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Best Motoring:
Japan vs. USA Drift Off

 

August 30, 2007

I just watched a copy of Best Motoring's Japan vs. USA Drift Off and this is a good video. At 1 hour and 24 minutes long, this video contains tons of footage for the drifting and sports compact car enthusiast. 


The video starts off at California's Streets of Willow Springs raceway where the Drift King Keiichi Tsuchiya has called in top D1 driver Yasuyuki Kazama and top USA drifters Rhys Millen and Ken Gushi to compete in a drift showdown. Also appearing in this segment is female drifter Verena Mei who despite the cold weather, takes the top of her racing suit off to show us the bikini she wears underneath.

 

Tsuchiya, Gushi, Millen, Kazama, and even Verena Mei take turns drifting a stock Mazda MX5 roadster around the Streets of Willow Springs. Each driver gets 1 practice run and 3 judged runs to drift the MX5 through the road course. Gushi and Millen are both used to driving high-power, high-torque vehicles, but Kazama is not used to driving left-hand drive vehicles; who's going to come out on top?

 

Gushi managed to bring his USA competition vehicle out as well: a 4.6 liter V8 Mustang Cobra. Both Kazama and Tsuchiya get a chance to test this vehicle out on the Streets of Willow Springs, but does Gushi's car live up to Tsuchiya's expectations?

 

In the next segment, we find out some detailed information about carbon fiber. It's current uses, and hopefully some additional uses in the future in the development of faster and better performing sports cars. The segment leads us into Sugo raceway where Tsuchiya is back on the track, this time performing vehicle testing with a Porsche 911 Carrera S, a BMW M3 Coupe, and a BMW M5 sedan. Driving the vehicles along with Tsuchiya is GT500 driver Yuji Tachikawa. Both drivers test these vehicles to their limits and give us a rundown on the pros and cons of the vehicles at Sugo.

 

In what I felt was the highlight of the video, 4 professional racecar drivers and Keiichi Tsuchiya step onto the track for the "M5 Sugo Battle." The 911 Porsche, M3, and M5 from the previous road test were brought into the battle along with a Z-Tuned Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R and a Lamborghini Gallardo. The vehicles lined up on the Sugo straightaway and battled it out for 3 laps to determine which vehicle reigns supreme. Check out this segment to see Tsuchiya's "Drift King" tactics as he tries to intimidate the other pro drivers on the course.


After the Battle at Sugo, we return to the Streets of Willow Springs in California to compare two very similar roadsters, the Mazda MX-5 Roadster and the new Pontiac Solstice. Both cars are driven by Tsuchiya through a slalom course and a time attack road course and he gives detailed evaluations on both vehicles. You'll need to watch this segment to see which roadster is the one to buy. 

 

The final segment of the video follows Japanese drivers Manabu "Max" Orido and Nobuteru "NOB" Taniguchi as they travel to Phoenix, Arizona to participate in the GT Live event in 2006. The cameras follow Taniguchi as he gives spectators ride alongs in some touring cars and then participates in the Grand Am Series with Eiji "Tarzan" Yamada as his teammate. Taniguchi and Yamada are driving the Speedsource Mazda RX8 in the nearly 2 hour long race, but the extreme temperatures of Phoenix Arizona are creating an entirely different set of problems for the racers.

 

After the Grand Am race, Orido jumps into the Spoon Integra Type R as he tries to take the time attack prize purse. Then the day finishes with Orido in his Supra and Taniguchi in his Toyota Aristo as they perform a smoky drift  demonstration for the crowd.

 

Overall, this was an exciting video with a good combination of both drifting and racing action. The video is a bit more technical with less eye popping graphics, girls, and loud music than some of the other import market videos out there, but there definitely was more informative content available here. Click on the links for more information about Best Motoring Videos or GT Channel.

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