Import Tuner – May, 2010
Words and Photography By Carter Jung
With another season of Formula D almost upon us, what better way to kick off a new year of drift than to discuss the subject with a fine female? But who, might you ask? What girl could hold a decent conversation about the best tandem battle of ’09, judging criteria, their favorite drifter, let alone cars in general? Well, how about last year’s Miss Formula D, Miki Taka.
Genuinely JDM as Gundam, pixilated pr0n or a S15 Silvia, this Nagoya, Japan born bundle of kawaii can talk drift like one of the boys. And why wouldn’t she? She played host to seven rounds of FD across the nation and she’s more bi than a fixie. That’s right, not only is Miki into cars like the rest of the boys, she digs girls. Us? We’re just diggin’ her.
The last time you were in 2NR, we had you as a guest in Formula D Diaries where you talked about all the lessons learned from each round-which had the most impact?
The greatest lesson I would take from the entire season was to just have fun, be myself, and make the most of every moment and opportunity.
Any embarrassing moments you’d like to share?
Right before the awards ceremony for Round 2 in Atlanta, I was caught off-guard and rushed to the stage where I totally wiped out in front of a huge crowd! I got up afterwards and bowed. [laughs]
The bow was a nice touch. [laughter] What was your favorite round of FD?
That’s a hard one. There were aspects of every show that I really enjoyed. If I have to choose only one it would be Vegas . . . but what happens there stays there, right? [laughter] Seriously though, I enjoyed Vegas because it was where I really had a chance to hang out with the FD staff and drivers. I had been acquainted with most of them before, but it was there where I really got to know them. And being a Blackjack fan, the tournament was fun.
Speed, line, angle and overall impression are the judging criteria for drift. Which do you think is the most important?
I’d have to say that overall impression would be my choice as the most important. Sometimes it’s the ‘ooh’ impression left on the judges that can differentiate a good run from an awesome one.
If there was one, which two drivers would win the ‘Miss FD Best Battle of 2009′ award?
There were a lot of great ones but my favorite was between Ryan Tuerck and Katsuhiro Ueo in Las Vegas. They literally went toe-to-toe when Tuerck’s rear tire hit Ueo’s front tire, causing Tuerck to go airborne creating the infamous ‘bunny hop’. You can see the video on my website or on Formula D’s YouTube channel.
Who would win the ‘Miss FD Crash of 2009′ award?
Hmm . . . I don’t know that anyone would want to win for crashing, so I’ll go with Vaughn Gittin, Jr. for getting close as hell without crashing. I remember at Evergreen Speedway for Round 5, Vaughn just barely grazed his rear bumper against the wall of the track. For him to have touched the wall so lightly with the back of his car, without completely jacking it up, really impressed me!
Your favorite competition car?
My fave body style is the Nissan 350Z. Tyler McQuarrie, Robbie Nishida and Chris Forsberg all compete in one and Chris’ 350Z helped him win the 2009 champion, so I’d have to go with the Z33.
Did you partake in any ride-alongs?
Absolutely! There was no way I could let this season go by and pass up a ride-along.
Who was it with?
My first ride-along was with Ross Petty at Las Vegas. What made it especially cool was Ross had just installed the underbody lights on his car and the ride-along was at night. The second was at the Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA, with Justin Pawlak. The film crew got footage of that one, which was funny, because you could see how surprised I was when we took off! Drifting around the track is like a rollercoaster ride-a total adrenaline rush!
For more great images and the rest of the interview visit IMPORT TUNER