I have always loved the 2 Fast 2 Furious franchise. 2 Fast 2 Furious Number 2 TokyoDrift is my total favourite. It is about drifting. The best explanation for Drifting is from Urban Dictionary:
“How to aim one’s car at a wall and miss it completely; drifting is the opposite of grip-driving, which involves taking a corner without sliding. This can be done without any regard to horsepower, weight, or any other factors. Essentially this means any car can drift, however, some cars are more apt to ‘powerslide’ than drift. Drifting originated in Japan, thus most cars used to drift are Japanese.”
HEALTH WARNING: Drifting is not for the faint of heart, the poor, or those who are nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant.
Through a friend on Facebook, I found out about drifting in Pallas Karting – which is a race track literally 25 minutes down the road from me. They had a Drift Club practice meet on a Saturday just after Christmas. They advertised free passenger rides if you come early enough. I got my lovely friend (who watches all the 2 Fast 2 franchise with me) to come to the drift meet with me. We were totally excited. There was a very reasonable entrance fee , we went in and the roar of engines and screeching of tyres filled our ears. I was super excited to get out of my white van go to the canteen clubhouse type area and ask about the ‘free ride’. We got a cup o’ builders tea and a sausage bap (I am really trying hard to be a vegetarian/vegan but sometimes you have to settle for food made from anything with a face). There were male and female drivers and owners, and they were all super friendly to us.
I spoke to the slightly age-inappropriate looking Jay and told him that I didn’t want to go for a ‘passenger ride’ with any young lads. He said that most of the lads were the same age as him, 36! So that worry resolved, off he went to try and get me the ride.
We headed trackside to watch the racing. Well, we weren’t quite sure if it was racing or just going around and around the track. It didn’t matter, the tunes were banging from massive speakers and it was really interesting to watch the different makes and types of cars, as well as the techniques drivers were showing off. Though one car did look like a family saloon that hat gotten lost on the way to Tesco and ended up on the track… The laps were pretty fast. In fact, bits of rubber flew over the fence and landed smoking at my feet – how cool was that! I literally squealed with delight (in a very literary Enid Blighton, Malory Towers kind of way – and I hadn’t even had any ginger beer!)
After watching all morning, we decided to head into the canteen area for a soya mocha vegan decaf. Unsurprisingly, we had to settle for builders tea and curried chips. The last time I had curried chips I was 15 years and hanging out at the shops drinking Thunderbird red (red Thunderbird one had a stronger alcohol content, which was v relevant at the time). As we ate, we sat next to some more age inappropriate boys and I got chatting with them about 2 Fast 2 Furious!!! I could tell they were all impressed with my drift knowledge by the way they rolled their eyes and laughed a lot. Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed in the young fellas’ cars as they didn’t have roll bars. These are metal bars running up the sides and across the top of a vehicle, especially used in motorsport, which strengthen the vehicle frame and protect the occupants if the vehicle overturns. What a pity!
After our ‘meal’ we went outside to get the free ride. The drift laps were looking super fast and some of the cars had bits hanging off of them – just their bumpers and other non-essential bits like that. I was informed that there was a slow lap coming up (however, I think they just told this to me for the craic). The lovely Jay was outside, asking me had I got the ride yet. I replied that I was waiting for the ‘slow lap’. He just looked at me. Hmmm.
I waited a bit more, and whiled away some time dancing and also dodging the flying rubber. I then decided that I was just too scared. So we called it a day and the decision was unanimous to just actually practice the drifting on the road home! We made a pact to come back to the next drift meet in a month’s time, where I would defo get the ride!
FAST FORWARD TO THE NEXT DRIFT MEET….
So it was the Bank holiday weekend, yippee!! I arranged to meet my friend and sister at the drift track that afternoon. It was cold so I wore runners, yoga pants, tracksuit, six layers of upper clothes and a recycled fur coat. I didn’t even forward plan as to think what outfit goes with a helmet or post-ride helmet hair. I was the first one there so I got the obligatory cup o’ tea and had a chat with the lads about the passenger ride. I was told that Alan* would sort me out.
As I waited, I watched the cars drift round and round. The smell of burning rubber (now impregnating my hair and clothing) came back to me from last time. I love it! I decided that I was just going to go for it, despite how scared I was. But who would film me? Who would carry my pleather black-with-gold-trim clutch-from-Penneys, and most importantly, who would upload me onto social media????
Hooray; then my ‘crew’ turned up, and social media channels breathed a sigh of relief.
I was ready to go! I was given a silver helmet – which (thank goodness) matched my tracksuit bottoms and my runners. I had to take my recycled fur coat off and I was strapped in at the crotch area which was totally appropriate apparently. There was a massive sticky uppy gear stick up high in the middle of the BMW 3 series. We screeched out of the pits and on to the track. My friends said they could hear me scream from track-side!
I proceeded to scream.
There was burning tyre rubber coming up through the car floor, come to think of it I wasn’t sure if the car had a floor. The driver flung the car around the track, skilfully drifting from one side to another at top speed.
I was still screaming.
Then we went round and round and round! I thought we had broken down but it was called a doughnut! I loved it and screamed even more. Wizzed round the track a couple more times, screaming, laughing and non-stop smiling! What an experience. When I we came to a stop and I was released from my crotch belt. I was totally ecstatic. This must be what it feels like to give birth! It was a life experience! I thanked the driver and all the lads profusely and ran to the canteen/club house, screaming ‘I got da ride!’
They were all super happy for me.
I drove home in a state of wonderment and with burn smelling rubber hair, with a big fat grin on my face.
I would like to thank the super friendly, hospitable, helpful people at Pallas Karting. And would definitely recommend it as a fun day out! They do all sorts of events and are very active through Facebook. I would also like to thank my friend Bonnie Boyle and my sister who shared the experience with me. I would also like to thank my other friend who asked me if I ‘was the oldest person there?’
The answer is ‘no’
At BitchMittens HQ, we have skydivers, jockers, climbers, runners, jockeys and more. But Ellen takes the trophy for MOST SHIT DONE IN ONE MONTH. Emily once went bouldering and kayaking in the same month. But Ellen’s gone angling and drifting in the same week. She wins. #Badass #2Fast2Furious.
We love her!
*Alan’s name has been changed to protect his identity plus the fact Ellen cannot remember his actual name. (Sorry Alan!)
Please note that PBM does not endorse getting into fast cars with strange boys!