Mi Drift, an organization that puts on drift events in the Detroit area, is only about a year old, but you wouldn’t know if you’d attended the group’s Halloween Bash this past weekend, like I did. It was an epic display of tire-scorching Full Opposite Lock madness.
I heard about the Halloween Bash from Darby Barber, the kickass GM designer whom we’ve featured on this site not once, not twice, but thrice. As I have no life outside of blogging and wrenching—and I’ve never actually been to a drift event—of course I had to go.
Two of my friends joined me as we drove up to Auto City Speedway in Clio, just north of Flint. Upon arrival, we witnessed beautiful drifting glory:
There was everything out there, too: a rear-wheel drive Subaru Impreza, a bunch of seemingly stock-power Nissan 350Zs (which were kicking ass), Mustangs, a Hyundai Genesis Coupe, some obligatory Nissan 240SXs, a crap-ton of BMWs, a sweet black Lexus IS, Darby’s boosted Miata, and a hilarious stock-looking Infiniti Q45 sedan.
And, as the kids are saying these days, the drivers were “sending it.”
I talked with the co-founder of Mi drift, Bailey Birr (the other co-founder’s name is Brian Mentz), and he told me the group hosted its very first event in August of 2016 after Birr was inspired by a large drift event he had attended in New Jersey called the East Coast Bash (put on by Club Loose). Birr figured there was no reason why something that awesome couldn’t exist in Michigan.
So Birr, who, up to that point, was going to Ohio and Indiana to get his car sideways, invited ten drifting buddies to his home state to get Mi Drift’s early drifting shindigs on their feet. Turnout ever since has been solid, with about 40 drivers attending events, which are usually held at Gingerman Raceway and Auto City Speedway.
Mi drift has held nine drifting sessions (which usually last from noon until midnight, and cost from $75 to $100 to participate, and $10 to spectate) since Aug. 2016, and has even managed to goad a handful of spectators out of the stands and into the drifting game.
Darby, who invited me to the Halloween Bash in the first place, was kind enough to give me a ride-along in her boosted Miata, and my god was it awesome:
Between all the noise, the smoke, and the flames shooting out of the exhaust holes in the hood, that ride-along was enough to make me forget about how cold it was, and just laugh uncontrollably like a small child.
Because you’re all probably wondering how that Mustang in the top Instagram video turned out, here’s a look at the carnag and the car’s owner, Tyler Zombec, who was a great sport:
Look at how the front foot or so of the body just shifted to the passenger’s side:
And check out the big tear in the sheetmetal:
Tyler, who’s a been in the drifting game for quite a while, seemed very positive about the crash, telling me that—since the shock mounts seem to be just fine—he’s just going to build a custom tube front end to hold his cooling module in place, and then continue drifting the crap out of his first car.
The 240SX that hit the Mustang had a few dings in the passenger-side door, but definitely fared better than the purple pony.
But Tyler’s wasn’t the only incident of the night. Christian, a talented fabricator, rally driver, and drifter whom I met that night, was doing beautiful drifts (see above) one second, and then this happened the next:
Our more astute readers might notice that Christian’s 1989 240SX doesn’t appear to be drifting in this photo, and yet it is still producing absurd quantities of smoke. That’s because the Nissan’s turbo decided to blow up on the track (Christian let me wiggle his turbo’s shaft—it was all over the place). And like Tyler, Christian didn’t seem too worried about it. “It’s fine, I’ve got another turbo in my kitchen,” he told me.
The whole event was just great, with the A Group cars (the more experienced drivers) dancing around the track in groups of four or five, and B Group folks (beginners) going out alone and slowly but surely perfecting the art of the drift.
Needless to say, I’ll be keeping an eye out on Mi Drift’s Facebook page for the next bash.