When i got the call up for TopGear Festival i was excited to drive on a new layout, i never got to grips with the old Eastern Creek drift section and the tighter South Ciruit would suit my driving and car setup a lot lot more.
So the 180SX was looking fresher than ever, it didnt run fresher than ever as on the friday test session it was running rich and fowling plugs, after some diagnosis it seemed there was an issue within the air flow meter wiring loom, i rewired the problem area and it was a quick fix with the SR20 running super strong in fridays last practice session.
Saturday morning the crowds were flowing through the gate, TopGear Festival wasnt just any event, it was possibly THE event to be at in 2013, report-ably over 60,000 people flowed through the Sydney Motorsport gates and most were fairly new to drifting, this gives us drivers a chance to explain what goes into the sport and then show them during the many demo sessions through the weekend.
We had 16 drivers in cars that had varying degrees of tune, this meant teaming up with those you trust and those with car speed similar to yours, one driver that i have always looked up to is Beau Yates, Beau’s little AE86 has been at the pinical of Australian drifting for over 4 years now, the car is built and maintained to the highest level and i just love how balanced the car/ driver package is with Beau, its one of those cars that you can just tell was built by a drift enthusiast. We ended up driving together a lot and it was great fun.
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It was good to chat to fellow drivers and crew i hadnt seen for a while, Jake Jones in his mental RB powered and GSR shifted OneVia was doing some pretty amazing 4th gear up hill bakes that left Jake with a worn out Yokohama pile some 22 high by the end of the weekend, Chris DeJager was back again with his RB powered S15 doing solid runs, Papa in his glitter S14 doing it for the Insane Drifters, Levi Clarke in the big JZ powered Soarer and many other thrashers made teaming up a fun exercise.
I took 8 brand new tyres with me and then had to buy another 2, so that left me with a tyre bill of 10 brand new 235/40/18 tyres over 3 days of driving, typical for my car and typical for the amount of heat that was in the track.
On the last run of the last day i headed out on track with a few worrying noises from the rear end, it started as a slight diff whine and then turned into an almighty bang, i had indeed exploded another R200 diff, thats 2 diffs in 2 years and funnily enough both at the only TopGear Festivals ever in Australia. The pinion gear seems to strip itself and i know why it happens, its my style of using possibly more handbrake than probably needed meaning the diff goes from 0 to 140kph in an instant regularly, its something i will try and work on and change over the next few sessions. Theres nothing wrong with R200 diffs and to last over 2 years and countless track days is a testament to them.
I will get a video up soon