So I said it last time and I guess ill say it again now, it’s been a while since you’ve graced your eyes with my thought words. Last time it was laziness, taking the time to sit down and write something after every event was out weighed by working on the car or simply doing nothing, however this time it’s simply because there hasn’t been that much going on for me in the world of drift. Continue reading Matt “F**K your write ups” Russell and the New Stickers
Well, you haven’t heard from me in a while, I can only assume you’ve been enjoying your time away from me? Good to hear. Anyway, round 3 of the Tasmanian state drifting series was on a couple of weekends ago, I know I have been slack, but as my girlfriend always says, better late or never.
The usual beginning of the story, a Thursday afternoon, not long knocked off work and I begin my endeavour to the dock’s using every available back road in my abnormally loud 1983 model corolla. Once arriving at my destination I boarded the great vessel, now lets get one thing straight, the “Spirit of Tasmania” is blatant false advertising, that boat has no spirit at all, you want to have an long, restless night out, go and jump on that boat on your own and see just how many spirits you need to drink before anything gets spiritual. Continue reading Matt “Do these WreckEm guys even do anything” Russell
Whilst Matt Russell is over in Japan getting footage with Ginga, he decided to do a write up from his weeekend down in Tasmania for Round 1 of the Australian Drifting GP. Continue reading Matt “Massive in Japan” Russell
Whilst Mez is busy finishing off the Official video for this event, Matt Russell is back with another one of his stories!
Well this event really started a week before hand, with a trolley jack under the chassis rail of my car and three people jumping on my driver’s side strut tower and guard. Yep, just the usual pre-event preparation for you all I am sure; however it was so cold and so dark, far from the warmth and fluorescent light of my carport. Whilst my fine Friday night pit crew did there best on my chassis straightening after a minor cliff drop they could hardly be blamed for the death of my diff some hours later. So here lay my dilemma. With less than a week until drift attack was I to finish my new car off in a rush and hope that it doesn’t fall apart on it’s maiden voyage? Or would I cut my losses, pull the good diff from the new car and place it in the old one and do some minor panel beating? A choice that no one could make, except maybe my tuner who said there was no way he would be able to fit my new car in that week.
So here we are in the line for scrutineering, which is always a bit nerve racking for me, I think I get more of a rush when the “passed” sticker gets put on my car than when im actually drifting, but maybe that’s just me but sure enough, the old girl passed through again with flying colours, all I had to remove was the slab of Jack Daniels from the passenger seat, the one wrapped in the red ribbon.
Practice and qualifying was very interesting, having never seen the track before I didn’t really know what to expect, I probably should have looked at a video of it on youporn before hand but I know very little about how to use a computer (I actually type these on a type writer, mail them to Mez, he then scans them in and puts them on the blog). I felt I was struggling greatly as during the diff swap, I managed to loose basically all use of the handbrake as for some unknown reason, it would not bleed up properly. I found on average, 7 pulls of the handbrake before I actually needed it to lock would do the trick, this was fine for the first corner as I could pump it up on the run in, however making the link between corner three and four was made near impossible as even though I am a bit of a wanker, I think when people call me that they forget the real meaning of the word as im not quick enough on the pull to reach the climax of my handbrake and really extend that pleasure all the way deep down into turn four as I would have hoped.
In one of my practice runs a friend of mine asked if I would have the honour of escorting his very own mother for a couple of hot, hot, hot laps around the track, to which I quickly inclined. My friend Cam is right into his drifting, with his own 86 currently in the build, I guess he just wanted his mother to know what it was all about and why he was constantly making all that noise in the shed late at night. The first lap was great, she seemed calm and to be enjoying the ride, however I and my lawyers believe I gave my friend and his mother both adequate and clear warning of the troubles I was having with my handbrake. So when I was informed that I would be put up on sexual assault charges from all of the “missed” handbrake pumps I was bitterly disappointed, still couldn’t get that pleasure to fourth base… ah, fourth corner.
Having qualified further back in the field than I would have hoped for meant I was going to go up against a greater driver (for those who don’t know, a battle tree is initially (usually) formed with 1st VS. 32nd, 2nd VS. 31st ,etc.). This greater driver just happened to be Papa from the insane drifters. I chatted with Papa briefly in the dummy grid, we spoke about life and whatnot, but as I didn’t want a second law suit for the day I thought I should warn him of the car troubles I was having and that if he heard me yelling or on the horn mid corner he should move as I either cant stop, of something has broken off my car and is heading straight for him. Luckily, I did not need to do this as I don’t think my horn works anyway, regardless, he won the battle easily and advanced to the top 16 after a “close-to-spin-but-not-spun-but-basically-stopped-anyway” move from myself in the chase run, I think that’s the technical term for it anyway.
I weighed up my options, considering I was still on my first pair of tyres for the day, I decided to swindle my way into doing some of the passenger rides down the back of the track so I could destroy some more of Inverse tyres tyre’s. The passenger track proved to be very good fun with some help from Nathan Saunders, Matt Goodlet and Nic Wilson allowing us to all tandem with each other until my car overheated, over and over, which doesn’t really phase me, at all. Apologies to Calder park about mowing their lawns.
Expression session came around and my girlfriend Nicole murmured the words “can I come as passenger?”. Something I have never heard from her, what could this mean? Many thoughts ran through my head. Would everything go well and I live to see another day? Would I be sleeping on the floor for weeks to come? Would I be paying that lawyer double time? Thankfully, after trying to escape the car numerous times on the start line all went well and I was urged to tandem with other drivers. This was a great thing for not only Nicole to overcome but it was also a new experience for me having her in the car after nearly four years as I still didn’t make that fourth corner, but in grabbing second gear Im also pretty sure I grabbed second base, a whole base higher than I have ever been before.
It was great to see Jake Jones come out on top of pro class, something that I think has been a long time coming for Jake, and it was defiantly well deserved after many events of bad luck and car issues. Agges and Nigel taking out 2nd and 3rd respectively was no surprise, especially with Agges coming off two very strong ADGP podiums and Nigel forever being consistently smooth, fast and just generally good. It was also good to see people like Andy McNeill up as far as 7th position, for someone who drives a car once a year and spends the rest of his time seeing how many motors he can blow up, he still seems to be able to put it together on game day.
In the street class, my good friend Chris Johnson took the win over Adam Morbarek with Richard Ryan in 3rd place. Honourable mention would have to go out to Craig Thorp in the bluebird from Tassie, qualified first in probably my favourite car of the event, however due to an unusual mistake from Thorpy, he did not advance to the top 8. I think the best thing about it was that he arrived on the boat from Tassie Saturday morning, drove the bluebird straight to the track, drifted, drove back to the boat and went home again that night. That’s dedication and a tight schedule if I ever saw one. Maybe his mistake in the top 16 was all planned, just so he could make it back to the boat in time, whilst qualifying first, just so everyone knew what he was capable of?
As I was leaving, I was informed of the “official” after party in some trendy place in St. Kilda (THANKS FOR THE LATE NOTICE). I didn’t end up attending the official after party, as im all about being different and not being trendy, plus the “unofficial” after party had more naked ladies guaranteed, even if we had to pay. Regardless, the un-official after party went off, it was good to catch up with everyone in a much more relaxed environment… apparently. I can’t really tell you too much more about the after party as I may or may not have been asleep on a couch in this particular strip club for the majority of the time. However considering one of the Tasmanians that walked in at 7am and slept on my floor informed me that he gave a nice girl at the after party that was aimlessly walking around on a table and training to be a fireman $450 to take her clothes off a couple of times, I knew it must have been pretty good.
Big thanks go to Vic Drift, yet again, another great event run and won. Leigh Pidwell at Inverse tyres for hooking me up with rubbers, Karl and Luke at Unique Automotive Australia, Jake at JDI fabrications for welding up my busted bits and anyone who bought me a drink at the after party, both I and the toilets were very thankful, not so much the bouncers.
– Matt Russell
It has been a while between drinks but here it is, another story from our main man Matt Russell. This time with tales from ADGP Round 1 at Calder.
What’s that taste? Tastes sour, oh, it’s the taste of my own words as I chew on them. I’m sure many others could taste the same tears as all of the pre-event internet whinging about an event that had not even happened yet very quickly became apparent that it was far from everyone’s expectations. I am, of course, talking about Australia’s newest drifting series the “Just Car insurance-Australian drifting grand prix”.
A long week made for a tiring morning, the track appeared bland and the line for scrutineering looked even more uninviting but the best thing about this morning, was that my “list of rage” ended there. The weeks of anticipation became reality as we hit the track for the first time, unfortunately for myself, that’s exactly what I did, hit the track. A maze of concrete walls and water barriers made for some very interesting entry’s and a lot of broken fiberglass. Second lap in, I managed to tag the entry wall and said good bye to my drivers tail light, rear bumper and some of my rear quarter panel. However, even though I knew takumi tax would prevail and end up costing me an arm and a leg, I think it was a god send as it made me feel much better about scraping the same corner of the car on one, if not three walls on every lap for the remainder of the weekend.
Qualifying and practice were an all in deal, with no specific given qualifying time, the judges eyes could have been on you during any given practice lap which made for a very balls to the wall approach for many drivers. Which in turn allowed me to capture the world record long distance jump for an AE86. What do you get when you have a water barrier lying on its side on the inside of a corner as you try and push up the inside of another car? You get freestyle motocross with out the flat brim hats and Southern Cross stickers. I jumped three whole water barriers clear and landed on the fourth, piercing it with my tow hook and ultimately becoming beached (as bro) on this white plastic hump of love in the infield. Honestly, if you think you can beat that I invite you to politely come at me.
After signing a few polaroid pictures of my jump that those lucky few had snapped I was informed that the judges had qualified me for the top 32, if I hadn’t had made the leap of barriers I probably would have been sent packing. So with that being said, my trusty pit crew (mainly Claw, who was by far the drunkest of my pit crew) went to work on my bent tie rod as I prepared myself for the top 32 solo qualifying runs. Would I go for 5 barriers this time? I needed not, as Claw, the magical man of many missing fingers attacked my eye-linement with some toe out, and the car felt much better than before and for once, I threw together two neat and tidy qualifying runs with no need for a jump. Having the track to myself meant everybody could bask in the sounds of my heavenly dose as I made my way up the list to 14th in the qualifying race.
As Saturday turned into saturnight, the mighty Leigh Pidwell, who’s hopes and dreams of driving round one of the 2011 ADGP had been shattered at the gate due to his ford laser not having the correct stickers to allow him into the pits, causing him to miss the last qualifying session (yes, Leigh has never shown up to a competition before the final five minutes). Having gone to the effort of coming to the track to sign in and attend drivers briefing, to then go back to the workshop to try and finish his car, to then come back to the track to borrow my car to try and qualify in, to not being let in the gate it was a big kick in the balls for Leigh. I think we all know that the ADGP staff were just worried that he would infact attempt qualifying in the 300FWKW laser and take pole position. Unfortunately the run of constant all nighters had taken its toll on Leigh who not only nearly fell asleep on his way home, but only made it 10 minutes down the road before the laser ran out of 91 octane nitrous and I received the usual help call. Luckily for Leigh I had packed some straps back in the tow truck and we found him asleep just off a highway somewhere in the Blazer.
Dawn broke on Sunday, we arrived at the track to find everything still there. (This is Melbourne remember, it’s not often you find things where you left them). The day started with a nice practice session, allowing the drivers to sober up… sorry, warm up for competition day. I decided to sit the second practice session out as its unusual for my car to last one full day of driving let alone two, so I didn’t want to risk it. Then, business time. Top 32 battles were up and I was against 19th qualifier, Mitchell Jeffery. Two clean runs from both of us left us both guessing in the pits afterwards for nearly half an hour, we both seemed to be under the impression of a re-run but in the end the judges awarded the advancement to Jeffery and I bitterly went back to my car.
Top 32, became the top 16 and I still hadn’t seen a battle that really caught my eye, I saw some very questionable decisions from the judges but who am I to cause an argument over drifting politics? Although without a doubt the most interesting battles of the day came down to Pickering and Agges. Honestly, I think Christian Pickering would have to be one of, if not THE most exciting drifter in Australia to watch and drive behind. Wild angles, while holding speed and keeping only millimeters between bumper bars being able to impregnate each other. The guys got it all down pat, and his battles against Agges were no different, it wasn’t long before Agges caught onto this style, aggression and flow which ultimately lead to the 47 re-runs they had together.
In the end, it came down to Agges over Declan Walsh, giving Agges third place. Second ended up going to Tarquin Van Rooyen and a Big Bloke in a banana suit driving the pineapple express took the win. It was a shame to see a few other drivers such as Nigel Petrie and Anthony Cece get knocked out early as they were some of my highlights of the weekend. Nigel seems to just keep stepping it up lately, more speed, just as much angle and good lines. Cece was probably my favourite driver of the whole weekend, never have I seen someone nearly scrape their WHOLE rear bumper along a wall repeatedly lap after lap.
After the formalities of the weekend, I stripped off my race suit pyjamas and we were let loose in a final demolition derby. Long story short, things got way out of hand, I tail slapped the walls more then my girlfriend, then, just like my girlfriend, the wall hit back and I came off second best. I decided to call it a day and limped my car which now had matching front end damage back to the truck and we headed home.
ADGP had certainly exceeded our expectations, the event turned out to be a bunch of fun and there was plenty of great driving, im sure if the spectators could see they would say the same thing. I caught Ginga and DK in the toilets at one stage with the “Wreck-em” camera’s and their pants down so im sure there will be some awesome footage pop up in this years Wreck-em DVD. A big shout out goes to Karl and Luke from Unique Automotive, JDI fabrications and Nathan from Ascend automotive. Also my pit crew for the weekend (Nicole, Karl, Claw and Cam).
Now that you have finished reading my rubbish, go out into your parent’s driveways and drop a skid.
Photos provided by Matt’s Girlfriend/family as well as Luke Hobbs!
Well Japan was amazing as always, a big thanks to the guys at K-Tours (Erin & Shane) as well as all the guys on the trip! Everyone had a rad attitude which always helps.
I will have a few posts giving an insight into what happened but if you cant wait our boyyyyy Casey just released this blog post on Speedhunters. It features photos which are 28 times better then anything i took and probably fill in a lot more info 😛
Check it out here
Now onto Matt’s Story! This time from Drift Attack at Winton.
It sprung to my mind as my alarm rang at 4AM, little did I know, this would probably be the most frequently asked question all day.
Its rare that I wake up so early for a drift event, usually I stay within close proximity to the track and get to sleep as long as possible, but due to Karl being a girl and needing to be a socialite we headed up to Vic Drift’s Drift Attack early on a cold, frosty saturday morning. The 1 hour and 45 minute drive quickly turned into a 3 hour drive, helped along with the fact that the ever economical Holden Malooo (bro) ute that was following us up used up its remaining quarter tank of fuel in about 80km’s, susequently forcing us into looking for a servo. Now becuase it was so early, the first servo we passed was closed, as soldiered on into the darkness we came upon another servo, also closed. We realised at this point the Malooo didnt have much hope, so my jerry can was raided and we were back on the road.
As we edged ever closer to Winton we were greeted by a lovely, hairy old man on a bike, picking up half done cans off the footpath from the night before, doing his bit for the environment by finishing them off before throwing the cans back on the ground. Dont want those fish getting drunk now do we. Such a classy, well presented man made me realise, we had made it to Benella, so the skids were smelling close.
As we sat in drivers breifing whilst we were supposed to be out for practise, it dawned on me that this was going to be a VERY long day. As the head judge got to the new testament of the bible, most people had had enough and were busting on converting some rubber to smoke, so we hit the track. Well, what a wake up call that was. Having not driven since DSC in Mallala (thanks loss of license) it was fair to say I was a little rusty and with all the time I spent in the dirt I was also quite dusty. I simply did not get a single clean lap. The second session, I was a new man, I had new tyres on, I kicked my passenger out so that I could yell and abuse myself for messing up without covering the passenger in blood and things started working. Until I got a little too happy and popped a tyre, track time is track time though, so the foot stayed down.
Qualifyed 14th, I was happy with that considering it was my first ever pro class event, plus it was two spots in front of Leigh Skidwell. Now im not one to brag, but its different with Leigh. So everyone add him to facebook and just ask where he qualifyed again, then rub it in a little. Anyway, I managed to draw Hai from the insane drifters for my battle in the top 32, which worried me a little. However I seemed to put in a decent lead run
(YEAH MEZ, LOOK AT THAT! A VIDEO, HAVE A LAUGH BECAUSE I CANT WORK A CAMERA BUT LOOK WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SOMEONE ELSE KNOWS HOW TO, I GET FOOTAGE, MOVING FOOTAGE) then due to Hai making a bit of a mistake in my chase run, I was able to go past him and take the win.
Top 16 battle was a whole other story. I came up against Josh De Vries from the Project D, blaze unit team. I was chasing first, after a short drag race at the start line in which I was left behind I managed to catch a little, but no where near enough to be handed the advantage. In the lead run things got interesting, as I switched through the small S bend out of the sweeper, I heard a noise. Now for those of you who have seen my car, strange noises wouldn’t come as a surprise, even I myself thought something irrelevant was falling off the car as usual, like the petrol tank, but nope, as I kept heading into the sweeper I realised I had a flat cause by a long lengthy divorce of my bead from the rim. I suppose thats what happens when you run 195’s on a 10″ rim with a pressure thats flatter than a 11 year old Chinese girls chest. Luckily for me, Josh had suffered a mechanical issue (excuse for being scared more like it, ha) in the first corner. So I still managed to advance to the top 8.
In the top 8 I was up against a bloke by the name of Mooka in a black R33. His name scared me a little as I wasnt sure what “mooking” was but I value my health and wellbeing (pff, no I dont) and didnt want to find out. As he chased me, the sound of his gate was enough to get me shaking in my 4 inch heeled boots, but I kept it together. In my chase run however, I had an awesome moment of failure and decided the lawn needed a mow so 4th gear proceeded to cut the grass out the outside of the sweeper. With that being said, my hopes and dreams of winning some money to afford a mothers day present for mum were over.
Now, as absolutely no one had any idea what was happening, which wasnt helped by having no P.A. system or commentator, it was time to kick back and relax. Then of course we remembered all that Winton sell is xxxx beer, so we packed up and ran as far away from there as possible.
Congratulations goes out to the guys on top:
Leigh “UnLeighliable” Pidwell snached the extreme entry comp with a nice backward entry into turn seven. Goes to show that his own / JDI knuckles really do work.
Not as an eventful event as my previous couple in my eyes, probably why my write up is lacking and I have to make cracks at myself about wearing womens shoes, but you know what? They are comfortable, so I dont care what you say.
Big thanks again to Karl and the guys at Unique automotive in Lilydale and JDI fabrications. Also my beautiful Girlfriend Nicole for the photos!