More than 50 of Tasmania’s finest drift competitors will converge upon Symmons Plains Raceway this weekend for the opening round of the AASA-sanctioned Drift Tasmania Series, which will mark the return of drift competition to the Apple Isle.
Managed by the Performance Driving Australia motoring education and services organisation, the Drift Tasmania Series will initially consist of up to four rounds each year, along with practice days to enable drifters to hone their skills and fine-tune their vehicles. Initially, the series will operate at Symmons Plains, although there are plans to visit Baskerville in the future.
Performance Driving Australia Motorsport Events Manager Mikayla Szycman said the response to the inaugural Drift Tasmania round has exceeded expectations.
“We’ve capped entries for this round at 60, and we’ve officially sold out – some of our competitors include high-profile drifters like Matt Harvey and Brodie Maher,” Szycman said.
“A couple of drift cars have been on display at Hobart and Launceston, which has generated a lot of public interest.
“With COVID-19 regulations, we’re restricted with the number of spectators we can have on site and we only have a limited number of tickets left. We didn’t expect our first event to receive such an overwhelming response.”
Szycman said the Drift Tasmania concept was created due to demand from Tasmanian enthusiasts and chose the AASA to sanction the events because of its personalised level of service.
“At Performance Driving Australia, we have forged a lot of connections with motoring enthusiasts and the feedback we were receiving from drift competitors was that they wanted the opportunity to compete in a structured and professionally-organised championship, which would appeal to potential sponsors,” Szycman said.
“With our background in organising corporate driving events along with rallies and hill-climbs, it was relatively straightforward for us to adapt our skillset to drifting.
“The AASA is very adaptable when it comes to sanctioning different types of motorsport and their team, led by Stephen Whyte, have been proactive when it comes to helping us get used to the protocols around running these sorts of events.”
While the current COVID-19 travel restrictions mean the Drift Tasmania Series is currently exclusive to local competitors, Szycman said the ultimate aim is to attract visitors.
“Some of our Tasmanian drifters have travelled to mainland Australia to compete, and we’re hoping we can build up the Drift Tasmania Series to attract not only people from other states but hopefully some international drivers in the future,” she said.