As everyone knows, drifting is a risky sport. You are often only one small mistake from a written-off car, so when it comes to learning the basics and honing your skills you’ll obviously want to minimise the chances of hitting something to a minimum. This is where Santa Pod’s ever-popular “Drift What You Brung” days come in: a low-risk environment that caters for anyone from complete novices to advanced skidders on a variety of different tracks.
After writing off my last drift car at Buxton it was definitely the low-risk environment that drew my attention, and so on Wednesday myself and the rest of the crew headed down to the Northamptonshire venue. Out of the eight of us, three of us would be drifting: Alex in his Z32 300ZX (his “spare” drift car as his S14a is solely for the BDC), Jonny in his S13 and of course myself in my S13.
We’d planned on going for quite some time but in the weeks leading up to the event the faithful CA18DET in my S13 must have heard the news that it was going to be given some serious abuse and thus started protesting. The oil seals on my turbo started failing, and then, with just a few days to go, failed almost completely. I’ll go into this more in another post but, after a lot of last minute grafting, the car was ready to make the 300 mile round trip.
As we arrived I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, although I was expecting to see the majority of the 60 capacity driver entry taking part in relatively basic S-bodies, Mx-5s and BMWs with just light modifications. Instead, I was greeted with plenty of cars I recognised from the build threads of well respected drifters, along with a handful of other cars I recognised from press reports covering many major events. It was definitely a wake-up call!
As we’d turned up a little late due to some terrible traffic on the M6 Jonny and I made no hesitation in getting out on the beginner “figure-of-eight” tracks. With this being the first “legitimite” (for want of a slightly more obvious word) drifting we’d done in our S13s it was good to get a feel for things before heading out onto the “kidney” track.
The kidney track was helpful for practicing much faster drifting along with a little transition and it was very addictive trying to perfect this over and over again!
Obviously Alex spent the majority of his day on the big track which is aimed at the more advanced drifters. I managed to get myself into the queue for this track with just a few minutes to spare before closing time as I thought it’d be stupid not to give it a go while I was there, even if the car was on its last legs (which it was)!
I was quite strapped for time to take photos throughout the day but I did manage a quick pit-walk (the pictures above) and also spent few minutes taking some action shots by the side of the main track (below)
Clive’s S14a recently underwent an engine transplant, its SR20DET replaced with a BMW V8. The sheer noise it made was enough to make me consider doing a similar swap when it comes to bin the CA!
Alex certainly wasn’t hanging about when it came to burning through tyres; check out the sparks from his rear right
Overall it was a great day out and the first drift day I’ve taken part in where my car hasn’t been completely dead afterwards! The relaxed atmosphere is definitely part of the appeal, along with the low-risk track layouts and markings. Although a couple of cars were involved in incidents on the main track, I’m sure it won’t be enough to put their respective owners off coming back for more. Personally speaking, as soon as my car’s made a full recovery I know I’ll be heading back for another DWYB day.