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When it comes to motorsporting events, I’m not the type of person who likes to sit in the stands and watch from a distance. I tend to stay away from the crowds and bake in the sun. But about a month ago, I got a message from an old friend of mine, who happens to work at Formula DRIFT, asking me if I would be interested in doing some coverage of their first round event in Long Beach. Given the access to roam free around the track, it was hard to say no to the offer. So I packed up my gear and headed out to Long Beach on Friday morning to catch the qualifying session before Saturday’s main event. Upon arrival, I was greeted with deafening engine sounds and a mixture of smells comprising of exhaust fumes and burnt rubber. To have these elements hit you at the entrance is something that only a car enthusiast would love, and it was in that moment that I knew that I was in for a good show. I grabbed my media vest and my first stop was the starting grid.

I’m not one to endorse smoking, but if you’re smoking tires, then I am in full support. This is the kind of second-hand smoke that I don’t mind at all.

After watching a few cars do their burnouts and donuts before their runs, I roamed around the track some more to get some action shots. Not only did I get action shots, but I got shot by the action. And by this, I mean that as the cars flew by at breakneck speeds, they shot little bits of rubber in my direction. By the end of the day, I had these little pieces in my mouth, eyes, ears, hair, pockets, and even in places that my mommy told me were special.

Tires aren’t the only casualties of the sport. Sometimes accidents happen and car parts go flying.

Friday’s action was good, but Saturday held the best action of all since this day was when the cars were running tandem together. The stands were packed and the crowd was ready to see the season kick off.

Believe it or not, this was my very first drifting event (legal one at least) that I’ve ever been to. If you’re a petrol junky, and you’ve never been to any type of motorsporting event in your life, then I would highly suggest you going to one at least once in your life whether it’s drifting, racing, or motorcycles. I would compare it to any other sporting event: to watch it on the screen is a bit lackluster, but to be there and experience everything with all of your senses is what makes it 10x better. On that note, I leave you with my favorite shot from the weekend:

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