I really didn’t intend to write anything about this trip (as I was a spectator) but after spending the last nine straight days working on multiple ten page reports for the final parts of my major in chemistry I’m dying to write about something else.
All my mates know that I’m always one to make some pretty big, thought lacking, obnoxious statements and similar to me arguing that SR20s are the best motors ever made, I’ll strongly argue for this statement – WTAC is the best motorsport event in Australia (for individuals into this style of sport – ie if you’re a drag racing enthusiast I won’t try to convince you). And what’s weird about WTAC is that even though it’s such a mental,next level and heavily funded event; a lot of people into drifting and grassroots racing don’t actually know about, or perhaps know of it and might watch the live feed if a link conveniently pops up in their news feed but haven’t been nor have they thought about going.
How to get there –
The first year (2015) that we went we drove over to Sydney all day Thursday, and due to a few complications it turned into a 17hr car trip, we then returned driving all day Sunday. The first thing we all said when we got home was “yeahhh nah, next year we’re flying”. A lot of my friends still drive over and the idea is excellent especially if you’re keen to catch Bathurst which usually falls the weekend before hand. However, for us it mean we spent two days of driving for two days in Sydney and that didn’t make a lot of sense – especially as it meant one extra day off work/uni/etc.
Lloyd’s insane 60s Series Toyota Land Cruiser we took over last time (irrelevant silvia on the back).
So this year we all flew over and next year we intend to do the same, why? Because all the perks of driving over we managed to gather but without the awfully long drive. Flying obviously meant we could leave later Thursday night so less time taken off everyone’s commitments and hence less income sacrificed, it’s just a cheeky 90mins in a plane (hint: you can be drunk in those), and then just hire a car when you’re over there – the more people you take the less it all costs.
(RWB Porsche – photo: @jonathanjeffries)
Tips for organising –
Choose who you want to go with and have the same intention on what you want the trip to be. We made it a cliché lads trip. Twelve of us all obviously into motorsport, seven slabs of beer, maximal bants, one hire van, two desos (thankyou Kieran/Josh).(Photo: @jonathanjeffries)
IMPORTANT: NSW has some lame ass law that you can’t buy booze from a bottle-o after 10pm… you’re welcome.Good guy/10 Photo: @jonathanjeffries
Why I love WTAC –
There’s a tonne of obvious reasons to absolutely love this event. For example; I met Mike Whiddett, Daigo Saito, Chris Forsberg, Under Suzuki (2015), we saw Tim Slade pilot the MCA s13 to the fastest time ever done around Eastern Creek in a car and smash the lap record. Witnessed Keiichi Tsuchiya pilot a Pagani Huayra as well as Beau Yates’ AE86. See some of the most incredible time attack cars in the world with the most over engineered aero and suspension set ups ever. And there are so many more displays, with large companies like HyperTune having stalls but also smaller companies such as We Are Likewise also showing what they’ve built. You’ll see the Bathurst winning R32 GTR, ‘FATBOY’ a 1000HP QuadRotor Lexus GS300 drift car from New Zealand, Daigo Saito’s Lamborghini drift car, and even the Nissan R88C Le Mans competition car pictured below.Photo: @jonathanjeffries
However one of the things I really love about this event are all the cars you get to see in the flesh that you’ve been following for years and also the opportunity you get to support the people chasing these dreams. A crowd pleaser will always be Oliver’s incredible PS13. Photo: @jonathanjeffries
Another car I was super keen to see in the flesh and person to meet was Nigel Petrie’s/the Engineered to Slide PS13It was super cool to be able to meet Nigel and discuss with him in person how he’s gone about doing it all and seen the incredible attention to detail on it in person. This event gives independents such as Nigel the opportunity to sell their own merchandise and resultantly gives followers like myself the opportunity to buy their merch and support them. And as mentioned earlier you also see cars such as Australia’s RWB Porsche, and a tonne of others. A lot of enjoyment is just making your way through the carpark seeing what everyone drove to the event. We Are Likewise’s 86 – and probably the only 86 I like. Photo: Lloyd – STS Images
On top of this there’s a huge show and shine with a tonne of incredible cars on display that just ooze ideas to take back home. One of which is this super clean and simple yet well executed Evo snapped by STS.2016 also saw the return of the International Drift Challenge. This year saw massive international competitors including Chris Forsberg, Daigo Saito, Mike Whiddett and a huge list of Aus/NZ competitors. The competition saw a crowd of 10’000 people which is the largest spectator drift event in Australia. Even though the whole 1000HP wisefab thing was the theme of the event which is not to a lot of people’s taste, it can only mean good things for the sport’s development in Australia.Chris Forsberg with the MCA 370z that unfortunately suffered mechanical issues – Photo: STS Images
The drift competition also included Keiichi as well as Tarzan Yamada as two of the three judges. And one of the boys was also lucky enough to get Keiichi, Tarzan and Under Suzuki’s signatures on his Nardi.
Hopefully this inspires enough of my mates to commit to making the trip over for 2017. With so many huge names this year as special guests, I have no idea how they’ll top this year’s event but we can only wait and see. And if all this hasn’t been enough to motivate you – I got to offer Keiichi one of South Australia’s finest Sparkling Ales.
Thank you for having a gander friends.
For those that keep asking, I don’t intend on doing much driving over the next six months (unfortunately including missing Willunga Hillclimb) due to Uni exams and to accumulate funds for a holiday to Japan. However if I can stretch the funds I’ll hopefully compete in G1 Round 3 albeit on the cheap #scrappies