Drifting has become an integral part of not only World Time Attack Challenge but also the wider Australian motorsport community. For 2017 the drifters pits were relocated to the end of the main pit building, which gave punters unprecedented access to both the cars and the drivers. If you were polite enough and timed your run you could have a chat with anyone in the field, every single driver knows that fans drive the sport and were more than happy to spend time, chat and sign autographs.
Day 1 didn’t have any official battles, but spectators were treated to main straight drifting demos during the day, and the qualifying sessions in preparation for the epic Day 2 head to head Honeywell Garrett Drift Challenge.
The competition started with 32 competitors, in which the field got halved as the battles progressed following the 32 – 16 – 8 – 4 format. The international contingent was strong as always, with big names like Mad Mike and Daigo Saito headlining with Aussie heroes Shane Van Gisbergen and Jake Jones aka DriftSquid.
As the practice rounds and runs kicked off in the late afternoon of Friday, accompanied by the STYLIZED Car show presented by Shannons, the cars were tested in preparation for the challenge ahead during Saturday evening.
With drift cars copping the amount of abuse they do, many cars were in and out of action across the entire event. We had a look at a rather well known rotary Lexus with a MASSIVE turbo that was unfortunately unable to compete due to mechanical issues throughout the weekend. We were looking forward to seeing this thing rip sideways but the few laps it made for the Drift demos fulfilled our brapping hunger.
When the event was in full swing the atmosphere was plain awesome, the sun went down and the energy levels just went up. Even a bit of rain couldn’t damper the spirits of the crowd or the competitors.
The battles were closely fought as always. No one would have envied the judges having to make some tough calls.
The two final battles came down to Beau Yates vs Daigo Saito and Rob Whyte vs SVG. Beau and Shane triumphed in their battles leaving the final standings as below:
- Beau Yates
- Daigo Saito
- Shane Van Gisbergen
- Rob Whyte
Congratulations to all the drivers for putting on an awesome show. We look forward to 2018!