Miss the Marquee?
Don't worry so do we...
A little while ago I posted some info on the IDA FB page regarding our forthcoming days. Thought we'd take the opportunity to explain it in a little more detail here.
When IDA was founded back in 2003, we were a bunch of numb-nuts who had a passion for something we couldn't legally do. The issue was that we had nowhere to practice. With our velocity increasing and balls growing after downloading Japanese drift videos to learn, the risks elevated each time we ventured out. We had been approaching race tracks to hire them for a day to practice but were constantly met with "You want to do what now? No way are you doing burnouts on my track!". From this we set out to do what no-one else had ever done in Australia, get drifting recognised as an official motor sport! On the 24th of January 2004, we had CAMS and other dignitaries attend our very first track day. We had no idea how it would go but assembled the best drivers at the time and put on a show on a track which is now known as the peanut.
Our Very First Day!
The whole idea of us doing it was to allow like minded people to be able to do exactly what we where not allowed to. What we can say is that it was a raging success and drifting in NSW as we knew it had arrived!
With the engagement and support from some people especially, but not limited to, Bruce Keys and Jeff Boulos, IDA began to hold regular days. From the inception, we were never about the money a were all working professionals who just wanted somewhere to drive. With this in mind, we founded the club as a not for profit organisation. This enabled us to put back into the sport what we received from our track days. It was the only way we could see it growing into the polished turd it is today.
Who's a good boy Rocky? RIP Bud
We were and continue to be a family, a fantastic loving and supportive family who would do anything to jump in and help one another. Anyone who came into the fold were accepted with open arms and I am proud to say that some of my best friends have been met through drifting.
With any growing family it became increasingly hard to stay in touch and some had different ideas which is cool. With this, the birth of other clubs appeared on the landscape which we welcomed with open arms. We had a driver focus in mind when running our days, while others wanted to branch out and try new things. The running joke within IDA is that we are the Switzerland of the drifting world. Happy to focus on the grass roots side to ensure that people have somewhere to drive. The glitz and glamour component has never attracted us (running the World Time Attack drifting was for a mate). We just wanted to focus on growing the sport the best way we knew how, running awesome days at whatever venue we could hire.
Jarich, wtf are you doing?
Jump to now and the playing field is a little different. What we had to go through is no longer required to host days, thanks to IDA putting in the hard yards early on in the piece. A lot of people don't realise that since its inception, IDA has not been the cash making machine that it appears to be. Every dollar that we have earned has gone back into the community or the club by way of merchandise purchases, helping fund short falls in low attendance days and promotional material. With the lack of available days and our respect for others already operating at a venue meant that our revenue streams were pretty much cut off. We stopped taking memberships as we truly believe in value for money and without running days, we simply couldn't offer it.
If you couple the lack of days on offer along with the increase to venue hire fees and me simply not being in the financial position to support the club (anyone who has seen my house will understand) we just can't risk losing money on our days. IDA has been a labour of love for which all who have been involved over the years have put every inch of ourselves in, along with the help coming from all angles to help run and grow this awesome club and sport.
The Demo Driver Crew
Keeping an organisation moving cost money each year and with the funds pretty much drying up after a few historically bad years for drifting in general, IDA simply doesn't have the funds to continue on in it's current guise. When hiring the circuit, we need to factor in these costs for the days also which leaves us at a competitive disadvantage to those dry hiring the facilities (Facebook pages cost nothing to run). Historically, we have kept prices to an absolute minimum to ensure value for money. When crunching the numbers and digging through the archives on our drift days attendance, we quickly saw that we simply could not be at a price point to attract the numbers required to run viable days.
We find it difficult to run through the week as we are all professionally employed and it is difficult to schedule time off work. This has left us with a couple of options, one of which I think is the best path forward for IDA and also the community as a whole. With your support and input, IDA are hoping to raise the funds required to host track days and support the club again.
Hugs and Kisses,