Monday, October 16, 2006

The Day Before the Formula D Finale at Irwindale

I had to head out with Felix to pick up books from my PO box on the day before Formula D. When I jumped out of the SUV, I spotted this relatively clean orange 1972 or 1973 240Z outside. I'm not sure the year, but it looked to be original paint, I didn't have time to inspect it closely. We also noticed that it had super clean Enkei Apache mesh wheels. Those things looked brand new when you look up close. Too bad they're like +500 offset. =(

Man we had ridiculous amounts of books in the back of the SUV. For real.

My boy Hubert Young, the Team Falken driver of the Discount Tire Direct S13 coupe, crashed on the Friday practice runs at Irwindale. Here he is in the pits, examining the rear suspension. It's bad luck- Hubert is an awesome driver, but his car has been struggling with mechanical problems all year. I hope the team can get it together next year, so he can get more seat time iu the car! Seat time makes awesome drivers.

This is my boy Calvin Wan's Infiniti G35 competition car, in the Falken pits getting serviced. I heard the engine blew again, but I forgot exactly what happened. They just had to rebuild the engine at the last event in New Jersey because the bank at Wall Speedway (NJ) is a steep 30 degrees, compared to Irwindale's 18 degrees... and when Calvin was doing a demo for a local TV station, his oil cooler fittings broke off when his car came off the banking on the transition into the infield. All the oil spilled out, but Calvin was mid-drift and didn't notice.

The G35's builder, Gary Castillo (former tech editor for Import Tuner) had to get another VQ engine from a Maxima in the junkyard, and remove the crankshaft and connecting rods, rebuild the motor, and then install the setup into Calvin's car. Oh, and he had to do it in 24 hours. They took the car to a friendly Sears Auto Center in BFE New Jersey, and Gary did all the surgery there. I stopped by there with Mickey from Falken and Drew from Sears corporate HQ to take some pics of the build. The pics show Gary and another car builder re-assembling the engine, but Gary tells me as soon as my camera left, the other car builder put down all the tools and went to sleep in the rental car.

That sucks man. I mean, the way I see it, you don't have to work on a car that isn't yours. But don't front and pretend like you are, when the cameras are around. That's just frontin. If you wanna be in a magazine that bad, buy an ad or send a pic in to reader's rides.

Here's Gary, telling the story while working on the G35 for real.

On the other side of the pit, Hiro Sumida and Koji from Drift Association were working on Hiro's JZX90 Chaser. It's a right hand drive car from Japan. The body may look like a crumpled up piece of paper, but Hiro drove his battlescarred Chaser to a podium finish at Formula D New Jersey. Congratulations again Hiro, I'm proud of you man. You made Team Falken proud too.

We had to leave Irwindale to pick up more supplies. On our way out, we ran into my friend Jim Liaw (formerly known as Jimmy Law to people from Diamond Bar, haha), who is one of the founders of Formula D. Jim decided to help me out by allowing me to sell copies of my DRIFTING book at the Formula D Finale. Huge thanks to Ryan Sage, Andy Luk, and Bryan Olfert also for helping me get the Cipher Garage booth organized and situated! It was my first booth at a Formula D event, so I was excited for sure.

After running around town doing even more errands with Felix, we met up with our friends from Falken at BJ's in Monrovia. Or Arcadia, same difference. We were sitting directly across from our cute friends Courtney and Lea.

Courtney is a model, she was telling me she just got back from doing a shoot earlier that day. I forget who she shot with, but it was a cool project. Damn what was it again? She used to be a host for RedlineTV, and a Falken umbrella girl for a couple years, so we traveled to many events together and became good friends. She can also be seen modeling the latest in Cipher Garage clothing on the htpp:// website.

As for Lea, she works in the dental field, but she sure looks cute in this pic, dont you think? Her boyfriend is my good friend Calvin Wan (Falken G35 pro driver). But back to Lea, she is one of my favorite people ever.

This is my boy Tree. Well his real name is Brian. But he likes people to call him Tree because he's hella tall. He is half Japanese, and speaks nihongo. He works for Falken and is a pretty responsible dude. Let's go back to Japan Tree! Our last adventure at Ebisu was hella cool.

Okay well after all that, I just went back to the crib and knocked the F out. Super tired.


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