Sonoma Drift, Winter Jam, Fuel Curve

Winter Jam Drifting Festival – Sideways at Sears Point!

The recent Winter Jam Drifting Festival at Sears Point was a holiday treat. Billed as Northern California’s largest drifting event, it features both amateur and pro drivers getting sideways at speed. Just like AutoCross, entry is pretty easy and the rules fairly basic, the biggest difference being all cars must have a 4-point roll cage.

Sonoma Drift, Winter Jam, Fuel Curvewinter jam drifting festival, fuel curveThis is grassroots hot rodding at its best. It might feel like the early days of sports car racing, or maybe drag racing, but it’s really like motorized ballet. Young guys/gals souping up their cars and having fun with them doing their best to find that magic combination of throttle, brake and a lack of traction in a controlled slide. Not easy but incredibly fun!

winter jam drifting festival, fuel curve

Sonoma Drift, Winter Jam, Fuel CurveWinter Jam completely took over the upper paddock and road course at Sears Point. They had six drifting courses lined up on both the road course and paddock area giving entrants a challenging layout. These included the popular Meihan layout, Donut Pad, Summer Jam (turn 3 & 4), Turn 7, Flying 8, and Turn 11.

Sonoma Drift, Winter Jam, Fuel Curvewinter jam drifting festival, fuel curve

The two crowd favorites were the Donut Pad, and the Meihan layout. Meihan (a drift track in Japan) is basically a large bullpen where the cars travel in a large circle performing short turns and long burnouts. Once in a while Meihan turns into “mayhem” when they allow six to eight cars out on the course all at once. The cheers were thunderous. The crowds lined the side of the course and filled the four-story grandstand staircases to watch the chaos. It was awesome. Clouds of tire smoke and V6 and V8 thunder echoed off the hills.

winter jam drifting festival, fuel curve

This year’s show saw the biggest turn out yet, 300+ cars registered for the event and thousands of spectators passed through the gates. Being held in the middle of December, it is scheduled when most gearheads are thirsting for action. With this winter’s dry and warm weather (so far) – it was a perfect weekend with temps in the hi 60s. It was a LOT of fun.

winter jam drifting festival, fuel curveWith the energy, grass roots approach and the insane action, we predict Winter Jam will to continue to grow.

Photo Extra!

Editor / Hot Cars Magazine

Roy has been a freelance photographer more then half his life. His is publisher/editor/chief photographer of Hot Cars. His works have been featured in Popular Cars, Scale Auto Enthusiast, Street Rodder, FineScale Modeler, Popular HotRodding, American Rodder, DRIVE, and more.  Roy has published three successful magazines in his life time with HOT CARS being his current love.