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Drift Matsuri :: Hot As Hell

Vic Drift Summer Matsuri is over and I’m crashing back into reality as I type this post. It was a monumental weekend of skids and epic heat, but I’m sure it has taken it’s toll on everyone involved and maybe even taken some years off our lives. Fortunately, most of us did more ‘living’ in two days than most do in several years!
Held at Winton Raceway around 3 hours from Melbourne, the event was spread over two days and let me tell you, it’s one hell of a weekend! With drivers from all over Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, it was absolutely packed on the track with up to 150 cars taking part over the two days.

The day kicked off around 7am Saturday morning, with drivers fixing problems and getting cars to the scrutineer bay or simply enjoying some UP & Go for breakkie.

Krish’s very clean and very, very low R32.

Eveyone was keen to catch up after the two-month long break.

There was plenty to catch up on! Some cars have had complete overhauls and others complete makeovers during the hiatus. Jason’s R31 Skyline has had one monstrous V8 engine installed over the break and it not only sounds amazing but performs just as well!

One car to receive a freshen up was Stirling’s R33, now with a full theme going on. Stirling even got into character, growing a handle bar mustache for the event.
I don’t think this official knew quite what he was looking at so early in the morning.

It really is amazing what planning goes on behind the scenes to run a race day like this, let alone actually getting it approved and organized. On the day 150 cars needed to be inspected and drivers were then split into groups. Then a schedule needs to be made and maintained and a safety crew is on standby to correct anything that happens on the track, and I do mean anything!

One car that has been getting a make over for a new season is Issac’s incredible S15, which has been off the road for 9 months! There are still a few things he wants to complete on the car and some gremlins over the weekend meant Issac didn’t get as many runs as he’d originally hoped.

Winton raceway got gatecrashed by NSW Drift Crew ‘Hit And Run’ with the boys terrorizing the track with their tough as nails drift cars.

The boys have quite the reputation and lead an almost ‘rock star’ lifestyle in the drift scene with plenty of followers of their online blog covering all the things happening with the cars and of course the all important STICKERSSSS!!!!
Check out their site for all the latest: http://hitandrundc.com/

With most of the morning gon,e it was time for drivers to speed things up an get some fresh tyres on before hitting the track.

The groups were called and the cars lined up, everyone was anxious for what would happen next!

Declan Walsh and Simon Michelmore were up from SA for the weekend, Declan was in his grey R32 and Simon brought along a black 180SX for some missile duties while his red S14 gets ready for the the full drift season ahead.

One of my personal favorites was Brendan Mulcahy’s V8 swapped KE Corolla, this thing was ridiculous! Constantly blowing tyres all day!!

It wasn’t hard to see why this car was going through a set of tyres every session, leaving a constant trail of white smoke, this car was lighting the rears up the whole way around the course.

Plenty of Hachi love, with six Toyota AE86’s destroying some sets of tyres over the weekend.

Justin Niblock had been driving flat out all weekend, with some of the fastest entries even his rear bumper couldn’t keep up!

Issac’s superb S15 looked great sliding around Winton, I can’t wait to see how it will perform when it gets the final things ticked off the list of mods.

While this Matsuri was purely a just for fun event, some drivers made sure they had plenty of ‘fun’ with some door to door action.

Another car that has been stealing both my eyes and my ears every time it hits the track is David Jakic’s AE86.

It really is the complete package, equipped with a Beams 3S-GE motor and looks to kill, this car can boogie!

I have a massive soft spot for tiny black hatchbacks that make a lot of noise, I really don’t know why 😛

Brett Reid’s ‘Reaper’ 200SX was easily one of the quickest through the corners.

The hellish sound that came from the exhaust was terrifying. The 6 litre V8 made a rumble that could be heard from everywhere. There was no escape!

One of the Winton safety crew had lost $2, so the session was stopped while the team frantically looked for the gold coin.
Actually it turns out due to the heat on the day, dry condition of the track and some super low cars a small grass fire started in the middle of the track!

Another v8 swapped car getting around is Aaron Dewar’s ‘570SX’, this thing was faultless all weekend even through the hottest part of the day.

John Lillie killing it, drifting the main straight in his R32.

The Supreme Caravan’s 180SX didn’t make an appearance until late Saturday, when it did hit the track though it was smoke from start to finish, the whole course!

I don’t know who was driving this S14, but they did a hell of a job linking the last few corners. It was a great car to shoot!

Nick Bennett from Team Tuffcore enjoying a few laps in his R32 after spending many late nights (including the night before at the hotel) fixing a few small issues. It was a pleasure seeing the car finally out their and the angle and speed has been improved significantly since last December!

Another grass fire started before lunch on Saturday, large enough that the firetruck had to be called out.

Backwards entry from Catherine May!

Harley Jones in one of the best KE’s there, The Hit and Run boys brought one cool collection of cars with them.

The angle this car was getting through some corners was crazy for such a short wheelbase.

V8 swapped BMW, piloted by Joshua Bossong. Was a nice mix up from all the Nissan’s and Toyota’s.

Another Hit and Run’er, Ryan Moran screaming up the straight in front of the dummy grid. This car looked great!

Hows this for rare, a drifting Nissan Gazelle! Awesome driving by Troy Clarke too!

A lot of repairs and modifications took place in the pits, my favorite… The “Mexican Battery Stay”.

Everywhere you looked there was a Hit and Run car laying a smoke screen. This one is the teams’ affectionately named S13 – The Jabberwocky.

Matt ‘Rusty’ Russell’s new rig looking a lot better in a fresh coat of new paint, last time it was just in primer but still ripped great skids.

Ethan Falkenberg’s intense looking R32 Drift Missile, the other drivers were scared as hell to get near this thing.

One of the last shots i took before the rain hit, this awesome looking s14 was coming in very hot into the last corner when I snapped this.
There really is just way too much I would love to put up, but short and sweet  is best.
Massive thank you to all those that said hello and of course all the people that make these things happen, Yoshi, Cat, Ben and Tony and anyone else involved.
We would have nothing without their time and dedication.
Support the scene that supports you!
And of course all the people that pour their blood, sweat and hard earned cash and give up their time to enter these drift days.
The rest of the photos will make their way to our Facebook page very soon, be sure to hit the ‘like’ button so you don’t miss out.
Thanks for reading,
– Gwyn.

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The drift obsession runs deep! Watch out I may even try to battle you on Assetto.

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