A personal account of accidentally being in the middle.
Drifting is an alternative word for Chaos. Highly dynamic and really unquantifyable, the art of initiation and controlled burnouts at speed is a bit of a nightmare when it comes to the differences of North American culture. Although the joke is that Asians are better at math, it seems the majority of North America lives their lives in a fairly set manner; work, eat, sleep, pay bills. Japan seems a bit more in-tune with their indefinable feelings and it's often seen in the arts and media that emanate from their country. The constant conflict of having to justify/clarify the specifics of drifting to those who are in control of the assets you wish to borrow and use results in limited track time in multiple ways. Proving safety without a common knowledge of physics and a seemingly impossible number of people in charge of assets that have little-to-no ability to get the unspoken message makes these unquantifyable feelings and interests difficult to express.
Recently management of the Capital Drift series had a major conflict: Rules and ideals conflicted. Again, attaching numbers to a feeling of freedom, creativity and pure adrenaline to be judged simply of the basis of "how awesome was that shit" creates a difficulty when banks wish to make money on the risky investment of insurance coverage to a bunch of broke ass rednecks sliding around beaters on a track that was never quite designed for such an odd approach to enjoyment driving. People went their separate ways, trying to hide behind laws and paper work with a group of rebels is impractical and missing the point entirely.
We began our new adventure with the addition of a mistake. 91.3 The Zone, a local Radio station, had been misrepresenting the series by calling it Capital City Drift. With the change of power, and the escape back to free flowing waters there was a need for a new name; for simple logical foresight the "City" became officially part of the name. Mutiny works in odd ways.
The day of the event began, myself signed as a judge, with the addition of volunteered tech inspected helper the day suddenly changed minutes before the event was scheduled to open it's doors. Our now single leader had become injured that morning and required a hospital visit and some quick surgery to piece the left side of his face together. Time to man up and fill in where I can.
Tech inspection began a bit late and I ended up checking under hoods for loose batteries, under the car for leaks and anything else basically visably uncool for the event. Little was found, some changes were made and everyone seemed happy. With the help of Justin, Warren, Adam and Serge the entire lot of cars got inspected, numbered, and forced to sign their lives away to a waiver, shame their soles weren't include, or at least an SR20 or something, fuck I need an engine for my car.
A drivers meeting was held. I'd spent a lot of time at events in Ontario, mostly driving grip events, since drift events basically don't happen there. These helped me be brave and get people to listen even though I wasn't quite sure what to tell them. The track layout, the rules including one that is golden, were discussed followed with some questions. With the help of Colby and Darryl the cars were sent out for practice laps. We've been very lucky to not have any issues with practice, and last event was great since we were sharing the ambulance personnel with a motorcross event going on in the back.
After practice another drivers meeting was held, basics of how we were running the event were discussed, however I realize now I could've done a better job with the visual presentation of this information. Again with the aid of the pit helpers cars were organized to run a Tandem qualifier/elimination ladder. This seems to have worked well for the last two events.
I found my way up to the Judges booth with Acacia and Derek. Juggling is a fun but stressful way to manage duties, left missing a judge, it was up to Derek and I to determine the winner from each Tandem battle, between Acacia and I to announce our feelings and information to the crowd, and for myself to run round back of the booth to get a clear chat with the pit aids in order to organize the next pairing.
Engine troubles are a piss off, not only for the drivers themselves, but for their family, friends, sponsors and for us organizing the event. A great deal of sliders bowed out with motor issues, kinda suck. This resulted in some obscurities and communication issues with the pit helpers and us controlling the event up in the booth. Our ladder system is designed to eliminate people into a top-8 scenario. Allowing us to run a mini-competition between the best 8 drivers, keeping the show to roughly an hour and half to two hours for the fans, and leaving practice open for the drivers and staff afterwards, since everyone deserves to have fun.
Because of these motor problems and communication issues we had some last minute decisions made that affected the out come of the results greatly. I apologize formally to the drivers of the event, and my only excuse is that we are trying to make everyone happy, including the fans. These fans even helped out with some of the judging for these rounds. It was important to get them active in the process of selecting the winners with their own opinions and enthusiasm. Unlike figure skating we are not going to gay it up with number cards and bribed Russian judges.
Being on the microphone is a difficult thing. I may write decently here on the blog, but on the spot with the tire smoke, clapping crowd, roaring engines, echo's of the music and your own voice it's hard to think a clear conscious stream. I was very much learning as I went, even having organized a drift practice in Ontario, it's just not the same as trying to be the host for a few hundred people all attending for different reasons of their owns. I apologize to Platform Garage, Tire Exchange and The Zone if I did not prove to the crowd how extremely helpful they have been getting our goals accomplished.
The event itself finished up fairly successfully, a seemly happy crowd, seemingly happy drivers and staff. Warren and Acacia worked their butts off getting people into the building, and I'm sure sitting that close to Deano's concession cart was difficult to fend of the urge to binge. Drivers got their prizes and well earned claps and we moved on to after event practice.
Finally I got a chance to relax a bit and do some driving. A first time in my new wagon on the track I had yet to drive with my own shit to risk, I had a blast, although my 4ac is just too under powered for the big 3rd gear oval track corners. Down and out comes to mind, but also replacement for displacement apparently there is little to none. Warren, Derek, Acacia and Colby worked their little tails off to save the nose of an old Quad headlight E7 Corolla for my wagon when they had a spare chance through out the day. James grabbed snaps and absorbed as much of the event as he could. While Robin managed to make it to the track on her lonesome self. :)
The evening ended with a short visit to Mike Slaco and some get-well-soon messages. Let's hope Mike fully recovers in the coming weeks for our next event July 9th.
If there was any complaints, comments, compliments or general brain storming with this past or previous event feel free to contact me. DiscoQuinn@gmail.com