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Event

Formula G Championship, Round 2: Santa Pod Raceway

24th March 2017 — by Fueltopia Events

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Sunday 19th March saw the Fueltopia event team host Formula G round 2 at a dry yet windy Santa Pod Raceway.

Just two weeks on from the first event, drivers were faced with a new track and it proved to be the fastest one to date. A relatively simple layout meant that mastering the course directions came quickly to most and that round two was all about dialling in your technique around the obstacles and getting your foot in quick on the straights. The track lived up to its name the Quickdraw, and as many used their practice session to reduce their times, some soon fell under 37 second’s across RWD, AWD and U1 classes.

The qualifying session of 4 runs per driver places all into a top 16 ranking and then for battles go head to head 1st v 16th and so forth in each class. In the AWD class Andrew Stevens topped the class with a 36.025 but with just 0.9 of a second splitting the top 4 we could see we were going to be in for some tight battles.

In the RWD class, whilst we saw series regulars take the top 8 positions it was great to see 5 of them be taken on by fairly new drivers to the sport, including 14 year old Ben Dryburgh who made the trip down from Scotland to compete in the championship for the first time. However it was the top 8 who all progressed through to the semi-final stages.

The U1 class had a new entry to the series in the form of a Robin Hood, piloted by Daniel Cooper. However as a complete newbie to the sport, he didn’t quite have the speed to knock the biddles off the top spot. With advice from the drivers in the pit we hope to see him back soon ready to take on the challenge once again. Andy Biddle stole the show with a driving masterclass on the day and posted a 35.139 in qualifying taking the crown of fastest time of the day across not only U1 but all classes.

The AWD class battles kicked off with a bye for Andy Stevens when Dmitrij Sribnyj suffered mechanical issues meaning the car didn’t make it to the startline. The battles continued with Flitspeed teammates Dom and Lewis taking each other on in their semi-final, that saw Dom take the win and his place in the quarter final against Yordan Andreev, who made it through after winning his battle against Michael Irwin.

 

Jonathan Buck, who suffered major mechanical issues and therefore missed the first Formula G event, was out to get as many points as he could to better position himself in the championship points table. He won his top 8 battle against Nankang and Pole Position driver Jake Archer and was next drawn against fastest qualifier Andy Stevens, a close race ensued but with Andy picking up a 2 second penalty the win was Buckys and in the final he faced off against Round 1 winner Yordan Andreev. A mistake picking up a 2 second penalty for Andreev meant he had to give his all to beat Bucky in the final race, however his eagerness see him jump the start lights and as long as he could keep his cool and complete the course with no DNF the win was Buckys to take. The final race also see Bucky set the fastest time of the day in the AWD class so he picked up a vital 12 championship points.

 

The RWD class was the last to see battles and with 16 quickly down to 8 our season regulars lined up against opponents they all know too well. It was 4 big powered Nissan S bodies against 4 smaller nibble MX5s and a Honda S2000. With 3 MX5s taking the podium spots at round one the Nissan drivers were guns blazing to get back to the top!

The four making it through to the quarter finals were Luke Woodham, Mark Young, Ryan Milton and Adam Elder. Ryan in his MX5 had been flying around the course all day and was up first against Adam Elders 400bhp Nissan S14, both races were close, with Adam pulling ahead on the straights and Ryan catching him on the tight turns in the obstacles, but it was Adam who pulled ahead just enough to see him into the Final.

Mark Young was up next against 2016 Formula G and 3 times European Gymkhana champion Luke Woodham. Jap motorsport driver Mark had been having the drive of his life Saturday, looking smooth around obstacles and fast on the straights but he couldn’t quite keep up with Luke and he headed into the 3rd/4th place battle with Ryan. His battle with Ryan see him take 4th on the day, losing out by just 0.6 of a second over the 2 sides of the course, his driving didn’t go unnoticed by staff who picked him for the Hardcharger award and all drivers were in agreement with this decision.

The final see a battle we have seen before and are likely to witness many times in the future. As Elder and Woodham, lined up on the grid, we were given the most exciting final battle. The first run see the drivers split by just 0.1 of a second with Luke taking the edge. As they drove around back to the startline we knew this could be anyone’s to win. Both flew round the course, no time penalties and both flew into the stop box at the same time, however Woodham handed the win to Elder when he shot way over the perimeter of the stop box, giving him a DNF. He took it well, laughing it off and congratulating Adam before both finished the day with a huge smoke show as they headed back to the podium!

 

Two rounds down with 3 to go, the points in the championship table are so close right now every point counts and we look forward to seeing what a new track and round 3 brings on May 14th. Tickets are available now on the store.

Photos by

Craig Toull, CRT Photography

Event

Young gun takes on the Quick Draw

16th March 2017 — by Fueltopia Events

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It’s a first for Formula G but in attempts to make motorsport accessible to all, we are for the first time opening our doors to the unlicensed and that means a young lad making noise in Scotland can make his way down south for his first outing on the Formula G track in his 1.8cc Mazda MX5.

We are excited to see Ben Dryburgh take to the track this weekend and show that a 14-year-old can take on the obstacles just as well as his dad Alan, who took on the Gymkhana Grid Gauntlet finals in 2016.

Bens MX5 has been built especially for him to compete this season and he was truly gutted to not have it 100% for the first Barrel Sprint and Formula G rounds at the beginning of March. However freshly fitted with a new ECU, Bens fully prepared to join the fleet of MX5s, now leading in the gymkhana championship.

This however wont be Bens first outing, having competed all last year in the Scottish Gymkhana Cup, driving regular Formula G driver Adam Elders Nissan  S14 and taking third place in the championship and being named Best Drifter by Fast Car magazine at Crail last year driving his dads 650BHP Supra.

Ben will be competing in as many Barrel Sprint and Formula G events as he can this season, making him not only the youngest competitor in the field but also the furthest to travel.  We hope many will come out to show support to our newest competitor.

For others looking to get involved in both the Barrel Sprint and Formula G please contact event manager, Becci Gilbert, at  becci@fueltopia.co.uk who will help you with all the necessary details for entry.

Photos provided by Ben Dryburgh

Topic

Five radical drifting hot hatches

9th February 2017 — by Black Flagged

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A hot hatch isn’t your default car for drift, but it doesn’t mean its not the right path to smokey tyre enlightenment – after trawling through our Fueltopia file of rad images, I’ve pulled out five the naughtiest drift hatches that have slayed rubber

Roger Holland’s twin engine Toyota Starlet creates plumes of crowd pleasing tyre smoke into the 50,000 strong crowd at Gatebil, Rudskogen. Dave Cox caught the double packing, drifty, hot hatch action on his last visit to the show they dub the  greatest in the World. We’d definitely want to get up  close and personal with this car next year

This list wouldn’t be complete without one of the most iconic drift hatches ever… The Driftworks AE86 – LS powered and classic lines makes this drift-hatch one of our favourites of all time and that distinctive orange livery is hard to miss.

A personal favourite is Dan Firminger’s little Volvo. This car might be small but it packs a punch with it’s V8 heart up front. Dan has been peddling this car on the car scene for a while in drift and gymkhana and it’s always great to see it decimate opponents on track.

This literally blows my mind,  Danial Björk’s Ford Fiesta lays down smoke like a total badass at events like Gatebil. The Blue Oval  brands engine has been cast aside for a native Volvo B230 Turbo engine that pumps out  a staggering 500hp or in this case moose power.

In at five and rounding off this blogs five radical drift hatches is another little 1986 Volvo 360 owned by Mark Vissers from the Netherlands. A respectable 357hp and 388lb/ft of torque makes this a fun, handling, tyre, shredding machine to be feared. If you fancy giving it a run then make sure you scope out the Drift Championship Netherlands.

 

 

Reviews

Top 10 wagons you need to know about

6th February 2017 — by Black Flagged

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I love a wagon. Like me, there are a few select that can see the beauty in the cars which were originally designed with nothing but practicality in mind.

For this article, I’ve dug deep into the Fueltopia archives to bring you the mega guide to Wagon love.

Opening up the proceedings is this  1998 Subaru Legacy GTB shot by Dan Fegent. This is no slouch, 2.0-litre turbo that packs a meaty 280hp from it’s Boxer engine heart, that classic Subaru sound magnified by the aftermarket Kakimoto exhaust. This isn’t factory fresh, its classic lines remain with the stock wheels getting upgraded to some 18-inch Work Emotion XD9’s

While looking at Wagons, I needed to include an Audi. The list wouldn’t be complete without one and getting one on the list is James Hughes’ Audi A4, shot by Ben Gaut. It’s Jon Olson inspired camo wrap is set off by its aired-out stance on the Airlift Performance V1 Management kit, allowing the Rotiform IND T wheels to squeeze excellently under the arches.

The wolf in sheep clothing. From first glance you may have thought this BMW 330D had managed to luck out to make it onto this list. However, this car is maybe the one to watch. Owned by Dan Fegent, it might look unassuming from the outside, but it’s the 390lb/ft of torque that will show you up off the lights

This car might be aerodynamically challenged, but it’s a classic and was the pinnacle of estate/wagon luxury during the late 80’s and early 90’s. However,  I’m sure that not one owner during it’s prime would ever have imagined seeing their family pride and joy do this! Thanks to Huxley Motorsport, the stock engine has been ripped out and replaced with a BMW M60 4.0-litre V8 that now allows it do this!

Aerodynamically challenged

The Gravel Express – with less than 15 of these in the UK it makes them rarer than rocking horse poo. However, Rich Maguire has taken his classic Subaru designed for the hardy Australian outback and given it a stunning contemporary look for the hazardous West London travels. What it lost in bull-bars and gated spare wheel carrier, it gained in style and stance

The drift world gets a lot of flack, but it needs some credit to helping save the fate of many wagons from the oily fingered grasps of the banger fraternity – who’d only abuse each other with gleeful wrecking abandonment while sending future classics to the great scrap yard in the sky. Fraser Stark’s BMW E30 however still has a slight death wish as it unleashes it’s tyres into a fire show extravaganza thanks to the hearty Toyota 2JZ engine that now resides under the hood

Another Subaru and it’s Gymkhana that saw this glorified dog carrier grab some lime light. Jake Archer’s Kamikaze wagon took on the internet’s best, Ken Block, at his own sport and surprisingly it did pretty bloody well. This might have been built in a shed in Birmingham, but it’s been fielded against the best and held it’s own!

Gatebil, it’s a bonkers three day car festival that boasts the most amount of engine swaped cars than any other show we know – I mean there are 2JZ engines in everything you could imagine. While the Volvo mafia reign large, a cheeky Mercedes always gets the looks and thanks to Dave Cox for capturing this weapon looking as good today as it did when it rolled out of the showroom… Well, perhaps not, but way more exciting right?!

More drifty action, this car dominated the UK drift scene. Michael Marshalls BMW E36 Touring – powered by the favoured Toyota 2JZ I’m sure this couldn’t be further than the sales dream of long weekends away and throwing the golf clubs in the back for a weekend of birdies and eagles… Thanks to our in house rally expert Steve White for getting this smokey run

To finish off our top 10, there could be only one car that took this spot, Edward Blom’s 1975 Volvo 242. It’s not quite a wagon, but I’m bending the rules. This car was originally shot by Andi Gordon and Edward and his mates welcomed in Andi to shoot his awesome M50 turbo powered build. However, sadly not long after Eddie passed away. So, with that in mind this car was  the perfect end to my blog and it’s a tribute to a real petrolhead – check out the hench burnout marks on the garage floor!

Reviews

The Wrecking Ball 2016 Refresh

25th March 2016 — by Fueltopia

Pictures & words by Dan Fegent

Passion & love for what we do is a motivating factor for the majority of us. We want to be the best & we desire to be recognised for our achievements. Throw in some competition & you either rise to the challenge or crash & burn. This stands true for anyone involved in Motorsport on a competitive level, drivers who wish to succeed have no choice but to thrive on competition.

One driver who has certainly gained traction the past few years is Jake Archer, nicknamed ‘The Wrecking Ball’ for his history of track destruction across Fueltopia Barrel Sprint layouts & Gymkhana courses. He’s been mastering his craft of Gymkhana driving since the beginning of this growing sport & each year has proved to himself, sponsors & the internet that he’s a force to be reckoned with. Love him or hate him, he’s here to stay.

I managed to catch up directly with Jake on a recent visit, the Subaru Wagon is long gone, he’s risen to the ever growing challenge of the competition & stepped up his game for this years season.

 

“I’m so excited to be using a hatchback this year! I’ve wanted one for 2 years so this year we decided to go for it!!! Gymkhana is my sport and my life! Everything I do revolves around racing & the sport of gymkhana. Being there from the beginning, I’ve watched the sport grow and as any new Motorsport it needs help to progress. Along with my team we have ran events at Santa pod and with the support of Fueltopia helped create the brand new series Formula Gymkhana! 2016 is a huge year for the sport and with the help of this car & it being a lot newer & of a much higher standard of build than anything I’ve driven before, I hope it helps bring a new audience to FBS And FG. I can’t wait for the season to start and want to thank everyone involved that’s helped this dream become a reality!!! Always, dream too big!”

We are stoked to see so much passion & energy being put into a project, the Gymkhana movement has grown significantly over the past few years & this is just one of the cars that has us excited for what 2016 is going to bring.

Check out the video  to hear it all from Jake directly: