A couple of weeks after being here in Japan, I’d been to a few events but was missing the joy that comes from spending half a day with one car and a bunch of camera gear, so I decided it was time to find a cool car to shoot for an NZPC feature. The thing was, I didn’t want to go into yet another awesome Japanese tuning shop and arrange to shoot one of its admittedly amazing showroom cars, I wanted to go out and find a real car. A car owned by a regular enthusiast, something that you might see out on the local touge or street meet. Of course, it had to be damn cool as well, but in Japan, that’s not exactly the hardest thing to find. I decided my best course of action was to ask my local contact and good mate here, Toby, if he knew of anything fitting the bill. He had a long list, but it wasn’t until he showed me a crappy phone camera image of the menacing 1998 Toyota Aristo V belonging to his friend, Kai Hamada — or Hamakai, as he is more commonly known — that I stopped him immediately. “That’s the one!” I said. I’ve always had a thing for big-body cars, especially sliders, and after a few more questions and a quick message to the man himself, we were on for a late-night photoshoot.
The team at Possum Bourne Motorsport is in the midst of a full build on a very special Subaru BR-Z project for Gary Morgan. Once it’s completed, the plan is to contest endurance races here in New Zealand — including the Highlands 101 in November and possibly Targa New Zealand — before heading over to take on the Bathurst 12 Hour in 2015
It was an exciting day in the office last Friday when we got to crack open the first box of NZPC 214 fresh from the printers. Now don’t get us wrong, it’s always exciting to check out a new issue, but NZPC 214 meant that much more to the team as we have been slaving over the refreshed look for the past four months, and this was the first time we could see it all come together in print.
The state of competitive drifting in New Zealand, and indeed the world, is undergoing change as the gap grows between what made the sport so popular in the first place, its accessibility, and the competitive corporate world of competition. What was once a very blurred line is now growing into a very defined one. With the current top crop setting the pace of vehicle development at an astonishing rate, and those looking to get into the sport thinking they need a $150,000 vehicle to do so, it was a breath of fresh air to sit down with freshly-crowned D1NZ Pro-Am champion Vincent Langhorn, and find out that standing atop the Pro-Am podium is not all about keeping up with the Joneses.
The very laid-back and humble Vincent has competed for three seasons now, and after taking a second at Taupo in the 2012–2013 season, this time he saw two firsts, along with a string of high qualifying positions, to win the championship by four points. He was up against some stiff competition, and for the most part was doing it off his own back and out of his own wallet, building and maintaining his car in his parents’ shed.
We sat down with him to see what, if anything, will change heading into his rookie Pro championship season.