If you are interested in cars going fast and sideways, as well as awesome times with friends in a completely relaxed environment…..than drift matsuri is for you! Mallala just hosted its first matsuri for the year and as usual it was a great time with lots of tire shredding action.


Now before I go too far into the day I’ll give a brief description of what matsuri is for those who are new to the drift scene. In japan drift matsuris (or dorifuto matsuri as they are called) is essentially a day long drifting festival. Unlike competitions, Matsuri has no format for points or any competition rules such as tire regulations. Instead you hit the track and thrash your car about all day having fun.


The day started at 9am when gates opened and drivers unloaded cars and gear for the day. For anyone that hasn’t been to Mallala Raceway, they actually have a pretty good pit area setup with garages for every driver. After a quick drivers briefing, cars hit the track.


Mallala has basically 2 parts of the track where you can drift during competitions. The “S’s” and turn 1/2 which is separated by a long straight. Not exactly what you need in drift but hey, we make due down here. But unlike cops, matsuris have basically the whole track opened up. This means both the southern and northern hairpins are open for fun.

This is Lucy Ellis in her white NA s13 Hitting the southern hairpin. Unlike most drivers going for high power turbo motors, Lucy has proved that NA low powered cars can still mingle with the best of cars.


This blue sil80 is owned by Dylan Thiselton. This was the first event for the car as Dylan only just finished it days before matsuri so it was more or less a shake down to see how it runs. Hopefully a future photoshoot will happen with this car.


Tandems are not an issue, but most decided to go single runs to practice lines throughout the day. Although this was the choice by most, some still wanted to try and push up on drivers doors like this vn commodore and r32 skyline.


Unfortunately for some, the day didn’t go to plan and cars broke. Darryn James red 180sx suffered 2 broken rocker arms that resulted in a bent valve and some piston contact. It was a bit of a shame as his 180 is awesome to watch on track.


At mid-day, everyone came in for a lunch break. This is usually the time where most end up fixing cars, talk crap with friends, grab a real quick bite to eat. This was the time I took to catch up with my friend that was on track drifting.

This is Chris r33. It’s basically a stock car besides exhaust and front mount intercooler. Again another driver that proves bulk power isn’t necessary for drift. Chris also owns an r33 4door skyline that is putting out over 400kw, so he has the best of both worlds. I also took the time to go for some passenger laps with Chris. Oh did I forget to mention that passengers are allowed at matsuri as long as you have a half cage?


Another nice skyline out on the day was Hayden Houlihans r33 4door. His car is one of the few these days staying true to style from 10years ago. As you can see in this photo it sadly has collected a tire stack somewhere down the line.


As the night went on It was time again for a dinner break (come on…these guys have to eat sometime in the 12hrs). Walking around the pits it became evident that a lot of guys had done too much damage to cars and had placed cars on trailers ready to leave.


Once dinner break was over cars hit the track for a few last sessions. We were than told on the intercom that due to reduced numbers that the track would become “open track” for all groups together. This worked out well as wait times in the lineup were still really short.


I decided I would wonder back down to the southern hairpin as the sun set. The hairpin at that end of the track always makes for good photos with the glowing sun disappearing behind the trees.

Andrew Campbell’s R33, although pretty haggard looking still was awesome against the setting sun. Andrew uses his r33 for drift but also has an s14 Silvia that is built for hill climb events.


Once the sun set, the only place to get decent photos at Mallala is at turn 1 and 2 as they have the most light than anywhere on the track. This is also the driver’s favorite place to throw up peace signs as they blaze past.



At the end of the night once the track closed and drivers started loading cars back up, friends took the time to share stories of the day, grab one last feed, and smash a few drinks. Mallala has had its ups and downs when it comes to events, but when matsuri comes around it’s always a fun day.


Stay tuned for future photos of some of these cars in the future.