Officer Dan Brockett’s bash in the desert remains one of the single most anticipated events on my calendar every year. For the past 7 summers drivers from all over the southwest, and often times even further make the pilgrimage to a dusty little race complex just outside of Albuquerque, NM for what I liken to the drifting equivalent of Burning Man. Obviously, as with any multi-day track event, drivers have plenty of seat time and the varying course layouts throughout the weekend mean you’re sure not to get bored. Top that off with the overnight party that bridges the two days of driving, including live music, a gargantuan bonfire (that may or may not return next year, more on that later) and freely flowing whiskey and PBR, and you’ve got yourself one banger of a weekend to end your summer on.
One of the thing’s I appreciate about these events is that while only a two day bash, Dan has been scheduling them on Labor Day weekend, meaning after two whole days of driving (if your car, tires or body last that long) you have another day to recoup and travel if need be. Something my no longer 20 year old body is truly grateful for. Another thing I think everybody loves about these events is that it draws a large scope of drivers with varying styles and skill levels to the same place. While many events like ASB focus on bringing together the best and most well known drivers, and others like Final Bout instead focus their attention on grassroots teams, No Coast is an event that allows the novice driver to mingle with their heroes and drifting veterans. This year was no exception as Taka Aono was on hand at Dan’s invite and brought his screaming little Hachi to party with those in attendance. Unfortunately, both Dan, who was fresh off of a new LS Swap, and Taka were both plagued with mechanical issues that kept their driving to a minimum, though Taka did make time to send his car rocketing off of the track into Sandia’s notoriously soft sand. For all I know, Taka’s 86 may in fact still have a little bit of sand making itself useful as ballast under his seat. Taka’s wife however was able to put in some serious seat time in their 1JZ-powered DriftSchool Altezza.
The one word that always seems to come to mind when trying to describe these events is ‘wild.’ There’s a certain sense of haphazard recklessness that makes it feel like you’ve fallen into this weird mad-max parody where rules and laws come second to the driving and the party that follows. (Perhaps where Dan drew his inspiration for his Driftpocalypse installment of the car vs. motorcycle drift series) Maybe that’s just because of the locale, with the track being set out in the middle of the desert, and the nearest neighbors being a waste facility, and a prison. But mostly I think that it’s because for the long weekend you get to completely unplug from the reality of your day to day and you’re immersed in the environment that surrounds you. Fellow drivers are there to get as much seat time as possible and are rewarded by blowing off some steam (and fireworks) once the desert air cools that night. All I know is that every year exceeds expectations and leaves me looking forward to the following year’s event all that much more.
Oh, and about the bonfire… You know how I mentioned the track was out in the middle of the desert with only a waste facility and a prison even remotely nearby? Well the fire got big enough this year that someone apparently was concerned of the blaze seen off in the distance and called it in to the local fire department. Yeah, this event is absolutely wild, and I can’t wait to return to the desert again this September 1st & 2nd.