Mallory is by far and beyond the best place to drift in the UK. Being able to practice firing a car at over 90mph sideways into Gerrards bend is simply awesome fun. You do need to have some resemblance of skill level to get the most out of it, but that just forces people to learn how to drift better and progress – if we don’t progress how will we ever catch up our Japanese or American cousins? We’re loving Mallory so much in fact that we’ve been to every single one so far, and although we nearly didn’t make this one, we still managed to get there to map Phils AE86 and try our new engine in the S14 development mule.
The day began with James and myself squeezing ourselves in to Phil’s caged Corolla. It’s not a roomy car, I’m 6’1 and being in the back seat in a caged car with a cross bar, behind Phil who is 6’3 going on 6’4 it wasn’t long before all the blood had gone from my feet.
The cars running a VEMS ecu, which we were going to get mapped at Mallory on the track by Gunny from GS Tuning. What better place?
It’s the perfect definition of a JDM car – weird wiring, awesome old rare parts and odd things like HID’s…
We’d seized the engine on our S14a Test Mule (which runs a lot of development parts, some in the shop, some not yet) and we enlisted the OCD Spannering skills of Richard Clarke at DoriTech who had a decent SR20 to replace our destroyed one. He had the engine in and out in a day, and made the engine bay tidier than we’d ever seen it! Nice work!
It’s a clean and smart place with servicing and quick turnover work in mind such as turbo replacement, boost controller installs and all the other horrible fiddly things that normal people hate.
However there is also space for much serious projects such as this PS13 shell that is being fully seam welded. It stands on a car rotisserie designed by DoriTech and allows the shell to be very very easily positioned for stich welding or any other work.
‘Good Penetration’. That’s what she said. Ho ho.
And so we headed off to Mallory where Phil set about immediately mapping. Vems can be notoriously tricky to get right and requires another mega geek to get right, and fortunately Gunny turned out to be exactly that.
It was freezing cold.
Mint tyres were there as usual expertly changing wheels in a matter of seconds for pennies. They’re a really really sound team who just get on with the job. We love them. Platonically, of course.
You know the address!
Uncle Chunk was there ripping it up in his E36. I never did get that passenger ride 😀
And Sid was putting in a fine effort too in his Chaser Laurel.
As demonstrated admirably here!
This dude was going well too! Tidy car.
Drift Garage’s Mitch was there as ever still trying to kill his cockroach CA18, but it was having none of it. Looks like the engine will outlast the car at this rate! 😀
Out on the track this Laurel (which I’m sure has my old wheels) was manji’ing everywhere.
The atmosphere in the pitlane at Mallory is brilliant, everyone helping each other out.
And with a wide variety of cars on display it’s always interesting.
Me and James managed to do some testing with the mule car – although we had stock boost or fuel cut which was a bit of a shame as we were on 265 section Federals and couldn’t break enough traction to drift Gerrards properly no matter how fast we tried! I did get to try driving on the GeoMaster Knuckles for the first time though and… wow! The way the car can just drive in a straight line – but completely sideways – is fantastic. Transitions are simple, easy and whilst not slow – they’re more controlled. It’s almost impossible to spin unless you’re going in for insane angles like into Edwinas.
The light started setting thanks to British winter.
And it’s a good look!
Meanwhile, Gunny was getting the base mapping correct on Phils Vems AE86.
In the cold, with no cups of tea. That’s dedication.
Out on the track the action was still happening. I enjoyed watching the guys rip around into Edwinas.
This smart red S14a was getting good speeds into corners, something which I notice some people are still tentative about. But it’s still early days for full circuit drifting in the UK really, and speeds and general track discipline will get better and better I’m sure!
Phil’s AE86 sounded MENTAL.
And it was great to see him being chased about by this forced induction Trueno – this was changing direction like a house fly, respect for that!
Even though we only had about 2 hours there, we still had an amazing time. Phil giggling like a school girl at the noises his car was making was funny to see, and the S14a’s engine seemed great – thanks everyone as always for making us feel totally welcome!
See you at the next one? 😀