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Reviews

Ryan’s Red Rocket

18th August 2017 — by Dave Cox

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At car shows like Players Classic, there is a wealth of high quality builds. Picking a personal favourite is hard enough. I didn’t ENVY the task to be taken on by the judges.

However, as I was meandering around I came across Ryan’s Red Rocket. A red s13 that really caught my eye. It’s low ride height, aggressive wheels and smooth body work resonated with me.

I started making up some assumptions about the car as circled it. It wasn’t a drift car, definitely not built for time attack. And if I am being honest here, not a show pony either. All of this was fine in my eyes. Someone had just built this to have fun with.

I liked the idea of just having a car to be a fun car. Not something to smash up drifting or constantly stress about racing. Ultimately, something I would like to achieve myself one day.

I caught up with Ryan over instagram (ah, the wonders of social media) to find out a little more about the car. It turns out this is exactly why he built the car.

With the help of his friends he added fibreglass over-fenders and wings and set about painting the car Dr. Pepper red. It’s this colour that caught my eye when walking past. Not usually being a fan of red cars, this paint certainly set off the look.

A SpecR SR20DET was swapped in and a full stainless steel exhaust added. So it should have some go and sound nice! It was the wheels that stood out, not the usual choice but they look pretty aggressive. They are 17inch Extreme Offset Wheels.

They didn’t come in s13 PCD so Ryan re-drilled them. The manufacturer then saw the result and has since started making them. Ride height has been addressed with HSD Dualtech coilovers.

The gold bolts on the wheels really help draw your attention to them. It’s the small little details like this that I like.

Projects like this have a certain attainable feeling about them. They aren’t massive budget, they can still be used on the road and more importantly you are building memories. This was built on driveways by Ryan with help from his friends. I am envious of that D.I.Y. mentality.

One day I will get round to doing it myself. One day.

Words & Pictures: Dave Cox (SHOOTING DAVE)
Instagram: @ShootingDave

 

Event

Street Track Life 2 – Drive Harder

16th August 2017 — by Connor Mathieson

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Street Track Life is the full on Japan themed event that brings the best of the best from around the UK to Driftland to perform savage stunts and have an epic load of fun.

This year STL was attended by a few youtubers. Toby (Monkey London) was at last years STL in his missile Soarer. This time he brought his monstrous D1SL S15 which unfortunately caught fire after his first session. From what I hear, this isn’t the first time it’s caught fire either. A massive shame as from his one session he was doing big pulls down the wall and by god can that car move. Easily on par with full on BDC/IDC competition spec drift cars. Something you might expect from an ex D1SL car.

Adam Ivell (6TWO1) came up in his nice S15 as well. Really enjoying the colour of his car, it’s a fairly different colour to what you typically see in drift cars.

Lastly Chris (ChrisDrift) brought his awesome GT86, my first time seeing one drift in person and I must say it’s such a cool sounding car! Think of a slightly quieter Subaru Impreza smashing limiter and there you have it. One of my favourite cars of the event to watch getting thrown around.

The variety of cars at STL is what really makes the event so great. One minute you can have 3-4 MX5’s running together, 15 minutes later they are back out chasing down cars with double their power and grip.

On the 2nd day the AE86’s were out. Still to this day there is nothing that makes me as excited as when there is 2 or more 86’s on track screaming their heads off. For STL there was a total of 5, 4 from Ireland and Mr Finalboss in one of his 86’s.

Dan Joyce was chasing down Danny Whyman in what must have been the 2nd or 3rd session of the event. This kind of driving right off the start is what makes the event so fun to shoot and I imagine to spectate. From the word go you have people pushing their cars and running together with other people. This does of course come down to either bravery or just full trust in the person your following. Though I guess if you have no trust in someone your following, why follow at all.

This is my 2nd time seeing the Stylecase guys out on track and its so good to watch them. It immediately obvious that these guys are friends and drift together a lot. Evident from their constant close proximity driving with one another.

Dan from Destroy or Die and Goodboi Style Freddie were showing of their sick new team livery. I’ve always been a fan of livery’s on drift cars but only a certain style per say. This style is the one I think is most noticeable as a Japanese style livery. Flat colour cars with chrome vinyl. It’s Always been something i’d picture when thinking back to older Japanese drifting and its awesome to see it traverse over the sea’s and be well done at that.

Low Origins Alex and Dan were putting down some really nice runs on the first day, it’s a shame Alex had issues with the car and didn’t end up driving on the 2nd day. I’m fairly sure every time these guys have came up one of them has had massively bad luck with their cars and only gotten a short amount of seat time.

The Launder’s were out in their awesome Type X S13’s. I believe Kane in the red S13 was having issue with the car earlier in the first day of STL so it was nice to see them both out on track together.

Steve Saunders has always been someone fun to watch. The thing that always gets me going with Steve is his entries. Coming down the wall he enters 3-4 car lengths further back than anyone else and carries a huge drift from the back end of the wall all the way through the next corner, it’s really something to behold.

In this photo hes already on the wall and been on drift for a few seconds where Dan’s only just started his drift. It might not seem like a significant thing to mention but when you stand and watch him do it for 5 minutes straight, it just oozes massive amounts of aggression.

Will Crashcroft brought his little MX5 up for STL, had been looking forward to seeing Will do some stunts and have a few crashes and he didn’t disappoint.

I was standing watching him over the course of about 10 minutes get progressively closer to wall and had a pretty good feeling he was about to make contact.

he did make contact. Throwing the front of the car into the wall and running straight into the gravel. Surprisingly the damage was fairly light, a dented rear quarter that Freddie the wizard sorted in no time and a small dent to the front of the car.

Here’s a little GIF of the crash!

A huge part of STL that makes it so enjoyable as an event is the general atmosphere. Whenever you come of track for a bit you end up spending half an hour walking around talking to everyone having a laugh.

It’s actually one of the more enjoyable aspects of the event as a whole, the driving part is great but the atmosphere you get walking around the pits hanging out with everyone just has a nice chill vibe to it that I think in some sense should be what sums up drifting in general, in terms of non competition events at least.

Although the guys at GarageFuckHouse have been doing an amazing job of providing a similar vibe to STL in a competition aspect.

STL 2 was a great event, chill vibes and some sick driving for the 2 days. It’s one of those event where if you like nicely styled Japanese drift cars running in trains of 3+ cars, it’s certainly the event that needs to be on your calendar for next year.

Photos and words by Connor Mathieson

 

 

Event

Sunshine and Tyre Smoke

21st June 2017 — by Ben Gaut

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The day before Drift Cup Round 3 was an invite-only practice day at Rockingham Race Way. For me, this was my first time ascending on Rockingham but I had heard amazing things from fellow Fueltographer Shooting Dave. I was so hyped to get down and see what it was all about. Being the second practice day I had shot this year, I was ready to see some action!

Now it’s safe to say the weather was the polar opposite of when I had my first outing of the year, it looked like I had traded in the snow and freezing temperatures for some amazing sunshine and a full on heat wave! Perfect for some smoky door to door action!

The main man behind Drift Cup ‘Sweeps’ had laid out a seriously awesome track which was perfect for the drivers. He also threw in a few hard hitting walls for good measure. It’s safe to say I didn’t see a single car without a dent in their rear quarters by lunch time, everyone was gunning for them. Just gradually edging closer and closer, before well you know the story!

The driving was on a whole different level, some of the best drift trains I have seen in the UK for a while outside of a show demo or major event!

As the weather stayed on our side and just got hotter and hotter, so I thought I would take the time to get off track side and out of the oven and into some cars and see how the track felt from the drivers perspective. It certainly didn’t disappoint, everyone was hunting for doors and pushing their cars to the absolute limit!

I managed to jump out with Monkey London, now this was an experience in itself, if you haven’t already, then do head over & check out his youtube channel. However I am telling you now, jumping in the car was like I had just stepped into a drifting documentary with David Attenborough! I then looked to my left to see Phil Morrison from Driftworks, hunting down my door and the adrenaline kicked in. I had only one option, to do what I do best, grab the camera and start firing.

The Practice day also meant that some of the Drift Cup drivers could get a day on track before the big event the following day and you could see for some of them just having that extra seat time really pulled through on the Sunday!

Now for me, I am pretty much out of words for this one – but thank you Sweeps and the team for an awesome day. Below are some more snaps from the day.

Event

Gymkhana Giants take back the podium

16th May 2017 — by Fueltopia Events

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This Sunday a new track was laid out at Santa Pod Raceway and 29 drivers came to master it.

A mornings practice soon dried out the wet track from the downpour overnight, with times dropping rapidly as drivers learnt the track line.

Once more we had some first timers join the field and it didn’t take long for them to show that they had true skill and would be contenders when it came to the battles

Our smallest class had regular auto test driver Carl Harper join us in his Vauxhall Nova, which in all the tracks twists and turns spent more time on three wheels than four! He showed great skill and speed setting the fastest qualifying time but unfortunately loosing out in the finals by over shooting the stop box and gaining a DNF to see series veteran Sean Franklin take the top spot.

The Biddle brothers were joined again in our Unlimited class by Mark Elder for round 3 and it was great to see him really pushing the brothers and knocking down his track PB all day. In qualifying Andy Biddle took the top spot with a 33.1 second run.  In a battle for the spot against him in the final Mark took on Nick in their closest battle to date, with Mark knocking another second of his track PB. It was nick however to face off once more against Andy, with Andy eventually taking the top spot.

Marks efforts however had not gone unnoticed by our Hard Charger Jury, who awarded him with recognition to how much his driving improved throughout the day.

The AWD class qualifying couldn’t have been closer so it was all to play for in the knockouts. Reigning champion Dmitrij Sribnyj hadn’t had a great start to the season so far, with mechanical issues leaving him off that top spot that he has grown used too,  and a new standard engine replacement required after complete failure at a recent event, but he topped qualifying giving him a bye straight into the semi finals.

The rest of the class went head to head and Dmitrij was soon joined by Andrew Stevens, Jonathan Buck and Yordan Andreev, all of whom have been on the podium already this season.

With a tight course and pressure running high, lots of penalties accumulated and it wasn’t always the first in the box taking the win

A battle for 3rd and 4th between Andy Stevens and Jonathan Buck, see both drivers pick up a penalty on their runs in the left lane, with Bucky taking the last spot on the podium.

The final between current championship leader Yordan Andreev and ScoobyClinic driver Dmitrij should have been a close battle but once again, Sribnyj showed us all why he is the Gymkhana champ and dropped both his runs to 32 seconds storming over the finish clearly ahead of his competitor.

Rear wheel hosts our biggest class and we battle from the top 16 of the day. 6 seconds split the top from the bottom in qualifying with Luke Woodham taking the fastest time by 0.5 seconds over Adam Elder who was currently sitting at the top of the 2017 championship after taking the win at round 2 when Woodham overshot the stop box in the final.

As we worked through the battles we saw high powered S bodies take on the quick and nimble field of MX5s proving power is not everything when it comes to mastering Gymkhana.

A top 8 battle between Mike Newland and Ryan Milton proved just this with just 0.6 seconds splitting the two over the two runs, until the times are added no one can tell by eye who would have taken the win, but it was Ryan who went into the Semis this time

A closer battle ensued between Philip Staniford in his MX5 and Mantas Sliogeris in his Honda s2000 with just 0.08 seconds splitting the two drivers.

The semi finals were made up of 2 MX5s vs 2 s14s, and it was here we see Ryan Milton retire due to a broken drive shaft, giving Elder the spot in the final against Woodham and an automatic award of 3rd place to Philip Staniford. Never the way we want to see final battles go but we know Ryan will get it fixed and will be fighting once more for those podium spots at round 4.

So the final was one we have seen many times before, and after his mistake at round 2 Luke was ready to make this one count and take back that top spot and £100 Nankang cheque. His driving from run one in practice had been on point all day, showing the field why he is three time European and 2016 Formula G Gymkhana champion.

Pressure on Adam was high, these guys have faced off many times and this is all about all important championship points and bragging rights! This round was Luke’s for the taking with a 4 second lead overall after Adam picked up a penalty hitting a cone in the right lane. This has now pushed Woodham up from 4th to first in the championship, with Adam on his heels with 1 point to catch him, we have a feeling this is going to right to the final round this year.

As usual all drivers rallied around for the podium presentations and champagne fights! See you all at Rockingham for Round 4 of the championship on Sunday 30th July. Tickets are available on the store now

 

 

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