Events

Published on May 1st, 2013 | by Jos Roder

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Australian Drifting Grand Prix – A New Era!

Nick “Drift Kid” Coulson has finally broken through to win his first Australian Drifting Grand Prix at Calder Park Raceway.

Coulson fought off all challengers in his Achilles sponsored V8 Holden ute and to top it all off he doesn’t have a Chevy badge on the back of his ute! 10 out of 10 Nick, 10 out of 10.

It was an amazing day for Australian Drifting and I think we should be proud of our national championship. In front of the world drifting stage, the ADGP team showed their professionalism and ability to run a smooth ship with little down time.

 

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Trade stands were out in force and added another element of professionalism to a great event. Industry support is always a healthy sign for an event.

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Holford Motor’s S14 driven by Luke Fink may have been retired by the owner, but it was on display for all to see and appreciate. Surely one of the most iconic drift cars in Australia.

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This is Yoshi Abbey who was Competitor Relations Officer for ADGP. There is no way you could find someone more stoked about being involved in running a drift event than Yoshi, even if he doesn’t like his photo being taken.

Qualifying was the first real chance to see how everyone was performing and in the spotlight really gives you the chance to concentrate on each drivers style, technique and aggression. After qualifying Drift Life’s favourite drivers to that point were Anthony Cece, Matt Harvey and Tom Monkhouse as they were throwing the cars hard, pushing the envelope, which is what really excites Drift Life.

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A caged animal waiting to be unleashed. Daigo Saito. A Formula Drift Asia demo took place before lunch with some synchronised doughnuts and a couple of practice runs on the ADGP track layout.

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Engine bays at this years event were certainly a step forward in professionalism, and probably a step forward in both cost and horsepower as well! Conversions are very common place In Australia now. Ben Purtell’s 2JZ conversion nearly looks like it was factory fitted.

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Paraskevas and Papadopoulos  in the Insane Drifters/Just Car Insurance cars staying true to the SR20, with Aggess vowing never to step away from the 2 litre torquey engine

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Yes it was real. Fredric and FDA were in Melbourne.

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The crowd was thick and the grandstand was packed. Here is the masses heading toward the Pit Walk!

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Taking this photo was a special moment, because it symbolised how far the sport has come in general and more specifically the benchmark it would set for all future Australian drifting events. If the benchmark can be improved upon this sport is going to be looking quite healthy in Australia!

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“OK Saito, we will put you at the very end because you are the biggest draw card and….whoops, we slightly misjudged the table requirements, but you are right handed anyway aren’t you,…..no?……  well have a go and see how it turns out, they won’t know the difference anyway”

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Fredric Aasbo was down the other end of the signing table and well shaded by his RS-R girls. Rock Star.

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Stop staring at the car, it’s just an FT-86. Rather, focus your attention to the surrounds of the marquee. RS-R bought an incredible amount of spares, tools and wheels to support Aasbo’s campaign in Melbourne. Twice as much as everyone else. The runners up prize for supplies for the internationals was probably Mad Mike in the Red Bull RX-7.

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Formula Drift Asia driver Hugo Maclean from New Zealand had to change out gearboxes which is never a fun thing to do far from home without a hoist or a pit.

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Some local lads representing Victoria at the autograph session. Right to Left: Matt Russell, John Papadopolous, Andreas Paraskevas, Michael Prosenik.

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The Pit Walk proved popular and enabled everyone to see the awesome cars up close and personal!

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For those that weren’t at the event or are new to the scene, this may help you visualise how some of the vital positions were situated in relation to the track. A spotters role is to give feedback to the drivers on their lines and proximity to clipping points and also real time battle information. Judges and the commentator were up high looking down the concrete wall in a perfect position! It is worth noting that possibly for the first time in Australia, instant replays were implemented for the judging which in our opinion can only be a good thing.

The battles took place and certainly showed that we really are improving the depth of driving and car quality. Of course there was a few controversial decisions that certainly justified the investment in having instant replays such as the incident with Ryan Cummings  and Dale Campaign  and the Nathan Weissel vs Nick Coulson “drag race” claim and subsequent loss as a result to Weissel. A bit of drama is never a bad thing though!

In the end it came down to Nick Coulson and Tom Monkhouse.

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pic courtesy Australian Drifting Grand Prix

This shot summed up the quality of battles from the Australian drivers on Saturday and Nick Coulson ultimately prevailed!

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From the left…………no we will start near the middle as we might be here a while, Khudar Elhaouli (3rd place) Nick Coulson (winner) and Tom Monkhouse (2nd).

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Is the “Drift Kid” even legal age to be drinking!?

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Burnouts finished the day to the delight of the remaining fans! To the outsider, this sport is all about the driver, but look closer and you will see how vital the team’s role is.  No driver could really attend large competitions without the help of family and friends who assist with driving duties on the vast journeys across Australia, changing tyres, conducting repairs, spotting, morale support and media duties!  Here you see Michael Prosenik’s team celebrating with him at the conclusion of the event and sharing in the reward of a healthy fourth place finish after all the hard work preparing for the event. Cameo appearance is by Co-Founder of Formula Drift Ryan Sage (far right).

Drift Life was impressed with everything that we saw on Saturday and the distinct lack of criticism on social media post event is nearly the ultimate compliment to an event in this day and age! If you fill the negative void with positive things, the negativity goes away, and we hope it certainly continues!

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About the Author

Jos Roder

is the owner of Drift Life and delves deeper into drifting culture. Jos started drifting more than 10 years ago after discovering a sport existed that captured his favourite motoring endeavour, going sideways! Jos works full-time in the automotive/motorsport field as a PR Manager and Advanced Driving Instructor and currently owns a JDM S15 Nissan Silvia for drift/track/hillclimb duties.



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