Honestly, getting to be a part of the final round of Formula Drift at Irwindale Speedway definitely has made it's way to being amongst one of my top lifetime achievements.
I know, that may seem like a bit of an overstatement but really; it's actually a pretty significant milestone in both mine and my brother's career in the world of professional drifting. Both of us have been working over the past couple of years trying to make a reputation for ourselves in Canada, and Irwindale was a really nice reminder of the way things are paying off now, and how they may potentially pay off in the future. Being able to go across America and have people recognize Pat's hachiroku really is the big payoff to me right now. It just feels like real physical solid proof of videos on the internet doing their job, and it feels damn good.
Anyway, I think my other reward was getting to see my first round of Formula Drift at Irwindale. I don't think there could've been a better place to see some of the best drifters in the world slinging their big budget cars around like toys. I'm sure everybody knows this by now, but something that struck me was how approachable a lot of the Formula D drivers actually are. I found myself a couple times chatting with Ryan Tuerck, Taka Aono, and of course my buddy Alex Pfeiffer, and it just felt neat to be able to casually talk with these gurus of drifting awesomeness, since the general public doesn't necessarily get as much of a chance to do so.
I also really dig how cool a lot of the photographers and videographers are at Formula D. At one point I was shlepping my gear from one end of the track to the other in the paddock area, and MotorMavens' own Yoshi Shindo rolled up on me in the MotorMavens golf cart with one Mr. Abbitt Wilkerson in the passenger seat. They offered me a ride, and I was honored to take it! It's not every track event that I get to be whisked around by golf cart, so this to me was a totally awesome treat, and a pretty awesome way to get myself introduced to Yoshi. Of course, getting to finally run into the better part of the MotorMavens crew was pretty rad, meeting cats like JMac, Antonio, Uche, Shreeve, Tailyr, and everyone else that I may be missing. I caught glimpses of Joe Ayala hangin' around, but he looked like he was in deep concentration mode, so I figured I'd make a point of running into him later (I personally prefer not being interrupted in deep concentration mode). I also got a chance to chat with Josh Herron for a little, which was pretty cool. And I can't forget Larry Chen, who kept me honest during the main part of the Formula D event by standing right behind/above me with his massive lens.
With all that being said, it felt like two shakes of a lamb's tail and we were packing the car back into the trailer for the next event. The next destination in our American Adventure would be Phoenix, Arizona, this time for the final round of Xtreme Drift Circuit. With Pat being fresh off a victory at Irwindale Pro Am Nationals we were feeling confident going in to the next competition!
Sony HVR V1U
Canon Rebel t2i
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