Fans of drifting and hip automotive culture will be familiar with production house Donut Media; if not by name then in the viral hits they produce, usually starring hot shoes like 3-time Formula DRIFT champ Chris Forsberg, Ryan Tuerck, Tanner Foust, and friends like Vaughn Gittin Jr., Chris Hildebrand, and on more than one occasion, teams of brave and friendly grandmas. When they — along with Clarion Builds, the performance arm of venerable audio gurus Clarion USA — invited us out to Willow Springs' Streets of Willow racetrack for a recent day that promised to treat their friends in the media with some ride-alongs and time behind the wheel in some truly awesome cars (while they worked on filming some upcoming hits), we knew we'd be in for a good time.
First up: Clarion Builds and their NSX. You might've seen something about this beast but here are the important parts to mind: more than 400 whp from a Comptech-supercharged C32 V-6 and AEM Infinity ECU, KW Variant III coilovers and CT sway bars, monster StopTech ST40 big brakes, and 265-series rear rubber.
Before we could even ask, the Clarion crew handed us a helmet and demanded we take 'er out for a spin. Power delivery was strong, linear and confident, and if we didn't know better, might've thought it was some sort of special build that came straight from Acura. Despite over 230K miles on the 26-year-old chassis, the Clarion NSX rode and handled like a much, much newer car, and signified it was good for much more cornering ability than we felt comfortable giving such a nice car that wasn't ours.
If that wasn't treat enough, Chris Forsberg offered ride-alongs in his Sony Gran Turismo Award-winning S30 Datsun 280Z Super Street cover car, and before he could even ask us to drive it, we took him up on his offer. For all the reasons the Clarion NSX is refined and civil, Chris' Z is loud, brash, rough (typical of a 42-year-old car), and had way too much power than Nissan ever intended of the little sports coupe. Traction broke loose in the rear under throttle in every gear, and even off throttle under hard braking in Streets' downhill sections, and the sound of its 500hp Nissan Skyline RB25DET engine and single turbo at full boost was absolutely intoxicating. It was awesome.
But maybe even more awesome, in its own right, was his VK56DE Nissan Titan V-8-swapped Infiniti M35, back in black with a fresh paint job and four of the best seats to take in any drift car. With Chris behind the wheel lucky riders experienced it going sideways around nearly every inch of the Streets course, which is a very rare and hugely impressive feat to experience — especially four at a time.
Finally, we got to hang out with a longtime friend and finally see him behind the wheel of one of the best-looking Nissan GT-Rs you're likely to see roaming California streets on a daily basis. Action sports followers will know Coco Zurita from his BMX talent and X Games competition medals. But most of us will know him for the gold-wrapped, 700hp, Pandem-widebody Nissan GT-R he's built for himself and drives regularly, and this day learned how to drift thanks to some professional instruction from Chris.
Coco began the day knowing how to hold a donut (not the food, or production company member) and initiate smoky drifts, and left having linked two turns of the Streets of Willow course and transition into a nice, fat, smoky drift for the Donut cameras. There were some tense and entertaining moments in between, so be sure to check in with Donut via their YouTube channel until the episode drops.
For more from our heroes of the day, check out the links below, and for more from a truly awesome day, check out our gallery below that.