♡Team Fanta + Mobara Circuit ♡
After the adventures of the night before, covered in the recent post Adventures of Carboys Circuit Soul, HighTopFade and I traveled around northern Chiba area in search for cool parts and good times. While I can’t disclose any of our secret singing sessions just quite yet, the day after we traveled to Mobara Circuit to watch the guys from Sexy Knights and their friends drift. Alex from CircuitSoul was very busy with all his business stuff and working out plans with the other teams so letting him do his thing I had my own adventure meeting the guys from Team Fanta. This is really just a small portion of what happened. The day was so full of great moments and people. I’m glad I had the chance to meet them and look forward to seeing them drift again. Team Fanta! Enjoy the content, thanks for reading!
As I mentioned before at Mobara Circuit I gave Alex a break and moved about the paddock by myself. I talked to some of the Sexy Knights guys and then walked over to Rod from AutoNGraphic and said hi. He was doing real well out in the grip class. It was good to seem after a long absence. A little after noon that I headed up to check out the end of the row of cars where a variety of brands and models all painted in sparkle red and sparkle teal.
Not that there is something wrong with the difference between drifting in Japan and other countries, I just think the vibe is so much more relaxed. Here is one of Team Fanta’s members stopping to have a chat on track, just something about that that says it all to me. There might be the odd case of tension which happens no matter where you live but, in Japan there is this sort of hidden camaraderie that everyone comes to understand as they enter the scene. To add to that, generally speaking, the rules and staff at the track are generally more relaxed. There isn’t all this hype and concern about liability or being sued so the limits affecting places like the States don’t apply as strongly. So far I think this brings in a larger more relaxed scene where beginners and advanced drifters are more tight nit as a whole and family. Of course there is drama everywhere but Mobara didn’t have a real social gap between the good drivers and the still learning. Team Fanta really showed me this as I spent more time with them throughout the day.
First heat of the day and Team Fanta was already throwing down some solid runs. Smoke pouring from the tires of the Mark II as the morning sun rose higher into the sky. It was going to be a good day!
Swinging across on the straight entering into the long first S corner at Mobara Twin.
I was sitting on the spectator seats shooting and listening to some of the complete and utter nonsense from overly excited Ryan. By far the loudest laughing person; especially around at 8 in the morning. You know he is loud when you can clearly hear him along side the noises of screeching tires and inline 6 engines with straight pipes. Holy cow! Have a laugh on us! Heat 1 done! Heading into the paddock after shredding the first set of new tires. At this point I was sort of skeptical about who these guys where and hadn’t even walked into the paddock yet to check them out. So I asked a few of the guys about them but they didn’t know much. After meeting them though, I was completely stoked on Mobara’s vibe.
One of the team members had a long night and decided to sleep practically through the entire event. I ended up riding in his car while one of his buddies drove. At least it wasn’t too cold and the weather was nice and clear. He probably got some good sun on his face. Such a easy going bunch of guys.
And back out to burn off some more rubber, round 2! Rolling out as a team. A really cool feeling. Everyone noticed their presence as they headed out on track.
Back in from round 2. From here the guys had a rest and from what I recall skipped a round as a team. While they were relaxing I went to work snapping some more pictures of their cars. I was really interested in their paint and kept coming back for more pictures.
While wandering around Team Fanta’s base camp the owner of this Cresta got up and suggest I have a look at his engine. Very nice! Nothing to crazy but well maintained and remarkably clean.
I took some pictures of their cars from a distance. Trying to get a few snaps of each one. They had some cool cars. Team Fanta is a pretty local team and within 20 minutes of shooting their cars a few of them had called me over and were talking to me as I took some close up shots. The mentality these guys had was so welcoming, I didn’t feel intimidated at all and it was really easy to talk to them. I ended up hanging around and shooting their cars and them for a while. Then I asked if it was possible to have a ride along while talking to “Sacho”-san, or the boss of the group. He was super stoked to have me ride and agreed on the spot. He told me to search for a helmet in the mean time. One of the other drivers was sleeping and his buddy said it was fine if I used it for the ride along. A little small but it worked!
I set my bag near some of their spare coil overs and shot a little more. One of the guys suddenly hurried over to me and asked if I wanted to also ride along with his buddy. He wasn’t as experienced as the boss but I said why not. I really liked how they were a team of various skill levels and people. It made it more interesting and the bonds between them seemed tighter and less worried about one upping each other.
As I was preparing most of the team had gathered around the car and while laughing started yelling at me, “Yabai yabai yabai, kare wa chotto abunai. Abunai ne, kiotsukete ne! Ikanaide!” Basically it translated to Oh shit man, he’s kind of dangerous watch out man! Be careful! Don’t’ go with him! I told them that driving at Ebisu with some of the guys up there and being slammed by Daigo Saito was pretty scary at 200 km an hour. So I wasn’t scared of this at all. They all thought it was pretty funny and gave a hoot and holler and waved me good-bye as I got into the car. I got in and said hi to my driver. I never managed to catch his name but I did give him some encouragement to pull the hand brake a lot more than he did the first lap. The second lap we were going way harder and I think he was stoked to have me along for the ride. We were going good and the run was super fun. A few laps later we came around the big sweeper where the fans can stand and watch and powered down the straight completely sideways around the last corner. As we came around the side he held the drift for to long and didn’t let it slide around the other side before it was to late. Bang! We slide straight into the the tire wall right in front of the the rest of the team watching on the sidelines. They were all at the guard rail hooting and hollering, basically falling over laughing. We just sat there in the car slightly rammed up on tire wall while the rest of the cars on track exited. I sat inside and pretended to claw at the front window like a cat in the passenger seat. I arched my neck back so I could sort of yell out of the rear window and said in a loud voice, “Omae, tasukete! Shinitakunaiyo!” Which translates to “Hey you, help me! I don’t want to die!” That pushed them over the edge. They were all laughing their asses off.
After I got out of the car I stuck the Go-Pro on the roof so I could film as we got the car back on the ground. Everyone in the surrounding area came over to help. Ichi ni san, and a big heave! We all lifted the front of the Jzx off the tire wall and back onto solid ground. Cheering, we all pushed it into the pits and started pulling the intercooler pipes off to replace them as soon as possible. It was near the end of the day and he still had to drive home.
While they got to work on the front end I prepped my camera and go pro for my ride along with Sacho or, “The Boss.” I mounted my go pro, switched it on and quickly hopped in the car. With my helmet loosely buckled we set out onto track. Almost instantly sideways around the first corner. The Ps13 was pushing really hard and was more violent than the big sedan, however, during a single drift it was super smooth! It whipped around the track so nicely! We had a great run and I got some pretty good footage! I sat in a standard s13 seat and it didn’t hold me so well so I sort of flew around the cabin with my 7D like a frightened chicken its coop!
We finished and headed into pit lane. “Sacho”‘s helmet is painted like the Japanese character “Anpan” Man and as we were waiting in line we passed a bunch of little girls who were super worked up about his helmet. They later came back over to his car just to check out his helmet and say hi. It was pretty cute! They were probably around 10 years old and already surrounded by drifting. What a life! I was somewhat jealous.
When we got out I exchanged mail with him said my good-byes. I hope that sooner than later I will be able to return to hang out with them again. I need to pick up my own helmet though. Ride alongs are killer fun and I definitely don’t want to miss out on the fun because I’m missing a melon bucket.
Thanks again, Team Fanta. You guys were awesome to be around and made a already awesome day one to put down in the record books. Keep it up! Hope to see you soon!
Until next time.