Starfire Tires in Top 5 of Ultimate Drift Showdown
The 2014 Ultimate Drift Showdown is one of the biggest events on the Queensland drift calendar, pitting 32 of the state’s best drivers against each other at the Archerfield Kart Track. Dylan Cothill competed in the Unlimited/Street Class on Starfires and placed 5th in the first clash of this 5-round series.
Dylan Cothill is the chief instructor of Safe Drive Training’s Super Drift Training school and has 11 years of racing, drifting and stunt driving experience in a career that spans three continents. Driving the Safe Drive Training 200SX on Starfire RS-R 1.0 tyres, he competed against some of the finest local drift talents and machines at Round 1 of the Showdown on 1 June 2014. He sent us his notes on the event:
The day before the competition we loaded everything up and I was ready to go with the car having recently had a few suspension adjustments and repairs made by the guys at Fulcrum Suspension a few days before the event. The car was setup with their alignment settings that never fail to impress me.
The day arrived, the car was ready and so was I. It started off with a track walk and introduction by all the organisers and judges explaining exactly what they were looking for. This was then followed by an open practice of the new layout which was the longest drift run ever seen by most competitors which made for more room for error and quicker tyre wear.
Practice was interesting running the new lines and clipping points but I was determined to push the car hard and achieve my goal of a top 4 finish, which resulted in pushing it a little too hard in one run putting the rear quarter into a solid wall. The damage was only superficial and my pit hand Mikele helped me get it out and looking presentable for the remainder of the day.
The Top 8 Battles Begin
A change of Starfire tyres later and we were straight out for qualifying. My first run was nice and clean but a little safe so the second run I ran more angle and higher speeds and completed this with no errors, which saw me qualify for the top 8 battles.
My top 8 battle was up against an experienced driver in a V8 powered Toyota AE86. The first run I followed and straightened a few times due to the ability of the 86 to slow right down to almost a full stop and then power off with the torque which gave him the run at a 7 – 3 score, the second run I ran a clean run and pulled a large gap as the speed and grip I had was very different to the way my competitors car was setup, this run saw me win with a 7 – 3 score which meant a one more time. The crowd loves these as do the drivers!
So we headed out again, first time I was following again and I learned from the first time out to keep my distance which should allow me to continue without losing momentum. Unfortunately the first corner’s clipping point sent my competitor off the track in to a barrier which broke a steering arm and he couldn’t continue, giving me a 10 – 0 on both runs. Never a nice way to win but a win nonetheless which meant I was progressed into the Top 4, goal achieved and smiling from ear to ear.
The Final Results
The top 4 was then called up including myself but when I arrived at the start line the commentator and organiser came over to apologise and sent me back to the pits as they progressed someone else through. They had selected the top 4 based on scores from the battle runs, which left me at a massive disadvantage as the only completed runs were tied between myself and my competitor meaning that anyone who actually got to complete their battles (even one more time) was automatically placed ahead of me.
So due to the above I finished off the first round 5th in my class. Disappointing way to end such a good day but only leaves room for me to come back at round 2 with a vengeance.
Pro-Invitational Class Battle
As the pro-invitational class was short on numbers, they then progressed the top 7 from the Street/Unlimited class into the top 16 battles of the Pro-Invitational class. This lined me up against another regular Archerfield drifter in a well specced S14 200SX. The battle was nice and tight but in the end he ran closer to me and ran a neater line which saw him take the win and myself eliminated in the top 16 Pro battles, not too disappointed being that I was running a Street Class car with standard power.
The next round of the Ultimate Drift Showdown will take place on 14 June 2014. Follow this event on Facebook
All images arecourtesy of Tharp Photography