Speed machines: Drift cars return to Benaraby after COVID
TYRE smoke, skilful driving and sideways action were on display all Saturday at Gladstone Motorsports Club's first drift event since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Club president Kody Nelson said the Benaraby Driver Education facility played host to drivers from Bundaberg to Rockhampton, eager to get back behind the wheel drifting their cars.
"We had 15 drivers from Bundaberg up to Rocky for our first drift event back after the coronavirus," he said.
"The day was very well received by all of the drivers, everyone said they had a great time.
"It went very smoothly with no downtime or breakages from the cars and every driver got a lot of runs in.
"We had to turn a few people away on Facebook, who wanted to come and watch, but we are hopeful of COVID-19 restrictions lifting soon to allow spectators."
The premise of drifting is highlighting technical driving skills, while keeping the accelerator planted as much as possible, to spin the back tyres and flick the car around turns.
Mr Nelson said cars ranged from Japanese imports, to Aussie muscle cars.
"Predominantly there were imports from Japan but we do get a few Aussie cars, like Falcons and Commodores attend," he said.
"The cars are mostly V8 or turbocharged vehicles, with modification to suit the sport of drifting, including cambered wheels and handbrakes to assist turns."
One vehicle that had the spectators lining the fence on Jono Porter drive thrilled, was a Nissan Silvia from Rockhampton owned by Tyler Walker.
"That Silvia is actually fitted with a V8 LS3 engine from a Commodore and a six speed gearbox," he said.
"It produces 440 horsepower at the tyres and generates great wheel speed, which translates to a lot of smoke from the tyres."
Safety is a priority for competitors who must have an endorsed racers licence, their cars are inspected for safety before competing, with drivers and passengers required to wear ADR approved helmets.
Mr Nelson said Glycol based coolant was not permitted in vehicles, with drivers running coolant available from the club or at Repco.
"We check cars after each run for fuel leaks and steel wire hanging off tyres," he said.
"These rules are set in place to adhere with insurance conditions, to preserve the facility and to ensure safety and comfort of our members and guests."
For more information on the Gladstone Motorsports Club visit their Facebook page.