Japan just finished its long holiday known as Golden Week, which for most people means time off and unwinding with friends and family. However, for a few, Golden Week marks the deadline to complete their builds for Wekfest Japan, which has become one the country's premier events. However, only a few days after the big show in Nagoya many of the very same vehicles polished up for car show judges can be found at one of the best, if not the best, drift events in Japan known as Drift Dressup.
Think of it like this: Wekfest is the black-tie event where everyone is prim and proper, while Drift Dressup is the afterparty. There are only a couple requirements to be able to enter Drift Dressup—look good and drift good. This year marked its fifth running and 68 cars made the cut to show off at Motorland Mikawa, which is located in the heart of Aichi prefecture.
Although Drift Dressup is a grassroots event, it draws some big names from the Japanese drift scene such as Akinobu Satsukawa of A-Bo-Moon fame, D1 driver Masashi Yokoi, and even a guest appearance by Nomura Ken who is celebrating his final season at D1. In addition, some of our favorite drift teams were also in attendance, like The Breast, Mocomans, and Mind Control Racing.
The event also provides a great opportunity to see some of the best built show cars in action. Eiji Daito brought his awesome turbo 4AG-powered AE86 Levin that was featured in last year's December issue. His new E.Prime machine that made its debut at Wekfest was also in attendance. Tomonori Idekawa's RB25-powered Boss S14 was beautiful but unfortunately suffered a big hit into the wall ending the day a bit early.
Masaru Ishikawa who is known for owning plenty of AE86s and his unique Mark II Wagon that was featured in the February issue brought his freshly built Nissan pickup. Having missed the deadline to debut it at Wekfest, he wasn't going to miss out on trying to get it sideways. Suffering from some engine issues in the morning, Ishikawa was still able to get it to drift by the afternoon. We really wanted to see the 180SX that he recently finished for his wife but unfortunately that will have to wait for another day.
The event does hand out a few awards, not for actual drift abilities but for styling. Ishikawa received the "Fashion Monster" award with his truck while Sukekawa Autobody's 1UZ V8-powered S13 took home the "Racetrack" trophy. The "Interior" award went to Kazuki Shizuka and his brown S15 from Team Realize. The "Top" award went to Yuhei Baba and his Moccomans-yellow Aristo.
For those that wanted to attend but not risk damaging their cars, the "On Fleek" car show was held next to the track allowing spectators a break from the ever-present smoke, squealing tires, and loud exhausts. With several cars that were on display at Wekfest, it almost felt like an extension but with a drift-themed style. First through third were all awarded to R34 Skylines with Kohei Fuji taking the top prize. We are already looking forward to next year and can't wait to see how the cars evolve and what new projects will be released during Golden Week.