The Ignition of Project Nanami

The Ignition of Project Nanami

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, causing a decline in the Japanese motorsport industry, I finally mustered up the courage to go and see the Long Beach Formula Drift event which I had always admired.

My first time in America and I was all alone.  With no specific team or car to support, I bought an airline ticket and FD tickets online and headed to the Long Beach venue ready for anything.

It was April 2022.  While America had already begun to recover from the pandemic, it was a difficult time for people in Japan especially to travel abroad. Going overseas during such a period required complex procedures, testing, and a significant amount of money. It was a tough journey, but I couldn't miss out on this valuable experience.

When I arrived in Long Beach and saw the crowd, the drivers, the drifting with my own eyes I was deeply moved.  It made me even more determined to drive and compete here.

I had no friends or guides at the FD venue. I approached drivers I had met briefly back in Japan along with those I had co-starred with on TV shows through the internet asking them about competing myself in FD. They kindly provided me with information about the series, the teams, and the drifting industry in America.

Walking around I encountered some amazing individuals. One of them was Mr. KATO!  He's the boss who created the globally renowned custom brand "Liberty Walk".  Like me, he couldn't bear to see Japan struggling due to COVID-19 and decided to go abroad. It was a delightful coincidence!

Armed with only my driver's profile I decided to network by approaching organizers and team members. I also inquired about the costs, car preparations, and the tires used by various drivers in order to compete.  I could now hear that 8-bit voice coming from future fans, "Here Comes a New Challenger!".

This is America, home of Formula Drift Pro1.  I vow to give it my all and become the best drifter anyone has yet to see.  Project Nanami has begun...

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