Drifting is a major part of my life and so is the culture that surrounds it. Ever since my first encounter with the drift life I have seriously been hooked, some would say even obsessed!
With this obsession in drift comes an understanding of where it began, Japan. Having watched countless Option and similar DVDs this race track called Minami nestled in the hills of Nihonmatsu was somewhere I had dreamt of visiting. Then realising that this track was one of seven at Ebisu (a drifter's heaven), this place became a must visit!
Well that dream came true in March (2016). We travelled on Holiday to Japan with mates, one of them being pro drifter Luke Fink, so a trip to Ebisu was most definitely on the must list... We ended up there for two days of memorable mischief.
Day one Tiarnah, Benny and Princey hit up North and School courses for a bit in the morning before Luke decided to take the 32 down to Minami to get some practice in ready for his King of Nations competition in July where he will be driving the Lowbrain onevia.
After a few laps watching Luke try to spark along the wall for the camera he was due for tyres and headed back up to our pit area for some fresh rubber with Tiarnah, Scarlet and Princey.
Ash and Benny were fixing a damaged s13 from an earlier incident with the wall which left me at the famous Minami race track on my own. It was quiet and errie, yet powerful. I have seen this track endlessly in DVDs and some crazy videos posted by our Australian and Japanese friends who have had the pleasure of also being there.
I walked out on track and slowly did a full 360 to really absorb where I was standing. It did not look anything like the track I had seen in videos, I think this was mainly due to the usual advertising placed around the track and the lacking event atmosphere but to completely get a feel of Minami I walked the entire track by foot. Stopping at certain vantage points I had only seen in video it was definitely surreal, I came to the jump and tried to capture it but this proved harder then I thought without having a car sideways all wheels off the ground! And Luke wasn't back yet...
I had reach a section with a pot hole off to the side and there was loose bits broken up inside, I couldn't help myself and had to take a piece of Minami as a souvenir.
While I was waiting for Luke to return and give us a passenger lap I ventured into the pit area, another familiar sight from our DVD collection. At this point I could hear Luke and Princey skidding School Course but continued on with my moment of Zen. I ended up in several places around the track and the stands getting a feel for what it would be like as a spectator. (Definitely on the top of my to do list now)
I soon jumped in the half fixed 13 and we limped up to find the others. A couple hours of fun was had at School Course in the 32 but a decent hit destroying the rear suspension ended the fun pretty quickly. They got the rear end damage fixed the next day but it then snapped a water pump sending it flying out of the engine bay which meant game over... also meaning we did not make it back down to Minami. It wont be the last time I am there and can only hope and push to be accepted as media for an event in the near future! Hopefully one day I will also have the opportunity to drift this famous circuit
It was overwhelming absorbing years of atmosphere, sounds and comments like the famous "under, under, under" in my head yet there was nothing there, Just Minami, Myself and I.
Photography and write up by Jasmynne Tudor