It's hard to find good help in Japan, especially someone who speaks both Japanese and English fluently. David Ishikawa was introduced to us over a year ago through former editor-in-chief Jonathan Wong, and he's been a valuable asset to the Super Street team ever since. He's helped us reporting on multiple happenings in Japan, from grassroots drift events to the big name auto shows. Here are his top 10 photos which he shot this year, and don't forget to follow him on Instagram.
This is the Yamamoto Works Daihatsu Mira Gino that sits on a custom frame with suspension and engine taken from a Miata Roadster. Built by Nozomu Yamamoto (@yamamoto.nozomu) for drift, it has since changed quite a bit, but I prefer the way it sits here.
Shot at D1GP Round 4 in Osaka, Kawabata (@kawabata.jp) in his GT-R35 entered turn one a bit too fast and drove up Hatanaka's JZX100 (@shingo_hatanaka_d1). Basically when both cars are counter-steering, they become open wheel, and when their tires catch it results in crashes like this.
FOUR ROTOR FIRE
When Mad Mike (@madmike.123) drives his Formula DRIFT Japan "Humbul" at the limit, it's amazing. The combination of sound coming from the four-rotor twin-turbo, along with the shotgun-like bangs from the exhaust, plus the flames that erupt out of the hood from the wastegates and out the rear exhaust as he attacked Fuji Speedway were ridiculous.
BACKING IT IN
Many have seen Naoki (@nakamura_naoki_n) drift in videos, but to watch him in person will make you question how physics work. At the end of the Gals Drift event, he jumped in his car and proceeded to do reverse entries on the Suzuka Twin Circuit's straight. These were not just a bit past 90 degrees of angle but closer to 180 degrees. Full story here
The first assignment I had with Red Bull was to shoot Mad Mike visiting Liberty Walk, with the key shot being Kato-san (@libertywalkkato) driving his RX-3 and Mike driving the McLaren. The thing I remember most about this shoot was that as loud as the McLaren was, the RX-3 was louder, and combined with its exhaust pulse you could barely think when it was at full throttle. (Shot for Red Bull New Zealand)
Even after crashing into the back of Hisano, Mad Mike was able to get his first win of the 2017 Formula DRIFT Japan series. In true Mad Mike fashion, he proceeded to do a burnout which only later was realized included both a hand and a foot out the door. (Shot for Red Bull New Zealand)
Being a fan of AHK86 drift team (@k_n_b_n), I was getting shots of them getting close to each other and I knew they had made contact. When reviewing the shots I noticed something odd about one of the images in the sequence, and that is when I saw I had caught the moment just after the side mirror was pushed into the passenger side window.
There are times when you just can't do a car-to-car rolling shot, so that is when a rig comes in handy. For being the first time I used a rig, the results of Yuichi Seki's 180SX (@sekimotorsports) turned out pretty good and a rig is now a great tool for me to use as both an alternative to car-to-car or when there is a very specific shot that is being sought. Full feature here
Toshiki Nagai (@n.toshiking) loves to scrape the wall at Meihan Sportsland but doesn't love having to repair the rear of his S13 in the event he gets too close. So instead, he opted for a custom rear spoiler that not only gives him a bit of clearance room but also creates his trademark sparks.
The 86 Matsuri is held in December and for me is the last track event of the year. With the sun setting and the Techno Pro Spirit Levin on the track trying to sneak in a few more laps, it was the perfect way to mark the end of a great year.