One of the largest drifting events in the Midwest took place over the Fourth of July weekend at Gingerman Raceway just outside South Haven, Michigan. Over 150 drivers registered for the three-day event, ranging in skill level from beginner to pro-am.
No-Star Bash has historically been a traveling event, with the yearly event taking place at Gateway Motorsports Park just outside St. Louis, U.S.A. International Raceway in Shawano, Michigan, and Indianapolis. Last year No-Star Bash set up shop at Gingerman Raceway, a theme that continued into 2016 and, for all intents and purposes, into the future as well.
Unlike Gridlife, which was held at the same track a few weeks earlier, the emphasis of No-Star Bash is maximum seat time above all else. There are no concerts or car shows, just a bunch of friends from the Midwest and beyond coming together to shred tires.
Just like the skill levels vary greatly, so do the cars. By the numbers, there were:
1 Corolla AE86
1 Genesis Coupe
1 Scion FR-S
2 300ZX (1 Z31, 1 Z32)
3 Mustang (plus Justin Pawlak's FD car)
4 Lexus SC
7 Mazda FC RX-7
It's not surprising the S-chassis cars made up the majority of the field, and their styles varied from super clean to definitely not road legal.
No-Star Bash also kicked off the initial round of a new series developed by Drift Indy called Street League Drifting. Street League events are designed for drivers who want to push themselves in a competition setting without having to follow a strict rulebook or having to build a car that exceeds their driving ability. In addition, vehicles are to remain as close to a street car as possible, meaning complete interiors (sans carpet) must be in place, and parts like turbos are restricted based on engine size.
As with any drift event, a handful of cars stuck out more than others. A few worth noting were Jorge Vaca's gorgeous teal 350Z, Charbel Haddad's white E30 (complete with tire-transporting roof rack), and Matt Soppa's ridiculously clean two-tone Foxbody.
By the last day, many cars had broken or were not in the same cosmetic shape as they were when the event started. A lot of that could be blamed on the nearly constant off-road adventures made worse by the six inch drop off the side of the track in some places. By the end of the final session Monday morning, if a driver hadn't gotten enough seat time (and his car hadn't broken), he simply wasn't trying.
As mentioned earlier, Gingerman will likely be the location of the 2017 edition of No-Star Bash due to the good relationship between event organizers and the track staff. Edgar Sarmiento, head of Drift Indy, said he wants to try and break the registration record from this past event and aim for 200 drivers next year.