The current year may still have a month and change left in it, but it is the nature of time to slip away in an instant. As such, the present seems like as good a moment as any to put together a review of the year.
February (above), March and April (below) were spent at Pat's Acres. Off-season drifting is a relaxed exercise - here in the PNW it means dashing through puddles and hurling mud as rain-slick asphalt sends cars beyond the bounds of the track.
Rain can make for interesting pictures, but when the cold seeps into your bones and rain lashes you and your camera it does wear on one's soul. Sometimes the best course of action is to stuff one's camera gear into one's bag and spend an hour or two watching the cars go 'round from someplace dry. As a photographer one does not get to spend much time watching drifting, and there is something special about rain-soaked open drift days.
Rain is the great equalizer - everyone can drift in the rain and everyone spins in the rain. It's all in good fun, and that's what matters.
In February I was given the opportunity to watch Ian Dillon of Factory 83 work his magic on the Villain's. Ian's artistic capacity and vision have produced some of the most well-known liveries in the American drifting scene, and watching him work on the Villains was a genuine privilege. Forgive my rambling, but what I love most about Ian's liveries is that each car is given a design that is entirely unique. Each car 'owns' the livery bestowed upon it, so to speak. Nate, Jason, Scott and all of those who support them have put so much into the Villians, and with a proper livery the Villains became more than just a good idea. They became a team.
With April came the PARC's first open drift in the sun - and NissanFest.
Rather than the traditional FD-style competition, NorthwestNissans decided to run a team tandem event. Collections of local drivers made their drift-team dreams manifest and joined more storied teams such as the Villains on the track. But despite some truly amazing driving from local drivers, all were undone by the peerless Husky Situations. Hailing from Vancouver, B.C., the grey cars drew wild roars and applause from the crowd each time they hit the track. Simply put, Husky Situations were on another level and helped drive home the point originally raised by the organizers of Final Bout - team tandem is the future of drifting.
Up next was the Oregon Trail Rally. Like the prior year, I left the penultimate stage grumbling that it would be more fun to drive in the OTR than to shoot it. The high desert of Oregon is a majestic place, and some day I will figure out how to shoot a stage rally.
PARC in the spring - when all of the cool kids come out.
Stay tuned for a comprehensive look at the second half of the year - Formula Drift, GRC, Final Bout and DUI.