A goal for Mayday Garage this year is to be more active than we were last year and what better way to show that by attending Round 1 of FormulaD’s 10th year anniversary held on the streets of Long Beach, CA. It is also my first time back in California since the last FormulaD event. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, click HERE.

My body is ready for FormulaD this year... as well as Dai Yoshihara.

By now, you’ve probably seen everyone’s coverage photos or videos of the event so I won’t need to go into too much detail about it. This post will just be about my trip from Houston to FormulaD and the¬†camaraderie’s I make during that time. If you follow our blog, we usually post 100+ photos per post. It doesn’t seem like much while you’re reading this, but as I’m typing this post up, I’m praying to the god of internet(Comcast) my connection does not go out or else I would have to rewrite this post.

While the cost of living is high in California, I can see why...

I arrived to LAX around noon on Thursday and my plan was to just pick up a car and drive around. I didn’t have an itinerary to follow so I just went with the flow, drove South, and then to the coast.

I chose Thrifty as my car rental company and all they had were Fords...

So like with every other vehicle we rented before, I slapped a Mayday sticker on it.

After driving West for a while, I finally hit a beach.... you're not able to do anything here...

If I could relocate anywhere in the U.S. it'd probably be Cali...

Only for Chinamen Bikers.

If you haven't been to the west coast.... you need to.

By the time I’m done venturing around the coast I get back on the PCH and head back up into town. I forgot my car charger back in Houston so I had to get to John Zhang’s place before my GPS/iphone dies. Luckily, I made it with 4% battery life left to spare.

The only thing I hate more than Houston traffic is probably... California traffic.

It took me a good 1.5 hrs to drive 30 miles to JZ's place...

As I pull up to JZ's place, he's getting his car ready for Hellaflush's Slammed Society show at FD....

Everyone, this is what Mr. 1013mm drives... hella nice.

I just wanted to relax and eat good food with good friends so we went out for some Korean BBQ at Hae Jang Chon. Best all you can eat Korean BBQ I’ve ever had.

KBBQ

JZ after half of a Soju shot....

Once we were done eating, we all decided it would be wise to just head back home and call it a night…

I don't remember why, but we were watching porn for some reason...

My plan for Friday was to arrive balls early at Long Beach, CA to avoid any traffic on the way there. I got there around 7:30am and was greeted by Linhbergh while he was shooting the Falken drift cars. After catching up with Linhbergh, I headed on over to the media check-in tent to get my wristband.

Linhbergh and his sexy ass shooting one of the Falken drift cars...

Some familiar faces from back home, Stephen driving while Jason is in the back creeping.

We were one of the few lucky ones to obtain a media pass as they are more strict on whom gets in...

A few hours before the doors open to the public...

The Achilles team prepares Nishida, Daigo, and Kearney's cars....

Fredric's team looks ready...

I stopped by the Falken booth and it looked like they were just wrapping up a shoot with Justin Pawlak's Ford Mustang.

Over by Chelsea's pit, Bill "The FormulaD Santa" is a bit delirious and pretends he's on top of the world.

While walking around some more, a wild Subaru BRZ appears... this one has the Rocket Bunny kit with molded fenders instead of the usual rivets you see.

Here it is at a different angle. What are your thoughts? Riveted or molded fenders?

I think this eGarage RWB beats out Danny's RWB Catalina ūüėõ JK BRO!

I made it to the driver's meeting but instead of paying attention, I got a photo of Daigo "The Ninja" Saito's 1200hp SC430.

Representing Texas, Rookie Josh Steele made the trip all the way from our hometown to compete. Luck was not on his side as he fell short by 2 or 3 spots from qualifying into the Top 32.

The drivers paying close attention to how they will be judged and scored...

Linhbergh doing work as usual....

With a hipster cam???

Jarod "Are you kidding me?" DeAnda is the official voice of FD for those of you that don't know...

The JohnP of FormulaD.... not our Mayday JohnP.

Now I head back to the track after obtaining a media vest to watch some dorifto action.

VGJr did exceptionally well at Round 1...

He ended up having a very close battle against Dai... but couldn't hold it together in the end.

Just recently I watched the 2007 D1GP World AllStars and did not know VGJr took out a bunch of drifters from Asia...

I definitely look forward to seeing him at FD ATL.

DA buddies, Forsberg and VGJr will probably be duking it out again in ATL...

Forsberg looked really good out there and did well enough to place 3rd over Chelsea Denofa.

Hopefully, Forsberg can keep this momentum going into Road ATL...

While shooting trackside, some photographers must keep up with their social media pages... except Linhbergh. He's actually watching this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvMssEgp1ko

Here you can see Antonio "networking" on Instagram. Follow him on @motormavens!

Tyler McQuarrie is always smiling...

His smile probably turned upside down after finding out he had to go against Dai Yoshihara in the first round.

After being dropped for part of the season last year, Joon Maeng returns again with Lucas Oil / MAV T V / Nexen LSX powered S13.

Joon is probably one of the nicest, modest guys in the circuit....

Check out his thoughts and the setup of his car on his personal website: http://www.joonmaeng.com/

If you're at FD events, you'll see VGJr or Gushi riding around on their BMX bikes.

KKR crew working hard to repair Kory Keezer's S13...

On Kory's 4th practice run, he ended up in the wall hard. Luckily, he found parts from different teams and made his 2nd qualifying run.... he qualified at 33... missed the top 32 by one. Check out the KKR blog for updates: http://korykeezerracing.webs.com/apps/blog/

Alex Lee retired his SerialNine Cresta and brought out a big bodied GS300 powered by an LS3... I don't think he qualified since it was a new setup.

It seemed like Tony Angelo was having problems with his engine... I didn't get any action shots of his RB kitted FRS out there.

Instead of getting new livery like some of the other drivers, Mike Essa changed to a completely different chassis... an E46 M3...

Now out of the XDC league, Forrest Wang makes a return to FormulaD.

Self built machine by Forrest Wang.

This engine bay is so clean, you could eat off of it.

Mayday Mikey, you got work to do.

I had high hopes for Will Parsons, another grassroots born drifter from Houston, TX. It looked like a blown engine did not allow him to make his qualifying runs.

 

One guy you need to look after is Chelsea Denofa....

He's off to a great start this year by coming in 4th place....

I think he'll do well at FD ATL.... podium well. Yea I said it.

The reason you see drivers with different livery this year has to do with sponsors....

Some drivers end up with new sponsors so a change in car design is needed and some drivers, like McNamara, continue wearing the Falken colors.

Tuerck's bright colored livery made it very easy to shoot...

Another bright car to shoot was Matt Field's 240...

Even on a practice run, Matt Field follows closely to Dennis Mertzanis' ARK Performance Genesis.

To carry on the Hyundai Genesis legacy in absence of Rhys Millen, Mertzanis steps on to the plate.

If you're not showing any marks on your car, you're not getting close enough to the walls.... Dennis is definitely showing he's getting close.

Ok, maybe he got a bit too close and ended up going into it. Here's good ol' FD Santa Bill asking if he's ok.

Another color that's pretty easy to shoot on the track is purple like Aurimas Bakchis' S14 here.

Speaking of purple... check out this badass JDM VIP style Toyota Previa at the Hellaflush Slammed Society show.

Since we're on the subject of purple things...

 

Ok, last purple photo of the day.... I think.

If you had time to walk around and check out the vendors booths, there were a few familiar cars you’ve seen in a magazine or the internet.

Sitting in front of the HRE booth is eGarage's RWB 993...

Thighs for days.

At the Whiteline booth, R's Tuning BenSopra GTR looked good in smurf blue.

Mackin Ind.'s RB FRS....

Evasive Motorsports time attack FRS... wish I could do this to my FRS....

Pretty interesting over fender widebody design.

I visited Alex Nunez from the What Monsters Do booth and found this immaculate Trueno. He told me the female owner of the car had it rebuilt. It looked really really good.

At the Hoonigan booth, Hertrech's V8 FC RX7... if you haven't seen his car before, check out this vid: http://vimeo.com/59674094

Speedhunters didn't have have a booth at this event, but this Shakotan styled Cressida represented them well.

Another RocketBunny FRS at the Takata booth... I prefer rivets if I were to ever get a the kit.

Fans do really love Melyssa Grace... guess we're fans as well.

While walking around I found Antonio eat with the Achilles crew... they were having noodle soup.

 

Afterwards, he got back to work... Instagram.

 

Check out Bisimoto's Watermelon Porsche 930 TT

 

Bisimoto doesn't have time for bumpers...

 

While playing around with Antonio's 300mm lens I saw this... she probably does not skip her squat days.

The Hankook girls would be pwned by photographers if they were out in Japan...

Antonio Alvendia of Motormavens was testing out a 400L.... but what was he shooting?

 

Of course ( . Y . )

Ryan Kado doing asian poses and sporting Life Blasters new shirt. I need to order one...

The Falken girls this year had a different outfit this year... interesting.

Meng Tea's FRS wears the first aero kit designed by MVDesigns. He told me they had just installed it the day before. I'm glad they installed it with no problems.

And right next to him in front of the AEM booth was his brother, Young Tea, with the Stillen kit and red TE's.

The Monster energy girls always look good.

Keep Drifting Fun's staff Linhbergh and Will Roegge walk towards the light.

I followed them and found a pretty interesting perspective.

Everyone looks so anxious for the drift cars to pass by... except for Garret Wade on the right. He's just thinking about candy.

Linhbergh told me that everyone bikes in Long Beach and all the girls wear yoga pants. I'm definitely moving to Cali now.

That last hairpin will either hurt you or save you during the competition.

I checked out some of the cars at HellaFlush's Slammed Society Show and saw this crazy hella stanced BMW Z4...

Not my cup of tea but impressive.

What a classic, Chevy Chevelle on CCW's.

Mark Arcenal's Fatlace x Rocketbunny FRS... I saw Kei Miura walking around the event, but didn't get a chance to meet him. I'll probably get another chance someday.

Another wild RocketBunny kit FRS, but only the widbody fenders. The front lip and side skirts are Vertex. Noel Barnum put this together himself with some help in his garage.

Could you tell the s2k and NSX had a theme going on....

I got a ride in this thing and it felt like it was on bags.

Meh, just an older Toyota....

With a V8???

 

My next car.... hopefully a Porsche.

I had to use the portapotty so I went back to the vendor's side and I saw Forrest Wang's S14 parked. Guess he had to go too.

Once I relieved myself from the bathroom, Targa Trophy was slowly making their way in with a 55 car roll in...

I've never seen a C63 Black in this color... JLSwag indeed.

The Super Street Ratchet Bunny driven by Sam Du, also rolling in with the Targa Trophy group. You definitely won't see this color anywhere else.

And now back to more drifting and girls...

She likes holding dem bags.

Even with a 300mm lens, I couldn't hide from her.

MelyssaGrace

Holly Lee for Mishimoto.

Big Mike and DPK David checking out something...

After walking around and talking to all the models with Antonio Alvendia, I missed out on some of the top 16 drift action. ¬†Thanks Antonio. Just kidding… hanging out with Antonio was pretty awesome since he knew everyone.

Got to meet Corey Hosford and his stache. That thing is pretty rad.

Hankook girls + FRS = win

Now back to some more drifting action....

Danny George and his LS1 Miata... unfortunately he had to go against the Ninja, Daigo Saito.

RB Widebody FRS vs RB Widebody FRS.... you'll probably see more of that in the future.

Aasbo had a chance to take the podium after defeating the Ninja, but fell to Dai Yoshihara.

Rear wing touches the fence, but still loses. Too bad Ninja.

I really do miss his Supra.

I noticed a dark/purple hair guy with my 400mm lens... it was ConnorSurdi. Check out his perspective of FormulaD... photos are superb. http://www.connorsurdi.com/formula-drift-lb-2013-a-different-perspective/

Another man I noticed at 400mm was Mr. Stanceworks. He's always up to something....

Then there was Bergenholtz... I have no idea how he saw me.... O_o

Now this thing was pretty cool... who has the footage from this heliocam thing??

I met this guy last year at Irwindale, and he has blown up since then. Check out www.jdmzipties.com.

Fellow media photogs, Matt Jones (Super Street) and Garrett Wade, talk about something important - chinese food.

The man on top...

Dai had to go through McQuarrie, Powers, Aasbo, and VGJr to get the top podium.... pretty tough bracket imo.

He's all smiles now...

Once the drift action was over, I headed back to the Slammed Society Car show to meet up with JZ, Courtney, Cliff and others.

I get there to meet them up and see this....

And this... interesting zipper setup.

Apparently, the KTown (youtube show) girls were filming what its like to be an import model?

While waiting for a ride to my car I found SS's RB HKS powered FRS....

Another side profile shot.

Once the day was over, we went out for some sushi and called it a nite.

A big special shoutout to JZ and CW for always showing me around the LA area and letting me crash at yalls place. ¬†It may smell like chinese furniture/food, but I’m used to it.

Next FD event will be at Road Atlanta. ¬†If you see any us at the events, ask us for stickers or just say what’s up!

– Danh –
dphan@maydaygarage.com
@maydaydphan 

I really have no idea what I'm doing. Photo by Antonio Alvendia.

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