December 7, 2013: The long wait is over as Keiichi Tsuchiya together with the Okinawan drifters visited Manila for the birth of the much awaited Drift Muscle Philippines 2013. After months of planning, the 2-day race event was set at the historic Quirino Grandstand. It was a great opportunity for the local drifters to meet and learn the tricks of the Drift King. Here’s a quick recap of Day 1.
Toyota Motor Philippines was one of the key players to make this event possible, they lent Keiichi a stock Toyota 86 for his solo demo runs.
Considering that the car was in stock form, Keiichi still managed to give the crowd a good show.
Day 1 focused on the qualifiers, 8 of the 35 (?) Filipino drifters will have a guaranteed spot on the tandem runs on race day.
Keiichi and Daijiro Inada judged the runs through speed, angle and clipping point. What amazed me was that they had no idea on what engines the cars ran. Talk about pure drifting.
They also made a promise that drifters with a score above 95 will have a chance to compete internationally.
They granted the drifters 3 qualifying runs and ranking the top 8 with their highest run.
I had the opportunity to shoot the cars from the track itself.
One my favorite cars at the event, Mark’s s14.
Daijiro Inada, the founder of Option magazine brought his crew together with Hot Version. It amazed me to be in the same spot with real enthusiasts from Japan.
The layout of the track was perfect for all types of vehicles.
Raymond Ronquillo from R33 cars.
Struan Wallace represented Car Porn Racing with his v8 Cefiro.
Alvin Dayrit, who flies in from Hongkong during race weekend’s was also present.
Keiichi, felt relaxed all throughout the day.
On to the top 8: My good friend Mark Bernardo secured the 8th seed for the following day.
Jason Choachuy, borrowed Ralph Tan’s 190e with an RB25 (20?) engine.
Norman Agojo from Goodyear Philippines was guaranteed the 6th spot.
The only lady drifter at the event, Tintin David from Pampanga was consistent in her 3 runs.
Lateral Drift’s Champion, Gio Rodriguez qualified 5th with his Cefiro (yes its a Cefiro) which I helped design a few years back.
The youngest drifter of the pack, Luis Gono from Auto Plus secured 3rd with his S13 which Nobuteru Taniguchi used years back for local demo runs.
The crowd favorite, 6-time Lateral Drift champ Alex Perez from Team Yellow Cab.
Alex, has been very close with all types of car enthusiasts in our country.
Jesus Salas looked effortless as he qualified for the top spot.
One of the first Illest- Yolanda fundraiser shirts in Manila.
The organizers gave the crowd an opportunity to take photos of Keiichi.
Despite the very long day Keiichi managed to sign memorabilia too.
What amazed everyone was his humility and sense of humor. Fan-boy on.
This wraps up my photo post for Day 1. Stay tuned for Day 2 tandem photos.
Special thanks to Alex for the dinner, Ziggy for the overnight spot and Zander, Jenna, Paolo for the photo tips.
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