Gaijin are lucky now days. If they want to experience the Japanese drifting dream first hand, there are tons of maps and business that are willing to arrange a car and hold their hand for their first track day at pretty much any track in Japan..
Rewind 5-6 years ago, things weren’t so rosy.
Google translator was just getting started (aka was basically useless), English maps to the tracks were next to impossible to find and having someone provide a hand or advice was again, not there.
If you could afford to lose a kidney, you could have picked up a basic English Navman, but being poor Ekaiwa teachers, we needed those kidneys to break down the copious amounts of alcohol that was consumed on a weekly basis so again that was not an option.
Introducing the humble map.
While cleaning out my inbox last week I came across some emails from Laurence from JDMism.com. The email was some basic instructions on how I was to get from through Osaka (from Kobe) to the Nishi Meihan Expressway.
A reasonably new track had opened called Suzuka Twin and some apparent mad men called team burst were going to be putting on a show. We decided we had to get there but with no knowledge of exactly where the track was located; it was going to be a ‘Burke and Wills’ adventure through the Kansai highlands.
Last time I saw this Honda NSX in one piece was at Meihan, where the driver was going absolutely nuts; power sliding the most unlikely drift car ever though the first right hander.
There wasn’t any wall grinding, or bucket loads of loads of smoke, just a whole lot of speed and a serious set of balls which would upset the car enough to make it the perfect drift car for those few seconds.
Anyhow, as fate would have it the car decided to dispose of its front end on the infamous Meihan grandstand (insert wall with a tyre in front of it) that day, which coincided with the day I left my camera at home (~_~)
The good news is, I have since spotted the car in a few issues of Drift Tengoku so the dream serpent lives on.
*note* I have so many photos that I can’t remember if I have posted this on on Shiroi Usagi before.. If I have, eat shit, here it is again.