Friday afternoon saw the end of the qualifying periods for the various race events that were taking place during the Nurburgring 24HR week of automotive entertainment. However, Friday evening saw something a bit different taking place on track, it was time for some drifting action!
Earlier that day I had come across a few drift cars sitting around waiting for the evenings events. Most notably a large contingent of the European Falken Drift Team.
During most of that afternoon you could see smoke rising from one of the skid pans located behind the F1 track as those taking part in the evenings entertainment were getting their cars ready.
Now the area around the Formula 1 track & Nordschleife is absolutely huge, & whenever I’m there, no matter how busy it is, it never feels packed. It seems like the area absorbs any crowd nice & easily, but the drift event saw that change a little. Everyone who was interested in seeing the drifting was ushered down to the lower U bend of the Formula 1 track, as this was the corner that the English & European drifters would be attempting to master.
Now I was a bit late getting a good spot, so I’m a bit further away and a bit higher than I normally would be for a drift event…well higher and further away than I’ve got used to being, put it that way. But anyway, hopefully you will still enjoy the pictures of the action!
So with the grandstands packed, and the crowd’s excitement building, we were introduced to some of the drivers. I was new to all the European drivers taking part that evening, but the crowd seemed to know them well. There were a lot of cheers especially when the German husband & wife team (livestrip cars) came on track, which was pretty awesome to see.
As I mentioned earlier, Team Falken were present in force! Fantastic to see the UK drivers make it over & be alongside their European counterparts, mainly who I believe were Dutch.
With the introductions out of the way, it was time to see what the drivers made of the corner they had been given to overcome. Team Falken led the charge, and the action began!
Once the Team Falken members had all had a go it was the turn of the European teams to show us all how it’s done.
Wave after wave of drift cars attempted the corner, most receiving an absolute roar from the German crowd that had gathered to see this spectacle.
Some of the guys standing around me even said to me that they had never seen drifting before. I thought what we were witnessing was such a cool way for them to experience their first drift event.
Most of the drivers took to this corner like a duck to water, a few were having a bit of trouble though, but the crowd didn’t mind! They cheered nonetheless, a fantastic atmosphere. However, their mistakes were quickly followed by perfect slides which well and truly redeemed them to the crowd, and made everyone remember how talented these guys are.
The standard of driving was amazing & the guys & ladies drifting in front of us were showing some serious talent, & putting on a real show for the crowd. Oh & this Opel estate blew me away with how it handled the corner, as well as the noise it made!!! Incredible! V8 for sure!
After a very quick pause we were then treated to some twin drifting. Once again Team Falken led the attack on the corner. This just upped the competition even more, and out came the other European teams.
Once it came back round to Team Falken heading up to the corner once again, they stopped for a quick triple doughnut. They then proceeded to drift through the corner in threes. The crowd was going wild. Some of these spectators may have been new to drift at the start of this exhibition event, but now…they were addicted.
I watched the action from here for a while, but then decided I wanted get a few shots from the starting point and get some of the behind the scenes stuff of this action…well as best I could without a media bib. So I trekked up towards the start of the straight they were using as a launch pad for this corner.
It was a pretty constant flow off the start line which made it interesting to watch as the drivers drove off in pairs, or threes to entertain the crowd further down the track.
The only pause in the action was whilst rear wheels were being changed, I even caught the Team Falken driver Paul Cheshire waiting by Matt Carters car during a change. I’m sure he’ll be happy to know I snapped him.
It eventually came to an end with all of the cars heading off round the bend for one last lap, a few of which left the start line in a roaring burnout! The crowd as you can imagine was going crazy!
The night ended relatively early, but the crowd was hyped & what was just round the corner was promising to be an amazing weekend.