A GT86, AE86 & The Drift King – A Shoot for CAR

We all have dreams and goals in our lives. Some are big, some are small but with enough work and dedication everyone of them is achievable. You just need to want it bad enough.

Throughout my photography career, I have and continue to work towards two goals. 1) Shoot a full season of Formula One and 2) Shoot for CAR. I can now scratch the latter of the list.

A couple of weeks back, I received an e-mail from Ben Barry, the deputy editor of CAR in the UK. He asked me if I was free at the end of June for a shoot that I’d have particular interest in, but couldn’t elaborate until closer to the date. Intrigued, I ensured my calendar was free and agreed to meet CAR writer Ben Pulman at a secret test track outside of London. A couple of days before the shoot, I received a brief with three important words: GT86, AE86 & Tsuchyia.

Those of you with an interest in drifting will surely recognize the name Keiichi Tsuchyia, also known as the ‘Drift King’. Tsuchyia-san is the godfather of drifting, and without doubt one of the most important people in the history of the sport. CAR wanted to celebrate his history whilst also exploring his involvement with Toyota’s new GT86. The brief I received illustrated clearly what CAR wanted from the shoot, and allowed me to plan in advance what equipment I would be relying on. Unfortunately, on the day of the shoot my appendix decided it no longer wanted to be a part of me. Shooting in much discomfort and pain, I was limited in my movement and abilities. It was pretty upsetting, as this was something I wanted to deliver 110% but I just couldn’t. I pushed on as much as I could and once the shoot was over, made my way to a local hospital where I was admitted for surgery. I knew beforehand that there was a tight deadline, so I started editing the images a couple of hours after surgery. It probably wasn’t a great idea editing them in a hospital ward (under fluorescent lights) and under the influence of many amazing drugs, but sometimes you have to push on. All things considered, I was happy with the product of the day’s work. I just can’t help but think what could have been though …

If you want to know more, pick up the latest issue of CAR which just hit shelves in the UK today. Ben put together some incredible words and anecdotes surrounding the king’s history, it’s definitely worth a read. A huge thanks to both Bens and the staff at CAR, Toyota UK, Tsuchyia-san’s translator and Tsuchyia-san himself.

Here are some of the images that didn’t make it to print …

Shot exclusively for CAR Magazine in the United Kingdom.

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