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Slammed Society / FDLB

16 April 2013 No Comment

Round 1 of the Formula Drift series went down this past weekend (Qualifying Friday, Finals on Saturday) held in the same track set up for the Long Beach Grand Prix. This event also featured a car show section hosted by FATLACE called the “Slammed Society“.

Most of the cars rolled in on Friday so by the time I got there on Saturday morning, the place was pretty much packed already.

Displayed right upfront, Mark Arcenal and his team from FATLACE brought out their BenSopra GTR.

This was the same Bensopra that made its debut at the 2012 SEMA show.

At the time of the reveal, it had a cool livery (designed by Jay from JDMEGO) with a cool Teal Blue graphics matching some interior parts as well as this trick intake manifold from GReddy Performance.

The livery had since then been shed off along with most decals, so I was surprised to still see my logo in the wing. Thanks Mark.

Sharing the front stage with the Bensopra GTR was another Fatlace-built demo car – the 2012 Scion FR-S outfitted with a full Rocket Bunny kit and boosted via Vortech Supercharger.

Speaking of which, VORTECH Superchargers scored a real nice spot just behind the FATLACE booth.

Vortech showed up big time with a good selection of American muscle car like this well set up Blue Chevy Camaro owned by Gene Tjin.

Their very own Dodge Challenger R/T where the new V3 System was tested on was there as well.

They saved me a spot to display my car..

featuring their first production version of the new “wrap-around” design system.

While I was setting up the car, I heard someone called my name. I turned around and was surprised to see Miura-San himself – the famous Japanese designer, founder of TRA-Kyoto, responsible for the many recognizable cars like the Bensopra, Rocket Bunny and LibertyWalk Lambos. From Left to Right – Kent from Enkei Wheels, Miura-san and Masaru-san (President of TRUST Co. Ltd / GReddy Japan).

I’ve only known of Kent online but had no idea that we shared a lot of friends back when he used to live here in the States. Certainly a small small world. It was also an honor to meet Masaru-san who was pleased to know that I was the one who designed the new GReddy X Scion Racing FRS they are campaigning this season.

Back to the Vortech booth, they also had a trio of bosted Scion FR-S on display.

Each one different but all boosted by their Supercharger system designed specifically for the boxer engine.

Noel’s Red FR-S on Air suspension featuring a Rockect Bunny fenders and a Vertex lip kit is certainly one of my favorite FR-S. The fitment of the wheel and tire combo was well thought out.

Even Miura-san seemed interested in Noel’s set up, specifically its ride height (or lack thereof).

The white FRS owned by Migel turned out to be one of the 1st FRS here in SoCal. Migel was part of the lucky 86 owners who received a VIP treatment at last year’s Formula D season.

He also received a cool scale model of his car.

Below is a shot of his engine bay featuring the Vortech Supercharger and a TANABE strut brace.

Coming back around parked between the Vortech booth and the FATLACE booth was the 2013 Hyundai Veloster JP Edition that I had an opportunity to design with my good friend John Pangilinan for SEMA last year.

Somewhere in the midst of the Slammed Society show cars, I spotted another car I had a chance to design for European Car Magazine.

This 2013 Ford Focus ST debut last year at SEMA but this was my first time seeing it in person.

At this time, I walked with Kent, Miura-san and Masaru-san to cross into the paddock area where all the Drift cars and more vendors were at. On our way, we bumped into Speedhunters founder Rod Chong and Speedhunters Business Development Director Andy Barnes. Here’s a quick group shot.

As soon as we got to the other side, we bumped into Super Street Senior Editor Jonathan Wong.

I introduced Miura-san to my buddy Krist of Stickyicons.com who owns the only complete and very rare Rocket Bunny kit for the Scion xB here in the States.

We then walked towards GReddy where their drift car was being prepared for the Top 32 eliminations.

Since designing its livery, this was the first time I got to see it during the daytime. The metallic silver-based film really brought out the colors brilliantly.

The man in charge of maintaining and tuning this car is Kenji himself, President of GReddy USA shown here on a rare break chatting with RJ de Vera.

Ken Gushi giving 2 thumbs up, looked relaxed and composed.

And then it was time to get in the car.

Miura-san looked on as Ken settled into his office for the day.

With GReddy being the official distributor for the Rocket Bunny, their drift car features the full kit, minus the rear wing.

We made our way back to the stands but stopped by to take a photo of Dai Yoshihara in the midst of him signing autographs and meeting fans.

We also stopped by the Mackin Booth to say hi to Eddie. Shown below is Miura-san looking at just a couple of the many cars featuring his body kit designs.

We were fortunate to have a VIP access to the Scion Racing hospitality suite, big thanks to Steve and Fred for hooking it up!

And before we knew it, out comes Ken Gushi.

The media /photographers focused their gears as one after another drifted in, with only 16 drivers advancing to the next round.

There was a break before the start of the Top 16 so RJ and I partook in the free lunch served by the world famous Seoul Sausage Company prepared in this custom Scion xB (built by MV Design).

We joined Super Street editor Sam Du, fresh from driving their Green Rocket Bunny FRS aka RachetBunny as part of the TargaTrophy caravan into the paddock.

I went back to check up on my car and charged my phone for a bit..

Later in that day, I stopped taking photos and enjoyed the event catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. Towards the very end, I headed back up in the Scion Hospitality suite to watch the battle for 1st place between Dai Yoshihara and Vaugn Gittin Jr.

After the final run was made, the top 3 cars converged in the middle of the track.

Then the crowd went wild, cameras flashed as the man of the moment, Dai Yoshihara was declared the winner of Round 1 of the 2013 season of Formula D. Congrats Dai!

Before I headed home, I caught this super sexy CTS-V Wagon owned by my buddy Nick Jimenez founder of eGarage.

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