In typical Melbourne fashion things looked gloomy and overcast on the way to the track, was it going to rain? was it going to snow? or where we going to see sunshine? All signs pointed to rain! As i parked my van on the grass i herd a splash sound! i instantly tried to reverse but it was too late I had dug myself in!
Bogged within 5 minutes of arriving was not the start i had hoped for, things where about get better as I heard the beautiful song of an RB motor.
With drift practice on the Saturday and the main competition spread across two days there was almost 20 hours of drifting action to be seen at Calder park over the weekend.
Many of the local favorites showed up to defend their turf against the interstate invaders! Some even appeared out of the wood work. Stirling Wright is one of those drivers we haven’t seen for a good couple of years but when he heard VicDrift was running the FD ADGP layout he quickly signed on to drive.
It was great to see the classic layout back at the Thunderdome with the crowd super close eating smoke and cheering on their heroes.
3 Fingers Neat had made the drive from Sydney to support their mates Matty Hill and Scotty P, both cars looked amazing! Along for the ride was the large 3 Fingers Neat merchandise store with their huge clothing range on sale at the event.
The VicDrift president was having a great time on his mini quad bike until later in the day when it refused to start!
VicDrift popularity is really on the rise! This has to be one of the biggest attendances at a round that I have seen for a very long time!
Shortly after morning practice the drivers briefing was held on track, Chris Dejager told all the drivers they were approaching the drift line completely wrong. The judges wanted to see real commitment around the tight section! Marks were made on track to prompt the drivers where to place their front wheels to set the car up for the correct line.
Shortly after the briefing it took a while for the drivers to adjust their approach to the course layout. Those drivers who still babied their cars around the hairpin where soon kicked out of the top 16.
It didn’t take too long for everybody to get more confident entering the hairpin at speed with much better battles happening in the late afternoon.
With all the action close to the crowd they even get a chance to see the drivers return to the pits after their runs. This means the drivers get a good gauge for what the crowd enjoys and does not enjoy.
Unfortunately Adrian Ing got knocked out on a technicality! I had not heard of this rule until now, “if a driver consistently runs a tire of the rim throughout the day because of low pressure or too much stretch and gets warned but also does it during battles then they don’t get to take advantage of the new tire safety rule”. This was sad because Adrian Ing had been preforming well up until the indecent.
Many drivers where familiar with this track layout almost 20% of the drivers had never driven it. There were lots of spins early in the morning as the new drivers adjusted to this technical layout.
Michael Bonney was pushing hard early trying to scare the interstate guests and force mistakes!
With plenty of momentum from round one Bonney had his sights set on a podium finish.
Part 4wd part R34 four door this surprise entry from Sleeka spares had many peoples attention with its unusually high rear end but boy did it have some lock! And plenty of power to match.
Drifting with a live axle is no joke and takes a lot of skill. This SR20 powered Escort has been in the scene for many years but still proves to be competitive.
Bonney was pulling off some really quick entry’s into the large sweeper and his car wasn’t complaining about it unlike Khudr Elhaouli S14 which broke a tie rod on the dip at the exit of the large sweeping corner.
Over the years we have seen a few cars take flight on the barriers on the outside of the hairpin of this layout. This is the first dramatic roll we have seen off the barrier. Driver and passenger jumped out shortly after the roll and both where fine thanks to their full roll cadge!
After the track was clear of oil and car parts the drifting resumed with everyone being a lot more cautious about throwing the car wide around the hairpin.
With no qualifying during the main event the day ran above schedule, allowing the drivers an extra expression session which meant the driver’s who had been knocked out of the top 32/16 had a chance to burn off some more rubber.
Known as (The Peoples Champ) Michael Prosenik is one of only a handful of drivers to have ever represented Australia in overseas competition and he was back home competing in the very club that helped to launch his driving career.
VicDrift have has finally moved into the modern age by deciding to finally live stream their events! This is the first ever live stream of VicDrift! And the best part is you can watch all the action again! Right here
The Best part of the live stream is the fact the drivers will be able to re-watch their runs, see their mistakes and learn from the experience which will create better driving for all.
Michael Prosenik had lent his backup practice car to a friend from New Zealand who wasted no time getting used to the S13 in the warm up area. This car is known for having a mystery gremlin that like’s to turn off the power steering intermediately midway through drifts!
Matt Russell is one of the main organizers of VicDrift yet he still finds time to throw down laps and burn some tires.
Taking too much speed into the fist corner often throws the drivers across a deep edge and into the mud. Some drivers hold the drift others are not so lucky.
Drivers where rushed into the dummy grid for the top 16 where the cars were matched up for the next set of battles.
Michael Prosenik vs Jason Ferron was one hell of a battle! So good the judges couldn’t not determine a winner so the battle was re-run! With Jason Ferron coming out on top.
During the battle for second place Jason Ferron made an error on his chase run. Jason’s late turn in left him no time to get the car sideways this caused him to slam on the brakes to avoid more damage to both cars, Khudr’s door took the majority of the hit! this mistake handed the win to Khudr.
The one driver who was consistent and preformed flawlessly was Stirling Wright. He made it look easy while other drivers looked like they were struggling.
The day was full of action and with a huge crowd the atmosphere was amazing. The crew behind VicDrift has been putting in a lot of work behind the scenes to make the Vicdrift Championship the best it can be, the club’s momentum continues to impress with every event. Driver entries are continually maxing out the capacity for the current events scheduled leaving a huge waiting list! I have not seen the club so popular in the 5 years that I have been following their events!
Round 2 of the 2016 VicDrift Championship was one of the best rounds we have ever seen!
With 69 drivers competing over 2 days of competition and some very impressive driving the drivers who stood at the top over the weekend are:
1st – Stirling Wright
2nd – Khudr Elhaouli
3rd – Jason Ferron
Forced Motorworx Peoples Choice Award – Justin Gruener.