One of the things that I have always enjoyed about Drift Pizza, and drifting in general, is the opportunity to go to new places and experience new tracks. In 2019 I packed two friends in my CT and drove 12 hours up to Final Bout Gallery at USAIR. This past summer I got to make a similar trek out from Pittsburgh to Thompson CT to shoot Final Bout SSE and spend some quality time with the boys of Haze Drift Team.
The idea of turning Drift Pizza into a motorsports travel blog has crossed my mind a few times. I have started to enjoy the simplicity of going to an event with a single camera and lens and enjoying the day, not focusing on capturing every aspect of the event. I’ve found that I really get a kick out of exploring new places and meeting new people who all have a common interest and passion in this sport. Drifting has been that escape for me, helping to break the ice whenever I am at a new track or event. These photos and subsequent album are really more of the vacation side of what I captured over the course of the weekend.
Back in early 2020, I picked up a Fuji X100v for what I thought would be an upcoming trip to Japan. I feel like I might have talked about this planned trip in the past but we all know the subsequent events of 2020 and 2021, so I’ll spare you the details. Well with this new toy in my toolbox of cameras, I started my journey into a new style of photography. It might be partially stemmed in laziness or trying to chase a ‘film aesthetic’, but using this camera and ‘film recipes’ has reignited some of the joys of shooting events for me. The process is simple: dial in some settings you like, shoot your shots and DON’T LOOK BACK.
The results of this style are what you are seeing in this album, a break from my standard editing and look that many have come to know over the years. But I think I have talked enough about my approach for this post, I want to spend some time talking about how great this weekend was.
This trip was my second time enjoying an event hosted by Final Bout, and my first time visiting Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. I made it to our hotel the day before our event and got to spend some time catching up with everyone, avoiding some of the biggest potholes I have ever seen surrounding our accommodations, and shutting down the hotel bar. The weekend consisted of two events: a night stage taking place the evening prior to SSE and the main event to follow the next day.
Prior to the evening event, myself, Haze and Car Shop Karoshi spent some time in the seemingly abandoned industrial facility next to our hotel, shooting some features and enjoying being out and about. I have a full feature in the pipeline that gives a pretty good view of the area, look out for that in a coming post. From there we headed off to Thompson to get our first look at the track.
We pulled into a beautiful facility with a great layout and a surprisingly fun little course. I never would have expected the elevation changes on the section we were planning to drive after looking at the track in Google Maps. It had a nice mix of flowing turns and one large crest which felt massive from the passenger seat. On top of a great track, the garages and paddock were filled with impressive cars and friendly people.
I don’t want to spoil too much about SSE as I still plan to release a full write up on that event in the coming weeks, but I have to say it did not disappoint. Enjoy the below images as just a taste of what is in the works. I’ll see you all soon in the next one ✌️