Round 2 of Drift Allstars: Wimbledon 24th of June.
Oh and before I start – click on the images, they are all 1920×1080 for your desktop!
This was to be my first drifting event and my first ever with a media pass. The night before I barely slept and got up way too early on the day. I got there a few hours too early…but my God, it was worth it. I tried not to run as I walked through the gates, practically bursting with excitement. I hastily signed in and then went for a stroll around the track where the teams and their drivers were unloading the cars.
At this time there wasn’t many people around, I spotted maybe one or two other photographers besides myself. Everything seemed so calm, I tried to but occasionally a big grin would break out across my face.
I sat through the drivers briefing to learn the layout and where they would be initiating. Then was the media briefing which showed us where and where not to stand. All done it was on to practice…
I would use practice as a chance to get my sights in. I’ll be honest with you, I hadn’t done much in the way of panning (I normally take portraits) and I was kind of shitting myself! I tried not to spend too much time looking through the lens as I wanted to take in just how spectacular drifting is in person.
It was cool to see some of the drivers not taking it so seriously and having fun with one another.
After practice was a short drivers briefing which gave me a chance to chat with some of the other photographers there. I met some guys and girls from Fueltopia and they really made me feel at home. Such nice guys who weren’t put off by over enthusiasm.
Qualifying was up next and after that a brief display team. Then, it was time for the Top 16 – it was time to do battle.
The rest of the evening was a bit of a blur, a mixture of adrenaline, sun burn, tire smoke and a glorious, screaming soundtrack.
The drivers were pulling everything out of the bag to impress the judges and satisfying the crowds baying for action. Sadly, not everyone made it without injury.
The final was epic – my battery had died so I got to admire it from the infield which could not have been a better place to stand with new friends and lots of horsepower. Juha took the victory in the Achilles S14 which suited me down to a tee as he was my favourite of the day. Well played man!
In conclusion then, Drifting is possibly my new favourite thing…ever. Being granted a media pass meant that I could get up close and personal to the action. Being at the Wimbledon dog tracks meant that they sound echoed and reverberated around you creating a wonderful atmosphere.
I’d like to thank Faruk and his team at Drift-Allstars for making all this possible and getting me access.
I’d also like to extend a special thanks to Leela, Dan, Phil, Ryan and Laura for making me feel welcome and showing me the ropes. I am sure these guys were a major contributing factor to the amount of fun I had.