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The Drift King THIS PRO DRIFTER LIVES LIFE IN THE FAST LANE WRITTEN BY: ANNIE KIM PHOTOGRAPHED BY: ERIK ISAKSON

“I tell myself I can do this. Let’s just push it 100 percent. If the car breaks, it’s okay...my loyal mechanics can fix it.”

EXPERT: Ken Gushi CREDENTIALS: Professional Drifter and Owner of Ken Gushi Motorsports Ken Gushi, a Japanese-American professional drifter and owner of Ken Gushi Motorsports, is not one to hold up traffic or be caught driving slow in the fast lane (or any lane for that matter). Known as the Drift King, Gushi has mastered the art of drifting—a controlled slide in a vehicle that terrifyingly hugs the turn of a road at a rapid speed. Drifting is all thrill with zero room for error, a diminutive margin Gushi viscerally lives to push his limits in. “Behind the wheel, I can express myself,” he says. “Whether it be aggressive driving next to a wall or sliding 120 miles an hour sideways.”

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To be successful in the realm of drifting, one must have unwavering confidence combined with remarkable mental toughness. Aside from mental training, Gushi trains three to five hours (sometimes 10 hours) daily on a racing simulator at home which allows him to

practice on multiple tracks that are exact replicas of the ones he competes in. “Eighty percent of drifting is all mental. You have to tell yourself ‘Fuck it… Whatever happens, happens,’” says Gushi. “The moment you feel like this is scary is the moment you should probably retire or look for another career because in that moment, there’s no way you’re going to propel [or] push yourself into being a better version of what you currently are.” Gushi’s next big goal is to win a championship in the Formula Drift series. From there, he hopes to pass his crown off as the “Drift King” to a young, talented driver and bring them on to Ken Gushi Motorsports for the future of drifting. But for now, Gushi lives his life fearlessly in the fast lane. The same adrenaline he gets today when behind the wheel is exactly the same adrenaline he felt when he first got behind the wheel 24 years ago. “I’ll continue to do it as long as I feel the same rush,” says Gushi. Early Start • Gushi’s first taste of driving a car was at eight years old when he helped his father, an owner of a car maintenance shop, move cars around.

STATS:

20

Years of Drifting

3

Major Car Accidents

2

Drifting Championships

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Anime-ted • At age 13, Gushi’s interest in drifting stemmed from watching a Japanese street racing anime series called “Initial D.” Flow Into the Drift • “Don’t worry about trying to make it pro. Don’t worry about the sponsors,” advises Gushi. “If you’re passionate about drifting, and just drifting, then the pro aspect will come looking for you eventually.” KEN GUSHI @kengushi Photoshoot Location: BOOST BRIGADE HQ 9 Vanderbilt Irvine, CA 92618 949.588.8300 www.shop.boostbrigade.com

Profile for Locale Magazine

Los Angeles August 2019  

Alive Edition

Los Angeles August 2019  

Alive Edition