Not wanting to take to many Fridays off work, having the previous one off to attend the Boogaloo Invitational (more on that next post), Wakefield Park, in Goulburn NSW was the scene of yet another awesome drift day.
This time it was for the first round of the Hi-Tech Drift Australia series, and damn was it amazing.
Wakefield park, hasn’t hosted a proper drift competition in years so it was great to see regular names in the drift circuit scene (sponsored by factory companies I might add) out and about on one of the local, arguably lesser known tracks of Australia.
Being broadcast live via the streaming through Facebook, and due to be featured on an upcoming Speedweek episode, on the SBS, this was massive for the town of Goulburn.
Combine the drifting with the Australian super truck racing series, and you have one crazy weekend of events all for the ample sum of $20.
Turning up initially, I had no idea what to expect, another small drift day vibe perhaps?
I was surprised to see the super trucks within the Wakefield grounds, but this just showed how naive I was to this event as a whole and how huge it would or could actually be.
Truck engines are always so cool, massive pistons means massive turbos.
Surprisingly the Motor Race Series was also running this weekend. I love some of these more affordable cars, showing just how great motorsport can be no matter what vehicle you may be in. Just check out this sweet Ford BA Falcon.
I have to say there was one car I was looking forward to seeing, this car was at a burnout event in Victoria at the Subaru STI training area, and ran a muk amongst some Japanese metal. In drifting, its very unusual to see anything other than Japanese cars, especially in self funded events. Even the US drifting scene has only really expanded in the last few years to encapsulate a Mustang, Ferrari and a few non competition drift exotics such as Lamborghini’s.
This car is awesome, a throwback to Aussie times, the VK commodore of ‘Gricey’. Running his own workshop out of Wodonga, you can imagine, this car is second to none when looking under the bonnet or inside that clean caged interior. Sometimes I wish we all could have a work vehicle as cool as this.
Someone may have met a wall on a previous entry.
And like a true superstar, you drift to the engine noise, not some silly gauge.
VIP Grandstands to see the whole track.
Just your casual pit race.
And of course, this was some pure Japanese car porn, look at that widened rear, and the pokey fronts. What more could you want?
Casually hanging off pit wall to see that initiation to the drift, is a spectacle on its own, the ‘awww’s’ and ‘ahhh’s’ are worth being in the crowd for.
After the Revolution practice day, the other week (my other post), Angus was back out like a missle locking onto a target. The supra is basically a jet in the aerodynamic department.
Superstars like Beau Yates, who drives one crazy ‘almost stock’ Toyota 86, if you take his mechanics words as almost stock meaning an insane 2JZ Supra motor, pumping out constant smoke like a smoke machine is mounted in the rear guards, then I guess stock is the best way to describe it, was present.
Having never seen a proper drift round, much excitement awaited for the Pro Class.
Not delving into to much, I turned up at lunch time, so time was really of the essence if I was to capture any drifting.
This was no fault of my own, actually it is, a Uni double degree does take up a lot of time when you work full time to, so ample planning was not on my agenda for this event. So, please excuse the lack of crowd/ pit pictures.
The Hogs Breath/Matooks S14 gets ready for a run, alongside the 4mance Automotive freshly built BMW.
A different take on the now classic 86 shape, these are just so affordable so the abundance of them at any track meet of any kind is insane. All the more I say.
The interior had a few upgrades….
And maybe the exterior did to.
A quick pit walk revealled this beauty. A classic corolla with low mounted rotary power. Power to weight + weighted for drift = much fun.
The wheel shops freshly built drift car. So nice, can’t wait for it to fry some tyres.
Casual RX7, need a phone wallpaper? Here she is.
Wakefield park is known as a fairly windy and cold track at the best of times, but for once the weather held out and really shone through for the event.
Super trucks are always so fast, so much close action for such big rigs.
These trucks are hot just standing near them, I can’t imagine the heat coming through the floor especially when your brakes are glowing red.
But I was here for the drifts.
Even the streaming was top quality, no mobile phone footage here, this is the drift championship of Australia.
Somedays I wish I had a 400mm lens, this was shot at 70-200 with no cropping. I always have to remind myself the 70-200 makes me various money, where as the 400 is a very niche lens. Probably not safe at the local MTB tracks.
A bit of a crop.
Tyre smoke was slowly wafting away, unlike previous drift days where a wind direction change was called for almost every hour by mother nature and track temps got pretty low.
I don’t know what it was, but maybe the ‘inter-staters’ bring the good weather with them when they travel, and also provided us with some of the best drifting seen so far.
The race series broke up the drifting, with some quite interesting cars out in the field.
Classic V8 Commodore with a drop tank.
Mixed with new Commodore with American Pontiac Grill. Faster a gust of wind blowing Donald Trump’s hair.
Clubsport replica front bar on another classic commodore.
And one more.
S13 Silvia Widebody.
Time to finish the pit walk while the trucks do another session.
Very nice bums.
Chrome wrap, sadly this car didn’t hit the track while I was there, but previously the camera has had to switch to manual focus to properly get a rolling shot, it just reflects the track that well.
Wont be long before the Pulsar series is back to Wakefield.
TV camera on the young man Daniel Messmer, keep an eye on this guy, car was completed a few days before the event with the help of the drift family, and drove on to a win.
Time for the final Pro runs of the day. Final battles of door to door action.
Beau warming the tyres.
Taking first round of the finals, Beau smokes out his opponent.
The crowd goes wild, and as we get together for the presentations after a quick trackside top six, everyone gets on the wall to give their final signs of respect. In Australia, this is a loud cheer, some clapping and someone yelling maybe something obscene for fun.
Final celebratory burnouts before the podium trophies.
Just off the wall, never stop shooting even if your in danger, the best shots come from the situations of high risk. **I do not condone doing this but I have been around burnouts a long time, on the street and on the tracks. Motorsport is dangerous**
I used to get so frustrated with out of focus images, but this one has the smallest point of focus. What I would have deleted a few months ago is now some of my coolest work.
Lookout for this guys awesome video, crazy low when the cars came at the wall.
My kind of game of thrones. ‘As he emerges from the smokey valley he has made himself, a hero emerges’. I’ve never watched it, but in an old man voice it would be cool.
Final handshakes before the verdict.
Final burnout before the verdict.
Wrap it up boys.
The truck joyrides begin, you can send the Supertrucks an email for a fast lap around the track at the end of the day, with a driver of your choice. Getting the fans involved in the best way.
Is this kid our next drift champion? Young minds getting inspired.
Wakefield is very much the spectators track in every sense of the word. Get up close to your favourite cars, stand on the pit straight wall and watch them click their fastest speeds. Feel the ‘whoosh’ on your face. Or just feel the chest thump as they roll into the pits next to you.
The best job. I love having a clean car.
Final chats before the trophies.
Final car coming in to base.
Rubber build up is a sign of a good day.
Daniel very much enjoying the Champagne, the taste of victory.
Michael Prosenik enjoying his first place in the Pro series.
Then chasing some of the crew down.
We drink Champagne a little differently in Australia.
Some deep conversations on how close the round was.
What a way to round out one crazy half day at Wakefield. I’ll be keeping my eye out for Winton, and you can catch me there for some more coverage of the Hitec Australia Drift series.
More info can be found out about HiTech Drifting Australia here.
SBS speedweek link for all drifting coverage here.