Monday, November 3, 2014

2nd semi annual Drivers Invitational

Check your inbox for one of these and a registration link.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

New to the game? Here's what you should know.

With 14 events per season you can imagine we see our fair share of drivers come and go. There is core set of drivers who have been around since the beginning, and they have now found themselves as stewards of the craft through their tenure behind the wheel. As with any sport there is an influx of new players each season and while some stick around, gathering knowledge, building on experience, taking notes from the Bro's and the Pro's, other just tend to get phased out. Drifting is sport; just like baseball or hockey. There is a definable objective, a list of rules, as well as a set of prerequisites in order to have a fair shot at remaining competitive, even at the amateur level. Rather, there are necessary steps to follow in order to perform at a level that you as a driver will find yourself satisfied with. The first weapon in your arsenal is the most obvious: your car.

As an event promoter I am constantly asked, "How do I get into this?" No, that's not true. Usually it's a listless remark weighed down by some invisible force of inability that sounds more like, "Sigh, I wish I could get into this, but..." [excuse, excuse, excuse] Inevitably, no matter how it is phrased to me I deliver a fairly typical response and simply say, "Go find a cheap car." To most, a car is a major commitment, much like a house.. or a steady girlfriend/boyfriend. The general population can not fathom owning more than two or three vehicle in a lifetime, let alone wrap their minds around the concept that a vehicle could be deemed disposable, outside of the '96 Honda Civic they bought with 180k on the clock, just to get to and from work till they get their first promotion and can buy a Kia Sorento to carry their mountain bikes. Or perhaps they jazz it up and grab a '13 GTi with flappy paddles. You know like race cars have.. </>

Either way the reality stays the same. If you want to get into performance driving it is inevitable that you are going to need a vehicle that can perform. The market at this point is saturated with would be tack cars, failed projects, or potential projects. Finding a decent example of a "classic drift car" is getting difficult at a price you wouldn't cry over for a 20 year old Nissan, or a 30 year old Toyota. That said, there are some sick options as late model as the 00's that would make great, inexpensive, versatile platforms to begin your career as a full time drift monkey.

Modifying your car to perform is the next level after purchase. Remember, there is a certain prerequisite. You can't play hockey with out the gear, even if you own a stick and puck.

Over the years we have developed an ever-evolving guide book to what is, at its very minimal, a functioning drifting car. I think a lot of new-comers feel a certain level of skepticism radiating when they ask us to inspect a vehicle we are not familiar with. The most difficult thing to overcome for us is the projected sense that we don't want them there. That is certainly not the case. The difficulty for us lies in that we may very well have to turn this willing and eager new driver away, due to some very rudimentary item that was not addressed.

Motorsports is inherently dangerous. Not only to the driver, but to anyone with-in range of a damaged or deflecting vehicle. Our job is to create and maintain a safe environment for all who attend, and the largest part of that safety begins with your car. To be quite frank, there is not much on our list that doesn't come standard on your car from the factory! All things being equal, there is no need to try and step around the rules, as at one point, all these items had a place and a purpose on your vehicle. For the safety of you, the staff, the crowd; and to ensure that your vehicle is at the minimum yet optimal level to perform safely and efficiently, we ask everyone who wishes to participate in this awesome sport, to read through the very short list, and address each item before you come to the event. We didn't write this to discourage you or to lessen your chance of success. Quite the opposite. But at the end of the day, this is your vehicle and you alone are responsible for its maintenance, its quality of build, and its safety.
All tech cards have a check list of requirements that must be met before your car can be driven at our events, and must be checked BY A STAFF MEMBER! DO NOT take it up on you self to tech your own vehicle under any circumstances.

The following TECH ITEMS must be met for your car to pass, and to be allowed on track. 

1. Battery tie dows: YOU MUST HAVE THEM! Factory or aftermarket battery tie downs must be in place and functional where ever your battery is placed. They should be strong enough to keep the battery in place and from tipping/spilling. (even if you have a leak proof battery or solid cell) There is always the danger of it flying free of its respective housing and leaking, causing injury or damage.

1a. Your positive battery terminal must be covered even in the stock location with an oem or better battery terminal cover.

1b. Battery Relocation: If the battery is moved from its stock location it may only be moved to the trunk (except Miatas) and it must be secured in a battery box. If it is moved to the trunk it has to be secured with metal to the metal. No nylon or other such straps can hold your battery box in place and no zip-ties, bungees, etc. Bolts, please! The battery box can be any type of automotive or marine box which can be had for $10 or $15 from Walmart or Autozone. 

2. All lug nuts must be in place and tight. We will check them. Please be sure you are running the appropriate lug for your wheel and stud. Titanium lugs may strip lesser metals, especialy when over tightened. 

3. Hand/Emergency brake should at least hold the car in place. Hydro's are the exception. All brake systems must be free of major leaks, internal and external.

4. Brake pedal must have firm pressure with low fade.

5. Ball joints, tie rods, and all other suspension components must be in good condition and free of damage or excessive play.

6. Tail lights and brake lights
must work as intended (especially for tandem)

7. Your seat(s) must be stable and properly secured in the car.

8. Seat-belts and Harnesses: You must have functioning 3 point belts for all seats that hold drivers/passengers, or no less than a 3pt harness. All aftermarket/race bucket seats are required to have at least a three point harness with proper harness bar installed.
The only exception (for stock seats) would be a car that only came with lap belts or less.

9. Your car must be free of all excessive fluid leaks.

10. All loose items must be removed from the interior of the car. This goes for engine bay and under car also. Please secure any loose items that could become hazardous to you, spectators or other drivers. Broken suspension parts must be replaced, not zip tied. Body panels (with in reason) may be secured with zip ties, duct-tape etc.

These guidelines are simple to follow and cover the entry level driver. Later we can extrapolate to cover tandem requirements. With a little care and proper attention to your car, you'll be on the track every time, and we'll cheer like idiots when you do dope shit. #partyon

Written by: Adam Reed
Photos: Kyle Cross
Featured Car: Bobby Reim

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bring us Teams, or bring us Death.

We out here.

Amatuer to Pro*Am drivers will shred tires in this exhibition day on the Main Lot at Gateway Motorsports Park in luscious, scenic, Madison Illinois. Full lot course with high speeds and big angles.

Gates open to drivers at 8am and tech will begin promptly. All drivers are required to pass the DriftSTL Tech Guide. If your car does not pass tech you will not be allowed on track (in failed vehicle) until it is repaired.

Drivers meeting is at 9:45 followed by hot track at 10.

Gate Registration: $150

Tech Info and Rule book:

Drivers Event Schedule:
08:00 AM – Gates Open (Drivers Load In – Technical Inspection)
09:45 AM – Mandatory Drivers Meeting
10:00 AM – Group A
11:00 AM – Group B
12:00 PM – Group A
01:00 PM – Group B
02:00 PM – Group A
03:00 PM – Group B
04:00 PM – Open Session


Spectator Event Schedule:
10:00 AM – Gates Open
General Admission: $10.00
Kids 12 and Under: FREE

Drivers Cost: (plus $5 processing fee)
Gate Cost: $150.00

Hard Parking: $15


Alex Castillo
Brandon Fields
Chris Crane
Chris "Grandpa" Hanley
Clayton Angel
Connor Huppert
Cory Conrad
Cory Patterson
Dan Sommer
David Mesker
Drew Meyer
Eric Berg
Evan Steiner
Grant Ellis
Jake Alliston
John Gerger
Jordan Taylor
Kamil Zarzycki
Ken Cantrell
Mike O'Mara
Morgan Cavalier
Paul Irwin
Peter Kessler
Preston Enyart
Richie Clouser
Robert Reim
Ryan Yates
Shane Rousan
Steven Fishel
Steven Wemhoener
Tim O'mara
Trevor Specht



Note: All PRE-REGISTERED drivers will be allotted one (1) pit crew member free of charge. Any and all late registrations will not be eligible for this option and anyone with said driver will be required to pay standard spectator entry fee as listed below. Please email with any questions.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

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Monday, June 9, 2014

Post Event Wrap-Up: Mid Summer Drift

No boring interviews. No shout outs. No sponsors to rep. Just a thank you to all who came and partied, and those who work make it possible.


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