After an uneventful drive from Canberra to Port Macquarie, followed by a night of little-to-no sleep (as fellow Team Red Stage driver Jake loudly made love long into the night in the room next to me) I arrived at the already overflowing pit area at Port Macquairie Go Kart Track. The event was Bring The Bash 3, an exclusive drift event organised by the Wollongong drift team ‘Cursed Sundays’. As is often the case I was happy that I was able to drive my drift car down as reversing a car trailer through a field of fashionable blog cars is a little beyond my comfort zone. So full was the pit area that Team Red Stage were not even able to pit next to each other – although Jake may have just wanted to park with the better presented but also red Revolution Motorsport guys instead of two ugly R32 Skylines.
Not long after I had unpacked my car, fitted my drifting tyres and made the necessary greetings the drivers briefing was called. It must be said that a megaphone (or Mez) would have been helpful here as most drifters are partially deaf from the scream of Nissan tractor engines and may have missed a few of the finer points of the discussion. Notwithstanding the key points were as follows; a council set limit of 65km/h on the track, no more than six cars drifting at one time and a ominous warning that the police were not supportive of the event and would look for any excuse to interfere with it. With the morning meeting out of the way it was time to hit the track, or more accurately line up to hit the track, or more accurately still rip your front bumper off trying to get through the gate onto the track (looking at you Gravy Garage and Team Kamikaze)! No such problems for me with my stock height R32 – easily one of the highest and lamest cars in attendance.
The first few laps were fairly treacherous as light rain had left the edges of the track slippery under the shade of the trees. The main straight also featured a concrete centre section which is used to mark the start line for the go-karts that race there, but this centre section was extremely slippery compared to the bitumen around it, leading to some slightly hairy moments for some drivers. Despite the somewhat slippery surface the track seemed perfectly suited to drifting and was easily linkable from start to finish. All up the track comprises roughly 10 corners which can all be taken in second gear. The main straight was easily third gear territory – not that anybody was going faster than 65km/h of course – and was followed by a sweeping right hand corner which tightened into a hairpin. As such it was perfectly suited to high speed and big angle entries and I was disappointed that the imposed speed limit prevented me from getting too carried away (I didn’t want to be the guy that flew off the track and ruined the chance of future events). Luckily many of the other corners were also great from throwing hard into, as demonstrated by Wisefab superstar #137 Jye Sanders in numerous Facebook videos.
The line-up of 60 cars and the mandated 6 car trains led to some interesting mash ups of cars and drivers that probably wouldn’t have normally driven together. After almost collecting a bright yellow and ultra-slammed S14 (@stickerz_14) I decided it would be prudent to give a wide berth to cars like Verossa’s and Cresta’s, which may as well be Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s in my eyes. Some other drivers were less cautious than I was though and were keenly battling with whoever was lucky (or unlucky) enough to be in-front of them. By the end of the event Brad Howe had perhaps gained the reputation of crash king in his very Ebisu-eque two tone S13. Mez was also battling wildly in his new yellow S15, throwing down with the same vim and vigour he did in his old AE86. The two even managed to sandwich Joey (the owner of a well-known roller-skate and fidget spinner bearing shop in Wollongong), denting his OG R32’s rear door and adjusting his wheel alignment for the remainder of the event.
So hard was it to choose who to drive with in fact that it wasn’t until Sunday that all three Team Red Stage cars got to drive together at the same time. Instead I had some good runs chasing the shiny black Queensland cars of Gravy Garage and Team Kamikaze, getting absolutely engulfed in smoke by the end of the lap (Tim Johnson went on to win the well-deserved title of ‘Biggest Baker’). I also got absolutely monstered (and slightly dented) by Cursed Sundays driver Daniel Rijistic in his 1JZ powered S13 – despite the disadvantage of him driving on 15’s as compared to my less aesthetic 17’s. For the full video of the run check out the event video put out by Fish Bulb/BACN Design. I was lucky that he did such a good chase behind me as apart from that video very few of the media wanted to video my ugly car drifting – despite the prep work I did for the event in the below video!
Almost all of the cars present ended up making it through to the end of the event without any major mechanical failures. I did notice one well-presented AE86 that didn’t seem to get off its trailer at all but with so many cars on track it was hard to keep track of who was out driving. One driver who definitely didn’t make it to the end of the day was Dylan Simpson in his S13, who was unlucky enough to destroy his oil pan on a ripple strip early in the day. As such he won the award for ‘Who broke their shit first’, however in my eyes this award should have almost gone to ‘Gerg’ Merriman in his professional Rota & Wisefab sponsored S14 which did only three laps. The fact that his car was already broken when it arrived at the event may have technically ruled him out of the running for that award though.
Another notable award went to Kyle Sheather for being the best overall driver at the event, as voted by the other drivers. His extremely fast 65km/h entries, coupled with massive angle and crazy tandem runs made him a clear winner and I was very disappointed I never got a chance to follow him. Surprisingly yours truly also managed to win award as one of two favourite drivers as picked by Tommy from Produced Auto (the other being Brett Hutton). I’m still not quite sure what Tommy’s reasoning was but he seemed impressed that I not only drove the furthest to get to the event, but that I also drove my car as opposed to trailering it – so maybe that was the reason. Whatever it was, the recognition was very much appreciated and I am looking forward to fluroising my pair of CST’s with the voucher he presented me. Naturally the award for Best Team went to Gravy Garage who’s driving was not only close but also looked fantastic in their matching liveried Nissans. Check out this video if you want to see what it was like following them:
Perhaps the most important award at this type of event was presented to Stephen Bamford (a touch late as he didn’t make it to the awards presentation therefore missing out on the opportunity to pose with a beautiful grid girl) for having the ‘Best Looking’ car at the event. Given that his Revolution Motorsport Red 180sx has made its way into my fap folder I think this award was definitely well deserved.
Overall I can’t thank Cursed Sundays, and particularly Chev, enough for organising an overall fantastic event. I sincerely hope that more events are held at Port Macquarie as its one of the most fun tracks I’ve had the chance to drive in Australia. Lastly though a word of warning for any future drivers that get to visit the track – bring as many tyres as you can, because this track is not only extremely fun, but also extremely hard on tyres!