Written by Johnathan Bodily
ThunderDrift is a combination of ProAm, and Amateur drifters. These are a rare breed in Northern California where quite a few localities have deemed Drifting a motorsport that should not exist for fear of Drifters taking to the streets to hone their skills. While in the early days of Drifting this may have been the case, tracks like Thunder Hill Raceway in Willows, California have embraced the sport. They offer drifters a safe and legal place to Drift. Drifters are encouraged to take advantage of the on site Drift Pad, and on occasion the autocross track is also open for Drift sessions.
The Drift pad was utilized from 8am until 12 noon with practice runs lined up and drivers taking advantage of the time to make final adjustments, to prep for the finals which began at 1pm.
As expected the day was dominated by Japanese imports. Surprisingly enough one of the drivers that competed in the Top 8 was driving a Camaro. However the day was dominated by the Nissan 240sx and Toyota AE86. The event had some interesting and near comical twists. At the top two clipping points, banana peels were placed just outside the cones. Bonus points were given to drivers who could actually hit the banana peels. It was odd, funny, and a few comments about old 70's and 80's cartoons were brought up because of them.
The top 8 drifters fought it out, and the field was widdled down. The final 6 went toe to toe, with tandem runs that were quite fun to watch. There is really nothing like the added pressure, and excitement of a tandem drift. The leader being chased down by his/her opponent. Giving the drivers a little added pressure, and if the added pressure wasn't enough the extra adrenaline rush adds to the chances of mistakes.
The top 5 for round 3: 1st place Julian Jacobs (Black S13 Hatch), 2nd place Ryan Kado (Red AE86 Hatch), 3rd place Jared Thompson (Blue S2000), 4th place Andy Gillespie (White SR20 Miata), 5th place Gabe Stone (White Camaro).
For more information and for current standings visit ThunderDrift at: www.ThunderDrift.com
Photo's of this event are in our Photo Gallery here