The New Zealand Summer Drift Matsuri is undoubtedly the biggest grassroots drift event in NZ. People come from all over to attend the 4 day drift event, which is held once a year in February at the renowned Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park in Taupo. This was the first year that there was rain in the forecast. But that didn’t stop any of the entrants from coming along.
Matsuri brings out a lot of cars that don’t usually appear at many other drift events, and some that can be seen at almost any drift day around the country. It’s also a time where new builds are unveiled, and for some it’s the first time the cars have been driven on a track.
One awesome thing about this event, is that it doesn’t matter how much horsepower you have. Everyone is there to have a good time! Whether you have a 120hp 4 cylinder, or a 600hp 6 cylinder, no body discriminates.
With a field of over 75 cars, there was no shortage of variety and driving styles. Having such a huge field of cars it was destiny for some to have a few problems. But with such a tight-knit group of drifters, no car was left to be loaded onto a trailer to head home early. Spare parts were handed around, and many hands to get cars fixed and back on the track.
The weather gods did have some sympathy however. Leaving a long enough period without rain for the track to dry up so that some tyres were able to be finally burnt out. Once the track was dry, it was all on, and it was time for the true skill to be unleashed, some cars even had to go in and do a tyre swap after only completing a couple of laps.
If you’re familiar with New Zealand weather then you know the conditions can change in a heartbeat. Another massive downpour covered the track and it was back to very slippery conditions. The rain however did make for some very elegant scenery.
Once again the show went on and everyone was still ecstatic to get out there and get sideways! Even the ex-D1NZ Toyota Hilux with 4 bucket seats was out there in full force making the most of the conditions. Also the Troy Griffin’s super clean Toyota Mark II was out setting an example for the higher end of vehicles.
As the afternoon rolled on there was yet another dry spell, and everyone was able to once again make some big smoke clouds.
Overall the quality of cars that attended on Saturday set a very high bar to be followed. Being a four day event it was impossible to see every single car that turned up unless you were able to dedicate yourself to the full four days. Some were there for the whole time which was wonderful.
Hopefully next year the NZ Summer Drift Matsuri will put on some stunning weather and make for an even more hectic long weekend of drifting than it already was!
Massive thank you to Zeroclass for organizing such an amazing event. A lot of time and planning has gone into this so that everyone can get some decent seat time. We look forward to attending future events that they have to offer!
Check out more action from the day below.