Australia has been without a professional drifting organisation for some years now, with the final year of the Toyo D1GP series ending in 2009. ┬áIt has severely slowed the progress of drifting as a sport in Australia and kept the sport at a grass roots level, with most states having a monthly get together for everyone from the professionals to amateurs. When World Time Attack Challenge landed in 2010, they hosted the Tectaloy International Drift Challenge as well, bringing all the once heroed pro drifters of the Australian D1 circuit together again, as well as some of the finest from the D1NZ stable. For the 2011 WTAC it was no different, but they decided to expand the roster for this year’s drifting challenge. I have to admit it was a good feeling seeing professional drifting showcased once more at the highest calibre on Australian shores.

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It seemed there was a lot more sponsor backing behind the cars, as well as far more New Zealand representatives this year than last, meaning that the drifting was no longer a mere side show to the WTAC itself. The organisers decided to hold the drifting through the night to keep time attack uninterrupted during the day, as well as to stop the drifters from tearing the track up between timed sessions. August is however the middle of winter here in Australia so the punters had to grin and bear the chilly weather to watch some crazy good drifting put on by the drivers.

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Unfortunately there was a lot of carnage throughout both nights, with crashes, oil downs, broken diffs, snapped driveshafts and everything else you can think of. While we all understand this is a part of the sport that is drifting I feel that the downtime between runs sometimes reached almost 40 minutes. Most people opted to leave early as the cold weather was too much to put up with when nothing was happening. Apart from that, it was run very smoothly, especially with the inclusion of the D1-style judges setup. The panel consisted of Darren Appelt from Iron Chef Imports, one of Australia’s leading and oldest importers, Trent Whyte from Mercury Motorsport who has been around drifting since its beginnings in Australia many years ago & finally the famous Tarzan Yamada jumped up to the judges stand to grade the Australian and New Zealand talent.

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The first night was qualifying knockout from Top 32 to Top 16. It definitely didn’t take long for the carnage to begin as within the first 30 minutes of kickoff, there was a huge collision between two drivers. Khudar El Haouli in his gold/bronze LS1 powered S13 overcooked it heading into El Diablo (turn 2 of the drift course), spinning out and coming to a stop on the inside of the course. Unfortunately, he was right in the path of NZ driver Cole Armstrong in the V Energy Drink R34, who also spun and slid directly into the S13! I will let the video and pictures explain the severity of the jarring impact.

Superlap 2011 Drifting

Superlap 2011 Drifting

Superlap 2011 Drifting

Superlap 2011 Drifting

As you can see by the pics and the video it was definitely nothing to be taken lightly. Both drivers walked away unscathed but the cars were write-offs. Always sucks to see this happen to guys who would have put hundreds of preperation hours into getting ready.

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Superlap 2011 Drifting

Superlap 2011 Drifting

Beau ‘The Show’ Yates showing everyone why he is Australia’s best drifter, dropping jaws all weekend long. He was the reigning champ from WTAC 2010 but only managed a 3rd place this year.

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Superlap 2011 Drifting

One of the most widely publicised stars to fly over for WTAC 2011 was none other than ‘Mad’ Mike Whiddett, Red Bull driver for D1NZ and Formula D in the USA. I am sure you are all familiar with his car:

Superlap 2011 Drifting

Superlap 2011 Drifting

Superlap 2011 Drifting

Superlap 2011 Drifting

The MadBull 26B Quad Rotor RX7.

Unfortunately since the majority of the drifting was held at night, photos were not easy. With the lack of light and cold weather making the smoke clouds hang around it was not an easy task to get shots of all of the cars. 1st place was taken out by Curt Whitaker in his blue R34 and second was taken out by the mental Daynum Templeman in the monsterous 600rwkw RX7. As mentioned before Beau Yates was 3rd, followed by Mad Mike.

The drifting showcase was nothing short of amazing, just wish there was better lighting so we could show you guys more of the cars that were out in action. We’ll leave you with this great video by Riley Moore: