EVENT | Superlap Saturday @ Driftland

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Recognize that wall? Probably if you’re into drifting you do, but if you do not, it’s just because Driftland has not been around for that long, infact, it all started just a bit more than a year ago.

If you’re a car enthusiast, or especially if you’re into drifting and you live in the UK, it’s very likely you heard of a massive and successful event at Driftland, which was indeed the “Driftland Bash”.

 


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Many people attended, and many people took their cars on the track for some skids. Some big names also showed up, like Ryan Tuerck from the USA, and Stewy McBriant from New Zealand, and if people like these two came over from overseas, there must have been a reason. “Driftland Bash 2015” is already confirmed and planned and it’s just a matter of time. Loads of drifting enthusiast are anxiously waiting for that weekend and they have already marked their calendars. Anyway there is an article on Autolifers about the event and I suggest you go through it after this one, which is about another event.

 

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Now that I introduced this heavenly place to you it’s time to tell you about this other event that Autolifer Martin Woods and I have attended, which was the Saturday Superlap, on the 1st of November 2014. The atmosphere, as it happened on my previous visit, reminded me of the worldwide famous Ebisu circuit, place where I would like to go before I die. Not as many people attended this time, but it wasn’t supposed to be THE EVENT like the previous one so I guess it was no surprise. The weather was alright, no annoying rain or strong wind luckily. I’m sure whoever was on track probably would have happily taken advantage of some rain though!

 

 

 

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What I was expecting on the other hand, was seeing a lot of BMW’s, especially 3 series E36, no matter what shape, coupè, Compact, saloon and estate and what have you.  Only about 3/4 out of 15 of them were in a decent shape: the rest of them had battle scars. One in particular that I saw in the parking lot, did not look like it could move and looked like it was abandoned. Not long later the owner just stepped in, drove it onto track and gave it the beans like there was no tomorrow.

 

 

 


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That is something I really like about drifting: it’s all about having fun: you go in your drift missile and have fun in it, push it to the limit, in a safe and very suitable environment in this case. Nowadays you can get a drift-ready E36 for even less than £1000, with coilovers, a welded differential, hydraulic handbrake and a set of tyres to slay, and if you’re lucky with a 2.8 I6 engine, which some think it’s the best one for these cars, which alternatively could be found packing  a 1.6l, a 1.8l, a 2.3l or a 2.5l engine. If you can’t afford a trailer and a drift missile car, you’d be happy to know that many drift people, who can only afford one vehicle,  just use their drift-ready cars for daily driving. Obviously in that case you’d have to be more responsible and you might want to worry about MOT’s aswell.

 

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Unfortunately, as we know, things can end up in a negative way.  Many of the car that were there, as I said before, were properly wrecked, bodywork wise. Bent panels, cracked tail lights etc. And no, this is not the worst thing that can happen if you take your car to a drift track. Collisions are quite frequent and you might total your car for good while searching for its limit.

 

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Personally, every time I go to car events,  I always take my time and go for walk around the venue’s parking lot (if not too far from the “event area”): I find them really interesting, as you might even find cars that can be more interesting than the ones involved in the event. This was not the case as it wasn’t very crowded as mentioned before, but I spent several minutes in a particular corner of the parking lot area, which I call the “graveyard”, that kept me there for a good 10 minutes.

 

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A few beautiful and properly modified drift-cars that looked like dead ,judging by their flat tyres or by different missing parts, were laying in this corner. I’m talking about Skyline’s, some remarkable BMW’s and an outstanding light brown, Irish plate AE86, that, from all the Driftland videos’ I’ve seen on the internet, I can say it used to be driven really hard on the Scottish most famous drift track. It was such a shame to see that DOHC v-tec powered Toyota in that corner.

 

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Other than these cars, there were a few others here in there that I want to mention as they would contribute to bring Japan back to my mind, like the Impreza’s, my MX5, which blended in really well I must admit, a yellow Rocket Bunny Zenki S14, that, as the owner told me, was built with less than £4000, a gorgeous green R32 Skyline and so on.

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To finish off I would like to suggest all drifting enthusiasts, Autolifers readers, from the UK and from overseas, to mark their calendars for Driftland Bash 2015 and go visit this remarkable circuit, which I believe is one of the main point of reference for drifting in the UK or even in Europe.

 
Words: Angelo Di Massimo
Photos: Angelo Di Massimo & Martin Woods
 

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