Street Driven Tour, in partnership with Hyperfest for its first event, and coinciding with a NASA weekend, recently rolled into Virginia International Raceway (VIR) and brought with it an automotive amusement park for race and drift fans, highlighted by "Bash-style" (in both meanings of the word) drifting at the facility's central Patriot course, among pros and ams alike. Vaughn Gittin Jr. hit the track in his 2015 Mustang RTR (different from his 2015 FD competition car), while Ryan Tuerck hauled down both his 2JZ-powered Scion FR-S "street car," along with his SR-powered S13 240SX missile car. And Chris Forsberg brought down his VK56-swapped Infiniti M sedan. These Drift Alliance buds came up drifting together and do not hesitate to stack three deep around the track in gloriously smokey drifting action, with passengers who purchased ride-alongs in every seat.
But alas, the pros are pros for a reason. It was the grassroots East Coast drift drivers who really caught our attention, with pro-level performances from guys like Fred Keogh, who threw down insane entries all day in his WiseFab'd Nissan 350Z. All totaled, more than 50 drivers assaulted the Patriot course throughout the weekend, in a wide range of prepped drift machines (like Austin Wolff and his painfully clean, green E30 BMW).
Other parts of the VIR facility hosted Street Driven Tour hijinks such as Drift Soccer, Drift Slalom, the Skidpad Challenge, the car showoff and vendor area (packed with quality cars from the mid-Atlantic area, including a huge showing from Royal Republic), and of course, the Ferris wheel.
Grip fans enjoyed a Porsche GT3 R ride-along around the VIR main course, courtesy of Pirelli World Challenge's Taggart Racing, and a ton of NASA racing in various classes all weekend long. A full rally course was also available, tucked away in the wooded outskirts of the VIR grounds, stocked with rally-prepped Subaru, 240SX and EVO, and even a pair of Rally Fighters for those who purchased ride-alongs.
After two full days of automotive antics, Street Driven Tour's inaugural event drew to a close with possibly the most hotly awaited event - the Hoonigan Tire Massacre. As darkness fell, a dozen determined souls revved engines and spun tires through K-rail-laden hell and back, summoning fire and smoke to the drunken, frenzied cheer of a thousand drift/race/hoonage fanatics. It was awesome. A few drivers tapped k-rails (some butted right up against them to deter traction), burnt clutches, flooded rotary engines, and murdered tires for the sake of glory, $500 and some Hoonigan prize packs. Chris Forsberg kicked off the tire tirade by laying down a fourth-gear burnout so fierce, the pile of slag it left smoldered for the rest of the two-hour ordeal. But once the carnage of "official" competition had cleared, Andy Smith was declared the winner for the hellacious smoke show made in his girlfriend's RB20-powered Nissan Cefiro.
The Street Driven Tour continues this summer with stops in St. Louis on the Fourth of July, Atlanta on August 1, and Las Vegas on September 26. Visit the official site for more: www.streetdriventour.com.