Super-D Matsuri 2018 was well worth the 7,000 km round-trip from Edmonton. It was a bummer having my friend’s bag (with passport) stolen the day before we left Canada, but thankfully the drift community itself is huge on good vibes, friendship and fun, so I wasn’t TOTALLY alone in America. Following so many American/Japanese drivers on social media, you start to get used to the media or the car and forget the name and face associated with it… I’ll admit it was definitely embarrassing talking to media and drivers, only to realize I’ve followed them online for years without actually realizing who they were in person. Social skills level 0 on my part.
Despite my lack of ability to interact with people, I still managed to spend nearly as much time talking to drivers, photographers and other fans as I did watching the track. I think Super-D is such a big deal, mostly because it’s not. Grange isn’t lined with stands packed full of spectators or multi-camera livestreams, or anything out of the ordinary. Yet it truly felt like no other event I’ve been to in my time following drifting; the abundance of friendly competition and lack of hostility was definitely a little strange in this age of keyboard warriors and bashing anything that’s not perfect. Yet even without huge crowds and the promise of awards at the end, the level of exciting driving was beyond anything I’ve seen before.
Knowing the event was advertised basically as a weekend with some local people and three highly-skilled, semi-famous drivers from Japan, it was a relief seeing that even the least attractive cars in the pits were still running high speed, door-to-door tandems with their homies. The subconscious judgmental part of me that associates beat cars with bad driving was totally blown away, and I definitely feel a bit guilty for assuming the driving skill was the same level as the cars looks in some instances
It’s hard to put into words exactly what a well-done grassroots event feels like, but I will say that Super-D Matsuri is certainly a well-executed event. The friendly competition, great location, amazing drivers, and overwhelming amount of flair and style will put Super-D on the list of to-see events for drivers and spectators as long as it runs. Huge shoutout to the organizers for creating such an exciting event, track owners for dealing with typical drift chaos, and the drivers, staff and media for making this a rad weekend.