Demos > Competition.
Gateway International Raceway, just outside of St. Louis was subject to two days of unabridged MAYHEM, as we unleashed an onslaught of drifting insanity for the 4th round of the Nopi/NDRA Xbox Cup Racing Series.
This was our second NDRA drift demo. The first demo we did in Valdosta for round 2, was a blast… but we were still figuring things out as we went. This demo in St. Louis came together like VOLTRON. Things developed into more of a “show”, and the crowd went nuts. There were SO many people there. I don’t know where they all came from… but as soon as it was demo time, people were running to get a spot on the wall. The 6pm demo on Saturday was INSANE. There wasn’t an open space to stand around the entire demo area. People were sitting on people’s shoulders to get a glimpse. It was simply amazing. Beyond amazing, it was inspiring. The crowd was so into it, and we fed off that energy to create a show that might be difficult to top.
I learned where the opposing corner of the car was to my position in the driver seat during the demos. I knew the proximity of where contact would occur… but that’s one of those things you can’t truly learn until contact is made. Feeding off the energy of the crowd, I was able to “kiss” the wall at speed, and not sacrifice my line, speed, or angle. It was nuts. I started out with small low-speed… brake-stand style taps… and by the end of the weekend, was grazing the wall at speed. I managed to take a cone out that was a cigarette pack away from the wall’s edge. It was anarchy. Pure anarchy.
rnDrifting was a new thing to a lot of people at the event. Countless people said “I didn’t even know what drifting was until today… you made a fan out me – this is awesome!”. I few people said “I thought drifting was stupid until today… you guys changed my mind”. Hearing things like that means the world to me. You can’t put a pricetag on things like that. It validates that all the blood, sweat, and tears we put into all of this actually means something. It means EVERYTHING to me… but when it means something to other people as a result… it makes you feel like things are moving in the right direction. I would rather see drifting make it’s mark on the world, than see myself make a mark on drifting.
A short clip, shot by Tri Tri-Rudolph, from my qualifying run where I flipped the clipping point.
What an amazing weekend! After obliterating both motor mounts, & a bearing in my differential during qualifying, I managed to lay down a run that I was pleased with, so overall I walked away happy. The BFGoodrich G-Force Sport tyres performed flawlessly, and made for a great smoke-show upon track exit! HUGE HUGE thanks to Kieran from Gran Turismo East, and Dan & Tracy from Batlground Engineering for lending such a huge hand this weekend!!!rnrnrnSome (not-so-great) in-car footage:rn
I had the drift car officially stripped of all her vinyl for about two whole days… then she got wrapped with new graphics! It was kinda cool having her all black and shiny again. With those ol’ Racing Dynamics tucked under the wheel wells… she was indeed looking more old-skool euro – much to my liking.
I got the primary base of the new graphics on the car about an hour before I had to be at the track for Round 2 of Formula Drift @ Road Atlanta. I got most of the sponsor logos on the car at the track, and actually finished the rest of the application after race-weekend.
I designed everything in Illustrator… and it’s kinda crazy to see it go from the screen to the car. I’m an old skool veteran to vinyl application… but never anything this large in scale. I couldn’t have got-r-dun without Tracy’s help at Batlground. Everyone conked out asleep, or went home… but she stayed up to help me hinge the vinyl onto the car… proving once again that Batlground is the BEST ever. Thank you Tracy!!!
Ol’ grrrl is finally starting to look like a racecar instead of a street car with more stickers than you can count. Now… about some aero…
This is a screenshot out of Illustrator of the file I was working with:
Weeding vinyl on carpet isn’t much fun.
On three… I’m going to close my eyes, and this will be applied… 1.. 2..
THREE! Man, that was easy. ;p
Batlground and Gran Turismo East logos complete.
Headed to the track with more vinyl work to do…
At the track…
On the track…