A familiar roar pierced the air. Throttles stressed to their maximums; tires screaming for their very lives, as if their torturers were cold and heartless killers. A battle was taking place; a fight between practicality and the absurd. Some chariots were wrecked in the process, but none were left behind. In the end, after the smoke cleared, we were all blessed. Friends reunited in a common bond, new and old alike. Make no mistake; the 2010 drifting season has begun! Hell yeah.
March 14th marked the triumphant return of some of the Northwest’s most seasoned veterans. An invite-only drift event was held last Sunday to start off the 2010 season with a bang. It was a great mix of old school friends, with up and coming drivers all the way from Canada to Oregon. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, with a steady 70 degrees all day with almost no clouds in the sky. It was as if God himself found favor in the boys from Evergreen Drift.
Thirty drivers came out to beat their cars into submission. Some came out from the shadows and onto the track after a year or more away from the sport, either due to long overdue projects or the inevitable life priorities that get in the way of drifting. Many just finished their projects, which were being shaken down for the very first time, allowing for some much needed testing, tuning or just plain repairs. In the off season, most drift cars either sit in storage or are being rebuilt, so it wasn’t unexpected that there were lots of cars dropping out of the lineup. Roland Gallagher’s S13 had just come from being repaired after hitting the wall at the Pro-Am finals, and he spent most of the day changing his entire brake system. Rob Primo’s Natalie Portman-clad S14 blew a front main seal after just three laps, and Erich Hagen’s BMW E30 was out part of the day for some tuning up, just to name a few. Most just ran out of tires with as much track time that was available.
Up above, this S13 Silvia from Seattle shows what Sugoi Style is all about.
For those that don’t know the track at Evergreen Speedway, it’s a 5/8 oval with a smaller 3/8 oval inside. They both share a straight. The 3/8 course was used all day, but in a modified, experimental layout than previously used. The biggest change was the ability to hot lap, where two cars were allowed to run three laps without stopping. This sort of format was only possible due to the experience of the drivers involved, because of their skill and advanced knowledge of the course rules. There were a couple of wrecks, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed, and most important of all – no one was hurt.
All of the drivers present have been through at least one season, making it more of a family affair. High fives were everywhere! As a reunion of sorts, it’s great to see friends again after the off season. It’s kinda weird to think we all have our own private lives outside of drifting, and if it weren’t for drifting, we probably wouldn’t know many of these people.
2009 FD Pro-Am winner Ian Fournier was rockin the bank with ease; I look forward to seeing him tear up Long Beach in April. His RB25DET powered R32 Skyline was smoking up the whole track most of the day, until he ran out of tires. I even let him drive my own R32 Skyline for a few laps. It’s a sad sight when you watch someone drive your own car better than you can!
This JZX73 Toyota Cressida (yes, that’s right… it’s JZ-powered, although I’m not sure if it’s a 1JZ, 2JZ, or 1.5JZ engine inside) was killing it all day! This Cress is owned by a Canadian named Kevin Petersen, who used to own a bright pink AE86 coupe with flares and super wide Work wheels.
Also in the background, you can see the little AE86 that could. That is Kelly Thorpe rockin the bright green 86 with a blacktop 20v 4AG.
This famous gold MX83 Cressida was piloted by Gerard de Peralta from Serial Nine. It was unbelievable how much smoke was pouring out of the back of both of these Cressidas, and the sound of the JZ motors at full throttle is like the angels singing on high. Make sure to check out Serial Nine‘s website as they make some absolutely amazing parts for Cressidas. Support a real OG!
Here is yours truly, in rare form. Its been almost a year since I was on the track. I’d like to say it was like riding a bike, but I had to shake off the rust a bit. My R32 Skyline GTS-T is a huge departure from the AE86 I’m used to driving; it also goes through more tires than I’m used to!!!
Mike “MiataMike” Lukomskiy is back in his turbo Miata after an extended hiatus. His engine had to be rebuilt by Garage Autohero after having the oil pump go out at the track last year. Glad to see him back out there throwing that go-kart around.
Erich Hagen just finished his project E30 BMW the day before the event. You wouldn’t guess at all what’s under the hood, so I’ll spare you the time; he yanked out the Bimmer motor and swapped in a Nissan CA18DET. A peculiar choice according to most, but as you can see, he was doing just fine. This drift styled E30 is definitely one of my favorites. I’m hoping we can do a feature on this car sometime, because its a head turner for sure!
This Nissan 240sx S13 was getting tossed around by relative new comer Nik Jimenez. Last year Nik competed in the regional Pro-Am event, but unfortunately wrecked the s13 hatch he had. This year he is back and better than ever in this coupe, it’s even painted the same color as his previous car! Let’s hope he has better luck this year – his goal to be a licensed FD driver.
Rob “Primo” Primozich took his s14, aka Natalie, out for its maiden voyage. A lot of time and effort was put into making this 2JZ powered Nissan ready for its debut. Unfortunately, his front main seal blew after only three laps. Although he only got a short amount of seat time, he did say he got a feel for how to tailor this revived beast to his liking. Look out for this car as a full feature in the near future.
Talking to Antonio on the phone, I kept laughing because he wouldn’t shut up about how he loves the fact that Rob’s car is so clean, with a 2J in it… but wishes Rob didn’t put green stickers all over his gorgeous white S14.
Take a close look at this photo. It looks like the car is driving itself! Yeah, well Rob Primo is so tall, he has to sit super far back. I wonder if his helmet touches the rear window sometimes, haha!
The Evergreen Drift program has been organizing the events at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington for the last few years, slowly putting together a strong lineup of drivers already familiar with one of Formula D’s more exciting tracks. Four drivers from the program have already secured their licenses for the 2010 Formula D season. This year is set to have even more join their ranks with the new four-round Pro-Am series that Evergreen Drift is holding in partnership with Formula D. The 1st place award is an FD license, with 2nd to 5th place getting an invite to the Pro-Am finals in Irwindale. There will still be open drift days available to all skill levels as well.
If you are around the North Seattle area and want to watch, support, or participate in the Evergreen drift program, now is the time to do it!
:: Lucas Perez
Photos by Yoshi Shindo