We decided to leave to Singapore a day earlier,as we had to be at the track at 12pm the next day and we wanted to settle some logistics matters and meet a few people before that.. We managed to timed everything to perfection but was held back by the decal shop fiasco which I shall not elaborate here. We finally got to Singapore at 8pm which was already too late to do anything . So we decided to check in , grab something to eat and call it a night..
Leong here ‘relaxing’ his eyes preparing for what is coming ahead the next few days
We arrived at the track at 10am. The course looked intimidating damn scary, especially with the concrete walls lining the entrance of the track. What worried me the most was the man hole cover that causes cars to unsettle mid way through the first outer clipping point. Ivan Lim , Cheaka and I all had our cars pointing straight mid drift during the media promo day, which had us plowing straight through the cones lining the outer track . Those cones are now being replaced by concrete walls which I am certain would not be as forgiving ..
and more concrete
The stunt show rehearsal ,scheduled today,was canceled due to a few drivers involved were not being able to arrive today. So instead ,we did our drift taxi ride practice. To keep it fair to the other drifters, we were no allowed to practice on the full course and and not use the official starting point ,we were instructed to begin our runs mid way through the first corner. As the organizers and sponsors were watching us practice, so it was also a rehearsal as they would hate for any unpleasant surprises to happen tomorrow.
Mattie Griffin, ranked 5th in the World Freestyle StreetBike , making his freestyling tricks looked easy. A real nice dude that stays away from the ‘red stuff’ in his nasi lemak
Cheaka , Yoong , Sean and I only got about 4 runs each before it started to rain heavily. So we decided to call it quits. It was about that time the Goodyear Thai drivers arrived. We helped them unload and just hung out where I got the chance to brush up on my Thai-glish.
Pop (blue t shirt with yellow stripes) checking out Nakorn’s Soarer being unloaded
Pop’s ‘SR20 powered Rx8 faced’ Mx5!! Both of the Thai drifters cars were only recently completed. It was unfortunate they suffered mechanical trouble throughout the weekend as they were certainly a force to reckon with in Singapore this year!
Thai pop star looking , Nakorn (yellow T shirt) checking out the installation of the side impact bar on his Soarer.
Media day!!! We arrived at the track at 8am and promptly got suited up. All the drivers representing Goodyear were present for the press conference .Thailand , Malaysia , Singapore and Hong Kong were all represented!
Press conference with all the Goodyear drivers present , with ‘the voice of Formula D’ Jarrod DeAnda at the helm
Formula D judges , Tony Angelo and Andy Yen explaining their new judging format which was a lot different from what we are used to
Err yes the Goodyear logo will be bigger next time Mr Law…sorry 🙂
. We were then brought out to the track and gave the media taxi rides out on the track..
Jane with TV host Jade who caused a stir because of the massive chrome sneakers she wore that day…she later told us it was the wardrobe department’s fault 🙂
Marcus taking the drivers attendance before laying down the rules
Later that day we had our first drivers briefing conducted by Marcus himself. This was followed by a track walkbout with Pit Crew’s Jason
Jason assuring us that the concrete wall this year is softer than last year’s…heeheehee
It was all fine a till I arrived back to the pits. Leong comes up to me and says ” Bro, I got bad news!!” The first thought that went through my mind was that I have some mechanical trouble or even worse ,blown my engine again. He then informed me that they had allocated the wrong tires to me!!! This came to be a big blow as I had used what little tires that we brought over from Malaysia and the tires that we got for Cheaka which were too narrow ( width) for me.It is not uncommon for stuff like this to happen on an event as large as this ; tyres were being allocated and distributed to all the Goodyear drivers and a minor glitch such as this is bound to happen. Marcus, bless his soul, tried his best to resolve the situation by getting Yoong to agree to give half of his allocation to me ( Thanks Yoong ) but with stunt shows , taxi rides and practice runs coming ahead, I knew they were not enough. So I decided to use Cheaka tires instead ..Hell, I made it through last year with three cylinder, I reckon running on narrow rears won’t be much of a trouble especially since they were Goodyear RevSpecs, which is known to be grippier when comparing with other brands of the same tyre width . However, it will a bit difficult if it rained as the physical size and width does play an important role when it comes to grip in the wet . I just brushed the thought off and was glad the engine is still running fine!
Our loyal crew during our day-end meeting (L-R) Melissa(black t shirt) , Jenshen (red), and Leong (black t shirt). We owe alot to them for what they had done for us throughout the weekend
Official practice day.
(L-R) Phoebe (Colin’s wife), me with Calius, Cheaka, and Sean. Holding Caius ( Phoebe & Colin’s baby) made me miss Johanna even more. Hopefully we could bring her to the events when she gets older
We were all nervous about the concrete barrier that lined both the outer clipping points and the fact that the man hole cover that tend to throw our cars out of line didn’t help either.Though the reduced grip level was apparent , I got used to running on Cheaka’s tyres after a couple of runs.Both of us took conservative lines during our runs and we managed to keep our cars in one piece for the first practice session. Cheaka was nailing all her runs and managed to impress the Formula D judges Andy Yen and Tony Angelo!
Drivers parade with VIPs in attendance
We did two stunt shows per day where we all took turns ‘challanging’ Mattie on his bike ..Yoong definately stole the show with his rodeo move!!!
The stunt show drivers and rider
On practice session two it began to rain!! Practice was held up for a moment in order for the track to dry up.When they finally did let us off on the track , it was only partially dried up with wet patches dotting around the course. This made the grip level varied through out the course .The tires on my car performed exceptionally well but I had to dramatically change my driving style to suit the slippery condition. During this session ,Cheaka was unlucky as she drifted over one of those slippery wet patches which caused her to spin and rear end on to the concrete wall at the second rear clipping zone .To stiffen Cheaka’s car, besides the roll cage, we had mounted a brace at the rear of the car which connects the rear chassis to the rear suspension tower. The force of the impact of the crash had caused the brace to move the tower thus causing her right rear absorbers and rear wheel knuckle .to move almost and inch forward!! She was struggling with the car throughout the session after the incident! Upon requesting, I was allowed to test drive her car found that the car was experiencing under steer each time it was drifted to the left. As we didn’t have the right tools to straighten out the chassis and tower neither did we want to risk adjusting the rear caster and making it worse, I suggested that she just increase the rear tire pressure to reduce the understeer and try to adapt to it.
NHK interviewing Jane
Many Singaporeans in attendance were interested in the sport and many were eager to get involved. With Binter and Formula Drift Holdings continuing paving the path, I’m sure we will be getting more Singaporeans participating next year!!
The nice people from TyrePac providing their tyre changing services
Competition day!! We were all buzzing from excitement as this is the day that we were waiting for!! 37 drifters top drifters from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong kong, China and Indonesia going head to head against each other!
Practice was good and I basically went 7/10 after seeing Ivan Lau’s crash on his first run. Thankfully Ivan managed to get his car fixed in time for qualifying. Qualifying was a straight forward affair. I did what I thought was one of my best run on the track but was really disappointed when informed that I had 74.5 points on my run. I got out of the car , took off my helmet and gloves of and just sat on the curb . Back in Malaysia with a score like that you might not even make it to top 16. However , amazingly my score remained highest till it was qualifying round 2!! By the end of round 2, my score was ranked third highest behind Tat Wei and Djan!
It was a huge shock to find out that Ivan Lim failed to qualify. Based on his practice runs ,he was definitely one of the favorites for the weekend. However, situation like this do happen and it was unfortunate to have happened to someone who is a good as Ivan. I am sure his luck would be better for the up coming rounds!!
Cheaka did well ,inspite of her damaged rear!!She managed to wrestle the car to an amazing 17th place qualifying
Goodyear autograph signing session
The guys from Drift Garage. We wish we could have spent more time with them but I’m sure the oppurtiunity will arise soon 🙂
The pretty girls I didn’t get to ‘flip’…they volunteered to be our co drivers during the ‘Z in the box ‘ ( renamed from Flip the Bit*h for obvious reason) session we had the day before
I was paired of with Shah from Singapore. An aggressive drifter which I know will be a tough fight during tsuiso. Since I qualified 3rd ,my battle with Shah would be the 7th pairing. So I decided to chill out in the car and poke fun at Jenshen (RyuK1d) who was my umbrella boy :). To my horror it started to rain!!!! Aww man!! Images of me spinning out during entry started to flash in my head!!! They had to stop the tandem battle to wait for the rain to stop. When the rain begin to ease off a bit,they sent us out in a group to help dissipate any standing water on the track. The track however appeared to be alot wetter than the day before! I love the wet and I have done numerous tandem battles in the wet but never on my current setup before! I drove out on the track and tired to initiate at my normal speed and aggression but only to have spun at the entry!! Thankfully I managed to avoid the wall.. That run definitely didn’t do much for nerves!
Watching Ivan Lau and Zee’s run didn’t help either. These are the two drivers that I looked up to and was shocked to witness the incident that wiped both of these drivers out! Ivan totaled the rear of his car trying to avoid Zee’s spin. Zee is one of Malaysia’s top drifter and he hardly spins!! I am unsure what was the ruling on the incident but both of the drivers were put out of contention
All I could do was grit my teeth and hum the theme song to ‘Barney’ to calm my nerves….
Not long after it was soon my turn to step up to the plate.I did my run with Shah as conservative as possible and managed to advance to the next round
Top 8 was against another top Singaporean drifter Jensen Tan. Jensen Tan is an animal of an opponent. With his circuit racing experience I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I somehow managed to do both runs without any major corrections and advanced to top 4.
Top 4 was against Tengku Djan.Being an owner of hachiroukus and I know what they are capable of in the wet. So we lined up at the start, both of left the line together but as soon as Djan floored the throttle I struggled to get grip. He was three cars ahead of me when we reached the entry and which was maintained all the way to the finish
At the lead I knew I had to go all out , I entered the first corner as fast as I could but I gingerly dumped the clutch when it came to initiation! To my suprise the car didn’t respond as I expected and just went straight. I dumped again ,harder this time, and managed to stick the tail out. But this has caused me to go slightly off line when suddenly the front tires just washed off and made me spin!!
I was filled with mixed emotion, I was sad I was not able to put up a good fight with Djan but then I was happy to at least be able to share the podium with him. Team mate Johan Norman managed to breeze his way to the finals and and bagged 2nd spot, which was a fantastic for Goodyear!!
Djan laughing when I told him that the ‘Thumbs Up’ sign meant Goodyear!!
2nd Johan Norman
It was a pleasure to have met Tony Angelo and Jarrod DeAnda. Tony even volunteered to help fix Jane’s car after her crash!!
Post race press conference
Andy Yen was the one who encouraged me to qualify last year despite of my mechanical problems and it made me more deterimine this year especially when things didn’t go my way through out the weekend! Thanks Andy ..Go Go Corollas!!!
The Friends (Crew)
Jenshen Khor (Ryk1d) took off from work to help out. He was there whenever we needed him; from getting soapy water for the decals to his picture taking duties ( the majority of the pictures we see here) He somehow manage to make everyone happy and ‘GAY’ whenever he was around. Thanks buddy, We won’t forget this
Melissa Fong. She flew down from Malaysia and was with us through out. She was our spotter during our practice runs and made sure we were never hungry nor thirsty through out the day. She got burnt badly from standing out in the sun too long . We both can’t thank her enough for what she has done for us!!
Ah Leong , a friend and owner of WHAT Motorworks, the guy I throw tantrums at and blame whenever there’s no one else for me to blame. I’m glad the car performed flawlessly through out the weekend. Sure we had teething problems the whole of last year but I am sure it is all behind us.Thanks for staying up all night back at the workshop and eating the fried rice and one fried egg I tapaued for us.
We would like to thank
Binter Pte Ltd
We will be posting all the pictures in the Forum section once I get them sorted out…keep a look out for them!!