The tight oval arena surrounds me as I stand planted on one of the two middle islands, camera at hand. With noise reverberating from all around me, the arena begins to fill with smoke. The towering grandstands surrounding the track feel like they are closing in. The noise simply adds to the claustrophobic feeling as the smoke fills the air.
The cacophony of engines at full chat rings all around, bouncing and echoing leaving you disorientated. The excitement builds inside me none the less, no time to second guess my reasons, and deep down inside I know this is what I’m here for!
I get my bearing and turn to witness the sources of all this smoke and cataclysmic noise! The culprits are exiting the first of the sweeping bends of this unforgiving oval. To the uninitiated this sight must look crazy! However, the drivers in all this chaos are as calm as anyone while remaining completely within their limits of control.
Through the smoke I see the first car appear… then another tucked in tightly to the side of the lead car. This is it! I ready myself for my eventual pan to capture the action.
Round they come at full lock, engines roaring as they sweep past in front of me… 2-3 seconds… and it’s all over! Once again smoke blocks out the sun in the aftermath of another successful tandem run! The noise of engines is replaced by the cheering of the crowd!
Welcome to The Big Smoke!
Wimbledon Raceway played host to Round 2 of the 2012 Drift Allstars season featuring an oval layout, but by no means a simple one. With a surface far from smooth, it took a few heated qualifying rounds for the drivers to feel at home.
The drivers needed to know their limits more than ever on this tight track. A venue that was new to most with barriers that clearly showed that no allowance for mistakes would be given. Later that night, these were the same barriers which sadly claimed a few cars.
The competition was shaping up, drivers & cars were mostly ready for the event with few exceptions. This second foray into the season was looking to be bigger and better in every way!
After all the excitement that Round 1 at Birmingham Wheels delivered, one and all were expecting nothing but the best from round 2. It was indeed a sure fire winning formula, a drift event taking place in our capital city! Truly it was a prime spot for any event, especially a Motorsport one!
For the past four years, the Wembley street drift circuit has been a regular on the Drift Allstars Calendar. This time, a last minute shake up led to the event finding this year’s home in Wembley Racecourse.
A change of venue was seen by many as a risky decision, but this one most definitely paid off! Round 2 had an amazing turnout!
Media coverage was varied and included the extremely successful live stream once again! This time pulling in over 40k hits throughout the day! A huge hit with European fans of the series.
More importantly the arena itself was filled with one of the biggest crowds the UK based Allstars rounds have seen! It easily filled several of Wimbledon Racecourses grandstands! You would never have guessed that a pretty important European football round was on at the same time
Qualifying kicked off early in the day. The series had some last minute changes to the cars entering as sadly Phil Morrison was not able to attend due to mechanical issues. However on the plus side we did have Dan Chapman back in his LBD Achilles Tire Nissan V8 & James Deane was back in full force fully recovered from the problems that stopped play in Rnd1.
During Qualifying we saw some fantastic runs, each driver pushing the limit of the track. In his style, James Deane also decided to give the arena a design overhaul, as he ran the wall and took most of the track side branding with him!
Once the top 16 were picked, the crowd was introduced to the drivers. The atmosphere during this was great between them all, each one itching to start the battles! The tandem rounds kicked off in full force! Sadly the track claimed a victim at this point which slowed things down for a moment.
All was cleared rapidly & the delay was kept to a minimum! On with the action!
Just like at Birmingham Wheels, the race is not over till it’s over, and continued on under the floodlights of the track.
The racing was as tight now as ever before at any round of the Drift Allstars, with many battles needing ‘one more time’ for the judges to be able to make their decision.
It seemed that once we hit the top 8, every battle felt like the final! Their competitive nature meant that all drivers were bringing their ‘A’ game! The crowd loved it and the atmosphere was electric as the event came to an end with its eventual chosen winners!
Drift Allstars Professional Drift Championship Round 2 2012 Results
1st Juha Rintanen- LBD/ Achilles Tire Nissan S14a
2nd Nigel Colfer – Marangoni Tire S13
3rd Alan Sinnot – Nexen Tire Toyota AE86
One again the Drift Allstars series brought together some of the UK’s & Europe’s best drivers! Fierce & full of skill, each one is ready to take on what is now going to be the European stretch of the season, next stop: Ireland! For more information, please head on over to drift-allstars.com to keep up to date with all that is happening during the 2012 season. Also, if you missed the action on the night, then not a problem as you are still able to see it via the Live-Stream that ran throughout the event. Likewise, to see the Official Results press release, head on over to Drift Allstars Results page where you can also see the league standings as they are now after round 2. Round 3 takes place in Dublin, Ireland at Punchestown Raceway. Full info on this up and coming round can be seen here. See you there!
If you wish to see any more of their shots from the day, click on their name and you’ll head to their individual Flickr sets to see them all.