While browsing through some old photos and footage during one of my regular archiving sessions, I came across some incredible photos taken by our friend Taco (John Medina) who runs the excellent blog Loose Socks Daisuki, formerly Taco Heroi.
During the course of 2017, the now world renown Super D Matsuri ran a series of regular competitive style events in Northern California, named the "Super D Cup". These events were so different from any other competition styled events we have across the United States and I'll get to why in just a moment.
First of all, the drive to Northern California is just shy of 6 hours by car, but a little longer if you're towing about 4,500lbs behind you, inevitably stuck behind 18-wheelers through the Grapevine Pass on Interstate 5. John and Gary headed up the boring, straight-line interstate the day before the event. I however, had a previous engagement the night before and was unable to leave SoCal until about midnight. having been up all day, the 7 hour journey through the middle of the night was no easy feat, even having my girlfriend drive us a portion of the way at daybreak so I could get some much needed sleep.
This event would be my very first publicly driving my newly completed R32 Skyline, and finally pulling up to the track overwhelmed me with a mixture of nervousness and overall excitement.
The boys were already there, unloaded and ready to rock. Practice and qualifying would be up shortly, both being run simultaneously. This is what made Super D Cup so unique. See, instead of running an hour long practice session and then rolling into a boring qualifying session, Super D would eliminate the stale atmosphere of qualifying by running it as an open session; drive with whoever you want, solo, tandem.. whatever you want. It would be an hours long free-driving session, and while you were out driving and having a blast, with the pressure of only getting one shot at a perfect lap off your mind, you'd be observed by the judges. The judges would then select the top 16 drivers they found most exciting throughout the session and randomly pair them with others for the main event.
Gary ended up qualifying for the Top 16, and put on quite the show for the opening parade.
Unfortunately, Gary was knocked out in the first round and did not move on to the Best 8. Fortunately, the competition part was quick and exciting, and the remainder of the day became free runs for all.
As it should be no surprise, I was plagued with axle problems at the event, breaking two or three (I can't remember). Overall, this was a super fun day, and I hope Super D Cup does come back. As of right now, I don't believe they have anything other than their Matsuri events lined up as I'm sure the Cup series is a lot of work to put together. Julian and Billy, if you're reading this, bring back Super D Cup!