Most days for the past few years, you can find me out in Sonoma county. I started managing Sonoma Drift in 2014, have worked for the world famous raceway and now work at Works Motorsports, which is on track. There’s a lot of ‘work’ on that last sentence. Literally.
Most in our team hold down pretty normal jobs when we’re not heading to rounds of Formula D. Although it’s hard to call it a job when one of the things I spend most of my time is Sonoma Drift.
If you don’t know, Sonoma Drift is one of the biggest grassroots drift events in the country. Started by one of the big wigs out at the track, Lino Ramos in 2011, I took over in 2014 and since then we’ve built it into an almost weekly series, with 1200 spectators and close to 100 cars most weeks. We take great pride in the ability the event gives drivers just entering the sport to hone their skills and build their confidence as drivers. I take great pride in seeing their progression and the week was no exception.
I was super stoked to watch a local called Walker Simpson, driving a Corolla A86 with maybe 100 bhp… maybe. He’s relatively new to drifting, comes out every week and just drives and drives. He’s part of what we’d call the Sonoma Drift family and it is awesome to see him improving but also just wrestling so damn much out of his machine. There is a section at Sonoma called Summer Jam, and seeing him link that section when sometimes its hard for drivers with four times as much power was just awesome. Once he’d done that you could see his confidence increase, and it’s moments like this that remind me why I love drifting so much. Guys like Walker and all the Sonoma Drift family keep me motivated.
I’d say Sonoma Drift is so popular because not only do we run a variety of layouts in a small area, giving drivers different options and opportunities but we maintain high safety standards at a pro level. The idea is to teach drivers about safety and ensure they understand what they need to do whilst still making it fun and simple. We know what drivers need and what people want to see.
If you’re interested, Sonoma Drift consists of:
Run through turn 3 to turn 4 of Sonoma’s NASCAR track - open 4-7p
Donut pad - open 4-9p
Custom layout in paddock behind main grandstand - 7-10pm
Go here to find out more and hopefully see you there.