Published on October 19th, 2012 | by Jos Roder0
Supreme Caravans Drift Attack – Peripherals
‘Peripheral’ works well as the title for this post for a few reasons. This first blog of my Drift Attack event is removing my driving experience of the weekend and rather giving you an insight into some of the behind the scenes elements of a drift event you might not normally see.
Setting up an event and a track layout is something not often covered in drift blogs. I have included some of this plus some other random items that may be of interest. Peripheral vision also represents something I have to work on with my drifting, something of which I will get to into more in my next post. Peripherals…..fitting indeed!
I drove my unregistered drift car to Calder Park on Friday morning on a permit(legit). Although a police motorbike pulled in behind me on the Bolte Bridge, we both probably figured in unison that if Mark Webber can drive over this thing in an F1 car, I should be well equipped to deal with the bridge in a drift car. And I was. After this I received a phone call (hands free officer!) saying there was a Highway Patrol car further up ahead with a speed gun from one of my intelligence operatives. I was in compliance with the law so had nothing to fear, however driving an import for many years has weakened my spirit somewhat, so all my senses were finally attuned to the mirrors and the horizon as part of a subconscious ritual.
Upon arriving at the track, I was greeted by the cold comfort of Yoshi (Club President) Waz (Board Member and Hairdresser) and Rob (Board Member) loading plastic barriers onto the trailer in the drizzle. I jumped out of the 180sx energetically because I knew I was going to be payed the big bucks(I wish) to setup the track and partly because my leg had gone numb from the race seat position.
After unloading barriers and setting up sponsorship signage in the morning, the entire afternoon consisted of Board Members and Judges working on setting up the layout for the course. No less than eight different course variations were setup and tested under grip due to our restrictions at the track. You can see here the look of frustration on the body language of Waz as we struggle to find a solution to the awkwardly long section of track that led up to the final right hand wall lined corner.
When setting up a drift track many elements need to be considered in the layout by judges and any drivers providing input. Elements were everything from: overall speed of the section, relative speed differences of the lowest powered car to the highest powered car, ability for cars to gain on another car at some point in the course due to a slow down, enjoyment of the course, visual elements from the crowd’s point of view, judging elements such as clipping points, viewing angles and how this would be judged were all considerations that needed to be taken into account as the track layout came together.
Apparently some sort of football game was taking place, but as I always say, if you are into football, you generally aren’t really into cars.
One thing we all have no control over (well apart from the Beijing Weather Modification Office; look it up!) is the weather. Saturday was at times as terrible as it it could be. Not long before I took this picture, myself and a few other people were under this marquee working on a friends car when the second hail storm of the day hit. The marquee was already damaged so all five of us hung on to the support structure for dear life while the wind gusted and hail pelted our feet. It was like being up at advanced camp summiting Everest, but slightly flatter. The stickers on the cars say ‘I Love Drift’ and you would want to love it, looking at this mess!
I am enjoying being back on this side of the drivers briefing! I have taken a back foot on Judging for this year to concentrate on re establishing myself as a driver. I do miss it from time to time, but I would rather be driving for sure! Tony Bishop, Robbie McLaren and Trav Dunstan were on hand and have all had a tonne of judging and driving experience so we were confident they would do a great job over the weekend. Their task was made more difficult in that the course has never been used and some slight course modifications were needed after early practice. Being a longer judged section and having the weather play havoc certainly tested their patience and concentration, however ever the professionals, they adapted and ensured drivers received a fair appraisal of both their qualifying and battle scores.
That is Tony in his excitement saying “I think i went pee pee”. Scores have to be noted down and combined with Sonia, who was scribe for the day. Notes are consistently taken down on many elements of runs, so judges can go back over the run later if required for any reason and can also clearly relay criteria of why a run was determined the way it was, should any drivers question certain aspects of a qualifying run or a battle.
Judging was also taking place at 1/10th scale and by all accounts was taken just as seriously. On a separate note, I have to ask any man (or woman for that matter) who viewed the drift RC cars for the first time in the flesh if they were smiling and having a laugh? I was having a good old chuckle. Something about it was hilarious and I mean that with the greatest respect, I loved it! It would also be massively cheaper than the real thing and you don’t have to ratchet strap any cars onto trailers! Thanks to WOT Hobbies for coming out and providing the spectacle.
The Gripshiftslide.com mega meet was something new for the club and attracted about 90 sharp cars. It added to the off track action for the crowd! the FT86 was the most popular car it seemed!
Running the wall was something new for a competition at Calder Park and boy was it a crowd pleaser! This became the closest viewing area for Drift in Australia and it was appreciated by all! A unique spectacle and some amazing footage has already surfaced via photos and videos of wall rides.
Photographers have a nearly limitless amount of options for photo angles here at Calder, and here Justin Power from JP Photography is having a zen moment in between taking some broad aspect shots of the wall run.
This shot of the on track action was taken by Baz with a Samsung Galaxy S3 on burst mode. Not too shabby for a camera phone! Steve Pembrey, Editor of Drift Battle Magazine transitions with James Abbott in the 3 Fingers/Blaze Unit Neat S15.
After the awards had been presented and everyone had packed up Sunday afternoon, most of the VicDrift crew and some volunteers headed back out on track, disassembled the track and packed up all the sponsorship signage.
The event was a large undertaking of manpower, particularly the president of the club Yoshi Abbey. We were all very proud to pull off an event of this size and scope in our spare time while holding down full time jobs. I’m sure full time this group could do special things, but unfortunately that is not quite achievable yet.
I hope this post has provided some insight into the peripheries associated with the Victorian Drift Club’s premier event, the Supreme Caravans Drift Attack.
Yours in Drift