Event: Colab Drift Day at Balcony

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So, last weekend I rode up with a couple of friends to Willow Springs Raceway for a drift event at Balcony that was put on by Colab.  Whew, that sentence is way longer than it seemed when I started typing it.  Now I’m wondering if I should even start this post off with it…whatever.  If you don’t know what Balcony is; it’s a spot at the top of WSIR that is used for various things, but it’s probably most known for it’s use as a makeshift drift course.  It’s actually a decent spot to practice and I’m sure organizing events there is much cheaper than HTM.  I had nothing planned for the weekend when the guys told me about the event, so I figured it would be worth going along to get some practice shooting drift events; I really have never shot drifting before.  Also, I’ve been wanting to shoot Kem’s 240 for awhile, and still want to do a decent shoot with it, but it was fun getting some shots of it sideways.  That’s his car with the R33 intercooler – it’s a little crooked, but who cares this car is rad.  Charlie brought out his RB25 240 as well, and there were a couple other cars out that day as well.  This will mostly be random pictures with no story line or commentary because that’s basically what the day was.  Pretty much every car broke anyway.  Click past the break for more.

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On the way up there I was in the back of Hung’s civic so I decided to fail at getting some rolling shots of Kem’s 240; and I did.  Looks like a pretty cool guy in the passenger seat…

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This is Mario and his 86 coupe with a Levin front end.  He was pretty much tearing it up the entire day – so much so that he broke his transmission and lost 2nd gear before we even got there.  Him and a couple other dudes put a new transmission in so he was going again in the afternoon.  This last pic was after the fact and you can see how gross dirty his hands are…Actually, Dom and I were talking about how it would be funny to chop the hand onto the Sistine Chapel painting; so I did.  But then I went a little too far, got lazy and made it completely stupid – you can see it here.

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I didn’t get to meet this guy, but I believe his name is Jun; he drives the 86 you see here.  He was also a really skilled driver, and had some good tandems with Mario and Charlie.  Which I don’t think I got pics of because I was over it by the time they ran together.  Seriously way too hot there.

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I was a little bummed Kem didn’t have the Advan SA3R’s in the rear, but it still looks good.

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The area around WSIR is horribly bleak.  As a result every single picture I take is just completely washed out beyond all comprehension.  So instead of trying to edit around it I may as just leave it as is.  I love overcast cloudy days for a reason; screw the sun.

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This shot is actually of Allen driving, and subsequently breaking the passenger side inner tie rod from pure awesomeness…

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…and Kem driving again after it was replaced.

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Random of Charlie and Jun.

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I like this picture.  I told Charlie that I had got some with his bumper on and hood on, but I was lying.  Car looks boss without them anyway.  He had some pretty fast third gear entries.

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Well I guess I was totally lying – here is one picture with his bumper on.

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Top Drift was having a round at Horse Thief that evening, so some of the contenders came out to play on balcony a little bit before the event.   I’m not sure, but I think you have to have a V8 to compete in Top Drift; I can’t think of any other reason all the cars have them…ZING!  Just kidding.  They were pretty cool.

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Charlie’s overheating RB25

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Hung ‘du mah one man pit crew’ Pham fixing the first broken tie-rod.

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Randoms – can’t remember this guy’s name.  John?  He was a good driver.

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I liked this car, and the driver was really good.

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Super mature right?  I think Dom took this.  Alright, I think I’m all balconied out.  Overall I had a good time and got some pretty cool ride alongs.  The Colab staff is very friendly and down to earth; but one can only take so many hours of the blazing hot asphalt, and 100+ degree temperatures of WSR.  I was pretty happy when it was time to go home; and happy that everyone was able to drive home despite all the problems.  At one point in time Charlies engine suddenly burst a coolant hose and sprayed rusty coolant over his entire car.  Coming to Balcony did re-enforce one thing in my mind – and that is I much rather be in Japan.  Cheers!

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