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I was invited to come out to Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, TX, to document a private track day hosted by Texas Speed Syndicate. Nothing but fast cars making as many passes as they possible could in a day.
Photos and words by: Josh Smylie
Big turbo Supra squatting down before it makes a mid 9 second pass
This Redline Motorsports Camaro SS was fitted with a monstrous supercharger.
Not your mothers station wagon.
Supercharged SRT-10 Viper
Nothing like bringing out both of your Vipers to the track.
Get that V.
Fact: Parachutes make you faster.
Full res and the rest of the photos can be found here!
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As the first renderings of the Rocket Bunny kit started showing up I became more and more in love with what I was seeing. The design was extremely aggressive and fit the FRS styling perfectly. The more I saw the photos of vehicles with the kit the more I wanted to see it in person. It wouldn’t be until months later that I would finally see my first one in the parking lot of the San Jose Convention Center during Wèkfest San Jose. The car I happened to see was Mark Arcenal’s and what I saw was one of the most amazing cars I had ever laid eyes upon. The body lines were unbelievable and the wheel fitment was perfect.
Words by: Josh Smylie
Later on after coming back home to Houston I had heard rumors that there was an FRS receiving the Rocket Bunny treatment and I knew that I had to see it for myself. After talking to many friends and seeing pictures of a white wide body scion, the car was finally tracked down along with its owner and a photo shoot was scheduled.
What I didn’t know was that I have seen this car before back when it was stock. I saw it drifting at a local Lone Star Bash event back when the car was stock with his HKS Hi Power Spec L Exhaust system, which is still fitted the car in its current state. Aside from the Rocket Bunny Version 1 wide body kit, the Green/Blue Pearl Lexus Grey paint really stands out from the original Whiteout factory color. To create a more aggressive look Ahmad opted to install some KW V3 Coilovers and Three Piece Rotiform TMB in Teal Blue.
The original idea for this FRS was to be built for drifting. After installing the Rocket Bunny kit Ahmad realized that the car looked too good to be sliding it around cones. Instead he is currently building a 240sx to meet his drifting needs, so the FRS has become his daily driver. Currently he owns a 240sx in Jakarta, Indonesia that he street drifts and competes with.
Somehow the vehicle is driven daily with a pair of Bride Stradia Japan Bucket Seats and a 6-Point bolt in Cusco Roll Cage. Everything else aside from the Nardi Deep Cone Steering wheel has been left alone.
Exterior: Rocket Bunny Version 1 Wide Body Kit, 3-Piece Rotiform Convex TMB Wheels, Lexus Grey Pearl Paint.
Interior: Cusco 6-Point Bolt in Rollcage, Bride Stradia Japan Seats, Nardi Deep Cone Steering Wheel, NRG Quick Release Hub.
Engine: HKS Hi-Power Spec L Exhaust System.
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The Big Event is a gathering of Subaru’s and Subaru enthusiasts. Gillman Subaru Southwest has been hosting this event for the last 5 years (Thus Big Event 5). This is one of the few dealerships that embraces the aftermarket community to bring one of the best quality shows in the city. If you are a huge Subaru fan then this is something you should check out.
Photos by: Josh Smylie and Stacey Troutman
Words by: Josh Smylie
This GC8 is in amazing condition
One of the cleanest bug eyed WRX’s I have seen in awhile
Even the non Subaru’s came out
Java Black Pearl is probably the best color Subaru has ever made
Three different food trucks were out at the Big Event including the Rice Box and all of their food was free.
Greg Lilly’s Supercharged and Bagged BRZ
Gillman Subaru even got David Higgins, Sverre Isachsen and Bucky Lasek to bring their rally cars and sign some autographs for the fans
More dealerships need to take notes from Gillman Subaru Southwest. Embrace the aftermarket car culture. They are the ones that are buying your vehicles and every now and then its good to show your customers how much you appreciate them.
There are many reasons why people gain a passion for cars. For instance I was inspired by my father and Gran Turismo. For Dante it was his older brother Andy that led him into the automotive world. Andy is one of the original founders of Team Emotion and has done an abundant amount of features for magazines such as Honda Tuning, Super Street, Import Tuner, Modified Mag, Turbo, and a few more. Dante like most younger brothers want to grow up to be like their older brothers. Andy had built a clean white ’96 EK Hatch back in 2003, so it was only fitting that ten years later Dante would construct a very similar build to that of his brother.
Words by: Josh Smylie
Pics by: Jason Scott/Josh Smylie
Dante had picked up his CRZ with the idea that he wasn’t going to change anything on the car. That didn’t last long and soon enough the building began. One of the first things Dante had done was fit the car with the C-West ZF1 Full kit. To complete the flow of the kit he added on the C-West Version 2 Wing. A C-West Carbon fiber hood was added to complete the collection of C-West goodies. From there the car needed a new set of wheels. Dante had picked up a set of red Work Rsz-r’s wrapped in 235x40x17 Falken rt453′s and bolted on with Mugen lug nuts.
Dante went with a what I consider a classic way to build his car. He didn’t want to stance out the car with a crazy negative camber number. It isn’t his style and he wanted to build the car more to what he enjoys rather than to what is popular at the moment.
You wouldn’t think that if you are buying a CR-Z you would be that interested in making power. One way of making power and killing the gas mileage of your hybrid is by adding a Top Secret turbocharger off of Smokey Nagata’s Supra. This CR-Z now makes an insane 220 whp. Also causing his MPG to drop down to 32.
The interior is fitted with a non giant friendly 8-point Cusco roll cage for when you have tall friends that you do not want to ride in your car with you. Also inside are some Recaro seats from a DC5-R and ready to strap you in are some Takata harnesses for when you press that sport mode button and unleash all that power.
All joking aside. Dante is great friend to have. He is welcoming and polite to everyone he meets. Even when he is falling out of friendships with people over random bull shit, he still won’t say bad things about them and just parts ways if he has to. He was one of the few people that I have met who puts as much effort and time into his friendships as he does his build. I can not wait for him to start on a different platform and see where he takes it.
C-West Cr-Z/ZF1 Full Body Kit, C-West Version 2 Wing, C-West Carbon Fiber Bonnet, C-West Carbon FIber Rain Protector, Turbo Charge Emblem, JDM Red Honda Emblem, JDM Rain Guard Door Visor, Mugen Carbon Fiber Mirror Covers, Mugen Hydrophilic Mirrors, Mugen Gas Cap
Wheels / Tires:
Work RSz-R (17 x 8.5), Falken rt453 (235 x 40 x 17), Mugen Lug Nuts
Suspension / Brakes:
Cusco Strut Bar Front, Cusco Strut Bar Rear, Tien Full Coilover, Stop Tech Slotted Full Big Brake Kit, Eibach Camber Bolts, Mugen Rear Rotors
Top Secret/GReddy Stage 1.5 Turbo, Top Secret/GReddy Intercooler, Top Secret/GReddy Header, Top Secret/GReddy Down Pipe, Top Secret Custom Exhaust System, Top Secret Oil Cap, Top Secret Oil Catch Can, Mugen Radiator Cap, Mugen Reservior Cover, GReddy Sandwich Block Adapter, NRG Hood Dampers, GReddy Hose Water Sensor Adapter, Password JDM Battery Tie Down
GReddy E-Manage ECU, GReddy F-Manage ECU, Hondata Flash Pro, Defi Guage Boost / Water / Oil Pressure, Defi Controller Unit Version 2
Mugen Mirror Cover, Mugen Floor Mats, Mugen Trunk Mat, JDM Hazard Button, Mugen FIt Shift Knob, Recaro DC5 Seats, Recaro Fabric Door Panels, Recaro Fabric Armrest, Recaro Fabric Rear Panel, JDM Red Honda Steering Emblem, Takata Harness, Cusco 8-point Roll Cage
We had the chance to shoot Craig’s beautiful 350z after Hot Import Nights Houston, it was a super last minute shoot but here is what we got!
2006 Nissan 350z
Motordyne mrev2 lower intake plenum
Motordyne 5/16in intake spacer
Momentum Performance Cold air intake
Motordyne art pipes.
SPC camber arms,
SPC toe bolts.
z1 Motorsports SS brake lines
Z1 Motorsports slotted rotors
19in. Work Meister S1R in Matte Gunnetal.
Nismo V3 Front bumper
Carbon Fiber side splitters,
Mastergrade rear diffuser
Blitz Evo-r cf rear spoiler
seibon cf hood
painted door handles
shaved rear wiper
shaved rear emblem, 15% tint .
Pioneer double din
Momentum Performance shift knob.
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Here’s a quick video by Alex groves from the latest round of Lone Star drift to celebrate the end of the season.. Check it out!!
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Its been a long month waiting for the next round of Formula Drift, but the wait is finally over and boy that was a great feeling. The sounds, the smells, and the enviroment is something everyone should experience once in their life, its so different from other race events across the world. Anyways here’s our coverage of Round 6 of Formula drift!
Words by: Jason Scott
Pictures by: Jason Scott, Josh Smylie, Stacey Troutman
This is the first time Formula Drift has visited Dallas for competition, last time they were in Texas was 8 years ago in Houston when the series was still in its very early stages. This round of competition took place at Texas Motor Speedway and the drama and action did not disappoint!
Picture by: Ervin Llanera
One of the many hometown hero’s Nate Hamilton posted up in the pits during the event, qualifying didn’t go to well for him, resulting in zero’s on both of his runs due to going off track and spinning out.
Another rookie driver that didn’t get to make the cut for round 6 was Brandon wick nick, one of the many privateer’s making up the rookie class for 2013. Brandon’s obstacles to get to each event are movie worthy everything that can go wrong seems to go wrong for him. On his trip over to Texas his first truck broke down in new Mexico and was able to borrow someone else’s truck to be able to make to the event. During his practice runs he was taken out by some more bad luck and ended up having to replace his front main seal. In the end brandon wasn’t able to make the top 32, hopefully his luck turns around because he is a awesome person!
Tyler McQuarrie was another driver who failed to make it into the top 32 due to some ignition problems and other problems outside of his control. This year Tyler has struggled with his car, but when it worked it was definitely very fast and a force to be reckoned with. Hopefully everything gets sorted out for tyler so he can put on a good show at Irwindale.
Chris Ward was the unfortunate victim of a blown motor, melting pistons 5-6 resulting in too much damage for them to fix track side, so they hung up their work gloves and watched the rest of the event from the sidelines. Personally I wanted to see how Chris would do at this track since its a similar layout as Florida and chris was doing awesome there until his clutch gave up on life.
Everyones favorite canadian drifter Dave Briggs came into Texas looking pretty good in practice putting down some solid runs, unfortunately he ended up missing top 32 competition by 0.9 points, which was a bummer because its always nice to hear a little four banger turbo out there fighting with big v8′s..
Joshua Steele another Texas hometown hero put in some qualifying runs but ended up falling 7.4 points shy of Top 32 competition..
Corey Hosford another driver to not make the top 32 cut, still put in a great effort on qualifying run, but ended up pushing a little too hard and flew off course after the transition.. He stayed in drift so kudos there
Dai Yoshihara got to grips with the track pretty fast and scored a 84.2 on his first run to secure the number 6 spot for the top 32 battles. His first battle would be with Kenneth Moen in the Lutz performance 350z..
The battle was very straight forward and ended Kenneth Moen’s day early allowing Dai to move onto the top 16..
Dai Yoshihara’s falken tire teammate Justin Pawlak scored a 81.6 in qualifying on his first run, with one of the faster entry speeds at 103mph with most of the drivers floating around mid 90′s on average his chances of doing good in texas looked great. Justin’s first match up for tandem would be Pat Goodin the “King of Spring Break”
On Pat’s follow run he ended up dropping a tire or two in the dirt resulting in a huge advantage toward Justin..
Pat’s lead run was decent and was straight forward but the disadvantage from his follow run gave the win to Justin , so Justin moved onto the top 16..
Daigo Saito fresh after his upset in Seattle where he saw his points lead dwindle down all the way to nothing was looking for redemption after having Ecu issues in Seattle which caused him to get knocked out early in top 32. In practice Daigo had some of the fastest entry speeds out of everyone, so he was looking ready for tandem. On his first he went wide and slid off course on the final sweeper and resulted in a zero, on his second run he put down a score of 80.5 which was good enough for 22nd..
Daigo would go on to face Matt Powers in top 32 and everything was looking great for Daigo super clean run until the final few feet of the sweeper.. he lost all power for a brief second resulting in him straightening out similar to Seattle when he was following Toshiki Yoshioka.. So he had a huge disadvantage going into his lead run.
Daigo did everything in his power to redeem himself by pulling out a massive lead on Matt but it wasn’t enough to redeem from his car malfunction..
Miro Ovcharik had some very good runs in practice following the line very well, but was lacking a tad bit of the entry speed compared to some others, Miro’s first run wasnt good enough to get him into the top 16.. On his second run Miro put down a very good score 85.8 which would have put Miro in 6th place overall in the old qualifying format but would have to settle for 18th. Miro would go on to face Mats Baribeau
The battles between Miro and Mats were very fun to watch and very well matched overall, but in Miro’s follow run he pushed a little too hard and bumped Mats in the sweeper resulting in Mats spinning out and giving him the win ending Miro’s day early..
Some Top 16 Burnout action from Mats Baribeau
One of the most talked about topics this past month was Vaughn Gitten Jr’s penalty he received over the break for an illegal suspension modification. It turned out to be something out of their control since it was a off the shelf part where the tolerances fell just outside the Formula Drift specifications..
But Vaughn put that behind him and went on to claim the #1 spot for qualifying putting him in a great spot to regain his points he lost from the penalty..
Vaughn’s luck would turn around again, after beating Gabe stone and Conrad Grunewald to make it to the the great 8 where he would go against Patrick Mordaunt. On Vaughn’s lead run pat followed Vaughn throughout the whole course very well and super close, but on Pat’s lead run there was a mis judgment of speed and it caused Vaughn to straighten. In turn this gave Vaughn the win since he was the follow car and pat was going too slow, but a protest was filed by Patrick’s team, the call was overturned and Pat was given the win
After one of the biggest protests settled we could finally move on and determine who would be going for a podium finish, Matt and Pat went on to battle it out and Matt beat Pat to continue on to the final against one of the drivers on the other side of the bracket. This has been the furthest these two have ever been in Formula Drift competition, Pat’s first top 4 finish and possible third place and Matt’s first podium finish..
Chris Forsberg was sitting in 1st place in the championship for 2013 coming into this event and was looking to extend his lead, in practice Forsberg was definitely one of the fastest cars out on track at any given time. On his first run he scored a 86.8 good enough for him to get 3rd place, he would go against Jeremy Lowe for his top 32 battle..
Forsberg went on to beat Jeremy Lowe easily to move on to take on Justin Pawlak in the Top 16
PEW PEW PEW
Forsberg’s battle with Pawlak was quick and decisive.. Justin was just another speed bump in Forsberg’s charge to the podium..
Michael Essa is sitting in 2nd right now in the 2013 championship, right behind Forsberg.. Essa went into qualifying needing to do well so he can claw more points away from Forsberg, on his first run he threw down a score of 83.9 which put him all the way up in 7th place.
Essa went through and battled Joon Mang in the top 32, moved on to battle Toshiki Yoshioka in top 16, then went on to battle Fredric Aasbo in the great 8..
Michael went into battle with Forsberg to determine who would move on to the finale to go against Matt Field, Forsberg pushed too hard in the end of his follow run and straightened out, sending Essa into the finals. So this set up a battle of two Privateers for the top spot Michael Essa vs Matt Field..
Essa straight creeping on Forsberg
Forsberg and Pat went against each other in the consolation round to determine who would get 3rd place at FDTX..
Forsberg would move and to claim 3rd place and Pat got his first top 4 finish in his career..
The battle for 1st was very straight forward no drama, Michael just got the edge over Matt..
Michael Essa got his 2nd win of the Year, Matt Field got his first Formula Drift Podium ever sitting in 2nd and Chris Forsberg got his third straight podium finish of the 2013 season..
DAT OHHHH FACE
Podium finishers for FDTX:
1. Michael Essa
2. Matt Field
3. Chris Forsberg
After this Round of competition Michael Essa moves up a spot to pass Chris Forsberg for the lead of the 2013 Championship, with one more round left at Irwindale California anyone can win in the top 5 if everything falls into place. Its not over till its over!!
1. Michael Essa – 489.5 points
2. Chris Forsberg – 474 points
3. Fredric Aasbo – 425.5 points
4. Vaughn Gittin Jr – 410 points
5. Daigo Saito – 409.5 points
Car and Tire Manufacture championship
1. Ford – 810.5 points
2. Lexus – 801.5 points
3. Nissan – 794 points
1. Hankook – 899.5
2. Falken – 896
3. Achilles – 792.25
Thanks for Reading!!
The time has finally come for Formula D to head back into Texas for the first time since 2005. I had first attended a Formula D event in Houston, Tx when I was 17 years old. Here we are 8 years later and it has finally returned to the lone star state. This time I would be attending the event with a lot more friends and a camera.
Photos and words by: Josh Smylie
We prepared for the event by going to pick up our friend Dante’s Turbocharged CR-Z. He had entered it into the Slammed Society car show but was unable to attend the weekends fun activities do to work.
The next morning we made our way to north Houston to meet up with everyone and get ready for the Lone Star run. We were running a bit late due to typical Houston traffic but we made it in time to hear Johnp go over the rules of the cruise.
It was surprising how many people had showed up for the run. A lot of quality cars ready to make the 4 hour drive to Dallas.
Very aggressive look for this 2JZ swapped Rx-7.
Now that rules were read and the stickers were passed out. It was time for everyone to head out to our first and only check point of the day, Buc-ee’s.
We had waited for everyone else to leave the parking lot before we set off after them. We did not expect to get so far behind everyone. While making our way through Conroe we were being chased down by a convertible Chrysler.
He looks hungry.
Back on the road after getting breakfast and gas. We slowly made our way up the line the of cars to try and catch up to the leader.
By the time we caught up to John’s NSX we were already in Dallas.
After ariving in Fort Worth everyone had parted ways. We went to our hotel to check in and then get ready for our media meeting in an hour. Stay tuned for the day 1 coverage from Formula D Texas.
Full Album and High Resolution can be found here: