NissanFest has emerged from its humble beginnings in the car show and car meet scene at Golden Gardens in Seattle, Washington, to quickly becoming one of the larger of the events at Evergreen Speedway that are aimed towards the impost culture. Combining the elements of your typical car show and display, with autocross, and a team tandem drift competition, it's not hard to see why one would be so interested in such an event. The man behind all of this is British Columbia native Gaelen Norman. On top of planning rad events, Gaelen can also be seen on and off track shooting media or getting behind the wheel. It is awesome to see events hosted by participants in the industry and not just for the monopoly. With an amazing turn out from both drivers and fans, coupled with that unbeatable PNW weather the day was shaping up to be most excellent.
I made my way to the car show area before any of the track festivities took place, also I wanted to make an attempt at beating the crowds before the already diminishing space was completely occupied. One of the many on a long list of reasons to live in the Northwest, is the fact that our neighbors to the North are allowed to own some of our most coveted of chassis's.
Unlike the ridiculous 25 year exemption law that the United States enforces, the brethren in the Great White North are only penalized with a 15 year waiting period before being allowed to import our fanboy dream cars. It is not uncommon, and can sometimes be a bit numbing, to see events littered with GTR's, S15 Silvia's, Aristo's, Cefiro's, and all the other drool worthy machines we wish occupied our garages.
The car show was quickly filling so I tried to snap what photos I could before I had to play the never ending waiting game to try and snap a clear shot. The waiting did however provide an opportunity to enjoy said builds, one of the downside of doing media is that you can often be distracted by focusing on just the content and making use of time which makes you miss out on some cool details. Never the less I made my rounds and grabbed some shots of what caught my eye.
There were some really amazing cars that came out to the event which provided plenty of eye candy. The Northwest does not disappoint when it comes to providing high caliber builds that show the diversity of the automotive scene. From flat out track and drift ready cars, to air ride and cars riding on the frame rails, NissanFest brought them all out of the woodwork.
With the speedway echoing with the sounds of engines and tires, it signaled that it was time to head out to the track and get a good spot before everything went hot. As I made my way through the pits, drivers were cleaning and polishing their chariots and getting the ready for battle under the sun. One of the most anticipated teams in attendance was that of Team Villains. Sweeping social media with the unveiling of their new paint and livery design for 2016, I couldn't wait for the chance to get some photos.
Unfortunately the Villains would end up being shy 1 driver. Earlier in the morning driver Nate Shewchuk had broken the driveline in his V8 powered S13. Despite the attempts to reach out over the interwebs for a speedy replacement before competition, Nate would inevitably have to sit this one out.
How do you feel about that one Scott?
Yeah, I second that.
Scott Pham, from Portland Oregon caused some panties to drop and fanboys to fap when he revealed the completion of his twincharged FD Rx7. Not only is it twincharged, but instead of dealing with that rotary witchcraft, Scott swapped out the 1.3b for a more suitable 1jzgte. Being forced fed by both a turbo and a supercharger, when this kitten is purring the air has so idea which way it is being pulled. The sounds emanating from this car makes your ears shutter with excitement.
Another car I was really stoked to see again, was Braydon Batungbacal's insane S13. In a shade of orange that can be seen from the surface of the moon, this 2jz powered, rocket bunny equipped monster provides plenty of heavy breathing both on and off track.
Braydons teammates for the Team Tandem competition would be Pro Am new comer Zach Farrar with his 1jz S13, and the twin turbo V8 S13 of veteran Matt Vankirk. Matt Vankirk would later have his day cut short due to some catastrophic destruction.
Working my way through the pits the drivers were almost ready to take to the track for the first rounds of practice before today's competition. Before the track went cold I caught the tail end of the autocross heat that was currently utilizing some very different properties of physics then what we were about to see.
I love the diversity of cars that you can see during an autocross event. Even though you are still competing for the fastest lap time, you will see cars ranging from your stock daily drivers to fully prepped weekend warriors.
Autocross complete, it was time for Team Tandem Practice.
Teams would have the opportunity to adjust the driver lineup and fine tune their driving styles before the judging began. For some drivers and teams this would be their first scored event running more than 2 cars in a tandem format outside of some drift train action during off season open drifts.
Some teams were already looking like prospective podium finishers from the get go. The Canadians of Husky Situations came out swinging with their low power rigs. Although the team consists of 8+ members we would only have the opportunity today to watch 3 of their drivers perform.
Team Hitsquad, comprised of Formula Drift and Evergreen Drift Pro Am drivers showed that they were going to put up some stiff competition for the other teams with their tandem hatchbacks.
The guys from Daddy Daycare were relieved of their parental duties for the day to enjoy some sideways tire slaying. One of the drivers, Nate Snyder, would end up doing battle against one of his former chassis that is now piloted by another driver.
NissanFest Team Tandem newcomers, Team Shredders were having some issues from the start with one of their SR20 powered Rx7's only running on 3 cylinders. Despite the handicap they still gave it their all and had a great time during their first 3 car tandem competition.
Another team with some great drivers was that of Rogue Touge, or as announced as Brothers of Slide during the event. Being led by the powerful 2jz IS300 of Brad Davis, the s13's of Kristian Watkins and Luke Meador just couldn't keep up with that level of power and grip. They still put on a great show, and that 2jz Altezza can churn out some serious tire smoke.
Team Villains adopted Always Reckless driver Tyler Campbell as their 3rd driver for the competition. Tyler would lead the pack in his turbo v8 1uz hachi roku, and wouldn't you know it his colors even matched.
We had the Grassroots driver lineup in Team Cream 3.14 (pie) with their foxbody mustangs and the former s13 of Daddy Day Care and Evergreen Drift Pro Am driver Nate Snyder, now being piloted by Chris Goldie-Wells. The Mustang of Alex Barnett makes for a great show with his pseudo street cop theme and working light bar adorned on the roof. Can make for some great chase shots.
Rounding out our 8 teams was the skittlicious combination of S13's in Team Squirrel Gang Lit (or so they were dubbed.) These 3 proved to be an amazing pairing and made for a great tandem team.
Throughout the early rounds of competition there was beginning to be a clear separation in the field from not only the class of car but from also driving experience. The front runner and teams to beat were that of Husky Situations and the Squirrel Gang. Both teams were keeping extremely close proximity and completing the tandem course in a ballet-esque display of car control.
Unfortunately something disastrous would fall upon Matt Vankirk and the Squirrel Gang. One of the rods inside Matt's twin turbo fed V8 had met the end of its life of service resulting in a catastrophic failure that would render the Squirrel Gang short 1 driver, now making it nearly impossible to advance to a podium finish.
Defying the odds of being down 1 driver, Zach and Braydon pushed on and impressed the crowed with some intense door to door driving against . They would move on to the Top 4 and have a chance for podium.
The Dad patrol in Daddy Daycare would also secure a chance to take home a trophy.
Unfortunately for the Villains, their day would be ended by the Hitsquad. Driver error would force the hand of the judges, no more insane twin charged madness to enjoy :(
With the Hitsquad taking the 3rd seat, they would soon be joined by those crazy Canadians in Husky Situations.
1) Husky Situations
2) Daddy Daycare
4) Squirrel Lit Gang
First battle of the Top 4 saw Squirrel Gang go against the top contenders Husky Situations. Despite their efforts, Zach and Braydon just could not best the Husky's. Zach and Braydon would now wait to battle the winner of Daddy Daycare and Hitsquad.
Daddy Daycare driver Nate Snyder put on a smoke show as he led his team to victory against the Hitsquad.
During the fight for 3rd place, Hitsquad almost handed the victory to Squirrel gang by a driver error mid run. With a glimmer of hope on the horizon, Zach and Braydon put down perfect run after run during a stretch of one more time competitions.
With the Hitsquad scoring a zero on their first run, they had to score on this run to secure 3rd place. I'm sure you could have cut the air around Zach and Braydon with a knife as they stared on, watching Hitsquad take their turn around the Evergreen course. Hitsquad was able to hold it together and knock out Squirrel Gang from the competition. 3rd place was now theirs.
In the final round Husky Situation had to maintain their commanding lead all day in order to bring the gold back to Canada. Daddy Daycare did not go out without a fight as Eddy Gonzalez put pressure on teammate Nate Snyder while attacking the corners. This was it, last chance to impress the judges.
When the smoke settled, it was the Husky's who would be walking away as the victors today. Remember kids, you don't need 1,000 hp to go out and drift at a competition level.
1st Place: Husky Situations
2nd Place: Daddy Daycare
3rd Place: Hitsquad
This years NissanFest was one hell of a party, I'm already counting down to next year!
1st Place: Frank Mirabelli (2003 Mistubishi Lancer Evo 8)
2nd Place: Ruben Beita (1995 Mazda Miata)
3rd Place: Benjamin Cort (1977 Datsun 280z)
Best Nissan Skyline R31 to R34 - Victor Rodriguez
Runner Up Nissan Skyline R31 to R34 - Ross Braithwaite
Best Nissan GT-R - Daniel Pirestani
Best Nissan 240SX/180SX - Tyler Pineau
Runner Up Nissan 240SX/180SX - Seth Hunt
Best Classic Z (240Z/260Z/280Z) - Josh Juarez
Best Classic Datsun 510 - Keegan Hollister
Best Nissan Truck Classic (HardBody Included) - Mark Chavez
Best Nissan 200SX - Derrick Smed
Best Nissan Z31-Z32 300ZX - Brandon Hale
Best Nissan 350Z - Frank Moreno
Runner up 350Z - Cesar Barrera
Best Nissan 370Z - Joey Gallardo
Runner Up Nissan 370Z - Nick Lentz
Best Infiniti G35 Sedan - Jeff Shaw
Best Infiniti G35 Coupe - Chris Cabigting
Best Infiniti G37 & Q40/Q50 Sedan - Ernie Ventenilla
Best Infiniti G37 & Q60 Coupe - Micheal Bush
Runner Up Infiniti G37 & Q60 Coupe - Mark Bello
Best Nissan Altima/Maxima - Joshua Woodie
Best Nissan Sentra B12 - B14 (GTI-R Included) - Destini Aguilar
Best Nissan Sentra B15 – B17 - Brandon Woods
Best Nissan SUV/Truck Modern ( Juke Included) - Jake Winston
Best JDM Silvia - brandon leung
Best JDM Other - Stephen Lachocki
Best of Show - Frank Moreno
Check out the full gallery here: http://www.i-nertia.co/p246502240
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