Mother Nature must have saved up one more perfect day with plenty of sun and very high temperatures. It’s the second of October and it’s 26 degrees outside, a perfect day for everyone attending the EDC (European Drift Championship) at the GP-Strecke of the Nürburgring. We knew it was going to be good as we could smell the burning rubber minutes before even arriving at the parking lot. As soon as we got out of our cars we were overwhelmed by the constant sound of rev-limiters kicking in and squealing tyres. We bought our tickets and went through the gates. What we first noticed was that we had access to almost everywhere so we directly walked into the area that was reserved for all the teams. It was really cool to see everyone preparing their cars up close.
This RB26 barely came alive but once it did, and you wouldn’t say by the looks of the engine bay, it ran so smoothly, you can’t even imagine.
These guys from Denmark drove quite a while to get here. I have loads of respect for drivers who, next to driving the car, also prepare their rides. Dedication all the way.
Another reason of why I love walking around in the pits is to get to know all kinds of techniques and ways of mounting, installing parts or even see what sort of brands they use. It’s not only cool to look at, it broadens your own horizon as well. Have a look at these R888’s wrapped around Blitz wheels providing the grip to keep going at extreme angles.
And ofcourse, what I’ve probably seen more than anything was old, used rubber.
But what happens if a team needs new tyres? I didn’t see any big trucks. That was because, unlike million dollars teams, they used their drift cars as a working horse as well. And to that, I take off my hat. Not just because they drive around in drift cars to pick up parts and so on, but also because they’re on a very tight budget as the most teams are just a group of friends and they still get everything sorted.
Another car that caught my eye was the S13. Next to all the bangers this thing looked really clean. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against bangers because they go sideways just as easy!
What I’m going to say now might get some puzzled faces, but the drifting itself was less enjoyable than walking around in the pit area. The track itself had a great lay out with beautiful elevation after a tight right turn, so it wasn’t that either. I just think that getting up close to the cars and chatting with the drivers was far more interesting than seeing them burn rubber at a distance. I can’t hold back pictures like that though so here’s some Nissan and Toyota goodness going for it all the way.
I, as well as the guys who were with me, had a great day and I couldn’t be further from the truth if I say that every car event has got its own ambiance. With that I don’t mean the actual driving, but everything that goes on around it, the preparation, the effort and the dedication and all of that will show off on the track no matter what.
– Noud Fieten
Photos by Noud Fieten