One of the biggest events I went to in 2015, definitely something to remember.
So matsuri finished on the Sunday night and seeing how I didn’t need to be at WTAC until Thursday, I spent a few days in QLD with friends checking out some stuff. Monday was basically recovery day, then burgers in Brisbane city. Tuesday we drove up to the zoo which was heaps far north, spent most of the day checking it out. Surprisingly it was pretty empty of people!
Oh yeah also, this is me with a kangaroo.
The day before we left, I had to spend a bit of time on my car cleaning it up after matsuri. The engine bay was covered in dust and the interior had rubber leftovers all over the place.
Wednesday night we had a final burger dinner at Chur Burger with a bunch of QLD friends, then headed back to a friends place to get some rest.
The drive started about 5am and I kept going as much as I possibly could before falling asleep. Stopped at the Big Banana just before lunch to grab a B&E roll (definitely going back next year).
A couple friends were driving down to WTAC with me to hang but we lost each other along the way so I spent most of it just listening to tunes. And the amount of times I looked in the mirror just to see my car was hilarious. Couldn’t stop smiling after finally doing matsuri!
Quick bathroom break before starting the final run to Sydney.
Driving through the northern side of Sydney was a bit of a pain this time around.
I got through Newcastle just after 3pm which meant I was driving through the city in peak hour traffic, with a fully loaded car trailer. You can imagine how annoying all the stopping and starting got after a couple hours.
But, once I got onto the freeway again, things cleared up a bit and I made it to the track! First time I’d been here in ages!
I’ll give you an idea of why I was here.
A few months before matsuri, around the time I bought my turbo’s, I had spoken with a friend who worked for GCG Turbo’s in Sydney. We used to drive together a few years ago when I still lived there. We started talking about possibly putting my car on display at the GCG trade stand for the event, as long as it was still presentable after matsuri.
At the time the car was still heavily in the build stage and I didn’t have much of an idea if I was even going to make it in time. But, I kept the updates going and as I started to get to the end of the build I said I’d still be able to go if they wanted the car there. So we organised a spot for it on the stand and I was going to head down on the Thursday to put it on display.
I met up with my convoy at the track, we drove in and unpacked everything. By the time it was all set up it was time for dinner so we parked my car under the stand and headed out for some food with a couple friends (ironically from Queensland).
Friday morning I got to the track about 7am to help move my car out and set up the display. All the entrant cars were in garages and driving around the pits so it was a bit busy! Spectators weren’t open to entry until about 9am so it didn’t get too full on until then.
I spent most of the friday walking around and seeing other cars. They had drift demo’s at lunch on the main straight which were alright, really wish they did the back section like they used to in 2011/2012. I only ever did the full main track 2 or 3 times in the 180sx and each time was in 2010 when the car was relatively stock.
Some of the time attack cars had introduced so many new things this year. Some guys using all new aero that hadn’t been trialled, others with very surprising engine setups. The N/A KA Honda guys were doing faster times than a bunch of turbo evo’s and GTR’s. If you had told me 5 years ago that an N/A Honda would be out-pacing a 500kw GTR, I would have laughed at you.
I think this is the first WTAC I’ve been to where I didn’t take that many photos. I got maybe 5 or 6 of my own car then only one of any other WTAC car (which funny enough was a silvia).
I did spend a bit of time speaking to people about the car and the whole build which was cool. I appreciate everyone who asked about it or gave me some positive comments, means a lot!
Late in the afternoon, I took the car driving through the pits which was pretty awesome! I had the GCG flag hanging out the window and bonnet off, guess that means I was sort of like a sales rep?
Maybe GCG should give me a job each year at WTAC.
Towards the end of day I walked through the pits one final time to see some more of the cars.
The Sutton brothers S15 has always been a big inspirational piece for me. Sure my cars look nothing like it, but this is a perfect example of how an overkill design still has simplistic character.
I also love the fact they are still privateer’s with a very basic sponsor following. No massive stickers, no crazy vinyl, just a plain colour with a lot of fabrication and aero imagination.
I don’t think they were competing over the weekend which was unfortunate, definitely would have liked to see it driving again.
Either way I’m always keen to see this car whenever I go to WTAC.
Day 1 finished up pretty late, I met up with my friends and headed back to another friends house for a BBQ and some rest. I was still trying to get in the habit of sleeping for longer than 7 hours, something I hadn’t done in months.
Early morning at the track again to help set things up.
Saturday was a much more insane day compared to the Friday. Double the spectators and some serious heat.
About 10am a photographer wanted to get some photos up near south circuit so it wasn’t crowded with people, so I went for a little drive.
The photos came out pretty sweet! Just wish I had put the indicators on, it makes it look really odd in the front.
Maybe at WTAC 2016 I might try and sneak in some driving. Could ask to do the expression session with some of the big guys if they let me! I’d love to drive with Driftsquid at some point, he is one of the very few RB powered guys I enjoy watching.
On Saturday I spoke to a whole bunch of people asking about the car, there were so many dudes that were interested in the fab work. And the colours were looking amazing too! The green gets ridiculously bright in the sunlight!
As day 2 started to finish up, I moved my car out of the booth so we could pack up.
Then, the worst possible thing started.
You might have noticed, I don’t have a completely sealed roof, so cardboard became my best friend.
It started to get really heavy after a few minutes so I jumped in my flooded piece of metal and moved it under the stairs.
Worst way to end the weekend but I didn’t care, I just laughed because I knew this would happen!
We spoke for a couple hours about work things, events and cars in general.
Nice to meet someone who is into cars as much as me, it felt like I was talking to a female version of myself. Except without the ugly shorts and terrible thongs.
We had to get our stuff and head out so I loaded up my car quickly and headed back to a friends place for my final night in Sydney.
We went out to a lebanese place for dinner and met up with another friend who I hadn’t seen since 2012! Had a good feed and talked for a while, then headed back to get some rest. Sunday was going to be a really long day.
921km home, seems like a serious trip, but after the amount of driving I had done over the past week it looked like nothing.
It was just down to me and Henry who had been up to Queensland Matsuri to drive.
We stopped in Goulburn for lunch, I grabbed another big breakfast, same thing I had when I drove home from Halfway Hangs earlier in the year.
Also grabbed a mint slice and some chocolate cream thing for the road!
One thing I forgot to mention. When I was at WTAC, I got to meet Mark from Saintside. I had driven at a private event earlier in the year in the 180sx where the car got an award from Saintside, but I never had the chance to meet him. We talked for a bit about the car, events in Melbourne and what was next for it. He also gave me a couple scent hangers for the cars.
Seriously, these things are so good.
A few hundred KM from home, one last pit stop. Only a couple hours left until I had finished my 3800km round trip across the eastern side of Australia.
While I was doing the last run, I thought about what could be next for this car. Of course I wanted to drive it as much as possible, but the fact I want to go to University in 2016 meant that it was going to be difficult. I live alone and running multiple cars definitely doesn’t help the financial side of things, so I thought realistically what could I do? Work is a necessity obviously and University was going to be top priority, but I didn’t want to just put the cars away and forget about them.
I thought maybe I could do a couple events a year, maybe just some local private events to keep the costs down yet still allow me to drive the cars. While it might not cost much to maintain a drift car, it starts to add up extremely quick when you have 2 drift cars as well as 2 street registered cars. I have thought of the possibility of letting one of them go, but I don’t think I could let myself to do it and I think I’d have to be completely over it before I even thought about that option.
After some long thoughts and a lot of smiling, I had finally made it home. I hadn’t been here in 2 weeks!
I was so crazy tired from the trip, I left the S13 on the trailer and face planted in bed.
Monday morning 9am, time to unload everything!
This was the first time the S13 had been back home since April 2015. It was also the first time that all 4 of my cars had been in the same place as drivable, finished cars!
I was over the moon to finally have it in the shed, looking exactly like I pictured when I moved here back in 2013.
And that was it. Just like that, the matsuri trip was done and WTAC was over. I finally had my finished car home after what felt like an eternity. I was so happy that morning, I started up the 180sx just so I could see them running at the same time. Might sound a bit childish, but I had been dreaming of this point for years!
I spent over an hour just walking around looking at it and thinking about my plan for 2016. Like I said, I want to drive it as much as I can, but I think it will be a serious juggling act with everything else happening. Maybe I should have tried to win that huge powerball jackpot the other day, I’m sure I wouldn’t have to worry about anything then!
I packed up more things then locked it up for the night. Couldn’t be happier with how the past two weeks had gone. I met a bunch of new friends, got to drive my new car, went for some cool road trips with friends and had some sweet burgers.
These sort of trips are the things I look forward to each year.