Well, I had a BUSY weekend! I was lucky enough to be invited by Mike Deford of Hyperfest to do demo driving at the NOPI drag championships on Saturday. It was my second event on the Yokohama ES100 and I was starting to get a really good feel for them. They last quite a bit longer than the performance tires that I’ve used in the past. They are a good compromise between grip and longevity and even price. I started to run a lower tire pressure that day, and it helped make up for the grip that I’m used to. The day was going by really well, and I had the chance to talk to Kumakubo and Asamoto with the help of Ken’s translations! Kumakubo told me something that I’ll never forget. He was giving me advice on what Americans need to learn next, when suddenly he told me to “Always drift with your smile. Some people here are too serious when they’re drifting. When you are drifting, you are supposed to be happy. Because when you are out there having fun, the spectators will see it and then they can have fun too.” Wow! That was the best thing I’ve heard ever. It’s such a simple concept, and I’ve agreed with him for the longest time. But to hear something like that come from one of the best D1 drivers I’ve ever seen… that’s great. And I’m Xtremely glad to know that at that level, it’s still about fun and loving the sport. On top of that, he was the nicest guy, and didn’t care that Nadine and I were nobodies. He was very nice to us and didn’t brush us off even though he was super busy all day at that event. I look up to Kumakubo more than ever. His attitude and skill level as a D1 driver are equally amazing.

Okay back to this weekend’s recap! I’m a lot more comfortable with the ES100 now, and I’ve learned that I can hold the gas a lot longer now before I have to let off, and I can get back onto the gas a lot earlier than I was able to before! It’s a good feeling, because I can go noticably faster and I can make my left to right or right to left transitions look way better and more agressive. I’m thinking that I should probably stay with the ES100, but I’m DYING to try to AVS Sports next! After that, I’ll see which I like better, and which is better for me when I’m drifting.

Towards the end of the day, RS-R let me drift their S14!! I was so excited… the car has a complete TOMEI engine, pushing 350hp to the wheels. But the biggest surprise was when I opened the door only to notice that the door sills were sparkling lime green!! It was like opening a treasure chest… It’s Hayashida’s D1 car disguised in RS-R red and white!!!! At that point, my heart started pounding and I couldn’t hold back my excitement. So with Nadine in the passenger seat, we went out, and I went through first… into 2nd and the torque curve was SO SMOOTH! Just as I realized that, the rear end stepped waaaay out! Haha! At this point, my hands were fumbling around with the 330mm Momo Race steering wheel as the car was flying through the course at double the speeds that my car was doing! It was amazing. The car didn’t require any of my regular “under powered” initiating techniques… just a quick toss of the steering wheel or a little more throttle and I was flying. And the Advan Neovas on all 4 wheels didn’t make it any harder either. A little too much throttle or going sideways a little too wildly was no problem because the tires started gripping a lot sooner than any of the tires that I’ve used before. I would just let off the throttle and let the tires correct, and then get back onto it! It was great. And I had a permanent smile on my face for about 3 hours straight after that. And now it’s time for me to end this journal entry because I’ve got things to do! Keep posted, I’ll finish about the details from this event, and I haven’t even talked about Sunday at Drift Day 8 yet!