Proving once again that Atlanta is host to some of drifting and popular automotive culture's most dedicated fans and participants, Street Driven Tour and Southrnfresh returned to Atlanta Motor Speedway for their second joint effort in as many years, bringing a full day of drifting and assorted festivities in their wake.
Holding true to their signature recipe, each of Street Driven Tour's four national rounds combines a full day of open-to-all, bash-style drifting with professional drift ride-alongs, a show-n-shine competition, vendor alley, signature Drift Mini Games, burnout contest, attractions for the kids and family, and more.
After wrapping up successful second-year events in the Northeast and Midwest (at Virginia Int'l Raceway and St. Louis' Gateway Motorsports Park, respectively), Street Driven Tour's southern leg kicked off the drifting with demos runs and ride-alongs (for fans who purchased tickets) from Formula Drift pros Matt Powers (driving Chris Forsberg's personal VK56-powered Infiniti sedan), Geoff Stoneback (LS-powered S14 Nissan 240SX), Dirk Stratton (C6 Chevrolet Corvette), Kelsey Rowlings (Ford 5.0L-powered Nissan S14 240SX).
Joining the pros on the drift paddock throughout the day were local drifters with skill levels ranging from beginner to advanced, divided accordingly into two run groups. As per the bash-style format of Street Driven Tour events, this provided drivers with the opportunity to blast solo runs all day long, tandem with other drivers of their choice (even the pros), jump aboard the occasional multi-car drift train, or entertain fans with backward entries, 360s, and other assorted craziness.
Impressive runs were laid down by Tommy Van Cleef (white/red/orange JZA70 Toyota Supra); Christopher Miller in his green Lexus SC; Matthew Pollock (Zenna Tires S14 Nissan 240SX); Jordan Painter (blue Nissan 350Z) and the Wild Running crew; Top Garage's Chris Ward and Vincent Moore (blurple FD Mazda RX-7 and S13 Nissan 240SX, respectively); the Kuroworks guys (including Erin Sanford in the pink Global Time Attack-prepped S13 240SX); and lots more.
An interesting moment occurred late in the day when Jordan Painter experienced a catastrophic rear wheel spacer failure in his blue Wild Running 350Z, which had previously performed flawlessly all day—something he chalks up to poor construction of the part, and/or too much torque on its lug nuts (while thrashing to change wheels/tires in the pits). Thankfully, both Jordan and his Z were wholly unscathed.
Another one occurred when Chris Ward drifted the better half of the track on three tires in his Top Garage FD RX-7 ... and didn't skip a beat doing it!
Between the drift paddock and pit garages, Southeast automotive gurus Southrnfresh worked their magic on the show portion of the event, wrangling a large assortment of slammed/stanced, VIP, race-prepped, ratted, restored, and every other assortment of import, domestic, and European machinery imaginable.
Impressive displays from NYUS, Stature, Bangers, and Dynasty won the hearts and envy of onlookers.
Street Driven Tour's "Drift Mini Games" ensued with a very competitive round of Hard Park, in which drivers compete to slide to rest closest to a wall of cardboard boxes. Several drivers came within inches of the wall, but in the end Vincent Moore was deemed closest, with just 4.5 inches separating the wall from his Top Garage S13 Nissan 240SX.
Next up: Drift Soccer, where competitors tried their skill at drifting a teed soccer ball into a small net. For the first time in Street Driven Tour history, there was no winner. Not even Geoff Stoneback, who scored a first-ever two goals at the previous round in St. Louis.
A looming band of showers moved in before the Tire Massacre burnout contest could get underway, bringing a quick, cool end to an otherwise long, hot summer day of drifting debauchery—one that had thankfully delivered on its promise of drifting and car culture for Southern drift fans.
Street Driven Tour partners with StanceWars Elite and Supras Invade Las Vegas (SILV) in the Southwest leg of their fourth and final event for 2016, at Nevada's Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 24th. To learn more, and to be a part of the drifting festivities, visit: www.streetdriventour.com