The dictionary tells us that word Media [mee-dee-uh] is a noun that means: the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet, that reach or influence people widely. And the word Appreciation [uh-pree-shee-ey-shuh n] a noun that means: gratitude; thankful recognition especially of aesthetic quality. This was how DRIFT HQ chose to show us why they are here to break the mold of South Florida’s drift scene by giving back to a very vital part of it.
[drift] [hed-kwawr-terz, -kwaw-] [mee-dee-uh] [uh-pree-shee-ey-shuh n] [dey]
Bad or good, life tends to have a lot of unexpected twist and turns. Like the bad for example, taking a walk and boom! Stepped in a hot steamy pile of dog shit! But the opposite of that is good. Like pulling up to a drive-thru and finding out someone paid it forward. This event fell within the good spectrum of unexpected circumstance. It was the ultimate thank you, for doing what you do. Drift HQ wanted to give back to those who toil in the hot Florida sun for hours getting unwanted suntans and near death inhalation of tire smoke and track debris(what do you know about tire boogers?). Getting yelled at by officials after getting caught in a restricted area pretending to be solid snake sneaking pass them to get that great shot! The countless hours editing those photos to perfection just to switch back and forth between instagram filters before posting. To scrolling on your timeline to find your hard work got re-posted and cropped and not credited! (ahaha it sucks). They realize the hard work that this small media group puts into making the drift scene look gorgeous. The understanding of this symbiotic relationship, that neither of us can prosper without the other is great. To have another event entirely on their dollars, this time as an invitational for media persons to get treated to ride alongs and even the chance to drive a drift car with drivers supervision of course. However if you did own a car capable of drifting, the option to swing that shit son was on table!
And swing we did! It was funny to show everyone how trash my skills really are. Seven years away from actual drifting then this happens. A fun fact about this pic above is, while befriending Joel Garcia and Ricardo De La Puente (#FUCKRICKY aka Rick) I’ve never drifted with them, often coaching and snapping pics from the sidelines. So it’s cool to have this full circle experience come true when I’m drifting Rick is coaching and Joel is snapping pics. Thanks my guys♥️
Ricks birthday fell on the Friday before the event weekend! And Joel handed him the keys to his BMW E36 as a birthday present. Thank goodness the uncrowned king of ripping hydro Handbrakes didn’t destroy Joel’s newly recently install e brake. Rick earlier this year broke Joel’s old e-brake lever but, this new PBM(Powered by MAX or parts shop MAX) hydro kit is Rick proof! However the event was about the media people so let’s get to a quick run down of who they are shall we!
Sorry to all the photographers I didn’t shoot I’ll get you next time xoxoxo
Michael Thacker – IG: @mikethack
A film photographer at heart loves drifting and taking pictures, especially if the opportunity arises to shoot an event he’s always down to getting close to the action. Normally mostly shots on film, he is one of the last of dying breed of action sport photographers that find themselves okay without the instant gratification of knowing if the shot was good or not.
No stranger to capturing automotive events as we are sure you might have heard of him before. His love for drifting is just that, it is love for the art form, trills, the cars, the people and the crazy atmosphere. Recently he took a step back from participating in the sport to focus more on his photography which was his way of staying in the mix by providing content, he is well supported as he keeps on pushing forward.
Eric Benedict – IG: @ericbfpv
One the Quadcopter “drone” operators that was present that day. I find it very interesting how the use of flying cameras has propelled so fast over the past years. As he said “ I love flying! And being behind the cars that close gives you the feeling that you are a car as well and it’s the most exhilarating out of body type experience.” (The drone in the second pic)
Has always been into cars, his grandfather owned a hot rod shop. He has a 32 Ford roadster waiting to be built in his backyard which is sick!l Growing up He was into skateboarding & American V8 cars Trans Ams, Camaros, Mustangs. Around the early 2000s he got into tuners and Mini Tucks. Also around that time he met Kevin Phillips (hey we love that guy) whom like Kevin bacon everyone knows by six degrees. I assume hangout with Kevin might have given Chris the curiosity to check out a drift event at Palm Beach International Raceway. He absolutely fell in love with everything about it, the cars, the people, the culture. Then going to Gridlife and FD was amazing for him. As for why he take photos of drifting. He himself isn’t so sure, It’s just the love of photography and all things automotive. But drifting is a culture of misfits that he feels apart of. With his fingers crossed that something will come of his photo work but even if it doesn’t, he says he is here to have fun.
Jess Hernandez – IG: @jj.hernandez
As she says Danny is the catalyst to her drift photography. She always had an interest in photography, but one day she asked him for a camera. Hanging around with Danny, she just started shooting whatever it was he did: skating, drifting, snuggling with cats(cats are the illests!). She caught the bug once they starting going to events. The more photographers she met, mixed with the guidance she received left her wanting to keep improving her skills. On an extra note she doesn’t enjoy photographing people like for weddings or posing type stuff.
His first time ever being exposed to drifting was about three years ago at Import Alliance. At that point he mainly focused only on car shows so drifting was a whole new experience for him. His first time actually being media for a drift event was two years ago at an iTrackMotorsports event. He said fuck it one day and applied for media. After that event, He sorta just fell in love with the atmosphere and community around drifting and has been stuck close by ever since.
De’Andre Jackson – IG: @subtlephotography
Well what got him into taking pics of drifting was the fact that he oh so loved drifting lol and also has a huge love for photography. It would only make sense for him to combine the 2 when he’s not behind the wheel. Also for him it is capturing that moment like it’s a different experience seeing a clip or pic from the outside of the drivers run. “It’s just memorable for them to see how much angle they threw or mistakes they’ve made” he stated. It’s all about creating that memory for someone that fuels him to continue.
Joel and Danny Tandem babes for now, but once Rick finishes his car we might see a very sexy Ménage à trois happen right before our eyes.
As the day closed _rmh found himself just shy of a hat-trick of breaking axles. Unfortunately, he broke Joels and Alex Schlagel‘s axles which was very ironic, but I assume it’s a habit of his driving style. Being that he owns a ka24de S13, one tends to push them to their limits so I assumed that driving style carried over to these two semi pro drift cars. Andrew Mauer showed up late to the party but got there in time for the party. Never really got to see him, drift as much as I did that day. And I have to say I’m impressed. As per usual, the Barn Built Drift dudes party! For me this event brought life to the hustle and bustle of having a practice event. I love a variety and I often get bored easily. Could be the fact that I normally don’t drive and maybe I’m biased because I drove. However that may be, I know it’s not easy for every event promoter in South Florida or Florida in general to follow suit. But please take notes as we gear up for the 2019 season, we all can feel it like Florida might actually push past a grey filter that has loomed over our progression to be recognized as a state where drifting lives and thrives.
Photo x Joel Garcia + shane prescod
Location @ Immokalee Raceway, FL