(Article and Photog by Nash A. & Anwar R.)
30th June 2012 – The smell of singed rubber and plumes of white smoke filled the wide open spaces of Changi Exhibition Centre. Nissan Silvias, Toyota Supras with hints of Subarus and a seemingly out-of-placed Lexus were screaming across the tracks, adorned and cheered on by the fans by the grills and railings. The cars were not the only attraction though with the race queens strutting their stuff, complying with endless requests to have their pictures taken. Despite the capricious weather, the day looked set to drift through with a bang- that was my weekend everybody, I lived through the “Nascar”-like weekend.
This was my first motor-sport event and boy was a converted to being a fan of the cars. In its 5th year, the series got very personal. Everyone was given access to the drivers’ pit, interact with the team (when not racing of course!!) and get up close and personal. Marcus Lim, CEO Driftpac and Founder of FD Asia, said, “We are excited to bring the race back to Changi and encouraging more local drivers out there, as a testament to how much the sport is picking up”. A total of 9 local drivers (highest so to date) geared their cars out on the tracks.
Big names like Daigo Saito (who built a Lexus form scratch!!!), Max Orido (Cowboy racer), Ken Gushi (American Ace) came to town and were really in it to win. Specs and tuning aside, at the end of the day, it was all down to skill. The dedication of these racers was the core of the event. The intricacies of the mechanics, the rallying by the sponsors and the aesthetics (the race queens I mean…) came together nicely to bring about a great race-sporting event. Also it displayed the strength of the Asian community in the racing arena by having Daigo Saito, successfully defending his title once again!!!
As a noob, I practically know nothing. But actually going out there and enjoying the display of skill, the thrill of the fans, the adrenalin pumping turns across the tracks and the accommodating feel throughout the race, was just superb. Special thanks goes out to Brandon and Shah from Team 9tro Magazine for explaining to the me the A-Zs of Drift racing. Hats off to local drivers out there who sponsored themselves on the tracks, supported by outstanding brands like Westlake Performance Tyres and Stamford Tyres. SingaSports will definitely be catching your “Drift” more in the future!!!