen is a prime example of not needing an overbuilt, overpowered set up to get down with the big kids.
Thanks again Allen! That was the most fun I’ve had in a while!
Here we have Steven in his JZX83. Now from looking at photos you would think this car resided in Japan but you would be damn wrong about that. As someone who has spent their entire life in a country with stylish cars (good ol’ Nippon) this car kind of took me home from its very tasteful choice in wheels, aero, all the way to its intimidating “Yakuza black” look.
Steven started the day off absolutely giving no mercy and just annihilating the track. Nothing but consistent runs, smooth yet snappy transitions, and tons of tire smoke. Steven was definitely not going home without throwing everyone in shock and awe. Truly an amazing driver to say the least!
Unfortunately, Stevens day was short lived before his clutch decided it was time for a refresh. I really wish I could have sat passenger in his car but things happen when you’re pushing your car to its max potential. Though his day of drifting was ended short I still made sure his car received plenty of love. So much eye candy yet so simple and I almost want to ditch out of the S-Chassis scene myself and grab me one of these grandpa mobiles!
Just overall such a tastefully executed car that never ceases to give me nostalgic chills down my spine. I’m sorry you didn’t get a full day but you went out in style bud! Hope to see the car on the streets very soon!
Last but definitely not least we have Moya. Perhaps its my soft spot for hatches (seeing how I own one) or something about his overall build that had me finding myself repeatedly shooting his car. Moya was the first Jay and I saw that day but the last to arrive at the track. It still amazes me that people willingly drive their cars to the track, through the horrific dirt roads of grange, beat the living hell out of them, and go home as if nothing happened.
This car has some serious detail and work put into it. I absolutely love simple interiors that have some spice to them. Safety 21 to the subtle gauges, all the way to matching rear Bride seats. It shows that this car gets down when it wants but is also an enjoyable ride when it needs.
Moya shows to have some very serious talent when it comes to driving his car. I saw his car on the track probably the most that day non stop shredding, short break for the car and to switch passengers, then get right back at it. I had to have seen his car die and not start more than a few times and most people would just quit on the spot. We’ll that didn’t stop him from giving the old gal’ some bump starts and getting her back in action. I said it before and I’ll say it again. It is truly impressive the drive these guys have to push these cars that take them back home.
Overall, the event was a complete blast! I had fun and made plenty of new friends. The day ended with our friend Eddie driving a minivan full of me and a bunch of people through the track while getting chased by a couple cars and tons of laughs. I will now end this article with the final moments captured at the birthday bash event. Once again I thank you guys for inviting me, Jay for driving me and lending me his lens, Bri for keeping us warm, and kind new friends that kept my belly full! I hope to cover these guys again sometime!