With 2011 ending in a blaze of smoke at Formula Drift in Malaysia and a broken camera, I returned home to start at the task of getting a new camera body. Being a 1D addict, what I want and what I can afford are always two different stories! Naturally I would love to get a Mk IV, or order a 1DX, but I found a Mk III in great condition outside the dreaded serial number batch that plagued this generation of bodies.
I’m sure other photographers can relate, but my old camera was an extension of myself, I could work it with my eyes closed and knew exactly how it would respond in any given situation. Getting used to the new body and getting it set up the way I like took a bit of work. As far as I’m concerned, the best way to get used to it was to jump in head first! So, the same day I picked up the camera, I headed off to our local track at Archerfield for drift practice.
For me, the drift practice sessions have always been my photography practice sessions, so it was the perfect place to get settled in with the new rig. I find it the ideal place to practice technique and experiment with new ideas.
As the drift season doesn’t kick off until March, many teams are locked away in their garages preparing builds for the new season. With plenty of whispers around the paddock, I expect we will see some very impressive machinery roll out this year. You often catch pro drivers keeping their skills sharp in the off season.
Jeff Andersen and the team at NizzPro are responsible for the weekly drift sessions and they are to be commended for providing a place for drivers to get on track every week.
It is always one of the highlights of my week and a great excuse to get the camera out.
One of the changes I have noticed is more Australian built vehicles turning up to slide. In a scene dominated by Japanese turbocharged vehicles, it is great to see some different cars on track and more people out having a go. I have also heard of a number of VE Commodores in development for the pro drift season, which should really liven up the field.
This Holden ute has been a regular at drift practice and can really put on a show, the amount of tyres these guys will shred in an afternoon is seriously impressive!
Interestingly enough, the locally manufactured cars often cop a bit of heat on the car forums, but I think it’s great to see them out having a go. The more people involved in the sport, the better. It will only see drifting in Australia grow over time with more grass roots support.
With January coming to a close and the year starting to build momentum, it is looking to be another massive year of motorsport. With the new national Australian Drift GP kicking off with a four round season after a successful test season in 2011, the Stadium Drift Pro Tour as well as the local NizzPro series at Archerfield, it’s going to be non-stop.
But enough chat and more pics! Here are a few more shots from January at Archerfield.
I’m looking forward to the year ahead and with a one day event on tomorrow at Archerfield, it will be great to see drivers battling door to door again!