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ADGP :: Round 1 – The Dome

Andrew hawkins and his entire crew were back at the dome for the first round in the new 2015/16 season for the Australian Drift Grand Prix. Running the Formula D layout at Calder park Thunderdome is truly the best format for this track, high-speed entry’s elevation changes plus a super tight section.

As the teams unloaded, their cars were quickly given a bath to wash off all the road gunk and insects. Rob Whytes car was so dusty it looked like a barn find! but after a wash it was looking as good as Nic Coulson’s ute!

From white to red! Nic Wilson jzx100 was ready to battle the best! when we saw it last it was only a shell! so much work has gone into this car in the last 3 months its amazing to see it all come together in such a stunning package.

Poking its head out of the bonnet like a some type of primordial beast, Brent Gordan’s Supercharged LS was intimidating the other competitors by growling and whining its way through the pits.

The ever powerful Michael Bonney looked super strong in practice laying down several tyres while keeping his lines tight in preparation for qualifying.

Beau Yates was back to take on the thunderdome! With his car only having recently being fixed from a serious bingle, there were some speculations that the cars reliably would suffer. Although in practice beau was particularly aggressive with the car and it looked strong.

The local hero was back to take on the big boys of the scene! Dazza his beloved V8 powered S13 was also making a comeback to the ADGP series, fresh from being overhauled after its overseas trip to New Zealand.

There where plenty of new faces this season including Joel Dimmick, Anthony Cece and many others. All the drivers were ready to take on the new championship, scratch some paint, go door to door and entertain the crowd.

Joel Dimmick’s car is a true work of art. When Joel was competing in DCA, the car did not have this much pizazz! but now it looks at home with the rest of the pro cars.

Rob Whyte’s 370’z is looking mint! it also makes dark evil sounds like the types you would hear in the bowls of hell.

Rob was battling steering issues all practice season and even into qualifying. The problem was his steering not returning to centre, this meant he had to work like a 1940’s formula one driver!
Matching up against Ender in the top sixteen, both drivers had their work cut out for them!

Two days of action one being a practice day and the other qualifying/competition. This allowed the drivers to get a proper handle on the course, the clipping points and judges requirements.

The Achillies girls were out and about along with the ADGP media crew working tirelessly to put together TV coverage for 7mate. Both days were relatively windy and cold but the president of Vic Drift wasn’t worried because he had found a giant blanket to wear.

By the end of the first day Beau’s spoiler was gone! he was pushing his car right to the outside edge of the course which caused the spoiler to catch on concrete barriers and rip off. Rest in peace spoiler! we will miss you!

Open face helmet, Velo seat with ski goggles! What does all this mean? we are not sure but this set of safety equipment doesn’t fit the level of crazy power this Westlake car puts out!

With an LS1 and huge twin turbo’s sitting outside the bonnet you know that Adam Monck is no joke! Both Westlake cars were absolutely mental but Adam’s car looked and sounded intimidating!

Matty Hill had a large indecent on the practice day loosing his front windscreen because his bonnet pins were not in properly! It was almost like an exact replay of Nigel Petrie Three years earlier. Matty got knocked out in the top 16 with the judges showing no mercy as they flew through the top 32 driver battles.

Unfortunately Finy O’Hare was knocked out by a fellow local driver Michael Prosenik. The chase run by Prosenik was particularly impressive staying right on his door the entire way around the course. Finy put in a great effort and defeated several divers before meeting Prosenik in the top 16.

Brad Tuohy in his super bright 86 less than 3 weeks ago had a catastrophic engine failure(due to fuel delivery issue) which resulted in a fairly large fire. Two weeks later he was on his way to Melbourne!

Brads car was the one car that made everyone’s ears bleed! who would of thought that an 86 could be so loud! In the top 16 Brad matched up against Jake Jones but brad blew his diff in the final battle handing the win to Jake! its not the way we like to see cars exit from a battle but mechanical failure is a part of the sport even know it is heat breaking to see.

The Thunderdome causes all kinds of problems for the drivers! coming down the bank sideways into a huge dip often does not fair well with the cars. A lot of the cars were running lower tyre pressure to get more grip. The downside, hitting the dip caused tyre beed’s to break, bent tie rods and if drivers hit the dip in the wrong spot they would end up in the dirt.

Jake the drift squid Jones made it to the top 8 with plenty of car dramas including being down on power due to a blocked fuel filter! Josh Boettcher ended up taking the win after a hard fought battle.

Finny Has been steadily improving over the last year. His performance over this round was impressive and we know he will be on the podium in no time!

The most exciting battle of the competition was Michael Bonney VS Michael Rosenblatt it was very reminiscent of Rosenblatt VS Yates in 2014 at round 4.

Rosenblatt and Bonney’s battle got replayed several times the judges had a real problems trying to pick who made the greater mistakes! from a crowd perspective it was really hard to see any mistakes made during the battle with each run as close as the next! Rosenblatt eventually got the win but it is one of Bonneys strongest performances to date!

Rosenblatt was not taking any prisoners! defeating everyone in his wake! charging just as hard as he had last year!

The real hero of the show was Beau Yates! after many battles and a super strong performance all the way to the final 3. Beau had an unfortunate unavoidable incident with Rob Whyte while coming around the final hairpin. Both cars went in to deep and ended up in the tyre wall with rob squashed against the tyres! Both drivers were fine but Rob could not continue due to car damage handing the win to Beau.

Just as happy as the podium finishers! Michael Prosenik and Levi Clarke congratulating each other as Andrew Hawkins was announcing the winner.

As a wise man once said “In Success you deserve it and in defeat, you need it” Champagne! As the top three wrestled to cover each other in the champagne the crowd cheered! Coming
in first was Beau Yates followed by Brent Gordon in second with Josh Boettcher in third.
Thanks for reading,

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

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