In 2012 I ran in my first British Drift Championship season after gaining my licence at Teesside Autodrome back in 2010. I had never done any competitive driving before but well and truly got the drifting bug following a few of the popular SXOC Crail days which I had attended in my old RB’d s13 (Project thread: HERE)
Having never done anything competitive before I had a quick look over the rules and regulations and started writing a budget for important safety items and race wear. With the help of various SXOC.com member discounts I was able to get a good deal on some Sparco race wear which met the requirements of the championship.
I then decided that the road going car was “too nice” to cage up and was worth more as a whole. So it had to go making way for the drift only s13. The project thread for this can be viewed HERE . The shell I used had a cage already fitted so for the safety side of things a good fire extinguisher and cut off switch was all that was required.
The season started with a jump into the unknown, I had no idea how the days worked, whether my car would make it through scrutineering or whether I was actually any good. To make things worse Round 1 was held 7 days before my final year uni dissertation hand in! The car passed fine, the day was well organised and everyone was friendly and on hand to give advice. Practice was limited compared to the previous drift days I had attended but this was more than made up for in the fact that I could twin, something I had never done before prior to the BDC. All in all it was a superb welcome to the championship and looking back I don’t know what I was worried about.
There were two rounds this year on familiar turf at Teesside Autodrome, which I though I would be a huge advantage. Sadly however the weather was typical of the North East, leading to heavy rain and hail! This led to tight qualifying battles that I failed to succeed in on both accounts.
Promisingly however I managed to secure a sponsor along the way, which helped me achieve an 11th place qualification at Norfolk, 5th place at Lydden Hill and a qualification result of 2nd at Knockhill, these results coincided with the progression of the championship and the development of my car / ability. There were some minor boost / brake issues that needed “ironing” out, but other than that the trusty SR20det was unbelievably reliable.
Video from Knockhill (Round 5) of the British Drift Championship:
Video from (Teesside Autodrome) team triple event of the British Drift Championship:
I would just like to thank all who helped to make it such a memorable year, friends who followed me throughout and especially Chris and Cee from wefixalloys.co.uk for all their help and support.
I will hopefully be competing next year with added v8 power and potentially a team if anyone else dares join me? . Of course sponsors are always welcome too and would be a great boost to help me become competitive in 2013.
To find out more on my 2013 car please have a look at the latest project thread HERE.
Ian Rutherford (Ian200sx)
After four action packed rounds of Gymkhana Grid held across Europe, it was time for the series finale at Santa Pod Raceway. With the previous rounds having been held in France, Germany, Holland and Silverstone in the UK, the finale at Santa Pod Raceway was to give the previous winners a chance to go up against the undisputed masters of Gymkhana: Ken Block in his legendary Ford Fiesta (competing in the AWD class) and Vaughn Gittin Jr in his monstrous Ford Mustang (competing in the RWD class). With such an array of talented drivers taking part, Team Japspeed couldn’t resist the opportunity to get involved!
Team Japspeed driver Paul “Smokey” Smith was keen to show off his skills since being crowned British Drift Champion just a few weeks ago, and his car of choice was Japspeed’s latest creation: a 2JZ-GTE powered Lexus IS200.
While Paul wasn’t taking part in the competition itself he was still able to put on incredible demonstration runs along with fellow Monster sponsored drifter Buttsy Butler, both wowing the crowds with their brilliant car control skills.
With no time for a proper shakedown beforehand, Gymkhana Grid was Smokey’s first time behind the wheel of the Japspeed Lexus and as such we were constantly learning about the car and how subtle suspension adjustments affected its handling and overall balance. Friday was spent getting the basic setup dialled in, with smaller changes being made throughout the course of the weekend.
The car was reported to have huge amounts of grip, so much so that it was maybe a little too much for the tight and technical Gymkhana course. On the other hand though, huge amounts of traction will make the car a force to be reckoned with at next year’s Maxxis Tyres British Drift Championship!
The Saturday was filled with demonstration runs from all of the drivers, with Paul getting the chance to rub shoulders on the course with Ken Block, Vaughn Gittin Jr, Buttsy Butler, and Liam Doran amongst others, all while wowing the huge crowds.
Sunday was competition day and it was time for all of the drivers to step things up an extra notch. With punished clutches and tortured tyres being pushed to their limits there was no shortage of action on the course, with Smokey doing demonstration runs in between the rounds of competition to keep the crowds entertained. There was also an autograph signing session, allowing the fans to meet and greet their favourite drivers.
Back on track and in the end it was Japspeed supported driver Luke Woodham in his Nissan S14a that found himself in the final alongside professional drifter Remmo Niezen who was over from the Netherlands and competing in his V8 powered E30 BMW. Luke put in an admirable performance but in the end lost out to Remmo, although to make it all the way to the final with such a talented field of drivers taking part was no mean feat!
Team Japspeed would like to take this opportunity to thank Monster for giving us the opportunity to attend such an amazing event and also for the incredible support that they give our team! It was great fun to try our hands at a sport that we haven’t taken part in before and it was also fantastic to see all of our fans who were there to support us!
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