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We ventured to Rad Industries in Santa Ana, California, to feature local driver Aaron Parker! Parker, a southern California native from Quartz Hill, West Antelope Valley, has been building his E85 13B-REW powered 1993 Mazda RX-7 for about four years straight. This is his second build, the first being a ’95 Integra GSR turbo. He was introduced to drifting by his childhood friends and fell in love with the cars and style of the sport. He purchased his FD about five years ago. It was not long before the first engine failure in the canyons, he recalled, “So I started collecting parts, doing a whole bunch of research, taking advice from people I trusted, blew a bunch of motors, and eventually got the car to where it is today.”

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One of the best things about drifting is learning about the people behind the wheel, because everyone is truly unique and has an interesting background that is, in my opinion, oftentimes unexpected. Parker grew up in a foster home and has five younger adopted brothers and sisters and two older biological sisters, whom he claims to have “learned worlds from.” In addition to his siblings, he attributes the way his character is shaped to his close knit group of friends that he has known since kindergarten, as well as several people from the motorsport industry, such as Dan Burkett from Rad Industries, Abel Ibarra from Flaco Racing, Elliot White from Turblown/TurboSource, Andy Wyatt from Adaptronic, and Julian Austin from Aftermarket Industries. I have to admit, Parker is easily one of the most positive and enthusiastic people I have ever met in drifting.

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As far as career goes, he played semi-professional soccer for two years, began teaching as a high school teacher at age 26, and runs the varsity and JV soccer program at Quartz Hill High School. When asked about being the “young” teacher, he described his first approach as being the “relaxed” teacher, but found that it did not work, “So I was the guy where you’d walk in the classroom and everyone’s reading or doing their work quietly, ..dead silent, because…you couldn’t get work done and it would distract the kids who wanted to be there.” He prefers coaching soccer over teaching because he can be himself, versus how he needed to act in the classroom. Parker has recently picked up a new job that will take him out of the teaching arena entirely, but into a realm that fits his style much more.

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His RX-7 is on Stance XR’s, using Swift Springs 8 (front) and 6 (rear). Parker runs whatever tires he can, but he loves Feddies. The wheels he is currently running, Weds Kranze Bazreia, are one of his favorites, measuring are 18×9.5 -9 up front and 18×11 -2 in the rear. He uses stackable spacers from PBM, which he feels “every person should have a set of these because you can always get things fitting prime.” Parker actually had to shave down the “Mazda” logo on the front calipers L/R to get these giant wheels to fit.

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There are a lot of little details that help bring the car together, including my favorite aspect, the hot pink roll cage. He has a Powered by Max shift knob, an OMP 330mm steering wheel, and a Race Technologies dash Two to display all the information from the Adaptronic 440 Ecu for him. Adding to the character of the car, Parker also has a set of Craft Square mirrors off of a Honda CRX, which he bought because they were half the price of the same mirrors specifically made for the RX-7.

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The street ported motor has been built by Parker’s mentor Abel Ibarra, whom he describes as “an O.G. Mazda enthusiast.” We know what you are thinking… and yes, this is the same Abel Ibarra who was a prominent competitor in the NHRA Sport Compact Series in the early 2000s and ran a 6.794 @209.95 MPH with his 1700WHP 20B Mazda drag car. The turbo system is from Turblown/TurboSource featuring an externally gated Borg Warner EFR 8374 on a divided Turblown turbo manifold that utilizes dual Turbo Smart comp gate 40’s which vent to the atmosphere out of two bozo-style dump tubes. The Inconel heat shield is made in house at TurboSource as well. To help keep things cool on the track, Parker used the same core for the radiator AND his intercooler. Inconcel just made different end tanks (one for charge air and one for coolant/water) and partitioned the radiator to make it a dual pass. He places a lot of importance on keeping his car cool.

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“My goal was to be out on the track beating on the car when everyone else has to come in because their cars were…running hot or overheating, and I think I’ve accomplished that pretty much,” Parker said.

Rad Industries will be reworking his bash bar, redoing the intercooler and radiator position configuration to push it forward about two inches, fabbing up new charge piping and making a new exhaust tip.

“This first driving season really taught me a lot in regards to set up and maintenance,” Parker said. “If I want to be serious about this…part of that is to continuously improve the car so that when track day comes… I can focus on driving and not so much about keeping it running or breaking this and that.” This is also why he decided to seek the help of a real fab shop and take the car out of his garage for solid work.

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“I pride myself on the fact that I’ve built this car in my garage on my own,…but there’s only so much you can do when you get to a certain point, and I don’t have the resources to give the car the fabrication it deserves,” Parker said. “Everything I do to the car is to improve it in one way or another and with Dan Burkett’s help at Rad Industries…the new Heat exchanger set up should help accomplish that.”

Amazingly, all the ducting work you see above is going into the garbage bin and Parker will be making all new ducting for the new radiator/intercooler positions.

“Nothing will fit once everything is moved a couple inches forward, the new duct work will work well,” he said. Additionally, this car is about to undergo a large face lift as well with all new aero and a full paint job on the schedule, the next time you see it, it will be nice and glossy.

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Parker’s RX-7 has two 28-row Mocal oil coolers with ducting and a 10” fan on each cooler controlled by a manual switch. One of his newest and first full time sponsors, Fueled by AI (Aftermarket Industries), will be sending him a fuel system (a brand new surge tank set up, the SP800, which features two in-surge tank pumps, all E85 compatible Earls lines and AN fittings) to keep “things even more robust and problem free.”

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“FDs have a problem with fuel slosh and pump starvation…this new surge system will completely eliminate that,” Parker said.

The ECU is an Adaptronic 440, which he has told us saved his engine more than a few times.

“Like I said, doing that first and second gear burner at the pre-ASB event, …I lost all oil pressure and dumped, like, four quarts of oil in the matter of seconds,” he said. “The car immediately wouldn’t rev out and it started backfiring…dumping fuel but not going anywhere…of course I’m still on the gas, still trying to go, go, go and rev’s wouldn’t go over 1,800 RPM. Come to find out the oil pressure safety parameter saw low oil pressure and immediately limited my revs…which saved my engine because there wasn’t any oil left in it. Thanks to that feature on the Adaptronic 440, I was able to reuse my engine internals, [in the rebuild].”

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The RX-7 currently makes about 480 WHP at 18PSI. Parker’s turbo mentor, Elliot from TurboSource/Turblown, and Abel Ibarra want him to do a couple 30 PSI pulls on the dyno coming up here in the next few weeks. However, this is just to see what “The Wolf” can do. Parker has no intention of actually running the car like that because it would be overkill. He also has an on/off switch for his electronic boost control, so when the switch is on, he is running 18 pounds, when it is off he is at 14 pounds. Parker is well prepared.

“Dual EGT’s, they’re logged, fuel pressure’s logged, battery voltage is logged, oil pressure and temp…they’re all logged,” he said. “I also have a flex fuel sensor, which is wired into my Adaptronic. It’s there to keep track of what percentage the ethanol content is, the ECU adjusts my map based on what ethanol content is in the tank. You could get a bad gas station, and luckily I haven’t had any bad luck. But even if I do, the sensor picks it up and the ECU takes care of it.”

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Parker would like to thank what he calls his “All Star Team of Mentors”: Elliot White, Abel Ibarra, Andy Wyatt, and Julian Austin for all they have done for him, as well as the friendship they have shown and the never ending support even when times were looking down. His longtime girlfriend, Monique, for understanding his love for drifting and building. His age old friend, Micki Frial, for the the best advice and driving instruction he could wish for as well as all the help and support he has unquestionably offered. The QHHS Boys Soccer team for coming out to events at Willow Springs International Raceway. Parker’s family for coming out and being there for him on and off the track, and his cousin Brian for always believing in him and being such an inspiration to him. And lastly, his father, who has passed away, but inspired his love for cars and literally left Parker all his tools, which he used to build “The Wolf.”

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Keep an eye out for Parker in either the Just Drift Pro-Am series and/or Street class, as well as annual driving events such as: Micki Frials Thunder on the Lot event, All Star Bash 2015, Toy Drift 1 and 2, and Winter Jam! If you would like to know more about Aaron and his RX-7, check out his ongoing build thread on RX7Club.com here. You can also check him out on Instagram @AAPARKAH.

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Word is slowly trickling out that Drift Colorado, arguably the Centennial State’s most prolific event organizer, is bidding its participants a somber farewell. What does this mean for the future of drifting in the Rockies? I thought we’d take a moment to answer that question with a bit of a look backward first. More after the jump! READ MORE . . .

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Last week we took to social media to see what kinds of questions YOU, the fans, had for one of the most iconic drivers in drifting, Vaughn Gittin Jr. As promised, we caught up with him at this year’s St. Louis Auto Show to hear what he had to say. Your answers after the jump!
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In a time where the majority is building really shitty cars, Mikey Mancuso steps in and builds one beautiful S14.

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We can’t say that this made a whole lot of sense but seriously who cares there’s a thrashed two toned and fire! Thanks to Sami Nicosia for sending it over!

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Is there a better way to bring in the New Year other than doing lots of burnouts and not being able to breathe? I didn’t fucking think so!
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I went some places and saw some things in 2014. These are those places and things, in no particular order. READ MORE . . .

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How to do a Year in Review intro? insert poorly made Paint collage = CHECK.

READ MORE . . .

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Japan.

Whilst most normal people would never think of Japan as a place to travel to (Atleast I never thought I’d go there!) but It’s the hub for all car culture.
Anyone who is into cars can appreciate what Japan has to offer, it’s so diverse and accepting in its car scene.

Upgarage Visit

We landed in Tokyo a week before Ebisu Circuit’s 36 hour non-stop drift event, we first travelled into Tokyo from Narita airport to the other side of the city to visit Yokohama UpGarage!

Upgarage Visit

For the guys who don’t know what UpGarage is, it’s a massive used parts retailer in Japan. They stock used JDM parts and accessories. Depending on which UpGarage you go to depends on what stock they have for drift cars etc. We then trained into Tokyo to explore Shibuya and some other places.

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Might I add, the food in Japan is unreal!! Go to one of the Sukiya chains and order Gyudon :D It’s cheap, awesome and filling.

Once we arrived at the track the guys who bought new cars prepped them whilst the guys in our group who already has cars did some basic work on theirs then went to shred the tracks!
My R32 Skyline spun a bearing on day 1, so no driving for me this time and I played photo bitch the entire trip. Pretty disappointing but shit happens.

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See what I mean by shred the tracks? You can go hard from 8am till 4pm on four of Ebisu’s tracks that are open every day for drifting. This is Dave chasing down Brodie Moore on North Course.

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This is also on North course, Brodie Moore chasing down Brendan Mansfield.

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Having a car and driving at Ebisu Circuit almost wouldn’t be possible without the guy at Powervehicles.com, Andy Gray’s D1GP JZX100 above.
What Powervehicles do is purchase cars at the auctions, bring them back to Ebisu, prep them for drifting then sell onto us! They have a full workshop located at the track and parking to store your cars until you return again.
Every time I tell someone I have a car in Japan the first question is always ‘WHY?!’ Then it’s ‘WHERE DO YOU KEEP IT?!’ Power Vehicles have it covered, if you’re interested in heading over to Ebisu Circuit to drive shoot them an email :D

G1GP Final

Above is David up against Ben in the final battle. The Japanese do this in-front of the crowd before the final battle begins.

Every Friday before Matsuri weekend, Ebisu Circuit runs a competition called G1GP. It’s a comp for Gaijin drifters that aren’t from Japan.
This is judged by D1 drivers, Naoto Suenaga and Nobushige Kumakubo. It’s a pretty great opportunity to battle other drivers from around the world in nearly stock cars on all the same tyres. There’s probably not a car over 250kw competing and they’re call running Kenda tyres, super even field. You can really tell from watching who can actually drive and who is pretty average when they don’t have a 400kw JZ or RB engine under the hood running Achilles 123’s….

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Above is David and Ben doing their final battle run.

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More G1GP battles

G1GP Winners

Above is the G1GP winners!

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Day one of Matsuri, one of the only times you’ll see flag marshal out on the tracks! The amount of cars that come to Matsuri is crazy, although the number of Japanese drivers seems to be declining and the number of international drivers is increasing. There is still always something awesome to look at though. See below Manabu’s KE70 Corolla.

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This was a sight to see! I have seen lots of photos on ‘da internets’ but didn’t think I’d see it in person. Full photoset of the car can be found here.

Since I was running around headless on the Matsuri weekend filming, I don’t have that many photos (One man team is always a battle) But, I have a video!
Check it out here.

I have added my favourite photos from the week I was there below, check them out!

Running the wall
Running Minami wall

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Flexin’ in the wet over the Minami jump

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More Minami battles

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Touge in a Toyota AE86

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AE86 sitting at Nishi Course

If you’re interested in heading over to Japan but unsure how to go about it feel free to message me on Facebook or shoot me an email with the contact form on my website.
That’s all from me, hope you like all the photos and the video I put together :D
Follow me below!

www.brokenimage.com.au

https://www.facebook.com/Brokenimage.com.au

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Instagram: @Brknimage
Twitter: @Brknimage

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The inaugural season of the Tennessee State of Drift championship series concluded last weekend at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in Nashville, where six rounds of competition boiled down to the series champion being decided by the outcome of the final match. More after the jump! READ MORE . . .