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drifting

drifting

Last week, we announced the debut of Behind The Smoke Season 2 , as we watched Dai and the Falken team get ready for the upcoming Formula D season, after Dai took home the championship last year. Episode 2 just hit the web over at GT Channel and we have the video (above) here for you.

In this episode, Dai is getting ready to take on qualifying for the first race of the season at the Streets of Long Beach circuit. His first run, netted Dai about an 81, which was where he wanted to be. On the second run, Dai pulled out a 90.5, which allowed him to qualify 6th for the upcoming race.

In all, this episode is chock-full of all types of sideways action with tons of beautiful tire smoke. What’s really sweet is these guys put a camera inside the car, facing the front, so you can really see what Dai sees as he whips his 240SX around the track. You get some real kick-ass audio of the engine working away in those shots too. We also found out that even the reigning champ of Formula D gets scared sometimes.

While you’re watching, keep an eye out for three quick cameos by the bearded and fearless drift fan , Bil Baldwin. Let us know in the comments if you see him and the times that he appears on the screen.

Crank up those speakers and click "Play" on the above video. It’s 11 minutes of smoke and squeals that you won’t regret seeing!

When we start digging into racing, drifting in particular, the fans really don’t garner much of our attention. That is until we meet the Santa Claus of drift fans that has both an awesome white beard and a brass set of ball bearings.

This bearded fellow, named Bil Baldwin, has made quite a name for himself at Long Beach Formula DRIFT events. He is not famous for running onto the track in just his Fruit of the Looms or anything like that. He’s famous for not fearing these speeding drifters, regardless of the fact that they are sliding just inches from his legs.

Yup, this long-bearded fellow stands at the edge of the wall coming out of a turn and allows the cars to get within six inches of his legs. Sometimes, as you can see in the above video, the cars even smash into the wall just before they reach him, sending debris flying toward this brave man. Like a well-trained boxer, Bil bobs and weaves out of the way of the soaring debris, then quickly looks back to the track so he doesn’t miss a second of the action.

He clearly is a brave soul and Formula D seems to be accommodating to his fame, allowing him to continue standing in this dangerous position, regardless of the safety issue. We all love racing and we are particularly enthusiastic about drifting, but none of us would put ourselves there.

So here’s to Mr. Baldwin and his white beard and overall jeans flowing in the draft from passing drifters. It’s only a matter of time before Formula D decides that it’s a little too dangerous for him to be there. Until then, enjoy the hell out of it, Bil.

A little while ago, we informed you that the Mustang will likely be heading overseas officially. That’s not to say that the Mustang hasn’t made it anywhere outside of the U.S., as savvy importers have always found ways to get these muscle cars into their countries.

Last year, The Mustang Club of Poland made a sweet video about their collection of `Stangs, proving that these muscle cars do make it to other countries and thrive. Now Brazil has gotten into the video fun by releasing a video of its own, commemorating the 11th anniversary of The Mustang Club of Paranà’s founding. Kind of a strange anniversary to celebrate, but so be it.

The video is pretty awesome, featuring Mustangs from multiple eras. The most shocking of the bunch was to see two, yes TWO, Mustang IIs in the film. It’s funny though, as all of the other `Stangs are burning up pavement, doing donuts, and burning the rear tires to a molten pile of rubber, the Mustang Pintos, err, `Stang IIs sit on the sidelines or drive leisurely down the road. We’ve gotta give them some credit for not being afraid to include the deuces in the film.

In all honesty this video was cool, but the Polish video was far more kick ass. Yeah, the Polish club’s video started off slowly, but severe tire roasting commenced about three minutes in and never stopped. Add in the fact that the Polish video was better edited and had cooler shots, it beats out the Brazilians.

Enough with the comparisons, you can judge for yourself. The Brazilian club’s video is above and you can see the Polish club’s video here.

It’s funny to think how drifting morphed from something teenagers used to do in vacant parking lots to look cool to one of the most popular racing series in the world. Formula DRIFT, or Formula D as most know it, is just getting its ninth season ramped up after Daijiro Yoshihara dominated the series last year, taking home the overall points championship. We even got a behind the scenes peak at how he did it via the Behind the Smoke series on GT Channel.

The ninth season of Formula D started earlier this month, so as expected, Dai and the guys are back for season 2 of their Behind the Smoke series. Episode 1 (posted above) gives us an inside look on the testing process Dai and his drifting machine, a 1993 Nissan 240SX , go through in getting ready for the season.

There’s tons of sideways and smoky action throughout the video, and even a little brotherly taunting between team members. Ultimately, Dai and his team must have gotten something right, as they pulled in a nice second place finish at the debut Formula D race this season, which was held at the Streets of Long Beach circuit.

There is not much that’s more adrenaline pumping than watching a nearly 3,000-pound machine careening sideways down a track only to have the driver flick it back under his control, using careful throttle control and counter-steering. So skip the coffee this morning, folks, and crank up the speakers for this one.

Also you get to see that even professional drivers forget the most basic items, as Dai breaks a cardinal rule of driving a manual transmission at the 7:35 mark. The car dies and he has no idea what happened. Watch as the guys all get a good laugh at this professional driver’s expense.

Remember when we were all kids and our parents would constantly remind us never to play with anything electric around water? For the most part, we all listened to them, right? We wonder if the same goes for playing with a really big electric toy on top of frozen water – AKA snow and ice.

According to Tesla , the rule definitely does not apply to frozen water, or the company just so happens to be chocked full of bad boys and girls that didn’t listen to their parents. The above video is proof of their frozen water and electricity shenanigans, as the all-new Tesla Model S goes sliding around in the snow and ice, and appears to be having a dang good time in the process.

The video is of the 2013 Tesla S testing in the cold weather, something that has been a thorn in the side of electric cars since their inception. Apparently, the Tesla S not only tested well in the cold weather, but for a rear-wheel-drive sports sedan, it sure did hold onto the track well. We’re interested to see what tires Tesla slapped on this electro-mobile to make it stick the way it did because they definitely aren’t summer tires.

The only time we saw it really break loose was at the 1:15 when it looks to be in a fairly controlled drift. Regardless of its snow handling, we still think the Tesla Model S and its 4.4-second peak 0 – 60 time is pretty awesome. Then again, that $105,400 sticker price will definitely put a small hole in anyone’s wallet.

So we now need to add an asterisk next to the old water and electricity lesson that our parents taught us, so it excludes water in a solid state. No, this doesn’t mean you can mess with your toaster or dry your hair while ice fishing!

Anyways, kick back and enjoy mixing electricity with snow and ice, we certainly did.

Back when the Impreza WRX made its debut, we began salivating, as it marked the comeback of the turbocharged car. Then once the STi came around bearing its 300-horsepower, 2.5-liter H-4 engine, we were officially in love. That love has somewhat dissipated, as the turbocharged market has become a little flooded lately. The STi still has its own little spot in our hearts though.

One of the many things that made the STi so unique was its combination of extreme power from a four-cylinder engine with Subaru’s legendary AWD system. This made, and still makes, the WRX STi one of the most fun cars in the world to tinker around in the snow and ice.

The above video comes straight from Russia showing a rather good driver maneuvering his STi through the icy and snowy streets with a lead car filming him. Not only is the action pretty darn good, but the editing isn’t half-bad either.

Regardless of how cool this video is, we do have to ask you to please not go buy an STi and start sliding around your city’s streets during the next snowstorm. Yeah, it looks cool and you might get yourself a spot on the internet, but its rather dopey, to say the least.

Now that we have given you our parent-like lecture for the day, sit back and enjoy a WRX STi frolicking in it favorite habitat, snow and ice. If you keep a close eye at the 1:19 mark, you can see their fun is almost over, as plow tractors are coming through to clean up the slippery stuff.

Most nine-year olds are happy with their toys, video games, or iPads. But for the select few young ones that prefer something that’s reserved for somebody much older, they can take a cue from 9-year old Stavros Grillis.

Despite not yet hitting 10 years of age, Stavros Grillis is already an adept drifter. You read that right, folks. The kid has not only taken mastery of actually driving a car - let alone one with a stick shift on it - but he can also drift the wheels out of ’em.

Stavros lives on the island of Kos in Greece and as the video will show you, the kid has all sorts of ridiculous talent. It’s hard enough to learn the use of a laptop at the age of 9, but this little tyke has not only taken a car that he’s technically still not allowed to drive, but he’s also managed to be a pretty sick drifter.

And here’s the best part: Stavros has been drifting cars since he was 7.

Talk about talented beyond his years.

Source: YouTube

It’s not hard to come to grips with the fact that we’re all envious of Vaughn Gittin Jr. Not only is the man considered one of the best race car drivers in the world, but he’s also a master drifter of the highest order.

But if there’s one thing that really makes us jealous of Gittin Jr., it’s that he gets to drive a pretty sick, custom-tuned Ford Mustang during the Formula Drift season.

For 2012, Gittin Jr. will be fielding a sick-as-they-come Mustang that comes with a fully modded 6.7-liter V8 engine that produces a sick 800 horsepower. Built by Ford Racing and Roush Yates, the 410-cubic-inch powertrain gives Gittin Jr. plenty of ammo as he tries to conquer the 2012 Formula Drift season, especially after a disappointing 2011 year that saw the man finish 11th in the standings.

Gittin Jr is looking at the 2012 season as the perfect bounce-back year, where he is expected to challenge for the championship only two years removed from his last title reign.

With an 800-horsepower Ford Mustang RTR by his side, we don’t expect anything less from the man that has made his name in the world of auto drifting.

Just because they designed it doesn’t necessarily mean they can handle it. This is what engineers found out during Ford’s “Rocket Science” series of short videos, which Ford began releasing on April 2nd.

Ford tortured nine of its top engineers by strapping them into a 2013 Taurus SHO with NASCAR driver Carl Edwards for what they thought would be a typical test drive. Unfortunately for these engineers, it was anything but typical, as Edwards decided to push this high-performance sedan about as far as it would go.

You can definitely see the fear in some of the engineers’ eyes, as they attempt to talk about the features of this new Taurus while drifting sideways and eclipsing 100 mph. Some of them manage to remain calm, but others you can just see wondering if they’re going to make it back to the office.

By far the best two videos so far are the first and the third ones, as both of those engineers get legitimately scared. The other two are well worth watching too, as those two engineers just keep on talking like they were on a leisurely Sunday drive with grandma, for the majority of the ride.

We have to admit, the Taurus has definitely come a long way since its debut and is now a legitimate performance machine. Now, if only we could get our hands on one and a little track time, we think we could scare the engineers a little more than Carl did.

So far we only have four of the nine episodes to show, but we will continue adding more episodes as Ford posts them. Certainly Ford is planning to save the best ones for last.

Hit the jump to view the rest of the videos.

In my lifetime, I have performed several engine swaps. Most of which were from me or my friends being stupid and grenading a stock engine, so they were mostly just stock swaps. Only one time did I swap a different engine into a car and that was pulling a four-banger from a Mustang and dropping in a V-8. That is a straightforward swap and it still took many weeks.

So where am I going with this? Well, the Toyota GT-86 hasn’t even hit the market and someone has already gotten their greasy hands on it. Seemingly in hyper speed, out came its stock four-banger engine and in came a big V-8. Yup, Manabu “Max” Orido’s team pulled out the four cylinder and dropped a 5.0-liter V-8 farmed from a Lexus IS F . There are numerous other mods, obviously, but the only other ones that are clear is a widebody kit and wide rubbers on the backside.

Let’s put this in perspective. The GT-86’s stock 2.0-liter pumps out a respectable 200, but has received mixed reviews in terms of actual performance. The Lexus IS F’s 5.0-liter engine, on the other hand, pumps out 416 horsepower and launches its 3,780-pound body to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds. The GT-86’s official weight hasn’t been released, but rest assured that it will barely tip the scales at 3,000 pounds, if that much. Add in the fact that Orido’s GT-86 is gutted and that the 5.0-liter engine is definitely modified, and you have one lightning fast car.

Why do all of this to a brand new car? They are preparing to run this monster in D1 Grand Prix drifting events. Recently it was caught on film testing and our initial response is summed up in one word… Wow!

Don’t believe us, check out the video above.


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