So as they say better late than never is true in this situation as its been many weeks since the event. But after such a long wait (due to other commitments) i now have photos finished.
The event was held over a three-day long weekend for Australia day at Tailembend Motorsports park and consisted of the final round for 2014 and the first round of 2015.
As usual every round of the Drift challenge Australia series, a pro international driver is brought over to compete. Some of these drivers have been the likes of Naoki Nakamura and Miki Yabuuchi, Naoto Suenaga, Ryan Tuerck, and Chelsea Denofa. This round was no different and pro D1GP driver Masashi Yakoi from MCR Factory came over for the challenge. If you are heavily into drifting you will no doubt know who Yakoi is and what his driving style is like.
Yakoi is one of my favorite drivers and when I found out he was going to be at this round I was super excited to say the least. not only to meet him and see his awesome driving, but also at the chance to get some stickers and possibly a cam cover for my Silvia. Yakoi is also very well-known for his painting skills and some of his sr20 cam covers are as well-known as him.
And having the chance to get a photo with Yakoi was a plus.
I did get this printed and signed over the weekend. Yes im a fan boy. Anyways, to get on with the drifting. The Friday of the event was the final round of the 2014 series and it also came down to the line for the championship win. In the end it came down to 2 drivers to take out the championship and with a trip to Hungary with a supplied car to compete in a European series. Those drivers were Stewy Bryant and Jordan Graham.
The day started off with a practice session where passengers were allowed in cars. Seeing as the weekend was Australia day long weekend, the event had an even more laid back matsuri feel but with a competition element still there. This gave interstate drivers a chance to get use to the track. It also gave drivers a chance to have some fun and throw down some great practice battles. Afterwards all drivers jumped straight into qualifying.
Due to commitments I was unable to make it to the second day of the event to see the finals of round four and qualifying for round one of 2015. The winner of the round was SA driver Jay Duca. Jay was also the winner of the 60min to win it jam session where the winner got a $500 bar tab at the after party. this was funny as Jay doesn’t drink so plenty of beers were shared around. Sadly i missed the after party, and if you have been to a DCA party, you know they get pretty wild. The winner of The championship was Stewy Bryant from SA.
On the third day of the event was round one of the 2015 season. Qualifying was done the previous day so the morning started off with another small practice session before the final battles started.
Half way through battles there was a lunch break. I took this time to explore the pits. there were some very nice cars at this round such as Blake Patersons s14. It was one of my favorite on the day. I have become a big s-chassis fan since I bought my s14 Silvia.
This was also a good time to catch up with mates and talk about the event and general car topics. This seemed to be where all the cool kids were hanging out during lunch.
After lunch we headed back into the top 4 battles. The final battle came down to Stewy Bryant vs Masashi Yakoi. both drivers drove on the very edge of perfection and had to do multiple re-runs. After the final re-run and everything was done and dusted, the winner of round one was Masashi Yakoi (second from left) just beating Stewy Bryant (second from right) in some amazing battles. Third place was Leigh Pidwell (middle of photo) nudging out Mitchell Sanders (far right) in fourth place. Jordan Graham (far left) came second in the 2014 championship. Not pictured was Jay Duca who came third in the championship.
At the end of the day was a massive free jam session where all drivers to come back out and bake tires. there were some large drift trains as well as some intense battles between friends. It was also a great time for more passenger rides.
During these battles there was some intense door on door battles resulting in some crash battle damage. This is an example of why bash bars suck.
Big thanks go out again to all the crew that put on this series. In my opinion its one of the best series around. So a massive thank you to Luke and Tiarnah Fink, Princy, Jess, Michael, Cale, the judges Paul, Marky, Eiji, and anyone else i forgot to mention. Keep doing what you guys do and putting on an awesome series.
If your interested in taking part make sure you checkout the next round at Baskerville Raceway in Tasmania on the 14-15 of March. Otherwise keep checking http://www.driftchallengeaustralia.com for further dates.
GET ON IT!!
I attended this years Drift Super Cup at Mallala, but due to circumstances with the track clerk, I did not shoot many photos. But out of the few I did shoot, here are the best.
Round two of the Drift Challenge Australia series came to South Australia, and out of the two tracks we have here, it’s no surprise that Tailembend was chosen. The track was originally built as a test site for the Adelaide built cars from Mitsubishi, so the tight windy track was perfect for what DCA is all about. Unlike other events held here though, a wall was built mid track for those close wall taps that we all love could be achieved.
Again the series organizer (Luke Fink) brought over another international driver. And like round one it was one of the best. Team Orange very own from Japan, Naoto Suanaga. He was driving the DCA car that Naoki Nakamura drove at Raleigh.
Unlike round one at Raleigh Raceway, round two was a three-day event with the Friday being an open practise/media day. I few drivers came up for the extra track time as most drivers couldn’t get the day off work.
On the Saturday was more time for practise as well as qualifying and of course the driver favourite 60 min to win it jam session. the winner again like round one won a $500 bar tab and the after party that night. a few drivers had trouble with the layout being tight and technical which is unlike a lot of other tracks used for drift Australia wide. the winner of the 60 min to win it was Adelaide’s own Luke Broadbent in his V8 powered Nissan Cefiro seen leading in the next photo.
Also held on the Saturday was the team qualifying. There were many teams entered in the team drift unlike round one. some drivers even choosing to compete with multiple teams of three drivers. In the end the team finals came down to Team Gypsy and Team Origin Labo Australia. The finals were to be held the following day.
Sunday was the big day for everyone. Lucky for some drivers they weren’t too hung over from last nights wild party (which I missed sadly). Others didn’t fare so well in the end with plenty of panels damaged. But there was also LOTS of very talented drivers with constant door on door driving. Unlike other series in Australia, this is one of the major factors DCA focuses on. Not drag racing leaving the second car behind.
In the end, the top four came down to Christian Pickering, Jordan Graham, Chris Dejager, and Naoto Suenaga. Jordan competed for a third place finish against Chris. after some great battles and a rerun, Jordan beat Chris to Take out third. The top Battle for a first place finish was between Christian and Naoto. The two of them are good friends and drift together in Japan often at Naoto’s home track of Ebisu. Again both drivers had some very close battles and even left tyre marks on each others doors. But in the end Christian took out the win and finished first for round two.
Christian also won the best looking car of the event. This is Christian in traditional drift style having a victory skid at the end of the day.
After all the battles were finished, It was time for the team drift finals, but after talking with the officials, this was dropped for more open track time and plenty of drift trains! It was the first time I had seen a drift train of 18 cars ever in Australia.
Having a drift train this full on also resulted in some contact that didn’t end too well for some.
It also gave Luke some time to get out and rip some skids with the best. after all, running a three-day event and not getting into a car can be hard, and ripping some skids is the best way to relieve some stress.
At the end of the day on my way home, I quickly stopped and shot a couple of photos of the car show and shine that was on. This was also a new part of DCA. The winner was a very clean example AE86 Trueno.
I am hoping to make round 3 and continue my coverage of this series. After all, it is the best run series in Australia in my opinion and has some of the best drivers competing. I have met a lot of great people and made some new friends. Come on…… I mean where else can you hit a mates car and both walk away with a smile on your face. that’s what its all about. So Stay tuned for more in the coming months.
If you didn’t know, Australia has a new national drift series. Unlike others that are running country-wide, this new series has exactly what the others are lacking. If you didn’t go to the first round I pity you. not only did this event run better than any other I have been to, it also had a better variety of cars and drivers alike. I give you Drift Challenge Australia!
The series will be running four rounds in SA and the eastern states with a possible fifth round in WA. Also with this series, almost every round has a Japanese driver not only attending, but also competing. At round one there were possibly two of the best and well-known drifters in the world competing. Naoki Nakamura and Miki Yabuuchi from team Burst!
The first day of the two-day event was a massive practice session followed by the 60 minute to win it jam where the winner needed to show massive entries with large angle and smoke. The winner was Simon Michelmore from Adelaide. he won a $500 bar tab at the Plantation hotel later that night for the (mid event) after party. Simon drives a purple s14 with a rb30/26 engine combo powering it.
Following the 60 minute to win it jam session was qualifying and super lap sessions to determine who would make the top 32 and decide on their running order. This method is used in some European series and ran very well.
On the second day of the event there was more qualifying for a select few drivers that were not present on the sat. (judging commitments at another event). Some of these drivers had never even seen the track before such as Stewy Bryant, also from Adelaide.
Stewy struggled in his c33 Laurel during qualifying and had to borrow a car. He used friend and fellow team-mate from team Gypsy Jay Ducas JZX100 Chaser. After qualifying in Jays car, he than continued to win battles all day making it into the top 16.
At lunch time, drivers were allowed to continue sliding on track or go in for a break and a feed. Most drivers chose to stay out and provide lunch time entertainment for the crowds. This was followed by a pit walk for people with no pit access the chance to get up and personal with the cars.
After the lunch break and pit walks, Team Battles were up next on the day’s schedule. There weren’t many teams willing to go out but some of the bigger drivers didn’t disappoint. Team origin Australia were out as well as Team origin Japan. Team secret drift were amazing to watch with Danny T is his incredibly clan s13 Silvia. Also going out was Team Gypsy from SA. the final two came down to Secret Drift and Origin Japan. The voting wasn’t up to the judges, but instead the crowd. who ever got the most cheers won.
The winners were Nakamura and Yabuuchi from Origin Japan.
The Final battles than started. There were some great driving in the finals but not everyone finished the way they wanted. There were a few hits here or there during the day but probably one of the bigger ones when Josh Hayward and another driver collided. Josh was left on the track with a broken LCA and blown tyre. He had to be towed back to the pits. Josh ended up finishing fourth.
The judges were a mix of drifters who have over 60 yrs experience between them and were more than qualified to make the big decisions. You probably recognize two of them in the following photo.
there were some incredible battle in the top 4 with Stewy Bryant having multiple re-runs. It was very impressive to see him drive considering he only qualified and drove on the track that morning for the first time. he ended up finishing second with Naoki Nakamura finishing first. Naoki won $2000!
Time for victory skids. Naoki was not familiar with this Aussie tradition and had well know photographer Alexi Smith translate for him. He was more than happy to burn some rubber for the crowd why his team-mate Miki watched from the side.
After all was done and dusted, there was a free expression session for all drivers. This was a great opportunity for me to climb up into the boom lift that was provided for us photographers. a great addition to the event that allowed for some new photo angles.
The judges also decided to have a slide. If you have been involved in drift for many years, you would have seen this Nissan onevia, driven by Darren Appleton many years ago.
At the end of the day, everyone packed up and talked to each other going over the weekends events. It was a great time to get autographs for the Japanese drivers and exchange contacts with new friends. In my opinion it was one of the best weekends i have had in a very long time. Round two is coming up very fast at Tailembend Motorsport park here in SA. if you missed the first round you better get to this one as its going to be even bigger and better with a third day!! Don’t miss it!
Big thank you goes out to the man behind the scenes Luke Fink!
The other week I attended round 2 of the SA Stadium Drift series at Tailem Bend. Unlike other events I normally attend, this one I chose to shoot from the spectator area why I hung out with my mates. This is the best thing about this track in my opinion as you can get great shots no matter where you stand.
AHHHHH!! I have been so busy lately that it has taken me over a month to get these photos done! But as the saying goes…..better late than never!
Victotory skids at the end of the day!