Drifting on the Emerald Coast
What an entertaining way to ruin tires; the act of drifting. While being quite possibly one of the most exciting things you can do with a car, drifting has become the automotive anarchists’ way of reaching an adrenaline high through fast cars, loud noises, and copious amounts of tire smoke. The rules are simple — clutch kick, counter steer, and keep drifting fun.
During the Mountain Dew Kickstart Drift Series Event 3, held in Pensacola, FL, there was no shortage of skilled drivers eager to make runs at 5 Flags Speedway. Unlike other forms of motorsport, the stipulations for usable vehicles are minimal at the grassroots level, provided the wheels are secure and the engine isn’t puking fluids.
The car of choice at this event seemed to be the Nissan 240SX. Like the Miata in autocross, the 240SX in drifting is the logical tool for the job. They’re usually found cheap, the aftermarket is expansive, and the platform contains the ingredients necessary to pitch the car sideways and continue on laterally through the apex.
While there was an abundance of 240s, the styling cues of each car were far from similar. The livery seen on a drift car at the grassroots level has always been enthralling or entertaining. The ability to extend one’s personality on a car in this manner contributes to the allure of drifting for some people.
At the end of the day, the vibe amongst the grassroots community of drifters did not feel negatively competitive but rather it evoked a sense of camaraderie. Like the pirates of the 17th century, acceptance into the community held no conditions. Regardless of an individuals background, the community would take them in as their own and support each other. Whether the drivers were there to have fun or there to compete, the mindset was clear; keep drifting fun.