Queensland Raceway Winter Morning Session | Grant Scott
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.
Going to a drift day like this doesn’t come without dedication. With the track being about an hour and a half drive from the Gold Coast, most drivers leave their nest well before sunrise. The gates open at 7:30am for the eager early birds, though the action on track usually doesn’t start until 8:15am, allowing the drivers to take their time unloading, settling in and to check the setup on their cars.
Ben Ladewig took this particular session as an opportunity to debut his recent build. This S15 witnessed some tough times before ever seeing the track, but much to Ben’s delight, seemed to run problem free all day.
Not one who is afraid to show his own style right down to his own helmet, Benny claims he “went all Banksy on it”.
Mez from Wreck’ Em was up for the day to film as well. When are we going to have another Wreck’ Em premiere Mez??
People in the videography world should be watching out for this guy too… Jared Ahearn, who you may know as the owner of this rather stylish Lexus, has been hitting up events left right and centre with his little Sony handy cam.
Here is just a teaser of what he captured at this event. Sit tight, because there’s a full version coming up very soon!
The clock hits 8.15am and the track opens! While all the drivers usually can’t wait to hit the track, their attitude and behavior is generally relaxed. It’s rare to see everyone pushing and shoving to get out first.
Walking up and down the pits you begin to realize the variety of drivers that turn up to this event, and yet, despite their differences, they’re all here for the same single reason – to have FUN!
Typically, the drivers you’ll find at these events have often built their cars with nothing but style in mind. Despite the cars being stupidly low and excessively wide, I know many of these drivers could easily give competition drifters a run for their money.
As said previously, one of the things I love the most about a Queensland Raceway morning session is the variety of cars. Paul Dean from Motorman Imports turned up for a bit of fun in his S13. This car is great example of how well a competition car can be styled by us Aussies.
One person I was keeping a close eye on throughout the day was Daniel Buckner in his graffed R33, which you may remember from the Queensland Raceway Short Track Series. This is the exact moment that I was waiting for; grab third and bake.
A Queensland Raceway morning session is fantastic for people who want to get a decent amount of passenger time, as my good friend Nathan McKenna found out. I’m fairly certain the helmet he’s wearing is a motocross helmet for 8-13 year olds…
The main person I came up to watch for this particular morning session was my good friend Matt Sheather, who was driving his 13b Corolla.
When I first arrived at the pits, the only car I could hear was Matt’s very lumpy, rotary sounding Corolla. This thing is no kitten either, pushing out 400hp and running on E85.
While going for a run with Matt I noticed a small diagram scribbled on the front window that must keep him on his toes at all times.
This must have been one of the moments where the dial was mostly hitting the $ side…
The little Corolla certainly has no problem keeping it sideways on just about every corner on the very large Queensland Raceway.
While Matt is still very much learning how to drift, he’s pulling some impressive slides in a car that is practically built to be a full blown circuit car.
I spotted Casey from ShirtsTuckedIn running around on the day getting a few film shots.
Every single car that I have ever seen associated with JDM Garage has come out as an absolute winner, and this S13 is no exception. Unfortunately, I didn’t really see it slide much during the day, my guess, that it was still being run in. That aside, those VS-KFs mixed with the cream color and the S14 front were just the perfect combination.
Speaking of JDM Garage, it was good to see Zac Seaton out drifting again after spending quite some time living in the UK. This rather tidy looking S14 isn’t quite at the level that his previous S15 was, but it’s certainly getting there with a clean set of R33 GT-R wheels filling out the guards.
As many of you know by now, it is always a delight to watch Danny T and Tayno Ayo slide side by side. Once again, they definitely held nothing back at this event.
I was thoroughly impressed by the driver of this 180sx, who was in constant tandem with Tayno and Danny throughout the day. What impressed me the most is that it was subtle enough to not notice until the roaring sound of a v8 flew past you.
There is always a smoke show to see when Shiny Dave is on the track, particularly when in close tandem with an RB26 powered S15.
Possibly my favorite car in the drift scene at the moment is Braden Mace’s Zenki S14. This is one man that truly knows how to style a car in a subtle way and make it look amazing. I couldn’t get enough of watching both Macey and Zac tandem all day.
The chrome Work XT7′s are truly what make the car, but the Japanese plates and the vibrant blue visor simply seals the deal. Looking at this car fills me with so many emotions and reminds me why I love drifting.
Of course, like all good drift events, the day must come to an end. The quality of the cars, the relaxed attitude of all the drivers, and of course, the fact there were some amazing drifting skills on display; these are just some of the reasons why I love Queensland Raceway morning sessions. To put it simply, they’re so much better than any other event.
If you watch any track day this year, make sure you head out to a morning session!