Autosport International 2017

The annual Autosport International show in January is a great way to catch up with what people have been doing over the winter, get some insights into the coming season and see some amazing cars. There is always a drift presence at the show, though unfortunately not in the live action arena this year, and the first two stops on the list of things I wanted to see were the new builds I knew about. ‪

#‎dmacs1‬ a hashtag that seems to have been around a while now along with some great articles on Speedhunters. When Darren ‘D-mac’ McNamara posted that the car would be launched at Autosport I knew where my first visit would be. Apart from the odd crazy Volvo or Merc build drift cars in Europe are generally either Jap or BMW, and while my heart will always be JDM, it’s great to see someone doing something different and the D-Mac S1 is defiantly that.

The box shape, distinctive vents on the bonnet and 4 ring Audi logo on the grill the car brings back found memories of watching these cars rewrite the book on rallying back in the early 80s. Under the bonnet will be the inline 5-cylinder ported to 2.7l  though now driving just the rear wheels. I can’t wait to hear what this sounds like on track and for anyone to young to remember I hunted out this on youtube for the awesome soundtrack and a reminder of why these cars changed everyone’s mind on what you could do with four wheel drive in rallying. 

Darren opted to make this a long wheelbase more suited to drifting and with the kit andskirts fitted, and sitting on those matt gunmetal Works, the car looks perfect.


The car looks just as nice from the rear which tbh gives me mixed feelings. The thoughts of this having any sort of hard contact with concrete makes me a little sad inside.

#dmacs1 #asi17

With the amount of custom work involved in getting the power to those rear wheels required to keep up with the 2JZs, while keeping the 5 cylinder, I can only think of one or two other people talented and brave enough to take on this project. now can Darren make the S1 throw the rule book out the window for a second time?

The only other new drift car I knew about at the show at Christy Carpenter‘s West Lake Toyota GT86. After becoming a familiar sight in Formula Drift this is one of a couple of builds taking place over in the UK and Ireland and I’m looking forward to seeing them competing. With the right body kit and engine these cars look and handle the part and as the price drops on used models I expect to see more turning up at drift days around the country.

One new build that hadn’t been on my radar was Baggsy’s new Monster Energy sponsored PS13 but it’s peaked my interest after I hear it’s running a VQ35 with work by VQ specialists Abbey Motorsport Ltd. Having had a 350gt for 8 years Abbey are a name well known to me and regarded as the go to guys for anything VQ related. 

#ASI17 #Baggsy #Sunoco

#ASI17 #Baggsy #Sunoco

There were a few more familiar drift cars around the show on various stands. Wayne Keeber and Marcin Mucha were on the Landsail Tyres stand. James Deane had his Falken tyres s14 on the Samsonas Motorsport stand. While Baggsy had his other car on the obp Motorsports stand

The brains behind drifting in the UK and Ireland were working hard on sponsorship and deals. I really can’t get over how much work these guys, and many others, put in behind the scenes to bring the fans and drivers the successful series they run.

David Egan and Cain Leonard  have made the IDC one of the most followed and respected drift championships in the world and they are now trying to get the same for the BDC. Over in Ireland there is an exciting new venue on the IDC calendar along with a round battling against drivers from Drift Allstars at round 3. And in the UK we can expect lots of concrete walls, changes to track layouts, our own BDC v DA event and a season finale at Teesside running till 11pm with fireworks. I would expect a few more surprises from David over the next few months. 


Mark Sweeps Buckle ran the BDC until handing the reigns over to David last year. Mark now concentrating running Drift Cup, the feeder series for BDC. Drift Cup has been getting steadily better with last season being by far the best so far and with Sweeps making new sponsorship deals I’m looking forward to covering the coming season which kicks off in March as part of Spring matsuri at Rockingham.

Back to the Cars and once the drift stuff was ticked off I headed straight to the Liberty Walk stand. Having been lucky enough to get to SEMA last year I know how amazing their cars look and was eager to see the 458 and it didn’t disappoint

#LibertyWalk. #LBPerformance. #LBWorks. #TeamAirREX. #AirREX

I know may people that would class this as ruining a Ferrari but to me this car is perfect. I love the look of all their cars but the LB⭐FIGHTER WORKS Ferrari 458 is just amazing

even the kids version looks awesome!

And lets not forget the LB⭐WORKS Monster Energy Lamborghini Aventador. it takes a special group of people to be able to take cars which are awesome in their own right and make them look this extreme without pushing it to far where they would look silly.

The other highlight of the show for me was this Veyron. This was a first for me as I’ve not seen one in the flesh before so being full carbon fiber panels and a yellow paint work with an amazing fleck made this very special

 As always there was a large selection of formula 1 cars both current and past

Though there was no drifting in the live action arena there was still plenty to entertain the crowd with RallyX, BTCC, autograss and Terry Grant putting on displays

Terry Grant finished off the live show with a hot wheels loop the loop with Shmee in the passenger seat

In among all the people I run into were a couple of people I hadn’t seen since SEMA…it’s a small world. Michelle Westby was again working on the Alcon Specialist Brakes & Clutches stand. After her best season yet in Drift Cup she appears to have conquered the nerves many drivers seem to get when they go from practice to competing, could she take some podiums and get the opportunity to play with the big boys and girls in BDC?

Another female driver who got over the nerves a long time ago I run into Danni Murphy on the way out of the show on Friday. Danni along with the support of her mam works tirelessly often defeating the odds to compete across Europe in the Queen of Europe events. Due to car issues last year she was only a spectator at some of the IDC rounds but it would be great to see her back on home soil in the green monster

From March till October there are normally at least a couple of weekends away covering one of the drift series every month and it’s reprobates like this lot, and a few people that weren’t at AS, that make it doable.

#ASI17 #Dmacs1 #libertywalk #driftcup #idcnation #bdc2017 #drifting #driftqueen1 #miss_westby #baggsyboyuk #terrygrant1 #shmee150  

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