As I mentioned in my previous post, last week I returned to Rockingham Motor Speedway just a few days after having attended the first round of the BDC there. I was supposed to be taking part in a drift practice day in the Outer Paddock but, around ten miles or so into my journey to the track my Nismo 2-way diff started to make some pretty horrendous noises.
Pulling into the nearest petrol station, I jacked my Laurel up to find that there was definitely something wrong with my diff and/or driveshafts, both being items that I didn’t want to destroy on track considering that I’d be driving the car home. Thankfully, this all happened at around 10pm the night before the event so I limped the car home, grabbed a few hours of sleep and hopped into my trusty VW the following morning, armed with my camera and GoPro.
Arriving at the track, the pits were already full to the brim of cool cars, many of which belonged to my friends. This is why missing this day due to a mechanical failure was so particularly gutting, as so many of us had decided to book on for this event so we could enjoy driving together on a fairly big and open track layout.
Nevertheless, I took advantage of the pits clearing out during the drivers briefing to put together a quick walk around video to show the majority of the cars that would be taking part on track.
Just after I finished filming, a fashionably late Giorgio arrived in his UKATEN PS13.
Having recently removed his D-Max Type 3 aero and replaced it with an older style Vertex front bumper along with OEM skirts, rear bumper and spats, Giorgio said he was still trying to decide if he liked the new look but, personally, I was a big fan. You can never go wrong with a black and bronze colour combination, either.
Factor in the staggered and perfectly fitting 17 and 18” WORK T7Rs and you’ve got a prime example of flawless execution. It’s all too easy to buy nice wheels and fancy aero, slam the car into the ground and find yourself scratching your head as to why it still doesn’t look right.
Seeing Sam’s Zenki S14 in the flesh for the first time was also a big plus for this particular drift day. It’s hard to imagine a D-Max Type 3 and WORK VS-KF equipped S-body that doesn’t look great but Sam’s car definitely pulls off the look with aplomb. Throw in additional details such as the cool colour, 326POWER wheel nuts and the fantastic sounding SR20 and you’ve got an S14 that ticks all of the right boxes.
Continuing the great S-body and SR20 theme, this was also the first time that I’d seen Adam of East Coast’s Finest’s S15 with my own eyes. I’m not sure of the exact wheel specs involved but the wider front wings and overfenders were definitely trying their hardest to contain them.
Dan’s Low Origin S15 was also in attendance, sporting its new Graphix-D livery. If you’re a regular reader of the blog you’ll no doubt have seen this car before; you can also check out this video that I made of Dan’s car at the event.
Completing the S15 trio was Freddie’s car. Having originally started life as a burgundy Spec-S model, Freddie has since dropped in a quintessential SR20DET setup. The Silvia is still very basic in spec (including all standard rear arms and minimal suspension modifications) but it was definitely enough to have fun and mix it up with the other S-bodies on track.
Another car that features on the blog quite frequently is Adam’s MX-5 powered and boosted FC3S. After suffering some misfire issues en route to the track and during the first half of the day, he soon got the problems sorted and spent the rest of the day hammering around in amongst trains of S-bodies and MX-5s. For the first time ever I actually forgot to take a specific photo of Adam’s car; scroll back to the first photo at the top of this post to see it.
Mark’s E36 Saloon has graced these blog pages in the past and it still looks absolutely fantastic, running full HM-Sports E36 aero and Roof Spoiler. It still amazes me how something so simple as dialling out the traditional rake that all lowered E36’s seem to have has made such a difference visually, ensuring that the rear tyres and wheel lips tuck nicely within the widened arches.
In stark contrast to the USA and Canada, nicely styled IS200s seem to be fairly lacking in the UK drift scene, as most tend to be used as cheap, cheerful and relatively underpowered missiles. The examples with more money spent on them seem to be kept away from the drift track but, thankfully, Alfred’s car is an exception.
Absolutely slammed on a combination of WORK T7Rs and MB Battles, the overall look of this car works so well. The addition of various OEM aero parts also helps tremendously.
Another car that was cool to see in person was Jordan’s PS13, fresh out of the workshop after a two and a half year build that got a bit more extreme than originally planned as things progressed. D-Max Type 3 was the aero of choice, twinned with WORK CR Ultimate Kiwamis.
And with that, it was time to hit the track. Watching everyone line up, it was refreshing to hear the noise of countless SR20s overpowering the note of any other engines.
While the Outer Paddock is essentially just an open piece of tarmac, the organisers had made a real effort to ensure that the track layout still required some accuracy and precision. Tyre walls were put in place in a handful of places to add excitement through proximity, while a number of clipping points were marked on the ground.
The queue in between laps seemed somewhat daunting at first but in reality it went down fairly quickly due to cars being sent off from the start line in relatively quick succession. And, once driver confidence and familiarisation with the track had increased, four, five and six car trains were regularly being given the go-ahead. Considering how many drivers were in attendance, it was awesome to only be waiting five minutes or less between runs, giving you enough time to cool down, take a breather and organise amongst your friends as to who will be leading the next train.
The weather stayed clear, there were minimal incidents and breakages on track and everyone was having a great time; suffice to say, I was absolutely gutted to not be out there and driving myself. Nevertheless, just being amongst a large crowd of happy, eager drifters and their cool cars still mades for a great day out…especially when they let me ride shotgun.
The next Rockingham drift day will be held on April 17th and will feature a replica of Meihan Sportsland’s track layout; I’ll (hopefully) see you there!