One of the very best reasons to head along to any car event, is to enjoy the vibe with friends and fellow enthusiasts.
The SLY (Sports Land Yamanashi) Summit is the physical embodiment of this kind of atmosphere. It’s a grassroots drift event with an emphasis on having fun, with flair and style.
After having such a great time at the 2019 SLY Summit, I was deeply looking forward to the 2020 event, however that was completely sidelined by the Covid pandemic. The 2021 event suffered the same fate.
So when Ryohei Takahashi from the Lowbrain drift team told me that the SLY Summit was all go for this year, and extended an invitation for me to come hang out, I made sure to lock in the date.
If you haven’t been to Yamanashi Prefecture in the middle of winter, know that the temperatures here can be significantly lower than some of the surrounding prefectures, and this particular morning was no exception. Not that the below-freezing temps deterred anyone from turning out and having fun. It was just great to be back.
I had no game plan, as the last time I hung out with most of the people present was at the last SLY Summit three years ago. So I spent most of my day catching up with old friends and making some new ones.
It was eye-opening to see how much some people’s driving had improved since the last time I saw them. Sports Land Yamanashi can be a really intimidating track to drive, as there are steep elevation changes and virtually no run-off areas if you get it a bit wrong. But friends who were a little timid before now seemed to be fully sending it.
A small crew from Video Option (aka Option Magazine’s YouTube channel) were interviewing a few of the drivers, setting up cameras inside their cars and generally documenting the day.
Although mostly in Japanese, the video above is a good watch for those wanting to not only see, but hear what the SLY Summit is all about.
With that, I’ll keep it very short and sweet and let the pictures I captured do the rest of the talking. I’d say same time next year, but the last time I did that…