Catch My Drift by The Drift Beerd Pete Burrell
No drifter writes naturally. Especially when said drifter has to introduce themselves to the world. What do I say? How do I talk about myself without coming across as some pious person who knows everything there is to know about drifting? Actually, that's a very good place to start.
My name is Pete, and I DON’T know everything there is to know about drifting. Or about cars. Or about life in general. I am just a guy with a passion to slide fast, drive sideways, and have fun doing it. That’s what this sport is about. Going out with your buddies on the weekend, burning through used tires, slapping the wall, totalling your car and laughing the whole time, knowing that you wouldn’t want to spend your time doing anything else.
That's how I got my introduction into the sport.
The year was 2013. I had just graduated high school decided to go through my Honda phase, so bought my first “race car”, a 1989 Honda CRX. It was 4 colors, had a high compression B18c and had TE37s, which were probably worth more than the car.
A few local guys liked to get together in a local mall parking lot on Thursday nights to just hang out. No racing, no ricers, just 10ish cars hanging out, talking and drooling over what we wanted to build.
One October night, a white Miata came rolling into the lot. It was lower than any car I had ever seen, and it was sitting on some crazy gold wheels. It had a hard top, a roll cage, turbo noises and had a weird handle mounted to the transmission tunnel. I was intrigued. (The car still exists..I’m planning on doing a feature on it in the coming weeks)
A guy named Larry, who I only knew through facebook, popped out of the car and mentioned that he and a few others were going street drifting that night if anyone wanted to roll with. I had no idea what that meant, but wanted to find out.
We stayed in the parking lot for a few more hours, and rolled over to Larry’s shop around 11 pm. There were a few BMW’s there, a 240 and Larry’s Miata again, which was on the lift getting new tires put on for the night’s festivities. I wasn't 2 feet in the door before a light got thrust into my hand. “Hold this.” The guy said, and went back under the car. From that point on, I was in..I was one of the car guys. No more was I just a sideline player. I was now elbow deep in a strange car in the middle of the night with a bunch of people that I had never met before.
We left the shop around 1 to head to the skid spot that was being hit that night. 5 cars sliding and 3 or 4 others following as spotters. Still not quite sure what's going on, I hang back and jump behind the last car in the small convoy headed to nowhere. Once we got to the spot, The spotters blocked, the drifters slid, and for the most part didn't crash, (poor BMW lost his exhaust leaving the parking lot near the drift spot), and I had my first taste of tire smoke. From that moment on, I knew what I was shooting for in life. I wanted to get my hands on a drift car.
Snap to present day. It took me almost 4 years and countless other vehicles to finally work up the courage (or stupidity. It is yet to be decided), to buy a drift car. I started big, though, trading a motorcycle I owned for a 1991 240 with an RB20DET in it. Not even 2 seconds into my new passion and I had already made my 1st mistake: Buying a swapped car that “only needs a battery to run”. 2 months and countless bloody knuckles later, I sold it without ever drifting, and purchased a 1997 E36 from someone who had owned and drifted it for 9 years. Nothing better than a turnkey drift car.
From the moment I got the 240, people would ask what I had slid before. I would sheepishly admit that the only sliding I had ever done was snow skids in my big Chevy 2500, which doesn't even remotely compare to dry drifting in a 5 speed car. I have since slid 5 corners and spun out on 2 of them, so needless to say I am still very new to this. I am excited, though, to learn the ins and outs of the sport, all while documenting my story as well as the stories of others. My goal for this column is multi-faceted. It's not in my blood to focus on 1 thing (incredible amounts of un-medicated ADD mixed with too much Mtn Dew will do that to you), so don’t be surprised if the topics I write on are all over the map, but I hope that each week is an interesting piece that can show you something you’ve never seen before or shed new light on old ideas.
I hope to cover my drift build, my skills progression, local events (both on the track and..ehrrm..off the track), Local car builds and the stories behind the drivers. I don't want what I write to be super techy, but I want it to come from a more simple side of the sport, where anyone can sit down, read what I have written, and walk away with a better understanding of why we do what we do. I hope to not only write, but also photo journal through my Instagram account (@thedriftbeard) and link those photos up with what I write about week to week.
Currently, the publishing time table is write Monday-Thursday, Edit Friday-Saturday and post sometime on Monday afternoons around 3EST, so be watching www.driftillustrated.com each week for the newest DriftBeerd Column.
I am really excited to begin this journey with you all, and I am looking forward to learning through trial and error, and passing my trials and errors on to you in hopes that you learn as well. In the coming days, I will post a question and answer session that I had with myself, basically giving a flavor of what to expect going forward.
Slide fast, Drive Sideways and have fun
I have a decent list of ideas for what I want to cover, but as quickly as these ideas come, I’m sure I will be out of them sooner rather than later, so if you have any ideas for things I should cover, people I should talk to, or places I should go. Shoot us an email!