Drifting organization Super D hosted their fourth "Super D Party" at Thunderhill Raceway located out in the barren grasslands of Willows, California. Founded early last year, Super D has held private drift events in both Northern and Southern California, with the aim to pay homage to the Japanese roots of drifting. This means technical tracks, fast entries, and some cleanly built cars. A notable event that drift enthusiasts might have heard about was the Super D Matsuri (Festival) held at Grange Motor Circuit last October, which featured special guest driver, Japanese drifting legend Naoki Nakamura from Team Burst.
The event was run on the relatively new "west" addition to the Thunderhill circuit, which consisted of three run groups varying by driver skill. The skid-pad was open to all drivers the entire event as well. The west section was run in a reverse layout, which challenges the driver's abilities with fast entries leading into blind sweeping fourth-gear corners. The uncertainty of not knowing what was around each turn really brought out the touge-like feel of drifting the mountain roads of Japan.
The skid pad provided tandem-friendly driving with smooth transitions that allowed drivers to really get on each other's doors. As rewarding tandem driving is there comes the risk of crashing, and unfortunately two BMW E36s met head on after the lead car spun on the last transition of the course. One car was able to drive the rest of the event but Chris Hillis in his black E36 was done for the day. The damage on his end was bad, but repairable. We will be seeing Chris back on the track in the near future.
The cars of Super D are phenomenal both on track and off. One that truly caught my eye was this Nissan 240SX S14 with 326 Power Aero equipped with some Work Schwert SC4 wheels to match. It belongs to a man named Kyto who told me, "It still needs work, but it runs and drives." Stay humble, Kyto!
Super D Party 4 was an experience. While the summer heat beat down on the drivers and attendees, the show went on with no major delays other than the occasional spin off track or a car catching on fire. You know, the usual. Check out the photos to see how our friends in Northern California build and drive their cars.