main

Event

Veterans of the Car World

10th October 2017 — by Phil McCusker

P12C6716-960x640.jpg

“You’re in the desert… why would the car need wind-shield wipers?

Imagine spending the week, looking at impressive builds in the worlds biggest car show, SEMA. Sounds like a dream…. Right?

No. Las Vegas has been the hub of one of the largest Automotive events for several years, the show itself has been going for a lot longer than I have been around, but there are some guys that have been tinkering with cars, for as long as the SEMA show has been around, and probably before.

We were looking for something else, less crazy than the builds we spotted at SEMA…

Cue a 3 Hour drive via the Mojave Desert, to Lake Havasu City, AZ

Next to a Man Made lake in Arizona, stands 43 Square Miles of desert town, steeped in Military history after being founded as an Army Air Corps camp back in the 1950’s so it makes sense that we stumbled upon a Veterans Car meet.

I have always been a fan of the car culture in America, the builds are often insane and I have always had a soft spot for american muscle.

This green ’63 Thunderbird was no exception, the fine attention to every detail was obvious that this car had been built with a lot of love over the last few years, for a car that was over 50 Years Old, it was in better condition than most show cars that I have seen in the UK.

Small Details, when in the Desert, you don’t need everything. The minimal yearly rainfall, means that you can get away with not having wipers, not that I can imagine the torque heavy V8 that breathes life into the Green machine would be fun to drive in the Rain!

This Richard Petty inspired Plymouth Belvedere was a throwback to the ’66 & ’67 NASCAR Grand National Season, was it a genuine Petty Car? I Sadly don’t have the answer for that, perhaps it is, going by the Trophies that were found near the car.

“Fast Toys, aren’t just for the Boys”

I found an amazing atmosphere in Lake Havasu, everybody had the time for everyone else, there was no, I’m better than you Chevy Guys, you Ford Guys, nothing, the feeling of a passion bringing people together in one place was overwhelming, for some of them, this wasn’t the first time they had met, with many having served tours around the world, from Vietnam all the way to some of the most recent campaigns.

As I walked around, having video called some people back home in the UK, scanning the array of metal that surrounded me, I found myself looking for smaller details, oddities and just general cool things

I then spotted something that looked a bit out of place.

When I first cast my eye over towards this Chevy Nova, I noticed a POW MIA Ribbon on the back, nothing unusual to find in the United States, they are very proud as a Nation when it comes to their Military, but as I looked closer I found that there was not one, but two Hummingbirds, one hidden below the Ribbon, signifying the sacrifice that someone has made, for their Country, that they were so proud of, that they felt the need to defend it at the ultimate cost.

This was an unusual sight, but a prime example of the dedication to the cars here, this was a C6 Generation Corvette, but the rear end took a moment, it has a ’63 Stingray rear end, which you would almost take for granted the amount of work that would go into this, the paint, the general thought process to come up with the idea in the first place is just beyond what I could dream up.

I will return one day to Lake Havasu City, hopefully with some cold hard cash and head for the Docks in a piece of American Car history.

Words & Pictures – Phil McCusker

Event

‘Grass Roots’ At Drift Cup Round 3

21st June 2017 — by Ben Gaut

IMG_0031-960x640.jpg

Sun, Smoke, Walls, Battles and even a proposal! That’s right a proposal but I will get on to that later, Drift Cup Round 3 had it all! 

As this was my first Drift Cup event, I had heard mixed things about the series from both drivers & a plethora of random people throwing in their two cents. This aside, I went in with a clean slate to see what it was all about for myself. I dragged myself out of my comfy hotel room, grabbed a coffee + croissant and headed to the track. With the guys from Drift Cup having run an invite only practice day on the Saturday which you can read about here! It’s safe to say I wasn’t going to be disappointed by what was in store and had a good idea of what to expect!

The level of driving from what is classed as a ‘grass roots’ event was just insane, door to door action all day, non stop! Throw in a couple of walls as they make their way round just to up the ante that little bit more. I don’t think a single person drove away with a pristine rear quarter.

Open practice was running all morning for the drivers to get used to the track, With the sun beating down it truly was a smoky morning! From watching the practice you could see everyone was hungry for that number one spot!

Moving into qualifying the driver level just stepped up even further, was seriously blown away with the lowest score in the top 32 being a 68.5!

With qualifying over we heading into the driver briefing room to hear the feedback and find out who would be battling who. This is where the shock of the day happened, after everyone knew what was going on for the day ahead, Frazer Jamieson wanted to say a few words, little did we know he got down on one knee and proposed to his other half as the whole room erupted in a huge cheer! This is what drifting is about, it doesn’t matter if you make the final battle just being there and supporting all your fellow drivers in everything they do. Was a real moment and memory for all the drivers and staff there and of course the happy couple!

Jumping straight to the battles, the fight and pressure was on, everyone was driving to win! The pressure and talent was on a whole different scale, everyone wanted that podium spot not a single person was holding back.

Leading into the top 16 things started to get really interesting, With everyone from the top 8 being given the chance to drive at the eagerly awaited BDC street round! It’s safe to say the heat and battle was well and truly on!   I for one would have not liked to be sitting in the judging tower trying to call some of the battles!

Top 8 WOW, the hunger was unreal with drivers putting everything on the line and hunting the walls and doors of the lead like nothing I have seen from before in ‘grass roots’ drifting!

Now it came down to the final battles. The drivers showed no signs of stopping the fight for that top spot! It was bound to be an awesome show and they certainly didn’t disappoint!! The final battles were seriously something incredible with both the crowd, judges and commentators on their feet screaming the house down.

Oliver Bolton took the win is his awesome S13, bearing in mind he’s only been driving the car 3 months and this was his 3rd competitive event, safe to say we have a star in the making here on English soil! Time for the Irish to move to one side this is one to watch!

I would just like to finish off by saying a massive thank you to Sweeps and the team over at Drift Cup for putting on a seriously epic event! Entertainment value and driver skill was through the roof, more than enough to rival some of the biggest names in competitive drifting!

Reviews

Inside LD MOTORSPORT

16th April 2017 — by Dan Fegent

14002822493_559ac778bc_k-960x640.jpg

As motorsport workshops go, a Rallycross garage is high up there in chasing world horsepower assisted destruction. With builds capable of enough power contained within its 4 storm trooper white walls to classify it as a Death Star replacement, perfectly capable of wiping out Alderaan sized planets at a moments notice. So when the invite came several years back to come check out LD Motorsport & take a peak behind the usually closed doors of this secretive team, we jumped at the chance!

Rallycross is a hugely competitive sport among all the teams involved so for all those spies out there, yeah thats right we’re on to you. This is 2013 garage shots from LD Motorsport, no trade secrets of the ongoing seasons are being revealed here. So if your just here to see how the cars are put together in absolute clinical detail then carry on scrolling.

The high level of organisation throughout the workshop means that the team know exactly where you can put your hand on that missing bolt, tool or any replacement parts, big or small. Each vehicle is regularly torn apart to a bare shell and rebuilt by assigned members of the full time staff there, each member knows exactly how they go together and how they work. With each car having at least two technicians assigned to it at time they don’t tread on each others toes, there is room to work & therefore productivity is high.



Looking around it was apparent that a few war wounds of the 2013 European Rallycross season are still on display, clearly this extra exhaust hole in the block of this DS3 was not part of the plan.
Proudly displaying sponsorship banners around the building, & with Forge parts visible on every build its clear they are grateful for all the support they receive to make it all possible.



For such a small precise layout the variety of work happening at once is staggering. On one side the prep had begun for the 2014 season as two DS3’s went through a full rebuild, with a mass of parts coming off & others going back on even during the few hours we were there. The focus is on lightweight precision parts, the pedal boxes, the suspension, everything matters & the one thing I kept hearing was the achievements they have made in house in making parts lighter & stronger for use in their cars. Even a 10% reduction in weight is something to boast about in this game.


Alongside these new machines were several classics, including two normally ultra rare RS200’s in a varying state of preparation. One being the Pikes Peak machine that was crashed & rebuilt by the team at the last event it was in. The other ultra rare beast being the legendary ‘Rosie’ of Pat Doran that sadly went up in flames at Lydden Hill when he was behind the wheel,where luckily he escaped from it with only slight burns.

The garage has its trophies proudly on display as soon as you enter, a driving factor for the team. Clear evidence that with their professional attitudes and hard work they all put in on a daily basis all concludes in LD Motorsports achieving winning results across the world in European Rallycross, Global Rallycross and Xgames. championship battleground.

Video

Tripped Out: Latvia – Drifting in a Soviet Missile Base

9th December 2016 — by Dan Fegent

I realize we may be a bit late to the party on this one (500K views & climbing fast!). You NEED to check this out if you haven’t already. Crank up the volume & enjoy!

Donut Media have absolutely killed it with their newly released video of Ryan Tuerck, Matt PowersKristaps Blušs tearing up an old Soviet Missile Base!!! One of the best drift focused videos of this year. Incredible footage!

Event

The Revolution – British Drift Championship Round 2 – Driftland

22nd June 2016 — by Connor Mathieson

27210950554_572e27e28c_h-960x641.jpg

The Revolution has begun, Driftland has now hosted its first BDC event and shown just how incredible the driver level of the BDC has come along in such a short period of time. ProAm for a long time has been the great underdog of the BDC. In previous years there has been only a small crowd that attends. Round 2 has really amped up the hype for the ProAm category.

ProAm was quite easily the most exhilarating and intense round of drifting I’ve witnessed in a long time from the BDC. Driver levels are through the roof, this was easily recognised even in practice with some really close proximity runs straight from the start.

Qualifying has always been one of the more boring elements to a drift event, But with everyone giving it their all from the start, there was some really awesome to watch runs in qualifying. With the element of 2 wall runs in the section as well as having a pretty minimal run off, it was going to be an exciting day for sure.

Even more entertaining than that is when you look at the 2 new competitors in the ProAm class.. Ryan Caldwell, the 14 year old Northern Irish drifter in the quite insane RB powered 180sx. Then just when you think, “Damn hes young!” you see that Jack Shanahan’s younger Brother Conor, who has only just turned 13 years old would also be competing. Watching these 2 guys placing 1st and 2nd in qualifying at an age where most of us where playing with a tamagotchi is quite ridiculous.

To my surprise the wall hadn’t claimed anywhere close to the amount of people i had expected, especially when you consider your running down the wall on entry and then you ran back up it at the end of the section. Jason Clark was one of the unfortunate few who had lost to the wall, tagging the wall at the end of the run throwing the front of the car back into the wall.

The steep hill only a few feet behind clip 2 was the car destroyer, Stu Farley had one of the most spectacular crashes I have ever seen at Driftland. Clipping the grass with the rear of the car sending him flying through the air and almost doing a full airborne 180. The commitment level of drivers was really something else, all day people were throwing hard and fast into clip 2 in an attempt to run the perfect wide line that the judges wanted.

Conor Shanahan’s first battle was against Lewis Mitchell, i can imagine everyone was excited for this battle. The first time many people would see Conor drive in a battle in person and maybe even the first time they had heard about him.

Conor’s talents as a driver were immediately obvious. On his chase run he was not scared to throw it right on the door of Lewis. Naturally with such a dominating couple of runs he would progress.

Next battle on the agenda would see 14 year old Ryan Caldwell come up against the mighty Steve Will in what has the be the most insane E36 i have ever seen, never mind the noise that it produces.. Unfortunately for Ryan, Steve would take the win, which as you can see made him quite happy.

Bradley Wallbank was running the most under powered car in the whole field in ProAm, unable to compete in his BDC car, he instead brought up his missile E36. Amazingly earlier in the day he would beat Richard McCourt in the Lassa Tyres R33 to progress into the top 16 where he would face Karl Farrar. After a strong fight the win would go over to Karl, unlucky for Bradley not to get further but for the cars he was put up against he certainly put up an amazing fight!

Local hero Andi Halkett would come up against the mighty Matthew Denham who was on fire all day. On the first run Andi’s E36 simply could not catch the RX8 through the first few clips and would only be able to catch Matthew in the last section. When roles were reversed it was clear who would be the winner. With the amount of grip and power the RX8 has, it was to no surprise that matthew could keep on the door of Andi throughout the entire run.

Like any event there is always 1 single driver that stands out from the rest, for me that was Matthew Denham in the V8 Turbo RX8. his semi final battle would be against another stand out driver who i think a lot of people expected to be in the top 4. Conor and Matthew had a really intense battle and much to my delight, Matthew would progress through to the final pitting himself up against Steve Will, While Conor would face Scott Cartledge in the 1UZ R33 for the 3rd place spot.

The 3rd place battle was fairly cut and dry, unfortunately for Scott he just didn’t have enough forward bite in the tyres to be able to keep up with Conor. A very well deserved 4th place for Scott after taking down some mighty foes earlier in the day.

2 cars and 2 drivers that had been standout crowd pleasers all day had made it to the final. Their first 2 runs where far too close to call for the judges prompting a one more time decision. It would take only the slightest difference in line/angle or proximity to separate the two drivers in the end.

At the end of it all, Steve Will much to his delight would take the top spot from Matthew Denham.

This ProAm fight had been such an exhilarating day of hard fought battles, each driver gave it their all pushing their own limits to the test and what an event it created. The work David Egan & his team has put into the BDC in such a short space of time time has really catapulted the series forward and set the stage for the rest of the season to come.