When it comes to Australian motorsport, the lack of an off-season is very fortunate. Motorsport never sleeps in this country, and although each championship has its break, when one tier of motorsport stops, another one is sure to start.

Even so, the past few months, particularly in Victoria have felt unnatural, an off-season. But as we finally crept out of lockdown with the easing of restrictions, our beloved motorsport events tiptoed out of their unexpected off-season.

In the drifting world, this was just in time for VicDrift to hold their largest event of the year. A two-day drift matsuri held at Calder Park Raceway called DriftX.

Straightaway as I entered the track at 8:00am in the morning of the first day, I could tell that this event wasn’t going to be a slow crawl around the corner. One that would be held back by uncertainty and fear of a what-if future, due to the previous months of restrictions.

No, DriftX was a full-on reverse entry, tires blazing send around the bend that Victoria had finally turned.

The drifting action would be held on two layouts. The very popular ‘Reverse over the Hill’ and the ‘FD Layout’, held on Calder Park’s Thunderdome.

The ‘Reverse over the Hill’ layout is a challenging one to tame. The crest unsettles the cars right before the switchback. Despite the layout’s testing nature, it is the perfect layout for beginner drifters to learn car control with its large runoffs,

The ‘FD Layout’ goes from a wide banking to a tight walled hairpin section. A smoke rendezvous for spectators, that held host to plenty of multi-car tandems throughout the weekend.

Thanks to its compact nature and easiness to set up illumination, the tire slaying and motorsport figure skating could go on well into the night, on the layout that held the Australian round of the 2015 FD Asia Championship.

DriftX is more than a mere practice day, however. In the local car scene, it has become a bethel for car enthusiasts to get their motorsport fix, and to watch and participate in the action with mates.

The many cars, drivers and those who came to watch on the day is its own testament.

DriftX was a fresh start to participating in car culture the way we enjoy most, a reminder and positive look forward to a return to normal life, and car orientated events.

Words & Images – Noah Thorley Images

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