Sunday, 24 April 2011

British Drift Championship - Donnington Park

For those petrol heads amongst you who have never been to a drift event I strongly suggest you get yourself to one this year!  I was a drift virgin until yesterday - but it's fantastic fun to watch and just what you'd love to do in your own car round your local Sainsbury's car park!

A while back we'd let one of our Millbrook staff members set their car up using our steering pad and I watched thinking it was fun but what's the point (not that having fun isn't a good enough reason on it's own!).  I'd also seen a couple of TV programmes covering events, from Japan I think where it's a huge sport, but it wasn't until watching it live yesterday I really appreciated the spectacle of the sport.

Rather than try and describe it in my own words, I can't put it better that the organisers  ....
The basics rules of the sport requires drivers to drive rear wheel drive cars sideways continuously round a series of corners. Drivers are judged on entry speed, how fast they can initiate the drift, the angle the car achieves during the corners, the speed of the transition from one direction to the other and last but not least the amount of smoke than can be produced.

16 drivers qualify for the finals, drivers are then placed in pairs to compete in a knock out competition, the highest qualifier battles against the lowest, second qualifier against fifteenth and so on.

The drivers are judged against each other rather than the lines on the track. Ten points are available and are split between the two drivers. The lead car must attempt to pull away from the chase car while still having good angle and making quick transitions and of cause speed.

The chase car must try to mimic the lead cars line angle and speed, he must follow as close as possible without making contact or disturbing the lead cars transitions. The drivers are allowed one practice run together with the highest qualifier being the lead car. They then run their first battle; one car will lead on the first of two runs, on the second the roles are reversed.

The drivers are judged by a group of three experienced drivers or experts, however if there is little to choose between the driver after the two runs the crowd is encouraged to cheer and clap for their favourite, if the crowd believes the drivers should do battle again they will start chanting - shouting 'one more time'.

The drivers will then be told to do another battle, they can be told to run a maximum of three times and then a decision must be made. 

To learn more and look out for future events head over the the new British Drift Championship website

Here's a selection from the hundreds of pictures I took yesterday (sorry but I don't have a list of entrants so can't tell you whose who except for Car 61, Irish Lass Danni Murphy, who was by far the most sideways driver all day!) - enjoy ....