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Event Coverage, Featured, VSC Feature

Formula Drift Long Beach Rd 1 2014

Posted: April 9, 2014 at 11:41 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

IMG_9208Photos and Text: John Liwanag

I usually make the effort to attend Formula Drift Long Beach each year.  I wanted to thank all of our close friends inside of FD for their generous hospitality while attending it this year.  Drifting has always been a favorite of mine.  Little known fact but right before I began working on our GS400 I owned a 1986 Toyota Corolla GT-S.  I had the intention of building the Corolla while using the GS as my daily driver.  That idea changed once someone gave me an offer that I couldn’t refuse to sell the Corolla.  Sold the Corolla and immediately ordered a set of Junction Produce Scara’s.  That began the Junction Produce build and I never looked back.  I can still however enjoy different drifting events, especially Formula Drift.  I can admit that I am enjoying this “Horsepower war” that is now beginning to show up within the ranks of drivers within FD.  Can we thank Daigo Saito for it?  Perhaps, but it is making it interesting from an engineering standpoint.  I do feel bad that the gap between those with major sponsors and grassroots drivers is widening but with the introduction of new FD Pro Am events, I hope that this will help alleviate that.  Enough of my opinion and lets go to the coverage.  I got to Long Beach around 9am and immediately walked over to the Offset Kings car show portion.  Offset Kings is presented by our friends over at Fatlace and is available at most, if not all, FD events this year.   There was a good amount of cars on display this year.  There was a handful of VIP Cars as well.


Right behind the Fatlace booth was the Central Pine LS430.  This build has been hitting the internet like wildfire since its debut late last year.  Lots of custom body work with enough demon camber to make you look twice.  One thing about the Central Pine builds is the custom LED taillights and headlights.  Its something that is now very popular and it takes retrofitting your lighting system to a whole new level.


Next to the Central Pine LS430 is 2nd Gen GS.  I spoke with the new owner and he pointed out the special powder coating he had done on the wheels.  He used this special color changing finish on it which I thought added a nice touch.  Good to see someone is taking this build and continuing to add it rather than leaving it as is.


Our friends from Phaze2 brought out a few cars.  Here is Phaze2Mikeyyy and his LS400 on Rotiform wheels.


Yogi from Fatlace / Phaze2 and his 3rd gen GS.  Extremely clean and simple.  Something far from the craze of aggressive VIP builds but in my opinion I enjoy much more.


Last Phaze2 car is this BMW M5 on Leon Hardiritt Ordens.


I didn’t get a chance to catch up to Jin from Kyoei USA as I usually do when I head to So Cal, but it was good to see his LS400 on display.


Clean LS400 sitting at the end of a row.  No need to go crazy on body work and the car looks fantastic as is.


Aimgain GT equipped LS460 from Supreme Society rocking Luxury Abstract wheels.  Won Best VIP as far as I know at this year’s event.  Congrats Jim.


Another Aimgain equipped car from Supreme Society.  This time a 2nd Gen GS.


This LS460 caught my eye.  Once again, no crazy bodywork or body kit and it looks great.  The wheel fitment is more to my liking.  Simple now just does it for me when executed properly.


Clean BWM 5-series sitting next to the LS460


I thought this 2nd gen GS from Royal Origin was very interesting.  I love the combo of the Body Kit with the Work Equips.  The color choice as well made me stop and look.  Almost a throwback type build with a twist of color.


This Cressida was fun to look at.  Using a Bozosoku style, I thought it pulled it off perfectly.  You can see the exhaust pipes standing tall in the back. plus the exposed oil cooler up front.


Super Made equipped S14.


Not everyday I get to see a Fiat like this.  I can’t tell you much more about that but it caught my attention.


Funny how a lot of us got rid of our dailys in favor of trucks within Endless Projects.  We even toy’d with the idea of lowering one of them.  Our good friend Neil Tjin took that idea to a whole new level.  It even tows the enclosed trailer you see in the background.


The other car that Neil brought was this Vortech supercharged FRS.


Another FRS.  These have a huge following and can see some VIP Styling cues on this one as well.


John Panglinan never ceases to amaze us with his builds especially with all the Hyundais he has been working on.  This is his latest one.


Speaking of Hyundais, Jon Tran who has done some photo work for myself and VIPDout brought out his Genesis.


One of my favorite Subaru builds from the event.


To end my coverage on the show portion, a Toyota Sienna sitting on Work Equips.


Walking around the pits I saw this S14 pretty much sunbathing.  Take a look at the motor choice.


In the Autofashion / Trendy Vape booth sat this classic Skyline also known as a Hakosuka.  Owned by a huge supporter and friend of VSC, Roy and Squad One never fails to impress me with their builds.


The finish on this hood was very interesting. Something I had to see up close.


Fun part of walking around the pits is to see when they are working on the car after something breaks.  Here Daigo broke one of his front control arms and they were frantically trying to fix it in between rounds.


Fredric Aasbo’s Scion also being worked on.  This is a lot of fun for me to check out as long as it isn’t my car or me working on it.


The livery on this S14 was eye popping, literally…


View from on the track.  Now on to my drifting photos.  It’s been a long time since I decided to get behind the camera.  I’m no professional in any shape or form but it was a passion of mine.  After this event, I want to get back into it.  Well that is after my GS is back together at least.


This year’s winner, Chris Forsberg, debuting a new matte black look for his 370Z.  I thought it looked a lot meaner than this former NOS Livery.


Last year’s champion Mike Essa sporting a new livery and a new team as well.


2 former teammates, Vaughn Gittin JR and Darren McNamera.  Vaughn has moved on to Nitto Tires while Darren is still with Falken.


Ryan Tuerck in his Retaks Scion FRS vs Justin Pawlak and his Falken Ford Mustang

That’s it for my coverage of FD Long Beach 2014.  Hope you guys enjoyed it.  Hopefully we will see everyone back in Long Beach in a few weeks for Toyotafest!


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