People ask me every once and awhile what the story is behind the Yokoi event. First off, I guess I have to explain what that is. Each year for the last 3 or so years we have been bringing over Masashi Yokoi to Texas to drive with us at one of our Lone Star Drift events. He is Japanese D1GP driver and shop owner, and pretty internet famous here in the USA for his amazing tandem skills, and wall riding youtube antics. This year and last year we also have Tezuka in the mix, the owner of Kid’s Heart, and a super old school D1GP driver, one of the very first ones to use the 2JZ and tons of boost.
So, this all started when a friend of Lone Star Drift’s passed away, Tyler Cox. I wanted to do a memorial event every year, so I gathered up some of Tyler’s closest drifting friends, and we had a meeting with Tyler’s father. We wanted to do something Tyler would think was amazing, something that would get the community excited to come out, something memorable. A bunch of ideas were tossed around, and the one that stuck the best involved recreating Tyler’s pinnacle in drifting. You see, Tyler and I got the amazing chance to drive in D1GP for a season. We got to tandem with the best D1GP drivers in the world in some of the most JDM D1GP cars ever. Team orange cars, Diago in a JZX100, Nakamura, Ueno, the whole nine yards. It was amazing. And so I decided we would somehow recreate that. Well, I guess Josh Buckley, Stewart Leask, and I decided I would recreate that. The fun work always falls on my shoulders LOL, and then I pass some of it along to my friends like Derrick Rogers who has to prep the RHD cars.
So how the heck do you go from deciding to bring over D1GP dudes and then make it a reality? Good question, that one made us think for a bit, but it basically came down to the best part of drifting. Networks of friends. We picked our favorite internet D1GP star that we though we could get to agree to do this, and then that was that. Stew, Josh and I all unanimously agreed that it had to be the owner of MCR Factory, Masashi Yokoi. He had recently been killing it on Youtube, and that was the main deciding factor LOL. Seriously, that is what we went with. Back to networking though, we realized we knew a friend of Yokoi’s, Travis Woodham. We didn’t know how close they really were, or if Travis could pull it off. Travis, while being awesome, is a bit of a scatter brain, and entrusting him with a vital task like this is terrifying for me. It still is every year we do this. Travis coordinates the dates they can come with the dates I can host the event, translates, herds them on to a plane, and delivers them to Texas for us. It is amazing, and he has never missed a beat.
So we presented the whole thing as a Texas vacation to Yokoi, he accepted, I bought some plane tickets for Yokoi and Travis, and then we had to prep a car so he could tandem with everyone. I couldn’t think of a better car than Tyler Cox’s Memorial Missile car, so we used that. Perfect in concept to execution LOL. Well, except for the part that J dudes hate LHD. Yokoi made due with the LHD like a gentleman, but we needed to get RHD cars for the 2014 event. So we procured an S15 directly from MCR factory as well as my old comp chassis S13 converted to RHD. Then we repeated all this for the 2014 Tyler memorial. Except we added one extra J dude, Tezuka. And for 2015 we are going to repeat the whole thing again, but I think 2 J dudes is plenty. Originally I was going to try and rotate out J dudes every year so we had new ones each time, but Yokoi and Tezuka are so cool, we decided just to keep them in the roster.
And so, that is a good bit of the story, although there are some missing highlights.
1. The events bring drivers from all over the country together and unify the drift scene, it is awesome. I love this event.
2. The mad dash to finish the RHD cars was brutal, and the community really came together to help out, and thank god or we couldn’t have done it. We built THREE cars from scratch in 3 weeks. I don’t know how that happened. And I mean 3 shells with cages were given engines, suspensions, subframes, wiring harnesses, stand alone ecu, tunes, fuel systems, seat brackets, blah blah blah. We even had to build 2 motors out of the 3 from scratch. It was a disaster.
3. I got to drive D1GP cars in Japan on track in tandem! OMG nerdgasm. That wouldn’t have happened without doing this event! We are going back soon again.
4. Here is the event page on Facebook if you want to check it out and be a part of the event : ) https://www.facebook.com/events/327187040804527/