NRG Innovation's Drift Matsuri was our second time attending a drifting event at Grange Motor Circuit, a karting facility in Apple Valley, Calif., in roughly the last few months and we're really beginning to dig the place. Sure, it has its quirks - namely having to take a rutted dirt road for a couple miles to get to it (Grange is literally in the middle of the desert) - but if you're into sliding around your FR as a pastime, the tight 16-turn layout has all kinds of payoffs. Plus, if you master that first turn, a sweeping, decreasing radius right-hander, you're pretty much king of the hill.
That was probably the inspiration for organizers as they planned a Big + Crazy Entry Competition to run during its first-ever Matsuri (or "festival" for our non-JDM hip readers). The comp, won by ace fabricator and all-around good dude Bryan Rogers in his VH45 V-8 S13, came after a day of open drifting and practice for the 24 registered drivers, among them Formula D pro Jeff Jones, who was in his yellow FC RX-7 beater for the day.
While Jones repped the more established end of the drifting spectrum, the vast majority of cars and drivers were of the grassroots variety. Plenty of Nissan S chassis (some straight up missile cars) and Mazda FC were on hand, but so too were less common models - a Cressida, two MX-5, a bone-stock FR-S, a first-gen. Lexus LS, Scott Mitchell's 3-Series, and finally a couple of Tacoma pickups.
All had a good time. Peruse the gallery for some highlights from the inaugural Drift Matsuri and Big + Crazy Entry Competition hosted by NRG Innovations.