VICDRIFT :: Round #4 – Things get serious
The year is quickly coming to an end, it’s this time of year when all the motorsport events start to fire up as the weather begins to get warmer.
Round #4 of the Victorian Drift Championship was held at Calder Park in front a strong crowd and a large amount of eager drivers.
Every year we seem to see a changing of the guard, a new champion and a new set of hungry drivers ready to take the title of Victorian Drift Champion.
This is the second last event of the championship, the time to count points, the time to patch the car up and hope it holds together for the upcoming battles.
The day had just begun, it was time for the drivers briefing which was held on track. The drivers were about to learn what exactly the judges wanted to see from them, some divers attentively listened to the judges while others were just talked smack to their mates.
Last year round 4 was won by this man; Adian Ing, he surprised everyone by beating out some very seasoned veterans of the sport. This year he has found him self in a new car for the season and has been looking to steal another win.
This layout is as fun for the drivers as it is for the crowd! Having to throw the car with full commitment straight at the crowd then transitioning up and around the bend makes for an exciting spectacle.
Some of the higher powered cars tended to bog down and lose momentum on this particular track layout. The higher grip lower powered cars were impressive as they are able to catch ground quickly on their high powered rivals.
Jason Ferrons new rig has had its up’s and down’s! Haunted hill’s really made the car look like a half crushed coke can. With help from friends and a lot of talented people the R33 sedan was fashioned back together in time for round #4.
Be gone shabby paintwork! The boys over at WrapedUp did an amazing job making Jason’s car look like it was straight from the paint shop.
Nissan is still the dominate platform for drift around Australia and in many other places around the world. With so many options for custom aftermarket parts made especially for drift I don’t see this trend changing anytime soon.
Choonga the president of VicDrift has had enough of sitting behind the sidelines and organizing everything.
Round #4 saw him borrow a friends R32 four door to jump in the mix with some of Australia’s best drivers.
Everyone was pushing hard during qualifying, Justin Gruener took the top spot followed closely by Christopher Schulze and Matty Russell rounding out the top three.
Every year I watch drivers come up through the ranks and overtime see their skill’s develop.
One of the drivers who has been very impressive in the last six months is Zac Bongnar. Although his name sounds like an evil villain straight from a bond film his driving is aggressive but not demonic.
Alex Gouveia has been charging hard all season! His battle’s are always super entertaining, he is one driver we will be seeing on the podium next year for sure! He put down plenty of great runs during the day but was knocked out of the top 8 by Justin Gruener.
The judges where wanting drivers to run wide on the first corner and touch wheels on a patch of concrete just at the start of the corner. To do this it required a fair amount of speed! Here you can see Zac Bongnar and Christopher Schulze’s first initiation before the cars even get to the corner. Zac’s battle against team mate Christopher was re-run it was so close! Eventually Christopher Schulze ended up winning this battle.
Top 16 and top 8 Results where read out right in front of the crowd sitting on the above hill. Drivers sat side by side as they were read their verdict.
Big power versus no power, Kevin Flynn almost ran into trouble narrowly missing Julian Di Battista on his run. The crowd cheered as they thought they were about to see carnage, yet Kevin Flynn’s years of experience kept him from binning the unique 2JZ S15.
I can’t imagine the thoughts going through Christian Stella head moments before he was to battle his long time friend and Vic Drift President Mathew Choong. Do you push it! Get on door? Or leave a safe distance?
Thankfully Christian Stella did all of the above without damaging the car that Mathew Choong had borrowed especially for the event. It was a great battle that was re-run it was so entertaining! Christian ended up taking the win and moving all the way up to the top 8.
The people’s choice award was voted live on facebook by the crowd watching the event, they chose Mathew Choong and Warwick Fitzgerald as there favorite divers of Round 4 Vic Drift Championship. This then meant that the two would have to battle to the death for the audience’s affection! Both drivers put on one hell of a show with Warwick taking the win in his small but mighty MX5.
Justin Gruener has been hard at work all year! Hey has reached the VicDrift podium many times in the last couple of years yet he has never been able to get the win. This time however all his stars aligned.
Not only did he take first qualifier and impress the hell out of the judges! But he also took the win at Round #4 and the best part is it was also his birthday! What a hat trick!
So who will take the crown of Victorian Drift Champion for 2017? With many regular names missing rounds of the championship its anyone’s game! The 2017 championship definitely looks like it is favoring the underdogs this year. The last round is quickly approaching and we cannot wait to see who can take the win this year.
Thanks for reading,