Most of us wouldn’t think too much about the decision to jump into a drift car, or any other car for that matter, at a race track and heading out for some hot laps to experience the adrenaline rush at the hands of experienced drivers, however for a portion of the world they may never get to experience this for various reasons.
Started in 2018 by the then D1WA president Andrew Murphy, Driftability was formed to allow special needs persons 16 to 25 years old to get strapped into the passenger seat of high performance drift cars and get taken for hot laps with an experienced drifter. Andrew was inspired to get the event off the ground by his relative Elijah who has special needs and may never get to experience something like this.
In 2018, the event had 65 registered attendees who got to experience their hot laps and were not just restricted to the able bodied with many attendees being wheelchair bound. In 2019 with the event opened up the age range with anyone aged 16 years or over being able to participate, the numbers grew to over 100 participants with 15 drivers giving up their time, tyres and fuel for the event.
Driftability relies heavily on sponsors, volunteers and donations to run the event. Major sponsors such as Wanneroo Raceway, Racers QLD, and D1WA ensure the costs are kept down. Waneroo Raceway donates the use of the facilities for the day as part of their sponsorship.
Daniel Silvestro who after last years’ event had the best summary with his comments of “Absolutely awesome day 10 tyres, 65 litres of fuel and 1000’s of smiles doesn’t get better than that!” is returning and made mention of the importance of the event “I personally drive at Driftability because I have a couple of family members with disabilities, such as autism and the joy you get as a driver watching the passengers absolutely enjoy what we do as drivers is amazing!”
Also returning this year is Jimmy Russo “I drive at Driftability to see the smiles of people who don’t usually get this opportunity to do something of this calibre.”
The beauty of the event is not lost on anyone who comes to visit the event. Smiles could be seen on the volunteers, carers and drivers faces all day with the participants enthusiasm infectious. The event was visited by some of the drivers and marshals participating in main track activities that day as well and not one of them left without a smile on their face either.
The event, like most motorsport, relies heavily on volunteers and as they are taking any disabled person out, whether they are suffering from a psychological related illness through to not being able to move any of their limbs they will need as many volunteers on deck to help out as possible with any professional carers who can volunteer their time being asked to get in contact with them through their Facebook page.
Last year the hard working Richard Ayres led the team of volunteers and assisted the carers with getting the participants in and out of the cars safely as well as strapping them in and ensuring each driver was briefed by the carer about the limits they could push with each participant.
Some of the less hands on participants would get out of one vehicle and hop straight into another vehicle, slapping the side of the car as they cheered the driver on as they took off to the infield to do more laps. One cheeky lady demanded that driver David O’halloran give her a peck on the cheek before he was allowed to drive her around the circuit which he obliged her with once the camera disappeared.
“Last year we raised over $7,000 for the Ability Centre in Perth. This year we are hoping to increase that amount this year as well as bring more smiles to faces of people by enabling them to enjoy the sport that we love.” Amie Ayres, Chairperson of the 2020 Driftability committee said “We’d love to get as many volunteers as possible down and if you want to help but can’t volunteer, we always welcome donations and you can come down and spectate on the day too.”
The event this year will open up positions for 200 participants with Wanneroo Raceway also opening up the use of the main track for the event, in addition to the infield where it has traditionally been held which has also been made possible by over 28 drivers commiting to the 2020 event.
During the lunch break between 12pm and 1pm, a selection of exotic cars will take to the track to offer hot laps around Wanneroo Raceway to 50 lucky participants.
Registrations are now open for participants and the link can be found by visiting https://www.facebook.com/driftability/
Fundraising is also open to help cover costs of the day with all extra funds going to the Ability Centre Perth via GoFundMe – https://www.gofundme.com/f/once-in-a-lifetime-sending-sideway
Driftability will run from 9am on Thursday 26th November 2020.