It’s been a minute since my last rookie drift training session and this time I’m at Rockingham with Sarah Price and Learn2Drift. As I mentioned in my previous posts and social media coverage, to make some decent progress with this discipline – so I can then get into Gymkhana – I need more seat time. I need to be training once a week with practice in between.
My MK1 MX5 build is now being tailored to drifting and Gymkhana but it’s a slow build because Motorsport is expensive! So I got a another car to practice in, but I went for a 20 year old BMW Z3 – and although it’s not in bad condition it still needs suspension, brakes, a hydro, extended lock and welded diff to work as a practice car. I’m not making excuses – this is just how it is – slow because of expenses. To be fair, I probably should have chosen a different practice car but what can I say? It’s a very pretty future classic – my judgement was clouded by petrolheadonism.
Although Rockingham Speedway has closed, Learn2Drift are based at the location, it’s a great set-up. My first time here everyone is really positive and welcoming, which helps so much because this is quite daunting, another drift school, new people, different cars… I’m glad to be driving with Sarah again, she’s absolutely awesome – she gets me and knows exactly where I go wrong because I stress too much and so she knows when to take a break so I can drive right. Last time I drove an MX5 and a 350z, this time I’m in a Lexus IS200. These cars are front engine, rear wheel drive, quite heavy – they’ve been lightly adapted for drifting and I must admit I find them hard work. I get the idea – if you can drift in an IS200, you can drift in anything – but I found it really tricky to apply what I’d learned so far and progress further.
I ended up spending a day with Sarah doing one-to-one training, then I came back on New Year’s Eve with the intention of watching and got thrown into a Lexus to drive the track instead. This was a public drift day so the team had set up a track for people to race around. Maybe this was too soon for me, I’m not getting on well driving the Lexus and felt like an idiot because I could only just about drift a few corners on the whole track. However, I did learn a few things – I got over my fear of being in the other driver’s way, because it was set up so us washing machines (novices because we spin a lot) went out at different times and honestly no one cares what I’m doing – they’re concentrating on their own driving! I also got to grips with clutch kicking a bit more, I like to use the hydro but the car I was in didn’t have one so I had no choice which was probably a good thing. I still would have preferred to be driving my MX5 around, I think once I have a car I’m comfortable in I can push some boundaries a bit further and progress more.
So my mission now is to find a way to drift every week and I always planned to share my rookie racing journey in an honest way, I have no interest in sugar coating anything – it needs to be truthful so others know what’s involved and can get involved themselves without a blinkered view of it all. So I’ve decided to document my journey on this project through YouTube as well as Instagram. You can watch my video from New Year’s Eve at Rockingham here… and there will be lots more to come so subscribe to keep up-to-date.
Thank you to Learn2Drift, Andy, Sarah and the rest of the team. Thank you to Callum for the photos and thank you to all of you for reading, watching and being part of my journey into Motorsport. I will get there!