Starting the day with a sleep in is the best! Getting to the track at midday was strange but awesome. A new year; a new system! The Dejager System!
Although the Dejager system sounds like some sort of Dutch mathematical term it really is a completely new way of organising drift battles and the competition tree.
With a host of new drivers competing in round 1 there were plenty of new faces that had travelled a long distance to tackle the infamous Calder Park.
This track layout has been run many times now and most of the drivers know it well however the cross over section can be tricky especially for newcomers.
Spotting a car you’ve seen on track years ago is like seeing an ex-girlfriend in a crowd of people. First you get flashbacks of the good times then you slowly release why you do not see them anymore.
Blasting out of the pits just in time for battle is the one and only Aaron Dewar in his new S14! If you’ve seen Aaron’s old car you will know he likes his cars on the more powerful side.
His new s14 build has all of the same party tricks and more.
Drift veteran Anthony Cece also made an appearance in his Kendra sponsored car. Coming all the way from Adelaide is a hell of a trip and it was great to see such a seasoned competitor showing the new drivers how it’s done.
Aaron Dewar wasted no time quickly thrashing the new car while ironing out the bugs.
Travelling from Radelaide Suspect Drift Team Joel Donegan was back to take on the Victorians at their own game. After impressing everyone at round 5 last year we can see he is back to do it it again while upsetting a few locals.
Greg Matthews in his neo s14 with a respectable 340kw from his rb25 powered rig. Not only does this car look the part it does quite well on the track!
Greg made good use of the cross over section of the track using his power to transition over the hill.
Waiting times at the dummy grid were a little lengthy because of the new system. At first winners of each battle were brought back on track to show the crowd who won but this really took too much time and was abandoned quite quickly.
Just like synchronized divers the SC team from Adelaide knew how to keep it together! Really one of the best, most in sync teams on the day.
Unfortunately, the Supra from Link Management that has traveled from NZ was having troubles all day but their trusty mechanic Mr Chicken was able to get the car running by night fall.
A new season and new graphics for the young and upcoming Alex Gouveia who is now battling against the best in this current season of the Vicdrift championship.
From photographer to driver Joey Canals was driving well the whole day and he even found time to check tinder between battles. Although he had never driven this track he quickly became comfortable with the layout.
It’s so good to finally see something other than a Nissan drifting on track! A BMW with a good old M52b28 engine and no dirty backyard sr20 job. The E30 is such a classic shape and we really hope to see more more of them enter the drift scene in the next few years.
Drift OG John Dreyer is making his return to drift in this classic Bluebird! He will be drifting the entire Vicdrift season in this very car. Whilst most of the top guys are running v8 powered Nissans John is going the low powered, skilled style of drift of the old days. We cannot wait to watch this car perform in the next up coming rounds.
The moment before Kevin Flynn from Driver Dynamics gave James Mackie a love tap leaving a permanent scar on his door. This was a close battle that got replayed several times. The battle was so close I don’t even know who won in the end.
As night fell it was clear that many of the cars had been poorly set up for the night. Headlights pointing toward the sky is a clear indication of a rushed night setup.
Vicdrift’s Facebook page exploded when the regulations for headlights were realeased with a ban on LED light bars! There were many angry drivers having to source OEM headlights for their cars in a hurry.
There was no shortage of skill on the night with the boys from Garage Worx / Team Elhaouli coming into the first corner full clip one handed while waving to the crowd.
Forced Motorworx people’s choice award! This was the chance for the crowd watching to give one of their favorites another chance. Bring back two favorite drivers to battle it out for the award that was live voted via Facebook. Amongst the public’s favourites were: Aaron Dewar, Adrian Ing, Luke Barbieri, Jason Ferron , John Capuano, Josh Robinson, Scott Dickie and Michael Prosenik.
There was not much light over the cross over section and a few cars nearly came unstuck. Luckily all drivers involved kept their wits and avoided damage.
Moe Elhaouli was down on power as his car had snapped its supercharger belt plus various other things had broken. He therefore had to nurse the car through the final battles against Justin Gruener. Although Moe’s car was down on power Justin’s car was still underpowered in comparison and he was lucky to beat Moe with his proximity and emulation.
Another great battle of the finals was between two well known characters of the club in Jason Ferron vs Matt Russell. Both pushed it to the limit with little to no mistakes making it very hard for the judges to pick a winner.
Michael Bonney has been on a tear in the last six months making a real charge for the spotlight and his confidence is growing with every win. His consistency kept him ahead of the field and it was enough to overcome Justin’s hard charging R33.
In the very last battle Bonney received a bump which broke all of his main exhaust mounts. This sent a plume of sparks along the track as his full exhaust was dragging underneath the car whilst he drifted towards the finish line! The crowd cheered as they were treated to a serious fireworks display.
Big changes bring big disruption. The new system made no new friends initially but many of the drivers grew to like the Dejager system by the end of the night; despite its initial technical difficulties. Let’s hope that round #2 runs smoothly and keeps the players happy.
Vicdrift Rnd 1 Results
1st – Michael Bonney
2nd – Tom Sabo
3rd – Justin Gruener
4th – Moe Elhaouli
Thanks for reading,