The Brits are a bunch that do things with precaution and order: Milk in tea to not crack the “China”, signs that tell you to mind the gap in the subway, “look right” painted at the beginning of cross walks. London in particular is one of the oldest civilized and modern cities in the world. Within the sea of shuffling bodies there is a sense of risk assessment engrained into the masses. Unlike America, extraordinary events in amazing venues are easier to make possible. Through these truths, the opening round of the Extreme Drift Allstars was able to hold their first round in the heart of London at a venue nestled next to the Olympic Stadium!
The opening round of the Extreme Drift Allstars brought premier European drifting to a custom made street track. Drift Allstars (DA) utilized the multi layered car park of Westfields to design a wall encompassed track that would prove to be technical and challenging for the top drivers of Europe.
The cars and drivers in this year’s DA line up are absolutely amazing. This is the year of new builds and returning competitors. The return of James Deane to the series in his freshly prepared 2jzgte powered Falken S14 has brought his super aggressive style back to the battles. Unfortunately, his weekend would be cut short after having transmission issues early on in the bracket.
Another Irish man, Nigel Colfer, built a brand new 180sx for 2014. Powered by a Garrett turbo charged 2jzgte and rolling on Wisefab, Nigel knew that he would have to step up his power and suspension game to compete with the envelope pushing field of this season.
Janis Eglite is a multiple championship winner in his native country of Latvia. Traditionally piloting an underpowered vehicle, he also stepped up and built a brand new weapon over the winter. His 2014 Zeetex E46 gets its ponies from a turbo ls1 and, like Colfer and Deane’s cars, is fully equipped with Wisefab suspension. The BMW hadn’t turned a wheel before practice on Saturday and still managed a 2nd place finish.
The podium was decided through mechanical fortitude. Piotrek Wiecek from Poland in his bright yellow Budmat S14 qualified first, then finishing off the event at the top of the podium without a final battle. He had no challenger as Eglite grenaded the engine of his E46 after winning his top 4 battle. Third place was also won in the pits, as Ingemars Jekabsons has an unrepairable crash in the top 4 battle he lost, letting Dan Chapman walk away with 3rd place.
If the opening round is any hint at how this season will be, I can’t wait for the rest of the 2014 Drift Allstars season. Wrecks, exploding engines, fires, awesome fans and fantastic driving made this event absolutely riveting, and I can’t wait to give you guys a write up from Round 2 in the Czech Republic!
Words: Faruk Kugay
Photos: Jamie Rolls