Drift One at Angelsey

After the runaway success that was Angelsey’s first ever drift event back in November it was no surprise to see that, not only was another event at the track arranged almost immediately after, but it also sold out almost straight away as well (something that is rarely heard of, if at all, in the grassroots UK drifting scene). I was determined to take part this time round and bought myself a ticket but, woe and behold, my car wasn’t ready in time. Nevertheless, I made the trip down to Angelsey on Saturday afternoon and headed to local boy Joe Ankers’ house with the rest of the Manchester crew in preparation for the long Sunday ahead of us.

After awaking to a damp Sunday morning (soon forgotten about thanks to the copious amounts of bacon butties cooked for us by Joe’s girlfriend!) I did my usual and traipsed around the empty pits while everyone else was at the drivers briefing. The first car I came across was Andy Faulke’s fantastic S15, a regular sight at most grassroots drift events.

Surprisingly (for a Drift One event, at least) the BMW to Nissan ratio wasn’t as high as it normally is. This E36 was a tidy example.

I have literally no idea what this thing was (other than it being a Citroen) nor why it was there. I guess it was pretty cool though.

It was good to see Jonny again after his recent emigration from Manchester to Bristol, and he also had girlfriend Jo and her R32 in tow.

The Driftworks boys were in attendance, albeit in a selection of E36s rather than any of their posher cars. Phil Morrison chose to purchase this E36 Compact specifically for the event…

…atlhough James Robinson was using this comparatively upmarket and modern Mx-5, completely standard bar a set of HSD coilovers, a set of Rotas and a pair of bucket seats.

BDC competitor Brad Wallbank rocked up in this seriously cool R33 four door.

Stay tuned for more pictures of this car in a few days time…

I really liked this 180SX, although if I were to nit-pick I would definitely say that it needs a drastic reduction in tyre size, a decent amount of slamming and an import sized number plate.

Oh, and maybe the Type-X front lip that appears to be missing. I really am getting anal now, but with all of these this changes it could be a seriously cool car.

A tidy R32 from the Kyouto Drift boys.

I haven’t seen Chris Bates’ S13 for years but it was great to see it in the flesh again.

Adam Simmons’ R33 has undergone a few visual changes since I last saw it but the BMW V8 heart still remains, a conversion that took place after numerous problems with his RB25 powerplant last season.

The Conceptua Tuning R33 was looking mean.

I’ve seen Clive’s V8 S14a in the flesh before but I’ve never had chance to really study it, let alone hop in for a passenger ride.

Clive was kind enough to take me out on all three tracks for the best part of an hour and, while I may have previously been sat on the fence when it came to V8 conversions, that hour was all it took to completely sell the idea to me. No boost leaks, no lag, no reliability issues and 4th and 5th gear skids were all taken in the BMW V8′s stride, what more could you want? Clive only decided to come back to the pits so he could catch a breather – otherwise he could easily have carried on without any overheating issues until he ran out of petrol.

This R32 was pretty cool – it definitely was a case of less is more (visually speaking, at least).

I was pleasantly surprised to see another Kouki aero’d 180SX present, although, just like the white example earlier in this post, this one could really use some skinnier tyres and a decent drop to get the best Type-X look.

It was still a very nice car though and it was great to see it going well on track. I’d love to have a Type-X kit on my own S13.

Most of my weekend was spent with the SkidRoh boys, including Matt Samuel and his awesome Z32 300ZX. I had the chance to spend a good chunk of the afternoon riding shotgun in Matt’s car for the first time – you can really feel the 1400kg of Nissan beef as you’re being thrown from side to side but the way Matt has adjusted his driving style to suit is brilliant. I can’t help but wonder what he’d be like in a lighter S-body, though.

Joe Ankers spent the majority of Saturday standing in the rain and swearing due discovering the need to replace the manifold on his beloved Onevia. While checking your car over a day or two before an event may not be best practice, at least he managed to spot the crack(s) in his manifold and replace it just in time. Changing a manifold on an SR20 is never a fun job and you could tell just how drained Joe was on Saturday night by how little enthusiasm he showed while tucking into the monstrous amount of Dominos pizzas that we ordered. At least the Sunday went well for him without any major issues.

Another sweet Type-X aero’d S13 that I spotted in the pits, although this one was sporting “Chuki” style ‘skirts and didn’t have the infamous Kouki spoiler adorning the bootlid. Nevertheless, it still looked great, although it too could also benefit from a healthy dose of slamming.

Once the drivers briefing was over I thought I’d make the most of the day and traipse over to far end of the track to take some action shots. The rain and mud definitely didn’t make for a pleasant photography experience but a bit of mud and frostbite never hurt anyone, so I cracked on.

This Kyouto Drift S14a looked great – the rear fitment was pretty much spot on.

Drift One regular Christian Bell was having an awesome day, especially so considering that this was his first time out with his freshly rebuilt SR20 engine.

Balls-out entries were definitely the order of the day…

…along with some seriously big manjis (and the odd bit of cone clipping).

Brad Wallbank was hitting the track hard in his aforementioned four door R33.

The car had been noticeably raised – after speaking to a few people about the car after the event it appears it is still sporting an air ride, not the variety of suspension you expect to find on a drift car.

Karl Farrar was making lots of noise in his JZX100 Mark II “Team Taxi”…

…although his venture onto the track in a convertible Aston Martin DB9 is probably best left unmentioned.

The lock on Matt’s 300ZX is truly mind-bending for such a bloated car – his modified Geomaster knuckles were working wonders in the slippy conditions.

Clive was also putting the extra lock that his S14a has to great use.

My jealousy towards the owner of this 180SX grew exponentially every time he passed me. I need that Type-X kit in my life…

While I much prefer the OEM+ approach to drift car bodywork, there was no denying that this BN Sports ‘kitted S14a from the Kyouto Drift boys had some serious presence.

Considering how basic the spec on James Robinson’s Mx-5 was (i.e, nigh on standard) he definitely had no issues chucking it around and twinning with his Driftworks colleagues.

The “novice” stickers were a tad ironic considering Phil Morrison was behind the wheel of this Compact…

The lock on this E30 was absolutely ridiculous – it was endless!. While a decent amount of lock on a drift car is always useful and pretty much a necessity these days to really push yourself and your car, I do think there is a limit as to the amount of lock that starts to detract from the sportsmanship that drifting thrives on. But hey, maybe that’s just me.

The slippy conditions meant that, more often than not, if you were to end up on the grass, you were going to stay there until either John Jones or Mike Gaynor from Drift One arrived to rescue you. In these conditions (wet track, soggy grass) I think toe hooks/straps should be mandatory to help avoid unnecessary hold ups for the rest of the drivers. Mike had great fun finding somewhere to attach his toe rope to the front of this MkIV Supra…

It was great to see more than one 300ZX out there having fun!

As decent S-bodies at decent prices become harder and harder to find it’s inevitable that the popularity of 350Zs will continue to rise. This example was running particularly well.

As they continue to decrease in value I’m sure we can expect to see more and more E46 M3s joining the drift scene.

The infamous SR20 powered Mark II Escort looked right at home on the fast and flowing layout.

As I finally gave in to the wind and rain and headed back to the pits I spotted this Nissan. I have no idea what it is but it definitely looked like it’d make a cool daily – could anyone shed any more light on it?

My personal “Hero of the Day” award went to Jonny, who started the day off on the beginner circuit and, with a bit of gentle persuasion from Alex Law, spent a decent amount of time in the afternoon hitting up the other circuits. After manning up and dealing with the admittedly steep learning curve he was faced with he upped his game dramatically and was nailing it on both tracks by the end of the day – great stuff!

All in all, another brilliantly run event by John and the rest of the Drift One crew. As always, I’m sure there a couple of things that they will be looking into changing for the next Anglesey event but, considering the ever-so-tricky conditions, I think they pulled it off fantastically on the day. I’m just gutted my car wasn’t ready in time…!

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