If there’s one form of motorsport that makes absolutely no sense at all, it’s probably drifting. Drifting comes across as the dumbest ‘sport’ in the world… maybe that’s what makes it so flipping awesome! To most people outside the circle, it’s hard to understand. Build a car but not to be fastest around a track? Spend hundreds on tyres for them to only last a few laps? Take your pride and joy and try get as close as possible to crashing into your mates, without actually crashing into them? It’s more than fair enough if some people just don’t understand it. However, if they ever ride shot gun in a drift car, ALL of their questions will be answered. All of it will make sense and suddenly they’ll understand why this is simply an addiction for us.
May 13th at Mallala Motorsport Park, South Australia brought ‘Matsuri’ (a word that translates from Japanese to ‘festival’). With the track no longer willing to hold a drifting competition, a full day of non-competitive drifting is resultantly a popular alternative. The day is essentially a 9am – 9pm drift practice. However regulations at this event allow for drivers to take passengers out in their cars as long as they have a suitable roll-cage. A wicked opportunity to share their love for the sport with their partners, sponsors, family, friends or anyone that’s keen to jump in.
Whilst there is minimal variation of what cars you see as the majority of cars originate from Japan, there is still a lot of variety in entrants’ vehicles. For reference sake most cars fit into the following general categories –
- Basic beginner budget cars and street cars
- Missiles and battle practice cars
- Cars that are developed to a certain style and often thoroughly maintained
- Competition cars
This helps paint the picture that a lot of drivers have different reasons to be in the sport. One of my favourite drivers to have been driving with for the last few years is Jordan Badcock. Jordan took to drifting extremely naturally, like a fish to water. He’s one that likes to have his Series 1 S14 presented in such a way that reflects all the time, money and effort he puts into. This even meant that two weeks shy of the event he decided to completely reshell his car into a tidier shell. However unfortunately ran out of time to paint the car before Saturday. Jordan is proof that simplicity and skill makes for decent driving. The car is of fairly typical set up with just knuckles, T28 SR20 with e85, diff and coilovers (amongst other usual changes) – Jordan’s driving goes to show that you don’t need 400 kw, a sequential and ridiculously over-developed suspension geometries to be one of the most entertaining drivers in the field.
Joel Donegan also had his wicked RB25 powered S13 out in action. This is more of a competition standard car with wisefab FD spec suspension, an extremely built driveline, rear drop knuckles and some wicked aero thanks to OriginLabo. Joel has consistently been a podium finisher in multiple drifting competitions around Australia including G1 Drift (South Australian championship) and Drift Challenge Australia.
On the more missile side of things is this R32 owned by Sam Begg and Stuart Rosenthal. A car shared by two best mates, which doesn’t need to look pretty for it to be an extremely good time. Utilising a humble RB20 with just and exhaust and intercooler, it’s proved to be a consistently reliable rig to get them as much seat time as possible.
Matt Lee’s mental wide body 180sx with a built SR20 and TD06 made it’s return, with consistent lines all day and guidance for less experienced drivers. The car sits perfectly with a combination of OEM type X parts and aftermarket aero upon some very wide Work Emotion D9R.
The day goes all the way from 9am till 9pm, giving photographers a lot of different styles to pursue in different lighting, capturing shots at night;
Or shooting through turn two where drivers and passengers can throw signs to the camera!
Mallala also gives opportunity for the golden sky to be captured across turn two during ‘golden hour’ over dusk.
For more Drifting action, Drift Challenge Australia will be running Round 2 of their South Australian competition at JDM X Park on the 27th of May!
(Unfortunately due to mechanical issues, we will not be attending/competing in or covering DCA)
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