April 14, 2014

TOPP Drift 2014 – Round 1

TOPP Drift 2014 – Round 1
Shannonville Motorsports Park
Shannonville, Ontario, Canada
April 13th, 2014

After a lengthy winter season, drifting enthusiasts were eager to get out for the kick-off round of this season’s TOPP Drift. Once again, we are proud to be a media partner for this awesome grassroots series. Held once again Shannonville Motorsports Park, the entire grounds were open for tire shredding action of any sort be it on the track or skid pad. It isn’t often that the full track is available, but given the packed house it was guaranteed to make for an awesome day of sideways action.

TOPP Drift 2014 - Round 1 (THUMBNAIL) 2

By as early as 7am, cars gathered at various meet-up points along highway 401 for a cruise to the track. Over 50 drivers registered and an impressive 315 spectators came out to show their support for the grassroots drift scene. As if the positive and huge turn out wasn’t enough, the weather couldn’t have been any better. It was a steady 18-degrees all day with some overcast and the only concern was the wet spots on the road course from the night before.

TOPP Drift 2014 - Round 1 (THUMBNAIL) 3

When not behind the wheel, Joel Fallaise of JFP Automotive can be found working the tire machine alongside Ryan Laliberte. For a small fee of only $5 per tire, they are great guys to work with and excellent drivers as well!

TOPP Drift 2014 - Round 1 (THUMBNAIL) 4

As the first big drifting event of the season in Ontario, fellow driver Dugan MaGee and his Team FCC came out for some shake down runs. Like everyone else he was so glad the rain had held off, otherwise he wouldn’t of been able to pull off the crazy speeds all day! We’re excited to see what Team FCC is bringing to the table for the 2014 season.

TOPP Drift 2014 - Round 1 (THUMBNAIL) 5

It has been a few years (since 2009) that Chris Budgell (the driver) has been spotted on the Fabi track in Shannonville getting sideways. This black Nissan 180sx is so clean, and perfect all while looking right at home on the circuit burning rubber. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to meet up with Chris, but expect to see him back for round 2.

TOPP Drift 2014 - Round 1 (THUMBNAIL) 6

Just a day after his birthday, Brent Stratton came out hard for the season opener. Although he was the only driver of Drifters Anonymous out on the track getting some practice for the season, it didn’t stop him from going all out until he finally lost the power steering. Only then did Stratton call it a day in the late afternoon, not before a couple more laps – of course.

TOPP Drift 2014 - Round 1 (THUMBNAIL) 7

No, no need to scratch your eyes – this is in fact a BMW 3-series getting sideways with the passenger rocking out! It isn’t common to see anything other than the usual pick of Nissan S-chassic, Mazda RX’s, and Toyota’s infamous AE86 Corolla, so this German coupe is refreshing. Throughout the day the driver was getting some serious angles and connecting corner after corner with full aggression – Kudos!

TOPP Drift 2014 - Round 1 (THUMBNAIL) 8

Yet another rare find at this year’s TOPP Drift – a BMW E30. Not only was this little thing a bullet around the course, but it sounded insane with what seems to be an SR20DET replacing the factory BMW engine built by Hans. Car blasphemy aside, this little racer was putting down the power and sounding awesome while doing so!

TOPP Drift 2014 - Round 1 (THUMBNAIL) 9

Coming in a little late to the track, Marin was able to bring his rebuilt beast to let loose. The 240SX now boasts an s14 rear subframe, a much wider stance, tube frame, fuel cell, and all sorts of other goodies.

TOPP Drift 2014 - Round 1 (THUMBNAIL) 10

Not only are AE86’s incredibly cool and raw, they also sound unlike any other car on the track let alone getting some serious sideways angle.

TOPP Drift 2014 - Round 1 (THUMBNAIL) 11

Good speed and angle for Dugan MaGee in his black n’ purple 240SX! Gotta love when shake down runs go as planned!

TOPP Drift 2014 - Round 1 (THUMBNAIL) 12

Scott Miller was killing it all day in his beautiful white AE86 and trying to avoid the massive puddles near the last corner of the track.

TOPP Drift 2014 - Round 1 (THUMBNAIL) 13
Towards the end of the day on the corner where there was a huge puddle, Scott (AE86) was coming in hot on a white 240sx that he was currently in tandem with on his lap. The s13 took an aggressive line and cut it too much leaving zero margin of error for the tailing Corolla. In a split second, the AE86 barrels into the 240SX going tight on the inside. Thankfully, Jover came out with the tow truck, got the Corolla pulled off the track and back into the pits. It was amazing standing back and watching everyone work together to somewhat fix the car. Literally having about 6-8 guys holding the car back while Jover would yank on the car with his tow truck to straighten out the rad support and other things. Thankfully, Scott (AE86 owner) was able to get home safe and luckily for John (240SX owner) the only major damage was a broken intercooler and oil cooler despite having a crash bar. Check out the video of the crash thanks to Clipping Point Media!

TOPP Drift 2014 - Round 1 (THUMBNAIL) 14

After hours of sideways action and the smell of burnt rubber in the air, it is fair to say that the drifting season here in Canada is back on – at least here in Ontario. The fan support was incredible along with the assortment of cars and varying driver levels. Whether amateur or pro, TOPP Drift is a must-go track to shakedown the car and brush up on your drifting skills. A big thanks go out to all the volunteers and Blake (organizer of TOPP Drift) for their hard work and making it a successful day for all!

Be sure to check out the link below for info on round 2 and LIKE the AMF FB page to stay up to date!

For more information, please visit TOPP Drift

Words & Photos: Ben Fry & Giancarlo Pawelec


April 26, 2013

A Useless Art (2013)

Filed under: Videos — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Giancarlo Pawelec @ 1:00 PM

Drifting to many is more than just a hobby or motorsport, to some it is art – I am one of the latter. Fellow Canadian drifter Marin Guilbault of team Drifters Anonymous (and Team AMF) has gained a following for his cool Schumacher-like demeanor behind the wheel going sideways on track at events such as TOPPS Drift Day and CSCS. Most notably, winning the 2012 Canadian Sport Compact Championship for drifting in his rookie year! Like many motorsport enthusiasts, drifting has become a way of escapism where the traditional rules of grip driving are tossed aside for a more dancing-like approach with cars getting sideways, tires shredded, and engines bouncing off the rev limiter – a form of motorsport art if you will.

The short documentary by Kirill Melamed titled “A Useless Art (2013)” is based around Marin Guilbault and his journey to being one of Canada’s leading amateur drifter. From a young age, Guilbault (like many males) played with Hot Wheels and as soon as he could get his license the youth’s ambition to get behind the wheel couldn’t be stopped. Having known him personally for a couple of years, it is worthy to note that he is as true as humble pie can be and yet still competitive when it’s show time – a rarity in motorsports. Take a moment to watch this great short film and get to know a little more about what I predict will be a Canadian motorsport icon one day – even if only on the grassroots level.

Words: Giancarlo Pawelec
Video: Kirill Melamed


April 16, 2013

TOPP Drift Day – Round 1 (Drift4Kids)

TOPP Drift Day – Round 1 (Drift4Kids)
Shannonville Motorsport Park
Shannonville, Ontario, Canada
April 14th, 2013

The skies gave only warnings of rain and all sorts of horrible weather, while the turbos were feasting on the cold air. Bumpers, tires and all sorts of tools are scattered everywhere in the pit area in neatly fashioned arrangements next to the driver’s pit spot. It’s been a while since the last TOPP Drift Day and my shutter finger got pretty rusty over the winter. I was finally glad the depression of winter has passed and drifting is now back. As of late, TOPP Drift presented a larger than normal schedule for the Ontario drifting community including some afternoons at the track, but this first round was special; not only was it the season opener, but also a charity event. In total 57 drivers had registered and there was 265 spectators raising a combined sum of $1,150 for charity!

Here’s Derrick Flaro snagging the apex on the back straight right hander. My favorite shot from the event, what do you think of his roll cage?

Miguel (of Drifters Anonymous) was eager to get back out on the track just like everyone else, drifting everything he can including the straights and with a fresh new paint job!

For those of you who have seen AE86-fanatic Jover shredding last year, he’s back again with a new motor, a Honda F20c (S2000 engine) to be exact! It seems that the Drift Posse loves this combination, but I don’t blame them because this was the best sounding car all day! There are far more reasons to love the F20 in an ’86, but we’ll leave that for another day.

Riley Sexsmith ended up destroying a tire wall and it wasn’t a light collision as you can tell by the damage, but that doesn’t stop the beard madness. Gotta love trucks getting sideways, a rarity these days!

Oh you know these guys, drifters shooting drifters. Anthony and Chris are currently taking a break and still working on the cars, but are enjoying the art of photography in the meantime. Check out CoolKidsClub for their stuff!

I didn’t know this was Dugan until the last second because his over fenders weren’t purple, but I’d like to congratulate him on his sponsorship with Bully Clutch and wish him  good luck at this year’s DMCC Pro Am!

All in all, like every other drift day it was a good one. I don’t think you can ever be really disappointed at these events especially when charity is involved. I hope everyone can make it out for the next event on May 4th which happens to be a pretty special day if you also love Star Wars. Same time, same place, same price, so come out and show some love for the local drifting scene.

For more information, please visit TOPP Drift

Words & Photos: Ben Fry


October 9, 2012

TOPPS Drift Day (Season Finale)

TOPP Drift Day (Season Finale)
Shannonville Motorsports Park
Shannonville, Ontario, Canada
October 6th, 2012

Held once again at what has be come to known as “Ontario’s House of Drift” at Shannonville Motorsports Park, TOPPs held their season finale track day bringing both grip style and drifters alike out to play. As soon as the gates opened, cars began pulling in along with many trailers housing some of the pro-level drift machines. Even though the weather was less than desirable on this chilly October day, the atmosphere was fired up – it’s race day after all.

As per usual it was a big turn out with a large showing of spectators as well. There are always tons of familiar cars and faces like Riley Sexsmith, Patrick Cyr, Brad Carlton, Marin Guilbault and most of the well known CSCS drifters.

Known all-out drifter Brad Carlton was flying into corner one early on in the morning even though track conditions were still very damp. Whether it was wet or not Brad was making this corner all day long with an aggressive wide entry.

Two guys you’ll recognize from CSCS, Marin Guilbault and Dugan Magee having a casual day at the track! Sadly out of shot, Brent Stratton is chasing both of them down and is transitioning into the corner.

This was probably the cleanest shot I got all event of this Zenki S14, a driver I don’t think I’ve seen many times before at previous events – either that or he didn’t stand out, but he was noticed this time around!

Teammates Francisco Becerra and Pat Cyr getting door to door on the final corner! Any closer and you’d have to fold in the mirrors, but let’s not forget about Brad either – as he’s sitting right out of frame from this shot but coming in hard onto the front straight.

Just because this Cefiro is so clean doesn’t mean it won’t get dirty on the track, Liam Kirby knows how to throw down.

There were so many great tandem runs out there like this friendly battle between Guilbault and Sexsmith, getting closer and closer the more times they ran.

The season finale simply kicked ass and was a perfect wrap up to this year’s drifting fun despite the cold temperature. There has never been a bad moment at any of these events as it’s a shame the season is closing. Everyone said 2012 was going to be an even better year than 2011 and they were right, so I’m hoping 2013 will follow suit! Everyone here at AMF is looking forward to another great season with TOPPs – we can’t wait to see what they bring for us in the new year!

Notable mentions to Blake Trickey and the staff of Shannonville Motorsports for the track time given to AMF to test out the 2012 Mazda MX-5 and see what it can do. Be sure to stay tuned on an upcoming Thursday for the Test Drive feature!

Check out our past coverage:

TOPP Drift Day Teaser Video
TOPP Drift Day 1
TOPP Drift Day 2
TOPP Drift Day 3

For more information, please visit TOPP Drift Day

Words & Photos: Ben Fry


September 6, 2012

TOPP Drift Day – Round 3

TOPP Drift Day – Round 3
Shannonville Motorsports Park
Shannonville, Ontario, Canada
Monday, September 3rd, 2012

It was another perfect day for drifting at Shannonville Motorsports Park, just 2.5-hours east of Toronto. It was the third event of the year from Trick’d Out Performance Parts and everyone was eager to get out on the track. I for one knew it was going to be a good day because my alarm in the morning was set to PM instead of AM and I still woke up right when I wanted to! The track opened up at the usual time of 9:00am and ended at 5:00pm on the dot. A bonus to the TOPP’s events are that the skid pad is open as well for anyone to use, best for beginners learning how to control a drift!

Drivers rolled up early with their cars packed full of tires and tools, this 240sx even had them strapped to the roof!

Going for gold, Mats Baribeau is one you can always expect to see at drift days. This maniac flies through corner zero and can practically link the entire Nelson layout with ease. I’ve yet to get a ride with Mats, but I’m not complaining as I love watching his smoke trails fade into the sky.

Guilbault (of Drifters Anonymous) is nearly facing me before he even gets near the apex of the corner. Near the end of the day he was having mechanical issues and tons of people were helping him out. Unfortunately, he missed out on about 2-hours worth of track time just to find out he was simply out of gas! Seems like a mistake The Stig would make on Top Gear.

CSCS driver Alex Derus in his 240sx getting close and catching up to another driver on one of the trickier corners of the track, lots of drivers like to double dip here!

Nothing says drifting more than riding the wall, smashing your bumper off and riding away like nothing happened as well as having the urge to keep on drifting.  The car from what I’ve heard was perfectly fine! Kudos!

Drifters Anonymous driver Brent Stratton was one of the best improved drivers out there! Stratton entered corners faster than usual with smoother transitions and great lines than eve before. CSCS round 5 at Cayuga is going to be intense!

The end of the day was near and everyone was getting out to use up there last set of tires for the track. Naturally, it got quieter near the end of the day and a number of the drivers left a bit earlier than usual, but it was a good long day of pure tire shredding. A big thanks go out to Shannonville Motorsports Park for having an awesome breakfast complete with delicious bacon and to Blake Tricky for hosting another drift day! In case you missed this event there is another one on October 6th, 2012 at Shannonville – same price and same time, see you all there!

TOPP Drift Day – Round 1
TOPP Drift Day  (Video)
TOPP Drift Day – Round 2
TOPP Drift Day (Teaser)

Words & Photos: Ben Fry


August 8, 2012

TOPP Drift Day

TOPP Drift Day
Shannonville Motorsports Park
Shannonville, Ontario, Canada
August 6th, 2012

It was the round two of the TOPP’s drift events for 2012 at Shannonville Motorsports Park and you couldn’t of had a better day. It was beautiful as there were only a few clouds in the sky, but it was fairly windy so smoke and dirt flew everywhere. I swear I came home with at least a pair of tires in my hair. It was a pretty huge turn out with the home team Drifters Anonymous out along with Drift Posse and several other drivers. As per usual, with drifting comes accidents and there were a few wall taps, crashes, mechanical issues, but everyone was okay!

Drift Posse team mates Patrick Cyr (FR-S) and Francisco Becerra (180SX) were getting getting close on turn 14 by the notorious wall. Pat seems to be loving the new car and I’ve heard there is some amazing stuff to come, just imagine what he will be capable of in the new car!

When I first arrived to the track, there was a lonely purple 240SX sitting in a littered paddock looking very sleeping. It needs the rest as it has a huge day of tire slaying ahead of it!

I was happy to finally see a Miata out there drifting, it was quick through the corners and could just fly through the entries with no problem. Miata’s usually have a bad name in way of drifters especially as everyone fetches for the Nissan 240SX / Silvia first, but by the looks of it they can stand their ground.

Drifters Anonymous team mates started a team drift train, as you can see in the photo Miguel was leading the train with Marin closely trailing him! Brent and Jordan were following behind Marin out of frame and holding their own. There truly is nothing like drifting at the home track!

This wasn’t even half of the cars in attendance, there were over 62 drivers and 222 spectators for the day. It was a different then most drift days as there was a large mixture of cars from the usual 240SX to even a BMW M3. Drifting and lapping held together at the same track is always a rarity, I actually even saw a Honda Civic E-brake on one of the corners resulting in a tandem drift with Dugan in his Nissan S14 – truly epic.

Check out our past coverage:

TOPP Drift Day Teaser Video
TOPP Drift Day 1
TOPP Drift Day 2

For more information, please visit TOPP Drift Day

Words & Photos: Ben Fry


Behind the Smoke Season 2 | Ep 14: Formula Drift Explained

Filed under: Videos — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — AutoMotoFoto @ 9:00 AM

In this new episode of Behind the Smoke, 2011 Formula D Champion, Daijiro Yoshihara explains how to drift and what you need to know to enjoy Formula D for all newbies to learn.  If anyone ever asks you what drifting is all about, just send them this video.

GTChannel’s cameras interview Formula D’s co-founder and president Jim Liaw on the history of the series and how the 2012 is shaping up so far. Formula D judge, Ryan Lanteigne breaks down how drifting is judged at a Formula D event.

BEHIND THE SMOKE on GTCHANNEL: The Behind the Smoke video series is a weekly webisode by GTChannel that looks into the real life of Formula D champion, Daijiro Yoshihara.  The cameras follow Daijiro throughout the season, both on and off the track. Behind the Smoke is produced by GTChannel in association with Discount Tire/America’s Tire.

GTChannel is the premiere online automotive video networks offering exciting original automotive entertainment ranging from shows ondrifting, rally, tuning, racing and auto news.  GTChannel’s Youtube channel has 80,000 subscribers and over 65 Millions video views to date.

FORMULA DRIFT: Entering its ninth season, Formula DRIFT is recognized as North American’s professional drifting championship series. As the first official series in North America, Formula DRIFT has taken competitive motorsports to the extreme, attracting fans and car enthusiasts from all walks of life and establishes itself as the worldwide leader for the Sport. This high-skilled, high-powered motor sport has drivers intentionally maneuvering their cars into well executed, controlled sideways slides at high speeds through a marked course.


June 6, 2012

The DA | AMF Team at CSCS Season Opener 2012

Seeing as I’m the Drfiters Anonymous photographer, I wanted to update everyone on the happenings of the DA | AMF team during this past weekend’s CSCS Season Opener 2012.

The night before ended very late and the morning came very early for myself and the DA crew. We cleaned up our camping area from a late night of partying and made our way over to the paddocks to set up. We all worked together to help everyone unload tires and set up. Clearly Miguel did not want to waste any time and put on the closest pair of shoes he could find! Unfortunately, they weren’t a matching set.

Practice came soon, DA | AMF driver Marin Guilbault was very familiar with this track unlike the other DA drifters so he was a huge help to them. As you can tell, Marin has a larger steering angle the most of the drivers here so he is able to pull off such aggressive entries!

We even brought out pool noodles to hit during entries. All the drivers were trying to hit them or come as close as possible to them. You can even see fellow DA driver Joel Fallise taking a step back as Marin Guilbault gets very close to the wall and chased down by Miguel.

After the Top 16 was done, we decided to BBQ some sausages and take some free time to look around since we had a while to wait. Also we had to take some time to find out what was up with Brent Strattons car as he was having some mechanical issues and was not able to qualify. It turns out he had a broken manifold bolt and turbo gasket. No worries though, he will be back to prove himself worthy at Round 2 of CSCS in Grand Bend!

In the Great 8, Riley Sexsmith in the little truck that could Nissan Hardbody was up against Marin Guilbault. Riley did an amazing job hands down, he just couldn’t pull off the angles like Marin could in his 240sx. The judge (yes oddly enough only one judge) selected Marin to move on to the Elite 4.

It was the fight for 3rd place and team mate drivers Miguel Pereira and Marin Guilbault were both fighting for the podium after losing in the Elite 4. Both drivers fought hard, but Miguel had a bad first run most likely due to nerves. In his second run he ran amazing, but was chased down hard. With Marin being able to get literally inches away, he was awarded the win and took home 3rd place! It was his first time finishing without his car breaking down.

During the freestyle event Brent was able to fix the car the best he could and go back out for a free run. This was literally his best run he did! I think it could have been due to the fact he was using a GoPro as a clipping point! One of the photographers had his GoPro on the track expecting him to do donuts in the corner, but he came in hot and smashed through it!

Congratulations to DA | AMF team driver Marin Guilbault for getting 3rd place in his first-ever drifting competition! We look forward to more podium finishes with the team in the coming rounds, so be sure to stay tuned and show your support!

In case you missed it, be sure to check out the coverage of CSCS Season Opener 2012.

Words: Ben Fry
Ben Fry & Giancarlo Pawelec

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