With University all finished off for the year and the completion of my Chemistry Major, a day of drifting was in order. The Tuesday before the weekend we had a last minute change of plan to hit up JDM X Park instead of the originally planned venue. This also gave us the opportunity to more or less make a weekend out of it and turn it into a rad camping trip.
The track is located three hours from Adelaide at Mambray Creek on Highway 1/Augusta Highway, 2km past the Mount Remarkable turnoff, after Coe Road (the actual road is not listed as far as I know). The owner – James Mardle – has so much passion for this sport that he’s literally built the track by himself. And when talking to him or watching kids thrash their drift cars around, you can tell nothing makes him happier than seeing people have a tonne of fun slaying cars around on his masterful creation.
The weekend started off arriving after dusk on Saturday night. Immediately greeted with massive smiles and a very hospitable welcome by James, encouraging us to make ourselves at home. The cars were parked up and a BBQ commenced with a few beers and the general mingling with other like minded drifters that makes the sport rad. This coincided with night’s entertainment of some rather amusing motor-trike burnouts amongst other things.
Morning came; business time! A couple of sighting laps to get the car up to temperature and it was time to party. Immediately getting a feel for the track on some shot tyres to start things off and it was so obvious to see how well the track flows. It harnesses the ability to run different layouts to your heart’s content with some rather cool slight crests and a cambered bowl. The ‘clockwise outside route’ seems to be the most popular enabling a lot of speed exiting to the bowl to link into a long bend up into a hair pin with the chance to grab third on the way. But like I did and leave your talent at home you might end up parked in the tyre wall up the end.After a good hard flogging the heat from the constant drifting without a tonne of air flow resulted in a silicon joiner exploding. Without a suitable spare, a 30 minute trip up the road to Port Augusta’s AutoPro found us a new one and the car got going again. Being a track predominantly made for drifting implies that there’s no annoyingly long back straights to drive between corners, however this also means there’s no conveniently long back straights to cool down your car between corners. Aforementioned flow of the track also works out to 3 laps of drifting is an approximate 1km of straight drifting, tied in with rural South Australia’s desert conditions means a very close eye must be kept on temperatures. Resultantly, bonnet removal is a common tactic to beat the heat as shown by Brody.After this the day got going. Jacob drove his mint Mark II street car all the way to the track, thrashed all day and drove home afterwards.
It was bloody awesome being third in the four car trains (and unfortunately struggling to keep up) so I could also watch Jordan and Brody’s door on door action.
Working my way through the day I opted to get rid of older scrap tyres first and it wasn’t until an hour shy of the end of the day that I finally got to put on a pair of brand newies. Three laps on them and the car felt excellent finally pushing some decent speed out of corners, however the same joiner exploded a second time and that’s my day done.
All in all I couldn’t be happier with the weekend as a send off for my driving for 2016. A wicked time away and being able to share drifting with the boys, a car running near faultlessly all day and only slight cosmetic damage. After a bit of travelling early next year and an elbow welded onto the turbo shall see us all back at the park banging gears again.
Huge list of people to thank for this event
- Vulcan Performance and Fabrication for giving the car a thorough checkover as well as modifying and building a couple of new parts and their continuous support
- Lloyd Dekruyf for towing me out as always and dealing with my mechanically soft hands 24/7
- JJ and Matty for coming along for the trip, drinking beers and the lift into Port Augusta
- Andrew Campbell for hiring out his wicked green trailer
- James Mardle for building a sick place to thrash
And everyone else that made this weekend one to remember.
(All photos by Jonathon Jeffries)