The 2012 Maxxis British Drift Championship was brought to a close in thrilling style at the Knockhill circuit in Dunfermline, Scotland. The event was Round 5 of the championship for the drivers in the Semi-Pro and Pro classes but Round 6 for the drivers in the Super-Pro class.
Going into the round Team Japspeed drivers were already dominating the sharp end of the championship points table, with Paul “Smokey” Smith, Shane O’Sullivan and Stephen “Baggsy” Biagioni sitting in first, second and third (respectively). Shane Lynch was also sitting in 9th place, and it was Shane (along with Smokey) that qualified within the top 16, meaning that they made it through to the Top 16 battles that would determine the winner. In a great show of sportsmanship, Shane had actually offered Smokey the use of his car for qualifying as Smokey’s S15 was suffering from some mechanical gremlins. Both were hoping they wouldn’t be drawn against each other in the Top 16 battles as this would mean one driver wouldn’t have a car to use! Unfortunately, Baggsy and Shane O’Sullivan were unable to make the cut.
Smokey’s first opponent was Wayne Keeber; a victory here meant that Paul made it through to the “Great Eight”. Shane’s first opponent was Barry Leonard; another victory for the team saw Shane joining Smokey in the Top 8.
Unfortunately, the draw for the Top 8 saw the dreaded pairing of Shane and Smokey. As only one could go through to the Top 4 and as Shane had been kind enough to lend his car to Paul, Smokey also displayed his great sportsmanship and decided to withdraw from the competition, allowing Shane to progress to the Semi-Finals. Shane’s next opponent was James Fuller (who went on to win the weekend’s Hard Charger award). After some hard-fought battles it was Shane that found himself being knocked out, but all was not lost as he was still in with a shot of getting third place on the podium.
The battle for third and fourth was between Shane and Team Falken’s Matt Carter, with the final spot on the podium eventually being awarded to Shane.
Once the dust had settled from the weekend’s event it was time to take a step back and see how the team had fared in the final championship standings. After six exhilarating rounds of the BDC it was Team Japspeed’s very own Paul “Smokey” Smith that was to be crowned British Drift Champion 2012. Team mate Shane O’Sullivan finished in 3rd, Stephen “Baggsy” Biagioni came 5th and Shane Lynch a very respectable 7th.
With all four Team Japspeed drivers finishing in the Top 10 it was unsurprising to see that Team Japspeed also won the Constructors title in convincing style! As you can imagine there were smiles all round and a big celebration was in order!
Team Japspeed would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors, as without them we wouldn’t have achieved the success that we have: Maxxis Tyres, Monster Energy, Factory Moto, Spy+, Rota, Corbeau, Rock Oil, Samco and Exedy, thank you for all of your support throughout the season!