To be honest, its been a while since we’ve followed drifting at the professional level. With so many different championships running in Japan and around the globe it was hard to keep up with them all and our interest slowly dropped off. On our recent holiday to Japan, we wanted to change that and what better way to peak our interest again than to visit the Series that started professional drifting – the D1 Grand Prix.
The 2nd Round of the 2015 D1GP Championship was held at Suzuka Circuit which is also home to Japan’s F1 Grand Prix. The circuit is located ~50kms away from the major city of Nagoya and we boarded the local train from Nagoya to the small Suzuka Circuit Ino station where we were told the track could be reached in a short 15min walk. We managed to locate a few signs pointing towards the circuit and knew we were going in the right direction once we spotted the famous ferris wheel that overlooks the circuit!
For drift cars, they were all immaculately presented like the DMAX s15 driven by Seimi Tanaka. Seimi was placed third on the Championship heading into the Suzuka round.
Another brand with an impressive display of cars was Origin Labo. It seemed like they had an endless supply of sponsored cars including Takamasa Kuroi’s pink JZX100 Chaser…
It was great to see the 180sx still fitted with a SR20 engine too, which is now 2.2L and producing upwards of 750PS! Speedhunters did an awesome showcase of Chunky’s 180sx.
Another Nissan in the mix was the Team Lineup R34. We saw this at WTAC ripping up Sydney Motorsport Park a couple of years ago but it was good to see it in its home country. The URAS aero gives this car such an aggressive look!
This was followed by the obligatory driver’s introduction and photos. Kawabata’s Toyo Tyres/Trust Racing R35 was currently leading the championship.
Seeing an R35 in full drift was awesome! The front straight leading to turn 1 is downhill creating entries well above 220km/hr!! Daigo Saito recorded the top speed for the weekend reaching a top of 234km/hr!
The larger chassis like the Team Mori/Goodyear GS350 looked right at home at Sukuza and were winners in the smoking department!
The high speed entries, smoke and noise of D1 has definitely given us the drift bug again! That’s not all from Suzuka though and next post we’ll upload pics of the awesome cars spotted in Sponsor’s paddock!