Event Report – 2010 Summer Drift Matsuri Part 3
The Summer Drift Matsuri ended as soon as it had begun and November is already almost upon us. Less than 9 weeks separates us from the Autumn Matsuri and yet it still seems so far away for anyone who has been…
To wrap up the series of posts I’m going to delve into the night and then bring in the Sunday with its madness that ensued.
The Drift Matsuri is something that must be experienced by a car and driving enthusiast at least once in their lives. It brings together everything that is pure about motor sport and provides an unparalleled level of enjoyment for all who attend. It is a spiritual experience. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.
A return to the pits after the enlightening blast around Minami with Saito revealed the GTM HC33 Laurel badly in need of a ressurection – the car having taken an absolute beating for two years and was now almost completely faceless. But it was still going hard thanks to the SR20DET and unique V-Mount cooler; the key to this cars performance definitely not in its looks.
Lap after lap, Mizutani brought the Laurel closer and closer to the wall, the car spewing forth more and more sparks, the tyre blowout imminent…
And then with an almighty bang it let go, at 120kph and heading for the wall! Brave stuff.
Here is how it looked 2 years ago…
And here is what it looks like now! I was talking to Garage GTM owner Wataru Mizutani and he lamented how he had no shots of the car before it became the John Doe of Missiles.
I also ended up finding the culprit for the sparks being thrown out from contact with the wall – a titanium tube riveted to the body. Genius!
I have been calling this event a Dori Houdai for ages now. People think that’s funny but for a set price in Japan, you can have Nomi Houdai’s ( All-you-can-drink ), Tabe Houdai’s ( All-you-can-eat ) , Asabi-Houdai’s ( All-you-can-play ) and even Nori-Houdai’s ( Ride-whatever-you-want ) so it makes sense that we adopt the phase, “Dori Houdai” - ( All-you-can-DRIFT! )
Up at the Kita course and well into the night, cars appeared to tackle the darkness at more than triple figure speeds, with san-patsu (3 times ) entries going into turn one, some including a certain Aussie named Chris DeJager in a headlightless S13 making it appear crazier than crazy.
Sumika turned up in her 180SX while I was up there and was in this sweetspot where the sensor on my D90 could pick up enough light to take the shot; the f1.8 35mm Nikon lens helping quite a bit. I can’t say enough about this lens and I am considering investing in the 85mm f1.4 to make sure I can get some proximity and still get a decent shot.
I can say that shooting missiles at night with almost no light to help find a focus point proved an immense challenge but one that was immensely enjoyable.
This Cefiro and its riveted guard pumps appeared, skid past and disappeared like a ghost. I still have no idea when and where it left the track…
The wastegate on this FC RX-7 lit up the night by blasting out flameballs at the end of the straight.
From the grandstands above the pit area you can get a good view of the cars coming down the straight and all the way through the first hairpin and subsequent follow through. A great place to watch the action.
Chaos broke loose up at Kita later this night and at one point early Sunday morning Alexi Smith and I may or may not have drifted through the entrance of the Kita paddock, through the car park and out the other side in one lurid motion.
But while Alexi’s Mark II was running fine, the same couldn’t be said for this JPP Silvia, having swallowed some silicone into its oil galleries – a nightmare job and one that required the burning of some substantial midnight oil. Having burnt up my supply already though, I crashed heavily for the night.
The obligatory late start to Sunday put me behind the ball but there was still plenty of action to be had. This 180SX was a car that definitely stood out with its gull wing doors.
If you develop some hunger pangs, head up to the Higashi course where the ladies at the canteen take care of everything. For ¥850 yen this was a great meal and hit the spot perfectly.
Recharged, i headed back over to Higashi to see what was going on – Justina had on her train robbing balaclava but things weren’t too good in this particular pit garage…
…Justina taking a huge hit over on Drift Land, a hit that pushed the entire right side of the car over a few inches, meaning everything, including the pedals, wheel and dashboard had also moved with it. The car was now officially FUBAR.
It wouldnt turn out to be the only casualty in a frantic last hour of action on Higashi, this Silvia copping a punch square to the cooler from an errant JZX90. And how those tanks hit. The Silvia was toast, but the JZX90 needed a guard pulled off the tire. Unreal.
The other 90 fared less well, having snapped the rear hub in the 4 car impact. Ironically, the parts needed were sourced from Andrew Sunderlands left over spares!
The day was quickly coming to a close and the rest of the hour passed quicker than my memory recollects it… here Leigh Pidwell flings the purple 90 down the chute one last time, Andy Gray’s lazy eyed 180SX in hot pursuit.
Forget Dolmio, this is the Matsuri Grin!
I pack up my gear where I am greeted by the Aussie Forces arranging a group shoot…
A job well done from the Aussies but one that need support from other countries. So why aren’t you guys here??
A burn out is an absolute must as a celebratory signature and Josh Zamel didn’t disappoint. It actually made me wonder how a Holden Commodore or Ford Falcon would do at these types of events…
…but the shot I am going to leave you with from the Matsuri is a shot from the next feature car – this beautiful IS200 with 1JZ conversion. Make sure you come back and check it out soon.
The Summer Matsuri has gone but the Autumn one is already almost upon us. If you haven’t booked your flights and arranged your cars yet – you better get cracking. It promises to be a spectacular occasion.
Contact Adam at 7tune for more information…
Words: Adam Zillin
Photos: Adam Zillin