So I’ll be honest – I’ve never much been a fan of drifting. I think some of the cars are cool, and I’d really, really love to give it a go, but despite its rapid gain in popularity all over the world, it’s never really been something that’s grabbed me. I’ve taken a passing interest in it on other blogs, but sports cars, rallying and road racing always piqued my interests that little bit more and I’m willing to bet that most readers of Any Given Reason probably fall into the same boat.
But there are a few readers that love their drifting, and recently they suggested that I really ought to come out to an event and have a look for myself. So with an open mind, a blank camera memory card and the accompaniment of fellow drift-noob James Wiltshire, I headed out to Mallala for the September Matsuri.
You know there’s a drift day happening when you can see the tyre smoke hanging low in the air before you even get to the track. This was taken from the road to Mallala, just outside the township.
So first off, what is Matsuri? It’s a style of event that originated in Japan (as everything drift seems to), and is basically an anything goes, run what ya brung freestyle event. There’s no judging and no rules on what you can drive – it’s just you and an open drift track. From what I’ve read on other blogs, Matsuri events in Japan are wild – they often run straight for 24 hours with no rules or anybody really running the show. Crashes, bodging up damaged cars, drinking, stunts. Everything goes.
Australian Matsuri events are nowhere near as wild. There’s still no judging and no real regulations on what you can drive, but the events are controlled for safety. The field is split into two groups based on experience, and these groups rotate with 30-45min long sessions throughout the event. The September event ran from 10am-10pm, a straight 12 hours of drift action.
There were a couple of really clean cars there, like this 180SX Type X, but on the whole the standard of car preparation was very low. For someone who’s used to the rigours of CAMS scruitineers, I struggled to believe a few of the things I saw. Continue reading