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Southeast Drift Tandem Drift Competition
Calendar: Events Calendar
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November 28th 09:00 AM to 09:00 PM
*The times shown may change, depending on DST settings
Where: Gresham Motorsports Park, Jefferson, GA
Contact: Post Here

To close out the 2009 season with a bang Southeast Drift is hosting an after dark tandem competition under the lights at Gresham Motorsports Park.

"Land of the Great" becomes "Land of the Generous" with the highest pay out ever in Georgia grassroots drifting. $1,000 dollar awarded for 1st place, payments through fourth place, and a total purse of $2,000. This will be a very exciting competition. The competition will take place immediately following the "Land of the Great" practice event. All drivers participating in the competition must be registered for "Land of the Great".

All cars must pass tandem tech requirements. Six point cage with driver side door bar, 4 pt min. harness, and approved fire suit.

Driver Registration $54.95
Spectators $5.00
Ride-A-Long Pass $10.00 more




GMP has just finished a complete rebuild and renovation. BRAND NEW track surface, safety walls, grand stands, restrooms, concessions, lights, and sound system.





Here are a few pics from our recent practice event at GMP.













Click here to see the gallery. Buy photo prints and gifts!
All proceeds help pay Huntsville Car Scene bills.


What a day! It started around 5am as I packed my camera gear and prepared for my pre-dawn trip. skibumWRX had just sold his STI and was driving it up to NC, so he tagged with me towards Atlanta. We left out a bit later than I wanted, but I was still determined to get there on time. As the sun started to rise, I practiced a few rolling shots out of my back window as we drove. There was an interesting Hummer on 75 south that I also quickly grabbed a shot of.

After a small traffic jam on 85 north, I finally made it to the exit for Gresham Motorsports Park. I was about an hour behind schedule and had missed the 11am media meeting. But the staff took care of me and I was soon on my way around this enormous facility with my media pass. You really don't know how big these places are until you have to walk around them. And there was media there from all over. All with Canon L-series lenses, Nikkor VR lenses, HD 1080p cameras, and all the other equipment I can't afford. But I was there with my dinky little cameras creating shots with the big dogs. I did what a lot of the other media didn't do--try to get a shot of everyone. If you were driving at this event, there's probably a picture or two and a video of your runs. I'm happy with what I've walked away with. There's also enough video that you feel like you went to the event.

The sun was at an odd angle all day making it difficult to shoot from the track. But because of the fencing and the need for a super long zoom lens, there was no way to really shoot from the stands. Eventually, I found my spot and got the shots I wanted. I also had an opportunity to wander in the paddock and get some shots of these monsters as they sat still. I got interior shots so you can see how race prepped these cars really are. Many will fool you from the outside.

This was my first drift event, and this was my first time to this track. There were four run groups, similar to in autocrossing. Each driver ran as many times as they could in the time allocated for the group, and the groups each ran several times during the day. From what I've been told, it was a pretty good value for the drivers.

As the day went on, I realized that drifting isn't your normal motorsport. There's a different "feel" to it. I equate that feeling to the same spirit found in skateboarding, surfing, or freestyle motorcross. It's just a sense of style and attitude that comes in addition to the talent. It's not just about the driving, but it's about being a character. And the cars and drivers reflect it. From the wild paint jobs to the crazy stickers all over the cars, it's car freestyle. And like other freestyle and close knit motorsports, there's a team effort even outside of teams. Everyone knows each other, and there's a spirit of just having fun and friendly competition. The drivers and teams help each other out when things go wrong, lending parts, a hand, or a pat on the back. It's not just a good time for the spectators. Drifting is still a young motorsport, but it is definitely one worth watching.

And let's not forget the talent. The first time I saw the cars sliding sideway on the bank of the oval at Gresham, I was definitely in awe. And then to see these cars carry this speed right through the slalom into the midsection of the course and then adjust entry speed into the last sweeping turn, all while sliding sideways--well, it made me say wow on more than one occasion. Not only does the line have to be planned carefully, but execution has to also be very precise--a difficult thing to do when you are trying to control something that is actually on the edge of being out of control. A slightly early entry, a late exit, too much speed or too little would all cause either a spin, an extended slide, or require very clever and careful adjustments to bring the car back in line. You could see this skill exhibited by several drivers. The margin for crashing isn't much, and a few drivers and cars discovered that, even in the tandem competition in the evening. I caught a few of these on video, but it made me cringe to see some of these cars hit the wall. When the silver r34 Skyline was heading into the wall, I couldn't even watch.

Drift Emporium had a tremendous day, giving rides during the practice sessions and also taking a win at the event. These cars are pretty unbelievable up close and in person, and the drivers are just as unbelievable. They were so smooth and so consistent. Only djones with his Mustang was close in my opinion.

David "Dr Jones" took the time to quickly chat with me after qualifying. He actually qualified for the tandem competition, but with a completely perfect car and not a scratch on it, he proved to himself what he wanted to, and gracefully bowed out of the competition. All the drivers were very approachable and Sammy Tiger and Chanin Prapapyuenyong quickly posed for pictures before the start of some of their practice runs. Even Jodin Lejeune posed while driving during practice sessions. It was great to see you all in the finals. Congrats guys!

As a intermission to allow the cars and drivers to cool down, a local Atlanta stunter was killing it with tricks like no handed circles, and a wheelie on the tank all the way around the track oval. Sick stuff!

My cameras had issues with the low light in the evening as I expected, so I simply shot video. And some amazing video it was. Tandem runs coming straight at me and then blasting off to the final sweeper. I could feel the roar of the engines underneath me while I was ten feet off the ground.

At the event I bumped into an old Huntsville friend, and he introduced me to Marcos of Southeast Drift. We chatted for a bit about drifting, and he actually mentioned that Huntsville could hold these type of events. Interesting to know. I also spent a good part of the day hanging with Damion of Shiftpoint, so shouts out to him and his crew.

As the evening finished, I was totally exhausted and had a long drive ahead of me. What a long and fun day. Until the next time guys. -- Samir
2 members will be attending this event:
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Old November 19th   #2
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Heres a few clips from the demo's at GMP last weekend. Thats a bit of what we will be doing. Imagine two of these cars door to door while sliding the big bank.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dduDG44soNY

Last edited by down_shift; November 19th at 09:49 PM.
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Old November 19th   #3
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Good stuff! Will you also be using the infield or just the track?
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Old November 20th   #4
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The comp will utilize the bank, the infield legends course, and the pit road. You can kind of get an idea by looking at the line diagram on the flyer behind the words DRIFTING COMPETITION.
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Old November 20th   #5
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Thank you for the info. I see the line layout. I'm assuming from the layout and the pictures that the start will be on the track and finish in the infield. Starts to give me an idea of where I will need to be for good shots. Something tells me the better shots will come from the infield portion of the track.
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Old November 20th   #6
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There are several vantage points where you can get relatively close but stay safely behind the barriers. I would bring your long lenses just in case though.
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Old November 20th   #7
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Originally Posted by down_shift View Post
There are several vantage points where you can get relatively close but stay safely behind the barriers. I would bring your long lenses just in case though.
That's exactly where I'd like to be. I've shot enough at autocrosses to know what can happen when things go wrong. My Panasonic has a nice and fast 432mm lens which will probably be my primary camera.
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Old November 22nd   #8
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Are you going to be going to this event Samir?

Last edited by AF8LTA; November 22nd at 08:57 AM.
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Old November 22nd   #9
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Are you going to be going to this event Samir?
I'm strongly considering it. The only wrench in the plans may be a good friend coming into town during that weekend. He's going to help me replace the master brake cylinder on my Accord, which I desperately need as the Altima needs work to make it reliable.

If I go, I plan to leave early that morning and return that evening. You're welcome to come along.
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Old November 22nd   #10
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I'm gonna talk to the drifter kids about this event and see how many of them are planning on going. I may be up for this if I'm off work.. I should check that....
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Old November 22nd   #11
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Here's the link to the discussion on huntsville drift:
http://www.huntsvilledrift.com/forum....php?f=9&t=457

I haven't talked to any of those guys in a while. Tell them hi for me.
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Old November 24th   #12
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I may be up for this if I'm off work.. I should check that....
So, you off work? Tristen's coming.
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Old November 24th   #13
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Driver's list:
http://www.southeastdrift.com/?p=732
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Old November 24th   #14
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Just to clarify those are only the drivers participating in the tandem comp. There is a large group of additional drivers that will be taking advantage of the practice day.
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Old November 24th   #15
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I just noticed that the tandem portion of the day will take place after 6pm. How's the lighting in the facility after dark? I'm not sure how late I'll be able to stay since I'll have a long drive home.
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Old November 25th   #16
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I havent been there at night. The lighting system is brand new and as I remember well placed all over the track. Cars will be tandeming in practice.
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Old November 25th   #17
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Thank you for the quick replies. It's making it easier to plan an otherwise very packed weekend.

Because there will be tandem runs in practice, I'll probably leave once I can't get anymore usable still shots. My video cameras have nightvision, so I may use that for video after the sun sets to get some videos.

When I leave will really depend on how tired I get. I'm afraid I'll be pumped up all the way until the end of the event and then just be too sleepy to drive home. That's typical when I get around events. I just get too excited to pay attention to hunger, sleep, or time, lol.
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Old November 25th   #18
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yea i hear you on the lighting and all but as you know the action will be much better during the comp when there is money on the line.
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Old November 25th   #19
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yea i hear you on the lighting and all but as you know the action will be much better during the comp when there is money on the line.
I know, and that's what sucks. Night time action photography without high dollar lenses and cameras is difficult to say the least--neither of which I have. The nightvision may be usable. We'll have to see.

Here's the best I can do in low-light. This is when Gary Lang came to town to drift at our local circle track as part of a monster truck show:





Will there be outlets on site that I could use to re-charge batteries? Will there be Internet access in the Media tower? That would be awesome if there is as I could do some live postings of my footage.
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Old November 25th   #20
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Those pics came out very well.

I will refer you again to marcos@southeastdrift with those Qs. You can also contact the track directly http://www.greshammotorsportspark.com/contact.php

Last edited by down_shift; November 25th at 12:46 AM.
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