Ok, before we even get into anything about the day and how amazing of an experience it was, let me just say this: GO TO A DRIFT EVENT. Honestly if you are even slightly interested in the sport, you have to make it out to one of Club Loose North events this summer, it really is worth it. Starting out the day, and having to wake up at 3:30am to make it to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Club Loose North drift event, was a bit of a task, but boy was it worth it. Arriving about an hour before the event gave me plenty of time to walk around meet some people, and try to get some semblance about what the day ahead would bring.
Walking around and talking to everyone setting up their cars you could just tell how pumped they were to get on the track. It’s absolutely contagious, being around so many people enjoying what they are doing really makes you excited to be there. A little after 8am, the event coordinators called for a drivers meeting. Explaining the lines of the track to the different classes, and if for some reason someone were to crash and or if a car was to break down, what to do and how to do it. After all this is a full blown motorsport and safety is always a huge concern. The meeting was brief, but thorough, with lots of joking around and laughing as peoples cars and accidents where used lightheartedly as “what not to do”.
The day started with the Class C cars, amateur level guys who are just starting to get into the sport, or cars with mostly stock styles of setup. Going full tilt into the corners, sometimes with the desired sliding, sometimes with nothing more than a very aggressive race line. You can tell it’s not something most people can just get in and do, it takes skill and practice to master the car and the ability to slide it with the precision of the pros. Pass after pass, you can watch these drivers getting better. It really is amazing to watch people getting better right before your very eyes. You started to cheer for the drivers as each pass progressed and they were able to hold a slide just that much longer.
Following these drivers were the Class B cars, a little bit more aggressive set ups and more seasoned drivers. Right out of the gate you could see that these cars have more power and a more skilled driver behind the wheel. The slides were more impressive and the drivers were more consistent at being able to hit the corners at higher speeds. With car after car hitting the track, the drivers pushing them to the limits and holding amazing slides as a result, it really was an amazing sight to behold.
And then the big dogs, Class A. Watching the improvement from the drivers in Class C, and the speeds and lines of the Class B drivers, I had no idea what to expect. Man was it was a show, a smoke and tire shredding, adrenaline filled show. Right from the get go you could tell the experience of the drivers and the setups of the cars was top notch. The slides and speeds were insane as they reached the corner, grabbed a handful of e-brake, apexed the corner and then slide the other direction for the next one. The amount or finesse and precision was awe inspiring, and just when you thought things couldn’t get anymore exciting, they started the tandem sessions. The day was already so much fun and the driving was already so far beyond anything I had expected, that to see these drivers out there side by side and ridiculous angles and speeds, beggared belief. The speeds and the aggression didn’t change, they just added another driver who could match the first one. Transitioning from corner to corner, inches from each other the entire time.
Drifting is a fantastic spectator sport and the drivers did not disappoint. From start to finish it really was a great time. The people, the drivers, and especially the event coordinators from Club Loose North, really know how to put on a great event. With the constant flow of cars out on the track, and only minimal lulls in the action as the car classes changed, made for a non-stop action filled day. They are as welcoming to people just wanting to pop their heads in to see what it’s about, as they are to the die hard fans. I highly encourage anyone who has thought about going to an event to go and check one of these out. It’s an experience from the moment you enter the speedway, until the moment you leave at the end of the day. I know I can’t wait for the next event and I hope to see you guys out there at the next one!