For Immediate Release, July 25, 2011 A day of mixed results for Team Falken at the British Drift Championship Round 3, Teesside saw two of the team’s cars retired from competition due to mechanical issues and the third driven by Matt Carter claiming his third consecutive 2nd place podium position.
Fresh back from a demo at the Nürburgring, Germany in front of thousands of die hard race fans, Team Falken UK were in high spirits and ready for the third round of the 2011 British Drift Championship. Due to hard use at the Nürburgring event all three cars needed some maintenance and repairs to be made prior to the event.
Paul Cheshire’s Nissan Skyline G35 had developed a front pulley problem which was affecting the power steering when under load, during the Germany demos the front pulley had failed meaning fast repairs were needed upon arrival back in the UK. With repairs completed Paul went out for his practice laps on the Saturday morning at Teesside and experienced the same serious power steering issues, indicating a change of approach to the ongoing issue was required. Unfortunately this change could not be made at the trackside and so the G35 was reluctantly retired from the event. Luck was really not on Paul’s side as he went out to qualify in a borrowed car which also suffered issues on the runs that counted, ending his event.
Paul added “It’s frustrating that such a small problem caused me to sit out this round as I love driving at Teeside Autodrome. The car is proving to be a lot harder to set up than I had anticipated, but it is getting there slowly and surely.”
The turbo on Alan Green’s Nissan S14 had suffered from overheating due to the higher octane fuel in Germany and as a result the area surrounding the turbo was seriously heat damaged. All the vital components that were damaged were replaced upon return to the UK, however during practice the car developed a misfire making the course near impossible to navigate. Alan did his best to resolve the issue before qualifying, however the problem occurred again at just the wrong moment during his run, causing a critical error and also ending his event.
Alan went on to comment “Unfortunately I couldn’t find the source of the misfire in time for my qualifying runs. With a reasonable amount of downtime before the next round I can concentrate on sorting out the problem and get back on form for Round 4.”
Matt Carter’s Nissan S14 saw the most track time of the three at the Nürburgring and as a result of ongoing hard use throughout the season the differential decided enough was enough and shattered during the final day’s passenger runs. With a new differential installed for Teesside Matt was attacking the course hard in practice and was already attracting positive predictions for a win at Round 3. Prior to the event Matt sat just 5 points behind championship leader Mark Luney so a finishing position above Mark would see Matt take the lead in the championship.
Two strong qualifying runs saw Matt qualify in 5th position in the top flight Super Pro Class. This put him up against promoted-Pro-driver Grant Laker in the first of the Top 16 battles. Title competitor Mark Luney qualified in 9th position and was drawn against the ever aggressive driving style of Simon Perry. The Team Falken fans were elated as Matt progressed to the Top 8 and Mark was eliminated in his Top 16 battle! This meant Matt’s lead in the series was almost guaranteed at this point.
A tough second draw for Matt faced him off against Team Japspeed’s Shane O’Sullivan who currently competes in Ireland’s Prodrift Series. Contact between Shane and Matt on the second run saw Matt drifting mid corner whilst beckoning Shane on to get closer out of the driver’s window – amazing driving! Matt was awarded the win and progressed into the Final 4! Matt was next drawn against Scottish driver David Waterworth and after two close runs had booked his place in the final yet again. Three events and three finals this season!
His competitor in the Final was talented young driver Steve Moore. Matt and Steve went head to head and both displayed two outstanding runs when leading and chasing respectively. The judges could not separate the two and so they were instructed to run One More Time, much to the crowd’s delight! Matt held the advantage going into the final run however as he crossed the line the judges ruled that two of his wheels left the track and as such the run was scored a zero. Steve Moore took the win, however Matt secures his third second place podium of the season!
Matt commented “It was great to be back at Teesside. The last time I was here I was on the #1 spot, this time 2nd due to a silly mistake. However I am very happy to be leading the championship at the half-way point of the season!”
Going into Round 4 Matt Carter leads the Super Pro class by 11 points, Alan Green sits in 14th place in Super Pro and Paul Cheshire shares 17th position in Pro class with 7 other competitors. In the team/constructors standings Team Falken UK lead by 32 points.
You can next catch the team in action at Awesomefest 2011 at Mallory Park July 29th, 30th & 31st. They are next in competition at Knockhill Circuit, Scotland, for Round 4 of the 2011 British Drift Championship on August 20th & 21st. For further championship information visit: www.thebritishdriftchampionship.com