PSA: if you noticed the loud paint of this S14 long before you ever processed the copious amount of butt in this shot, you’ve now learned about the term “center of interest” in photography and art.

Yesterday I went to a drift event at Kil-Kare Speedway in Ohio, thought I’d share the pictures I snapped while walking through the parking lot/pit area on my way to the grandstands. Three amateur drifting divisions held their season ending Pro Down/Bro Down where the US Drift, Southeast Drift Union, and Midwest Drift Union had their last points event and bragging rights mashup between the three groups. It was a fantastic day for car stuff, as the temp stayed right around 80, there was a bit of a breeze, and a friend and I were able to snag seats in the grandstands just under the shadow of the canopy used by the judges/event staff. Kil-Kare is a small oval with a meager infield of a couple crosses of pavement, but watching cars slide their way around the course makes things more interesting to make up for the lack of complexity.

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I follow the live-streams the pro division of Formula Drift puts on, and saw just enough similarity to those events to know what was going on. These guys don’t have the ability to review video to settle “at fault” disputes in contact, or issues with major deductions from a run, so the judging was much more determined by what was seen in the moment, nothing more. One of the drivers was really salty after he lost a one-more-time battle, and came up to the judges in the stand with his whole crew trying to shout his way into saying he should’ve been the winner. He kept saying that he could show his own video taken from in his car (and aerial shots from a drone, I think?) and the judges shot him down; they base everything off of their perspective, and then he moves on to ‘in the driver’s meeting you said going off line there wasn’t an immediate zero score.’ Though I’m awestruck by some of the car control displayed and I really want to learn the skill, I’m saying here and now: I never want to do any drifting competitions.

Anyways, after six straight hours of sitting in the grandstands, my ass wanted to do anything but sit for even longer, so I bailed after the event finished rather than stay to spectate for the open drift day, as well. On the up side, I ran into one of the guys at the shop that currently has my Project Riceball Corolla, and he said that in a month or two we should get together to discuss parts and making headway on the car again. God, I hope so, because it’s been a long four months since they got it, and the last shop sat on the car for about a year and change before they said “Yeah, the guy who was going to do all that fab work bit off more than he could chew, and he left for another job months ago. I don’t think we can do all the stuff he told you would be needed.”

Mediocre cell phone pictures follow—these are just what either caught my eye because it struck me as ratty, cool, or clean. Apparently, I love loud paint, mismatched wheels, and wings. I guess a part of me never fully grew out of the ricer phase.

Note on the last two photos: The 350Z and this RX-8 had a very crunchy moment right in front of where the audience/judges sat. I think the 350 shut it down either to avoid the car going into the wall or the car had a mechanical hiccup—but the RX-8 was close enough that he couldn’t do anything to avoid broadsiding the lead car door-to-door. I was impressed that they were both fixed and kept running, though. And the duct-tape holding the orange car’s door closed was a pre-crash necessity, surprisingly.