Dragon’s Breath

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[Photos]
Vince Carlo Photography

Drag races might not be as widely publicised as gung-ho motorsport events such as gymkhanas and endurance races, but we reckon that they appeal to a niche set of petrolheads. Slapping on massive engines only satisfy one portion of the equation – teams have to ensure that other factors such as grip, downforce and weight are adjusted according to each vehicle’s requirements. Those not kept in the loop might write drag races off and label them as simply putting pedal to the metal, but there is definitely much more to be explored, as seen from Thailand’s King of Drag 2016 event held in Pathum Thani (“Lotus City”), the nearest province 30 kilometres North of Bangkok.

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You could sense the intensity the moment you enter the battle ground, with crowds of like-minded enthusiasts forming discussions mere metres before the starting mark. It reminds us of scenes from Need For Speed – a bespoke experience that could only be felt at grassroots meets like these. The fact that this was held at night made the ambience more elusive – an event that should be experienced at least once in your life!

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As participants line up for the few seconds of fame, it was a chance for spectators to feast their eyes on stripped-down cars, with attendance primarily comprising of Isuzu D-Max pick-up trucks stripped down to its bare bones, but strengthened with anti-roll bars and anchored by larger-than-life tyres. To be honest, we have not seen anything quite like these in action – at least not in Singapore for obvious reasons!

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Race preparations were arguably as intense as the drag race itself. Teams would gather around the drag machines, literally using their bare hands to restrain the vehicles while the tyres warm up. It’s not the most conducive environment given that you’ll have to contend with burnt rubber smell throughout the night, but this is unquestionably an event that will tick your bucket list as one of the most unique events you’ve attended!

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The next instalment of King of Drag 2016 will be held on 8 October 2016

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