XDC Texas was fun this weekend. I left Jersey on Wednesday and drove like 12 hours, stopped close to Nashville for the night, and got to Dallas Thursday night after another 11 hours or so. The event was on the road course in the infield of the Texas Motor Speedway oval. It was kind of cool being at a big NASCAR track doing stuff. The setup for the road course was pretty basic… straightaway into a right turn with an outside clip, then an outside clip into a fast left turn with a clip at the apex, and finally a quick right turn with an outer clip. The hardest part of the track was linking the first turn to the second turn since there was a huge gap between them. So you really had to carry speed out of the first turn and be on the right line to be able to make it to the second turn without e-brake extending.
There were two practice sessions on Friday. In the first session, I just felt out the course and was starting to get it pretty good by the end of the session. I was practicing with some half-tread FK452s, so the grip wasn’t that high, and I was doing the whole course in 4th and linking it consistently. Then it rained a lot between the first and second practice session. By the second practice session, it wasn’t raining too bad, but the track was still wet. The forecast was for rain on Saturday also, so I tried to get as much practice as I could in the rain to get used to the wet track for Saturday competition. It sucked having no wipers, but I could see OK since it was only light rain. I probably did like 50 runs in that session since a lot of people weren’t driving.
On Saturday, there was a practice session in the morning, and it was raining a bit harder than Friday. I was really having problems seeing where I was going even with Rain-X on the windshield. I would basically just throw it into the first turn based on the cones set up to mark the entry. Then, when I got enough angle to see out the side window, I would look for the first outer clip and hit that. Then I couldn’t see anything for the next turn except the outer clip… lol. So I just aimed for that. Qualifying was in the wet also, but the rain had let up, so I could see better. I did my first run safe with an e-brake entry, and it turned out pretty solid. Second run I tried to be awesome and clutch kicked it like halfway down the straight for an awesome entry. It got a bit wobbly into the first turn, but ended up being a decent run also. I qualified 5th.
Then it stopped raining, track dried, and there was a 30 min practice before top 16. I did like 6-7 runs, and I totally sucked and wasn’t able to link the first to second turn at all. I had put on Federals now, and with the track dry, it had way too much grip, so I didn’t have enough power to light up the tires off the first turn and carry it to the second turn. I was matched up with Mike Pollard for top 16. To lower the grip, I inflated the tires to 60 psi, set the rear shocks to full hard, and did probably the biggest burnout I’ve seen in amateur drifting. It worked really well, and the car was perfect for my lead run. I got through the course well and could see that I put a decent gap on Pollard. On my follow run, Pollard’s car snapped straight after he initiated for the entry. I jumped to the inside to avoid him and ended up passing him and finishing the run. I got the win from that.
In top 8, I went against Shredder. He was having some problems linking the course. My lead run was good again, and I put some distance on him. On his lead run, I tried to give him a lot of room because he looked a lot slower than me, but he went really wide on the first turn kind of off track, so I had caught up to him coming out of the first turn. He wasn’t on the right line to be able to link the first to second turn, and he did a huge e-brake extension to get to the second turn, and basically almost came to a stop. I jumped on the e-brake also and was sliding forever waiting for him to go, but he never did, and I bumped into the back of his car slightly. I got the win from that.
In the semi finals, I had to beat Doug Van Den Brink. He had qualified first and was looking great all weekend. He was really fast but I was getting through the course quick too, so I thought I might have a chance. On the start, he kind of rolled off slow and then floored it a bit down the straight and pulled ahead of me. Coming out of the first turn, he was making a crapload of smoke. I was trying to spot the outer clip before the second turn so I could set myself up for the second turn, but I couldn’t see shit with the smoke. So I tried my best to put the car where it needed to be, but I went too shallow and couldn’t make the second turn… had to straighten for a second. The only chance I had of winning was if he made a big mistake following. I did a nice lead run, but he was right on me, so I lost.
For third place, I drove with Brian Peter. My lead run was pretty good, and I put some distance on him. On my follow, I gave him a bit more room than I should have. He was faster than I thought, so there was a gap between us throughout the run, but I got the win.
So finished third, overall an awesome weekend and was cool to finally get to drift in Texas. I was kind of disappointed there were only like 16 or 17 drivers that came out, but the quality of drivers was great. Everyone was good enough to contend for the win, so it made for a fun comp.