Returning to St. Louis for the second time in as many years, Street Driven Tour once again brought its unique blend of drifting and related automotive debauchery to Midwest drift heads, and was met yet again with a record crowd of talented and dedicated drifters, show-goers, and fans alike.
Like last year, Gateway Motorsports Park hosted Street Driven Tour in the Midwest in its second of four events calendared for 2016. Open to all, bash-style drifting and professional ride-alongs from Chris Forsberg (VK56DE-powered Infiniti M35 sedan) and Geoff Stoneback (LS7-powered Nissan S14 240SX) persisted throughout Saturday on the facility’s 1.5-mile infield road course opposite pit garage access, the venerable show-n-shine, and vendor row.
The four turns, two switchback areas, elevation change and big, fast, right-hand sweeper of the “drift course” configuration of the Gateway infield are a rewarding challenge for drifters. And as something that’s open to them only twice a year (during Midwest Drift Union competition and the Street Driven Tour), every slide driver in attendance assaulted the rare tarmac in full force throughout the day. The fastest, closest, and smokiest runs were laid down by our two FD pros, loaded with ride-along ticket holders. But not far behind were locals like FD Pro 2 competitor Andrew Lewis (white S13.5), Steven Fishel (“666” black S13), Alec Robbins (Nissan Hardbody pickup), Matt Soppa (two-tone Fox-body Ford Mustang), and lots more — most current competitors and alums of the Midwest Drift Union (MDU).
Also of note were the impressive machines of said Midwest drifters. Plenty of JZ and LSx-swapped S-chassis could be found on the track and in the pit area, as well as 1UZ and VH45 swaps, Honda J30 swaps (in a Miata, no less!), and even some rotary support, all with plenty of turbo, supercharger and nitrous enhancements. And then there’s that Nocturnal Motorworks “Coyote.” It was there, once again, proving itself as good of a filming car as a drift car (maybe even better?)
Across the Gateway campus were two new additions to the Street Driven recipe: a drift skid pad (for those not quite ready for the road course) and drag racing, held all day and into the night on the facility’s pro-quality 1/4-mile drag strip. Equally impressive as the local drifting talent was who and what came out for the drags: LOTS of serious power and talent, mostly domestic, but every bit as cool to see.
As the day gradually drew to a close, Street Driven Tour wrapped up its second trip to The Gateway City with another round of its “drift soccer” mini-game before inviting all out to a tire-roasting burnout session. Drifting and drag racing may be impressive to behold, but there’s just something about a roaring, cloud-billowing, uninterrupted burnout that’s just mindlessly awesome. And considering the cost of tires and scarcity of tire sponsorships these days, something that’s every bit as impressive in its own right!
The Street Driven Tour continues on to Atlanta, partnering with Southrnfresh at the Atlanta Motor Speedway later this month before heading west to celebrate the close to its second season in style, under the lights of the Las Vegas Strip in September. For more details or to get involved: www.streetdriventour.com