When Awesomefest was first announced I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have any doubts as to whether or not the format would work. Three days of drifting and live music seemed like a strange combination at the time, but having just come back from the event I can safely say that it worked, and it worked brilliantly! To put it briefly, Awesomefest was by far the most amazing car event I’ve ever been to, and in this post (Part 1 of my coverage) I’ll try my best to show you why!
With the whole concept of Awesomefest revolving around drifting on the Mallory Park circuit I thought it best to dedicate this first part of my coverage to on-track action and the professional drift cars.
While Friday was set aside for the campers to set up their tents and gazebos and set about tackling whatever booze they brought with them, the fast and flowing Mallory Park circuit was open to drifters from 9am on both Saturday and Sunday.
Track time sessions were extremely well priced considering that this was by no means a run of the mill grassroots drifting event, and with the track open to everyone with a RWD car it meant that more often than not beginners and amateur drifters alike were jostling for track space with the professionals. While this may have been a bit daunting out on track it made for some spectacular viewing from the numerous vantage points that spectators could make use of.
One of the cool things about the event being held over the three days is that (for the amateurs and privateers at least) their drift cars were also their way of getting to and from the track whilst carrying all their camping gear. There was many a time when I saw a cool car out on track only to find it parked up in the campsite shortly after which was great for nerds like myself! One such car was this FC3S Rx-7 which both looked and sounded fantastic out on track, more pictures of this car will be in the next part of my coverage.
The biggest attraction of the weekend was the night time drift demo on Saturday night. Mallory Park is surrounded by floodlights (edit: apparently it isn’t actually, the Driftworks crew brought along a sea of floodlights and generators to light up the track!) so it was fairly simple to switch them on, send out the professional drifters for half an hour and amaze the crowd! Drifting at night is always a spectacle as the noise, speed and the smoke seems to be so much more intense when you can hardly see anything. If you’re wondering why I haven’t got any pictures from this, it’s because I was too busy filming it for a video I will be editing and uploading very shortly!
Members of the public were able to buy passenger rides with some of the professionals which resulted in a lot of scared faces as most of them seemed to be hanging on for their lives! Some passengers were able to set aside the fear of going into a corner at 100mph+ sideways though and just enjoy themselves, much like this guy having a ride in the Low Brain S13.
Other cars giving passenger rides included the Driftworks S15 and the Cosworth Supra, both sounding absolutely nuts out on the track and pulling some ridiculous entries into Gerrard’s (the first corner at Mallory Park).
While it was expected that the fastest entry speeds and biggest angles would be laid down by the high power Japanese cars, a number of retro cars tore up the rule book and stunned the crowd with unbelievable driving skill and commitment! This Escort and Starlet were by far two of my favourite cars of the weekend; even during the night time drifting they were considerably more mental and unhinged than everyone else!
The recently stolen and even more recently recovered Japspeed Impreza was another of the pro cars out on track. The sound of this car will never, ever get old.
Continuing the RWD Scooby trend was the RB powered GC8 from Jap Performance Parts.
The Falken team were out in force with their S14.5s, G35 Skyline, S14a and pair of E30 BMWs that made the trip over to England for the weekend. I think it’s safe to say that the E30s were some of the most impressive cars of the entire weekend; retro cars with modern engines is such a cool combination!
Speaking of cool engines in retro cars, how about this 13B rotary powered AE86 from D-Mac!? It didn’t do much drifting but to be honest it didn’t need to, the sound and the speed were more than enough!
Many of the regular drifters were really giving it their all later on on the Sunday once they’d all got used to the track, there were definitely some quality drivers out there.
Using as much of the track as possible (and a bit more!) was the key to a fast drift with lots of angle.
I could hear this Soarer coming well before I could see it, 1JZs will always sound amazing.
The iconic Dragon Performance FD Rx-7 also made an on-track appearance while spitting many crowd-pleasing flames!
With the main emphasis being on a fun weekend for all, these mini trikes were available on Friday night to have a play with and ride down Devil’s Elbow (the final corner at Mallory Park). While to most it was just a bit of fun, some people took it as a bit of a competition with some cool angles being pulled as riders tried to hit make-shift clipping points!
That concludes Part 1 of my Awesomefest coverage, stay tuned for another post covering the cars in the pits and campsite as well as a video filmed over all three days!
Remember to check the ej9.co.uk Facebook page over the next few days for a few more updates and pictures!