48 hours, one flight, one drift event and one massive drive home!
Last weekend I headed west for the Mallala Drift Supercup and not knowing what to expect, I found myself pleasantly surprised!
I arrived at the track at about 8am after getting a lift from the airport with local photographer, Luke Terbeeke.
I wandered around the pits taking some pics and checking out the competition. Most of the cars had already passed scrutineering and it was time for the drivers briefing.
Luckily, the meeting was short and brief and after a few question from the drivers it was time to hit the track!
Right from the word go, the laps were consistent and fast!
Luke Robinson and Simon Michelmore were running door to door on one of their first practice laps.
One car that I was surprised to see out on the track was this Toyota GZ20 Soarer, being driven by Dean Newcombe.
Not bad driving at all, qualifying 6th in the pro class.
Some of the local drivers formed a 4 car ‘train’ during one of the early practice laps.
Davey Clarke’s tiny Corolla was super impressive through the M section, I also loved the Japanese number plates.
One of the Victorian pro class drivers hit a wall during qualifying.
Driver Michael Prosenik was unharmed luckily, however the car won’t be seeing the tarmac again.
Michael says he has a new car waiting back at home and it should be completed within a few weeks.
Stirling Wright also made the trip over from Victoria and this was his first interstate trip. Despite having some issues with his tow car, we think he enjoyed himself thoroughly.
Stirling qualified 5th in the street class, the highest qualifying Victorian in that level. Well done!!
Andrew Chronis’s Nissan S14 looked like it had come straight off the boat from Japan, with an interesting cream colour and blue tinted headlights it looked like it would be very much at home in the Japanese mountains.
The second crash of the day down the main straight was Luke Broadbent in his purple Cefiro.
Luckily Luke came off a bit better than Michael Prosenik and the car drove away from the crash nearly in one piece.
The first thing I noticed about shooting at Mallala was the speed of entries and it’s no wonder why so many of the local drivers that compete on a national level can perform such ridiculous entries.
Simon Michelmore was doing backwards entries at the end of the main straight nearly every lap!
The real trick was keeping up the speed into the large sweeping corner, which follows the first corner directly after the straight.
It’s here that most of the battles were decided as there would be quite a gap between cars if the chase car couldn’t keep it’s speed from the straight through that first corner.
Corey Yates in the very ‘madmike’ looking RX-7. Corey is set to compete in the next round of the Australian Drift GP here in Melbourne.
We can’t wait to see this scrape the wall at Calder Park!
This was the first time I got to see Jarrad Klingberg’s crazy KE70 Wagon, it did not leave me disappointed.
This thing is as tough as nails. Running an SR20, the light body and responsive engine together prove to be a winning combination.
Easily one of the best two-tone colour schemes I’ve seen. Justin Incorvaja’s R32 from Victoria looked great sliding around Mallala.
The last sweeping corner made for some fantastic slow shutter speed shots. I tried to get a shot of everyone as they baked their tyres through the last bend.
Luke Broadbent didn’t slow down after his smash and was back out on the track in no time!
This is John Papadopoulos’ S14 from the Insane Drifters. John managed to qualify 20 in the pro class.
Not bad considering the level of competition and the home track advantage that many other drivers had.
Leigh Pidwell was showing no fear with his entries all day long, winning the Just Car extreme entry comp later that night!
Tom Monkhouse managed to enter the Supercup in a borrowed Nissan Cefiro, qualifying 4th in the pro class.
During the lunch break I managed to get a closer look at the Supreme Caravan’s 180SX, the car is at least a foot shorter!!
Stewy Bryant’s deadly ‘terminator’ R32 Skyline! The car experienced a few issues but managed to have enough power to continue with the battles in the evening.
Despite being knocked out in the top 16, Stewy took the Drift Attack win for the pro class.
Soon the sun was setting and it was time to start the battles, the grandstands were starting to fill and the lights were now on.
The starting grid was full and the cars and their drivers were ready.
First up were the street class battles, but don’t let the street class title fool you…
These battles were fast and fierce! Mark Longo took the win in the Jaustech R31 Vs. Adam Wood in his R33 Skyline.
Mark went on to win three more battles, placing 1st in the street class!
The pro class battles were nothing short of spectacular, with some of the cleanest and most expensive cars competing against some of the roughest looking drift missiles in the country!
Ender and Hayden had one of the closest battles of the night, with fans and judges sitting on the edge of their seats.
Hayden took the win as Ender needed to be a little bit quicker to match Hayden’s driving style in his V8 VE.
Chris Johnson in his incredibly beautiful R32 against Leigh Pidwell in his very functional S13, despite the home turf advantage, Leigh took the win.
Insane Drifter Aggis, against Hayden Buckham.
Hayden pulled a massive gap on Aggis and knocked him out of the competition.
With the sun down and the lights on, Stirling Wright’s ‘Drift Patrol’ R33 was in pursuit mode with lights flashing and sirens blaring.
The R33 was a big hit with the local crowds!!
Michelmore took the win against Pidwell, both drivers had some of the most extreme entries of the night and made for one hell of a battle!
Soon the temperatures dropped and the stands emptied, only the brave stayed to see the extreme entries comp and final battles.
Adam Wood lost his rear bar on his extreme entry attempt.
The crowd gathered along the main straight to see the trophy ceremony and cheer on their favorite drivers.
Here Tarquin, Jarrad and Simon catch up while waiting for the awards.
SA’s Jake ‘Drift Squid’ Jones was on the other side of the fence, Jake tried his hand at judging for the first time.
I think Jake has a new found appreciation for the judges and their job.
After the awards some of the drivers headed to the skid pan for a victory burnout, the winner Jarrad Klingberg went the hardest of all.
Breaking his tail shaft before he got to blow his tyres!
Winners for pro class :
1st : Jarred Klingberg
2nd: Hayden Buckham
3rd: Tarquin Van Rooyen
4th: Simon Michelmore
Winners for street class :
1st: Mark Longo
2nd: Mark Clarkin
3rd: Peter Ricci
With every event there’s always room for improvement but as a whole, the competition was great and the quality of drivers and cars was A1.
It was also good to catch up with some interstate friends and share a very, very long road trip with some of our local friends too.
Thanks for reading,