As Ron put it so perfectly last 12 months, “certainly one of the best reasons to move along to any automotive event, is to benefit from the vibe with friends and fellow enthusiasts.” After spending a day at Sportsland Yamanashi (SLY) for the 2023 SLY Summit, I can confirm that this remains to be very much the case.
This 12 months, nonetheless, I’m kicking off the coverage at 3:00am on a highway somewhere between Tokyo and Yamanashi.
The thought of starting your day in the course of the night may sound insane to most individuals, and that’s since it is. But for Ryohei and others from the Low Brain Drift Team, there’s no time left wasted on their annual pilgrimage to Sportsland Yamanashi.
Meeting at a neighborhood 7-Eleven, we enjoyed our third coffee for the day whilst waiting for just a few of the stragglers to catch up.
Even at 5:00am, everyone was already in high spirits, including just a few unexpected festive mascots.
When you’ve seen any of my other event coverage, you’ll know that my favourite a part of any track day is capturing the early mornings and late afternoons within the pits. And Sportsland Yamanashi is certainly one of my favourite tracks to do that at. As cars continued to roll in throughout the morning, it was obvious that the 2023 Summit was going to be one other packed event.
If there’s one thing that Ryohei does so well, 12 months on 12 months, it’s curating a wealthy number of styles, makes and models for the SLY Summit. This 12 months saw just a few familiar faces, but in addition welcomed plenty of recent ones. There was a noticeable increase in big-body cars, mostly JZXs, but in addition just a few tasteful Nissan Laurels, including this C33 on classic RS Watanabe wheels.
When you hadn’t yet noticed, everybody wearing Hawaiian shirts wasn’t just a trendy coincidence. Ryohei had set a strict dress code for the day, requesting everyone to crack out their best floral button ups. Impressively, almost everybody complied, even spectators.
As SLY Summit isn’t a competitive event, sessions are broken up into either teams or friend groups. This in itself makes for some pretty heated driving, and kicking things off within the opening run were these two Silvias running neck to neck into the primary corner.
Track time was shortlived, nonetheless, with certainly one of the cars losing an oil cooler sandwich plate mid-lap, painting the course in engine lubrication. Oil spills like this have grow to be an almost annual ritual at SLY Summit events. Luckily, Sportsland Yamanashi’s recent investment in around 30 recent brooms made light work for everybody to scrub up and get back on the market.
The unlucky sandwich plate victim can have cost everyone a session of driving, but for the owner it looked just like the misfortune got here at the value of his SR20.
Back on target, things quickly heated back up. SLY is understood to have a strict rule on limiting trains to 2 cars – hardly a train, I do know – but evidently the memo was missed by most, making for a few of best driving I’ve seen at Sportsland Yamanashi. 4, five and sometimes six drivers got here flying into the primary corner together, Keisuke in his purple S15 – who made the trip up from Osaka for the day – being a notable certainly one of them.
Shooting from the tower in the course of SLY creates such a singular vantage spot to cover the drifting.
With many in attendance having being awake for nearly 12 hours by lunchtime, a fast mid-day siesta and break was well earned and appreciated. Some used the half-hour of silence to their advantage.
Japan’s grassroots drift community remains to be very much self-supported. Without proactive enthusiasts like Ryohei and Takuya-san – Low Brain’s founder – events like SLY Summit simply wouldn’t occur. Spending a day trip within the sun taking photos might be tough, but watching these guys run and marshal their event whilst concurrently driving in it’s nothing wanting admirable.
On the subject of Low Brain, it’s price shining some light on Genki-san’s CL1 Honda Accord Euro R drift automotive. You don’t often see ‘Honda Accord’ and ‘drift automotive’ together in a sentence, but for Genki-san, that is only a more comfortable alternative to his EG Civic drift automotive that we’ve covered just a few times before. Genki-san has no problem keeping the Accord sideways on tight circuits like SLY, and even manji’d down the foremost straight.
Because the day wraps up, there’s never a right away rush to depart the venue. People loaf around for a chat, which isn’t surprising given that is as much a social get together because it is a drift event.
It’s all the time bittersweet heading home after an SLY Summit. Because even after being awake for the higher a part of 24 hours, you realize it’ll be one other 12 months till the subsequent one.
This Article First Appeared At www.speedhunters.com