The Under Dogs: RDC Round 1

8th May 2017 — by Ben Gaut


After a few years off, I thought it was finally time to head back and shoot some competitive drifting, and what better way to do that then head up to the always cold, always windy Santa Pod for the first round of the Retro Drift Challenge. I went with a very open mind having not really heard too much about the event in the past, but one thing is for sure I was completely blown away by the event! The level of driver skill / builds and organisation was on par if not better than 90% of events I have been to in the past.

You might be sat there thinking well its only Pod, and you cant really do much with Pod, its not a ‘home of motorsport’ track, it isn’t 130 mph entries, its just Pod! The track layout they were using on the day really brought the best out in the drivers with tight transitions, as well as long powering corners that meant the smoke was certainly in the air, and the crowd where on there feet.

The atmosphere in the pits was full of excitement and anticipation with everybody just wanting to get on track to start laying down some rubber and dialing in their lines before qualifying in the afternoon.

With practice being run thoughout the morning, the amount of seat time the drivers got was insane! None of this “2 groups out for 10 minutes and back in again”. No 30 minute queues to get one run in, there was always a constant flow of cars on track, which is always a bonus for both us and the drivers!

I have also now managed to develop a new found hatred for the bins at Santa Pod! They just always seem to be in the bloody way!

After a well needed jacket potato and a coffee,  lead straight into qualifying, all the drivers giving it everything they had, as the hunger for that podium spot was unreal.

With qualifying over it was straight into the top 32 battles! Now here is when things got different, its not all high powered S-bodies on out on track, with a huge range of cars and power on the track the skill level from everyone of both chase runs and lead runs was second to none!

Moving into the top 8, you could see everyone just stepped their game up even further. With Felix all the way from Holland peddling his little Volvo with some serious talent and aggression, it didn’t matter what he was put up against, that man just wouldn’t back down.

With the final battles closely approaching and everyone driving for the win it was going to be a close call, but Daryl Jones took the win for Team JBR!

Zanna Young took the Hard Charger award home with her after a seriously epic performance in her E36 throughout the day!

Lastly I just want to say a massive thank you to all the staff at the RDC for putting on an incredible event, and seriously if you don’t know about it or want to find out more, get in contact with them because I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed!


2016 Round up … The Return

6th December 2016 — by Ben Gaut


So 2016 round up … well that would be short and sweet I didn’t shoot anything! How about 2015 round up that would also be pretty short as I only shot one event! So you might be thinking why the hell has he even bothered…

This isn’t a round up, this isn’t a look back on the year, this a plan of attack ready to take on 2017! Some of you may remember me some of you might not, so lets kick it off I’m Ben also known as Fueltopia’s ‘scenester’ in residence! You will mainly find me stuck between an aired out VAG, a cambered up rusty old Datsun, peering though tyre smoke at the side of the track or hanging out the window of a moving vehicle on many of the UK’s finest motorways!

As I said I have nothing to show for 2016 and barely anything worth sharing from 2015, the reason for this is simple I couldn’t walk for 2 years! After waking up one morning in August 2013 and barely being able to walk and my knee deteriorating as the year went on I had to take a back seat on all things photography I just couldn’t get to any events and when I did I was in too much pain to shoot.

The last 2 and half years for me have been focused on just getting off crutches and out of a wheel chair! Finally after 11 operations and finally a bone transplant I’m back and ready to hit 2017 harder than ever!!

Now what hell I am i going to shoot! everything has changed, builds have come and gone, events have expanded, the people have changed. Well with the new changes David Egan has brought to the BDC I think its time I headed back to the frontline! RDC is growing more and more so lets head down there! And I can’t be ‘scenester’ in residence if you don’t see my face walking around aired out VAG’s!

But for me I want to add a little twist to everything I have done before. Let’s push some boundaries and limits. So stay tuned for some Streeto, Closed road and hell I would love to shoot some bikes! However I know nothing about bikes but they go fast and make noise so I am there!

Anyway that’s enough from me! 2017 is the RETURN!