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Event

Battle of Britain

29th June 2017 — by Dave Cox

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…the location, Birmingham NEC. The contenders? The British Drift Championship vs. Drift GP.

The British Drift Championship have joined forces with DriftGP to put on a spectacular event in front of a large crowd on brand new course layout, designed for maximum thrill. The DriftGP run event brings with it all the finest talent they can find boasting massive amounts of horse power. This event would ultimately go on to be one of the most exciting that I’ve witnessed in the UK. Bring it on!

Who would come out on top? United Kingdom or Europe or will it ultimately be the track itself? The battleground for this fight was a custom built track flanking the halls of Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre, a course with high speed entries, snappy transitions and car crushing walls. Due to the nature of having a space to design whatever course you wanted, you could position the crowd to maximise exposure. They did this by utilising the natural banking creating an open air amphitheatre – a perfect vantage point to see drivers pit themselves against each other as much as the course.

Event

‘Grass Roots’ At Drift Cup Round 3

21st June 2017 — by Ben Gaut

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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!

Event

Is this the return of UK Drifting?

2nd April 2017 — by Dave Cox

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I’ll just come right out and say it: The British Drift Championship is back.

Believe when I say that I didn’t expect to write that. At first I thought it was a combination of enthusiasm and sun stroke but the more I think back, the more I am happy to cement my opening statement.

News

2016 Round up … The Return

6th December 2016 — by Ben Gaut

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So 2016 round up … well that would be short and sweet I didn’t shoot anything! How about 2015 round up that would also be pretty short as I only shot one event! So you might be thinking why the hell has he even bothered…

This isn’t a round up, this isn’t a look back on the year, this a plan of attack ready to take on 2017! Some of you may remember me some of you might not, so lets kick it off I’m Ben also known as Fueltopia’s ‘scenester’ in residence! You will mainly find me stuck between an aired out VAG, a cambered up rusty old Datsun, peering though tyre smoke at the side of the track or hanging out the window of a moving vehicle on many of the UK’s finest motorways!

As I said I have nothing to show for 2016 and barely anything worth sharing from 2015, the reason for this is simple I couldn’t walk for 2 years! After waking up one morning in August 2013 and barely being able to walk and my knee deteriorating as the year went on I had to take a back seat on all things photography I just couldn’t get to any events and when I did I was in too much pain to shoot.

The last 2 and half years for me have been focused on just getting off crutches and out of a wheel chair! Finally after 11 operations and finally a bone transplant I’m back and ready to hit 2017 harder than ever!!

Now what hell I am i going to shoot! everything has changed, builds have come and gone, events have expanded, the people have changed. Well with the new changes David Egan has brought to the BDC I think its time I headed back to the frontline! RDC is growing more and more so lets head down there! And I can’t be ‘scenester’ in residence if you don’t see my face walking around aired out VAG’s!

But for me I want to add a little twist to everything I have done before. Let’s push some boundaries and limits. So stay tuned for some Streeto, Closed road and hell I would love to shoot some bikes! However I know nothing about bikes but they go fast and make noise so I am there!

Anyway that’s enough from me! 2017 is the RETURN!

Event

The Revolution – British Drift Championship Round 2 – Driftland

22nd June 2016 — by Connor Mathieson

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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.