Imagine having an experienced astronaut on hand to give you advice on the trip to space you've been planning for a few years.
The closest equivalent to that in drifting is probably having a Formula Drift driver on hand giving you tips to help make you the best driver you can be and to help your car drive as well as it can.
As with many decent teachers, Chelsea explained he might be abrasive at times, but that it was for the benefit of the drivers.
Chelsea DeNofa didn't come to Kil-kare to hold hands and teach dudes how to transition a figure eight. He was there to show the aforementioned up-and-coming astronauts how to get a couple steps closer to space, and he did just that.
The clinic began with what may be the most technical layout I've seen anyone run at Kil-kare. Between long accel zones and short, tight decel zones it really put everyone through their paces, especially the dudes with lower-powered cars.
Here's my poor sketch of the layout. ArT iS mY pAsSiOn.
Suffice it to say it was tricky as hell. Truth be told, I might've even had a rough time with it on Forza with my controller.
The technicality showed in the relatively low number of drivers that could link the whole course at the start of the day, just as intended. With some prodding in the right direction and adjustments from Chelsea, damn-near everyone was shredding it by lunchtime. I can only imagine how satisfying it must have been to nail such tough lines as a driver considering how satisfying it was to watch from outside the driver's seat.
Clay Payne's 240 always hits such a nostalgic chord.
From the start of the day, he emphasized the importance of making little adjustments to make the car drive the way you want it to. It's easy to slap some coilovers on, get an alignment, weld your diff and throw some takeover-style donuts but when it comes to Street League or any other comp, you've gotta understand how every little adjustment can affect your driving.
(I gagged a little discussing takeovers and Street League in the same sentence. Smacking crowds with your hellcat isn't drifting, period.)
At various points during the day, Chelsea could be seen under the hood of cars on grid making minute damping adjustments, the effects of which were often immediately evident.
The man is nothing short of a suspension wizard.
For the 20-or-so drivers that were accepted from the 90+ applications, I have little doubt that the clinic was a near-invaluable experience. Aside from the odd oil filter getting tossed on initiation dudes got to turn a ton of laps under the expert scrutiny of one of the sport's real OGs.
The clinic was not some secret key to driving just like an FD driver. It was, however, an opportunity to learn how to enjoy grassroots drifting from comps to fun-days and how to do so to the best of your and your car's ability.
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I couldn't shoehorn this in anywhere but wanted to make sure this pic made the blog.