The Drift League – Irwindale 2019

Kris Szczepaniec brings us the freshest photos from The Drift League’s 2019 kickoff Irwindale event.

blue rx7 fd3s ebrake wheel lock

Irwindale, CA 3/2/2019

e46 m3 drift car on start line

‘Rain or shine!’ – this phrase had been repeated like a mantra for over a week before the new season of The Drift League kickoff.

black 240sx s13 drift car

The weather forecast wasn’t giving a lot of hope though. 100% chance of rain on Saturday…

bmw e36 rain drift

yellow rx7 fd3s side

Irwindale Speedway, better know in drifting community as The House of Drift, welcomed us with a lot of rain early in the morning.

drifters helmet

No surprise here… Drivers and vendors started rolling in after 7 am.

240sx s14 drift car on trailer

widebody rx7 fd3s on trailer

First driver’s meeting followed media briefing after 9:30 am and shortly after 10 am we heard first engines revving.

toyota 2jzgte engine

A loud mix of JZ’s, RB’s, LS’s and rotary engines woke up sleepy Irwindale.

240sx s14 rear wheel detail

350z spinning out

Official training went as expected. Not a lot of smoke, a lot of spinning and splashing. The first victim of the rain/wall combo turned out to be RJ Contreras and his BMW e36.

bmw e36 crashed on trailer

Ripped off the control arm with the driver’s side front wheel meant his day was over.

The tandem training started around 1 pm and again – no smoke and a lot of spinning.

nissan 350z z33 drift car

Few drivers still went full send, including Micah Diaz, Josh Mason, Rome Charpentier and Tony Cisneros.

240sx s14 twin drift

Qualifying started after 3:30 pm and literally brought us some light. First rays of the sun felt like a blessing. Even the best rain protection will not help you if you’re standing in the pouring rain for 6h.

rx7 fd3s rear detail

We took down some of our DIY camera protection and got ready for some real drifting!

ford mustang drift car in pits

I’m sure every driver tried to push as hard as possible and not lift but in those conditions, you had to be at the top of your game.

240sx s14 matt gray orange rims

blue mazda rx7 fd3s

Micah “Man-Line King” Diaz qualified with a no.1 score of 77 points. The result of rough conditions was TOP 16 with 5 bye runs! That’s how many cars crashed and was not able to compete for any more.

drift car lineup

After the sunset light rain appeared again but the competition went smooth with fewer crashes and uncontrolled skids until the end.

drifters lineup under lights

Josh Mason (Ford Mustang) ended 3rd after the event though he hit the wall pretty hard. 2nd place went to Rome Charpentier (BMW e36) and Tony Cisneros and his Nissan 240SX s14 took the 1st place.

Full gallery

240sx s13 vs rx7 fd3s

240sx s14 kouki sliding

240sx s14 sideways

240sx s14 zenki front

bmw e36 drift car crash

bmw e36 drift car front

bmw e36 interior

bmw e36 m3 rear damage

bmw e46 driver

bmw e46 m3 pits

bmw e46 m3 tyres

e36 m3 on trailer

e36 sedan drifting

e46 m3 vs ford mustang

ford mustang drift car sticker

ford mustang gt distance

ford mustang gt drifting

gray mustang drifting side

gt wing

mazda rx7 fd3s waiting to start

rx7 fd3s interior

rx7 fd3s widebody rear

tire fitting

toyota ae86 drifting

yellow rx7 fd3s drifting rear

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Joe is an avid writer and car enthusiast. When he's not cruising the streets alongside his friends in his Nissan Silvia S15, he's drifting on his VR racing simulator.

Joe's passion for cars is always on display. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the automotive industry, he hopes his writing conveys his excitement and knowledge of cars and games.

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When he's not behind the wheel or at his keyboard, he's likely daydreaming of his ultimate ride - the legendary Lexus LFA.

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