As Photographers, we are always looking for new backdrops and places to shoot, to keep the photos exciting and fresh. On the last weekend of March, 2014, I finally got my first chance to shoot at Calder Raceway, Victoria.
The event was the Victorian Drift Club, Round One Championship. Calder Raceway has probably the only multi coloured grandstand I can think of anywhere, mixed with the rugged boundaries, I was excited to see what this new experience would produce in my work.
Unfortunately, I got off to a bad start, unbeknown to me, pants were a requirement to photograph on the inside part of the track, (yes i was clothed, but only in shorts!) so myself and fellow photographer Gwyn from Gripshiftslide had to scoot off to Target which meant we missed most of Qualifying! However, rocking our new pants we made the most of the top32 battles! Thanks to Chris from P1RacePhotography for below image haha
I really wanted to get some images from the centre to begin with as it looked like an awesome drift bowl. At first, the sun was not in the best position, but persistence paid off…..
Andrew Knight in his Ford Escort
Stirling Wright in the Slide N Destroy R33
And one more, Ross Quigley in his S13 shot from “the bowl”
After lunch, the battles commenced. There were some very close runs with quite a few one more times announced. The usual suspects filtered through to the top16/8 including the two Insane Drifters, Papa and Aggess, Michael Prosenik, and Moe El Haouli to name a few. Another Prosenik that proved he can drive, was younger brother Rob in his VB inspired S13 who was chasing hard all weekend.
Ryan from Smashbox Sliders chasing Insane Drifters driver Papa
There was some great runs through the “wall” section with huge smoke trials. Looked fantastic!
While the drift scene is predominantly a male dominated sport, there are certainly some females that have been stepping up in recent times. Two of those are Catherine May from Team Sweet Spot and Kelly Wong (who made the trip over from Adelaide) from Sleeker Spares. They battled hard and are improving every competition. Keep an eye on these blazing ladies!
In between the battles, there was also the “Expression Session” where the drivers let loose and push themselves to the limits with huge entries and lots of smoke! Certainly a crowd pleaser and a wonderful opportunity for photographers to get some great shots!
Shaun Pidwell from Inverse tyres (pictured below) proving that you don’t need a huge amount of power to be competitive! Other drivers that would be considered underdogs but had great results, keeping the field humble, included Sean power (who finished an amazing Fourth Place), Matt Goodlett (aka Dred), and the other Pidwell, Leigh, all showing that with modest power and practice, it can keep you competitive with the big dollar cars.
Most divers also seemed to be happy with the new tyre ruling this year with drivers being limited to a 265 in 240 Tread wear and up. The battles certainly seemed to showcase this.
As the battles continued, the driving got closer and even more fierce. But there can only be one winner and that was Moe El Haouli in his V8 powered S13 with an aggressive yet smooth driving style, which was on point all day, destroying tyres every run. He was also the number one qualifier so he was doing something right!
The Insane drifters also had a fantastic day out with Papa claiming Second and Aggess a competitive third who proved he has all the dance moves and was quite excited with his result!
Best way to finish a Drift Comp…..Burnouts of course!
What a great first Calder Raceway experience! I look forward to the next one….
All my images from Rd1 Championship can be found at Mr-Ace-K Photo Galleries