What is Drift Wars Battle for the West might you ask? If you aren’t asking this question then you know crazy Drift Wars 2016 was! $17,000 in total prize money for a single weekend has to set some sort of record for the highest prize pool for a single event surely! With international and interstate drivers coming over to compete for the massive $7,000 first place prize in PRO class, you can see why drivers were battling it out to be in the finals!
The weekend started off miserably with rain clouds drizzling all over the cold bitumen for most of the day. But that wasn’t an issue as drivers had 6 hours to dial in the drift line set by the interstate judges who were flown over for the event.
Head judge, Stewy Bryant of InteriaMS, is known for his wild Japanese drifting style and was an essential part of the Drift Wars team to allow critical judging of the line set out for drivers. Brodie Moore and Leigh O’Sullivan stepped up to the plate to be our 2nd and 3rd guest judges for this huge event and each brought their own technique and style to the judging criteria creating a flawless trio to help dish out the $17,000 in prize money.
To say drivers stepped up their game for this event would be an insult to the drivers themselves as it was out of this world! Head judge Stewy said, “I haven’t seen that good driving for awhile in Australia…” which is a testament to all the drivers coming from the madman himself!
Saturday afternoon set up the drivers for qualifying, running the well known D1WA roulette format where drivers are given a 10 minute window to complete as many laps as possible, usually 6, on which they are judged. Their best lap is then used as their qualifying score for the event.
With only 32 places for Pro class & Pro-AM combined, this meant 13 people were eliminated from the event after qualifying was over. With $17,000 up for grabs D1WA didn’t want people to slide easily into a prize-winning class so drivers had to push their hardest to even make it into a competing class.
Sunday morning began gloomily, but the anti-rain dance from the night before worked and the sweet nectar of the gods gave us a dry track for the day for some tyre blazing goodness!
Battles commenced and it was full steam ahead as no one was giving up without a fight. With the judges calling at least 10 re-runs throughout the course of the day it was clear that the $17,000 in prize money was a huge driving factor in the contestants skill levels for the weekend.
The sportsmanship throughout the day was phenomenal, the drivers of the battles made the decision to re-run 3 battles due to driver errors unseen by the judges. Out of these 3 battles every driver let the judges know that they made a mistake and wanted to have their battle rerun whether the driver had won or not. This is amazing sportsmanship and shows the community of driving attitude that D1WA has built over the past 3 years in Western Australia.
The finals battles were tense and all drivers were on edge waiting for the final results.
PRO-AM Class was taken out by local driver Aleks Mikuljanic followed closely by international driver Andrew Redward who flew over for the event thanks to D1WA and Achilles Tyres. Brendan Cullen was crowned 3rd place after some close battles.
PRO Class winners, were all local drivers and their experience and track knowledge seemed to have helped them throughout the course of the weekend to battle it out for the final placing’s. 3rd place winner, taking out a prize of $2,500 was presented to Michael Joosten who was on point, tagging bumpers on his switches as he battled his way to the finals. 2nd place winner, grabbing $4,500 in prize money was Allister Lyons who had a tought time battling his best friend for 1st place with 3 re-runs being called before the judges could make the final decision. Which leaves 1st place winner Ken Leong, taking out the massive winning prize of $7,000 and being crowned champion of Drift Wars Battle for the West 2016!
Huge thanks to our sponsors for helping put on such a massive event, with whom without we wouldn’t have been able to create such an awesome event.
WA Performance / Bunbury Auto Wreckers / Autoforce / Redsand Supplies / Collie Motorsports Group
For all the results and more check out the D1WA Facebook page at www.facebook.com/D1Westernaus/