Nopi To Head D1GP In The U.S.?
The closing ceremonies of D1 Grand Prix USA's Englishtown, NJ, event brought a close to the newly formed stateside drifting offshoot's first season-an arguably tumultuous one, can now safely be said. The final event not only saw the continued protest of Japanese aces Kazuhiro Tanaka and Nobushige Kumakubo (over a judging dispute at the previous round in Chicago that nearly cost fans their event's final runs; the two didn't drive at all in New Jersey), but also came on the heels of the organization's split from promoters Driven Concepts. Coincidentally, it marked the return of NOPI, who hosted the E-town event's bikini contest and car show, leaving us wondering if the move was a sign of things to come. Spectator turn-out was bigger than anticipated, and the drifting that went down on E-Town's road race course was arguably the best of the year, especially the underdog performance that earned American 240SX pilot Sal Campo the Third Place spot on the podium (we don't know him either, but we're betting we'll be seeing more of him next year.). Daigo Saito's second First-Place win earned him Champ status for the season (and a cool $18,000) and Yoshioka landed in Second. Nomura claimed Second in the Champ chase, followed by our boy Forrest Wang in Third, each with some large fake checks and even larger cheeses for the cameras.
Last month's 411 brought you coverage of this year's Nisei Showoff: the tenth edition of L.A. import culture's traditional invite-only crème de la crème season-closing car show, and, as we broke the news last month, the last one to be held. Not to worry: new from Nisei Showoff creator Ken Miyoshi is the Mega Matsuri (translation: large festival), a new show series promising only the best rides via even stricter entry requirements, unorthodox judging categories like "rare JDM parts competition" and "rarest wheel and offset contest", categories like the "old school showcase" and "winners' display", and extras like a Ruckus display, fixie appreciation and even celebrity appearances (Joey Chestnut stopped by this time). Though attendance was a little low for this first event (which was to be expected-the event trailed Nisei Showoff by only one week), we're expecting it to come into its own soon enough. Check the official site for future event info:
www.importtuner.com for the outtakes.
Tricks Of The Trade
Helping You Wrench
Alternative Urethane Motor Mounts Why spend hundreds of dollars replacing worn motor mounts when you can revive those very same mounts for less than $12? 2NR has a simple and cost-effective solution to restore your mounts using 3M's Windo-Weld super-fast urethane, a caulking gun, brake cleaner and some masking tape. Begin by thoroughly cleaning the old motor mounts with brake cleaner, then tape one side of the mount to prevent our 3M urethane from seeping out, then fill with Windo-Weld. Once the mount is filled, tape the remaining side and evenly squeeze the material throughout the mount to ensure no open pockets of air are present. Allow the unit to cure for a minimum of 12 hours before reinstalling your new and improved urethane motor mounts.
Targa Newfoundland Rally
For the seventh time in as many years as it's been held, one of North America's coolest endurance driving events has come and gone, and this year's event ranks among the coolest yet. Targa Newfoundland, a six-day road-racing excursion around 2,200 km of the aforementioned Canadian province's scenic roads, highways and closed courses-traditionally a tour d'pocketbook of well-to-do owner/teams fielding European sports cars-saw the debut of Stillen's 620whp, 11.0-second, 1.1-lateral G '09 Nissan GT-R. Hate on the car's paint scheme you may (the "General Ree"?), but there's no arguing its performance, tying for First Place opening day and placing consistently between Sixth and Fourth for each of the six days of competition, out of 41 entrants. Not bad for a shake-down event.
In other East Coast news, we finally managed to round up coverage of E-town's sixth-annual Mitsubishi/EVO vs. WRX Day "The Showdown", Presented by Exedy . . . and it was definitely worth the wait! Hands down, the Mitsus owned the event. Seems the days of rusted-to-hell-and-back, 10-second DSMs that leak oil worse than the Exxon Valdez and misfire like two-stage rev limiters are over. Based on what was seen at E-Town, you're not cool unless your DSM is in perfect tune, cleaner than it is fast, and runs 9s. East Coast EVOs have always been atop the pack of the cleanest and fastest in the country, but the ones that made it out to Mitsu Day are upping the bar even more, killing the show competition and street/outlaw-class drag battles. But as the smoke cleared, it was Kevin "Kiggly" Kwiatkowski, whose 8.92 @ 158.59 final-round pass earned his FWD (yes, front-wheel-drive) '91 Laser honors as the weekend's quickest machine, earning him the Outlaw-Class win.
West Coast FWD Shootout
In response to last year's Airwerks Outlaw Sport FWD Shootout that saw Tony Palo break the Sport FWD 8-second barrier in his boosted B-series DC2, Honda drag specialists Mfactory, in collaboration with Clutchmasters, saw fit to host an event of their own, to show the world how the West Coast holds it down. Aside from a few non-Honda makes, the race was completely dominated by H- and A-badged contenders. Record fans filled the stands of UT's Rocky Mountain Raceway to see a field of the country's fastest FWD sportsmen boil down to a dual DC2/B-series/PPG-gearbox final round, where First Place's $10K payout (and loads of free schwag) went to none other than last year's champ Tony Palo, with a 9.30 @ 156.6 over Jonathan Reynolds' 9.51 @ 163.5 run. Jonathan cut the light and finished faster, but Tony got down the track quicker, earning "Best ET", "Fastest 1/8th mile" and "Top 60-foot" achievement bounties in the process, while Jonathan cleaned up "Fastest MPH", "Fastest Time on 24.5-inch Slicks", "Furthest Distance Traveled to the Event", and "First Broken Final Drive" early on. Hey-you gotta play to get paid!
By The Numbers 53
The number of letters from prison we received regarding Nick Pennington's comments in March '09's Going Postal.
Elite Summer Nationals
Living up to it's name, the fifth-annual Elite Summer Nationals, hosted by Elite Audio of Spartanburg, SC, continues to showcase some of the hottest rides south of the Mason Dixon line. So hot the event is, that participants as far away as Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, and even Canada made appearances. Inside was all show and shine. Despite the venue's horrid faux wood and '70s decor, the cars gave the eyes a real southern treat. Taking home the honors of Best Import was Rich Cambell with his orange, wide-body Civic. Outside, the RWD cars took it sideways for a smokey drift competition that made the heat more bearable. Looks like the South may just add more to its repertoire than pick-up trucks and buttery grits!
The official fuel of Power Pages has recently been voted the "Top Gasoline Brand" in the 2009 Popular Mechanics magazine Reader's Choice Awards, from a field of five of the nation's top alternatives. Shell execs credit the company's support of an OEM-recommended "Top Tier" gasoline standard, as well as Shell's own "Nitrogen Enriched" gasoline formulations that debuted last March, as major deciding factors among the public. "We are passionate about providing drivers with high-quality gasolines that can help improve their vehicles' performance," said Shell communications manager Karen Wildman, regarding the award.