How hard is it to organize a drift event if you have never ever done that in your life? I am about to tell you. Spoiler alert - it’s freaking complicated.
The man behind the affair – Matt Stevenson – new British drift championship owner. Let’s go back a little bit down memory lane here – Matt was announced to own the series over 5 months ago. Exactly – 5 months – to get the staff sorted, find new judges, book venues, get sponsors on board, get equipment sorted and many more little things that you can’t even think are needed for a drift event. Here come the difficulties building a new livestream system with live scoring and making sure everything is flawless. Let’s be real here, you can’t really simulate a drift event and test everything in advance, unless you’re willing to dump some money into the trash.
5 months passed and the day was finally here – Saturday’s morning – PRO-AM day. From organizational point of view all looked more or less flawless – briefing was on time, practice started on time, the pit management – great, track management - perfect. Drivers – great discipline that has been carried throughout the years – if you’re told to show up at the start line, you’ll be there 5 min earlier. From spectators’ side – I’m sure if BDC received any complaints, it’s because you needed to wait in the line to get fries (for all British reader – chips) for like 10 minutes. Overall – as far as the effort could go to make the event as good as it has been over the past few years, Stevenson made it happen.
However – this is a unbiased review. So, what went wrong and what could be improved? As David Egan mentioned last year – having a good reliable team is what matters the most. Matt just built his team, even though there are guys who have been working at BDC for a few years now, there are loads of newbies too. And these newbies need to catch the pace and get the best work practices from the more experienced guys. I truly believe that the next round will be so much better since the whole team will have a proper understanding of how things should work.
Another flaw that probably caused so much pain for drivers – live stream scoring system. Building a system from scratch is a huge task and requires loads of additional things to make it work perfectly. First BDC round was a guinea pig and it did have some ups and downs. You would ask why is it a bad thing? It affected the live scoring over qualification on both days – Pro-Am and Pro. Drifting is a tactical game, it’s not just “hit the diff and pray” type of competition. Most of the first runs are so called “safe runs” where driver put a score on the board just to make sure he or she is in the tandem battles later on. Hence, if driver or the spotter has no idea how the first run went, how can he or she strategize the second run – should it be safe again just to make sure you’re on the board or should the driver just “send it”.
Despite the issues mentioned, Russians have this saying “the first pancake is always a lumpy one”. Most will agree with me – the first round overall was great! A few bugs here and there did not affect the vibe and (the record breaking) crowd enjoyed it more than ever. And let’s be real, if the spectators are happy, everyone is happy too – at the end – drivers are there to put on the show.
And speaking of the show – I’m over the moon seeing Aurimas Vaškelis, despite all the shitty technical issues, climb the top podium spot again. The Lithuanian mad boy. The guy, who a month ago did not even thought about coming back to BDC, due to lack of funds. His huge THANK YOU goes to all the fans, who wanted to see him driving, who supported his dreams and the most important helped him financially. And in no means his rival Paul “Smokey” Smith should be left without mentioning. He owned the British drift king title once and it looks like this season he’s coming back for it. Only after OMT battle, Aurimas was able to secure the top position.
To sum it up – Matt Stevenson did an amazing job with the season start, even put a car on fire off. I believe the next round will improve where it’s possible and I will have no bugs to point at. So let’s meet at Driftland, on the 25th & 26th of May.