You ever have one of those moments where you just make a snap decision to go somewhere last minute? Well that’s exactly how I ended up at East Coast Bash In New Jersey on a hot Saturday morning.
My friend Matt and I left Michigan Friday night at 10:30 and drove through the night to get to Raceway Park in Jersey hoping to catch as much action as we could. After a quick run through the parking lot and pits, we made it trackside just in time to see Drift Alliance go out for a run.
This was the first time I’ve ever been to a sanctioned drifting event, so seeing the cars from the BloodMasters videos in real life was quite the experience to remember. Even if they were just a bunch of beaten up and broken Nissans, and one Foxbody Mustang.
Aside from Drift Alliance, I was totally out of my element with the drivers and cars, but the black BMW E46 of Andy Sapp was one car that I recognized instantly. Although, I only saw him for a couple runs before some mechanical damage took him out for the weekend.
There seemed to be a new class at East Coast Bash: Time Attack. This Porsche 911 was down on the grid and getting some runs in between everything else. I’m pretty sure I did see him sideways a couple times. With a Porsche like that, it looks good doing anything.
As with any automotive event, there’s always something breaking on something. It struck me over the weekend that rally and drifting aren’t too different. Aside from both always being sideways, but both have similar privateer sectors. Since both are really driven by the up and coming privateers, it’s an atmosphere that you don’t get in the major motor sports like NASCAR or Open Wheel.
If actual drifting wasn’t exciting enough for you, there was an RC drifting course set up just behind the grandstands. I’ve seen the videos of these things, but seeing them in person it’s amazing how smoothly they slide.
We decided to head to the hotel mid afternoon to check in and cool off and wait until night. When we got back, Andy’s car was still in same spot it was since the late morning, with a determined tent behind it.
The next morning at the local gas station, the Breaking RX-7 pulled in. It’s an odd thing in New Jersey, you can’t pump your own gas. I found that interesting to say the least, although throughout the weekend this gas station was almost a car show in itself.
Vaughn Gittin, Jr. brought out his Fox Body Mustang for the fun with the other Drift Alliance members. Aside from his Mustang, Tony Angelo was the only other one not in a 240. It’s pretty cool seeing Fox Body as a drift car instead of the usual drag car.
The blue and yellow from the night before was still out throwing down massive entries throughout the day. I’m pretty sure he had one of the largest steering angles out of everybody, he was using it all too.
After half a day of shooting, we decided it was time to head out. I’ve always watched drifting on the computer and TV, but after seeing it first hand, I want to see more. Plus, how can you not love a slammed Silvia sideways halfway off the track?