When it comes to drifting in Japan there are styles (of both driving and aesthetics) that are distinct to particular areas. The Kansai region, which includes the major cities of Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto, is well known for super-aggressive driving and wild styling. The infamous team Burst is from this area and is a prime example of Kansai style. Naoki Nakamura, their most famous member, may just be the most aggressive driver in Japan. But why are Kansai drivers so aggressive? Meihan is one of the biggest. Located outside of Osaka, it's not a big course, but it's layout perpetuates aggressive driving.
Every year Meihan hosts the Kansai All-Stars event, which brings out the best drivers and they put on a show. If you're planning a trip to Japan and want to see drifting this should be at the top of your list. Doug and Brenda from Team Pitfall out of Iwakuni went this year and were nice enough to send me some pictures.
Origin is the aero of choice for Kansai drivers and you'll see plenty of "add-ons" like diffusers and rivet on fender flares. Stance coilovers on this Neo Style 180SX. Digging the Bihoku Circuit sticker on the front bumper as well.
Same 180SX coming into the main straight with plenty of speed. I remember attending an event at Meihan (maybe MSC) years ago and the drivers weren't linking the main straight. They'd grip through this corner and then ride the wall and flick towards the end. Now if you aren't connecting the straight you might as well just pack it up and go home.
The high-level guys come in through this corner hot, with plenty of speed to setup the first judged corner.
It can be a dangerous game, which this S15 demonstrates....
... but it certainly makes for an exciting show when they ride the wall and make it into that corner.
I absolutely love this S15. Looks to be a D1 Street Legal car.
I think this S13 may have been Brenda's favorite. D1 Ladies League favoritism? Maybe...
It seems like the lower cars get around the rest of the world, the higher they get in Japan.I really miss the graphics on RYO support cars from back in the day... This new stuff is meh.
No holding back for this S14. The Meihan guys really need to jump on-board the tube frame/bash-bar bandwagon!
The summers in Japan are hot and humid as hell. No AC? Easy fix with some zip ties and house fans.
Accidents are bound to happen with such a high level of driving. This S14 will be back to fight another day though.
Gloss Factory taking things to the extreme aero-wise. Giant front splitter to go with that massive swan-neck GT wing. Looks more like a Time-Attack car than a drifter.
No holding back on the track though. It's a good thing Gloss Factory does body work...
I like how they mounted the Billion (or replica) power steering reservoir using a t-bolt clamp. Eric did something similar on his R32. I need to re-do my setup more like this as well.
For more media from Japan follow Doug and Brenda on Instagram at @greendouglash_s13 and @brendakay05_drift.