I’m not sure about anyone else but I usually find I enjoy watching practice sessions at drift competitions alot more than the main twin battles. Things are always more chilled and less time pressured, also I find it great fun watching the drivers get to grips with the track, improving lines, getting braver… Oh, and the 7 car drift trains are pretty nice too! From a photography point of view, it gives you a good chance to spend time finding sweet locations to shoot from and hone your techniques.
But the first day of Round 3 wasn’t just for practice, it was for qualifying and with over 50 drivers it was going to be a long one…
Unfortunately only just turning 17 means I haven’t got a car yet. But I’ve met some awesome people in the drift community who’ve really helped me out getting to events. My friend Mark was kind enough to give me a lift to Wembley in his sick 180sx, and Jack followed us up in his freshly painted R32. Usually waking up at 5am is a bit of a groggy time for me, but this was an exception. The sound of an SR and RB roaring through the streets of London, along with the usual drift car bangs and scraping of sumps and bodywork is enough to wake anyone up. Thanks for the lift guys!
I headed out to the track as soon as I could, things got exciting pretty quickly! Here’s Danny Eyles in the Japspeed S15 and Lennard Wanders in his awesome Falken S14A. The rear wheels on his car are 18″ SSR Agle Strusse, the dish is HUGE.
Paul Cheshire from Team Green was on it during the practice in his S14A with some big angle entries and mad smoke, but didn’t manage to qualify due to straightening up during his qualifying runs.
Dean “Karnage” Kearney’s Onevia sounded gritty and raspy for most of the day, whether this was down to an engine problem or not I don’t know but it sounded pretty cool actually. The standard of driving from the Irish is always impressive and Dean put in some nice runs and managed to qualify 16th for the Top 32 the next day.
Bruno Esperanca is always one to watch out for on the track, he always drives super aggressive and if there’s a wall he’s usually sticking the rear of whatever he’s driving to it! He stuck his PS13 to the wall at last years Wembley round a bit too much and ended his day. But this year he was on top form in his Devils Creed S14A and doing some of the best driving I’ve seen from him.
Another driver on top form was Sid Crowfoot from Team Super Slide. There was some big names and pro teams at this event but he did some great driving that had people cheering. I love seeing a more street based privateer car like his Toyota Cresta JZX90 going up against the more powerful, faster, expensive cars.
Probably one of the most talked about things over the entire weekend was this driver from Ireland. Dwaine Mckeever who drives this 180sx is 13 years old! How awesome is that!? The kids a natural for sure, maybe drifting is a talent the Irish are born with?
This RB26 powered S15 just looks and sounds gorgeous. Gleaming white and clean bodywork made it really stand out. The driver Christy Carpenter managed to qualify 4th out of the un-seeded drivers.
Finally I’ll finish off with a bit of much needed old school. This AE86 was really the only classic Japanese classic at the Wembley round apart from the WKD Imports 86. As sweet as the WKD Imports car is with its powerful SR20, it was great watching this 86 flying round with it’s little 4A-GE buzzing away and it’s clutch being kicked through the floor.
Stay tuned for more from JDM Allstars!
:: Daniel Bridle