The Friday night before the Super D Matsuri at Grangé Motor Circuit Nelson Ayra from Adult Vacation (trust It’s not that kinda Adult Vacation) picked up Luis Ochoa and myself in his curvaceous and spacious van named Margaret. Margaret is a third generation Chevrolet Sports Van. Picture this what if? The “A-Team Van” and the “Bang Bus” had a nomadic van girl-child who was wild and free, born in Texas but has a Californian soul. Bam! That’s exactly what his van is. We later met up with the boys from drift team Spirit Street, who drove all the way from North Carolina just to attend this event, and caravanned from the City of Angels towards Apple Valley. Leaving behind the spoils of Californian city life, legal marijuana dispensaries, In-N-Out burger spots and of course the Hollywood sign (that’s about all the LA I got to see on this trip) for a midnight campout in the middle of the Californian desert with coyotes, scorpions and rattlesnakes oh my.
Saturday morning I awoke to sounds of cars driving, random chatter and footsteps. I got up and opened my tent to the sight of a full event packed to the brim with spectators and cool cars everywhere! With such a huge volume of people attending this event, we were lucky to have camped out the night before securing our campsite and avoiding these insanely long line. The line literally went into the hills surrounding the event. This is the type of turnout one would expect at such an event, where cool drifty cars from the internet strut their lavish body kits, visually stunning liveries and big shiny wheels all while being thrown sideways. In attendance were drift teams such as Gleam, Front Street Drift Club, Faction Motorsports, Daring Partners, Team Auto Factory Realize, and Destroy Drift Team and more. Youtube sensation Adam LZ was there as well as our homie we knew since he lived in South Florida, Pro Formula Drift driver Chelsea Denofa.
Thanks to the good people at Wolfreign Motors along with the RADDEST DRIFT TEAM IN AMERICA (FACT) Team Animal Style who worked hard to set up this event. They brought back Japanese drifter Naoki Nakamura for the 2nd Super D Matsuri. And if you’ve been living under Rock for the past few years (If that’s your thing, sorry to insult you) Nakamura is a driver with that “100% driver mod” appeal, who oozes a lethal combination of style and aggressive drifting and is always seen smiling ear to ear while he is door to door with anyone. He is also famed for dragging his rear bumper along the wall at Meihan Sportsland C Course in Japan. With him, two other teammates from their Osaka drift team Pink Style (previous Team Burst). Miki Takagi who was the 2014 & 2016 D1 Ladies league champion and is one fierce driver whose skills are on par with Naoki. (Is she and Naoki a ting? because we might fight for Naoki’s affection) And Mitsuyoshi Nishio, whom I know nothing about other that he can drive super sweet as well.
Earlier in the day, Nelson mentioned nothing beats a two day drift matsuri event. I did at first doubt him, but as the day went on those doubts were washed away. First of all everyone drove their buns off! I was superbly impressed with the overall talent at this event! Grangé Motor Circuit is the drifters oasis I’ve been searching for all my life. Short track with a lot of tight technical turns, and a downhill straight away that most drivers maxout their third gear to then sliding into the first corner! On top of that it is spectator friendly. The person who drove the hardest the whole weekend was Jason from Animal Style. His conquest was to perfect his backward entries, and blowing backs he did while leaving plumes of sweet sweet cherry scented racing fuel mixed with Zestino Tyre smoke! And on top of that trying to navigate the course with Naoki permanently trying to drive through you! Mr. Nakamura(that is his father’s name) would put his tire mark on anything that is on the track, serving as a moving clipping point. Leaving his mark on many doors that weekend is his way of showing his gratitude.
As the Triple Drift Competition ended and the sun started to set over the track, I spotted the famed photographer Casey Dhnaram of Shirtstuckin and chatted him up for a bit about how he liked the event and junk (at this moment the inner fanboy came out, sorry for being awkward). He is one of my many photography heroes, his photo compositions and lighting are always super on point. After that encounter while I was Unwinding at our campsite, I assumed that drifting ended for the night. Yet again I was wrong, in true Masturi fashion they were sending cars way into the wee hours of the night! After eating our delicious meal of burgers, hotdogs and drinking cans of America’s finest beer, I took my well stuffed semi-inebriate self over to the pits. There I found Naoki hyping up the place and encouraging drivers to do a quick burnie before going on track. With all the tire smoke in the air and strobe lights from the cars, It looked like a mini rave scene. Naoki then took his car out and broke it after a few short laps and then shortly after that took his teammates car out just to break that too. The overall madness stopped at about 3:30 am or at least that’s when I passed out to the soothing sounds of drift FM.
Sunday sadly I had to leave early with Spirit Street, they were my ride back to the east coast. Before we left, I took my remained time and made my way throughout the pits. Passing by Auto Factory Realize’s tent I realized it was a good idea to have been here on Saturday. Because the state of most of the cars where literally thrashed to a point I felt like I was walking through a drifters junkyard paradise! It was beautiful! I highly recommend attending a Super D event or any matsuri event. This event was special and life changing, ultimately the the perfect recipe for the best event I’ve been to in awhile! The experience of camping out in middle of nowhere, having awesome friends to share and make these new memories with and enjoying the most prettiest destructive car sport at an amazing track with seemingly no noise ordinance. I look forward to the next one with the same excitement as I had as a kid going to Disney World(Disneyland is a west coast ting) for the first time.
Photo x shane prescod
Location @ Grangé Motor Circuit