Formula D Long Beach 2013 Coverage…Part 1…

Formula D Long Beach is one of those “can’t miss” events annually in the SoCal tuner scene. It serves as the season open for the event series and is held on the streets of Long Beach, CA where the Long Beach Grand Prix also occurs. I’ve made it a point to go every year now because I just kind of have to. It’s one of those things where if I don’t go, then I miss out on a significant event and a good amount of coverage for the site. To be perfectly honest, the motorsport of drifting in America doesn’t do a whole lot for me anymore. I think the sport in this country has shifted in an entirely different direction and the original Japanese roots just aren’t there anymore. I still get excited when I see Japanese drifters bring their Japanese drift cars over to compete in the states but it’s starting to get to the point where it rarely happens now. Back in the day, more than half the field were competitors from Japan and the cars were very well-built Japanese drift cars. It just seems like every car is an old S13 or 14 now with a GM LSx swap and some brightly colored knock-off wheels. I mean, I get it…drifting isn’t cheap and you’re likely to break stuff, so it is just easier to rock the replica stuff because you plan on having to replace it anyway. The GM LSx swap is convenient because it is also readily available here in the U.S. and well, it’s considerably cheaper and cheaper to make power with them. I’ve just always been a fan of the Japanese tuning community and was a fan of the D1 Grand Prix series when it was at the forefront of drifting. The cars were just…different…better built in terms of parts selection and they held true to Japanese tradition. One of the best things about watching Japanese drifting was being in awe of them because they were willing to take these really high-caliber machines and slide them as close to obstacles as possible. American commercialization has really changed the sport, especially after American auto manufacturers stepped in. Now it’s Chevy Camaros, Ford Mustangs, and other domestic vehicles. Rarely do you see any Supras, Skylines, or older AE86 Hachi Rokus anymore. There are some privateer drivers with some cool cars still, like Lexus GS/Toyota Aristos and other less-common Japanese vehicles, but they just can’t compete with the cars that are funded by American vehicle manufacturers and companies. It was cool to see Daigo Saito win the series last year in a Toyota Soarer but man, it would be great to see more of that Japanese influence return to drifting…

I can’t really say anything though, drifting seems to be doing amazing here in America and I wish them continued success. One of the reasons why I go is to show support to them and I enjoy the general ambiance of the entire event. Formula D Long Beach also plays host to a car show that is organized by Fatlace. It brings out a wide variety of cars but of course, as the “Slammed Society” name goes, you’re likely to see a lot of cars that are built around stance and all things related to aggressive wheel fitment. Some do it right, some do it horribly wrong, but we are all oddly intrigued and we just have to look. A lot of the coverage you’re going to be seeing in the next couple days features many of the cars from the car show side of FD, but I tried my best to capture more of what was going on in the paddocks when the drift cars weren’t out on the track. I really like the “behind-the-scenes” element of every event that I go to and with drifting events, you get to see  a ton of cool stuff you wouldn’t see anywhere else….

There really isn’t anything order in how these photos will be displayed on the site. They are presented in the same order in which I shot them that day, with some minor tweaks here in there to help with continuity. The weather was also really cold that day and parts of the early morning also brought about some light rain, which made for some really dramatic photos. All in all, I had a great time at Formula D Long Beach and I hope to attend again next year. I was there from around 8 am to 4:30 pm so I got a lot of photos to show you guys. I like having the freedom to stay as long as I need to collect whatever I want from an event. There are times when I am very restricted by time because there is somewhere I have to be and luckily, I had a lot of free time that day. I think it shows in the photos but I’ll let you guys be the judge…

I arrived at 8 in the morning to meet up with Jonathan Wong from Super Street magazine. He had my media pass to get inside and since the show wasn’t open to the public yet, it gave us an opportunity to walk around before the crowds flooded in…

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One of the first cars that I spotted was the Scion FR-S from Evasive Motorsports. I’m not gonna lie, the show was pretty populated with the new FR-S but it is almost expected these days. The Evasive one is definitely one of the more unique FR-S builds in the country so I always take time to check it out…

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Aggressive front diffuser and custom fender set-up. I also love the matching spoke decals of the TE37SLs to the rest of the graphical livery of the Evasive car…

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You guys have probably seen this thing hundreds of times already in the last couple of months but it doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t continue to study the lines of the custom aero….

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Not too far away from the Evasive car was a Rocket Bunny FR-S from Mackin Industries. I lost saw this car at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas last year and it has remained essentially the same. You can see in the photo the remains of some drizzle from the early morning rain…

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While the previous two vehicles above were cars that I had already become familiar with, Formula D Long Beach marked the first time that I got to see the new 3rd gen. Lexus IS in person. This one was an IS250 AWD model. Don’t really know how I feel about it yet but it does have some very interesting and aggressive styling cues…

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A couple shots of the Ben Sopra R35 GTR from The R’s Tuning…

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Fatlace’s Rocket Bunny FR-S on Volk TE37SL…

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Jonathan Wong getting some photos of Mark Arcenal’s Ben Sopra GTR….

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Ming45’s “Sport VIP” style Y34 build featuring a Japanese Mode Parfume kit and Volk TE37SL…

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I also got a snap of the Fatlace Ben Sopra GTR. I think I liked it a little more when it had the vinyl graphics on it. It’s definitely more street-able this way though, that is, if you ever plan to cruise around in a Ben Sopra-kitted R35…

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Formula D Long Beach/Slammed Society marked the first appearance of Ojay’s new VIP Toyota Previa build…

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Staggered gold-faced Work Meister S1 wheels…

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Aero I believe is an Interesse Volker kit by Japanese VIP tuning parts manufacturer, Avanzare…

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A Formula D competitor cruising by the Slammed Society area…

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I really liked this bagged MK4 Golf GTI on Work Meister S1R…

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Scion FR-S belonging to Kevin from Autofashion USA, representing Trendy Vape…

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John Zhang aka 1013MM’s BMW 1-series on SSR Professor MS3…

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I finally got to see my boy Noel Barnum’s FR-S build in person after he’s been teasing the social media world with photos of it. Other than the paint, the car was completely built and assembled by Noel and his brother Bert in their garage. It is unique in that it uses the over-fenders from the Rocket Bunny kit in combination with the T&E Vertex kit…

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Unlike most of the current FR-S builds out, it is also on Airrex air suspension. I remember months ago when a very well-known automotive website ripped on Noel because he put his FR-S on bags… I think the car came out pretty nicely overall, whether the bags ultimately altered the final product or not….

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Brand new discontinued Work VS-KF wheels in a Burning Black finish seated tightly on the front fender of Noel’s FR-S…

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A shot of the rear blister fender and wheel set-up. There are actually photos online of Noel’s brother cutting into the rear quarter panels of his FR-S to make the Rocket Bunny kit work. Pretty nuts because it’s still a new car but hey, you do what you gotta do to execute your vision…

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Jonathan Wong asked Noel if he could get some shots of it with the hood closed and he obliged, I also snapped a photo… CLICK HERE if you want a larger version…

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Celso Nimo’s IS…

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Good-looking boosted NA MX-5 Miata on Work CR01 wheels…

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Definitely a lot of aggressive wheel fitment at the Society of the Slammed show…

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Currently one of my favorite U.S. VIP builds is this 2GS from Royal Flush crew. I can’t say I would ever do the colored headlight tint myself but it screams Japanese VIP style…

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Leon Hardiritt Waffes on the Royal Flush GS…

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Z33 from Low N’ Slow crew sitting aggressively on some WED’s Kranze Vishunu wheels…

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Ryan and the rest of the guys arrived to meet us a bit later so we decided to meet up over at the NOS Energy booth where I grabbed a drink…

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…and also stopped by to say hi to my buddy Julie Mai, who you saw featured here on the site just yesterday in our Autofashion USA Shop Tour…

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I’m not an R/C car collector but if I were, I’d probably cop these high-detailed Falken R/C cars…

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Daigo Saito’s Toyota Soarer, which I don’t know if you guys heard, was recently wired by Rywire…

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Rywire was also responsible for wiring-up this S14 drifter, driven by Chris Jeanneret…

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Badass Cadillac CTS-V Wagon that was displayed at the Sanctioned booth…

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One of the must-see cars at Formula D was definitely this twin-turbo LSx-swapped S14 coupe…

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All fabrication work was performed by Jason Noren Fabrications. Didn’t get to see this thing run but I’m curious to see how it gets the power to the ground… Also very cool was how Jason Noren fabricated brackets to hold the headlights onto the front bumper so that it all comes off in one piece…

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Rauh Welt Begriff Porsche on display at the HRE Wheels booth…

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Mickey Andrade from HRE making sure the wheels look good for the masses…

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Big Abe posted at the Mishimoto booth wearing a aluminum radiator around his neck as opposed to the massive wheels he’s usually wearing…

On that note, I’m gonna stop it here for today. More to come tomorrow. Thanks for looking everyone…

3 thoughts

  1. Pingback: Formula D Long Beach 2013 Coverage…Part 2… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  2. Pingback: Formula D Long Beach 2013 Coverage…Part 3 of 3… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

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