The Revolution is finally here
Everyone had known since early in the year about the changes at the top at the BDC and here we were finally at round 1 to see exactly how things would be different during an event. The new big boss at BDC David Egan has over the last couple of years taken the IDC and turned it into one of the most respected and watched series in the drift world, and now he was bringing his plans and ideas to the BDC. The first noticeable difference between other rounds had nothing to do with David and everything to do with the local council. Due to noise regulations this round ran on the Friday and Saturday while still following the now established format of ProAms on the first day and Pros the second.
The ProAm drivers briefing on Friday morning revealed the first of David’s changes with no practice runs during qualifying and the battles, this would keep the action flowing for the spectators at the track and everyone watching on the live stream. This is in keeping with David’s thoughts about how while this is a competitive event it is equally important to put on a good show for the fans.
Over the winter period the new season seems an eon away but it’s amazing how quickly it comes around and there will always be a few drivers not ready by round 1. This year was no different with a handful of ProAm drivers not making the event because their cars were not ready.
Stephen Donnelly has a new car this year but as it was only finished days before the event they decide not to risk it and brought the rx7.
Three drivers who did make it this weekend were Peter Hayden, Oliver Evans and Lee Barker. All three drivers got the chance to drive this weekend via podium spots in Drift Cup. And to highlight the high standards of driving coming up through the sport by the end of the day all three would have BDC licences due to qualifying in the top 32.
Once briefing was over the drivers had a practice session and then went straight into qualifying. Lydden is a fast track and 'if' it stays dry guarantees plenty of smoke.
43 drivers had two runs each in an attempt to qualify for the top 32
The first corner with the normal track layout is a very fast entry and get it wrong you can find yourself deep in the kitty litter
At the end if qualifying Nick Brady had top spot with Stu Farley in second place and Scott Cartledge third
While the points were tallied up and the ProAm drivers preped the cars for the battles the pro drivers went out for a practice session. Unfortunately the weather at Lydden didn’t play nicely and this was the only chance we got to see the pros creating any tyre smoke
This might be ProAm but don't think that means you'll be watching any less determination, skill or action then you would during the Pro class
Ben Rowland's car reminds me of the Arkansas Chuggabug from Wacky Races pumping plumes of black smoke from the front and rear
Slide Motorsport drivers Ben Manuel and Matt Stevenson were on fire all day and I would have put money on either to take first place today. Sure enough they both made it through to the top 4 but then came up against one another. Ben took the win in the teammate v teammate battle and processed to the final.
In the other battle of the last 4 it was Matt Walker against Danny Grundy. JDM v Euro it was Matt in the BMW who went on to meet Ben in the final
Before the final Matt Stevenson and Danny Grundy battled it out for 3rd place. Danny took the win and the first of the podium places this weekend.
Which left the final ProAm battle between Matt Walker and Ben Manuel. Both drivers drove well but Ben pushed harder and took the top step.
A great day for the Slide Motorsport guys, with 1st and 4th spot they now had 3 drivers competing in Pro class on Saturday