Night-Import: Photography by William Lee
We've been waiting for long time and it finally begins. The excitement and adrenaline rushing through our veins can be felt once again by watching the top drifters competing against each other.
Formula D Championships officially started yesterday with Round 1 at the Streets of Long Beach and it couldn't get any better. The stands were overcrowded with drifting fans and the top 32 drifters put on a hell of a show. Sounds of V8 engines were echoing across Long Beach and even with the skies filled with tire smoke and rubber pieces falling like rain, everyone seemed to have fun, especially for those who were fans of drifting for a long time.
Night-Import photographers, Andy Nguyen, Nick Schultz, and I, walked around the whole stadium taking photos and we're more than excited to share our coverages . Andy Nguyen was in the track area most of the time and with his baller equipment's, he did an awesome job capturing the intense and dangerous moments so stay tuned!
But to start off, I'll share some photos that were taken in the morning before the event started, so let's do this!
I was a bit worried about the weather because according to the weather forecast, there was a chance of rain, but luckily, the day was sunny and I couldn't be any happier.
Motegi Racing was getting prepared with their booth.
and as expected, they brought out their project AE86.
All the drifters came early to get prepared. There's Mike Essa in his M3 engine Z4.
Falken getting ready as well. It was a shock to hear Vaughn Gitten Jr. not qualifying to the top 32, but it also shows how drifting is getting competitive every year!
Justin Pawlak talking with some people. He was a beast on the track! You guys should be excited to see the photos Andy took at the event.
I've never seen this FD before, but it was built and driven by Youichi Imamura, a famous drifter from D1GP.
Couple of sponsored cars rolling in to their destination.
AEM with their hatchback STI on Volk TE37SL's.
Scion Racing didn't open their Scion VIP section like every year, but they did bring out their project cars to display.
Matt Powers's LS7 V8 S14 getting prepped. He was one of the favorites by the drifting fans and performed very well on the track, taking 2nd place overall.
Spotted Bisi in his 533HP Bisimoto CR-Z.
Daijiro Yoshihara's S13. His 11 years of drifting didn't let his fans down, taking 3rd place overall.
A few vendors setting up and I spotted Tony Pham's Miata from Team Infinit.
Mount, Balance, Ready!
Charles Ng's FC Rx-7.
Ryan Tuerck's Pontiac Solstice GXP. Right before I left, I saw him advancing to the Top 16.
Matt Field's S14 was catchy! It almost made me go blind.
Go Go Go Go!
Matt Waldin's Z in Mishimoto's booth.
D1GP star Toshiki Yoshioka's V8 powered S13.
and there he is!
Prep and ready.
Conrad Grunewald interviewing in front of his Camaro.
Walker Wilkerson was doing very well, qualifying to the Top 32. He took 11th place overall.
The sound of this beast is still echoing in my head.
Ken Gushi's Scion tC. I want to see him win!
Chris Forsberg's M45 on display.
and his new car, 370Z.
Fredric Aasbo talking about his new 2011 Scion tC.
Some cars that participated on Friday for the qualifying rounds were on display, like this Toyota Cresta. You don't get to see this car in the US too often, so I spent a good 15 minutes taking photos of this car.
Spotted Odi's S14. Hoping to interview him in a few weeks!
I'll be back with the Fatlace : Slammed Society Car Show coverage in Part 2.