Ireland has Mondello Park, the States Irwindale, and Rockingham Speedway isquickly becoming the UK’s own drift capital, so it was no surprise to see it multiple times when the rounds were announced for BDC and DriftCup. The first visit of 2018 was for Spring Matsuri and round 1 of Drift Cup and after the entire country ground to a halt the week before due to snow it was almost a relief to see only rain forecast for the weekend.
The only oval track in the UK, Rockingham was built with the intention of bringing oval racing over from the USA and with its huge 52000 seating grandstands it’s an impressive sight through a little eerie as they are all empty for drift weekends. There would be 3 track layouts running all weekend along with the outer paddock which would also be used for Drift Cup on Sunday. The drivers have a choice of two layouts on the high-speed oval with some bales used at each end to layout some bends for skids. The central track gives a more traditional drift layout with short straights half a dozen bends.The outer paddock would run the DC layout giving drivers competing on Sunday a chance to try the track out.
After a week of snow, it rained pretty much non stop on the Friday right through into Saturday making the grass on the infield totally sodden and not at all pleasant to wander around on. Normally I would just shrug it off and put up with damp feet and legs but the one issue with Rockingham for me, at least on track 2, is any red flags can mean a dead track for up to 10mins while they get someone out the kitty litter and clear the track so on this occasion I stuck to the closest corners
The outer paddock was running the same layout as would be used for DriftCup on the Sunday with a couple of tyre walls and a long concrete wall down the final straight giving the drivers something to run coming out the final corner and to protect the spectators.
The garages at Matsuri are great for getting a close look at the cars and also an opportunity to watch drifting on a slightly smaller scale with a RC track.