When heading to an event at Musselman Honda Circuit, I always associate it with the treat of getting to see Alexis' Nissan C33. This past Sunday was no different and we headed down to Tucson for what was one of my first events at this venue during the day time. Usually, arriving at this track around 3 or 4PM for one of the evening events means limited time to shoot in the daylight. So I was excited for the chance to shoot entirely under the sun this go-around and get out to one of the wooden towers between the track and snap photos.
Upon arrival, we made our way back to the cool kids corner and set-up camp for the day. I didn't want to waste too much time so got right into shooting the cars, as drivers were waiting for the track to go hot. I couldn't pass up this beautiful chance at the line-up of Alexis's Laurel on Gram Lights 57Maximum Pro, Chase's coupe on LXZ's, Clayton's hatch on XD9's (not visible), and Rick's R32 on VS-KF.
I headed in for a closer look at the Rays Black Metal Coat on the C33's new rollers.
Then swung up to the humble interior, where I found a nice classic Nardi steering wheel which accents the era of this car perfectly.
Hopefully in the near future, we can set some time up to do a nice individual shoot of this chassis.
Chase's S13 was one which I hadn't seen before and despite the unfinished status of its body, I was lured-in by the raw and aggressive look.
I also have to appreciate that it seems like way more guys down around Tucson seem to drive their cars to the track, drift them, then go home at the end of a successful day. A lot less trailers here.
It was crazy fun to watch Chase drive. I don't know if it was just my excitement in an attempt to get a really good shot, but it seemed like I was having a really tough time getting a decent snap of his laps.
I quick, ran out to what was like turn 5 or 6 in the current course configuration and finally grabbed a few sufficient ones.
His car certainly sounded cool as hell too.
I haven't been around the Tucson events enough to really know who runs the show and sets things up down there, but it certainly seems like Clayton and his crew are the ones with the 'in' at Musselman. His S13 hatch is a pretty solid piece of work, and I have nothing but cool thoughts about this car seeing as how he runs white WORK's and has a pretty rad looking exhaust.
Some Type-X tails, a shot of (white) paint and call it a day? What you think?
And then there's Rick's GTS-T, another staple Tucson treat.
Nothing too crazy going on here. Just some simple modifications and keeping things looking clean.
A classic wheel choice.
And under this desert sun, things have to stay running as cool as can be.
I enjoyed watching Rick seemingly test his E-Brake work that day.
This is another vehicle I'd love to plan some one-on-one time with and knock out a legitimate feature. I'll let the following pictures speak for themselves.
Spotted this pretty sweet looking Zenki around the time we started wandering the paddock early in the morning.
It had a nice, threatening look to it - I can see some bash bar peeking through the cut-outs in the bumper there.
I for sure thought this car was here to be tossed around the track, but it never appeared to make it out there. Hopefully this is one we'll see more of in the future.
Another WORK Wheels candidate - this time on some XSA 03C. I feel like you rarely see anyone running WORK wheels from the XSA series, so to see these around kind of caught me off guard and was a cool treat.
While walking back to the car to swap out lenses, we noticed this couple who showed up in an SR-powered AE86 getting all their gear out of the car. Couldn't help stopping to snap a photo of this awesome female helmet equipped with kitty ears.
Aside from their get-up, the dude piloting this car was quite impressive and enjoyable to watch.
The track operators kept playing with course layout through the day which on one hand tossed a wrench into picking a location to shoot from, but on the other made it really nice to switch things up so that I didn't end up with 1,000+ photos that all looked the same. I enjoyed shooting from this one little corner for awhile which put me right up against the track, making for some sweet close-up shots while cars were going by.
This gives you an idea of the front-straight of the track, as well as the surrounding area. . .
Now, talk about putting on a show - The driver of this JZ-powered FC was totally nuts, and came through some of the turns laying on TONS of tire smoke and loads of angle.
This shooting location might be one of my new favorites for future trips to Musselman.
Waiting for that right moment to snag the handle on the E-Brake. Shots like these make the other hundred that came out crappy, worth it.
Dustin rolled-in right behind us that morning with his V8 transplanted E36. Him and Kenji finally made amends and were buddies the rest of the day.
. . . Although he still seemed suspicious.
Back to Dustin and his BMW though! This dude rips it. I first met him last year at Import Face-Off held at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, and the guy just flies around tracks.
This day was no different, and with only one minor speed bump which seemed to be some sort of cooling issue, Dustin was doing things that no one else was.
Disregard the quality of photos, but take the following sequence for example. While the first layout of the day was meant to have this section of track manji'd, Dustin came out of the previous turn with so much speed that he was keeping it pinned all the way through a giant sweeper until what would normally be turn 2. During the process however, he lost a front bumper and piece of his side skirt. Follow-along. . .
No worries, just spit it out and keep going.
Carlos, who normally pilots a generation previous Mustang, was out there with his girlfriend in this 2008 chassis. I don't know anything about these cars, but apparently this one has a Coyote-swapped motor from a 2014 donor.
They were taking turns driving for the day, and to be honest they both seemed on-point.
If I had to pick a good example of West Coast style, and what I've been getting used to seeing at drift events in the region, this would be a good example. This is one of a few GTO's that I see frequent events in the area and always appears to have solid days at the track.
While it's not quite my taste, there's really no denying that this is a set-up that works incredibly well for this driver. For a car that from a quick glance on the outside seems quite simple, I think there's really quite a bit going on under the metal.
Kudos to him, as from every time I've been to an event and seen this gentleman drive, he appears to be doing great and having an even better time - And isn't that what this is all about?
A good example of the vibe at Musselman Honda Circuit. Friends showing up early on a Sunday morning to just have a good time, help each other out and. . .
. . . swing their drift cars around a beautiful track. Notice the flags and amazing scenery in the background.
Here comes Codi in his SC300.
With those eyes locked in my direction, he had me a little nervous for a second!
Despite some self-doubt, Codi really appeared to be doing a fine job last week. I saw run after run of decent lines and what looked like good times.
And I believe that's his brother leading the way in an obsidian twin.
Full-lock angle exposes some PBM coilovers. There's no mistaking those copper-plated springs.
I can only imagine the pleasure and grin-rising content felt from sliding through this corner.
A solid hatch, surely purpose-built and dedicated to weekend drifting.
It's funny to me the intense difference it makes when the pop-up lights on a hatch are up or down.
Regardless, this individual obviously had a successful Sunday in the fun-factor department.
Not sure how frequently this guy has been on track, but for running Group B he was certainly displaying some solid techniques.
I personally know, as someone who's only been on a track a handful of times, how meaningful it is to have photos and documentation of progression and memories being made.
While there were a couple Z's present at the track that day, it was as though they only came out to drive when I was back at my car grabbing something. So I immediately took akin to this G35S instead.
I really enjoyed watching the driver throw this sedan around the course, locking up his rear wheels when necessary and listening to that VQ engine speak.
It came pretty close to watching an Infiniti commercial, really.
Until this happened. . . I felt so bad for this guy, but even that didn't stop him! I'm assuming there was minimal damage done because shortly hereafter, he had all 4 wheels torqued down again and was back on track like nothing had happened.
I declared it time to cook some hot dogs and burgers, and headed back towards to car to fire up the mini grill. We enjoyed watching the rest of the day's action from the corner along the fence where we had parked, while chowing down on some delicious BBQ'd food and listening to the purrs & buzzes from Tucson's finest. 4 o'clock came pretty quick, which was totally fine with me - even with the sunblock on, we got slightly scorched and I was hoping to make it home before the darkness set.
Here's to another great event and hopefully many more visits to come! If you guys spot me at one of the future events, feel free to say hello and ask for a sticker!
武士道 - B U S H I D O!