While drifting on massive tracks is good fun, drifting on the streets in a legal environment is always something that massively appeals to us, while being a real treat for spectators as well. The weekend just gone saw the Driftworks team make the short journey to Coventry Motofest to take part in a series of drifting demonstrations along the city’s ring road, organised by the BDC.
With the city being the spiritual home of Jaguar there were some cool classics to check out, most of which got a thrashing on the ring road too, including the awesome Le Mans winning XJR-9 with Andy Wallace behind the wheel.
The course laid out wasn’t overly technical but, considering the speeds involved, the narrowness of the road and the unforgiving curbs and barriers either side, it was perfectly fine with which to give the crowd (which was 70,000 strong on the Saturday) a glimpse into what drifting is all about.
The action kicked off on Saturday morning, with Phil and Rich leading the pack that included numerous former BDC champions and round winners. With each lap the guys got faster and more confident – watching Phil and the DW86 emerge from the slip road’s tunnel sideways at the top end of third (an estimated wheel speed of around 125mph) before tucking into the chicane with all four wheels locked was not the sort of thing you usually expect to see on a nondescript piece of Britain’s road network.
Rich was also following suit in his E36 – his experience of drifting on tracks lined with unforgiving steel walls and no run-off areas clearly showed as he got increasingly closer to the barriers and curbs.
Unfortunately though, the unforgiving nature of both the DW86 and the track layout soon caught Phil out – too much speed on the exit of one of the chicanes followed by a moment of panic and letting off the throttle saw him clip the curb and central reservation, which then fired the car across the road and into the barrier on the other side on the descent into the tunnel.
The DW86 crash from Motofest, caught by Daniel Baker.Some people have speculated that there may have been a fault with the car that caused the crash. In Phil’s words: “There wasn’t a problem. I just ran out of talent in a car that takes no prisoners on a track where you have no room for error” Posted by Driftworks on Sunday, 31 May 2015
Thankfully, the damage was only relatively minor considering the speed and force of the impact, with a bent wheel, bent rear axle and a few bent suspension components up front being the most prominent items that needed replacing.
As much as we’d have liked to have watched the rest of the festival, fixing the car prior to this coming weekend’s round of King of Europe in France was the most pressing matter, so we jetted back to the workshop to see Craig at DyntoTorque and assess what could be done. On the other hand, Rich continued to have fun on the Coventry street circuit for the remainder of the weekend, taking extra care not to repeat the same mistake that Phil made! Repairs on the DW86 started on Monday with a session on the jig to straighten out the front chassis leg – we’ve made great progress and, all being well, the car will be on its way to France on Thursday.