Formula Drift weekend kicked off early for me during Thursday’s “FD Media Day.” Pro FD seated drivers gathered that week to begin practice. Thursday is a perfect day for media to get ride alongs and attempt to get epic photos during the 5 hours of practice. Be sure to check out Part 1 coverage of FDSEA weekend with Offset Kings WA 2016 and stay tuned to FDSEA Part 3 Top 32!
Pat Goodin and Daijiro Yoshihara preparing for the weekend. Mike Kojima was going over a few details on Dai’s motor. I’ve always felt like Dai was an underdog in his red Discount Tire S13 Silvia. He put on a good show this weekend in the Turn14 FRS, however Goodin was plagued with mechanical issues.
Local FD Pro driver Cameron Moore and his crew seting up their pit for the weekend. It’s unfortunate FD didn’t have a round of Pro2 in Seattle, that would have been nice to cheer on more locals like Matt Vankirk and Chris Johnson.
Gabrial Vargas setting up his RED ONE Dragon to get that silky smooth 120 fps 4k video. I was completely mind boggled by his setup with Zeiss Optics glass. Gabrial allowed me to tinker around with it during his downtime, the follow focus, display monitor, and fluid head tripod made filming feel like it was a walk in the park.
Since I had a lot of time to kill, I decided to hike out to the other side of the grandstands. I went out there to attempt to take photos of my favorite FD drivers. There’s a few different spots, one of which is accessible from the Budweiser beer garden. There were many drivers out practicing but Alec and Forrest of GetNutsLab would only be out once in a blue moon. I haven’t shot Formula Drift before because I usually have another photographers do this for me. These bank shots were off the cusp, and I had to wing the camera settings. Alec Hohnadell’s S14 had my jaw on the pavement all weekend as his Super Doof 2FPerformance kit dragged across the bank.
Cameron Moore laying down the smoke during practice, he was staying consistent and riding the high line.
Another PNW local, Matthew Coffman out on stage. I was really excited to see how well he would perform this weekend. Matt’s program this year has step up a notch, turning heads through the industry. Most noticeably in Wrecked Magazine’s “10 THINGS I LEARNED AT FORMULA DRIFT SEATTLE“, as highlighted by Joey Redmond.
You can’t miss him! Matt Field in his neon yellow S14.5 came screaming around the 5/8ths Bank! The angle I was shooting at made it a little difficult because the drivers were encouraged by the judges to get as close to the outer zone area as possible. I had to shimmy around in the dirt to get better shot of this zone.
Thank god I had ear plugs for this event, Mad Mike Whiddett’s 4 rotor MX5 was LOUD! Where I was positioned, his tail end was within a few feet of me. Thankfully there is a wall and chain link fence in between him and I.
While I was camped out on the 5/8ths bank, I spotted Sam Nalven from Maximum Driftcast / DriftIdiot.
Geoff Stoneback’s 370Z gave me new hope in the Z-chassis, him and Chris Forsberg look good out there. I’ve always felt on the fence about the 350Z body, favoring a nice set of wheels and coils on a G35. But the Z34 looks aggressive, and even better with aftermarket body kits and staggered wheels.
After a long wait, I was finally able to take photos of Forrest Wang’s S15 Silvia. I could only assume his team was focusing on adjustments the car, patients was needed. I’m glad I was able to spend time adjusting my angle and camera settings to take photos, as this one ended up being dead center.
While I hiked back to the other side of the track, a wild Larry Chen appeared! We ended up chatting about how we met back in 2006, I was offered a job at FreshAlloy and while I was doing research on the company I befriended him on Myspace to ask him about the company. This was nearly 10 years ago! Larry asked about Gleb Antonov, since Gleb and I use to run up and down the west coast doing drift events. We reminisced about the one time Gleb and I ended up at Larry’s place down in California, spending time around the L.A. for car shows and drift events.
The best part about Thursday’s Media Day is when all the cars are dialed. Towards the evening, we’re seeing drivers get door to door and in the zone. Dean Kearney and Matt Field’s cars were extremely photogenic!
If you made it this far, thank you for checking out Thursdays coverage. Soon I will be posting Part 3 of #FDSEA Top 32!