Final Bout 2019
Drifting confuses a lot of people. It's not a timed or measured competition, so what is it? Quite simply, it's a feast for the senses. While it is true that it is a judged competition, it's so much more than that. Even someone who is new to the sport can see when a driver nails the perfect drift line. It's all about style. Aggression. Fluid movement. Horsepower and finesse. Plus a splash of color and an engine bouncing off rev limiter. But most importantly, to everyone who attended Final Bout 2019 in Shawano Wisconsin, drifting is life.
You know it's going to be a good event when the parking lot is packed with cool cars. Unfortunately, the track was completely overwhelmed with the amount of spectators who wanted to attend this event. They were bussing in people who parked offsite in a nearby town! We waited in line for an entire hour to get our tickets. It was torture listening to drift cars wailing away in the background without being able to see the action. What awaited us was beyond words.
Drift teams came from all over the country to participate in this event. Auto Factory Realize represented LA with three cars, including this beautiful teal S13 hatch. This car perfectly illustrates the style most drivers in the drift scene try to display.
Team Animal Style kills it with loud graphics and an equally loud driving style. Follow their YouTube channel, and you can see what a mad thrash it is to get these cars ready for an event like this. But the end product never disappoints.
One of the premier attractions at the event was Team Sexy Knights, who flew three cars in from Japan just for this event. It was a chance for the locals to see how a legendary Japanese Drift Team likes to shred. We were not disappointed.
One of the great things about a grassroots drift event at a place like US Air Motorsports Park is just how close you can get to the action. Clay and I were hit in the face with a cloud of rubber chunks and smoke every time the cars went by. And there were so many corners and elevation it really made the action come alive.
For a drift car, style doesn't end with the exterior livery of the car. Brightly colored seats, shifters, steering wheels and dashboards go beyond the pure functionality of a race car and turn the style up to 11. Thrash Racing was a sponsor of this event, and they will gladly sell you a Jaguar animal print seat.
The drift scene isn't all Japanese cars from the 90s. This 70s Toyota Celica was out there shredding with the best of them, just with a little more vintage flair.
The Hoonigan Crew also made the trek from LA for this event. Unfortunately, Hert's "Twerk Stallion" Mazda FC suffered a broken diff which put him out of the event early. The Chair Slayer's hand-control S13 hatch is also visible in this shot.
There were over 100 drift cars in attendance, with non-stop drifting from 10am to 11 at night. It's drifting overload, and we could not get enough. Toward the end of the day, they invited all the cars out on the track for a photo op. It was a sight to behold and one we will not forget.
Clay's pick for the event was this Nissan S15. We've come a long way from the Hot Import Nights scene. It feels good to know that drifting is alive and well for anyone who has the desire and the ability to turn a wrench on the most exciting cars in the world. I'm convinced drifting is the coolest and most exciting thing you can do with a car. Prove me wrong.