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View Full Version : NekoPunch Video and Writeup: D1 GRAND PRIX at FUJI


NekoPunch
08-02-2003, 01:44 PM
Well, here it is everybody. I made this video from footage of my last trip to Japan to go see D1 Grand Prix Round 4 at Fuji Speedway. Hope you like it!

It's a big file; 72MB in zipped form. But that's because the video is almost 8 minutes long. If you have any trouble downloading it, PLEASE let me know.

I suggest you watch with 200% view or full screen if possible, and turn the volume up LOUD. BTW, NONE of the footage has been sped up.

BIG thanks to www.NorthWestNissans.com for hosting this video!

http://www.northwestnissans.com/donations/nekopunch/movies/neko-d1fuji03.zip

(Please right click, Save As..., unzip and view).

Enjoy!

NekoPunch
08-02-2003, 01:46 PM
Okay, here's my writeup up of D1 GP Round 4 at Fuji Speedway, Japan on July 6, 2003. Otherwise known as, "not bad for a 2000 yen admission ticket."

This was the first D1 Grand Prix I've ever attended, and needless to say it was an awesome experience. I've kept up with D1 by means of Opt Vid and magazines, but seeing it in person is another thing altogether. It was just breathtaking to see these professionals right in front of your eyes, and the level of competition was simply amazing.

Not only that, there were so many other things going on that day at Fuji Speedway. There was an All-Japan RX7 meet, an amateur car show, a tuner car show (which had enough of the top tuners to feel like a Tokyo Auto Salon), a horsepower dyno contest, a car parts "flea" market, and after the D1 event was finished many of the tuners (Amemiya, JUN, Top Secret, Signal, Panspeed, Esprit, etc.) hit the full circuit with their heavily modified time attack cars, i.e. the ones you see on all the covers of Option2 magazines. It was simply too much to take in. Don't worry, I'm almost finished updating my website with lots of pics.

Fuji Speedway is a high speed circuit, 4400m (roughly 2.5 miles) in total length. The front straight is 1480m in length with a long banked approach, so yes you see some VERY high speeds on the straight. It usually holds one or two JGTC rounds each year. The D1 drift competition was set up with an approach from the 100R corner (turn 4 if I'm not mistaken) and into the central downhill hairpin. Orido-san said something about typical hairpin approach speeds during the Saturday practice being somewhere around 150 km/hr...

This was the first D1 Grand Prix and the first drift competition ever held at Fuji Speedway. In fact, none of the 100 D1 competitors had ever drifted there. Taniguchi and Murao Shingo (drives the gunmetal FC you see in the video) were supposedly the only drivers who had raced there before. The crowd was unbelievable. They were saying it was easily the biggest crowd to ever attend a D1 event.

When the practice rounds started at 7AM, cars weren't going quite that fast. Although the previous day had been decent, it had rained quite a bit overnight so the track was very wet and it was also very foggy. Rain continued to come down throughout the morning of the event. There were spinouts and off-tracks galore, and the bumpers really started to pile high. More importantly, this was a big disadvantage for many of the higher HP (and heavier) cars. Through the practice, the AE86's really did well due to their lighter weight. In fact, the top HP guys like Kuroi (G-Corp. 750HP RB26 S13) and Yamamoto (Maziora 700HP JZX100) could hardly drift at all. They would just understeer off the track. Other big names like Kumakubo, Tanaka, even Koguchi also failed to impress. Still that didn't stop other high HP guys like Izumida (HCR32) and current points leader Imamura from pulling confident drifts in spite of the soaked track. Nomuken had a nasty off track on his first run which put him out for quite a while.

After the drivers meeting and beginning of elimination rounds, the track still had not dried out much at all. Rain was still drizzling down. But most of the cars were starting to do much better, so the 32 chosen for the first round was a pretty well-rounded group. Some big names dropped out, but you also had a lot of lesser-knowns who stepped up with some nice drifts. Guys like Ooshima Tomohiro in his 20 Soarer and Takahashi (JZX100) who had a HUGE fanbase in the audience cheering for him. There was some great flair from Ueo, Kazama, and Terasaki Gen. One bumper got left in the middle of the hairpin, and everyone cheered bigtime when the next guy drifted and smashed right into it.

During the lunch break, the sun came out in full force and the track was almost completely dry. 32->16 elimination round started after lunch and pit-walk, and the speeds REALLY increased bigtime. The first car to come around the corner was Imamura, and when he did the whole crowd gasped in disbelief. He was flying and just hit the hairpin perfectly. As eliminations continued, Tsuchiya talked about how the key to drifting the hairpin was maintaining enough speed (but not too much) out of the 100R corner and carrying it through the fast hairpin. The best line appeared to be an earlier apex, and you lost big with the judges if you didn't carry the perfect apex-hugging line. Drifts that looked spectacular to me would get comments like, "chotto kibishii desu ne."

The battle elimination rounds were amazing. Kazama crashed into Imamura mid-drift and ****ed him off. Nob has a funky new light setup where his front headlights flash like a disco. Tezuka (one of my faves) has a similar setup. There was a back and forth battle between Tezuka and Terasaki, and I kind of disagreed with the outcome of that one. When they announced Taniguchi vs. Ueo, that got a big "oooh" from the audience. The final round: Imamura vs. Taniguchi. There's just so much to say, so you'll all just have to buy the video (it just came out, it's Option Video vol. 113) and see for yourselves!

I could say a lot more, but I think I've said enough. It's a day I'll never forget.

Dousan_PG
08-02-2003, 03:19 PM
THANKS awesome write up
i still dont think i've seen Kazama's green car! ARGH! i need to watch that video...

Brian
08-02-2003, 06:56 PM
oh so that is who has that bright *** green car.

nocomedown
08-02-2003, 09:01 PM
excellent video man. well worth the download

doriftokouki
08-03-2003, 10:47 AM
Looking through the pictures on your site and watching that video makes me even more eager to go to japan! Thank you sooooo much for taking the time to even put together a website and video like that. Most people wouldnt bother. That video was awesome, my s14 will be lime green by next summer....sike....lol. Maybe I'm trippin, but was that a turbo lambo from blitz? Great coverage! Thanks!

-Nick

RedMist
08-03-2003, 12:06 PM
:eek: Awesome video! :aw:

Kinda makes you want to go out and get all kinds of sideways :p

nokeone
08-04-2003, 07:16 PM
oh my good lord...that is some bad a$s sh!t..:eek:

wow..i want to go to Japan..

:bowdown: D1

NekoPunch
08-06-2003, 11:35 AM
Hey guys, thanks for the feedback! I really do appreciate it. I'm glad you liked the video, and I hope you can show it to some people who've never seen professional drifting before.

Nick: Thanks a bunch for your comments on the vid and website. My goal is definitely to motivate/encourage/help people 1) to succeed with their own car projects, 2) to take their cars to events and drive them hard, 3) to take a trip to Japan and be humbled by what they see there.

Stee Flo
09-05-2003, 03:07 PM
mucho props, you got some really nice footage. Good stuff.

240Dave
09-05-2003, 03:37 PM
Originally posted by Stee Flo
mucho props, you got some really nice footage. Good stuff.

This is the 1st time bringing up an old post has actually bothered me.
I actually redownloaded the video :bash:

Dousan_PG
09-05-2003, 03:41 PM
Originally posted by 240Dave
This is the 1st time bringing up an old post has actually bothered me.
I actually redownloaded the video :bash:

that's not bad though
the video ROCKS!!

Stee Flo
09-05-2003, 03:42 PM
Whooa....sorry i didnt look at the date on that before i posted.

I feel like a total noob:hammer: