Mervyn Nakamura... Former National Youth Bowling Athlete ( 1999-2004 ), Current Formula Drift Asia Pro Driver and MAS crew
I love working with young people. They remind me of my hopes and dreams. My first flight with Mervyn was ages ago, to Kuching, Sarawak on a nightstop. It was a good trip. We, the whole set of crew, had dinner at Top Spot, the nearest place to have seafood and I remember that Mervyn ended up not eating much of the dishes served as he can't stand the smell of it. I remember teasing him about how weird it is to be half Japanese and yet not like seafood! We felt bad for choosing to eat there, for if we had known about it earlier, we would have gone some place else. He on the other hand,was totally cool about it, didn't make a big fuss at all and from then on, I have liked him since..
We seldom get to fly together and I don't know much about what he does outside the airlines except to sometimes hear stories about him and his favourite sport ~ drifting, from others. At work, I have never heard him talking about it but I remember him inviting me to one of his events before. Unfortunately I did not get to go. It sounds interesting. I am sure I would have enjoyed it earlier on so I have decided to bring my son to watch him drift TODAY. Check out this link to find out more about it. ( http://www.formuladriftasia.com ). I didn't even know that he is quite the celebrity, for every time we were to bump into each other at work, he would be the first one to greet me from afar. It is nice to see him doing so well in life now and I do hope, it'll only get much better in the future..He is definitely someone, that I was planning to feature on my blog for the SSNC. Here's a mini interview I had of him :)
A - I started flying with MH the same year I got myself into drifting back in 2004
Q - What influenced you to do this?
A - I've always been into extreme sports. I like to be different from the norm. When drifting came along, I just had to push myself to learn the skill of throwing your car out of control but being in control at the same time. That's a good way to explain what drifting is. Then, after winning my first championship in 2007, Formula Drift came to Asian shores and held its first Formula Drift Asia Pro-Am Singapore in 2008. I just had to compete, therefore I made sure I'd do whatever it took for me to be there. Being a newbie in such a big event (back then) where professional racers from all over Asia and some from the USA lined up the fray, I felt really good knowing the sport I loved had so much respect and reputation from fans from all over the world. From that year onwards, I vowed to join all the Formula Drift events all over SEA. In 2009, I finished a reputable 4th place that eventually placed me 6th in the asian rankings thus earning my Formula Drift Professional License.
Q - What was your worst obstacle & how did you overcome it with regards to drifting?
A - Mainly funds and work commitments.
I had to propose many companies for sponsorship. Fyi, Every Formula Drift is broadcasted live on ESPN Star Sports (now FOX Sports) and has a rough viewership of 330 million viewers all across SEA. It wasn't hard getting sponsorship from those who see value in the wide and vast advertising opportunity.
Q - Who is your biggest critic & supporter?
A - Critic?.. I'd say me, myself and I. I'm such a particular person and most of the time a perfectionist. I will not settle for second best and always push myself to do better runs or to give the crowd a good show.
- Biggest supporters would be my family, fiancee, good friends and most importantly the fans. without any of them, the sport of drifting would not go mainstream. The fans especially, plays an important role.
Q - What do you love most about Malaysia?
A - Its natural beaches
Q - Any nice stories to share about your fellow Malaysian drifters or friends in general?
A - We are all very helpful amongst each other. As much as we are competing against each other in the local events on track, in the pits, the sportsmanship is there, and if anyone needs help regardless which team you are racing for, everyone is ready to lend a helping hand. It feels more like a family and I guess that's the Malaysian in every one of us.
Q - Can we have a little bit background info on your family?
A - My mom is Japanese and dad is Malay, hence the name Mervyn Nakamura. That way, I will always have my mom with me whenever and wherever I am racing. So... that makes me a Jelayu? :)
Q - Last question. Where's your favourite Malaysian destination?
A - The beaches! Sabah's many beaches are awesome, Redang, Lang Tengah, Perhentians, Tioman, Pangkor... all nice, clean and blue. I'm more of a beach person due to the fact that I'm flying (work) most of the time and drifting (racing) most of the weekends... the beach is a way to break free and relax my mind. Luckily, I can find my slice of heaven in Malaysia.
|The # says it all, hehe...|
|Next big event...@ Speedcity kl 31/8 - 1/9/2013|
|He drifts it...|
|He smokes it :)|
|He shreds it!|
|Malaysia's very own rising star|
Life in the fast lane ~
That's his fiancee and TJ Wee, a fellow MH crew cum best buddy of his, in the airlines.
I managed to get hold of TJ recently and asked him if he would like to surprise and say something nice about his best friend and this is what he has to say about Mervyn. He has known him for nearly 7 years now and to him, Mervyn is a very nice dude who believes in the importance of friendship and is willing to go all out to do anything just to help a friend in need. Drifting is his world. His free time is always utilized on practice sessions. Mervyn's mother is TJ's Godma and according to him, this drifter is a Mama's Boy. Anything he does, wherever he goes, his mother will be the first to know. It's been like this for the last 29 years. Mother and son enjoys a very close bond.
He also talks to his car a lot especially when he is ready to enter the race track. A very friendly dude who loves to share his knowledge and expertise to anyone who is interested to learn. When they hang out together for a meal, he'll either order beef or chicken and he'll always say to the waiter, " Saya nak ayam, tapi nak dada sahaja. " Black pepper beef is his favourite and he loves to eat Beef Kolo Mee at Gyuniku Hartamas.
Besides drifting, he loves playing snooker, darts and bowling. When I asked TJ to describe Mervyn in one word, he immediately replied ~ "AWESOME" ( as a friend, as a son, and as the boyfriend to his girlfriend ). He shared a story with me about something nice he did for Mervyn once. While his best friend was preparing for The World Airlines Bowling Tournament, his bowling bag got stolen and that was quite a blow for him as he didn't have sufficient funds to get a new one. So TJ decided to surprise him, by presenting him with a new bag and written on it was, MERVYN NAKAMURA 69. The guy was so touched it nearly brought tears to his eyes. The number 69 means a lot to Mervyn. It represents balance to everything in life ~ Yin & Yang. It's his MoJo :) When I asked TJ what can you tell me about Mervyn that many are not aware of ? His reply was, " for your information, Mervyn only drives not more than 100km/h on the road..and that is what's unique about him. When it comes to this drifter, safety is everything! " and " Mervyn loves the beach but the funny part about him is, he must have an air conditioned room to sleep in or else it is a no go for him. "
* Thank you TJ for the sneak peek into Mervyn's world from a third person's point of view. I am happy to have you both as my colleagues :)
All the best later. See you guys there :)
|Someone's going places..yeah!!|
** You can get more info about Mervyn on the net, in the news, his own fan page etc..Happy googling folks! ( If you want to get to know TJ, ask me )
Mervyn's parents, TJ & brother plus a snapshot of the two of us at the tracks today ( 1/9/13 )
|My baby's first experience, thanks to Mervyn ♥|
Ganbatte Mervyn! Keep safe & continue making us proud :)