Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WOW update needed badly.

Hey Guys. So i havn't updated much. actually i havnt updated since my trip to Las Vegas for Formula Drift. So here i go. actually, let's keep this simple. I wrote a blog for OMG Drift for the final round of Formula Drift at Toyota Speedway. So you can read that here since they have better pictures of me! Anyway, since the season ended, I have been trying to keep myself busy with drifting. I actually had this great opportunity to drive in the 2nd round of the Formula Drift Asia Series with RS-R Japan Supra. I ended up taking myself out in the top 32, crashing myself into the lead car.
(Picture by DriftPic)
(Picture by Cheryl Tay)
(Picture by DriftPic) As you can see, my bumper is literally off the car and on the ground. What had happened was upon impact, the oil cooler busted open and sprayed oil all over my window and also into my eyes since the windows were open. I couldn't see a damn thing. I don't know if I will be participating in the remaining Asia Rounds but what I can say is that the drivers in Asia are very exciting to watch and drive with. They are balls to the walls. More updates coming soon! As soon as i fix my cracked monitor on my laptop! =(

Monday, September 26, 2011

Formula D Round 6 VEGASSSS

I've been so busy lately so i havnt had the chance to update anything!! sorry! Anyway, Let's see if i can even remember what happened in Vegas. The first thing that I remember was it was hot!!! Hot as hell. I drove there with my gf in her car and the whole drive there, it was between 102 and 112. We got into town Thursday afternoon so that gave me a few hours to relax by the poolside at the Vdara hotel. I took this time to review my notes from last year. As long as the car held up, I knew it would be a good event. I headed to Las Vegas Motor Speedway around 6pm to get ready for practice. Practice went great for us. Before this round, we made a few changes to the tC and it proved successful on our first run. The car was definitely more predictable and easier to throw around. I felt more comfortable and already knew this round was going to be fun.
Before we ended the night, I felt something fishy with the clutch, so I had my team look at it. To my relief, it was only a broken clutch plate. I know it sounds bad but compared to some of the other issues we've had this year, a broken clutch is cake. Friday was again, another awesome day. However, we had a thunderstorm that came out of no where. But that didnt stop anyone. We went into qualify in the burning weather (it was 102 at night!). We qualified 9th, and also won the RETAKS Insane Entry Award! Thanks Retaks, AND everyone who voted for me!! You guys are awesome.
My first match would be against Tyler. Unfortunately for Tyler, he wont be in his main car, but that doesn't mean it will be easy. Tyler is a killer driver that can pretty much adapt to anything. I ended Friday night with a few runs in tandem practice. What a good day! Then came the main competition day. As the spectators began to come in, we were already in our last practice session. Top 32. Tyler Mcquarrie. As i mentioned above, Tyler was in a back-up S15 that he is not really accustomed to but that didn't stop me from pushing 100%. In my lead run, I ran the same line as I did in qualify. Then on my follow lap, I nearly hit Tyler's car on entry which scared the living crap out of me but held it together. Unfortunately for Tyler, he stalled the car and half-spun in the second S-turn. That gave me the advantage and we moved on. Top16. Conrad Grunewald. I knew this would be interesting. Why? Because Conrad likes to go in ass first. He likes to back that ass up. Following a car that backs in is not easy because the deceleration rate is not the same as a normal initiation. I assume he got the advantage on the first lap. However on the second run, I took a normal line and hit the outside clip zones, while he passed me on the inside because he had no where to go. The judges took that as an illegal pass and gave me the win. Top 8. Matt Powers. Have I mentioned this guy has been on fire? I need to put it out. Unfortunately, I tapped him on the first run, and put myself in the tire wall but hey, did they fix the tire wall after Dai had hit it..... Anyway that gave me the loss and he moved on. Until next time Matt..til next time. Overall, I had a great weekend. The team did an excellent job prepping the car and I cannot wait to get to Irwindale. Thanks to all my Fans who made it there to cheer me on! Thanks to my team RS-R for the excellent work! and thanks to my gf for supporting me out there and always! See you all at Irwindale.! or on Facebook!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Formula D round 5 Seattle

There were a few changes we made to the car prior to coming here. The RSR team had found a faulty diff right before we left. We assumed that was why our grip in NJ wasn't quite there. It's possible it could have been the case for Florida too. So we put in a new OS Giken diff and from what Taka has told us, it works.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to drive on Thursday because my team had decided that it was unfair for other teams that had left if we practiced without them.

Wait what?....

Anyway, onto Friday.
On my first practice run, I noticed the characteristics of this new diff was quite a difference compared to the usual 2 way we were accustomed to.

On the second run, the clutch began to act up. Then on the third, the gearbox began making grinding noises.


Qualify is about to start and we have a car down. Not good.
While trying to pull the gearbox out, we got word that the 1st practice group would get an extra 30min of run time because of some changes to the course.

Perfect. This gave us more time. However it wasn't easy pulling the gearbox out because one of the discs were jammed at the spline. Finally after about 40minutes of trying, it came off and we found out one of the discs were installed backwards.

Wow. Really.?

By the time the team got the car back together, I had already sacrificed one of my qualify runs.
So it all comes down to one run.

I had about 3laps total on this track prior and with an iffy diff, my confidence was shaky. But I need the points!!

I managed to pull through in the 26th spot.

Then during the practice after qualify, the car felt very sloppy and also as if there was reduced traction. I knew something was wrong but everytime I came in, we couldn't find the problem. There was a loud bang everytime I shifted so I thought it was the diff bushings.

We ended up staying til 5am the next morning pretty much replacing every single drivetrain component. New clutch, spare gearbox, new driveshaft, new axles, spare diff, and toe rods.
Toe rods??.. It turned out the bushings were shot.

Without having a chance to test the car, we called it a night and rested for about 4 hours.

We got to the track around 10 and found out we had missed a drivers meeting.

How much more can this get worse?..

But the good news was that the felt much better. During practice Saturday morning, I had more confidence in the car but it was still lacking the forward bite. I can hardly keep up with anyone on the straight away due to spinning tires.

But bigs thanks to my team for staying up so late to get the car back together. I swear these guys need a huge break. Well so do I but these guys really deserve one. ;)

Unfortunately we didn't make it through to the top 16.

I can't really say that it was a great event buy mad props to Formula D for hitting record sales at Evergreen Speedway!! It was a packed house!!! I wish I could have made it through to the end.

Thanks to everyone for coming by to the Scion Racing pit area!! Seattle was awesome!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Formula D New Jersey

Where do I start? The drifting or the weather? Let's start with weather.

Yeah what you see is some of the heavy damage mother nature had dropped upon us right before our top 32 practice. While we were in our drivers meeting for qualifying results, as Jarod got to number 25, the rain came suddenly and tore up the entire place. Everyone was in panic mode and Ross Petty was dancing around. I have never been in a flash flood so it was quite an experience. A rush!!

Anyway, let's start with practice on Thursday. I swear, every year that I come back, I am reminded of the horrific crash in 2007. I totaled a car here!!! It's such a slow circuit but I somehow managed to total it.

Practicing against the rest of the field dominated by V8s made me
realize how hard it is to keep up with displacement. When doing tandem, you can usually tell who will win as soon as the pair leaves the start line. So I practiced jumping the light. I won't jump the light when leading but when I'm following, I have to time it right so that we get to turn 1 at the same speed.

We qualified in the 10th spot with a score of 81.4. Not bad I would say.

In the top 32, we were matched up against Eric O'Sullivan. I didn't mean to tap him but when I did, I broke a water line and saw the water squirting out as I finished the lap.

Top 16 was with Justin Pawlak. Those Falken cars are too fast. I honestly don't remember my mustang being that fast! I tried to jump the light to see if I can stick to his door, but even with a jump, he took off fast and pretty much left me in the dust.

He moved on, and continued to move on to 2nd place.

Congrats to my fellow Hankook driver Conrad for the win and Justin and Dai for the remaining podium spots.

Seattle, here we come!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Formula D Singapore

Woooooo Asia!!!! But damn, that was a long flight. 12hours to Tokyo and then another 7 to Singapore.

This will be Round 1 of the Formula D Asia Series which is the first stop of 4 throughout the year. So am I in my beastly tC? Not for this round. I was given the opportunity to drive Marcus's JZX100 Chaser built by Spark Motorsports.

Yes. A four door! My fav! Also on my team is Robbie Nishida, Daigo Saito, and Charles Ng.

We had all day Wednesday to test all the cars and set them up to our liking. Since this was the first time driving the chaser, I didn't know what to expect. But surprisingly, it was set up pretty well. In fact, so well that I told them to just leave it for now. Pop, my mechanic was by my side all the time in case I needed anything. After a few runs, I had them change some stuff around the suspension and we called it a day.

Thursday was a free day but we ended up spending 90% of it at Spark Motorsports to work on the cars. My chaser needed a repair on the diff bushings and subframe bushings. I also had POP lower the rear suspension.

Unfortunately that morning, I ate something bad and I broke my stomach. It was something I ate right outside out hotel.

I knew it was a bad idea. I spent alot of time getting to know the toilet bowl at the shop.
Oh! And the shop is crazy! They had a display room upstairs with a PS3, pool table, bar, Internet, and some show cases.

The pool table

I beat Robbie at pool. Muahahaha.

The shop staff were so generous too. They made sure we were fed, and having a good time, at all times. Singapore hospitality is amazing. Just one thing... It's so damn humid!!!

You can almost feel the humidity through the picture can't you?? It rains alot and when it does, it gets worse. Showers seem pointless because you sweat right away anyways.

Friday: we finally get the see the track. Omg. Formula 1 pits?! Yes that's right.

We were pitted inside Timo Glock's pit. How cool is that??
This day was set aside for Media ridealongs. In my case, practice and getting to know the car better!!!! The track layout was pretty straight forward. Straight to a left turn, feint side-brake entry into a sweeping right decreasing radius following a left kink and another kink to the right for exit. The entry was similar to Palm Beach.

At the end of the day, I was feeling at home with the chaser. Pop pretty much worked all night prepping the car for me. Thanks man!
We also met the Thai Superstar team.

Spark Motorsports x PTT invasion. Men in black. Haha awesome people.

Saturday is qualify for the Asia series as to where we qualify on Friday in the states. When the morning practice session took off, it began to rain. And then it came down really hard!!

During practice someone in front of me went straight into the wall on entry.

He was injured and sent to the hospital but later confirmed to be ok. Drifting is serious business. I hope his car is repairable.

Qualify in the rain in a RHD car I've never competed in?! Sure why not. When qualify started, it was apparent that the track just went from straight forward to tricky as hell. The problem was, some parts of the surface were more slippery than others. Inconsistent surface condition made it hard for all of us. I managed to qualify 5th. Wow. What a surprise. And thankfully, all of us at Spark Motorsports made it into the show.

Sunday: it's on!! Top 32. My first battle was against Pond from the Red Bull team. I really didn't know how to gauge these drivers in tandem so I knew I had to be real close. On my follow lap, I lightly tapped him but he didn't forcefully spin. If this was in the states, they would have spun.
I moved onto the 16 where I was now matched up against Koh Kae in his A31 Cefiro. This driver won second place last year in Malaysia and Daigo had warned me that he is good. So I should be right by him at all times.
I moved on to the top 8. An s15 from Australia. Then to the top 4 against my very own teammate Daigo. Really? Come on.. Why not in the finals? I knew if I didn't blast the starter, I wouldn't be able to keep up so I did. He STILL flew right by me and left me by about 3 cars. So now he is in the finals and I am in the match for 3rd. Ivan in his Corolla. Thankfully I beat him and join Daigo and Non from the M150 team in a spot on the podium.

This was a pretty cool experience. Thank you Marcus for making it happen!

Thanks Spark Motorsports and staff for all the hospitality! And thank you Pop for the tremendous mecha-support!

Formula D Palm Beach Florida.

Wtf?! Alligators !!
Highlight of my trip.

Palm Beach International Raceway is surrounded by small bodies of water and there are turtles and alligators in them! I was so amazed. I wanted to touch them but I thought it would be bad to lose a hand before the event.

Anyway, Thursday's practice day went well for the RS-R Scion Racing tC. We quickly got the track down but before we knew it, Formula D decided to completely flip the track layout.
Either way, the tC was still set up proper. Gearing was right even though I contemplated on switching to a 4.3. We stayed with a 4.1 final drive.

My first run into the new layout, I had no idea what the hell to look for. The clipping points and the zone seemed so awkward and the zone was kind of unnatural. Throughout the session, I managed to figure out the track but at the end of the night, I was still unsure of what the judges could possibly ask for.

Friday: qualify day. Post driver's meeting, I was still uneasy about the line going into the outside zone and then exit. But too late to complain. I ended up qualifying 11th matched up against Ryan Kado.

Throughout practice, I had a hard time leaving the outside zone to finish the run. I would find it easier to hit the last clip if I left the zone early and approached the clip from the outside.

Saturday: so what I thought would help me ended up killing me. I should have listened to the judges and stayed in the outside zone longer. Even though I was closer to Ryan on my follow lap, I was not in the outside clipping zone long enough. My fault. Lesson to be learned? Do as the judges say or it will bite you in the ass.

But hey guess what? The Scion Racing tC is in great shape!! Haha finally there is some hope. I can't wait for round 4 NJ.

Oh btw, the wind was pretty strong on Friday and it blew the FD tent away. Wow.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Side kick GS

Hi ladies and gentlemen.
I don't know if most of you know but I have been modding my GS lately. Im trying to go for the sporty look with VERTEX aero and some big ass 20 inch Autocouture Magnifiques. Who knows, I might strip it down and build a 2J for it.
But thanks Vertex USA! I personally think this front end makes the car look much better.

4door drift car?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Formula Drift Atlanta

Lap 1 was a warm up on Thursday. But I went for it anyways and what do you know? I almost go off course. Hahaha oops?

But I noticed a lack of power coming down the hill. Was it me or was it the car.

Lap 2, I gave it about 75%. the entry was good. Reverse entry should be cake here.
But at the horseshoe, my manifold cracked open and I lost boost .

I think it had a hairline crack it in before we even got here.

So after getting it fixed, we go out for the second practice session.

The tC still felt a little down on power. Maybe another exhaust leak? I don't know. But coming out of the horseshoe, I had to kick the clutch multiple times while shifting into 3rd gear just to keep it in powerband.
Then we tested out 275 tires for the rear.
Sure I was starting to get warmed up on the track and my runs were getting cleaner but I still feel like the 285s were better. So we are going back.
I can't get much angle on the 275s anyways.

But I gotta give it to my team. They work hard.

Friday. Wow. What a day.
First off, the fans here are nuts. Don't these people work or go to school? If they ditched to come watch drifting, they are possibly one of the best gathering of fans ever.

Anyway, we started practice with good momentum but I started to get heated up and on my last practice run, I hit the entry ditch and bent the passenger side lower control arm. Crap... Sorry team!! My bad.
But the RS-R team worked hard AND fast to get it back before qualify. I was shaken up at this point because now that good momentum was out the door.

First run out, I decided to take it easy (thinking back at Long Beach). I scored a 78.something. But that managed to put me in 2nd place behind Joon (btw Joon was on fire this weekend. Awesome job buddy!!) But as qualify went on, my score continued to get pushed out of the way.

Now that the pressure was off, I pushed slightly harder on my second run and scored a 90.9!!! So I finished qualify in 6th place. We are pretty content with that. For now.

Saturday. Do these people realize what time it is?! It's 10am and they are drinking!! Amazing.

Practice went as we had planned. Tried out some different approaches in the horseshoe and it worked!! I was stoked.
Then came top 32. I was up against Charles Ng again.
He improved so much from yesterday I was really nervous. But we pulled it off and moved on to what became a road block and stopped. A blown diff.

I don't know what to say anymore. Maybe the car is cursed.

Thanks Atlanta for all the hospitality and great memories!! You guys sure know how to keep us entertained!!!
I cant wait to come back next year.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Toyota Pro-Celebrity Race

Wow! Quite an experience that was. I gotta say, to be a part of such an amazing group of talent and people makes me feel very privileged. I am lucky that I got to be a part of this.

When I first got the invite from Les at Toyota, I couldnt believe what I was reading on my email. I was being invited to the longest going Celebrity Race in history. And for a good cause too! The Toyota Pro-celebrity race donates money to the Racing for Kids foundation and has already donated $20million.

The first time I got to meet the staff and drivers was at our training/practice day about 3 weeks prior to race day. I didn't know what to expect since I am not in the Hollywood acting field. But everyone was nice and down to earth.

The next time we met was the media day that I did double duty switching between the Scion Racing tC and the Pro-celebrity tC. These Scion tCs are insane!!! They handle so well. And the brakes on these cars bite hard.

They even prepared lunch for us where we would be matched up with our cars. By the way, there are 5 pros among all the drivers and the pros are Frankie Muniz, Cody Swanson, Christian Rado, Brian Austin Green, and myself.

The pro drivers are fast!! I didn't know Frankie was such a good driver. I only know him as malcolm.

Anyway, I'm happy I was able to be a part of such an amazing group of talent. The two ladies that raced were awesome people too. Jillian, I feel like I'm watching my friend on Good day la now. Megyn, you are hot.

Everyone I met, I hope we can stay in touch.

Thanks Toyota for doing this. What you guys do make a big difference for children not only in LA but across globe.

And thanks for letting me win. Hahaha

Scion power.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Formula Drift LBC

Why am I always plagued with mechanical troubles???? I swear I have done nothing wrong or immoral. Its such a shame to see that the we were doing so well during practice and when the most important time comes around, we are unable to run.

Let's begin with media day. I was doing double duty since I'm also participating in the Grand Prix Pro-celebrity race. So hopping back and forth between racing suits and cars was pretty much a summary of my day.

So how does it feel going from a front wheel drive, supercharged tC to a 650hp rear drive drift monster?? Let me tell you, I had to remind myself everytime I approached turn 9. Drift or grip?? Haha amazing!!

Anyway, the changes we made to the RSR Scion Racing tC during the off season seems to be in my favor. The biggest change is the tire. Man.... Hankook RS3, I love you. You are so sticky, predictable, easy to understand, smokey, and smell nice. I can say with confidence that these Hankooks are the best tires for drifting. !!

In fact they are so sticky that we broke the diff into a million pieces on media day. We may have to consider a beefier diff.

Unfortunately, we did not have practice on Thursday. This would have been a great opportunity for us to test some more but I guess it is what it is.

Friday's am practice session went pretty good minus the fact that we broke an axle 5 minutes before our qualify session. I'm telling you, these tires are THAT sticky!!

My first qualify run was horrible. I was trying to get so much angle that the car over rotated and almost spun. To prevent a spin, I had to lift, which caused me to run an extremely shallow line. My score? Somewhere in the 30s. F!!!! Pressure for my 2nd run out eh? No problem. I got this....or do I?

I need to remind myself for every qualify session to run a safe 1lap and then go for it on the second lap.

I ended up in 18th place with a score of 78.6. That's not good in my standards because if there was no 32 tandem and we were still doing top tandem only, I would be out of competition at this point. My goal is to always qualify in the 16.

My match was Ross Petty.

Or at least it was supposed to be before more engine took a shit on saturday morning. Wtffff foreal?! Serious?! I don't understand.

The part that pisses me off the most is that this is the first round of the season and we are already on a bad start. No spare motor? You gotta be kidding me. All my fans, friends, family, and sponsors came to watch me do what? Sit around??

Anyway, that was my weekend. Congrats to JTP for his win! Amazing amazing driving for Matt powers. And Dai, you are the man!! Way to represent Japan. おめでとう!

Atlanta, here we come. ATL is actually my favorite! They have some of the best fans!!!

Thank you Stephanie!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tokyo pt 3

I'm back in Tokyo. I left Bangkok early for a few reasons.

Anyway, my last few days in Tokyo were amazing. I went to Ebisu once more, touge, Shinjuku, asakusa, Akihabara, and some other places.

Our first stop was the Toyota Festival at Fuji Speedway where they showcased Toyota Motorsports. They had everything from Super GT, NASCAR, to drifting. The only reason I went was to support Daigo drifting his monster JZX100.

They also had mini events for the customers. One of those events was to test out motor powered bicycles. Here is Robbie riding one with his son Joey.

I had fun watching the driving of different Motorsports genres.

My turn. Ebisu was insane. I tried the jump drift once more and I think I got it down. Robbie was in his newly acquired S13 and Daigo and I drove the beater JZX90.

Robbie's S13 was $700. $700??!!?! And it comes with a standard SR20, LSD, coilovers and a Silvia face. Something like this would cost and arm and a leg in the US.

This is the 90 we drove.

This plus another 200hp would dominate Formula D. I can't believe how easy it was to control this thing granted it was RHD and im not even used to it.
I will post video once I get back to the US after loading them.
After Ebisu, we went to eat at the the infamous Sauce Katsudon restaurant nearby.

OMg I wish I can bring this to the states. Freezepack perhaps?

Besides drifting, we went to Kaminari-Mon, an ancient Japanese landmark in Asakusa.
Miki and Maruchan joined us for the day.

It felt like a "powerspot", or whatever Japanese kids are into nowadays.

The city life must be nice here. Everything is walking distance but it is pretty much impossible to live the city life with a car unless you are filthy rich and can afford to pay $400 a month for one car space.

Then the usual train ride back to the countryside. Hahahah

Once we got home, Joey wanted to play Wii but we got hooked watching D1GP and he fell asleep waiting. Sorry Joey!! Next time buddy.

On my last night, we went to eat BBQ near Robbie's house.

Shinji Minowa from Hey Man joined us along with his wife Ma-chan and son Hiro. His son is walking now!!! When I first came here, he was still crawling.

Then Daigo and Yuko-chan came shortly after to join us.
Afterward, we went to Round 1 to play some badminton only to find out that Daigo is not only a pro drifter but also a pretty good badminton player. Robbie and I got our ass handed to us.
They also had a fishing game room with real fish!!

Daigo caught one

Overall, my trip in Japan was quite an experience and it would have been impossible without Robbie, Christine, Joey, Tet, Daigo, Maru, Miki, and everyone else that made this trip memorable. I learned alot drifting alongside some of Japan's best drivers: Daigo, Shinji, Koguchi, Robbie, and a few others. I also got to experience life in Tokyo. Thanks for all the hospitality Robbie and Christine! You guys are always welcome in our house in the US.

See you guys soon, I hope!