Red Bull Car Park Drift adds second date to Titanic Quarter Belfast
THE world's most exciting car park drift series has will now hit the iconic Titanic Quarter, Belfast for two days, on Saturday November 20 and Sunday November 21, an extra date having been added due to popular demand.
Featuring 30 top amateur drifters, Red Bull Car Park Drift will mark the first of the 2022 series qualifiers in Belfast, with Saturday tickets and a very limited number of Sunday tickets available to purchase at RedBull.ie/CarParkDrift
Red Bull Car Park Drift will see drivers tackle an obstacle defined car park track, custom-built on the banks of the river Lagan, overlooked by the spectacular Titanic Belfast Experience and the Harland & Wolff Shipyard. The spectacle will also include a very special appearance and display from Ireland's top drift racer, Red Bull Athlete Conor Shanahan.
Consisting of a knockout format, competitors will vie for the highest score to qualify to the next round, split into Heat 1, Top 8 and Final 4. Drifters' performances are judged over a total of 400 points by four expert judges.
Despite their many differences, Red Bull Car Park Drift and the Drift Masters European Championship evolved from the same concept. In late-1970s and early-'80s Japan, daredevil drivers started putting their cars to the test on twisting mountain roads, accelerating out of corners earlier and earlier to turn their cars sideways. This quickly morphed into a popular sport in Japan and huge crowds have gathered to watch organised competition ever since. Slowly but surely, this fast, noisy and technical discipline has caught on around the world.
In Europe, drifting gave rise to the Drift Masters European Championship – an established series that, without compromising on excitement or danger, has organised the drifting concept into a championship series that involves an element of racing (but not overtaking).
Red Bull Car Park Drift, on the other hand, is its edgier counterpart. Inspired by the amateur, do-it-yourself drifting scene that took place (mostly illegally) in tightly enclosed Hong Kong car parks in the early-2000s, Red Bull Car Park Drift is an attempt to retain some of the underground spirit and artistry of those drifting rebels.
The Middle East and North African-based series started life, as you might have guessed from the name, in car parks. Although the series' popularity has meant a move away from car parks, it remains a great leveller, pitting underground drifters against more experienced divers and rally stars
Red Bull Car Park Drift is inspired by those Hong Kong drifters navigating the tight corners and concrete posts and bollards of multi-storey car parks, with this series all about speeding around obstacle-strewn courses and performing drifting 'tricks' and tasks with names like the 'pendulum', the 'spiral', the 'gate' and the 'flipper', while attempting to impress a judging panel and claim as many of the 400 points on offer as possible.
As well as scoring for their drifting skills, drivers are also rewarded for how good their cars look, how they sound and how much tyre smoke they kick up. Each run culminates in 'the box', where drivers need to 'doughnut' and drift around a tiny square enclosure with obstacles in.
Points are deducted if drivers spin, drift the wrong way, or hit an obstacle. Three penalties and they're out. There might not be any of the heart-in-mouth battles seen in the Drift Masters European Championship, but the complexity of drifting – at speed – is still something to behold.
Because of those tight, coned-off courses and trick tasks that need completing, Red Bull Car Park Drift drivers require smaller and more agile cars than those used in the Drift Masters European Championship. They still need front-engine, rear-wheel machines, but the cars favoured by drivers in this series include the BMW 3-Series E36, the Toyota AE86, one of the cars that started the drifting phenomenon in Japan, and the Nissan 370Z coupé.