When it comes to drifting events in Australia, the way I see it is there are two types of events. The first type of event is usually in the form of a competition where conservative and practical cars are built to compete against each other. The drivers, while highly skilled, will drive in a way that ensures their victory but will not put their car into jeopardy for the next event. The other type of event that is seen will be smaller level private days where there is less to lose, and often more reason to push your car to the limits. Events like these will see a larger variety of modified cars, and the extremities of the modifications pushed to the boundary. While these events are much more relaxed, this mix of variety, skill and zero stress about pushing the car to the limits makes for some unbelievable drifting. The latter event is without a doubt my favorite, alas they are often far less popular for people to watch; there is no advertising for these events nor are there many or any big name drivers for spectators to be excited about.
Each year, the Tectaloy International Drift Challenge is held alongside World Time Attack . Without fail, it brings the best of the best from all over Australia and New Zealand. This year, an absolute bombshell was dropped with the announcement of Japan’s legendary Team Orange drivers, Nobushige Kumakubo and Naoto Suenaga, confirming entries to take a shot at the prestigious title.
I know this post is slightly overdue, but the short track series ended with some spectacular driving that can’t go unmentioned. The drivers were out in full force with plenty of amazing entries and extremely close tandems. This series has been one of the best so far in Queensland for the drifting scene, and I definitely hope for it to pick up again. The atmosphere at these events is super friendly and of course with Mez M.C.ing, the night was even better. Flynn Dowling didn’t participate in the tandems as he had, somewhat unwillingly, entered the competition side, rendering him unable to join in on the tandem fun, but he did very well in the comp…
When it comes to seeing the most exciting drift cars in South-East Queensland at one single gathering it’s hard to look past a Queensland Raceway morning session. You need only take one look at perfectly crafted cars like Dylan Salmond’s freshly built s13.4 to spot why there is clearly no exception.
I say it time and time again, but there is something magical about a Queensland Raceway morning session. Without a doubt it is my favorite drifting event in Australia. From the minute I arrive, the perfect mix of crisp winter morning air, with the smell of burnt tire gets my heart racing.
On May 18th we battled the freezing cold to watch some of the tightest battles and wall running action Brisbane had to offer at round 3 of the Queensland Raceway Short Track Series. This 3 part series organized by Wreck ‘Em and Sponsored by Etnies Australia saw some of the coolest looking drift cars in South-East Queensland hit the tarmac; one such car being a very low S14 driven by none other than Morgan Dowling.
Just a quick teaser for you guys of what Josh and I captured at yesterdays Queensland Raceway Morning Session. We will be bringing you full coverage from the day in the coming week or so.
A bit of a teaser of some coverage that Josh has coming up for you guys in the next few days on Morgan Dowling’s S14.
I honestly cannot wait to get another opportunity to go meet up with these guys again. If you have been privileged enough to experience drifting in Japan it feels like nothing else; everything is much simpler. There is no ego, there is no “This car looks better because…” or “This car looks shit because…” it is simply guys out to have fun. It should mean nothing more than that.
I was incredibly lucky to go meet Nozomu Sakai and the rest of the guys from MotorFIX last year, and I couldn’t have done it without help from Shane Bingham and Ewan Paterson who run K-Tours Osaka.
Hopefully I will get the opportunity to again go over there next year!
A bit of a Midnight Mechanics video for you guys today. I finally edited my GoPro footage from the March 9th Queensland Raceway Morning Session. I seriously love these events for the people that turn up and the time we get on track. I’m really happy with some of the tandems Jason and I go on the day, I can’t wait for us to get back out there asap!
In the land far far away (For us Queenslanders), we have this town called Goulburn, and at this time of the year it has special powers to make our thermometers read in the negatives and wind strong enough to make the clouds look like a time lapse video.
But that has never stopped a drift competition before and it it never will.
Some more Behind the Smoke for you guys, this time coming from Atlanta. The tight corners of Long Beach are always interesting to watch, but I love the long downhill entry of Atlanta. Looks like Dai clips the corner pretty bad in his first run, but he gets back up. Check it out guys!
Hollywood CA, – May 21, 2012 In this episode of GTChannel’s “Behind the Smoke” Dai’s Formula D Discount Tire/Falken Tire S13 rolls into Atlanta for Round 2. This episode follows Dai through Day 1 of qualifying at the newly designed Atlanta track.
Atlanta is always one of the more popular stops on the Formula D tour and this year was no different. Dai’s qualifying runs did not go as planned, but the action was fast and furious and the crowd support was great as usual.
“Dai has won two years in row at Atlanta and it’s one of his favorite tracks. This event was his chance to get back on top of the podium again,” said Taro Koki, director of “Behind the Smoke”.
“Behind the Smoke” gives a look into the real life of 2011 Formula Drift champion, Daijiro Yoshihara. GTChannel’s cameras follow Dai throughout the 2012 Formula Drift season both on and off the track. This gives drifting fans an exclusive look into what it takes to compete in the top professional drifting series. Behind the Smoke is produced by GTChannel in association with Discount Tire/America’s Tire and supported by Falken Tire, GoPro and Netflix.
Straight back into the coverage of Round 3 of the Queensland Raceway Short Track Series! Flynn Dowling, the owner of this rather amazing Onevia, was on form all night. In my opinion one of the best looking cars in Queensland at the moment. It’s rolling proof that even though setup of a drift car is important, you can still slamm it down hard for maximum style and drive better than everyone else.
Episode 4 of “Behind the Smoke” from GTChannel. I’m really enjoying seeing this documentary style coverage of a driver in Formula D. What you opinion of all the videos so far guys?
Hollywood CA, – May 14, 2012 In this episode of GTChannel’s “Behind the Smoke” Dai’s Formula D Discount Tire/Falken Tire S13 gets another thorough examination before heading to Atlanta for Round 2. A local SoCal track is used to simulate the upcoming Atlanta layout and the crew tries to dial in Dai’s car.
“I am very happy with the car this year. The additional horsepower along with the adjustments we made with the suspension really feels good,” said Dai. These new changes among others are highlighted in this latest episode of “Behind the Smoke”.
2012 looks to be even a more highly contested season with more experienced drivers and expanded fields for the Formula Drift series. In addition to a new tire specs and suspension requirements there are a number of challenges to be faced for the upcoming season. The Formula Drift drivers in 2012 are more experienced and more importantly expanded driver fields will pose a formidable challenge for 2012.
What a weekend at the first round of ADGP at Symmons Plains Raceway 2012. What seemed to be a horrible morning with all the rain, turned out to be an exciting and intense day with Luke Fink taking another round win. Even with engine troubles Luke still managed to pull though with some wild angles, including a reverse entry in his solo qualifying lap.
This Wednesday just passed as you may already know was another famous monthly Queensland Raceway Morning Session.
The guys over at GT Channel have passed me through their first Episode of their second season of “Behind the Smoke” – A documentary that follows the efforts of Formula D driver Daijiro Yoshihara. The series covers much more than what you see at the events and goes a bit more in depth as to what it takes to be a Formula D drifter.
“2012 is off to a great start and we hope to duplicate the success enjoyed with “Behind the Smoke” last year; while expanding the show’s distribution and promoting the sport of drifting worldwide”, says Taro Koki, Executive Producer of “Behind the Smoke.”
Season one focused on the struggle to win Dai’s first title, season two will document the rigors to stay at the top of the podium. With more in-depth coverage the viewers are drawn to the drama and hard work required to field a competitive Formula D car. More action, more pressure, and more smoke…
“Last year was the best of my career and hopefully GTChannel can be my good luck charm again in 2012. After eight years on the Formula Drift tour it felt great to finally win a title. I would like to thank all the drift fans out there for their support especially last year” said Dai Yoshihara.
2012 looks to be even a more highly contested season with more experienced drivers and expanded fields for the Formula Drift series. In addition to new tire specs and suspension requirements there are a number of challenges to be faced for the upcoming season. The Formula Drift drivers in 2012 are more experienced and more importantly the expanded driver field will pose a formidable challenge for 2012. Dai and crew have added horsepower to his Nissan S13 to keep up with the competition and if last week was any indication, 2012 should be a fun ride.
Here at Excitement! Car Magazine we will be bringing you guys each episode as they keep churning them out, so be sure to check them out!
Despite abundance of drifting events that we have floating around these days, sometimes you just can’t beat a good old fashioned Friday night drift event. Just this Friday past I got a very unexpected text from fellow Midnight Mechanic, Jason Sherring, asking me to come up to Queensland Raceway to watch him drift his 4agte AE86. Considering he has been trying to sell it for the past year, and hadn’t taken it to the track in what we worked out was more than two years, I was both very surprised and excited to hear he would be hitting the track.
I only took a few photos of Jason driving on the night and a few others, but I thought I would share them with you all. I also have some GoPro footage from the night coming up too.
Time for another Stadium drift Round! This time at my personal favorite track to shoot; Carnell Raceway (better known as Stanthorpe).
A good friend of mine, Jared Ahearn, turned up to the most recent Queensland Raceway Short Track round with more video gear than any single person should be able to afford and managed to produced this amazing video from the entire event. Somehow managing to mix Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds into the mix is a skill that only few can have, so enjoy the clip!
Hardtuned.net celebrated Remembrance Day in 2012 by hiring out the Holden Performance Driving Center and holding a private track day. After all, the men and women who we honor on this day fought and died for the freedoms that we have today. With a live DJ spinning out tracks, BBQ sizzling out the back and a large crowd of cars eager to hit the black top in time attack, hot laps and skid pans, the mood was set for fun. The clouds offered a cool day for both drivers and their vehicles, which made the whole thing just that little more comfortable.
If you have never taken the drive out to Stanthorpe before, the drive alone is an experience in itself. I drove out the night before and braved the bugs on the Cunningham Highway, which sounded like rain on the windshield and caused some trouble with oncoming headlights. All this in the attempt to get a room and not have to get up at 4am to make the drive from Brisbane. Alas this was not to be. I pulled into the first motel I came to out that way, and being a good hearted guy, I held the door open for a British tourist, who snaked the last room in town on me and I had to go back to Warrick for a room. I won’t be doing that again.
Now on to more pressing matters…. Who like skids?
This past Friday, I attended the second round of the short track series, which had to be even bigger than last round. There were a few cars out of action as I turned up due to things breaking and such but the action was still on par. I met even more people this round; I’m starting to get to know a lot of people within the drift scene. I also followed Grant everywhere, like a sidekick, so I used his 5D to get some decent shots of the drifting.
Here’s my final photos from Round 2 of the Queensland Raceway Short Track series that was held on Friday night. One of the understated cars of the night was Simon Mercers LS powered S13 which is still being dialed in but had no problem pouring out the smoke for the crowds.