For as long as I’ve known him, Blake Olsen has been building wild cars, and shredding the tires off of them with incredible style. In recent years, though, Blake’s drifting career has taken a backseat to the other priorities of life. 2019, however, marks a return, with Blake’s E92 making its competitive debut in just a few short weeks for the first round of Formula Drift Pro2 competition in Orlando, Florida.
With each new season of Fromula Drift comes new cars, new drivers, new teams, and new styles. It’s a sport that has evolved in countless ways – some more appreciated than others – but one thing remains constant. Formula Drift is owed a sense of gratitude for its captivation of young enthusiasts, and their introduction to the world to auto racing, in one form or another. And to that end, we owe the drivers too.
Now on its third year, Nitto Tire’s Auto Enthusiast Day has brought together car fanatics from across Southern California for a day under the sun, with a variety of cars and enthusiasts unparalleled by nearly any show. From classic Japanese coupes to vintage American Muscle, and from modern German performance to built 4×4 rigs, Auto Enthusiast Day has something to offer for everyone.
Kicking off its 11th year, Formula Drift returns once again, this time with a slew of changes that are both refreshing and daunting. Seemingly every car in the field this year has received changes of some sort; some, entirely new chassis, and others, fresh colors to stand out amidst the clouds of tire smoke.
My weekend morning started off with a call from Matt Crooke of Fifteen52. I’ve learned to trust his suggestions, so when he followed up the phone call with an unfamiliar Los Angeles address, I simply packed up my camera and hit the 405 North. The GPS led me up the busy freeway and over the hills of LA before exiting off onto an industrial street. The weekend left the street barren aside from a few recognizable cars, so I continued into the garage where everyone had gathered.