Too fast, too furious?

Dripping Springs slows down proposed drifting competition

Liability and safety concerns led Dripping Springs city officials April 10 to pump the brakes on a proposal to bring a vehicle drifting competition to Dripping Springs Ranch Park (DSRP).

The proposal, voted down by a 4-0 vote, came from Dripping Springs High seniors Dallas Hudson and Henry Windsor, who had a vision to bring drifting to Dripping Springs before they left for college. The event would have also marked the first time a motorized vehicular event would be held at DSRP.

With over ten drifting events as competitors under their belts and memberships with various drifting organizations in the area, the duo wanted to bring the sport to Dripping Springs.

The seniors presented before council on April 9, with their plan to throw an amateur drifting event, which would have taken place during late June or early July. Drifting is a driving style where an operator maintains a state of oversteer, or is in a constant sliding action, while maneuvering their vehicle from turn-to-turn, according to driftworks.com.

The plan included a course designed by Hudson and Windsor that would accommodate for low speeds and include a team for vehicle inspections, a track marshal, crowd control unit and the fire department for safety. 

“If you look at drifting events throughout the United States, they are all held in parking lots because the terrain is open, conducive for drifting,” Hudson said. “If you want to drift, you have to go San Antonio or Dallas. We want to bring drifting to the Hill Country so people have access to sport locally.”

Although council applauded the young men for their hard work, the issue of liability in the case of an accident and safety was not overlooked. Some members of council proposed a test drive out on Ranch Park to see the sport firsthand.

Councilmember John Kroll said he wanted to see the sport before voting on something with ignorance, giving the students the opportunity to visually alleviate some concerns over safety with a live test.

“As a retired teacher I think it’s wonderful that these kids are attempting to do something positive,” said Lindy Ore, a resident of a nearby neighborhood adjacent to Ranch Park. “The location is just not conductive for this type of event with the neighborhoods in the backyard. There are too many variables with safety.”

However, council members encouraged the students to come back for another assessment of the event when insurance quotes are provided and professions are hired. That could include a discussion with emergency officials and with law enforcement.

“I wish I was half the men these gentlemen are when I was their age,” Mayor Pro Tem Bill Foulds said. “To come up here is brave. We need to support the youth in our community.”

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