When it comes to the drift side of grassroots track events, the drift community is stronger than ever – not only within the southern end of California, but in the northern end as well. More often than not, the drift community tends to be stereotyped by the average clapped-out s-chassis seen at any local in-n-out, but that’s not the case with events like Bihoku Days. Orchestrated by one of Nor Cal’s own s-chassis heroes – Roy from Auto-Collect STORM – the cars being driven at Bihoku Days are all around good looking, well-performing machines.
After seeing what Super D had to offer last summer, it felt as though nothing could compare to the spectacle of Super D. Bihoku Days at Thunderhill’s big skid pad proved otherwise; while it was a rather small track day by comparison, it still brought out the quality cars and drivers while maintaining the grassroots charm that we all know and love.
Many of the newer drivers were out there really grinding out the day, to learn as much as they could, while some of the more experienced drivers from teams like Animal Style, RunUp!, Wolfreign, and GoldStar showed them the potential of what can be done with enough practice and seat time. Not one person there seemed unapproachable, with everyone open for conversation on their car or their driving.
Though Roy is currently best known for his green S13, his history with drifting extends back to his days building and drifting Toyota Cressidas with Bosstown out of Boston. With his Auto-Collect STORM brand, he has been making new and innovative products such as bumper guides and fender braces, helping s-chassis guys style up – one car at a time.
Bihoku Days is one of those events that helps bring this community together, and gives back to those who have supported Auto-Collect STORM since the beginning.
We started the day with a soaked track, thanks to the unpredictable California weather as of late.
As the name suggests, Bihoku Days derives its track layout from Japan’s Bihoku Highland Circuit, a track made famous by kansai area drifters. Drivers took most of the early morning to get a feel for the new layout and the surface conditions at the big skid pad.
The event was judged by three of the biggest names in grass-roots drifting today: Yusef, of Thrash Racing and Wolfreign Motors; Taco from Loose Socks Daisuki; and Austin from Animal Style. Judging was based on angle, line, and speed. The judges watched most of the practice runs in the morning and gave feedback to drivers as to what to expect during the judged runs, in addition to giving newcomers an idea of how judges tend to score a run.
Following the morning practice were the first judged runs of the day. Drivers were awarded points based on the three parameters listed above and grouped together based on their skill.
For a 1v1 style points match, each driver got one warm up pass and two judged passes. The winner moved on to the next round.
The thing about events like these is getting to see beautiful cars like Herb’s blue S13. A far cry from the run-of-the-mill s-chassis you’d see at most nor cal drift events, the Itai vibes are strong with this one, complete with Hot Road aero and a classic set of bronze TE37’s.
Animal Style has been doing a lot to push grassroots drifting to the next level. Its refreshing to know that in the modern world of mainstream drifting there can be guys like Animal Style who champion what drifting is really about. No big horsepower figures, no tube-frame missiles. Its all about drifting with friends in stylish cars and pushing each other to be better drivers through it all.
The driver of this Sexy Style’d S13, Bryan, won the Valino Tires Most Improved Driver giveaway that day, landing a Top 8 spot and a pair of new Valino tires!
Between all the well-known teams and cars, were a few fresh faces putting in some work on track.
The difference between this and other events like it was that it was a lot more mixed as far as skill behind the wheel. With Super D being invite-only, it ensured that the pool of drivers present were of similar skill level and style, while events like Bihoku Days are open registration and as such, the pool of drivers varied greatly. Take for instance Central Valley local Josh.
Josh has been going to plenty of events lately in his ZN6 FR-S, and has evolved greatly as a driver because of it. His car isn’t anything fancy, retaining its stock engine with minor bolt-ons, but it goes to show that the best way to get better is to just get out there and do it. Definitely a driver to look out for at future events!
One of our favorites of the day was Darius’ Corolla, keeping it simple with a miss-matched set of SSR’s and Impul’s and JDM front and rear bumpers.
Joey’s only had this car for a little over a year, but he’s made a lot of good progress in that time, building it from stock into this purple machine rolling on a cool set of Super Advans.
Richard’s FC was looking and running great, with a fresh tune from rotary specialists Angel Motorsports all the way in SoCal.
Aaron from Wolfreign had just recently finished putting together his old setup in this new chassis and was out there driving as aggressively as ever. The SFP Aero flush rear bumper and diffuser was an interesting new addition!
Teruaki Itai would be proud! Unfortunately, Herb had a run in with the wall later that day. We’re hoping to see the car bounce back soon!
Some chit chat in between runs.
Homie love is what its all about, honestly.
Chad’s car looked as good as ever, being one our favorite zenki S14’s in California (or anywhere for that matter).
Nick’s Kouki S14 looked great sideways, and it’s always nice to see more well-done KA-T cars out.
Animal Style continues to push the boundaries of their driving skill, with some of the most exciting tandems of the day.
Roy had an off-road excursion and lost his front bumper, but kept on trucking through the day as the wet weather dried up and the track conditions improved. Roy’s cars have gone through a lot phases from 326 to GP Sports to Car Modify Wonder and back to the current GP Sports kit, which may not have survived the day.
Eagle eyed readers may notice a familiar name here somewhere…
Pretty nifty gauge cluster setup in this 86.
Once the weather cleared up, drivers started to get more brave with their drifting.
Tom had installed this taxi livery onto his IS just before the event, really living up to that license plate!
Julian’s PS13 was sporting a new Origin Type 1 GT wing in place of the Origin Eagle Style he had before, giving me some serious mid-00’s nostalgia for all the right reasons.
Some end of the day festivities from Animal Style and Wolfreign.
The first Bihoku Days event was a success for Auto-Collect STORM, one of many more to come. The next event is tentatively set in April, and we look forward to seeing more familiar faces as well as new ones sharing the skid pad together in the near future.