Last Saturday, Joe Ayala and I made the trek up to Kent, Washington for the final round of the PGP Winter Drift Series. Considering Joe’s exhausting drive up from San Francisco the day before, I did what any good friend would do and slept the entire way up. As we neared the track, we spotted this relatively appealing 350Z cruising down the highway. This driver apparently misunderstood the concept of a rolling shot and proceeded to drive erratically for several miles until we decided to leave him alone. This was the closest shot I could manage.
Our journey to the track was fairly rain-free (as far as I could tell from my heated-seat slumber), but when we arrived to the track it was a different story. The evil grey sky was raining buckets and all the course workers were wearing fancy yellow coats.
Joe and I were both disheartened at the sight of the wet and muddy infield, considering we had both worn new shoes, which were about to be destroyed.
In contrast to the warm, sunny weather he is used to, living in the Bay Area, the rain made Joe very sad. 😐
Mr. Ayala became so depressed in fact, that he intentionally put himself in harms way not once…
… But time and time again.
The great thing about the Pacific Northwest is how accustomed the locals are to dreary weather. Rain or shine, you’ll find a crowd at Pacific Grand Prix.
What really surprised me is that not only did the Northwest’s drifting fans come out in great numbers, but many drove their beautiful cars as well. Can anyone name this vintage coupe?
Some of the local media monsters even came out to show support, sell product, and shoot photos/video. Here, we see Ian Dillon of Factory83…
… And Abbitt Wilkerson of AWFilms. Abbitt wasn’t shooting video, but rather selling “Pray/Hope for Japan” stickers to benefit the devastated earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan. You can purchase a sticker and donate to the Red Cross Japan Relief Fund by visiting Abbitt’s online store.
Also in attendance were several local drift teams, such as Fatsack Drifters…
… Who risked damage to their cars for the sake of putting on a show and having a good time. Pictured from left to right are the Northwest’s own Ronen Kaplan, Nik Jimenez, and Austin Gunderson.
One of the great benefits of the growing popularity of drifting around the US is the attraction of large sponsors. NOS Energy Drink didn’t mind a little rain and came out in full force to hype the drivers and crowd with loud music and free drinks.
Of course, my faithful companion, Fuzz, came out to keep an eye on the car, tongue lashing any brave soul who dared to enter it.
One thing you can always count on when attending a PGP event, is the presence of the larger-than-life living legend, Rob Primo. Known by many names, Primbro is a middle-man for the wonderful owners of Pacific Grand Prix and the grassroots drifting community.
Here, while stepping into his immaculate 180sx, we see Ron Rimo openly and honestly describing his girth, while the beloved Sully enthusiastically concurs.
As close as our two friends may be, Sully was ill prepared for this particular ride.
I absolutely LOVE shooting Rob’s rear end. No homo. With a subject this perfect, it becomes difficult to take a bad photo.
Case in point.
God’s tears were unrelenting for a good portion of the day, which led to several cars flying off track and nearly landing in my lap. Here are more of those sweet yellow jackets I was talking about.
Joe and I even spotted an older STI off the side of the road on our way to get lunch. I wonder if he was inspired to attempt drifting by the driver of the vehicle below.
Here, we see David Sullivan snaking another ride along in this wonderfully stanced, RWD converted STI.
Events like these are not about who wins or who has the most sponsors. In fact at the end of the day, the ever-changing, always-returning, revolving trophy was awarded to the most improved driver, who kindly asked his girlfriend to hold it for him… With her breasticles.
For more coverage of this event, visit MotorMavens!
PS – Tandem of Die.