Wet and Wild Open Drift Recap
Clouds were looming overhead on Sunday in a familiar Seattle scene. A good nights rain had left the track damp, but northwest drivers aren't stunted or stalled by a little rain and lack of shine. With a Fresh supply of NOS energy drink as a new Evergreen Drift sponsor; the pits again were lively and packed with drivers eager to hit the tarmac.
Drifting has always been a rain or shine affair, while dry events bring excitement from tire smoke and sequels, rain days have proven to be equally entertaining and exciting. Steven Thompson from Canada is a blast to watch. His Soarer putting out roughly 350hp, sounded amazing by the way....
Clouds were taunting during the first hour, the rain from overnight was starting to dry in patches, leaving the track in split conditions. Drivers had the challenge of drifting through a mostly dry bank that transfers into a puddle patched infield. A lot of spins from both new and seasoned drivers as they tried to figure out the track. Later however a small dusting of rain fell through and gave the track an even coat of moisture, making things a lot more predictable.
We weren't expecting any drivers to hit the 5/8ths bank in the wet, however it didn't stop Andrew Larson and Kory Keezer from making their debuts on the menacing bank.
Andrew Larson is one of our Pro-Am competitors, his ever familiar "rollover" red 350z was progressing on the big bank quite well, he took a handful of runs on the pro course, was having trouble linking the drift into the infield at first, but ended the day with a few runs that were picture perfect and on line.
Kory Keezer is nuts. He was running most the day without 3rd gear. pushing his car up to speed on the straight and redlining through the 3/8ths bank, with tons of momentum and ridiculous angle at times. "He's gonna spin, he's gonna spin, he didn't spin." Did we mention its his first year drifting?
Later in the day Kory made his first attack on the 5/8ths. Just like Andrew, he stunned us all on the monster bank, and slowly started making earlier initiations and getting comfortable with the freshly painted 5/8ths wall. Without 3rd gear he was having troubles transferring his way into the braking zone in the infield, but like a champ dialed things thru and put together some seriously impressive runs.
Carnage at Evergreen! The dicey conditions did leave to some destruction this weekend. One hairy spot was right off the 3/8ths bank; a slick patch that claimed a lot of drivers as they made their approach to the infield. A spin off the bank and not enough dry pavement to slow him down, the driver of this BMW has the official first tow off track this season...
Four ways to glory! Andrew Larson, Casey Torres, Steve Thompson, and Austin Gunderson were a blast to watch. Had some stellar moments and awesome runs! A few close calls but good eyes by all the drivers; and a lot of collisions were avoided. All but one...
Austin at the front of the 4 pack took a spin coming off the bank, and Casey tight on his line had nowhere to go. Casey did the right thing and forfeited his drift early after seeing Austin spin, however the momentum from the bank carried the rear of Casey's car right into the passenger door of Gunderson putting a nice dent in the B pillar and shattering the quarter window. Austin has already pounded out the damage and the green hatch is ready for action again just two days after the hit.
We look forward to seeing the Fatsack Drift boys tandem again...
Huge thanks to all the Volunteers Media who stayed "committed thru the cold".
Next Sunday 4/17 is our Drifting School and Grandstands entry is free. Come out and watch the drivers progress thru-out the day, ending with an exhibition from our seasoned drift instructors. Back Gates open at 10. Driving starts and Grandstands open at 11. See ya there, Rain or Shine!