2023 Texas AE86 Matsuri – RunningFree86 Visits Texas

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For this year’s 2023 Texas AE86 Matsuri, Thaison flew in Hiroshi “Kaicho” Takahashi aka @Runningfree86 as a guest and driver…  If you don’t know who Kaicho is you can find his AE86 drifting videos, all over youtube and the internet, clutch kicking in his infamous Red TRD spec hatch…

Hiroshi “Kaicho” Takahashi aka @runningfree86 visits Texas for the first time…

So what and how was his experience like in Texas? You can check out his Instagram live videos on his profile lol….

I won’t have as much media coverage this year since I was pretty much in Puerto Rico shooting a wedding up until the track day on Sunday…

From what I heard from everyone, this year’s AE86 Matsuri event was one of the best… 30+ Corollas driving, spectators hanging out and meeting Kaicho, and great weather…. it was definitely a day to remember….

I didn’t shoot as much photos this year because I was busy driving and trying not to burn myself out from coming straight back from Puerto Rico… 

My Beams swapped hatch posted up next to Benji‘s coupe… superrrr clean paint / car overall….

AE86’s weren’t the only cars invited but some FRS/86’s also attended…. Always cool to see a Chevy SS LS swapped FRS…

Max Galyen trailered his Beams swapped 83 Corolla Sedan with a IS300 IRS swap… it was his first time taking it out on track and heard it was a ripper…

Hypeman Den came thru from the Midwest to hangout for a few days with Thaison and Kaicho…. 

Dan Moore aka @axle_thunderrod  brought his 2 year project coupe in from Kansas… so much style and the paint scheme is awesome..

Dan wants to keep this as a cruise and show car and I can see why… the interior is clean and complete…

I think that will be Dan’s reaction after he shows his wife the cracked bumper from drifting 😂

Justin Hosek, an OG Lonestardrift driver, brought out his 4G63 swapped hatch from Victoria, TX… that thing is fast and you can see tire smoke on the track as proof….

Another Lonestardrift OG Robert Turnbow… he looks like he’s 50 but he’s actually 22 because he works on Corollas… jk.

Two legends together… Hiroshi did a Instagram live pit walk talking to Corolla owners… loved that he interacted with everyone the whole time….

The vibe and weather was perfect… 

Juan aka @86jovi aka @dreammakergoods had some car trouble but the Honda guys Donnie and Kevin helped diagnose and troubleshoot…

It looks like Thaison had a pit crew but a few guys from the Midwest came out to hang and drive Thaisons F20c swapped hatch… 

IYKYK…

Matt and his GTV Sprinter Trueno came in from Florida for Texas AE86 Matsuri… this is a 16v 4age that makes 150whp with no head work… hits 9k rpm and was quick in the grip sessions… wish I had some sound clips of this car.

Some of the local guys (Pec, Angel, and Sammy) brought out their Corollas to hang out and chill…

Corolla guys of Texas…

Donnie brought out his Not86 cars… Toyota Carina and a track ready K swapped EK…

How chill was it at Texas AE86 Matsuri?  Arath shows us…

Milton showing Chris aka Beanbone some of his awesome footage on the track…

Thaison needed a car for Kaicho to drive so he reached out to the AE86 community and someone had a RHD coupe for sale that was reasonably priced… Days before the event Kaicho did some maintenance on it and it basically needed an overhaul lol… From what I heard it blew a few hours before the event ended…

Devin Creeze aka Doctored Garage flew in from AZ for the event and was hosted by John Yim… Devin is known for Beams, AE86 tech knowledge, and drifting on Youtube… 

Sonny‘s mint street driven boosted IS300… 

Another Beams swapped coupe… This is owned by Juan trailered in from SATX… he got to drive around the skid pad but the car had some electrical problems that shortened his day to drive… hopefully he sorts it out and will be able to drive again!

Good thing he trailered the Corolla… also check out that sky!

Randy showing Kaicho his big turbo 4age GTS coupe… Jamy didn’t finish his beams swapped Corolla so he brought a newly acquired c6 vette to drive… 

Hunter Dollery brought out his 7age Corolla and drove to his hearts content this year…

I think by the end of the day, everyone had smiles on their faces…

George Chuang aka @jorgechuga is a local filmmaker that loves driving… it was his first time trying to drift on track… everyones cars was covered in mud by the end of the day, but it was still smiles all around… check out his mini driving documentary show series  The Chester Series.

I wish I could clone myself and do more coverage and drive but I wanted to learn to drift a bit more… slowly getting it but it takes me awhile for things to click so that means I need more seat time… For anyone wanting to drift, start off with a mechanically solid car that is tuned… stock is usually best and to just drive… having someone next to you coaching will speed things up and sim driving on assetto corsa is a good way to start as well! Just a few pointers from everyone I talk to…

That is pretty much my coverage of 2023 Texas AE86 Matsuri (sorry if I missed your car this year!)… I’ve heard there are talks of having 2 Matsuri events a year or having a 2 day event next year… Either way, I’m sure there will be way more people interested and wanting to drive next year… so Matsuri can only get bigger and better!  Shout out to Thaison, Occamotif, IAS Performance, Houston Police Academy, sponsors (Panicmade, T3, Kyusha House, Bridge Moto) and everyone involved in making this happen!

As usual, thanks for stopping by the blog!

~ Danh Phan
IG // @dtphan aka @beams_sr5
maydaydphan@gmail.com

Check out the Google Photo/Video gallery of the weekend events here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/UDDGzngFa5R6fW9G8

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