Good Vibes Only
Rocky Mountain Drift Club

Claresholm is a town located in Southern Alberta, Canada. It’s a town I’ve driven through countless times throughout my life, roughly being the midpoint between Lethbridge and Calgary. It’s a great place to fill up with fuel and stop at 7-Eleven for a slurpee and chicken strips; I would argue the best in the area.

That’s all it’s ever been to me though, a pitstop. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the town, it has a charming appeal, but I’ve just never had a reason to spend more than 10 minutes there. Lately though, I’ve been finding myself frequently stopping in Claresholm for the entire day.

Next to the town’s airport there’s an area that serves as an industrial park, some buildings clearly still in use and others that look abandoned.

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There’s one property that doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest. Where a building once stood, there is now only the concrete foundation surrounded by hay bales, sea cans and used tires. An odd place to visit, let alone visit frequently.

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It may not look like much, but for some it’s a second home. A place to escape. A safe haven.

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Welcome to Rocky Mountain Drift Club.

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Like any track, the organizers go through the rules before the start of each event: No drugs or alcohol; respect the community around the track; wear your seatbelt and helmet… Richard, wear your safety vest, you know, the normal rules.

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However, there’s one rule that always stands above the rest for me: Good Vibes Only. Three words that for me capture exactly what Rocky Mountain Drift Club is about. A place to relax, hang out and thrash tires.

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It’s also a great place for all experience levels. The concrete pad may be small, but the layouts are technical and challenging.

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I’ve watched Brian Tsui, the owner of this 350Z, since the very first day he came to this track. The improvement he has made in such a short time is incredible.

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It’s amazing how much seat time each driver gets during a day at this track, too. There is a time window for drifting, but typically all drivers break their car or run out of tires before the end of the day.

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Did I mention the jump?

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After taking photos at Rocky Mountain Drift Club for a couple seasons, I’d been really itching to try it myself, which started the search for project car to be more track dedicated. I swear I wasn’t looking for another Mustang, but I ended up stumbling across a 2004 Mustang GT for price I couldn’t pass up.

I wouldn’t call my first attempt at drifting very good; it was more just spinning out and making a mess of the track markers. It was a blast though, and I was just happy to burn off some tires. The relatively stock car did surprisingly well, although it would really benefit from a better locking differential and a better driver.

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During the last event I had planned on stopping by for some photos and then doing a small day trip into the mountains. I was curious how my two Mustangs compared, and when the track was empty for a period of time I was told I could try a few donuts. Well, things quickly went south.

I have yet to pull the engine to figure out what exactly went wrong, but there’s a large hole in the bottom of the block and side of the oil pan. Many parts are where they don’t belong. The car caught on fire, but thankfully the crew were able to put it out quickly, and the damage appears to be isolated to just the engine. I’m just thankful that this happened on the track and I didn’t lose the entire car. I will be rebuilding the Mustang, but unfortunately I won’t be rebuilding the supercharged 4.2 V6 – it’s time for a new setup! I’m very excited to start the new build – Project NoPulp V2 coming soon.

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The track is home to many talented drivers, but one of my favorites is Kurtis Goat. He never fails to show up with an awesome car, and it’s usually a different vehicle each time. S-chassis, Stagea, or LS400, he’ll find a way to drift it and do it well. I think my favorite has been his JZX100 Mark II; it looks so elegant sliding sideways.

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On social media, I’ve been eagerly watching the build of Kurtis’ 1JZ-powered Mark II Supra, and during the last event it finally made an appearance.

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I had a friend in high school that owned one and always thought it was a neat car, but this one has really opened my eyes.

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You may recognize the Koncept Industries Silvia from Louis’ feature back in October – check out that article if you haven’t already. This car is absolutely gorgeous in every way. The owner, Ben Runzer, always insists that it’s a drift car first and a show car second.

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Although he may not be the most veteran drifter on the track, Ben is certainly a crowd favorite for style. I definitely need to put down the camera and take him up on a ride-along soon…

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Rocky Mountain Drift Club is as grassroots as it gets and I love it. Like anything in life, change and improvements are good, and I can’t wait to see how the club progresses. There’s just one thing I hope never changes about this track – Good Vibes Only.

If you’re ever in Southern Alberta, please check out Rocky Mountain Drift Club.

Words & Photos by Richard Brown

Facebook: NoPulp Photography
Instagram: RichlyOrange

Additional Photos by Haley Kaczmar

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31 comments

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1

Looks like a ton of fun. Cool mixture of cars there too. I'm diggin the 4door skylines.

2
Richard Browm

The best seat in the house is the back seat of a skyline sedan. So much fun to ride as a passenger in the back seat around the track!

3

Nostalgia!...is what I feel while seeing these pictures! brings back lots of memories!

4

Glad you enjoyed it!

5

Looks like a lot of fun, and I think you should try to make it to Drift Wars in Regina, SK on the 15/16th if you are up to the drive! I know a bunch of the guys local to me are heading up and I am going to tag along and check it out. Drifting into the night may not be the best for photo opportunities but it may be something cool to check out!!

6

Ugh, sask drive... haha, I'm not sure if I'll make it to that event, but I'll have to check it out sometime in the future!

7

Sounds good! I am going to go check it out for the first time, usually falls on the same weekend as our local 1/8 mile drags, so I am finally going to get a chance to check it out! One day I need to venture west to check out a show or two!

8
Joe @ Drifted

Cool article, the cars have great style.

9
Richard Browm

Glad you enjoyed it!

10
Chris Radisic

Always love attending these events and the people they draw. Super laid back environment and tons of seat time! Thanks for everything you guys do to make it happen!

11

It's one of my favorite places to be! So much fun!

12

Those Canadians are very lucky. I envy Canada.

13
Richard Browm

Yes, yes we are :)

14
Jason - Drift Squad

Awesome! Nice to see some of Southern Alberta's drift scene on Speedhunters!

15

Saw where your SN caught fire on IG. I really hop you keep it different and keep it a 6 cylinder. My vote goes to an Aussie Barra 4.0...

You can get bellhousings from Quicktime to bolt up anything from a C4 or Powerglide all the the way up to a TKo or T-56.

Happy Hunting!

16

A Barra would be too cool! Unfortunately, I don't think very practical. One of the things I regret is not driving and enjoying the car enough, so the next focus will be a mixture of drivability and power. I think I know the direction I want to go, perhaps not as unique but it's what I want.

17
Brendon Lawson
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18

Awesome pictures and article as per usual Richard. The grass roots scene at RMDC is the best thing to happen to Alberta drifting and Richard is always there to capture it! Keep it up!

19

Thank you Kurtis! Hope to see you soon! RMDC is one of the best things to happen to Alberta!

20

Only good vibes. I absolutely love this place. Specially near the end of the day. When the line up gets short or no line up at all. One of the best parts is I'm doing what I love and meeting soo many new people and making new friends. Thank you Richard Brown for all the hard work covering every event.

My door is always open to ride alongs. "Richard" hint hint. Lol.

21

Absolutely! I'd love to go for a ride soon!

22

1JZ Mk. II.

You guys are killin' me.

23

Nice coverage Richard, shame on the stang catching fire. I do want to know more about that trailer though. I am trying to build a small trailer for my RX7

24

Such a sweet trailer right?! It's not mine, the owner used it to transport cars around the world. It's actually from Australia. It's a very clever design, it actually swings down onto the ground and makes it super easy to load a lowered car.

25

I didn't much like supra, for me there is something wrong with it. But what I didn't know is that there is a Mark II Supra that exist and thanks to this eye and brain opener blog. I want one now ^ ^ hope there would be a post just for this supra specially with spoilers love them. Any one knows the name of that spoiler ? at the top of the rear windshield ?

26

the upper rear spoiler is oem...

27

Is that LZ in the cover photo?

28
Jack Lourenco

Whats up with the "iamthespeedhunter" water mark? is it a new Speedhunters thing?

29

It's been around for a while, it's more of a guest blog type of thing.

30

Have you considered the old GMC 478ci V6?

31

For the last year I've been drifting a stock motor V6 94 Mustang, and it is quite fun! It sure gets tons of looks at drift events!

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