Been awhile between updates I know but it’s been very crazy here at the Squid Shack. We are preparing for the big events coming up late in this year. One in particular is WTAC / Formula Drift!!!
Were rebuilding the Sonvia with a few more partners coming on board which will be announce soon enough.
Now I wanted to shed some light on my crazy China adventure last month. As most of you would know I traveled over to compete in the Red Bull drift series in China.
To put it simply, it was insane!!!! Haha alright here is how it all unfolded…
First thing was getting on the plane and heading for Hong Kong. Its a nice casual 10 hours of flying and to be honest I don’t mind flying. Especially when everything on the flight is free haha.
As soon as I arrived into Hong Kong my friend James and his wife picked me up from the airport. James’s wife owns the car in this picture (R35 GTR) and I caught this shot as we left the airport headed for Main land China. Which of course I had no idea about haha. Made for one heck of an adventure!!
We were headed for Zhuhai which was a fairly long distance away from Hong Kong via car. How ever it didnt take long at all seeing the highways in China dont seem to have speed limits, seriously…. it was an eye opener thats for sure and James informed me that many people get up to some very crazy speeds. You obviously need the car to do it though. The highways are always massive in China, 4 lanes wide minimum each side. I thought it would always be grid lock traffic in China but to tell you the truth it flows better then anywhere in Australia. I have no idea how they do it.
We finally made it to Zhuhai and this is where James workshop is. His workshop is called TRC and is located inside Zhuhai International Circuit (ZIC). Its an awesome little workshop full of great people, all with a strong passion for motorsport. He has 10 employees from Mechanics, admin, and even a chef. You have to make sure everyone eats haha.
The Supra I have pictured was for a good Customer of TRC. TRC will build any car to what ever platform you wish. They had to rush this build to have it ready for the weekends drift event.
This IS600 as James would call it was in fact his own personal drift car. Which also needed some work done to it before the weekend along with around 10 other drift cars. These guys would literally work from 6am till 2 or 3am every day leading up to a Drift event. Definitely sounds familiar to the squid shack haha. But now it was time to find the hotel and get a decent nights sleep.
Before I knew it I was in the lobby of the hotel eagerly awaiting to head to the track (ZIC). James had the morning to practice so I went and watched and also explore the surroundings of this insane race track.
As you can see the back drop of this circuit was simply amazing. I got a lot of time for decent views like this one. I was in the middle of a bridge that crosses the tracks main straight. I think I stood in the spot for over 10 mins just staring until the wrath of the mighty 800HP 2JZ of James’s echoed through the entire circuit, ahhhh yeah it sounded badarse that’s for sure
I also then found this little workshop called (QTEAM) who seem to race the higher end of cars. The shop was shut up for the day but I still had a decent look over the exotic cars. Ill be back at this place when they open up that’s for sure
I then ventured across to the other side of the Circuit to get an even better view. Looks unreal doesn’t it. It was a 37 degree day and about 90% humidity but was so keen to keep exploring I didn’t care about the weather haha.
This is another shot looking back down the main straight. Massive grandstand for the thousands of people who will be coming to see us destroy the main straight.
I then went back to see how the progress was going on all the cars. I forgot to mention that My car the (IS300) was still being built also.
How ever I was lucky enough to meet a very famous tuner from Japan. Funatsu-San who is the owner of FNATS and Premium Japan. Both companies who heavily support some of the best drifters in Japan. Daigo Saito is well known for doing just about everything to his own cars as thats the way he rolls. But when it comes to tuning he picks no one better then Funatsu-San him self. James picked up on how good Funatsu-Sans tuning is and now flys him into china to prep all of the Drift cars for each event. Luckily for me Funatsu-San can speak English and we got on like a house on fire haha.
Here is Funatsu-San being the straight out boss that he is. Smoking next to a (No Smoking) Sign hahaha. #Chinastyle
It was then time to head out to watch James practice again and I decided to go into the pits this time. I found a Formula team and asked if I could take some pictures, the guy insisted he was in the picture if I was to take one hahaha.. No idea who he is but he loved it
After James’s practice session I went and checked the progress on my IS300. The boys had just about got it ready and now sorting out a few issues with it. Unfortunately It was hit with a multitude of problems which meant I couldn’t get any practice in.
The car was pushed back into the garage for the night and we decided to get stuck into it in the morning.
It was now time to venture into the city for a look see. James’s wasn’t able to show me around too much as he was so busy making sure all his customers cars were perfect and ready to rock for the weekend. So we called it a night and planned on getting back to the track early so we could try get some testing in.
Tomorrow came so quickly and before I knew it I was in the drivers seat ready to give this 2JZ beast a shake down. I was getting really damn nervous but as soon as I rolled out onto the track I was in my element. Unfortunately for me though the car suffered more problems and put me out of the practice session for another day.
I decided to take the time to explore more and see more views of this amazing track.
I then stumbled across an iconic car just about all of us drifters grew up watching. The famous HKS Altezza piloted by NOB. This thing was still immaculate and I asked James why its still so mint. He replied (No good for drifting, just for show) haha. Fair enough I thought but I would have loved to jump behind the wheels and give it a steer. Bet it handled like an absolute boss.
Then my old Team Orange car arrived at the track. Damn I love this car so much, It was my D1GP debut car and made me realize that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. This car was bought by a Chinese kid and is now getting used very often here in China.
As you can see the workshop was crazy busy. So many cars and so many things to get ready for the weekend. Take my hat off to all of the Employees at TRC, they work tirelessly to make sure everything goes to plan
Kumakubo arrived and Funatsu was leaving the next morning so that night James took us all out to get a foot massage and chill out haha. Not something ive done before I can tell you that hahaha.
Due to a few miss understandings I had to travel back to Hong Kong and then re enter back in Main land China. So I spent the day heading back and fourth with James’s bro Tin. It was a pretty funny trip and with no speed limits Tin made the most of it in the WRX we had. We also went past what looked like someones 458 Ferrari paddock basher haha.
The highways are pretty unreal with tunnel after tunnel after tunnel.
and then just like birth haha
Tin managed to find a competitor on the way back to China and showed me how to drive properly. Tin is a big fan of circuit racing and also a huge V8 Supercar fan. The smile on my face says it all, I was scared and also bloody gob smacked at how crazy people drive on the highways here. We had a battle with a mini weaving through traffic like madmen all the way into Zhuhai. I had my go pro running but I think its best I keep the footage to myself haha. Insane
We got back to the track and I come across this team/group haha. Least they have a sense of humor over here hahaha
Kumakubo was trying to tell me how much he was enjoying the weather hahaha
Qualifying day was very interesting with some of the guys very excited to be here. Oh-what-a-feeling
RedBull China, pure crazy about what ever they’re involved in and make the most of it all. They even made me and James have a game of Soccer in our cars because it was during the world cup. James and I made some pretty cool footage from it but lost a lot of soccer balls in the process haha.
During qualifying I made the most of the custom clipping points that RedBull designed. When they said “make sure you hit the balls” i took it to the next level and ripped the damn thing off hahaa. They had back up ones planned but said it was very well done, glad they enjoy my driving style here!!
Nothing better then nailing an awesome qualifying run with some rear bumper scrap-age. Was really starting to get the knack of this IS300 and couldn’t wait for the main event.
Come main event day I bombed out in the top 16 due to just not driving to the conditions. It started raining and then dried out really quick. How ever it was patchy and having never driven the IS300 in the wet I come out second best. I was pretty bummed with my efforts but Ill be making sure Im well prepared for the final round.
Before I knew it the event was over and I quickly ran over to suss out the (QTEAM) I mentioned earlier. This Team was pretty serious and managed to win their class for the weekend.
The things I would do to pedal this beast.
One day Ill own one of these. “All in good time Squid”
The Team manager noticed us and then invited us into the show room for Ice creams and Champagne hahaha… Was classic and sure enough I managed to drop a very expensive bottle all over the showroom floor “Idiot Squid”. She didn’t seem to care though because they won their class on the weekend and the Ice cream was still flowing haha.
Was better then any 50c cone from maccas here in Aussie haha
I then went and found the next generation of MOTOGP stars. These kids were here to race in the development series. These kids had the best attitudes ever and they all called me Simoncelli because of my afro haha. The kids insisted I took a picture of them and put it on my website so here it is little dudes. Was great to meet you all
And before we took off to head home I managed to grab half of the awesome crew that supported me over the weekend for a group pic. Not one of the crew could speak English but it made the adventure that much more interesting. They knew what to do and if there was a problem we sorted it out as soon as we could. I cant wait to head back and try to get these guys a podium position. They all work too hard for us not to come home with the bacon. yeeehaaaaaa
After the event we headed back to Hong Kong and I stayed in this unreal building for my last night. I was 70 stories up and towering over the entire city. It was seriously the coolest hotel ive ever stayed in period. It freaked me out a little but I enjoy it so damn much.
James and I then spent my fly out day having a quick look around Hong Kong. This place is packed to the brim.
Compulsory pic with me in it haha
Sometimes I wish I was better at taking photos. Every single one of my photos is from my Iphone 5 and I love looking back on them.
Oh and did I mention that DC HK jumped on board my China Drift program. James took me to their HQ and introduced me to the boss. One of the coolest dudes out and hooked me up with heaps of gear for my adventure back to Aussie.
Fresh DC kicks. What a way to end an awesome adventure. James you’re boss and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me.
Then just before my flight home James said “I need to show you something quick”. He took me to this bare carpark and said “You will be here in November driving at MSC”. I was going bloody nuts hahaha, I was so thankful for everything James had done and now being invited back for the huge MSC event was so awesome. Cant wait to come back again for that event in November.
Until next time.