iTrack Motorsports ExciteGP: Lanier Raceplex

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iTrack Motorsports are an organisation that arrange drift events in Georgia. They host “Drift & Grip” days at Lanier Raceplex alongside a grassroots competition series called ExciteGP.

They organised an event to be held at Lanier the day after Formula Drift. It would be a standard open pit practise day for individuals but in the middle of the day there would be a team drifting competition.

Being the day after FD, several Formula Drift drivers had made their way over to Lanier to get some more seat time.

Karolina Pilarczyk’s V8 S14 had a beautiful wrap. It really sparked the imagination of my friend Aleksandra.

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The dashboard is what sparked my imagination though. I’m assuming it’s been plasti-dipped? It’s an interesting way of adding patterns to things that I have yet to try.

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Alec Hohnadell brought out his S14 from last year’s Formula Drift season.

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Check out the carbon fibre bonnet on this 1 Series. Shaped around the intake of the massive V8 under the hood.

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There were plenty of interesting cars owned by local drivers though.

This E46, for instance, had a tubed front and rear end, rear mounted radiator, a carburettor fed Chevrolet small block V8 and a oval track Chevrolet Monte-Carlo front end.

I had a quick chat with the owner and he said that he used to race oval. This car was put together using bits left over from his racing days.

It’s a look that I’m sure will divide opinions on the internet but it’s unique. I’ve certainly not seen another E46 quite like it that’s for sure!

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It’s nice to see some Mk3 Supras used as drift cars. Though the 7M wasn’t the best of engines, I think they are a fantastic looking car.

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Kurtis Hall brought out a Cressida! To the best of my knowledge these were never sold in the UK and thus are extremely rare. This one is running a Nissan SR20 and a lot of S-chassis suspension and steering components.

It was lovely to see and watch going round the track.

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Toyota MR2. Not really a car you’d expect to be finding drifting due to it’s mid-engined layout. It looked like it was going pretty well though.

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Mustangs make for great drift cars; V8 and manual from factory. I would imagine these late 1990s and early 2000s cars can be picked up for very little money. They have a lot of aftermarket support as well.

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The Hyundai Genesis Coupe (based on the Hyundai Genesis luxury car) is a car that Europe never got. We had the seperate Hyundai Coupe, which was made from the mid 1990s until present. It’s a lovely car, and I would have a second generation if the opportunity arose, but the Genesis had a better power plant as was rear wheel driven whilst the European Coupe was front wheel driven.

Interesting car. I would imagine that they make lovely, well equipped road cars.

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BMWs E30 platform. I have many many happy memories with these from my youth. Prices are rocketing now though.

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There were of course plenty of Nissan S-Chassis’!

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The GT86/FRS/BRZ is going to become a popular grassroots drift car now they are a few years old and prices are dropping.

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Another good drift car that has really dropped in price lately, is the Nissan Z33/350Z. I had a little look on Autotrader and here a road worthy car with valid MOT is going for as little as £3500 with the 6 speed manual.

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If you can find one at a wreckers, like Jace Kern did, they are a really good bargain!

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I was standing on the banking with my friend Alex and I was saying to her how good the silver Z looked going around. It wasn’t the fastest car but it was ever so smooth and consistent.

When it pulled off, we walked down to the pits to have a look at it.

The car was pretty much stock. It had a welded diff, coilovers, the back seats had been removed and it had a pod style air filter (but mounted properly with access to cool air, not just dangling in the engine bay sucking up all the heat. Please take note UK!) If memory serves it even had the standard hubs, though please correct me if that’s wrong.

The owner Jace, his Dad Jason and brother Logan came over. We had a chat about the car and they offered us both passenger rides.

It was my friend Alex’s first time out in a drift car, so I captured as much of it as possible for her:

350Z at Lanier

I also took a little in car footage too:

350Z In Car

They were top guys and very hospitable. Thanks again!

This is a bit of a tangent but I do find it amazing how people from pretty much opposite sides of the world, from totally different backgrounds, can meet through cars and immediately have something to talk about. In my time doing this blog I’ve met older multiple millionaires at places like Brooklands, people from much more difficult backgrounds than my own at banger racing events and people from all around the world, from all different walks of life, and cars have been an instant way of unifying people.

I’ve met people from Ireland who’s parents and grandparents were in the IRA, we should really hate each other yet by having a common interest, we don’t.

The world needs more of that.

Though it had been raining on and off for most of the morning, by the afternoon the sun was starting to break through and the track was drying out. Alex and I popped out for lunch early afternoon and so missed the team competition as we didn’t know when exactly it was going to be held.

When I returned to the track the awards were just being handed out. Top Garage took the win in the team comp. They had a line up of beautifully prepared cars. Top Garage are a fabrication company, I urge you to follow them on Instagram, some of their work is absolute art!

Top Garage 1Top Garage 2Top Garage 3Top Garage 4

As the track was drying out the cars began producing a lot more smoke. There’s a grass verge that stands between the pits and one of the banked corners. The wall that wraps around the banks is about two foot high and then there is a catch fence behind which you can sit.

It was a great place to get photos, and to get covered in lumps of tyre haha! When Alex got back and sat down with me she was less than impressed!

Please feel free to use any of these photos by the way, all I ask is that when you do, you share this blog post’s URL too!

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All in all it was a fantastic day and a great way to round off a really nice week. Big thanks to Jace and family, everyone else I spoke to and iTrack Motorsports for being so hospitable and to Alex for making the 5 hour drive up to see me!

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By Richard Francis

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