Whether you’re power sliding in Mario Kart, in the midst of an Initial D marathon, or indulging in the guilty pleasure movie of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift; most of you have probably tried to imagine what it would be like to be taking a corner with the car angled and laying a thick smoke behind you. Well for a few individuals, this is their day job.
We’d first like to thank Craig Taguchi and Scion Racing for inviting us to step into Mr. Gushi’s and Mr. Aasbo’s sideways office to get an up close peek of what drifting is all about. With the 2013 Formula DRIFT season about a week away, Scion Racing was at Irwindale Speedway, aka the House of Drift, to allow their drivers to get some more track time in.
Ken Gushi with his GReddy Performance X Scion Racing Drift FR-S and Fredric Aasbo with his Papadakis Racing Drift Scion tC were both there with their crews, dialing everything in, while giving the media a nice show.
There is just something about drifting that is both elegant and powerful. It takes skill, practice, and a protected track to be able to do the things these drivers do. So it’s not like I should have to remind you all to not try this at home! With that said, it’s clear that both drivers have a feel for their cars and how it wants to cruise through the track, sideways. Going around cones or drifting right up against the wall, it was like witnessing controlled chaos on four wheels.
New for the 2013 season, Ken Gushi’s Drift FR-S was given a refresher with wild new livery and a Rocket Bunny aero kit.
With great looks comes great power…or something like that. GReddy Racing was able to add about an additional 50-hp to Ken’s turbocharged Drift FR-S.
It wasn’t a hot day, but with the amount of power the cars were putting out and the heat from the tires; the cars and their drivers needed to take some breaks during the day. Which was good since it gave them the opportunity to talk with their crew as well as the media. While both Ken and Fredric would be considered celebrities in the sport of drifting, they are both generally down to earth, great guys.
Not to be out done, Fredric Aasbo’s Drift tC got its own little make over prior to the start of the season. With Scion recently unveiling a new facelift for the 2014 Scion tC, Papadakis Racing immediately outfitted Fredric’s Drift tC with the completely new front end, which includes new headlights, hood, and front bumper cover with a much wider grill (to allow more air to the intercooler).
Lucky us, we also the opportunity to ride shotgun with these awesome drivers! Nilo (@dayuumnilo13) asked me after if his girly screams could be heard through the thick padded helmet. Personally, it was an experience of a lifetime to ride along with Fredric Aasbo, who races a beefed up, RWD version of my daily driver. When you’re looking through the lens, it seems like the cars quickly blaze by each turn, but when you’re inside the car, it’s almost as if everything slows down. I remember when we were about to go up against the wall, I looked to my side and could clearly see all the other media people shooting away. As we took the turn, I could have easily pointed out to Fredric who each photographer was shooting for, that’s how much time I felt I had during that single moment. It’s just crazy how calm the entire drift session was; despite the screeching tires, thick smoke, quick turns, and all the other obstacles. And these’s guys basically do it daily; I tip my hat to them for honing in their talents on the track.
I guess the only downside of being so close to the track was that each time the drivers took the wall, the smoke would occasionally seep out passed the barrier, heading right at us. And unless I wanted them to get extra smokey, I needed to make sure I covered up my sausage and balls…
Seoul Sausage that is! Chris and Anthony form Seoul Sausage were catering the event and served their famous Spicy Pork and Galbi/Beef Sausages and deep fried Osaka Balls. They were preparing the food with their Scion xB, modified with its own grill by our good friends at MV Designz. It’s always a treat to have them at events, cause of course, drifting makes you hungry. They will also be at round one of Formula DRIFT held at Long Beach with their delicious creations to grub on.
It was a good day, a really good day, and we just want to thank the entire Scion Racing team for the experience. Best of luck to Ken Gushi, Fredric Aasbo, and Tony Angelo in the first round of Formula DRIFT coming to the Streets of Long Beach! Peace!
-This JustIn (@justdayuum)