Drift Week #2 Day 14-15
Day 14 was a day of travel. Luis flew home to take of some business so he asked if I could drive the vet from Tampa’s Freedom Factory to Drift Hq and load it in their trailer. I didn’t even hesitate to say yes, this may have been the longest time in my life I haven’t drove something.
Pulling out the track chopping is something I’m not used to. In the dozen of cars that have owned there was only one with a some what close displacement, a 4.9 v8 e39 m5. But the Vett still had 2.3 additional liters with a cam and tune so needless to say it was new to me. The gearing was perfect for the highway but I knew that prior to sitting in the driver seat. We cruised at 80 for 1,500 miles with the engine barley awake under 2,000 rpms. It was a nice drive for me, daily driving my r32 I’m at like 5,000 rpms cruising at 80. So for the next drift week I plan on driving in the c33 I’ll be swapping out the rear end for sure.
Arriving at the Klutch Kickers shop for some good bbq the hype was real. Seeing a lot more familiar faces everyone seem to have a light sign of relief on there faces. Baby we made it! Cricket was holding it down on the grill flipping juicy steaks back and fourth like SaltBae’s apprentice. 240’s took ownership of the shop lining every wall and they all seemed to have smiling front mount intercoolers. Drivers started to do some finishing adjustments for the Klutch Kickers tandem train friendly track. Tomorrow is going to be good day.
Day 15 the Finale
Not a cloud in the sky a cool 60 degree breeze blowing sand across the track. God definitely put the finishing touches on the day. The grass shimmers in the light surrounding every curve of the track. I remember coming here for their first ever drift event. I can see the thousands of dollars of upgrades they have done to make the track more safe and friendly for everyone.
The entries on this track are awesome, long straight to a wide sweeping left turn slightly down hill. The track is a tandem heaven for all different power ranges. Thanks what’s good about Klutch Kickers track and competition they host. Battling cars with high Hp is not that bad here, so the under powered vehicles have a chance.
It’s funny because the track before everyone seem like they were ready to be back home. But once we reached Klutch kickers you can tell the faces changed and no one really wanted it to end. I’m so grateful for having this opportunity to meet some really cool people. Lance the brother of the driver with 1948 Chevy on the c6 frame mentioned to me that this looked like the army. Just a bunch of people from all walks of life enjoying drifting together.
Duarte had a high expectations for this track brining his 2jz e46 race car along side the blue thunder e36. His goal was set at 400 laps only coming in to swap the car with fresh tires. I don’t think he meet his goal but I’m sure he will he attempting it again next time. Some of the coolest shots is that day was the battles. Drivers got to call out anyone they felt like it to battle on the track. You really got to see the drivers put it all on the table for this last day. What a way to finish drift week.
Thank you to Aaron owner of Lonestar drift for making such a crazy event for all of us to enjoy. Big thank you to Luis for going on drift week and bring me with you. And all my new drift friends I meet on the trip that made it so much more memorable. I’m sure we will see each other again soon. Till next slide.....
Driving most of day 12 we headed toward Tampa Florida. As we drove further and further south the humidity reminded me that I was closer to home. After driving through the desert, I take notice all the lakes and canals I took for granted before. My opinion everyone should travel more, see something different.
Pulling into the Freedom Factory we passed a busy drag strip full of old big block American muscle. The track was just purchased by the famous YouTuber Cleetus @garrett1320. It’s a oval track with a cement center that’s paved areas and two wide u-turns on either end of the inner circle.
The place looked like it had some race history behind it. Faded racing logos and murals were all’s round the track. This is a high speed track that takes some cojones to link. Rule of thump on a embankment track, let off throttle, you slide up the bank, step into it and you go down.
Ben Hanson took out his legit race car making 750+ hp 416 stoker and ran the wall bouncing off the rev limiter. Shredder continued along with most others looking to use the wall as a crib brush to remove the dirt from the drive here. I sat in the top box office and enjoyed the perfect day. The drivers started to utilize the track at there free will. Making all sorts of different lines incorporating the big oval as a finally or finisher move. The smoke stayed to get trapped inside the oval. From the outside it probably looked like a Hawaiian island eruption.
Some time after noon Hert from Hoonigan and Aaron from @lonestardrift made up a contest. Drivers made teams and came up with a type of synchronized swimming show to see who can put on the best show. Team Vett took home gold on this challenge. I think they had the most smoke in my opinion and the more the merrier. With the tracks new owner I’m sure he has big plans for the Freedom Factory with so much potential this place has.
New Orleans, specifically NOLA you have been good to us. Didn’t get to much seat time so my urge to come back is stronger than ever. The whole NOLA motor sport complex was like being on the set of Ford vs Ferrari in this case Nissan vs Chevy.
The morning of our drive to Alabama for MidPond we attempted to leave New Orleans with a good after taste. Driving to the French Quarters to get some beignet something very unexpected happen. While only paying attention to the towns facades of the building we ran over a drain. What sounded like a grenade going off in a ditch pot followed by metal dragging on the pavement. Needless to say the taste of the warm beignet was replaced by exhaust fumes and metal shavings that we engulfed on our way to the towns muffler shop.
Linking up with team Drift Hq we made our way to Alabama. Meeting up Ben Hopkins, Mesker Drift and Rudy from Texas we continued our journey into the night. S/O Milo’s for being so cool and letting all 15 of us walk through the drive through. Right after we expected a smooth drive to reach our hotel in Birmingham but Duarte’s Blue thunder shut off on the highway and we pulled off to figure it out. I low key couldn’t be more happy, the stars were plenty full. Felt like I was starting out the helmet of my Gundam Suit it was epic. Chris Drift Hq lead technician walked right up to the car and found a ground lose to the ecu. Bingo we back on the road again, Magic man does it again! We made it to Bama
Not a cloud in the sky, you know the feeling you get when u wake up and $hit just feels right. Making our way to Midpond I didn’t know what to expect, I heard it’s a small track and the pictures say the same. Pulling into the tracks parking lot it was super packed. I couldn’t even see the track and barley all 30+ cars fit in the paddock.
After parking it was a totally different site. Like literally a fairly tale. Idk what it is about leaves falling on a track that make things feel
magical and they had a pond! This has to be the most scenic track I’ve been to. The deck they had to over looking the track was made with no blind spots. The entire track lay in front of you with a perfect sized pond right in front home to two little swans. They may have been all white ducks but who cares. They were there and clearly they love drifting. It didn’t make sense how perfect this track was.
We ran the layout counter clockwise the entire day. It’s a real tight but not to technical the hairpin turns line up right with the maji’s and made for easy linking of the entire track. Just sitting in the cool grass spending time at nearly every angle of the track I just sit in amazement. All the drivers really started to get comfortable with the track as the tandem trains got longer and longer. Even with the tight layout they managed to be side by side shredding the entire track. I may have zoned out a few time just day dreaming seeing my Laurel flying around the track. If they open the parking space this would be Drift heaven on earth
After just soaking all the scenery in I decided to hop in Luis car that he has been going Ham in. It feels good that something you work on is now being abused right in front your eyes and holding up perfectly. Luis started smoking up the track really getting down the layout. Toward the end of the day people started to pack up to get ready for the next leg of the journey.
The track coordinator realized we had no one to play with on track so he let us run the track clockwise to get a different feel. That may have been the best things that could have happened. It changed the dynamics of the track hand over fist. The tight slightly technical track has now turned into a high speed more tandem friendly layout. Jayson with the red e30 must have took note of the wild solo runs me and Luis we’re getting in and decided to join the party.
I wish we ran this layout the whole day but risk of flying off into the pond is more likely with this layout so I can see why for the first time drivers they chose counter clockwise. Just know I will be back here even before NOLA it’s that good! Freedom factory here we come!