Posts Tagged ‘Drift’

It seems apt that our first event of the new year involves drifting, after all, the first 2 blog posts ever to appear on Garage Awesome back in the middle of last year, were both drift related, and has always been a firm favourite with the Team.

The venue and event we decided to head to was Santa Pod and the first “Drift What Ya Brung” day of the year. Santa Pod and the DWYB team have been a major player in the grass-roots level of UK drifting, providing both weekday and weekend sessions throughout the year for all drifters from the first time novice right through to the stars of the British Drift Championship and JDM Allstars events.

Santa Pod

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Winter is most definitely cruising season and with the shows done it keeps the scene ticking over and people in touch; swapping ideas, thoughts and plans ready for next year and aside from that it gives a chance to find some hidden gems whilst the usual show cars are tucked away in garages and bodyshops!

Christmas cruises are pretty common in the UK scene, with 3 or 4 being drawn to our attention over the last few weeks, but the inclement weather had put pay to us visiting some in Kent and Wales, however when we learned that Nicola and her team over at KNW were planning one, we drew up plans to battle the weather come rain or shine (or even snow!) to bring you coverage from their event!

KNW Cruise

It seems we were far from alone, with convoys running from all over as far away as Milton Keynes, Stoke on Trent, Birmingham and our friends over at Fast ‘N’ Modded running one from the east coast, Hull! The 75 mile journey we made wasn’t quite as simple, as our route took in some of the highest roads in the Peak District, some that in weather that this country is currently seeing remain closed for large periods of time.

It was worth the trip though as the Kroozin North West team had been busy promoting on the forums and that was represented in the turnout. The location, just a stones throw away from Manchester’s Trafford Centre, was ideal with plenty of space and lighting and with the cruiser’s favourite; a McDonald’s on site.

Convoys steadily arrived from about 8pm and filled up 2 of the main car parks pretty quickly but a third car park was left, and we’re not sure if this was planned, but it didn’t take long for people to realise this, and along with the few inches of snow and ice and the -7*C temperature in Salford, meant that an improvised snow drift arena was formed.

BMW

A variety of BMWs, Evos, Subarus and 200SXs, an MX5, an Audi S3 and an S4 Avant all came out to play and put on a display that BBC’s Dancing on Ice would be proud of, and as usual the few close calls that did happen were met with cheers and “ooooohs” from the on-looking cruisers, definitely a great way of making use of this weather to keep people entertained!

Kroozin North West have been organising cruises for a good few years, and the experience Nicola and her team shone through, with an organised, trouble free location, a mass of convoys from all over the UK and their forum full of information, it certainly has the Garage Awesome seal of approval when it comes to putting on a top class event.

200SX KNW

Aside from the “snow drifting”, lots of cars caught our eye on some of our various walks round, although unfortunately the trip in the salty, slushy roads had put pay to the cleanliness of some cars, the quality shone through. The black and cream themed Bora was tidy, the blue S14 proved it can look good and is used hard and the Morris Minor looked and sounded like something Mad Max would own!

Elsewhere we found a couple of tidy Mk2 Golfs, a spotless Astra VXR, a Honda Integra and some Renault Clios, a drift-ready purple S13 and a neatly airbrushed Vauxhall Corsa.

As the night drew to a close, the -7*C temperatures meant an early night for some, but it just goes to show that no matter what the weather, an event in the UK can work and run and still make for an enjoyable evening. Big thanks again to Nicola and the team at Kroozin North West and we suggest that you log on to their forums to keep abreast of the next event these guys plan, and with any luck, Garage Awesome will be there to cover it!

Pic Credits – Ollie Novell

Alongside the main Trax event, the final round of the JDM Allstars was running. This is an event that, if you’re a regular reader of Garage Awesome, you will know we have covered before and is possibly our favourite drift series, so there was no way we were gonna miss it or lump a report in with the main show, so with Coop and his camera poised and ready, we bring to you Round 5 of the JDM Allstars!

First thing to mention is the slightly disappointing amount of time the guys had out on track, through no fault of anybody in particular, but the Trax schedule is so tight with public track time that when the unfortunate happens, like a engine or box giving up round Brooklands, which coincidentally was what did happen, it severely effects the schedule and JDM Allstars qualifying round was the one to suffer.

Champion, Luke Fink

USA drift hero; Chris Forsberg, was billed as the main attraction, and led most people to believe he would be competing against the JDM regulars but, bar a few demo runs, he was mainly breaking driveshafts on the Japspeed S15 in the live action arena, which is probably for the best as the standard of the drifting was really high!

The JDM Allstars weren’t without their own problems though, fan favourite Stiggy Evans managed to put a nice hole in the Pinto block on his cheeky Toyota Starlet, Pawel Trela also had car issues and failed to qualify and the big upset of the day was that championship contender, and Donnington Park round winner Dan Chapman failed to qualify after England’s unpredictable weather put pay to his run with a covering of rain on the circuit.

M5 Powered E30

The Polish contingent were out in full force, with Marcin Mospinek in his E30 amazing the crowds swinging it from one side of the track to the other to set up his entry, along with fellow BMW driver Marcin Skwierczynsk in his M5 powered E46! Piotr Jankowski and Maciej Bochenek joined them in the qualifying last 16.

Other drivers to qualify included odds-on favourite to take the crown; Luke Fink, Jon Calvert, the rear wheel drive Scooby of Walton Smith, the infamous S13 of Anthony Scott, Brad McQueen, Matt Chiappa, Skyline driver George Tilling, Irish drivers Dwaine Mckeever and Alan Mccord and the E36 M3 Turbo belonging to Steve Will

With the runs being judged on a single run, because of the time constraints, it certainly wasn’t an easy call to make on any of the rounds, and although commentator Bryn was doing his best to keep up with the action, I’m not even sure he knew exactly what was happening, although even if he did, Silverstone failed to recognise there were people on the outside of the circuit so we were unable to hear him!

S13 Drift

Eventually, after some tight battles, it left us with four drivers to take the round win, and with Dan Chapman out and Luke Fink making it through, the Aussie driver had already wrapped up the overall title.

Fink made it through to the round final after beating Maciej Bochenek in his semi final, setting up a final with Jon Calvert who beat another Pole, this time Marchin Mospinek. Mospinek took the advantage in a very close 3rd / 4th place battle

The final was everything the last drift of a series should be, seeing both Fink and Calvert produce crazy speed and angle and on the second run, the pair got so close I think Luke could have read the mileage on the clocks of John’s car, honestly one of the closest and most exciting runs I’ve seen whilst watching drifting.

The end of an epic season of drifting for the JDM Allstars, one that we’re going to cover even more of next year here on Garage Awesome, sees Luke Fink claim the championship, and Jon Calvert taking the round win, his second of the year!

Pic Credits – Rich Cooper

Due to Trax being such a massive event, as we said in part 1, we knew that to cover all the elements and bring you pics of some of the coolest cars, Garage Awesome would need two reports, so we have done just that and here is your second slice of the action from Silverstone!

There is no doubting the main attraction of an event such as Trax is the chance for Joe Public to take their car out on the brand new layout that is the Silverstone F1 circuit, and there was no shortage of takers with public sessions running from 9.00am right until the gates closed at 5.00pm, with only the occasional breaks for demo runs and the JDM Allstars drift series.

Track Escort

The idea is simple: for the price of half a tank of fuel, an xbox game or 3,000, 1 penny chews, you can take your car onto the Silverstone circuit and test out your latest mods with no risk of having your collar felt by the police in an unmarked Skoda, and the only photos that will be taken of you breaking the speed limit will come from the media or mates watching you, yup… not a Gatso or stealthily hidden camera van in sight!

The car really doesn’t matter, every session this weekend was filled with a proper array of vehicles ranging from full-blown race spec saloon and Time Attack cars, drift cars, supercars, company demo cars right the way through to occasional track cars and your very own road cars, some that looked like they cost less than it did to actually go out on track, even your mum’s Mondeo, it really doesn’t matter!

Obviously there are things to consider before signing up; you must attend briefing and bring both parts of your driving licence and your car needs to be up to the task, so it’s wise to give the car a good once-over, checking all fluid levels including fuel as 25 minutes of full chat driving drinks more fuel than you expect, even on the most frugal of cars, and the last thing you want is to be the donut who stopped the session because you ran out of fuel!

Suoercharged Type R

Brakes and tyres also take a hammering, so be prepared to replace or use a spare set if you’re travelling home in said vehicle, and finally, not to be overlooked is insurance and breakdown cover, remember 99% of you are not insured for driving around a track, so if you bin it, you won’t get a payout and although track day cover is available it’s unlikely anyone has it and it usually only covers damage to a 3rd party, so you have been warned! A note on insurance, Garage Awesome has managed to find out that some companies employ spotters to see cars they insure driving on track, so we advise you either remove or cover up some of your plates before you head out there!

Breakdowns are also a grey area, companies like the AA or RAC don’t tend to like pickups from Silverstone, so break something and you could be stuck there, so the smart money would be on taking a tow-rope and if the unfortunate happens, getting a mate to tow you a few miles away from the circuit might well be a wise move if you were wanting to get home!

Team Green

Away from the track (and I know we have not mentioned the drifting yet, but a full JDM Allstars report will be on Garage Awesome very soon) we got to see some of the more polished metal in the UK scene in the Power and Style area up in the scrutineering bay. Very similar to Show and Shine; it gave those who weren’t on a club display, or had something very clean or highly modified they wanted to display, an area to show off in, and also a trophy to compete for.

Pre entry was required on the Trax website, but looking through it seems a lot of the successful applicants were absent, however, some really clean cars were on display, such as Ash’s Max Power cover Honda Civic, Matt’s Garage Awesome featured Euro Fiesta and some incredibly, sometimes verging on ridiculously, clean Fords. Literally, the chassis, lower arms and suspension components were cleaner than most people’s bodywork, it looked like hours of work and vast expense but well worth it in the end, I mean, how many of you would put a mirror under your car for people to see! In the end, my sources tell me it was the smart Euro’d Punto of Alex Elford that took home top honours, well done fella!

So, that concludes our Trax report for 2010, I’m sure it will be just as awesome in 2011 too, and can almost guarantee come the first weekend of September next year both you, and us, will be there to check it out!

Pic Credits – Ollie Novell/Rich Cooper (Track)

As if the first report didn’t cover enough action for a car show, we are only half way through our report as USC has way more still left to write about as we head back to the track for the ever popular European Sports Compact drag series.

For those unaware of the ESC, take note, as over the next few years it’s going through some changes as the popularity increases further, aiming towards 2012 where the series will be gaining full MSA approval and status.

A quick introduction to the rules I suppose would be an obvious place to start, with the main focus being on the car and engine being European. That’s a European body and engine, so no Japanese motors, or American v8’s. Popular cars currently in the series are the mk2/4 VW Golfs, Vauxhall Novas and Corsas and the mighty but fragile Renault 5 Turbo. With engine restrictions in place it sees the tuners gain maximum power and speed out of standard off the shelf engines, the VAG 20VT is popular as is the Vauxhall C20LET, most opting for turbo power, although some of the more interesting cars are running big carbs or throttle bodies!

ESC Winner - Andy Waite

Drivetrains can be altered, but again within a set of rules; FWD to 4WD is fine, but no FWD to RWD conversions, cars needn’t be MOT’d or taxed, although a walk round the paddock sees that some are still road-legal, the organisers do encourage “streetable” features to remain however, including headlights, wipers and heaters etc. Front wheel drive cars get the option of full drag slicks, whereas the rear and 4 wheel drive machines run on treaded tyres.

USC saw the action running all weekend, with the competitors joining the queuing RWYB drivers for test runs, and then dedicated breaks for qualifying and the heats.

With all the cars running really well and no recorded breakages, it was the 1.8 20VT 4WD Mk1 golf of Andy Waite that came out on top in the final, running a low 10 second pass, despite running a 9 earlier on in the day. The runner up was another VW, this time the MK2 Golf of James Hodson, who again was down in the low 10s. The Rocket Car Repairs backed Scirocco of Paul Jordan was also down in the 9s but lost out in the later stages. The little Vauxhalls held their own with the JS Racing mk2 Astra and Tigra of Jay Johnston and Sam Bolton respectively, both down into the 11’s.

With the field expected to grow, ready for the 2011 season, if you’re new to drag racing or have a car capable of low 13’s/mid 12’s, it might well be worth checking up on the rules and regs and you could be involved next year!

Volkswagen Golf

Away from the track, Sunday at USC is dominated by one thing; the Auto Glym Show and Shine Competition, with the area full up by 9 o’clock, the smell of polish and wax was lingering as some of the UK’s number one show cars, who combined would have a trophy cabinet Manchester United or Chelsea (and definitely Nottingham Forest) would be envious of, lined up.

Some of the cars that enter these events are just stunning, however a few cars that really weren’t up to the task did take up space I feel, but maybe that’s something the organisers will look at in future years?
Looking round we spot cars we have seen over the course of this season on numerous occasions, and some that we haven’t, giving it a really nice balance.

So who won what? I hear you cry. Well, with 10 Show and Shine categories up for grabs, plenty of cars drove away with some silverware. The first category to be announced, although not included in the main 10, was Show and Go, with judges awarding points for how clean and how modified it your car was… but also how quick it went down the track, something I love to see. Deserving winner was Rich Booth, and his lime green Honda Civic.

USC Show and Go

Back to the static prizes; Best Retro went to the flawless MK1 Golf of Geoff Skinner, and for what difference it makes, also takes Garage Awesome’s hypothetical Car of the Show. Last weekend’s Best of Show winner at Cadwell Park, Rob Sarson, took the same award again at USC in his Toyota Supra. The familiar 206CC of Tony Scullion picked up the Best Interior trophy, new on the scene Paul Whitlam and his Vauxhall Astra Coupe went away with Best Exterior and Andy Tucker’s Nissan Skyline won best Race Car.

Regular trophy winner Liam “Elmo” Elmore took home the Best Wheels prize for his spanking wire rims, and another winner from last weekend, Clare Scott picked up her second USC Most Radical trophy with the Reiger Escort Cabriolet. Ian “Iceman” Pinder’s Astra van is becoming popular at all shows, and was no surprise that he picked up best ice and Mark Lampard’s Max Power cover featured, Honda S2000 took the judges choice award. Finally, Best Engine Bay was deservedly won by a white Vauxhall Corsa, whose owner Nick Bowers had paid lots of attention to the bay with the addition of gold and body coloured touches and camo Samco hoses.

Drift Rides Santa Pod

The final section for us to report on is the Drift Taxi’s. If you have read this blog, you will be aware we love drifting, and with very limited space available, the guys from Drift Rides set up a small, but technical course to demonstrate their skills and for only a tenner, you could go out and do some laps as a passenger in the various Skylines, Silvias, 200SX’s, Soarers and Mazda RX7’s, something you don’t get an opportunity to do very often.
As mentioned, the space available to them was very limited, so if you wanted to see how these guys do it on the whole tarmac area then maybe a Drift What You Brung day is the thing for you, where you can bring your own RWD car and give it a go, or just spectate for the price of a Big Mac meal!

So, that’s USC wrapped up for 2010, some are already on the countdown to 2011 and we, I’m sure, will be there to cover it for you again. Just a few issues for Santa Pod to sort out and it will re-confirm its place as the number one UK show for you to get involved in

Pic Credits – Ollie Novell

The final part to round-up from the action at Cadwell park see’s us head back to the track for the EDC or European Drift Championship, the first time Competitive Drifting has taken place at Cadwell.

Although called the “European Drift Championship” it’s not the big spectical you would expect to see, and with only 8 Drivers currently involved in the invite only series, it seems more of a demo event to most of the fans rather than a championship

Nissan 200SX S15

The course was very technical, and cadwell’s tight bends and blind crests claimed a couple of casualties, most notably was the Apex Performance V8 S14, driven by Keiran Cameron, who on his first warm up run lost control of the  mighty V8 powered S14 200SX, and hit the wall. Damage was done to the car was mainly superficial, but Bren and his team worked hard to get it sorted for the remaining runs.

With spectators lining the whole outside of the track, it was very difficult to get close to the action, which is a nod to the popularity of drifting over here in the UK

The battles went on, with impressive runs from Declan Hicks in his Toyota Chaser, Pete Barber – winner of the Brands Hatch round, Paul Conlan in his Pink S15 and Irishman Mark Luney in the SVA Imports 350Z set up the Semi finals

The final saw The rotary Mazda of Pete Barber go up against Paul Conlan, and with Luney wrapping up third place against Hicks, that was enough to see him remain at the top of the leaderboard going into the last round at snetterton.

Keiran Cameron

Eventually, it was Paul Conlan in the S15 that wrapped up top step of the podium and the maximum, 15 points which canons him up to 3rd overall, with Pete Barber in the number 2 spot overall.

For more information on the EDC, get logged onto the championships website at www.europeandriftchampionship.eu

Pic Credits – Rich Cooper/Ollie Novell

Saturday afternoon saw one of the only pieces of motorsport to happen at the slightly sad and abandoned looking Donnington Park!

The guys at JDM Allstars did a fantastic job in creating an Alpine circuit at the bottom end of the track

A long Day ensued as the demanding course caught out even the best and most skillful drivers with Rob Neeson, Matt Steele and Anthony Scott all tagging the large concrete wall at the final apex in front of the large and warm crowd!

However some superb drifting happened throughout the day, Driftworks Head Honcho Phil Morrison looked on Great form, 14-year-old irish lad Dwaine Mckeever had some amazing runs and had the crowd in amazement at his skill and finally a mention to John Calvert, whose fresh S13 was binned into the wall damaging it so badly it will need a complete re-shell, fortunately John walked away with only minor whiplash and will be back out at the next round.

Dan Chapman Wins JDM Allstars Donnington

The overall winner in a long and very hot day of drifting went down to the wire with the 2 Driftworks Drivers Phil Morrison and Dan Chapman battling it out in the final, Eventually Dan took the honours in his Silvia (Above) from Phil and Maciej Bochenek lost out to Aussie Luke Fink who claimed the final podium spot.

Roll On Round 3, which takes place at the Nissan factory this weekend

For more info see www.jdmallstars.com

Picture Credits – Rich Cooper