Freshly Blogged


After much hype for this event I met up with Aaron Mai and Lawrence Chok at our good friend Richie’s pad and rolled over to the venue. We had rolled past here the day before just to see how it was all going, and after much anticipation were quite happy with what we saw. Making the most of the space they are given, they allowed for a truck in the middle, with concrete barriers around the edge. This allowed for plenty of bumper to barrier action. This post will be showcasing the prior action of the event as much as the event itself for the sake of those who couldn’t attend.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWe managed to get a park right across the road at around 845am. We were earlier. With good reason.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWe wanted to get everything besides the drifting out of the way early. And get breakfast. We forgot breakfast.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nI was quite surprised to see Daigo Saito down helping Samuel Hubinette out with his wheels.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nJust when I thought I was prepared by having 2 cameras on me, Red Bull zoomed past with this cable camera. Damn cool.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nI’ll be the first to admit I’m quite the Matt Powers fan. The dude’s rad as hell in the way he holds himself and in his drifting and seeing his car here was awesome.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHugo’s car was looking awfully clean after Whangarei last weekend. Good effort.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nKat Benson wanted heaps of photos with drivers. Here she is with Andrew Redward. And Daigo Saito.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThis thing is incredible. Running 335 sized tyres on the rear, it was sitting high as hell off the ground, but all set up within good reason. If you look under the car carefully you’ll see two dump pipes and a giant diff in between. These foreign cars are setup pretty amazingly.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nMike seemed to be rearing to go and impressed with how the day was starting out. Either that or jacked up on Red Bull.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWalking back to the pits after dropping off jackets in the car saw Matt Powers having a photoshoot in his race suit.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe photograher (Graham Murray) was lining up the drivers next to their cars, had a smoke machine going and then flashing them with a decent sized rig located around the drivers. Be interesting to see the outcome of these shoots.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHugo’s already uploaded his shots if you want to see them on instagram.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSamuel looked quite serious in his photoshoot. The smoke sure does help.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe ‘stage’ was all ready to go with a few final checks before the drivers went for a walk around. On most barriers there are special sensors to allow for points to be accumulated. From there the points get tallied to the scoreboard to allow for fully electronic judging.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe drivers began their morning exercise and had a walk around the track. This is the starting point. The cars will then line up here, fry their tyres and head into the next section.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nPowers seemed to be slightly nervous throughout the course. Either that or I caught him midway through a habit.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nMike explained the course, noting where sensors are positioned, what slides you’ll have to do to complete them and the overall shape of the course.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nDaigo stepped back and let Robbie listen in for him to then translate the course. He didn’t seem to worried about the overall shape.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nPowers still seemed very serious about the occasion. I would be too if I’d flown my car over from USA for the event..\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAll the drivers stood around the truck wondering how the heck they’d get underneath the thing. Samuel Hubinette’s car was a lot high than the allowance, but he seemed to be fine with the idea. Others were slightly worried about GT wings and other parts..\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nEven by this point with the tight schedule they were still pulling all the last few cable ties tight.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWe ended back in the pits and I started to look over the cars a bit more. Matt’s car sure has been through hell and back. This isn’t his current Formula D competition car but a sideline car that he uses for events like this. The car looks to have been through hell and back drifting.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHowever Daigo’s car was also his secondary car yet I couldn’t find a ding on it. Amazingly tidy car for a drift car.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nFast forward a few hours later and the cars started to roll out to show off to all of the spectators. By this point there was thousands upon thousands of spectators watching and waiting.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSamuel rolled his giant Dodge Challenger out. Putting out around 800hp, this thing is pretty crazy.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nDaigo rolled in the Chaser. We’re pretty big fans of JZX’s at Frushly Whupped and of course were hugely excited to see this thing. The amount of aerodynamic parts on the car is amazing. Carbon Fiber everything.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nMike hopped onto his car to welcome to the crowd, he was naturally well received.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nStill awake? We’re 28 images in and here’s some drifting finally. Cole was up and it was time to show Red Bull what a ‘V can’ can do.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nRed Bull man himself Mad Mike came out in his RX8. Somewhat surprised to see this car being used after it blew part of a gearbox last weekend.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nDaigo came out to lay down his practice runs and seemed to be quite confident with the circuit.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nPowers then came out, if anything to make the ladies swoon over the awesomeness.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSamuel Hubinette then brought out the giant Challenger. The sound of this thing is incredible. Roaring drift V8’s have never sounded so good.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThen the Kiwi boys started to pile out. Fanga came out and decided to literally run the wall.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nNo seriously, the dude got right up in my camera. Smashing lights and barriers like a Whanga.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHugo managed to hold his kit together for a few seconds to allow this shot to happen.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThere was a giant screen down one end to allow for plenty of live coverage with the live scoreboard. In this shot you can see that Mikey manged to go under the truck and get the ‘Undertaker combo’.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nFanga sadly didn’t get off too easily for the under truck slide..\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHere’s some of the scores from qualifying on the big screen where Fanga still managed a great score.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nFanga Dan was also running the wall hard without a care in the world.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWhereas the foreigners seemed to be taking a far more different approach.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nGaz enjoyed taking his low S14 under and through the truck for major combo points!\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nOnto the final top 4 shoot outs saw Fanga Dan coming out, introducing the crowd to tyre smoke.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nMatt Powers came out and got right up in my lens. You can see the crowd and the media behind all on edge, watching him take the corner.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe mad challenger then came rolling out to lay the law down, riding the wall and displaying raw V8 power.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nMad Mike came out to lay down his points, but couldn’t keep up with the Americans and Fanga.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThis guy didn’t seem to care either way. He was just happy to be there.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nInto the final two battles between Samuel Hubinette and Matt Powers saw Powers come in with hot pace.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWith good reasoning. Laying down a crazy score that would shoot him to the top.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nPowers was then announced the winner.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThis put Samuel in second and Fanga Dan in third.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nI also made one little boys dreams come true that day. Joe Kukutai couldn’t contain himself.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBack to the pits again with a CRAP helmet.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nA rad sticker. Don’t anyone dare go making these things. Let Matt have the only one. Please.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAnd a dope gear boot too. Matt’s S14 is damn rad.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nDaigo’s car was riddled with awesomeness. Loving all of the straight outta’ Japan stickers.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWith one event over with I can’t help but wonder what Mad Mike has up his sleeve next. No doubt we’ll be seeing this event popping up in another town somewhere. But which town..?\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThis weekend has been a drift fans dream. Wouldn’t have expected to see Daigo’s car over here for a long time – if ever.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nA big thanks to Mike for putting this on. Can’t wait for the next time this thing shows up – here’s hoping it does. Surely a new outlook on drifting and a refreshing change from the usual judges and commentators.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nLast but not least, here’s the in-car footage from Cole Armstrong’s V R34 Skyline – thanks to Contour Cameras!\r\n\r\nWill gradually upload more photos on our facebook page, but this will do for now. Damn long post.\r\n\r\n-Chris

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