Issue 02 | APR 2014
facebook.com/OMGDrift | www.omgdrift.com | @omgdrift | youtube.com/omgdriftdotcom 1 | Omgdrift.com
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table of contents Contributors 04 Cotton Candy Revolution 06 Bryanâ€™ts B!t*H Corner 08 Formula Drift Kickoff 12 Auto Factory Roll Call 36 Breaking Down Grassroots 48 Say Hi to Matt Field 62 Clubloose Feature 74 Caitlin Ting Dopeness 88 ADGP Dopeness 98 Drew Becomes A Judge 110 Team Role Call 120 Wallpaper Dopeness 124 Pretty Pictures 126 3 | Omgdrift.com
Contrib Drew Fishbein Director
Caitlin Ting Westcoast Staff
Patrick McGullah Vegas Staff
Martin Cunningham Euro Staff
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Southeast Staff Northwest Staff
Adam Rous UK Staff
Northeast Staff Northwest Staff
Brandon White Westcoast Staff
butors Ross Fairfield Co-Director
Eastcoast Staff Northeast Staff Asia Staff
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The rising cost of
Story by Drew Fishbein
Out at Formula Drift this weekend we were struck by the cost of Cotton Candy. It was a whopping 7 dollars! On the surface of it all, it just looks like normal event concession stand pricing. However at a much deeper level you realize the real issue at hand here: The rich are controlling the Cotton Candy industry almost entirely unregulated.
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Let me give you a scenario, a man works hard all day and instead of going down to his local state fair or confectionery, he has to go home and NOT spend his hard earned money on Cotton Candy but on something meaninglessness like his family or the light bill. I'm sick of it, it's time for a Cotton Candy revolution. If we don't do something now ONLY the rich will be able to enjoy the sweet sweet taste of Cotton Candy. This is just one more thing that the bourgeoisie do to strike down the proletariat to an even lower level.
REVOLUTION IS HERE. THE DANDY COTTON CANDY REVOLUTION IS HERE. WE WILL BE HEARD. 7 | Omgdrift.com
Bryant’s B!t*h Corner (Uncensored)
High Horsepower Lols
Alright, so I guess I can do another article about engines. Why not, right? This time though, it’s not about the configuration or number of cylinders, it’s about the total power output. If you’re someone who likes to see high horsepower cars doing ridiculous shit piloted by the best in the world, awesome. This article isn’t for you. You’re cool. If you’re the type of person who wants it to be like the early 2000’s were, but Komatsu, Chunky Bai, Akinori Utsumi’s chop top S15, and Break Ito Style mean nothing to you, sit down. I’m going to learn
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you a thing or two. Because, let’s be honest. It’s great that drifting is expanding, but come on. You’re not fooling anyone who really knows what’s going on with how “OG” you are. It’s not to say that drift knowledge is a competition, but at least have some basis in being a fanboy.
Now look, I’m not here to rain on anyone’s parade and maybe this assumption I have that a good portion of people crying about power in a professional series are people who think they know what’s up actually don’t is incorrect. As George Carlin would say, “I’m here to entertain and inform.” I found out about drifting much like a lot of people today do: video games. Then again, when I discovered drifting, I didn’t know it had a name,
Formula D was about six years away from its first event and a couple years later, the only videos you would find online about drifting were the insane touge videos that you can still find today in 240p. The era of drifting in the early to mid 2000’s was great, however, looking back on it, I’m glad we are where we are today. Okay, so, power in professional series. That’s what we’re on today right? I mean Long Beach was this
past weekend and it felt like every five seconds, Ryan Sage would talk about how much power some of the top tier drivers had in their cars. I have nothing against that. In fact, it’s rad to see some more statistics, in my opinion. Call me whatever you want, I love seeing stats and among them, power figures are something I really love to see. The problem I have with it? Obviously I have a problem with it. The
problem is that showing horsepower figures only tell a half-truth, if you will. The other part to the equation is torque.
(alsothisiswhy V8sarekindofa popularswap andIremember KeiichiTsuchiya praisingthetorque ofV8sfordriftinglol)
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Before we get to a practical explanation of things, let’s talk about something I think is important first. Competitive drifting is not the drifting you know. Let that sink in. Think about it. Be about it. Understand what that means. Competitive drifting, be it D1GP, FD, D1NZ, King of Europe, ADGP, etc. all have one thing in common: they are a business. Professional leagues need professional drivers to come in to keep them alive. Sponsored drivers need to perform well to remain sponsored (not just through driving either, but it helps), etc. Basically, it comes down to this: competitive drifting is a performance based environment. If a driver does not perform well, they are not in that league for very long.
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Over the years of observing Formula D, one of the more common rookie mistakes that I’ve seen is that many come unprepared in terms of their cars. The skills may be there, but the car is not. Of course there could be many reasons why the car isn’t quite on the level of what is needed, but the main reason of the past few years has been the lack of power. Hey, there’s that word again! Now, let’s go back in time a couple years to when Daigo Saito came to Formula D. His skill is without question, so that’s definitely not an issue, but what about the car? Sure enough, a few months before Long Beach, articles were flying out of the rumored 1200hp. Keep this in mind because it will be important as Daigo’s arrival in Formula D
is what many might consider the catalyst to the current state of “power.” So he comes over and dominates the 2012 season with that car, right?
how he can deliver his power and where he uses it.
Of course, it’s history. Now imagine yourself in the shoes of an FD driver. Say you did decent in 2012. Not great, but decent. You’ll probably spend some of the offseason reanalyzing common opponents throughout the season to figure out their strengths and weaknesses.
In a lead position, he’s limited to the rubber meeting the ground, but in the chase position, you’re never going too fast for him and he will always catch up. Skipping ahead some more, a car with more power and the support for more power is the conclusion and you’re not the only one. 2013 saw beefier builds leading into the goliath builds we see for this year.
Then you come up to some footage of Saito. “Well,” you say, “historically, he doesn’t qualify very high, so that could be a weakness.” Yes! We’re making progress, but I’ll fast forward some. His major strength is
This is a quick and rough example of how a catalyst can change the dynamic of a sport and the progression or evolution of the sport after. In the end, that’s what professional drifting is.
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Formula Drift Season Kick-Off. Long Beach. Words by Drew Fishbein | Photos by Drew Fishbein and Caitlin Ting
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Formula Drift kicked off it's 11th season this past weekend in Long Beach and it did not disappoint! The name of the game is progression; horsepower numbers are
now in the 4 digits, rookies no longer look like rookies, and Formula Drift has to keep adding grandstands to house the massive amount of fans that inundate every event.
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We started our weekend early, making our way out to Long Beach Tuesday morning for Media Day. If you're unfamiliar with media day, it goes as such: there are a total of four, 15 minute runs throughout the day. We share the time with the participants of the LBGP Celebrity Race and members of the major local media. It gives us as media chance to warm up for the big event Friday and Saturday, catch up with drivers, and create content!
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Media day was shaping up to be more of a Battle Royale than a media showcase, with drivers going door to door and in one unfortunate case full on colliding with another driver. Odi Bakchis was chasing down Ryan Tuerck when Odi lost power steering and careened into Tuerck, unfortunately making Odi the enemy of the Internet for a couple days because everyone is an expert on the Internet.
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We found ourselves back in Long Beach on Thursday, earlier in the week we had picked up Matt Field's wheels at Rotiform and in order to make his life less hassle we dropped them off with Nitto to get his tires all mounted up. After dropping everything off, we made our rounds to see who was where and who was actually at the track already.
The first stop we made was at Joon Maeng's pit, checking out his new build. Even though Joon was running a staggering 1125 horsepower his car had never looked more street. He had built one hell of a clean car and I was excited for the prospect of a fresh start and a new year for Joon. If you watched qualifying you know where this story is going.
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It's finally Friday! We had to pick up 3 people from the airport the previous night so we were basically running on fumes the next morning. We left early enough to get coffee and park in the parking garage for free. Or so we thought, we paid 10 dollars for parking, wouldn't it be awesome if I gave you guys an entire play by play of my morning? No? Ok. The word around the paddock was that Matt Field was having crank sensor prob
lems, and, his team was doing anything and everything in their power to make sure he made qualifying. Unfortunately Field would not see qualifying, but, is making sure he has zero issues the rest of the season. There were two practice session, followed by qualifying. Both sessions went as smooth as you would expect, the real upsets came in qualifying.
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The biggest upset being Joon Maeng's first qualifying run out, I will say that he was looking SOLID in practice. He had a rough season last year, and, it looked as if he had worked out all the kinks. I'm not sure if Joon was too excited, he came in too fast, or if there was some outside factor but Joon came in way too fast and bounced off the tires and into the wall. I talked to Joon soon after and he said that he's ready to get the car all back together and ready for Atlanta, he's a serious trooper!
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We would also see Nate Hamilton go into the tires, striking down his chances of making it into the big show. Long Beach is a tough first round, there's no room for error and most of the cars haven't had a proper shakedown yet.
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Essa would go on to lay down a killer 96 point run, solidifying his number one spot, and even deciding to not take his second run.
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Before we knew it Saturday was upon us, some killer matchups were ready to go. I was personally excited for Kyle Mohan going up against Robbie Nishida; their battle would end up being of the most carnage filled battles, with Mohan exploding a wheel and Nishida independently spinning after the wall tap, giving Mohan the win.
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Pat Goodin against Daigo Saito was another battle I was really excited for, Pat Goodin and Enjuku Racing built a CRAZY car this year and Goodin was looking incredible, on their first run Saito would end up hitting Goodin, allowing him to move on.
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Long Beach did not disappoint one bit, Chris Forsberg was out for blood and took home first. Kenny Moen took home second, showing that a smaller shop like Limitless Motorsports can build a championship potential car.
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Round 1 Results 01. Chris Forsberg 02. Kenneth Moen 03. Michael Essa 04. Justin Pawlak 05. Fredric Aasbo 06. Forrest Wang 07. Aurimas Bakchis 08. Darren McNamara 09. Vaughn Gittin Jr. 10. Tyler McQuarrie 11. Pat Goodin 12. Ryan Tuerck 12. Conrad Grunewald 13. Kyle Mohan 15. Mats Baribeau 16. Dennis Mertzanis 32 | Omgdrift.com
104.50 Points 84.50 Points 74.00 Points 68.50 Points 52.50 Points 51.00 Points 51.00 Points 51.00 Points 39.50 Points 38.00 Points 35.00 Points 35.00 Points 35.00 Points 35.00 Points 33.50 Points 33.50 Points
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“REALITY IS WRONG.
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DREAMS ARE FOR REAL.” TUPAC SHAKUR
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Auto Factory Realize Bringing Style Back to Drifting Words and Photos by Drew Fishbein
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Mission Statement: The idea is to carry on the tradition of a tandem team from which we started with Mulsanne. All the cars will be the color we currently have on my car, Hondaâ€™s Blue Raspberry Metallic, flying the livery we revealed recently.
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What AFR is all about: Realize is about understanding the heritage of where drifting originated and celebrating it by recognizing the spirit of Japan in the states. Itâ€™s to motivate people to pursue their car life fantasies to the furthest of their realm and understand that you need to create what makes you happy. And for those just entering into the current era of reverse-raked, stuff-aV8-into-everything-scene, we just hope that we can give you an insight to where it all started; where the cars are low & stunning, and understanding we do it purely for the love of drifting. Let us show you J-style and the etiquette that follows the scene. Nothing is more tragic than misunderstanding that real drifting originated in America.
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In AFR, we’ve got 5 cars/guys in it, and here’s the rundown. Chuck - S13.4 with a 1JZGTE Gary -S13 Silvia coupe with a built SR20 with a GT2876R .64 A/R managed by Megasquirt Teddy - R32 Skyline sedan with RB25 paired with a Garrett T3/T4 John - BN IS300 with1JZ VVTi B-Love - SC300 also running a 1JZGTE.
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Inspiration for the vinyl:
Late 90’s early 2000’s D1SL car, nothing but AWESOME style and the idea was to create an era-correct rendition of a D1SL car flying our shop colors. All we’re missing is the RHD!
My parents are my heroes. Without them I wouldn’t be who I am. Luckily, my culture follows directly in the footsteps of my money-pit hobby and I am forever grateful for who they have raised me to be outside of drifting. I only hope that in their eyes I’m everything they’ve ever wanted in a son and I constantly make them proud.
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3rd Grade Crush: I think her name was Gina Nam. But after weeks of constantly sharing my Fruit Gushers with her, she decided it was best that we only be friends. Been the story of my life ever since, but you best believe she had to bring her own Gushers during recess. Trick.
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Favorite meal: Donâ€™t ask me that question Drew! You know Iâ€™m game for anything edible. Except celery. FUCK celery.
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We Support Dirtdrops.
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Breaking Down Grassroots The Cost of Drifting Legally
Words and Photos by Nick Quigley
For some, the passion for motorsports ignited the moment they tore into the packaging of their first Hot Wheels car, racing it on the tabletop or living room carpet, making engine sounds with their mouth all the while. For others, it might have happened when they first held a Dual Shock controller and popped in a copy of Gran Turismo, racing cars they’d never heard of on tracks in faraway lands. Or maybe it simply took a friend to take them to a racetrack and experience the action in person. If you’re reading this, your love for drifting might have began by watching old Option or Best Motoring DVDs, reading Initial D or, as much as it pains some to hear, viewing Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift. Your quest to save money to purchase your own horseless carriage was a noble one, and one day, you landed that 240SX, Miata or
other cheap rear-wheel drive car. Working a summer job so you could buy enough knock-off eBay parts to ensure workers at China Post got their bonuses, you installed them with zip-ties and a prayer, added 300 horsepower worth of stickers and started sliding around behind a Best Buy pretending you were Keiichi Tsuchiya. But then Ken, the assistant manager at that Best Buy, wasn’t fond of your makeshift D1GP course and called the police to run you off. So you headed across town and found out Robert, the overnight second-assistant manager at Target, didn’t care for your talents either and Johnny Law was phoned again. With the odds stacked against you, where do you turn for a safe, legal place to hone your mad skills? Enter the grassroots drift organizations.
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Drift St Louis DriftSTL is one of those organizations and the first of three we’ll be examining as we look at what it costs these groups to host legal events. Formed during Midnight Madness events in the parking lot of Gateway Motorsports Park, the organization has provided a legal place to drift for drivers from all over the Midwest and beyond since 2006. Head of DriftSTL, Adam Reed, said the average drivers fee can range from $160 - $250 depending on if the event is held in the parking lot or on the much-acclaimed road course, and also how many drivers sign up. This year the organization has four main events on the schedule, nine Mid
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night Madness events and Import Face Off which is on the books for April 6 (which itself is not a DriftSTL event). “In a scheduling meeting we brought up track costs,” Reed said. “We showed examples of how, in a few ways, they are pricing us out the market. We proposed a larger price break for having a larger schedule. Their response was to the effect of ‘we have no trouble filling the road course.’” That driver fee may seem a little on the steep side, but Reed said the parking lot costs the organization $6,700 and the road course is just over $7,000, saying once all other expenses, ranging from promotion to merchandise and staff costs, a weekend at the track can cost nearly $10,000. “To try breaking even at $160 a head is murder,” Reed said. “The best I can figure, the hard costs
incurred by the track, including insurance, safety, medical and staff is no more than roughly $3000, and that is high. There is another $1,500-$2,000 or so in ‘expenses’, things like track sweeping, cleaning and trash, which we rarely see enacted either before or after the event, even though we pay for it.” Reed said merchandise sales and spectator tickets make up a “fairly good chunk” of revenue, and that venders, sponsors and other advertisers also help to offset the costs. In addition, Gateway allows those with DriftSTL to work non-drift events for credit towards facility rental. “There are a lot variables to account for in order to turn a respectable profit, and setting and meeting benchmarks is essential to maintaining operations,” Reed said. “I still think we have, bang for buck, one of the easiest, and cost effective, motorsports to get into at an entry level,” Reed said. “Like anything, to progress requires dedication and a honing of skills,” Reed said. “We work very hard to provide our new guys a very supportive and fertile place to grow, while still catering to our upper echelon to prepare and sustain them through pro-am.”
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Tennessee Drift From St. Louis we head east to find Tennessee Drift, started in 2009 by Barry Clapp. The organization has held a multitude of events across Tennessee and Kentucky since then, and is collaborating with East10 Drift and Traction Optional to host a “Tennessee State of Drift” championship series this year (more on that later). Clapp said the price differences between facilities can vary greatly. “We’ve rented the front parking lot of Nashville Superspeedway for eight or nine hundred dollars, we used to have to pay $1,500 to $1,600 to rent the fairgrounds, and we payed $2,500 to rent the Speedway when we did road course events,” he said. “That’s one of the problems we as promoters and organizers run into is first, talking someone into renting us a piece of property at all, and trying to figure out what a fair price is.” That Superspeedway always drew the largest crowds. “The last big event I put on was Driftoberfest at the Superspeedway back in 2011 and that ran about $5,500,” he said. “There wasn’t any problem getting 50 drivers, as people came all over to drive there. I could do those with $95 entry fees and with 50 drivers that almost paid for everything. I relied on the spectator gates just to make sure we were clear.”
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Thatâ€™s one of the problems we as promoters and organizers run into is first, talking someone into renting us a piece of property at all, and trying to figure out what a fair price is. 54 | Omgdrift.com
When parent company Dover Motorsports Inc. (who also owned Gateway Motorsports Park) closed down the track in 2012, the driver list shrunk as did the scale of the events. “Back in the glory days, it wasn’t a big deal to get 3540 cars,” Clapp said. “Anymore, we’ve been lucky to get 25.” Even with that reduction in driver turnout, Clapp said his goal was to ensure those who did show up wouldn’t have to pay much to do so. “I promised everyone that wanted to run a TND event when I first started that nobody would ever have to pay more than $100 to drive,” he said. “I started when the Southeast guys were at their peak and they were charging $185 to drift in a parking lot at Turner Field. I thought that was ridiculous so I decided I would never charge more than $100, even if I had to lose money on it.” That same promise applied to spectators as well. “I’ve always thought $10 was plenty,” Clapp said. “For what it is, I see $10 as plenty for someone to come in and get their money’s worth. If we charge another $5 for an all-day ride along wrist band, it’s well worth it.” Luckily for TND, Beech Bend Park in Bowling Green, KY., has embraced the organization and helped provide cheaper events. “Beech Bend is a unique place,” Clapp said. “He’ll charge a rental fee but he includes insurance. He has an insurance policy that he carries all year around and lets me pay him a something to add my organization as an additional insure on it. The overhead isn’t nearly as high there and that’s how we’re able to charge $50-$65 per driver.” Clapp said merchandise sales have never been strong, but with limited resources available, investing in something there’s no guaranteed return on is a gamble. “I’m not out to make money on it,” Clapp said. “But it’s nice to take a little home at the end of the day for all of your hard work.”
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Traction Optional Staying in Tennessee, the final organization to share some insider info with us is Memphis-based Traction Optional, lead by it’s president, Andrew Chang. Formed in 2004 and first holding events in Pocahontas, Arkansas, the organization has also held events in Holly Springs, Mississippi and most notably, Memphis International Raceway’s road course. Chang said the average cost for an event ranges from $3,500 to $4,500, depending on the venue and what it requires. He said it usually covers rent, insurance, EMT, fire/rescue, food for the staff, security and other miscellaneous expenses as they occur.
He said the cost for drivers can vary as well, rang ing from $50 to $150 for early registration with those late to the party nabbing a 20% penalty. “My goal has always been to keep it affordable for the drivers so during 2013, we risked it by keeping the prices low at $75 for early registration,” Chang said. “Prices this low is unheard of, especially on any road course events at Memphis International Raceway or other locations.” Like Barry at TND, Chang charges $10 for spectators, if that. “We generally allow those that have no idea what the sport is about come in for free,” he said. Chang said a good event turnout would see
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around 45 drivers, but having 25-35 show up is more of the norm. The spectator count can jump from 200 to about 600-plus. “We are hoping to attract more people at our future events,” Chang said. “Sponsorships also help with the cost of our events and we could use all that we can get.” Chang said holding events is always a risky business, especially on the financial front. Aside from driver and spectator fees, Chang said T/O’s merchandise sales can make up as much as 10-15% of the money generated at events.
said. “What most do not see are the countless hours of organizing the events and brain storming with the staff on what we could do to improve our next event. Keeping up with legal issues and finances can be a huge burden.” While Memphis has become the organization’s home base, Chang said he would like to hold events in Holly Springs again, just not in the middle of the summer. “We’ve had some brutal weather (there),” Chang said. “I think fall and winter events are best down there.”
“We usually aim to break even at our events, and any profit will go towards holding future events and help the growth of the organization,” Chang
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Clubloose Heading even farther east, we arrive at one of the best-known grassroots organizations in the U.S. Guys like Chris Forsberg, Ryan Tuerck, Brian Wilkerson, Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Tony Angelo are known to hit up their events. As you will see later in this issue, ClubLoose has become the premier drifting organization in the Northeastern U.S. Matt Petty and Tim Johnsrud have been working alongside the crew at Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey for over a decade, and the track’s current owner, Mike Napoliello, has caught the drifting bug and slides his own 240SX hatch. Why does that matter? Napoliello said he now wants to help maintain and improve the road course as much as he can, which in turn will create a better environment for everyone at ClubLoose events.
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Drivers pay $160 for one-day Saturday events (10 a.m. - 5 p.m.), and typically around $85-90 for Friday night events (5 p.m. - 10 p.m.). Using what Petty believes “is the best road course in the country for drifting,” costs may seem relatively high to other events on the East Coast, but all of this revenue goes back into either ClubLoose itself or Raceway Park for improvements. “E-Town makes almost all the money from both drivers and spectators,” Petty said. “But they pump all of the drivers’ money back into the road course. Last year they spent a ton on track surface improvement, like filling the usual dirt drop spots with sloped asphalt. It made the track way faster because now we are in pavement, not flinging dirt all over. It allows one of the smoothest tracks in the US (flow-wise) to be so much smoother and faster.” The revenue that does end up in the hands of ClubLoose is used to buy and maintain the tire machines and compressors, which are free for all drivers to use. They currently have two machines
and are working on getting a third for this season, and they are fed with an industrial compressor, which isn’t cheap. “As the events have grown into weekend-long, booze-filled parties, simple porta-potties were becoming an issue,” Petty said. “E-Town sunk a ton of money into real toilets for the drivers and spectators. It will elevate the event as a whole. I feel it will add a lot of family friendliness to the place.” He also says that they are planning private shower stalls, and that they hope to have them finished by late May, just in time for this year’s East Coast Bash. The hope is that all of these improvements will bring in more spectators, and therefore more revenue, allowing Raceway Park and ClubLoose to improve the track even more.
Words and Photos by Mike Griffith
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Grassroot Shoutout Marco A Tellez
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V8 Powered Highlighter Matt Field Talks Formula D
Photos by Drew Fishbein and Caitlin Ting
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First off, what changes are there for the new year? This year we made major changes to the suspension. New front knuckle and lower control arm design from Parts Shop Max. We also played around with the rear subframe. The combination of that, as well as our new tire sponsor, Nitto Tire, should make this car a rocket ship. We are also now running on Ignite race e85. To accompany our new changes we also decided to put a s15 front end on the car with a 326 Power 3D Star body kit. Aero is new this year as well. Front canards and splitters, hoping to get some drift aero going. We also decided to do an air to water intercooler to help keep intake temps down.
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What exactly happened in Long Beach? So we had the car ready about a week early, just enough time to test it, make media day, and test some more. Unfortunately we ran into some major problems. We kept getting really bad spikes in our crank sensor. This would cause the car drop crank signal, break up really bad and not let us rev the engine. We chased this problem for days. We tried multiple ecu's, multiple wiring harnesses, different brand ecu's, different crank triggers, different everything and just couldn't get it to run properly. We decided that the root of the problem was the reflector wheel that is pressed on the back of the crank. Which is inside the motor. So after chasing the problem for days, we were now stuck at the point of no return. We left San Jose Thursday at 2am and got to the track just in time for tech. We had a plan, Conrad
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Grunewald had an external crank sensor setup for us to use and we figured this would solve our problem. Unfortunately after multiple hours we couldn’t get it to work properly. We took the car to the track at 6am friday just in time to unload it, get working on it and for me to get to drivers meeting. After a few more expert people lent us their hand and we tried another ECU and wiring harness, we just couldn’t get it. No one could. Not even the best in the business. So now we have zero points and a whole lot of fans and sponsors who we let down. We tried our hardest, talked to all the right people, had all the right parts, but it just didn’t work out. We now need to pull apart the motor and fix the root of the problem and go from there. We have to throw down in Atlanta. There is no option.
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I just want to say sorry to all of my sponsors, my fans, my friends and family, and of course my crew. They worked so hard to try and get this thing done. And after 5 days of no sleep, we missed our second qualifying run, and that was that.
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“Art flourishes where there is a sense of adventure.”
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-Alfred North Whitehead
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Club Loose Go Drifting Or Go To Hell. For the last ten years, Matt Petty and Tim Johnsrud have been running one of the most successful amateur drifting organizations in the U.S. Words And Photos: Mike Griffith
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Beginning as just fun track days for a bunch of friends, ClubLoose has slowly grown into a huge community of drifting enthusiasts from all over the Northeast. Matt Petty explains why he and his friends wanted to start driving at a track: “We [Petty, Forsberg, Tony Angelo, etc.] were street drifting and generally fucking off on the street. We thought we were real badass drivers. Then we got to the track and we realized we sucked. We could go so fast. It was mind blowing. E-Town allowing us to have 9 events our first year was a blessing and a curse. We finally had a safe place to drive, but we were all hooked.” In 2003, Petty and the gang decided they wanted to host regular drift events in the parking lot adjacent to Englishtown’s famous drag strip at Raceway Park, the home to the NHRA Summernationals. With only a handful of street legal cars and some cones, they spent Wednesday nights shredding through tires and learning car control techniques from one another.
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A few of these early drivers have become, without a doubt, some of the best drifters in the world, such as Chris Forsberg and Ryan Tuerck. They honed their skills and were able to test their abilities against professionals like Tanner Foust and Rhys Millen.
As these drivers moved onto Formula Drift, the sport as a whole began to gain popularity and more and more people began showing up to ClubLoose events. Since Petty, Johnsrud, and others had been drifting for years, they began teaching and coaching newer drivers at their events through what some would call “tough love”. ClubLoose also has a fairly intimidating attitude surrounding the whole organization, with mottos such as “East Coast, Fuck You (ECFU)” and “Fuck you, I’m drifting!”
Another huge boost in popularity of drifting helped to expand the group to enormous proportions over the last 3-4 years, with many events bringing in upwards of 100 drivers and thousands of spectators. Even with this many people, ClubLoose still maintains its club-like atmosphere, and nearly everyone involved refers to the group as a family who just wants to have fun. Sebastian Dylag, who is a track worker and occasionally slides his 240sx hatch, says, “…it’s a bunch of family that came from random vaginas.” When the group was asked why they continually attend events, responses varied from heartfelt to downright hilarious. Brad Hettinger, who has been driving at ClubLoose for more than half a decade, puts it bluntly: “ClubLoose is the only place where I can ruin my life, and enjoy it.”
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Oh, and if you haven’t attended a ClubLoose event, it should be on your bucket list. With a trackside bar named Sneaky Pete’s and parties that rage on until 3-4am, the events are just as much about the partying as the driving. Mike Vogt goes “for the drinking with my friends aspect,” and Rob McAllister keeps it short and sweet with his description of “Beers, Burnouts, and BBQ.” And what would a drift event/party be without some sarcastic homosexual references? “ClubLoose rides that fine line between “no homo” and creepy…”, as Sammy Nelson puts it. And the girls at the events enjoy it too, like Sami Nicosia; “…it’s the only place on Earth where hordes of drunk dudes are more concerned with grabbing each other’s dicks than tryna cop a feel on us ladies.”
On a more serious note, this family attitude has helped ClubLoose, and Raceway Park as whole, grow and improve. The money raised from each event is used to either rent lights and equipment for night events, or put towards track improvements like repaving and new bathrooms. In the latest announcement for the first event of the season, ClubLoose writes, “Because E-town is the greatest place on Earth, they are trying to make it even better for us. We are working with the track to get real bathrooms in the pit area. Since bathrooms are expensive, we need everyone to make it out for this so we can help get the money together to make real bathrooms a reality. Last year, all of the money we made for the track went right back into paving and other improvements to the facility.” If there is one thing to take away from this article, it’s that you should attend a ClubLoose event at some point in your life. As Geoff “J-Wang” Stoneback, Formula D rookie this year, says,
“ClubLoose is the glue to American grassroots drifting, if you don’t like it fuck yourself. #ECFU” 77 | Omgdrift.com
From the friends that come out to hang out... To the fans that want to see tire smoke... First timers to veterans... From missile cars to pro cars... The days into the nights...
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ClubLoose does it best. -Chris Forsberg 2009 Formula D Champion
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Josh Lowell likes to Keep Drifting Fun with his KA-T S13 coupe.
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Ain’t no party like a ClubLoose party...Matt Petty spitting fire outside Sneaky Pete’s at East Coast Bash 2012.
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Damien Bagely poses in front of his KA24DET-powered Silvia S15 for ClubLoose’s “Next Top Model”.
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2014 US Schedule Round 1: Streets of Long Beach April 4-5 Round 2: Road Atlanta May 9-10 Round 3: Homestead Miami May 30-31 Round 4: Wall Speedway June 20-21 Round 5: Evergreen Speedway July 18-19 Round 6: Texas Motor Speedway September 12-13 Round 7: Irwindale Speedway October 10-11
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You Donâ€™t Choose The Wing Life, The Wing Life Chooses You.
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From Bagholder to Photog Perks of dating Drew Fishbein Words and Photos by Caitlin Ting
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A year ago, Drew introduced me to the world of drifting. I knew practically nothing about drifting or cars, my only familiarity with modified cars came from the Fast and Furious films. Suddenly, I found myself dropped into many events. I attended Formula Drift Atlanta, Dallas, and Irwindale. I watched every other event on the livestream.
Drew took me to events at Willow Springs International Raceway and Bondurant. I even got the amazing opportunity to do several ride-alongs throughout the season. My year was jam-packed with cars louder than I had ever heard and liveries more outrageous than I had ever seen. The drivers maneuvered their cars in ways I had only seen in movies, and I watched it all, trying to figure out their patterns and styles. I never thought I would ever be so interested in motorsports. Before 2013, cars were just a tool to get from ‘Point A’ to ‘Point B.’
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My on-hand photography background was essentially nonexistent. I owned several basic digital cameras in middle and high school, which I mostly used to take MySpace selfies and other less artistic photos. Growing up, however, my father surrounded me with his more extensive hobby: videography and photography. In my youth, he taught me how to properly frame a picture as well as the importance of ensuring the image is in focus. Therefore, you could say photography was likely to just naturally become one of my interests.
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After watching Drew shoot an event at Willow Springs from the sidelines one day, I realized I wanted to do the same thing. I wanted to be a part of the action rather than just watch it happen, and being a photographer would put me right in the center of it all. I contemplated whether it was worth pursuing; how could I be sure my pictures would be any good? When I suggested the idea to Drew, he expressed his support and really encouraged me to try out photography.
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Subsequently, at the next event we attended at Willow Springs in mid-February, Drew threw me into the ring. He gave me his camera, gave me some directions on how to pan and follow the cars, and said, â€œgood luck!â€? I was incredibly apprehensive, I did not want to do poorly and embarrass myself, but I took some shots and handed the camera back to Drew. He was impressed and saw potential in what I did, even though I did not, and handed the camera off to me again. He helped me for about an hour at Balcony, and then suggested we move to Horse Thief Mile.
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Trying my hand at photography at Horse Thief Mile was an amazing experience. I got a media vest (making me super official!) and we headed up the hill. Now I really got to be in the center of it all. Cars surrounded me from back to front and I got to be closer than all the spectators at the bottom of the hill. This was where I really got a lesson in panning. It was exhilarating to find a new skill that I never knew I had. The pictures I took made me so proud, I even captured a nice shot of a fireball, though I am still convinced that was all dumb luck. I took over 800 pictures and suddenly found myself in love with photographing cars drifting. With Drew始s support, I practiced at a few other venues, and am about to shoot the biggest event I have done in my life: Formula Drift Streets of Long Beach. I am both nervous and excited at this new adventure and cannot wait to see what this season has in store!
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ADGP Dopeness Round 3 Sydney Motorsport Park Photos and Words by Jenna Michelmore
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At a drift event I now have two jobs. Originally I was just the Manager of SMDrift.com.au, my husband Simon competes in events throughout Australia, but now I can also add Photojournalist for OMGDrift to the mix. This weekend was also my first time ever shooting a National event, so admittedly I was a little apprehensive. We drove through the night on Thursday from Adelaide to Sydney, itâ€™s a 17 hour drive and trust me, in the back seat of a dual cab Toyota Hilux it is NOT comfortable. Sydney is the 3rd stop in the 2014 Australian Drifting Grand Prix (ADGP) series, we had previously competed in Adelaide and Perth. We always look forward to drifting in Sydney, especially when we are lucky enough to use South Circuit.
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This track allows for a nice high speed left handed entry which often allows drivers to really push their limits and do â€˜backiesâ€™ into the first corner. This is the only inside clipping point for the track. The remaining clipping points are all outer clips.
Saturday entails practice and qualifying. ADGP run a National series and also a State series during the same weekend, if a competitor places well in the State series they may be eligible to move up into the National series the following year.
Unfortunately South Circuit is not often used for Drifting and it is looking likely that we will not be able to drift at this part of Sydney Motorsport Park in the future.
The ADGP team travel from all over the country to work at these events, VicDrift Club President Yoshi Abey is one of the most respected people in drifting throughout Australia.
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Formula Drift competitor and all round nice guy, Matt Powers returned to judge for a 2nd time at this track. One thing that ADGP have added to the mix is international drivers. For this event Andy Gray from Powervehicles Japan (originally Scotland) competed in his Aussie JZX100. Itâ€™s really great to see veteran drifters back in the game, Beau Yates is competing in his FT86, the amount of work himself, his team and fiancĂŠ Becca have put into the build of this car is incredible. The natural amphitheatre type design of South Circuit allowed for some really relaxing viewing, especially because it was over 35 degrees Celsius all weekend! Practice started shortly after the drivers briefing, State competitors took to the track first to get a hang of things.
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Congratulations to Levi Clarke for taking out the win at Round 3 of the Australian Drifting Grand Prix! With only a small number of points breaking up the Top 10 in the championship, the final round at Calder Park Thunderdome in April will be spectacular! - Jenna
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How to be A Judge Being a guest judge is terrifying Words by Drew Fishbein | Photos by Caitlin Ting
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I've been around drifting for well over 5 years now; I've watched it grow, I've had a incredibly brief driving history, I've disagreed with judging calls in Formula Drift, and I've defended the judges to death in Formula Drift. Little did I know that I would be given the opportunity to be a guest judge this year, something I admittedly had no interest in doing because it seemed incredibly stressful. Nick Dizon from Vegas Drift called me and asked if I would be interested in coming out to one of the rounds to be a special media guest judge and I couldn't say no.
I had never done anything of the sort before and I was very interested in the process but not so much the actual execution. He told me to look at their schedule and get back to him, I picked PhoenixProAm Round 2 and counted down the months until we made our way to Phoenix. I was set to just judge the tandem competition with local AZ legend George Marstanovic, we joined the other 3 judges who had judged all of qualifying which I was happy to have not judged.
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I feel like the first few people who drive always get scored weird because while you know what you’re looking for on the course, was that an 88? A 92? I’m not made out to decide these numbers! I saw some amazing runs, runs that were totally easy to call. I watched drivers beat themselves, and, I watched drivers get out driven. George and I disagreed on a couple different occasions and I was told that George and I actually decided the fate of a few drivers. We weren’t sure how much input we actually had, but, our input turned out to be equal of the other judges. It was strange, holding a driver’s fate in your hands. Drivers who spent their hard earned time and money to get here, only to be out driven by someone else. I overthink judging way too much, and the end of the day it was an easy and VERY fun task! It was nice to talk out drifting with someone who really knew about it, able to talk about every corner and intricacy of their run.
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I would like to thank Nick Dizon and Vegas Drift for the opportunity! I would do it again in a heartbeat as long as I don't over think it!
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o n K r e v You Ne
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2014 US Schedule Round 1: Streets of Long Beach April 4-5 Round 2: Road Atlanta May 9-10 Round 3: Homestead Miami May 30-31 Round 4: Wall Speedway June 20-21 Round 5: Evergreen Speedway July 18-19 Round 6: Texas Motor Speedway September 12-13 Round 7: Irwindale Speedway October 10-11
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