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Reviews

Purpose Built Barrel Hunter

28th February 2017 — by Dave Cox

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At the time of writing, we are just days away from the beginning of the 2017 Fueltopia Barrel Sprint season. Test & Registration day has been and gone and we take this brief gap to bring you a close look at Mike Newland’s new purpose built barrel sprint s13.

This is not Mike’s first rodeo either previously he had a purpose built S14. A car that Mike has competed in for the last 4 years and spent tireless hours and effort developing. Sadly the S14 met it’s demise at Coventry MotorFest when it made a firm introduction with a concrete pillar underneath the ring roads. When life deals you such a poor hand it can be hard to get back on your feet.

Motorsport is high risk, leaving many grass roots racers with two options, All or Nothing. The impact the S14 had sustained was too much, the chassis was completely folded underneath the car meaning that it would sadly be beyond repair. For someone who had invested all they had into a sport they love the result was pretty crushing. Thankfully that was the extent of the damage, pretty much everything could be salvaged.

An S13 was sourced and Mark Young at Japs Motorsport set to work sand blasting the fresh shell before seam welding and inserting a full cage in preparation for transplanted parts. The decision to go for an S13 instead of an S14 was to step away from the norm on the field. Rear wheel drive class in Barrel Sprint is pretty much dominated by MX5’s and S14’s so Mike felt the need to provide a different body to keep things interesting.

Mark took a staggering 7 days to complete the transformation from a bare shell. I will let that sink in for a little bit. In an era where builds are getting turned around for shows in ever decreasing times, this is incredible. Not to mention that this isn’t a show car, this is a purpose built race car and it is fully functional! I have struggled to make decisions in 7 days, let alone build and complete a car.

The exterior also got a refresh thanks to Sussex Wrap Studio which closely mimics the colours scheme of the S14 as well keeping in line with the team colours.

After all the work was completed, the car was unveiled at the Wembley Qualifier for GRiD last year. Where unfortunately due to a lack of testing due to time constraints the car was fighting with him and not behaving herself. Due to this Mike came in 3rd place missing his spot at GRiD. Disappointing for Mike but still very impressive for anyone else.

The eagle eyed amongst you would have noticed that the lines of this S13 are slightly off, that is because the rear glass hatch has been removed and replaced with fibreglass flat bed. This was done to primarily reduce weight and lower the centre of gravity keeping the car light and nimble or “Smimble” as Mike affectionately calls it (Small and Nimble).

The obsessive weight loss spreads further than just the rear hatch, the bonnet is single skin fibre glass too,

The interior of the car is a spartan yet functional place to sit. A flocked dash obscured only by an OMP steering wheel houses minimal switch gear whilst a hydro setup help get the car round the barrels. Whilst a Corbeau seat helps keep the driver in place.  An Android dash allows Mike to customise what he monitors, keeping only the essential information on display.

As mentioned before, many of the components were transplanted over to the new chassis. Gold wrapping around the intake pipes help keep engine temperatures down. Mike is however developing a new expansion system to help lower intake temperatures and keep them constant which will mean he can go more aggressive on the map. Given that the car is already making 385bhp on a Nispro tune, it will be pretty lively.

Frustrated with his performance at the Qualifier, Mike sent the car to Walton Smith at Nispro to get the car’s alignment dialled in. This proved a wise choice as during the next FBS round, he beat his personal best time and then went on to finish 2nd in the championship.

I keep teasing Mike about the reverse rake of the car saying “just lower the front by a foot and you’ll be fine!” But I am told this is to help with balance and turn in. Seeing as I am at very best a spirited driver, I shall shut up and stop poking fun. (Will I f*ck)

The car is littered with small considered details, I’m particularly fond of the KODE rivets that secure the over fenders and duck tail spoiler . There are other touches too, like the JDM painted spokes. All of this is colour coordinated to tie in the with wrap this car has.

“The test day was an eye opener, After changing the suspension and the cars setup in the off season, it felt totally different. But not in a good way, I couldn’t get to grips with the changes and was struggling to go at my normal pace. After lots of messing around and tweaking I got it set perfect and produced some very nice runs. New front tyres needed due to the increased rear grip since last year due to Nispro’s awesome new setup.”

It is clear that Mike has spent the last 4 years honing his skills and working out what kind of setup he wants from the car. Finishing 3rd in 2015, 2nd in 2016 it only makes sense that he is setting his sights on 1st for this season.

After watching him most of the day and getting really up close and personal, I have little reason to doubt that he will be in strong contention for the win. I wish him the best luck for the season ahead. If you fancy going down and seeing him in action for yourself then you can get tickets from here: Fueltopia Barrel Sprint

Words & Pictures; Dave Cox (SHOOTINGDAVE)

Sponsors:

JAPS Motorsport
EBC Brakes
Corbeau
Adolescent Dogs
Advanced Lubricant Solutions
Dodo Juice
Just Jap
Nispro
Infamous Creations
Sussex Wrap Studio

Specs:

SR20DET
Owen Developements Turbo
LINK ECU
EBC brakes all round
Seam welded chassis & Roll cage
Custom Corbeau bucket seat 5 point harnesses
Driftworks CS2 Coilovers
Custom cooling and intake setup by JAPS Motorsport
1 piece prop shaft
Wisefab rear setup
Geomaster front setup

Video

Merry Skidmas

20th December 2016 — by JimmyDrama

You Tuber and drift video channel, Monkey London, took the festive season to a whole new level with this short video, Merry Skidmas. Combining Christmas cheer, some cheeky street sessions and a couple of s-bodies, that’d look like they’d fit right into any grotto setting.

I bloody love Christmas! So go and enjoy this Festive & Furious video

 

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!

Reviews

The Drako a car that demands respect

13th November 2016 — by JimmyDrama

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You can tell a lot by what a person drives. Just sit back and look and you’ll soon be able to build up a character of the person by the automobile they drive. So, what type of person builds a car that at any given crank of it’s mechanical beating heart wants to kill you? Dimitriy Illyuk is no normal person and he gave birth to one of the World’s most vicious drift cars, The Drako.
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The chassis is a master of illusion, they say that fear comes in many guises, this time the Nissan S14 has been over-hauled with the Rocket Bunny Boss kit. The end result is Japanese car that looks more like a US born Charger, that’s been jacked on an intensive steroid make over. Dark and moody in looks the beating heart of the re-worked V8 Nissan engine is where the business really gets interesting.

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Over 1100hp is produced by the 2012 Nissan VK56DETT, the engine keeps true to the Drako’s JDM heritage, but is far from stock. Mahle Motorsport pistons, paired with Carillo rods replace the standard items. The block and head are forced together under restraint from ARP’s head and main studs and it’s thanks to BC’s uprated valve springs this engine barks like one of Satan’s hounds.

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Fire spits from the external screamer pipes that poke through the bonnet like a pair of horns. The boost is triggered by a meaty pair of Garrett GTX3071R turbochargers.

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While producing an engine with insane HP numbers is no easy feat, getting that to the wheels is also an alchemy art. OS Giken R4c clutch mated with a Drenth MPG gearbox, fully customised and with reinforced internals was the only option for the Ukrainian driver. After all he wasn’t building a street car to impress the locals – this build was summoning demons from another dimension.

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After all this being a drift car, it needed insane lock. Wisefab front and rear Nissan S14 kit dons the car and works well with the Feal Suspension coilover kit.

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This car is pure aggression, Illyuk, a driver that is close to taming the Drako, but when this car goes it’s always got a wild streak that can never be truly domesticated. Tyres last a matter of milliseconds when all the power from the good foot is engaged, but we Dmitiriy beams from ear-to-ear every time he drives it, could he be the gate-keeper to combustion’s hades?

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Spec

1999 nissan 200sx s14a

Engine: 2012 Nissan vk56dett 1100hp Mahle motorsport pistons,Carillo rods, arp head and main studs, bc valve springs. 2x garrett gtx3071r turbochargers, 2x turbosmart powergate 60mm, 2x turbosmart raceport Bov’s, turbosmart fpr 2000, id2000 injectors , ais 3000 direct port water meth injection, ati race pulley.

Drivetrain: Os giken r4c clutch Tilton magnesium release bearing. Drenth MPG gearbox custom ordered reinforced internals. R230 differential with gtr shafts

Electronics: Vipec i88 Motec pdm16 Motec keypad Motec e888 can expander Link dash 2 pro Mil spec wiring and ecu maping and can programing by @afterfix

Suspension: Wisefab front and rear nissan kits Feal suspension coilovers

Exterior: Rocket Bunny Boss 2 kit

Interior: Rollcage by motorsportinheart S15lhd dash

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Event

DriftCup Round 5 – Driftland

14th September 2016 — by Connor Mathieson

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The final round of DriftCup drops into Driftland. An impressive grid size but even more impressive is the Scottish driver turn out taking up around half of the grid.

Practice had only been going on for roughly 30 minutes and already people were settling in and getting some nice, close driving providing quite an exciting practice. Even with a lot of drivers never having been to Driftland before, After an hour or so of practice 90% of people were starting to put down consistent runs and with only the occasional spin here and there, providing plenty of practice time for everyone.

Qualifying went great for the local Scottish lads, with 13 of them qualifying and going into top 32 battles. Mark Gemmell hot of his win in SDC last weekend qualifyied 1st. William Hanna first time competing in DriftCup qualifying in a strong 5th place with Taylor Bloomfield and Barry Stevenson just making it into the top 32. the later half of the top 32 was very fiercly contested with positions 19 to 31 only seperated by 4 points!

With Mark Webb already winning the championship before round 5 there was no pressure on him, but ofcourse he wouldn’t want to sit out. That almost became the case with his car throwing a fit right as he was going into qualifying, luckily for him he managed to put in 2 runs that planted him into 25th position. Michelle Westby managed to put in a great qulifying run putting herself into 8th position going into battles. Michelle like many others who had never been to the track before, started out slowly reading the track and lines then progressivly charging harder with each run.

First battle of the top 32 was also the first pair of Scots to battle. Taylor was nursing a clutch issue in the E30 since qualifying which hampered his runs with William, giving William the win. That’s not to say that it was an easy win for William, but he was on fire all day driving really good!

Barry the punk faced of against 2nd place qualifier Stuart Maclachan and were having good battle, but on the 2nd run barry seemed to come in too hot and had a spin, giving the win to Stuart.

Now we come to the battle that will be talked about for quite some time.. Michelle Westby vs Mark Webb. Even before the battle it looked to be interesting. Michelle was driving very well as seen by her 8th place qualifying position and Mark just wanted to get on some doors and have a blast. In the first run coming through the transition in between clips 6-7 Mark was too close which caused him to be thrown of track giving an easy 10-0 advantage to Michelle.

The 2nd run is where things get interesting. Michelle chased super hard on mark but coming through clip 3 seemed to straighten up and quite simply rammed him.. Causing them both to slide up the bank and most interestingly cause their battle to go into a one my time. Also interesting to note is the smile on marks face as they were spinning up the bank, with both of them throwing a fist out the window and having a hug, no hard feelings were had. after another few interesting runs Mark would eventually take the win over Michelle.

Jeek faced of against the mighty Kriss Darling. Now you may be wondering.. “whats with the ratchet strap on Kriss’ car?” Well, in practice his bonnet flew up and smashed the window. I’m guessing as a safety measure they thought it would be best to make sure it couldn’t open again. In battle Jeek couldn’t quite chase as closely as Kriss could and Kriss ended up going through to the great 8.

Ben Fisher and Chris Taylor met in the top 16 and provided a very nice close battle that Ben would eventually win. Ben would then go on to battle Marcin in the amazing Supra in the top 8. Marcin was on fire the entire day putting down superb qualifying lines in the lead position as well as doing some great chase driving netting him a place in the top 4.

First battle going into the top 4 came down to Callum Marshall and Charles Funnell. Charles had taken out quite a few impressive cars to reach this battle. Beating out Stuart Jones in the mighty 400bhp S14 as well as William Hanna. Callum also beat out some heavy hitters, taking down 2nd place qualifyier Stuart Maclachan in the top 16 and then going on to beat Kriss Darling in the top 8. Callum had just that little bit better of a chase drive against Charles, with Charles not quite being able to follow Callum as closely.

On the other side of the bracket Genetic Drifter Rob Johnston was up against Marcin. Marcin had a clean upper had over Rob with track knowledge which seemed to pay of well. Rob chased Marcin well but had to sacrafice angle in order to keep up with Marcin’s Supra giving Marcin the win.

The battle for 3rd saw Rob facing of against Charles in the E36 Touring. both drove excellent lead runs but noticeably Rob chased much better than he did in the previous battle with Marcin.

DriftCup Round 5 final came down to 2 Driftland locals, Both of which had been driving superb all day. Marcin lead Callum in the first run with both drivers showing the same consistant driving they had been doing throughout the competition. After the 2nd run however it was imediatly clear on who had won the battle.

Rob won himself 3rd defeating Charles and taking home a well deserved trophy. Following on from a rather weak chase on Marcin in the top 4 he would vastly improve his chase driving against Charles in the battle for 3rd place. Unlucky for Charles but for someone driving a lower powered BMW, He put in some great work to make it into 4th place.

In the battle for 1st place Callum would take 2nd. Marcin’s chase run in the final was pretty amazing, he stayed all over Callum throughout the entire run netting himself a very well deserved victory. Callum was comming of a 2nd place finish in last weeks Scottish Drift Championship and put in some great work to bag another 2nd place trophy 2 weeks in a row.

Michelle Westby would pick up hard charger honours for providing what i’m sure a lot of people that attended Round 5 would feel to be the most entertaining battle of the day.

Mark Webb had already won the championship at Round 4 but still drove very had at Driftland regardless. with some unfortunate car issues he eventually got knocked out of top 16 by local driver Stuart McLellan. Congratulations to Mark on the championship win, it shall be very interesting to watch him drive in the BDC next year.

Massive congratulations to the top 4 drivers, none of them had an easy job getting to the top 4 in what was a very competative top 32.

In this last year of drift competition in the UK the driving level has sky rocketed. DriftCup may be the feeder series for the British Drift Championship but i feel everyone who made it to the top 16 at Round 5 would certainly give any BDC driver a run for their money in competition.
Words and photo’s by Connor Mathieson