Street Driven Tour, Rd. 2 | St. Louis, MO
Drifting’s latest and greatest bash-style, open-to-all, track-based sideshow — the Street Driven Tour — wrapped up the second event of its inaugural national tour at St. Louis’ Gateway Motorsports Park over the Independence Day weekend to bigger-than-expected crowds and rowdier-than-ever shenanigans, courtesy of some of drifting’s top pros and the region’s top ams. For those not familiar, within Gateway’s 1.25-mile NASCAR oval lies one of the faster road-race infields around. Formula Drift’s Chris Forsberg (in his VK56-powered Infiniti M45 sedan), Forrest Wang (Nissan S15 Silvia FD competition car), Brandon Wicknick (2JZ-powered S13, with an outside that looks like the inside of a Wendover casino) and their passengers who purchased ride-alongs, attacked five of its seven turns at triple-digit speeds that let all know why they’re pro. But that’s not to say STL’s own didn’t throw down just as hard. Grip Royal’s Scott Allinder and his bright yellow S13 240SX never let up, and two wheelmen in an unusual pair of Toyota JZ inline-six swapped machines nearly stole the show: Brian Peter, in his blue, 2JZ-powered FC3S Mazda RX-7; and David Mesker, behind the wheel of his 1JZ-swapped BMW E36 M3.
Amid the full day of tire annihilation, drivers took a brief pause for the “drift mini-games”: a set of competitive, drift-related hijinks unique to the Street Driven Tour. After the start of what would be a regular run, competitors had to drift a teed soccer ball into a goal (“drift soccer,” won by Trevor Specht in his white 240SX), then execute a 360-degree spin around a corner (“360-degree drift,” which Stu Kelly executed beautifully in his white FC RX-7), and finally slide sideways through a pair of cones that were brought closer together with each pass (“drift limbo”, which went to Mike Omara in the Nocturnal Motorsports “Coyote”—that thing consisting of not much more than an engine, roll cage and American flag).
Street Driven also invited car-show competitors to kick it (why not, right?), and its partnership with Rival House in St. Louis brought a wide range of entrants, most notably the camo-bombed “Missile Life” Nissan S14 240SX drift/support/post-apocalyptic bug-out vehicle.
And to top off the day: A massive burnout contest, eventually won by Ted Derhake, who grabbed gears and roasted the tires of his comparatively under-powered E30 BMW at smoldering wheel speeds.
Street Driven Tour tackled Atlanta Motor Speedway for its third-round event last weekend, so be on the lookout for coverage to come, before we head to Las Vegas to wrap up season #1 on September 26th. For a piece of the action, visit www.streetdriventour.com.