I had the chance this year to attend the 3rd annual Drift Union Invitational Run by Shawn Brown in Penticton, British Columbia. I’ve watched a lot of Drifting videos on YouTube and loved how drifting brings so many people together, also who would turn down a drift event?
So I decided to hit the road with 403 Media (Brent Callow) and ride passenger for the 9 hour drive in his static legacy. Before I even got to the event I was stoked as the drive down is beautiful. Winding roads in the Rocky Mountains, with an all wheel drive Subaru that’s slammed, Brent couldn’t resist from having some fun. we arrived at Penticton Speedway around 12:30pm. It was a scorching hot (28 degrees Celsius) as Penticton is basically a desert and entering the parking lot got me stoked for the day. A bunch of tuners (widebody S15, JZX100, slammed S13 and a bunch of others) rolled in with us and got ready for this crazy 7 hour event. Once we parked I grabbed all my gear and headed straight for the pits to see what all the hype was about. Everyone was occupied at the drivers meeting so that’s when I went and checked out all the teams cars.
The hype for this event was no myth. There were 10 plus teams and over 50 drivers! It was awesome to see that teams came from all over western Canada. Some of you might be used to Formula Drift where they have crazy amounts of power and functional drift height. The best thing about these smaller drift events is that it’s all about style and a lot of cars were 2 inches off the ground and tucking mad tire! Seeing all the power plants really got me stoked! I counted around 9 cars with KA-T’s and that got me smiling as people love to get rid of these motors and throw in a straight 6 or a V8. Approximately 70 percent of the cars drifting made around the 250whp, but they were absolutely slaying it out on the track. I got a chance to ride along with Dustin Brewster who was a part of “Drift Farm“. I’ve drifted before in my own S13 but I’m very much a beginner so getting into this machine made me a little nervous.
Being in the vehicle is on a completely different level compared to spectating. You are coming at the initiating corner around 100 km/h and next thing you know you are sideways banging off the rev limiter while making clouds of smoke with 4 other cars behind you door to door in tandem. The second I sat in that passenger seat I had a huge smile on my face and it didn’t go away until I was out of the vehicle. If you ever get a chance to ride along with someone please please please take it as you will experience a whole other level of fun. The main event was team tandems which was really awesome to watch. It’s kind of like volleyball (or any team sport really), you have to work as a team and if one person makes a mistake the whole team suffers. When the whole team does well you can pull off a win.
On this day, drift team “Husky Situations” took home 1st place after coming 2nd at the last two events! Their final run was awesome to watch, 7 grey cars just perfectly in sync. After the first event day we headed back to the car to set up our tents. Brent and I had crew wristbands so we were able to camp in the Parking lot with all the other drivers/crew members. We set up a nice tent village and all came together to name it “Swoll Village”. They had some beer games later in the night and all the different teams participated. I know this event was all about the drifting but i can’t emphasize enough how amazing it was to meet all of these new people. All we did was laugh all night and I didn’t want it to end but we had a crazy day 2 ahead.
Jumping into day 2 was sluggish as everyone was hungover and tired from being in the sun the previous day. They started an hour late that day but once everyone was ready to go competitors started pouring onto the track. The track was the same layout as the day before just for some warm up sessions. Once they all felt comfortable they switched it up an my goodness was this one of my favorite runs, I would say it was probably the drivers as well. It started into a S but coming out of it was a wall tap into a manji then they would run the whole wall! Some of these guys were destroying there rear bumpers and quarters on the wall but man was it ever entertaining. You could just tell they didn’t have a care in the world, they kept doing it and the smile on their faces was just something else. After the track changed for the final hours of the day Brent and I packed up and gave our farewells.
We hit the road at 4pm and were ready for the 9 hour drive back home. I love how this event brought so many people together from all over western Canada and the USA. No one cared who was better or who had a better car. It wasn’t a competition out here for the guys, they came out to have fun and make memories with everyone. I’ll for sure be attending this event again next year and hopefully drifting in it if I can get enough practice. If you have the chance to make it down next year I HIGHLY recommend coming as this is one for the books. Thanks to Brent Callow for driving and inviting me. Thanks to everyone else for making this trip amazing, especially Shawn Brown for hosting this event every year. Chan out…