Another weekend meant another drift day, which also meant another early start! This Sunday was spent down at Hampton Downs with the Drift Junkies and DriftkanaX guys meaning the pan and full track had cars burning rubber all day long.
Leaving West Auckland to get to the track for the 8.45am briefing is always a daunting task, but once I’m out of the house and in the car it’s only an hour away. The usual things were covered in the briefing – don’t be stupid, don’t ruin the grass, have fun, and the media’s only rule not to get hit!
The morning started off really wet, cars were slowly pushing around the track with plenty of spins and no smoke what so ever which really puts the photos down a notch.
Bruce Tannoks S13 (my favourite D1 car for a long time) with so much power just went a bit too far and spun out. This was the main corner for spins during the morning when the track was still drying up.
Recently just purchasing a new lens gave me the opportunity to get up close and personal with the cars. The 24-105 f4 will be perfect for car shows and Meremere where you are practically a hitting point for the drivers.
As the track started to dry out, the tyres shredded much faster which may not be a good thing for the drivers, but for the photographers and spectators it makes for a much better show.
An example of what some people bring to the track, being an unsponsored drifter with a car running more than 300hp or so would just burn through tyres. I have no idea how these people can afford new tyres every track day. That’s dedication for you!
Usually the smoke sticks to the full track, but sometimes people on the pan can produce a little bit of that beautiful white cloud. This S14 was delivering the goods but looked to be having trouble with an open diff or a very loose LSD having only one wheel spinning.
One of my favourite things to do at car events is scouting out all the cars that have just come to watch for the day, you can find some real gems by spending an hour or so prowling peoples rides.
Like this brand new Camaro that I also spotted at the CRC speedshow, it’s one aggressive looking beast of a car.
A spec R Nissan 200sx with a six speed sr20det, in that beautiful red and tastefully modified. This car has been on the dream list for a while now… One day!
Another beauty. I feel bad when trying to name these rides as the only way I can describe them is by the number plate or saying… “uhh it was old and uhh long”. Where if it’s a Japanese car the naming is most likely down to the sub model.
And then there is my S14, it’s seen a few drift/track days and is holding up rather nicely. But having nowhere to park it at home means I don’t get to take it out as much as I’d like to (Also the locked diff and stiff suspension make it rather uncomfortable on public roads).
If you had purchased the latest issue of NZPC you’d know all about this S14 – It is once sick ride. The paint was immaculate and the wheel combo really suited the colour.
Because the cars on the track go out in 30mins sessions I get stuck on the opposite side of the track sometimes which leaves little time to visit the skid pan, who would want to miss this crazy skyline trying to take flight?
If you’re just starting out drifting the skid pan is the perfect place to test and improve your skills without putting your car at certain risk – however the noise from the polished concrete is like nothing else, it’s literally painful and induces a headache pretty quickly, so I would advise ear plugs!
The StanceMob guys and girls have some insane rides with such a variety also, Kevin was out in his S13. Kristy was also there with her clean S14.
Anyone can go on the pan, take your Mums grocery getter and have some fun. It’s much cheaper than getting caught racing on the streets and it’s much safer. MX5’s with 1.6L engines can drift on this pan – so can you!
It’s weird seeing all of these super clean and amazing cars rolling round hitting the track and pan, and then coming across this jacked to the sky muddy as f%$k off roader.
Cam Vernon was down at the track given people free advice all day. R32s can look somewhat average but this one is menacing, it really looks like it will bite your head off.
Walking around the track some more I come across these two asses, ASS, ASS, ASS. There’s just something about a cars behind that really sets the car off. That and an aggressive front end.
We saw this S15 at Automania earlier on in the year, and now it’s been driven all the way to Hampton Downs. Having a car this low must be terrifying when you come across a speed bump, or your mates stupidly angled driveway.
This is what drift days are all about, getting together with your mates… and making them push your car when it break! It’s a great day out, the vibes that come from these kinds of days is what makes the week that much better.
I liked the simple look of this 180SX so much I copied it in Forza, but unfortunately it’s now sporting a mud vinyl which isn’t available in Forza without spending countless hours at the spray booth 😉
There will always be someone that pushes their limits at a track day. It’s surreal when you see the driver after they crash, because 9 out of 10 times they have a smile on their face. Crashing is all part of the deal with drifting – for most people however bigger and better things will follow!
People think, or uneducated people think that it’s all about power. This is true but there are other factors to think about like weight and LOCK, lock provides the angle so you can chuck it in to the corners backwards and pull through.
Who needs a bumper or bonnet? I thought that drifting was a contact motorsport, but I was watching V8 Utes today and they hit each other on every lap, very entertaining!
This is the most daunting part about drifting for me, having a small budget means I have to drive the car down and then back home. This being the main reason I stick to the pan because I would be royally screwed if something was to happen that I couldn’t fix that meant it wouldn’t drive home.
I spotted Fanga Dan having a go in the Cefiro, he wasn’t afraid to put it in backwards. It must be nice going back to your roots of the Japanese after being behind the wheel of a V8 for so long.
The number plate says it all, every time I see this car it is make the most of the lock it has. The rain held off for most of the day however small showers hit us once or twice. No rain = smoke, smoke is one of the best smells in the world!
Next time you’re at the track make sure you get to see this 4WD Subaru pulling off reverse entries at every corner it is very impressive and sounds amazing!
That concludes the week’s events! If this looks like something you would be interested in viewing or doing having a look at Chrome Expression Session which is happening next weekend, it includes all things automotive.
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