Well, I’ve been busy and that’s why I’ve not been posting a lot but there is a lot going on in the background which should lead to some amazing things in the future. I almost had a huge change of heart recently with regards to motorsports, drifting more specifically but then sometimes anything automotive. It’s difficult when cars have been my life and are my life to be so unenthused and down hearted. This tends to happen when you get screwed from pillar to post, from event organisers to large manufacturers, coupled by the fact that I’m not driving anything right now that is exactly inspiring.
When it comes to drifting the pinnacle of drifting is Formula D in the USA but drifting in the UK is pretty small time in comparison with some events being disorganised to say the least. The best organisation and structure is definitely a toss up between ProDrift which is based predominantly in Ireland or the BDC (British Drift Championship) which is held mostly in England with one round in Scotland at Knockhill Racing Circuit. These guys know how to run a slick operation and really like to see the sport progress with ProDrift’s Drift Academy and the BDC’s numerous practice days held all over the UK.
Drifting is all about the people in the UK. It’s not a big money sport here, and with very little to no prize money being offered the drivers don’t do it to get rich. This doesn’t seem to deter them and if anything it brings them closer like a tight knit family. Most of my experiences in drifting have been through filming JDM Allstars or Drift Allstars or whatever they want to call it today. Following this series and meeting all of the people has really taught me a few lessons and also made me some great friends and this is what I want to focus on. I want to focus on the people, the drivers and the media.
The drivers, who without them there wouldn’t be a show, are undoubtedly the stars of any drift event, but with all the bullshit that has gone on over the past year surrounding Allstars with the fallout from the Dubai trip still being felt I’m surprised certain drivers are still driving in the series. I think for most of them it’s not out of a mad passionate love for the series, it’s more a lack of options when it comes to wanting to drive in Europe and the UK.
So let’s take a closer look as some of the drivers from Allstars. We’ll start with James Deane, part of the Low Brain Drifters team.
I only really met James at the start of the Allstars 2011 season through Teesside and then Sunderland where I captured all of these images but was due to meet him in Dubai but it’s hard to run a drift event on time with no cars so that didn’t happen.
James is a very down to earth guy with no airs and graces about him. He doesn’t and will never come across as being up himself and I think the real magic to him is that he doesn’t act like some prima donna and I don’t think truly knows how good a driver he is and if he does he certainly doesn’t play on it.
I think the key to James is his consistency from the word go. He always puts in consistent qualifying runs and when it comes down to the battles James will either be out in front or running the door of his competitor. You just have to look at James’ standings in both ProDrift and Allstars, running 4th in Prodrift even after missing round 3 and god knows now in Allstars as they haven’t updated their site since round 1 in April (now 26th June)…
James drives the LBD PS13 nicknamed “Little Bastard”. It is without a doubt one of the most recognisable cars in any drift series with the super wide bodykit coupled with the huge aggressive rear wing always running baller wheels when he is giving it death.
Next I think we should take a look at the one and only Anthony “Scotty” Scott.
I met Scotty back at the BDC qualifying day in 2010 which was the only other time I’ve photographed drifting. Scotty is one of the most approachable guys I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and I have become good friends with him since we met. I without a doubt owe a lot to him as he has been a huge supporter of my work and without his help putting me up for 5 days I couldn’t have shot the cars I shot or met the people I met. It was without a doubt one of the best times I have had in a while.
Scotty drives one of the most well known drift cars in the world, the SkylinePart.com 6666 Rocket Bunny Sil80. I think everyone who follows drifting must have seen this car in one from or other over the years and nothing much has changed. Scotty has focused on taking an already brilliant car and making it more reliable and improving further it’s handling characteristics which really is the basis for a great drift car I’m sure we will all agree.
The biggest change came when Scotty decided not to rebuild the ill fated RB30 motor after it blew it’s arse out and revert back to a built SR20 motor with a turbo the size of a man’s head coupled with an RB25DET 5 speed box. Im a huge fan of this setup, an easy 400+ hp in a lightweight engine with a gearbox that can take the hits. The only way I could think you could improve on this in a S-body is to drop a LS V8 into it, but that might be because I’m a v8 whore and think that anything with a V8 in it is gangster.
Scotty’s driving has gone from strength to strength over the last few years and he was really pushing it at Sunderland with some super consistent qualifying runs and a truly solid performance on the main day. I’ve never seen Scotty drive as well as he has done recently. His standard of driving goes through the roof when he is actually enjoying himself and not worrying about engine problems that seemed to be plaguing him over the past year or so. It really was an amazing sight watching him drive at Sunderland and again, a huge thank you to him.
Next up we have Nigel Colfer.
Nigel is one of the Irish contingent who make the effort every round to drag their asses over from Ireland to venues up and down the UK. I met Nigel for the first time at Teesside when me and Josh Allen were shooting a cool featurette on clipping points for what was supposed to be Allstars TV show. Sadly this is where the TV show started and ended for us as we suffered more amazing amounts of bullshit which seems to happen to anyone who films Allstars at one stage or other. Nigel however put in a stellar performance and was as great in front of the camera as ever. He really does take to being filmed like a duck to water which helps to make my life a lot easier for sure.
Nigel’s car is certainly impressive by anyones standards. The S13.5 with a 1JZ inside is “an amazing machine” for certain and you can’t miss it when its on track with it’s side exit straight through exhaust. When I was photographing the car at Scotty’s unit I had the pleasure taking a wee seat in it to move it about and it really has the heaviest clutch on the face of the planet. Certainly one that is designed for a man who wears Old Spice.
Nigel really is having a cracking season this year and must be pushing for first place by now after a win or two under his belt coupled with consistent podiums. You can really tell from watching the way that he drives that he knows his car inside and out and has found the perfect setup for his driving talent. I’m really looking forward to see what happens for him at the end of this season if he continues the way he has so far. If anyone was to offer him a drive stateside for the 2012 season they would not be disappointed, a great driver coupled with a grade A nice guy, a winning combination in anyones eyes.
In part 2 I’m going look at Christy Carpenter, Bon Bon, Filippo Perini and take a brief look at a few others including some of the media.
All the best and thanks for reading.
:. Fraser Gordon