Some of haters said I like to name drop, and pretend I know these famous people… They say that I am a photo opportunistic person who take the pictures to showoff. They could not be more wrong. These photos are for my own memory and collection to commemorate my interactions with them.
I actually have a people friendly personality and I am complete at ease talking to strangers. How do you guys suppose I was able to drive all those students’ car if I don’t make them feel comfortable? People have tendency to open up to me and tell me private things that that don’t normally share with strangers.
I was at Laguna Seca few years ago watching the MotoGP weekend. I was there with JohnnyBlaze (John Ross Huckins) from hybrids.jp back in the days. He is a dedicated MotoGP fan and he actually chilled and hung out with many MotoGP riders at Laguna Seca before. He have his own share of fun stories to tell! Johnny lived near Laguna Seca for a several years. He is now the parts manages a nice motorcycle shop down in National City, in San Diego, California.
Anyway, at the MogoGP weekend, Wayne Rainey was there racing SuperKarts and his buddy Fast Eddie Lawson was there too. I hung out around them for a while, listening to their conversations and realize who he was (actually it might’ve been Johnny who told me, “that’s Wayne Rainey”. I’m not a dedicated motor cycle race fan like Johnny is/was but I know both Wayne and Eddie were bad ass motorcycle riders and Honda racers no less. Everybody knows Turn 9 the Rainey corner is named after Wayne’s bad ass!!
I remember reading about guys like him, Freddie Spencer, Jeff Haney, Fast Eddie Lawson… etc. I’m certainly a fanboy of their total awesomeness. After a while I asked to have a photo taken with him. So I do have a photo of Wane Rainey and myself @ Laguna Seca paddock… some where on one of my old harddrives. 🙂 But I digress… this post is about Takashi Oi san.
On facebook, I just saw Moto Miwa posted the BRZ driving clip shown above earlier today. I watched it, and really enjoyed the footage. The drivers is pretty darn good! So I clicked on his profile… hmm, his face look vaguely familiar. I see that he was in a lot of JDM motoring videos. Then I see “D Rights”… and a bell goes off in my head. I had met Takashi san at Sears Point (Infineon Raceway) many years ago when Sony sent a large data acquisition team to SP to gather important terrain and track data for Gran Turismo 4!
Mr. Takashi spoke hardly any English, and while I can understand the most basic Japanese I can not carry a conversation with it. But we struck up a conversation anyways, because at the track there was only the working staff of Sony, RJ De Vera, and a few visitors. SP is my home track so I’m intimately familiar with it. I’m pretty sure this was Takashi san’s first time there. Between the hand gestures, limited vocabularies, and friendly rapport, I was able to share my knowledge of the track with him. I watched Takashi drive for few laps and he was looking good. Doing some pretty nifty long power slides coming out of turn 11 and getting close to the wall. Later on he came back in to the lounge and we hung out a bit more.
Then, the helicopter was ready to do the aerial filming. Takashi invited me ride along as they do the filming!! I was pleasantly surprised and stoked!! This was so freaking awesome I can vividly remember it. So after I get into the seat I pulled out my little Canon Digital ELPH point and shoot and I have a photo of him and I together inside the Nissan 350Z, with big grins on our faces. 🙂 Again, also somewhere in my old hard drive… gotta dig them out and archive them before they get lost. 🙂
Now, I don’t know in GT4 there are any actual aerial shots of a Nissan 350Z driving/drifting at Sears Point. But if there is such a footage somewhere, I can proudly say, I was riding shotgun in the car!! Good thing I keep a log of my track outings, I looked it up, and the exact date was January 3rd, 2003!
12/17/2011 5:18 am – haha! Takashi san just added me and replied!! Now that Takashi san mentions it, I totally forgot I had brought my Race Technology DL90 data logger to the track and I was showing Takashi how it worked. He liked that very much. And he showed off his little G meter to me as well. Indeed, his company develop a small portable meter that has accelerometer built in and displays real time information. I can’t remember the name of his product at the moment. It was kind of like the old school Valentines Research g.Analyst (which I also had a unit in the 1990’s)…