Girls Gone Drifting! Event Recap: the Ladies Level Up

A huge thanks to Deidra Drake for writing this recap!
Drift Indy Ladies' cars. Two 350Zs and two S-chassis

Photo Courtesy of Nick Bevars | Klaus Arts

On June 14th, 22 ladies of all skill levels came out to Kil-kare Raceway to join us for the Inaugural Girls Gone Drifting event! Drift Indy partnered with Girls Gone Drifting to host an all-ladies drift event at their home track in Xenia, OH.

When the idea of this event was first brought to the table, we were hoping to have 20 drivers register (which seemed a bit overambitious). We are proud to say that we hit and exceeded our goal with 22 registered drivers. While this may sound like a small number compared to most drift events, when you think of these events you normally only have about 2-3 ladies driving. Putting that into perspective really makes you realize how much of an accomplishment that number really is. 

Girl Gone Drifting Grid

Photo Courtesy of Nick Bevars | Klaus Arts

Another highlight of the event has been the amount of community and support that was built between all of the ladies. It was so empowering to see all of the girls come together to share their passion for drifting together. So many new friendships were made, laughs were had, and stories were made that will be shared for years from this group. I think having this environment helped a lot the new drivers feel comfortable and confident in getting out on the track. When you know everyone has your back you don’t have to worry about being judged, making mistakes, or taking your time to learn. 

We were absolutely blown away by every single one of the ladies driving during the event. We knew we would see progression, but we were not expecting everyone to level up the way that they did. A few of the ladies who came out had never even done a donut before and were throwing the spiciest ones by the end of the day. Other ladies started with donuts and were just about linking the track at the end. Even the more experienced drivers were getting crazy with 3-4 car tandems towards the end.

To give a few specific examples, Sammie Gerde was one of the ladies that really impressed us. Sammie drove for the first time at the Drift Indy clinic in the spring. Towards the end of the day, she was absolutely RIPPING. Not only was she linking the track, but she had an awesome line, was super committed to the throttle, and was throwing up all the smoke! I honestly think Joey Ritter (Sammie’s boyfriend) should be a little nervous when she decides to give DISL a try!

Nissan 350Z drifting white wheels

Sammie shredding! Photo Courtesy of Nick Bevars | Klaus Arts

Samantha Kemen was also another driver who really stood out. She started the day with donuts and ended the day shredding the whole track. She was one of the first people out on grid in the morning and pretty much put in as much time as she could. 

One of the more experienced drivers, Sharon Mangan, and her fiancé drove all the way out to Kil-kare from Virginia to drive with the ladies. Watching Sharon and Mandy throw some laps in together was definitely a highlight of the weekend. 

Toyota Soarer Drifting

Sharon's Soarer. Photo Courtesy of Nick Bevars | Klaus Arts

Another honorable mention has to go to Stacy Udarchik. Stacy purchased a stock Mazda RX8 a week prior to the event, drove all the way down from Michigan by herself only bringing the same wheels and tires she would later drive home on. Stacy was a little nervous at the beginning of the event, but after giving herself some time she warmed up right away! She emphasized many times how empowering it was to be out at the track with all women and we hope to see her out again soon!

It’s hard to name specific names because quite literally EVERYONE’S driving impressed us. It’s fair to say that everyone driving progressed to some degree and all the ladies had the best attitudes while doing so.

With this being the first ever Girls Gone Drifting event, we thought we would probably have a few hiccups. Surprisingly, everything ran much smoother than we were expecting! All of the ladies were very keen on following instructions, were respectful and had great track etiquette. I think some of the boys could take notes!

Girls Gone Drifting Grid

Photo Courtesy of Nick Bevars | Klaus Arts

One thing we intend to work on is thinking of different ways to make the driving flow a little smoother. With the event welcoming all skill levels, we want to make sure that the newer girls are driving within their comfort levels while the more advanced girls can get as many laps as possible without having to sit for long periods on grid. We already have a few ideas on how to approach this for the next go around and are excited to see how it works.

Overall, Mandy, Grace and I were blown away by how well everything turned out considering it was the first Girls Gone Drifting event. All of our initial fears and worries completely left our minds as soon as the ladies rolled in Friday morning. Our biggest goal for this event was to make sure that the ladies driving had fun and left with smiles, and I can happily say that we achieved that. If all of these girls keep shredding, the future of drifting is going to look a whole lot different! We were so thankful to work with Drift Indy on this opportunity and we hope we’ll have more events to bring to the ladies very soon!