The first shots have been fired in the International Drifting Cup presented by Garrett Advancing Motion this evening, with a hill full of spectators enthralled by the tyre-smoking action at Sydney Motorsport Park as part of the Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge 2018 presented by Track Warrior.

Round one for all eight pools as well as round two for pools A through D were completed this evening, with the drifting action to continue tomorrow night from 5.30pm with the conclusion of the pool battles ahead of the Top Eight, the TTI Gearbox Top Four and the final match-ups. For more information on the new format, please click here.

Amongst the judging panel for the drifting proceedings is none other than the ‘Drift King’, Keiichi Tsuchiya.

DK is driving Beau Yates’ Toyota Genuine Parts AE86 in the Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge 2018 presented by Track Warrior which has a strong drifting past and was obviously enjoying this evening’s drifting antics, saying through a translator: “Australians are fun to watch! It is fun to watch also in a sense because we have people passing each other on the start line, all four tyres going off, there is all sorts of excitement going on. Usually you put your breaks on right there but people are just flying off, there is some crazy stuff going on.”

The best way to experience all of the action tomorrow will undoubtably be in-person at Sydney Motorsport Park. Tickets are available at the gate, for full details and pricing, please click here. The Bosch Motorsport Australia Livestream will also be live across the day from 10.00am here, covering all of the on-track action.

Round one of the new World Cup-style format began this evening with Anthony Bilic (Nissan S13) up against Michael Prosenik’s S13. Bilic spoiled the first contest by going off the track whilst chasing before Prosenik did enough on the second encounter to get the win.

In the next match-up, Josh Boettcher (S15) and Matt Russell (Toyota AE86) split the judges two-one in the latter’s favour.

Matt Russell battles Josh Boettcher

Then Dan ‘Fanga’ Woolhouse – who join Carl Thompson in driving his S15 today as he awaits the arrival of a steering rack from New Zealand for his damaged Mustang – scored a unanimous decision over Warwick Hill (BMW) who replaced a despondent Brad Tuohy whose AE86 failed in practice.

Battle four was a draw between Adam Monck (S15) and Aaron Dewar in his S13. The contest between Jack Shanahan (AE86) and Jaron Olivecrona (V12 Nissan Silvia) took some time for the judges to decide, and they couldn’t split them.

Two very different cars faced off for the sixth contest where Ben Meir (S14) led off against Brandon Greaves in the big horsepower, supercharged LS3 BMW M3. Meir used a handbrake which cost him and Greaves came through for the win.

Brendan Greaves (right) against Ben Meir

Sixteen-year-old Irish lad Connor Shanahan (S13) – who celebrated his birthday one day before departing Ireland for this event – was up against the veteran Luke Finke (S14) and they came away squared.

The younger of the Shanahan brothers had unveiled a car swap earlier in the day, having been involved in an unfortunate car failure yesterday during practice which saw him dive from his convertible Silvia in pretty spectacular style. Connor was cleared to continue competing by the on-site medical team before the end of the practice session, with Valino Tires Australia putting their hand up to give him their spare car for today’s competition.

In the following battle, Driftmasters winner Stephen Burgmans was at the wheel of Rob Whyte’s V8 Nissan 350Z and he faced Michael Bonney (S13) who took the battle honours.

Nob Taniguchi (Toyota 86) then scored the win in his first heat over Nathan Greenhill (Nissan Skyline R32) and followed through for the win when Greenhill jumped the second start.

Another stalwart of the sport in Australia, Beau Yates (Toyota 86), faced the virtually unknown Japanese ‘Drift Zamurai’ (Takahiro Immamura) who went off the track not once but twice, giving Yates the win.

Jake Jones (BMW M3) spun out in his first contest with Dale Campaign (S13) and while his second run was much cleaner, Campaign scored the win.

Two S15s then faced off when Camo Mote and Carl Thompson squared off with the former favoured by the three judges.

Danny Probert

Next was the oddball match-up of Mitch Pullen (Toyota Hilux Turbo) and the Northern Territory’s Danny Probert in an XD Falcon. The Ute had to forfeit the second run as it peeled a tyre off the rim in the first contest.

“We were a little bit lucky there – Mitch unfortunately rolled a tyre and was unable to come back for the chase run. That is drifting, but I feel really bad for him, it would have been nice to win it fair and square, but we will take it anyhow,” Probert said.

“We are having a little bit of trouble with the transition at the bottom section of the track, we are going to revert back to how we practiced and I think we will have a better result.”

The fancied Naoki Nakamura in his Nissan 350Z faced Joel Dimmack and his Nissan 240Z. Nakamura was supposed to lead the first challenge but it was Dimmack in front. After the swap over Nakamura took the win.

Jase Brown (front) battles Matty Hill

Aggressive from the outset, Matty Hill fired his S15 off the track against Jase Brown (S15). Next time out Hill would get wheels on the grass, making for two errors and giving Brown the win.

“We were quite fortunate. Our lead run was a little scrappy and I feel for Matty a little bit; he is running injured, getting over a foot problem and has had three months out of the car – we got lucky on that one I reckon,” Brown said.

All the way from Tasmania, Matt Hardie (S13) was against Levi Clarke (S15) to complete the first round of battles. Hardie had a tyre let go at the end of the second run and still scored the result in what was the final battle of the first round for the pools.

To start of the second round of contests, it was Prosenik against Boettcher with the latter still experiencing handling difficulties which were evident early and thus lost out to Prosenik.

Michael Prosenick

In the next contest there was the unusual circumstance of Russell briefly passing Bilic in the first run and then running away with the second and taking the win. With two wins each and thanks to the draw, Prosenik and Russell will now do battle tomorrow in the third session to see which of them will progress to the Top Eight.

“It has been good, we have had a couple of good battles – I like this track, it is fast and aggressive, hopefully we can keep doing what we are doing tomorrow,” Prosenik said.

In the following Hill verse Dewar battle, their first encounter was close as was the second, however Dewar nabbed the win due to Hill having four wheels off early.

Fanga Dan was working well aboard his borrowed mount and was next up against Monck who ended up getting up; while the Kiwi Olivecrona then had to face Meir and seemingly came out on top until the judges deemed a draw was a fairer result.

Greaves took a forfeit victory over Jack Shanahan who had a tyre drama which was not allowed to be replaced as there was no five-minute rule. With two victories to his name and a favourable match-up for tomorrow’s third session, Greaves has now booked his spot in the Top Eight.

“We got pretty close – we have come here to win so we will put it all on the line, that is what we are here for,” Greaves said after his round one victory.

In the final match-ups of the evening, Finke simply drove away when leading Burgmans, setting up the win by following through in the second run, while Connor Shanahan was far too straight in his initial contest with Bonney before the young Irish lad fought back for a draw.

The International Drifting Cup presented by Garrett Advancing Motion will conclude tomorrow evening from 5.30pm with round two for pools E-H and then round three for all pools ahead of the Top Eight, the TTI Gearbox Top Four and the final match-ups.

Before the drifting action fires up however, there is a full day of Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge 2018 presented by Track Warrior action coming up across Saturday 13 October.

The on-track search for that one perfect lap will resume from 8.00am with three sessions scheduled for the V-Sport Clubsprint and Link ECU Open classes across the day while the Royal Purple Pro Am and Royal Purple Pro Classes will each have four sessions. Then, the last chance Superlap Shootouts for the top five of each class will kick-off from 3.50pm.

For all the event information you need, please see the links below: