The sound of screeching tires and bumping bass beats could be heard a mile away from the North Charleston Coliseum on Saturday. The Back to School Car and Bike Show, hosted by Koss Motorsports and sponsored by Stop the Violence South, filled the Coliseum parking lot with motorcycles, vintage muscle cars, imported sports cars, and modified trucks boasting engines and sound systems impressive enough to make the editors of Kit Car melt.

Though the turnout was relatively low, Hurricane Irene couldn’t stop participants of all ages from gathering to enjoy the sound-offs (competitions to see who had the best car stereo sound quality), live music, and wing-eating contest. And then there was the drift show, a closed-course, freestyle race where drivers took the turns at high speeds and lost traction so that their rear wheels drifted behind. During one of the heats, a car’s tire fell off, while another crashed into a pole. Luckily, no one was injured, but it was like witnessing a stunt on the set of an action movie.

Among the drift racers was Christine Seprish, a local up-and-comer who calls herself the Drift Girl. “After my first race four years ago, I was hooked,” she said. “I’m happy an event like this is finally happening in Charleston, where I can do what I love with people I care about.” The only woman who competes in regional pro and amateur races, Seprish uses her cars to raise awareness about lupus and show she can beat the illness on and off the track.

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