Wayne Keeber, driver of the Landsail Toyota Soarer, gives us a run down of his weekend at Round 3 of the British Drift Championship.
After a longer than planned journey to Teesside we got there before it was dark and set up the pits ready for the weekends action. Saturday is assigned to the Pro-am class but the Pro class get a practice session in the break between Pro-am qualifying and top 32. After the handling issues I had at Knockhill any practice was much needed, this practice was short lived through due to what seemed to be a fuelling problem.
The only thing that had changed from the cars previous outing was a fuel pump, ex BDC driver John Glaister was wondering around the pits and happened to have a spare pump in his car and allowed me to borrow it. I replaced the pump and checked over everything else just to make sure there was nothing obvious it could have been. We wouldn’t know if this cured the problem until practice on Sunday so we packed up and headed to the hotel.
Sunday morning and back to the track early for the drivers briefing before being let loose on the track. The line the judges wanted to see was an outside line with 6 rear clipping points so once the briefing was done it was back to the car to get suited up and the car warmed ready for our practice session. Practice was underway and we lined up not knowing if the fuelling issue was resolved or how the car was handling but after the first couple of practice runs all seemed good, no more fuel problems and the car was handling a lot more to my liking.
With the car behaving I was able to dial myself into the track and the line the judges wanted. The line from clip 3 to the finish line was relatively simple so I spent much of practice getting the line from initiation round to clip 3 right. Towards to end of practice I was pretty happy I was on the line the judges wanted to see. After practice had finished we fitted a new set of Landsail tyres and lined up ready for qualifying.
The standard of driving in the Pro class is extremely high so to make it into the top 32 is very difficult. Being one to the last to qualify I was able to see/hear what some of the scores were and the quality of driving was impressive. I set off for my first qualifying run slightly more relaxed than I normally am and probably drove one of the best laps I’d done all day so was happy with that. After the first round of qualifying runs I was sitting in 4th place. On my second run I wasn’t able to better my score from the first run so this meant I had dropped to 9th but still I was happy with that after the problems from previous couple of events.
With qualifying done we were given the results and the list of battles, my first battle was against Adam Weedon from Generic Drifters team in his 2JZ S14. I’ve never battled Adam before but did some runs in practice together and his car was quick so I had an idea what to expect. Time for battle, I was lead car first and knew I had to stick to the qualifying line to score maximum amount of points I could. On my chase run it looked like Adam was having some car issues which caused him to straighten a couple of times and I was able to progress to the top 16 where I would face Gary Dunne.
Same again for this battle and stick to the qualifying line as best I can, unfortunately for me Gary was doing the same and the judges couldn’t pick a winner so we were given a one more time. We lined up back on the start and set off for our second run, again running the qualifying the judge’s still couldn’t decide and after a little wait they again decided on a one more time.
Before our third run Gary changed tyres and I adjusted my tyre pressures just to find that little bit more grip. Into our third run and we were on the qualifying line again but this time I had a slightly shallower line when I chased Gary and this was just enough to award him the win. Disappointed that I had just been knocked out I was still happy that I could put on a show and the car was a pleasure to drive again.
I got to thank the team, GBH Motorsport for their help getting the car driving nice again and their trackside support over the weekend. Also Landsail Tyres, the tyres were awesome all weekend and held up well to the high track temperatures and thanks to all my other sponsors, Huxley Motorsport, EverythingDrift, Wolfbitz and Pipercross Air Filters.