Round 1 of the British Drift Championship took place at the Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby with a custom track on their outer paddock.
This provides a different challenge to most of the tracks that we attend as it features a downhill run into an off camber left hander before clipping the wall and transitioning back to the right.
Another clip on a wall before running back downhill again into a right-hander that tightens onto another wall run.
A quick transition back into a left hander and out towards the wall to finish the track back toward the start line.
It’s a compact layout but provides great battles with the lead drives having plenty of room available for the chase car to get on their doors whilst the crowd can view the action from either the grandstand or alongside the track, both locations give a great view and bring the fans as close to the action as they will get all season.
A new season always brings some new drivers and new builds for the existing drivers and this year was no different. The car and driver that most people appeared to be hyped around seeing on track this season would have to be Christian Christensen and his supercharged V8 MX5 from Denmark.
Drivers coming into the championship from overseas looks like it’s going to be the theme this season, more and more drivers from across the world are becoming interested in competing in this part of the world and it just goes to show how far the BDC has come in a short time.
Kristians Burkovs had come over with his V8 E36 from Latvia along with a host of Irish drivers including Duane McKeever, Kevin Quinn and Tomas Falvey.
Away from the overseas drivers entering we saw the debut of EverythingDrift driver, Adam Elder, in the championship. Adam is a Gymkhana driver predominantly but this season he has branched out into the British Drift Championship.
The ProAm class had all of their sessions on the Saturday starting off with a couple of hours practice but changeable conditions made it difficult for anyone to really dial in the track for consistent runs.
Luckily toward the end of the session the track dried out and the drivers were becoming more confident, getting out to the walls and onto the right line in time for the qualifying session.
The qualifying session looked like it was going to be a close competition in the afternoon’s battles with so many drivers putting in similar runs.
The afternoon battles were as close as always with these drivers, Adam Elder had a good lead run with Alastair Sutton chasing him but Adam couldn’t do enough on his chase run to win the battle. Either way he was happy to have had a good performance, qualifying on his debut.
Richard Dalby-Smith also had a great Top32 battle beating Matt Walker in tricky conditions but more about that later in his article from the event.
Throughout the battles on Saturday two people were really making an impression, Lee Scott and Kristians Burkovs, so it was no surprise that both drivers would make it all the way to the finals where Lee Scott took the win.
The Pro class had the advantage of the better weather and a dry track throughout their practice session so we quickly saw big smoke filled runs and close proximity.
Christian Christensen was looking strong in the practice session but it wouldn’t last, car issues saw him fail to complete his qualifying runs so he will have to come back again and show us all what he can do.
Duane McKeever settled into the track quickly despite issues with his gearbox leaving him with only second gear, apparently it’s no problem as long as you can get around the course with more clutch kicks than we could keep count of!
He would go on to top the qualifying session and by the look of his runs it was going to be difficult for anyone to beat him at this round.
In the battles the memorable battles were Oliver Evans and Michael Marshall as they made contact whilst Oliver was chasing.
Lee Scott knocked Paul Conlan out of the competition on his debut in the Pro class after his win in the ProAm class before losing to Martin Richards in another close battle.
Kevin Quinn would keep the reigning champion, Matt Carter, off the podium and prevent him from starting his year in the most ideal way. Kevin would get third place on the podium for his efforts.
Duane Mckeever and Martin Richards lined up in the final with Duane looking a class of his own, taking the win by some margin, it was a strong start to both of their championship campaigns.
Come and join us at Teesside on June 2nd & 3rd for Round 2 of the 2018 British Drift Championship and to celebrate 10 years of the championship. Until next time…..