Starting the day as a complete novice to drifting, yet alone drift photography, the 20th September was going to be a day to remember. The final of the JDM All Stars right on my home turf at Wembley Arena!
As usual I arrived early, at 10am the paddocks were bustling, there was no crowd to be seen and my first glimpse of the cars due to compete and what appeared to be little Japan...
A few show stands were up and running with the Skylines of various guises, S15's in stunning liveries and some rather special Scoobies hiding in amongst the early crowd. A particular favourite of mine was an untouched Colin McCrae belonging to Peter Farrow of Togethia Media Services. Usually I'm not the biggest fan of Subaru's but it was nice to see a clean, untouched version which hadn't been played with at all and had been signed by the legend himself.
The day started behind the fence. I had never shot at a Drift event so had no idea what was classed as an "acceptable" image, shooting in Manual I tried a few different settings and had the luxury of getting in before the crowds so only had the big fencing to worry about, first attempts and the the first arse shot was a must.
As the morning wore on it was evident that the various media teams were busy at work, Walton Smiths epic Subaru wearing the Jap Performance Parts colours and powered by the mighty RB25/TD06 25g turbo was a good example of the media getting their footage with the roof mounted camera familiarising itself with the circuit.
During the afternoon break the opportunity to clear down the cards onto the laptop and a stark reminder that I desperately needed larger CF cards. While clearing down a conversation picked up between a few media people and I was fortunate to be given a bib for the afternoon sessions, now the fun would really begin!
A short spell of rain cleared nicely before the afternoon turned all to quickly into the evening and things heating up very nicely on track, a few of the competitors rubbing nicely against the wall and creating a truely sensational atmosphere.
The racing carried on late into the evening with crowds watching from passing buses, taxis slowing down and passers by trying to gain a few glimpses as the smoke got heavier, the noise got louder and the crowds cheering as the rounds went on.
Unfortunately mechanical failure saw Walton retire in the later stages and a very happy James Deane go on to clinch the 2011 title.
Due to things running late I had to make a speedy exit but a long day with some shots that I was more than happy with and the knowledge that I'ld be getting to as many of the Drift events in 2012 that I could possibly get to.
Looking forward to 2012 with new circuits, new drivers and now hearing a 12 year old by the name of Harry Sargent trying to get in on the action Drifting the UK is going to be a great year for some serious track action and the chance to promote what is already a quickly growing sport in the UK...