The drift culture in Northern California is alive and well, in large part because one of the nation’s busiest and most picturesque venues is the centerpiece of a weekly program. Every Wednesday evening from spring to late fall, Race Sonoma puts on Sonoma Drift. A weekly roster of thirty plus vehicles turn out to lay waste to who knows how may tires; and the occasional fender or quarter panel. The entries are limited to ensure ample track time and each week there is a substantial waiting list, just in case the odd contender can’t show. The circuit changes from time to time, but is typically laid out in a no-start, no-finish continuous loop of shredded rubber and tire smoke. The action is continuous, save for the occasional need to clean up the carnage we have come to expect from a grass roots affair like this.
I was fortunate enough to make it out to the last event of the season last Week, and saw what I feel is some of the best local drifting I’ve ever witnessed. Great cars, very cool people, and even Formula Drift standout, Matt Field, were on hand to celebrate what was a very successful season of Sonoma Drift.
Here are some of my favorite photos from the event.
Every Wednesday being social beats out social media. They meet…they talk…they slide.
Lined up and ready to run. Smoke fills the air just minutes into the event.
This is what you get for leaving it parked in the open near an industrial complex…wait, this was on purpose? Cool.
No slow and low in this Miata. Three gears: Quick, quick and super quick.
Four doors. Pile in, slide around.
A whole lotta M.
BMW light throws long shadows…
Get wide, get low, go fast…
Quite possibly the coolest car in attendance this night…of course that’s just one old guys opinion.
Matt Field nearly played spoiler for FD champion Daigo Saito at this year’s final in Irwindale. When I asked Matt what he thinks cost him the round against Saito, he told me he thinks it was a simple over correction when he tapped the wall. The difference between winning and losing in FD can be just a sliver…Still a great job and a great year by the self-funded Field. Truly a grass roots racer, Matt did exceptionally well. In his words, “If we just get a decent motor next year, and a little financial help, we think we can have a really big year”.
Everybody, get on board, the drift train!
The other Bimmer…
And I leave you with this testament to the state of affairs…in general.
Sonoma drift is planning an expanded schedule next year including a multi-event points series, in addition to the regular Wednesday program. Should be a pretty darn good time. Considering the waiting list for this years entries, I suggest putting your name in early!
See you next year!