Formula Drift Singapore Advance Tech Inspection @ Goodyear Malaysia Headquarters 20/6/2009

Held at the Goodyear Malaysia headquarters in Shah Alam, the Advance Tech Inspection had the vehicles of the  Malaysian drift teams thoroughly examined for the up coming Formula Drift Singapore PRO/AM series coming this early July. Conducted by trained and certified Formula Drift inspectors, Ricky Lin and Benjamin Khoo , the vehicles were made sure to meet the stringent technical and safety requirements as specified by Formula DRIFT Holdings LLC. This was in line of Goodyear’s goal of  elevating the standards of drifting in Malaysia to international levels through it support and collaboration in this event !

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The light showers night before made the weather was nice and cool

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Tengku Djan was eager to get the his cars inspected that he came an hour early to be first in line!

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Benjamin and Ricky at work

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A number of the press were present that day and were given a brief overview of the event and which also highlighted the importance of the technical inspection that was  being held that day.

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Marketing Director K.T.  Law giving an introduction of the Advance Tech Inspection

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Marcus Lim , GM of Binter Co Pte Ltd, giving a brief overview of the Formula Drift Pro/Am series

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Ricky Lin explaining the steps and procedure done during the technical inspection

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While Benjamin Khoo ( Black shirt with red trimming) looks on. Seen here also is the multitasking Puay Ling (right) taking the role of a photographer too

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Yoong’s pristine ride had the photographers buzzing with excitment

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Fento D’s , Loyai showing off his new colors..

Formula Drift Singapore Media day @ Changi Exhibition Center 18/6/2009

dscn1209Cheaka and I were invited down to Singapore once again for the Formula Drift Singapore media day held at the actual site at the Changi exhibition center. Both of us had recently had some work  done on our car, so we found it to be the perfect opportunity to test them on this trip. We decided to bring Leong along this time , just in case something happen though. We arrived at midnight on that day and once again were put up a night that the lovely Hotel RE. This time courtesy of ESPN Singapore. They were informed that there will  be three of us  going down this time, and so the thoughtful people in ESPN   gave us a suite!!

Marcus came over the next morning and brought us to one of his Goodyear Tyre shops down town . He promptly had our cars fitted with fresh  sets of Goodyear Eagle Rev Specs and a couple of pairs more each as spares. Thanks Marcus :)

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We arrived at the exhibition center at 11 am and got around at setting up a simple course for the demo and taxi ride we were doing.

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Leong tightening some bolts

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Ivan dialing in some more opposite lock :)

We did interviews and demo/taxi rides for a number of different TV stations and  Tv programs . Cheaka also did a basic drift lesson with the Channel News Asia’s host which was aired a few days later.

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dscn1286The Goodyear Eagle Rev Spec tires performed marvellously on the hot and grippy Changi Exhibition tarmac

After the event we had dinner with an old friend and former sponsor ,Patrick and wife Jacinda   from Imperial concepts. Its been ages since we last saw him as he is constantly overseas but it refreshing to find out he is the same jovial person as before!

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We had a good night’s sleep before making our way back to KL the next day.

Formula Drift Singapore road show @ Shaw Towers 13/6/2009

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Cheaka and I were invited by Goodyear Singapore to participate in their Formula Drift Singapore road show held at the Shaw Towers on Orchard road on the 13th June 2009. Since they wanted to use Cheaka’s 180sx for their ‘Design the Formula Drift car decal’  competition , I decided to bring the panda AE86 along as a precaution, as the 180sx was still in amidst of running in its’  freshly built engine. . We drove down a day earlier ,which went smoothly, till we reached  the 2nd Link exit when  suddenly I heard a loud clank followed by what sounds like something bouncing off beneath the petrol tank and off the back of the AE86. The car then  started to make loud metallic noises whenever it went over bumps at the rear which I casually  thought was  just the exhaust hitting the under carriage due to a broken or loose  mounting. However the car felt unsettled every time I turned which indicated something much more serious. We promptly  stop by the road to take a closer look but couldn’t seem to  find the cause ( the fact that it was raining didn’t make it easier). So we decided to drive at ‘limp mode’ all the way through the border  and into Singapore. Thankfully we arrived safely to the hotel; The nice people at Goodyear Singapore had put us   up in the arty yet comfy Hotel RE which so happens to be the official hotel for the Singapore’s Formula Drift leg this July 4th 2009

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Early next morning, we were greeted by, a sleepy looking, Ivan Lim and his  buddy ,Ben, They both led us to the Shaw Towers where the crew were busily in admist of set up.

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Located right on the sidewalk in front of Shaw Towers off Orchard Road

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Cheaka finds the right spot to park her car..

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Adam(black tank top) ,who is also a drifter,was commission to do all the stickers and  Jason from Pit Crew ( with T shirt )

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Marcus from Binter, the person responsible for bringing  Formula Drift into this region

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Since it was still early and we were only suppose to be there at 12pm. We decided to grab a quick bite for breakfast at a Mamak restaurant

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We then proceeded to Ben’s place while waiting for Ivan to freshen up a few houses down the road

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Ben showing us his uber high tech multiple screened gaming console in his bedroom..He has tons of gaming memorabilia which includes a life sized Final Fantasy sword!! This dude will be getting a drift Supra shipped to Singapore pretty soon!

When we arrived back at Shaw Towers at noon the place was already set up with all the cars nicely positioned and the display booth and buntings erected . The following are some of the photos of the activities that took place that day

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Tommy getting a member of the public to fill out a questionnaire , with Regina ( white skirt) in the background

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Tommy working his charms again

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Ian, Ivan and Ben showing me the different examples of the typical Singaporean postures while lepaking on Orchard road

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Nick, the MC of the day, interviewing Cheaka and I

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Ivan with his female fan

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Ivan with more of his female fans

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Contestants for the Design the car decal competition..

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They had 20 minutes to cut out a design out of the  colored sticker sheets given

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One side per team

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A crowd started to gather..

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I was given the daunting task of judging the contest as both sides were equally as good

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Winners of the first competition that day..

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Ivan’s fans all the way from Thailand…I asked to be included in the picture :P

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The second group of contestants busy at work

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The whole roadshow crew which consist of Binter, Pit Crew and Goodyear Singapore

When we got back to the hotel, I took a good look underneath the car and was shocked to find that the bolt the held the rear suspension strut to the axle  had came off and was just hanging there!! We tried going around the shops to find a replacement bolt and bushing but were to no avail. Thankfully, the ever resourceful Ivan had tons of bolts and bushing at this house  and was able to find one that fits. He even laid down on the road to help me fix it..For that I really owe him big time!!!.. thanks buddy!!

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Soon after, Winston, a former drift student of ours came over with his extremely cool Porsche to hang out at the hotel parking lot

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I really want one of those!!

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Lepaking…

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...while Ben starts  ‘Jay Chowing’

The night ended with supper at the Newton Circus food court  before the leaving the next day.

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MAEPS course testing

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Since we will be organising a drift competition in August in MAEPSMAEPS, we were given the opportunity to test the place out. As the course is fairly huge we thought it would be a good to conduct our own form of testing too. Drift House: Their Cefiro V8 and their SR20 TE71 and me with the Goodyear Duraplus tires.

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Here is the world premier of Drift House’s Cefiro V8 in action..

Goodyear Duraplus tire review @ MAEPS drift course

Designed to provide outstanding mileage on Asia’s roads, Goodyear has launched DuraPlus for the passenger value segment. These tires had been tested on rigorous Thailand roads for 100,000km thus creating a new Goodyear standard for tread life in this segment. With its new TredLife TechnologyTM, Goodyear is said to be able to manufacture a tire which delivers longer mileage without sacrificing any of the safety and performance !

Having heard all this, I was eager to test these tires in Drifting application and was pleased when given 4 pieces of 185/60/14s for this purpose.

The first thing I noticed was the tires were asymmetrical in design which essentially a tire with mix tread patterns or designed and manufactured to put more rubber on one side of the tread than the other in an effort to make one tire out of two different tread patterns. These tires needs to mounted in such a way where there will be an inside and outside thus making tire rotation swaps impossible. However, drifters might see this as an advantage as we no longer need to worry about tire thread directions when bringing spares based on the course ( some drift course tends wear either sides of the tires more thus having us to plan ahead when mounting directional tires on our spares)

Next was the thread design, which incorporated deep designed grooves with what appears to have more rubber in its pattern on the outside shoulder of the tire. This I believe will help in wet conditions where the water could be channelled easily and the tires would be less prone to understeering. I had also noticed the side walls of the tires were softer then others which I reckon to help ‘roll’ the tires to its grippier ouside shoulder when taking a corner!

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The MAEPS course had a fairly smooth tarmac and was big enough for me to do 3rd gear 90-100km/h entry drifts.

We first tried out these tires at the rear and later had them on the front too.
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As advertised, these tires had a decent amount of grip, even when fitted to the front! At the rear the tires were able to take maximum abuse without any signs of breaking or chunking. Even after going through a few heat cycles , the tires were still intact. And most importantly; the tread wear was a lot less then the other tires that I had used before!! So more drifting and less tire changes. As the course in MAEPS tends to eat the rear passanger side tires more, I am able to just change one side of the asymeterical tires without worrying about not having enough of the correct sides. That’s another plus!!!

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This the condition of the left rear tires ( the side the gets worn the most) after an excess of over 20 smoke filled runs and it looked like its good for another 10 more!!! The other tire that I used on this course before this only lasted half of what this tire went through. I was truly amazed with its performance and durability!!.

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This is the front tire after going through 8 runs. There’s hardly any sign of wear and yet it gave ample amount of front end grip for drifting!

Guys don’t take my word for it. Go visit your nearest Goodyear dealer and try it yourself!

GRA All-Stars Gymkhana Series 1: AFOS Sepang 31 May 2009

After having the hang of Autocrossing, we were introduced to the confusing world of Gymkhana (pronounced [ jim-kah-nuh])

Derived from a Hindi word, this Indian term is used to describe a sport that test the skills of competitors in various meets and obstacles. Unlike Autocross which is essentially a straight forward timed handling competition similar to rally racing done in a smaller area, the sport of Gymkhana includes stuff like reverse slaloms, side parking , reverse entry and anything that requires the car to go in reverse or the usage of your side and rear mirrors! For the many years I have been involved in motorsports, never had I ever gone in the opposite direction as fast as I could . Alas my performance on that day certainly did not in any way attempt to hide this fact.

Held at the paddock area in SIC in conjunction of the Asian Festival of Speed , head honcho of Grass Racing Autosports, Ian Khong designed a course which certainly test the skills of the competitors, with a fair share of slaloms , donuts and figure eights and half of them done in syncro crunching reverse! Even though the organisers had insisted that this was  just a fun event, the competitors were not detered from going all out that day ;with the regulars taking top honours and most notably Yoong clocking the fastest time of the day and Cheaka beating me by a whole second!! She placed 4th and I took 5th in the OD category.

The following are the photos Cheaka and I took that day