Through contacts at work I was invited to the JDM All Stars Series Finale at Wembley, my first trip to a Drift event and not a clue what to expect, excited ws not the word!
I arrived early and welcomed in driving straight through the pits and parking up right next to the Club stand which was superb as I didn't have to worry about carrying all the camera equipment around all day, it was going to be a long one. As soon as I parked up introductions were made to the Jap Performance Parts and Togethia Media teams and a more than welcome coffee handed over.
I had a great chat with the guys from Togethia as I had no clue what was made a good Drift photo and didn't want to walk away from the day with nothing to be pleased with, then it was out with camera and a chance to walk around before the public were allowed in to see what was really happening.
It really was like little Japan with some strange little runarounds...
To a whole host of JDM goodness, one of my favourite cars hidden away belonged to Peter Farrow of Togethia Media Services, a standard Subaru Imprezza Colin McCrae, I'm not normally a big fan of scoobies but to see one un-adulterated, in such good condition and signed by the legend himself was great to see.
The mornings session I was stuck behind the fence which allowed me to get my eye in and get some of my favourite shots of the day.
Throughout the morning the cars were practicing hard, especially as the practice session the night before had been cut short due to complaints from the locals about noise, hardly surprising as these high powered monsters were spinning their tyres continuously throughout the event.
Drifting is scored by a couple of simple rules:
Speed - The faster a driver runs through a corner the better
Angle - Basically the further the back end is out the better
Showmanship - How good do you look on track
Clipping Points - How close to the points/wall do you drive
These guys were not just close to the wall, but rubbing the wall on every occasion, often moving the signage or completely ripping it from the wall, and bouncign over the clipping points as shown below (the little orange bit in this instance).
Once two drivers are on the track all hell breaks loose, the drivers have to do all of the above while drivign as close to each other as possible which when driving at speeds of upto 110kph in what is effectively a controlled skid is amazing to watch!
The races carried on late into the night with some fantastic photo ops, unfortunately I couldn't stickaround for the prize giving but was addicted, I amde some great friends, found love for a new sport and can't wait to see how it grows in the UK...