As some of you may know, Justin Shreeve and I got the opportunity to join Larry Chen in filming the World Drift Series in Tianjin, China. Our Journey began Saturday night, as we were meeting Larry and the U.S. drivers for the event at LAX. Justin and I arrived to the airport a few hours early, so we had time to mess around with our cameras a bit, and Justin got to play with his new Zeiss 85mm 1.4 lens. Beautiful!
Nice lens, don’t you think?
I had be messing with the B/W color setting on my camera the night before and had not set it back to my normal setting before I took the first few shots. But after I took a few, I decided to shoot the whole trip in B/W. It instantly reminded me of how one of my favorite photographers shot. French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson used to shoot black and white strictly on a 50mm lens, showing people life exactly through his eyes. He, I feel, may be the original Life Blaster.
Larry and the team soon arrived. We exchanged friendly greetings and made our way through security. This was the first time Larry and I had been together in an airport since we made that stupid “Stuck” video, but nobody gave us a hard time. This year’s WDS team consists of Ross Petty; Josh Guild; Kyle Mohan; Vaughn Gittin, Jr.; and Matt Powers. We wouldn’t be seeing Matt or JR until we reached China though.
We checked in, and grabbed some quick dinner and some beers before our flight.
Justin was receiving some pretty shocking text messages.
After waiting in line for about an hour, we were told that hour flight would be delayed another 2 hours! It was about 1:40am when they made the announcement. Justin was pretty over waiting. We all were. We didn’t end up taking off until about 4am. but the 12 hour flight was a breeze, especially since I had 3 seats all to myself. –__________–
We arrived to Beijing around 8am Monday morning! Yeah screw Sunday!
Kyle takes his health pretty seriously, but after seeing the air here I wish I had brought one to wear. Yes, you can actually see the air. Who knows what kind of crap is in it.
As we expected, our bus got tagged by another car on the freeway, but we did not expect the driver to stop, get out in the middle of traffic, inspect the damage (which was absolutely none), and then make the other driver pay him! We took advantage of the opportunity to play on a Chinese freeway with terrible drivers flying past us! We made it a point to slap Tandem of Die stickers on the backs of cars that passed us, and many high five were received from the confused Asian commuters.
We soon got to the hotel where Matt was staying to pick him up and start the three hour drive to Tianjin.
Josh was enjoying the sights as we made our way through Beijing and on towards Tianjin.
We arrived to the hotel and had to wait about another hour as our hosts figured out our rooms and took down our information.
We lucked out as the four rooms that our team received were the only four rooms that had windows opening up to a very unsafe balcony built to support the hotel’s sign. Unsure of the structural integrity, we stepped out to check it out. Exposed wiring and broken LEDs laid everywhere.
We all hung out up there for a while.
And Justin was really hanging out.
Matt was just kinda hanging out.
We left the hotel to acquire some Chinese currency, food, and then to check out the track.
The one thing scarier than taking a bus on the freeway is taking a cab. Andrew Escarcega explained to us that the stank in the cab was coming from our cab driver’s wooden teeth, therefore making him George Washington.
Outside of the bank, the Boso dudes were doing some radical skateboard maneuvers down some steps. The bank security were pretty stoked on it. I don’t think they’d ever seen a skateboard before in their lives, so they just posted up and watched the show.
After filling our bellies with Ramen, we started the short walk down to the stadium where Ross was going to test the track out on one of the Chinese drivers’ cars. Frank was teaching him how to properly chuck their shitty cars.
Cops here are dicks!
The stadium is HUGE. The track is just a 1/4 mile oval with K-rails on the outside. We expect to see lots of drivers flipping their cars on some sections. Its funny how well they try to take care of the soccer field in the middle of the track when 60+ drivers are sure end up in it. They got super pissed at us just for standing on it!
We have a few days of nothing ahead of us before U.S. qualifying, so we’ll be sure to update you all on whatever shenanigans happen here.