The morning of the final Friction Motorsports drift round, on November 12, dawned freezing cold. The Perry Racing 240 was on the trailer and the truck was loaded. My husband and I, along with our friends who were playing pit crew for the day, bundled up and hit the road. Our final journey of the year to Stroud, Oklahoma began at 5:30 a.m. with two BRZs cruising along behind.
Despite the fact that it was November, which it normally well past the end of the season for the Midwest, and the Friction Motorsports trailer containing many of the necessary items for a day of drifting had been stolen just days prior, there was an impressive showing of cars.
As cars were being loaded off trailers, drift spares being put on and everyone’s excitement began filling the air, a drivers meeting was called and everyone gathered around. Friction Motorsports owner Gary Smith began telling us all about the set up of both courses and the rules, and basically to just get out there and have some fun sliding around out there.
For this final round, there were two different courses. One being a tight, technical course and a faster one with longer turns. The adrenaline was pumping and a smile was on everyone’s face, therefore it was parade lap time. The cars hopped in line with their engines roaring for their first stab at the courses. The old Tanger Outlet Mall was electric with energy. After the parade lap, my husband and I split from the pack to give the 240 one last check and decide which track to attack first. We decided to go for the faster track with the cone wall that came up after a long run up. Our ls swapped 240 went flying through the course, easily navigating past the clipping points until the final curve when we hit a cone and then a patch of grass. We watched the bumper fly off and I jumped out as soon as I could, worried way more about our homemade aero kit than the rocket bunny front bumper. It was the first run of the final round and of course, we finally managed to break something. Off came the bumper, and we ripped around the courses showcasing the custom tube front.
Having two separate courses was a brilliant idea. We personally got in around 60 runs and that includes tire changes, a lunch run, and breaks to just hang out.
The best entry contest was a killer treat that Gary had cooked up. Any driver was allowed to enter, then the crowd would pick their top five, then top three, and finally the winner. The drivers had to perform their best entry and get as close to the cone wall as possible and then finish the first the turn. The crowd hollered, clapped, and stomped their feet as the drivers left their best smoke filled impressions. In the end, the Formula Drift pro-am 350Z build took home the cash prize.
Nothing compares to being in the car watching the cones fly by and occasionally throwing up a crazy hand gesture for the photographers to catch, but just being at a drift event is incredible. Everything about drifting is intense. The different builds that showcase everyone’s unique talent, the shredding of tires and smoke that accompanies it; it’s a feeling that everyone can appreciate.
All in all, it was the perfect final event to end the drifting season for the Midwest.