I have been into RC for a very long time. It started when I was a kid and first tried my mates Tamiya Blackfoot. I needed my own car and quickly ended up with a Traxxas RADicator. All I wanted to do was race it! I finally found my way to my first race and couldn’t wait to get on the track. It was a carpet track and had no jumps. It was basically an on-road course. I was racing an off-road buggy with carpet tyres. First lap of practice I smashed the car and destroyed the steering linkage. No spares to be found. So that ended my first race meet. I wouldn’t find my way on to another track for another 20 years.
So fast forward 20 years and I’m on a track in Coventry with a Short Course truck. It was the Traxxas Slash 4×4. I didn’t do bad for a first time out, and really enjoyed it. But I needed lots of practice driving from a rostrum. The closest track to me was Snetterton (which has since been bought and destroyed). I sat out with a mate to go get some practice running around that track, albeit a road course. But it allowed me to practice controlling the car from a distance.
We were making lap after lap, getting quicker and learning how to navigate the corners better. But it was a mistake that launched me into the next chapter of my RC life.
I was getting faster and starting to really push the 4×4 Slash around the corners. But I came in to the corner at the end of the straight way too fast and started to slide out. But then I caught it and managed to hold a perfect drift around the corner. That was it! I had drifted before on dirt, snow, Grass and other surfaces, but this was the first time I seen it on a track. So that was me for the rest of the day, getting the tyres to break loose and drift the truck around the apexes was now my only concern!
I went home that night and ordered a HPI Sprint 2. My mate had just opened a RC Shop with a drift track and I knew I could practice there. I bought a one way for the front, locked the rear diff, upgraded to an ally chassis and added drift tyres. Sorted!
Meeting Matt Ellis, Lee Hughes and David Matthews at the shop was a great help! They would take time to give me some tips, not only on drifting but setup as well. I drifted with the Sprint 2 for a few months. But I ended up stepping up my game a bit and bought a Sakura D4 AWD. I used that and got comfortable with it. But, I was already starting to look at the RWD by the time I was getting comfortable with the AWD. It seemed everyone was going that way, but I wasn’t convinced yet.
I decided I needed to practice a little closer to home. It was a 2-hour drive to the Midlands just to do some drifting. So, I started to look for some used carpet. Then, I found out my local on road club had some spare carpet bits. They let me have a few rolls. I started a small drift club and tried to get some people interested. I ran into a few issues though. One was the carpet, it was loaded with additive from the on-road cars and would be a bit sticky for drifting. Next, the venue was only available on Tuesday from 6-10. And Lastly, there was just a lack of things to mark the track out with. The lack of track layout materials was the most painful for me. After seeing the well laid out ones all over YouTube, I knew I needed to step up my game.
I bought some of the Tetsujin click together drift track. After ordering it from Hong Kong and paying Duty on it, it was apparent I wouldn’t be buying much more of that. At least not without a sponsor! Lol I started looking into other items that would be useful but kept coming back to the Tetsujin track! But we managed to make it all work.
All things considered it was a fun event but only lasted for a few months. The Tuesday night would be too much of an odd day to get the numbers we needed to carry on.
Right, fast forward to now. I had been watching Midlands Drift Society, NRD and other drift events on YouTube. I was getting really interested in it again and after reading the latest issue of ONETEN Drift I knew I had to call me old’ mate Matt! I found out when the next event was and headed up to Fazely for the November meet!
I showed up and immediately started setting up cameras to capture the action. I have a YouTube channel and love capturing events that not only look fun but are ran and attended by great people! And this event was full of great people! It was great to see Bullhead again as well! I missed his beard! Lol and now, he does too!
Quite simply a great event and I came away from it with a new-found desire to get back into drifting! So much so in fact, I immediately started making phone calls.
I quickly sourced some carpet for a drift track. I had it in loaded into my van and ready to start a track exactly 7 days from attending Midlands Drift Society’s November event. I started talking to Matt and asking loads of questions about where I could find various bits and the best way to start building my own layout. So, stay tuned for West Suffolk Drift (#WSD) I will keep you updated.
You can follow the journey by searching AceofAxe on all your favourite social media. Make sure you let me know you found me by reading ONETEN Drift, that way I can tell Matt thanks each and every time! Lol
See you on the track,