I once again had the pleasure of being invited to shoot the 2017 KING OF NATIONS drift competition at the legendary EBISU track!!! And as always, it was nothing short of EPIC.
Last year's event was actually the first time I ever got to meet top pro drifters from around the world, and we've all come along way in our careers since then!! ^_^
After greeting each other like long lost friends, it was time to get serious and put game faces on and head to the driver's meeting where the rules of the track would be established.
Mike Procureur (owner of King of Europe) and his Federal Tyres team did an excellent job organizing this event like they do every year. Special guests such as Alexi Smith (Noriyaro) and Keiichi Tsuchiya (The Drift King) gave the introduction and also judged the event. Here is a picture of them below pointing out which of the drawn cones was their favorite lol.
After the ground rules were laid out, it was time to do some practice runs and then qualify for the next day's championship round!
I found it funny how the drivers were told to "take it easy".... but no one really did. Because anything worth doing is worth OVER doing. And real drifters go big, or go home. Ebisu is a very punishing course, and it is known all over the world to be brutal on the car and on the driver! It was a constant battle all day to get in quality runs while keeping the car fit for battle. The famous "Ebisu Jump" was taking its toll on many cars. Cars weren't built to fly, but here at Ebisu, they do!
The practice rounds were intense and no one seemed to let off despite the beating Ebisu track was giving out.
Eventually, the practice rounds were over and it was time to call it a day. Finally, after a semi early start (I had to shoot Kenneth with a BB gun in an attempt to wake him up) we headed back to the track and received our top 16, top 8, and then top 4!
Eventually it came down to Naoki Nakamura and Daigo Saito fighting for the win!
When the dust settled, Naoki came out on top All in all another great drift event. Congratulations to the Origin Labo., Stacked! and HardTuned team for the win! Big thank you again to the B&M Drift team for inviting me out to be their camera man again. I really look forward to the next event! See you guys in Malaysia?? :D