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Another Glance at Final Bout

Another Glance at Final Bout © Andor (30)

I do like drifting. But the real reason I still go to these events has little to do with the cars, or the driving. To Me, camping is the good life. Out under the stars, the sounds of wind, sweeping through the trees, the lack of sirens, which never stop at home in the city. Race tracks aren’t exactly what most people think of when You say camping, but they’re a great alternative to the many popular parks, which are often booked full, or only offer a gravel parking lot full of other people and claim it’s a camp site… Usa International Raceway has, for many years, been My go to camping track. I first pitched a tent here in 2006 and have been happy to do so at least once a year since. It’s not a secluded hike in camp, nor is there a waterfall to soothe the senses. Though it is pretty sweet waking up to wailing engines and screaming tires.

Naturally, I took the time to shoot the stars on both nights this Final Bout weekend. This after all, is what I love to do most… Don’t mind the terrible video quality, tis the way of things when You get free hosting. If You watch it on Vimeo’s site, it will look a little bit better. Just don’t expect it to be great.

I would like to point out how lucky we were, or how lucky this guy was anyways. To survive without a fiery melt down. There was once a Hyundai Genesis that went up in flames and burned til it was no more than a pile of metal at this track. Though it would’ve made great pictures to see this s14 burn, I’m happy it didn’t. Please note, the flamable liquid flowing from behind the door for the gas cap!

Another Glance at Final Bout © Andor (20)

Though My goal for the weekend was to capture as much carnage as possible, I didn’t get any. I even missed Tim slamming his car in to the back of Fish. Which looks to have ended the life of Tim’s s13 and delt a fair amount of damage to Fish’s freshly built Boss Datsun Camaro Rocket Mustang Silvia Bunny, or whatever the hell You’d call it. And so, in the absence of destruction of whole cars, here are a few more views of tires being ravaged by horsepower and tarmac. Among other things.

 


Final Bout: Round Two

Final Bout II © Andor (116)

The most anticipated drift event of the year has come and gone. Three days of hanging out with drivers, their significant others, media people and random car junkies from all over the continent. The competition seemed to take back stage to the over all sentiment of fun and friendship. I had a great night hanging out with My old friends, the Vatos and Anonymous Gangster crew. Twas also great to run in to one of the raddest characters in the midwest scene, another old buddy by the name of Derek King. Meeting the fine ladies and gents that are ShaDynasty again was also quite rad. I drool quite heavily when seeing their cars! No one else is sliding such stylish machines and if they try, it’s doubtful they would be half as awesome. Though that’s likely a personality thing… Special thanks to Stevie and Ben from Dirty Love, for helping Me out through out the weekend. Many thanks to the king pin of the midwest drift scene, Phill Lee (Grip Gambler), for making these events happen. Those of us who have been around for a long time know that without Phill, Maggie and the rest of the ClubFR family, the midwest drift scene may never have left the streets for these greener pastures we find ourselves on now. All of the other organizers in the region owe their position to You guys and I’m thankful to have been able to watch it all happen over the years.

As for the event it’s self, the trophy still resides in Chicago. Though it changed hands, with the v8 chorus of High Fade being eliminated before the semifinal round. Another eclectic crew, draped in red, rallied late and threw down their best run, claiming the win. Congrats to the guys of Risky Devil, Final Bout Champions. Nevermind the fact that at least one, if not more of Your cars were totaled by the end of the weekend. You’ve got a nice, cheap, trophy to stare at for a year while contemplating what to do about the vehicles…

I don’t function well in the heat, so I was quite lazy about shooting all weekend. I missed a lot of the action and then went home pretty early on sunday, missing more action…

Final Bout II © Andor (309)

I’m actually going to split this in to two posts. The bulk of which will be in this one. But, I shot a few time lapses and did some night shooting over the weekend, so that will come, with a bit more drifting, in the second round. Until then, here are four hundred and twenty views from the weekend.


Final Bout

Final Bout © Andor (10)

ClubFR came up with a truly great event, which promises to be the continent’s most beloved annual drift spectacle. Teams from coast to coast, north to south, gathered in a small town in rural Wisconsin. Unlike most drift events, this was a battle of teams, as opposed to individual drivers. The stage was set at My favorite track, USA International Raceway, known to most as UsaIR. A hilly, winding cart track located just outside of the town of Shawano. To those of us from the midwest drifting comunity, this place is also called the rollercoaster of love. Now, the love has been shared with a selection of crews from far beyond our region. I hope they all enjoyed it and come back for more next year!

Final Bout © Andor (8)

Never have I seen enough people to be called a crowd of spectators at this track, until now. They certainly got to see what they came for. Two days of tire shredding, wall riding and relentless attempts to get right up on the door of each other, the drivers in attendance left nothing on the table. The judges for the event were three heavy hitters, though one is more a regional legend, they were a good choice of respectable drifters. They narrowed down the field to four teams and after another run from each, made the verdict. Fourth place was taken by ShaDynasty, a crew from Washington State. In My opinion, the cars driven by these guys were the most interesting collection there. Third place was handed to regional heavy weights, Risky Devil, from Chicago. Second place went to the Hot Boyz, hailing from Alberta, Canada. They were outshining just about everyone on the first day, but a concrete barrier decided to intervene and change things up. The winners of the first annual Final Bout, team drift battle? High Fade, also from the Chicago area. They were very consistent all weekend. It looked to Me like they had been practicing team driving more than anyone else. Before launching for each run, the lead car would rev it’s engine twice and wait. The last car in line would then rev it’s engine once, signalling everyone was ready and off they went. Most of the crews ended up spreading out during their runs, but High Fade stayed together every time. Some may argue otherwise, but these guys earned the win for sure!

I was not on the media roster for this event, so this is not a complete coverage kind of post. In fact I spent half of the weekend working the entry gate, so I did miss an awful lot of the action. However, for Me, there is no such thing as going on a road trip and not taking a ton of pictures. Happily, the ClubFR family are friends of mine, so they thanked Me for helping out and let Me go do My photo geek thing for a while. Phill, Maggie, Simba, Ilia and the rest of the crew, thanks a bunch for coming up with the idea for this event and making it into reality! I had a great time and I’ll see You when I see You, hopefully that will be soon.