The drift demo at the 5th round of the Nopi/NDRA Xbox Cup Racing Series was insane! The E46 sustained some damage to the passenger-side rear quarter panel. I guess sometimes the walls kiss back! Luckily, the damage is only cosmetic, and should be fixed in no time! The fans up in Rockingham were really great. I met some awesome people over the course of the weekend. We did more shooting for Speed TV, so I can’t wait to see how that turns out!Special thanks to Ashley Hawks for the great photos!rnrnrn
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.
We did our first drift demo for NOPI/NDRA in Valdosta this weekend. It was a blast. We have a lot to work out to make the whole thing more of a “demo”… so it was a good learning experience. The way the track was set up… spectators weren’t really allowed anywhere near us, so we were pretty isolated to the infield of the circle-track the whole weekend. It gave me a chance to relax between demos, and do a ton of skateboarding. We all got interviewed be the Speed Channel… so we’ll see how it turns out! Overall, it was a great weekend!
After the Formula Drift Qualifier was wrapped up in Houston… we blazed trails to Lousiana for the Import Face-Off invitational. It was gawt damed AWESOME. It was a road course that was very challenging (for underpowered cars :))… And by mid-day we were killing it. Hot lapping the entire circuit with non-stop drift madness at every corner.
Marty, Dan and I all made top 8. Marty and I both advanced once, to be eliminated. I was taken out by the 1st place finisher (mostly due to fuel cut with gas sloshed to one side), and Marty was taken out by the second place finisher… Also in a Miata.
Marty and I got to battle it out for 3rd/4th… Just like the drift expo!!1 it was AWESOME. From what we were told it was the best tandem of the day. We got wikkid close, and finished it off with some slow manji standing burnouts for the crowd to finish the day.
People at the event were SO stoked about drifting. It was really a cool day, and it totally validated all the stress, sleep deprivation, and personal anguish I put myself through in the two weeks prior to the event. It was an amazing track and an amazing day.
rnNext competition they run there we HAVE to go back!rnrn
rnSome video from the event: