January 31, 2013

'Love Your Wife Day' in Japan

I may be a day late, but I love my wife too! 

January 30, 2013

24 Hours of Spa Francorchamps - Raw Speed Through Eau Rouge

One of the most famous tracks in the world is Spa Francorchamps located in Belgium. Known for hosting some incredible races over many years, the Eau Rouge corner is one of the more famous spots on the track. During the last 24 Hour race held here, the DRIVE network managed to get some awesome nighttime footage that really helps give you a good perspective on how fast these cars are really traveling.


A track that has changed configuration countless times over it's history. A circuit that has taken lives, created legends, and has no shortage of emotions for the brave men and women who race around it or spectate along the fences. Though not as long as the famous Northern Loop of the Nurburgring, the elevation and weather of Spa is what makes it world famous. Join Leo Parente and the DRIVE crew for an adventure you won't soon forget.

January 29, 2013

2013 Formula DRIFT Pro Championship & 2013 Pirelli Formula 1 Tire Range

Although Brandi and I will be calling Italy home within a matter of weeks, my work load with the ID Agency will remain the same as it has been since the day I started...NON-STOP. A good problem to have so I hope that doesn't sound like a complaint.

Two of the accounts I'll proudly work on will be Formula DRIFT and Pirelli Tire North America

Most of everything I do for Formula DRIFT before and after the event is done behind the scenes. During the events,  I'll be assisting with media relations, website/social media updates and anything else the team needs help with. 

The 2013 Pro Championship Season also happen to be the 10th Anniversary of the series. Many years before I had the opportunity to join their team, I was a fan. The same fan that is currently buying VIP tickets, all of the merchandise, getting autographs, taking countless amounts of photos and of course dragging their girlfriend along, used to be me. I've been a big fan of the sport, the series, the cars, the drivers and the scene since day 1. Years later, I'm blessed to travel the country visiting tracks and cities with one of the best and hardest working motorsports companies I've ever encountered.

For those that've never been to a drifting event before, it's a must. I've brought friends and family (male and female) from various age groups and no matter what, they all have an amazing time. Honestly, you'd have to try really hard NOT to have a blast.

To kick off the 2013 season, Round 1: Streets of Long Beach will be happening April 12-13. CLICK HERE for more information and to purchase tickets.

With Pirelli being a global company involved in so many types of motorsports, departments are broken down by the type of racing. Fortunately for me, my main focus and involvement is in Formula 1.

During the course of a race weekend, I'll track and report every TV, print and/or online mention for Pirelli. Being the sole tire supplier for the series and providing different types of tires for each race, the amount of mentions is very high. Not to mention, I track each mention for the USA, Mexico and Canada. Pirelli spends millions of dollars to be involved with Formula 1 so our goal is to help show what type of ad value they're getting and how many people they're reaching with those mentions.

The new tire compounds for this season were debuted earlier this week. It's a wide range of rubber compounds denoted by different color logos on the sidewall. Depending on the track layout, amount of corners and ambient conditions, two compounds are selected for each race by Pirelli. This adds to the strategy that each driver and team will prepare prior to the race. It was an action packed season last year so I'm really looking forward to this season.

I'm also keeping my fingers crossed to actually attend a race this year since we'll be much closer to all of the European stops.

The start of another racing season is now upon us. Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!

Until next time...

January 25, 2013

San Francisco Skyline by Petrolicious

Prior to this week, I had never heard of Petrolicious. How? I'm not sure. But one thing is for sure, I'm glad I found them. It's the same group that created the film about Jack Olsen's Porsche 911 RSR that I posted about. When checking our their site and videos, I stumbled across another feature that they did.

In December of 2012, they sat down with Ivan Jaramillo to get the story behind his ownership of not 1, but 2 Nissan Skyline's - the Hakosuka and the Kenmeri.

The scenery, the sound of these cars and the production value all make for an excellent video.

January 24, 2013

Throwback Thursday - JUN Super Lemon Civic EK4

Over the past few weeks, my Civic has received more attention than it's seen in a few years. The more time I've been putting into it, the more I've been looking back on my past with this car. It definitely has some history to it but that's for another day. Long story short, it's been built, stolen and recovered completely stripped, rebuilt, broken into 3 times all while going through countless motors and transmissions. Probably sounds like your average EK owners story though.

My obsession to own, build and race a Honda Civic EK began about 15 years ago. At the time, internet videos were just becoming popular and the JUN Super Lemon Civic EK4 was one of the hottest Civic's built at the time. I must have watched this video over 1,000 times dreaming for mine to sound, look and be as fast as this. Believe it or not, 0:35 - 1:00 used to be my voicemail for the longest time.

January 23, 2013

One Car Can Do It All - Jack Olsen's Porsche 911 RSR

Here is a video that differs from the Singer 911 video I posted earlier this week.

This is the story of Jack Olsen and his constant pursuit of building a Porsche 911 RSR for track and daily driving use. At some point in time, most car enthusiasts will attempt to build a car that can and will be used for all purposes. The occasional track day, to and from work, weekend cruises. You name it, the car is built for it. After a while, it's safe to say that it never ends up working out as planned. I've been in that situation...with a few cars. No matter how many times I was told as a teenager that it should be one or the other, I had to experience it first hand. Building a car to be used on a daily basis AND taken to the track is no easy feat. 

Jack Olsen has done exactly what all of us attempted...except he succeeded...in a Porsche 911. It's all come together with various parts off of different Porsche's ranging in years from 1965-2000. Then comes the never ending task of testing and tuning. The car is only half of the story. The garage that Jack built along with the Porsche is just as amazing. Let's put it this way, it's been featured in multiple magazines. When your garage is being featured in multiple magazines, you've made it. 

Once Brandi and I return from Italy, my Civic is going under the knife so that I can create my own story just like this. 

[SOURCE: Petrolicious]

January 22, 2013

The Hennessey Venom GT - World Record Run

The Hennessey Venom GT has been on my radar since forst hearing about it. Then when I saw renderings, it only made me want to follow along its progress even more. Over the course of the last few years, there has been a constant buzz about the Venom GT due to how crazy of a car it is. There are so many aspects of the manufacturing process that amaze me. Once of them is obviously the amount of power it puts out.

If I'm ever in the predicament of deciding on a Bugatti Veyron or a Hennessey Venom GT, you better believe my money is going straight to Hennessey. Here's just one of the many reasons why...

January 21, 2013

Italy Preparations Continue & A Weekend Full Of Dates

The weeks continue to countdown as Brandi and I prepare for the big day. It's crazy that we have been living through this process, preparing, selling stuff, giving stuff away and moving in with the in-laws over the past 1 year. For many months, we kept our mouths shut about moving so to a lot of people, this may seem like recent news. I won't lie, as awesome, memorable and amazing of an opportunity this is, it's taxing. Practically every morning before work and every night after work, it's been all about Italy.  There's been no such thing as down time or a time when we've been wondering what to do that day. It's a constant grind to make sure this move is done as perfect, safe and organized as possible. To my knowledge, there's no 'Moving To Italy 101' crash course out there for us to follow. 

One thing is for sure, when the dust settles and we're moved into our new place, every second that went into this will be more than worth it. 

Aside from a full work week, it was a quite productive as well. 

The Civic got a new transmission and more needed prep work to be stored.
I was also fortunate enough to sell the Scion xB within a few days of posting it for sale. That was such a great car that came in handy so many times. That was definitely the most practical, functional and fun cars I've owned. The 'Silver Bullet' now has a new home.
Friday I spent the day running around and working from a few different places. One of which was SMI Merchandising. If you ever need any apparel, promotional products, corporate gifts, etc., you've found the right place. They're on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so be sure to follow/like them for various ideas and promotions. We use them for all sorts of different client projects and they come through for us every single time. 
Later that night we headed out to Harvard and Stone in Hollywood for Tracy's birthday. At the door I was told that no pictures were allowed during the burlesque show...therefore, you're left with this being the only picture I took that night. Hipster bar deserves a hipster light picture. 
Most of Saturday was spent gathering more goodies for the Civic, selling a bed on Craigslist, tinkering with the ShifterKart, detailing Brandi's car and a nap. Brandi was out celebrating the BBC's birthday at the spa. By the time she got home, we were both starving and in need of a date night. Something's Fishy is an oldie but goodie type restaurant and definitely hit the spot that night. 
After showing the townhouse to potential renter, Derek, Aly, Brandi and myself headed to Malibu Wines to use a GroupOn that Aly had. A slight hiccup in our plans took us from Malibu Wines to Malibu Beach Wines - which turned out to be closed so we went back to Malibu Wines. Confusing...I know...but we made it work. 
Southern California got a nice dose of warm weather this weekend so there were quite a few people there also enjoying the live music while sipping their wine of choice. After a few bottles and devouring 2 bags of snacks from Trader Joe's, we headed to Calamigo's Ranch for dinner. 
We did our traditional walk of the property to check out all of the wedding venues before having dinner at M Cafe. It's always such a treat to visit the place we got married.  

The past month has been quite the adjustment for us with so much going on but this was definitely the weekend we needed. 

Until next time...

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

There are endless amounts of memorable quotes by the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As I browsed through a never-ending list of his most famous words, this particular quote jumped out at me - mainly because it reminded me of my dad. Growing up, I was taught that attention to detail, hard work and dedication were just as important as actually completing the task.

Regardless of your outlook on life, do your work well.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day and if you're in Southern California, enjoy the lack of traffic today.

Porsche Porn - The Singer 911

As technology continues to advance, the tuning and manufacturing of vehicles is at an all time high in the automotive industry. This also stands true for Porsche owners and enthusiasts alike. Of all of options when it comes to picking a Porsche tuner, Singer is one of the most sought after...if you can afford it. As Singer puts it, they took the best of the best from everything Porsche has done, put it all together and made it work. Sounds so simple right? Depending on the spec build you prefer, price will cost from the high $300,000 range on up to $500,000. But when in search for perfection, that's considered chump change. 

Chris Harris, of the DRIVE Network, couldn't have been a better choice to take on this segment. Watch as Chris gets an in-depth look at what goes into creating a Porsche masterpiece. This brings a new meaning to "attention to detail."

January 15, 2013

Florence In A Nutshell

Over the past several months as Brandi and I have been preparing for our big move, I've tried to find as many articles, videos and any type of review about Florence as possible. Although we feel plenty comfortable learning about the city, the people, the culture etc. as we go, we're trying to gather as many resources of information and tips as possible. I suppose you can never be too prepared when moving across the world. At the same time, there are certain things that just need to be learned as we experience it. That's all part of the fun!

There has been plenty of sleepless nights where Brandi wakes up to find me reading The Florentine at odd hours of the the night...or morning. The fact is, there's never a time when we aren't thinking about Italy. The Florentine is an english speaking monthly newsletter packed with all sorts of goodness about the city. Everything that they write about has definitely added some reassurance for us and excitement. We really don't know much about how the city functions and what it has to offer outside of the few days we spent there so this helps give us some insight on what else we can expect to do, see and eat.

I've also found a two part video titled 'Florence In A Nutshell' that walks you through the city with explanations of the most popular sites to see depending on how much time you have available.

For anyone planning on visiting us or just wants to see where we'll be for the next few years, I suggest checking these out as they've been very resourceful for us so far. It's also helped us find out about other places that are nearby and can make great weekend getaways. As awesome as Florence will be, there's a growing list of places we can't wait to visit. 

As the last few weeks for us here in the states wind down and we continue to check things off our massive 'Italy To-Do List,' we still pinch ourselves and wonder how we became so lucky. 

Every now and then, the stars align
Boy and girl meet by the great design
Could it be that you and me are the lucky ones
[Lana Del Rey - Lucky Ones]

In other news, we are going to pick up the only other girl Brandi will ever allow into our marriage...my Honda Civic. Within the past 2 weeks, she's been on the receiving end of more attention than she's had for the past few years. With the exception of being detailed, she's pretty much ready to be stored safely while we're gone.

Brandi and I have some pretty exciting plans for the near future (no, it doesn't involve having kids) and plan on continuing to share different tips and insight on how we've prepared for a trans-atlantic move. You never know, you may end up needing it one day. This time last year, moving to Florence was never even a possibility...now look!

Until next time...

January 9, 2013

One Step Closer To Italy | Moving On

For the past few months, Brandi and I have steadily packed, made countless trips to the Goodwill Donation Center, gone through who knows how many rolls of packing tape, kept Sterilite in business with our bin purchases and raided all of the boxes from her office. But this past weekend it hit us, it was  time to move. Fortunately for us, Brandi's parents have allowed us to to move in with them until we leave so that our townhouse can be remodeled for new renters. They've also allowed us to keep all of our belongings and my beloved Honda Civic there as well. Talk about life savers! I had looked at a few storage units to fit all our stuff / the Civic and lets just say the in-laws are saving us about $350/mo. for 2 years! 

I don't think Brandi or myself were really prepared to actually leave what we called home for the past 6 years. We've been so consumed with work, packing, holidays and focusing on all of the necessary things we need to do for our upcoming move that we forgot what was actually about to happen come last Sunday night. After 3 full days of moving our stuff, we were ready to go back to pick up our cats and lock up the house for the final time. The last 2 things in the refrigerator were 2 beers for us. Not only were they much needed after moving for so long but it would also be the final time we would cheers each other in this house. Tears were shed, memories were shared and laughs were had.

I wish I could count how many parties, dinners and different types of memories that had been created here. So many friends and family members had helped us create moments we'll never forget and hopefully they'll never forget either. From a random night by the fire to getting engaged, we did so much here. From good times to bad, this was our home and I'll never forget it.

As we inch closer to create new memories in a new home, I just wanted to take a minute to thank Brandi, our friends and family for helping us make the last 6 years in that house a wonderful experience!

January 3, 2013

Larry Chen - One Trillion Pictures Later

I first met Larry Chen when we hired him as the staff photographer while I was working alongside Redline Time Attack. However, I had been familiar with his work long before that through Formula DRIFT images he would post. 

Almost every Monday morning I would check his site (driftfotos.com) to see what photos had been updated from the weekends previous automotive events. Fast forward about 4 years and I am still lucky enough to work alongside Larry as he was the staff photographer for Formula DRIFT in 2012 and is now one of the primary contributors of Speedhunters.com

Of the thousands of images Larry takes at any given event let alone an entire year, I never get sick of his work. It doesn't matter if it's a car, a place or a person, he knows what it takes to capture you as the viewer and does a damn fine job at it. It's great to see the success Larry has had because anyone will tell you, Larry is one of the, if not THE, hardest working photographer in the automotive industry. 

He recently posted his 2012 Year In Review on Speedhunters but here are just a few samples to get you all buttered up before you check out his entire post.

I'm definitely looking forward to working more with Larry in 2013 and really hope that he is able to make it out to Italy for a visit! I can only imagine the photos he would capture in a place like Florence.

CLICK HERE to see Larry's entire post featured on Speedhunters.

Stephen Brooks Films Presents We Are The People

A few years back I stumbled upon the film work of Stephen Brooks. Since then, I followed along and can honestly say he is one of my favorite automotive film makers. Having met him during Round 4 of Formula DRIFT in 2011, I really hope he makes it back to film part of the 2013 season. Better yet, maybe I'll be fortunate enough to work with him while I reside in Italy since he is based out fo the UK. Only time will tell...

His latest piece of work, We Are The People, is a compilation of footage gathered from various drifting events from around the world. Enjoy.

For more of his work, visit his Vimeo page.