As much as I love the heads-up competition of seasonal series like Golden Gate Drift, local drift nights are a fantastic opportunity to hone your skills as a
driver in a much lower-stakes environment without the pressure to win. Going into this past Wednesday night's Sonoma Drift, I was slightly nervous about
some of the changes we had made to the car since GGD Round 1, specifically making the change from cap and rotor to coil-on-plug ignition. Are the gremlins finally gone?!
At the shop that morning, I loaded all my Miro wheels and Accelera tires that I had mounted the night before so I could leave as soon as the work day ended. I gathered up my essential tools, jack and hit the road. We are still running pump-grade E85, so I needed to make a 45-minute detour to Fairfield to gas up for the night. We are in talks with the folks at Thunderbolt Racing Fuel so hopefully that is soon to change. Stay tuned...
Did I mention how much I love these local events? They truly serve as a relaxed, fun time with friendly and familiar faces that reinforce the idea of community before industry. Equally as important, they provide a test-and-tune opportunity to get our cars dialed-in between rounds. Suspension is critical to consistency in drifting, and nights like these allow us to make and evaluate changes without consequences to the standings. Thank you Sonoma Drift!
I pulled into the track after signing the mandatory safety waiver. I found a place to park my tow rig and unloaded my car. All the lines and fluids checked out so I headed over to tech. Once that was done I was ready to hit the skid pad. I still wasn't 100% about the mechanical changes I made, so I joined the A group that allowed for single car runs so I could feel out the new ignition set-up and make a few more exploratory passes on the Accelera tires.
After a few shakedown runs, I started to get in the zone and began running the wall line. At this point, the car was feeling solid and I was comfortable with the limits of the tires. I held back a bit until the official wall ride competition started to save some tire. Points or not, I always do my best to put on a good show for the folks that come out to watch and support us. One smoke show later, I ended up in 2nd place with a $200 safety equipment certificate. I also won the Sonoma Drift Sprite Awared giving me a voucher for Dutchworks Thanks again Sonoma Drift!