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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Good speed and angle for Dugan MaGee in his black n’ purple 240SX! Gotta love when shake down runs go as planned!
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.
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!
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!
For more information, please visit TOPP Drift
Words & Photos: Ben Fry & Giancarlo Pawelec