For the last couple of years once the competitive drift season has finished in the UK the Drift Matsuri event at Anglesey has offered drivers two days to murder as many tyres as possible and generally have a bloody good time. This year the drift community had a chance to start the season in the same way with a Spring Drift Matsuri at Rockingham Speedway. The event would run for two days with the Saturday also including the first round of Drift Cup, the feeder series for the British Drift Championship.
Saturday morning started off a little foggy but talking to locals it was expected to be clear enough to run by 10am,
This did allow drivers to carry out any last minute prep on their cars
The fog finally lifted enough for drivers to get out on the track and get some practice in before the qualifying began
Many people assume tracks are much better than paddocks or car parks, but using areas like this give events the opportunity to run lay layouts very few tracks will allow. They also normally allow the spectators an opportunity to get a little closer to the action and there was a good crowd watching and supporting
Some people say 300zx's can't drift...those people are wrong
ex semi-pro BDC driver Belinda Challis was back behind the wheel after a long break from competitive drifting
Danny Ball was competing in one of the distinctive Skid Risk Hulk cars
At the end of qualifying Chris Taylor sat on top of the table with 85.7 points
Once the drivers have been given the qualifying results it was on to the battles
things don't always go to plan with the odd love tap
In among the array of sbodys, Skylines, compacts etc you often get something out of the ordinary at drift events but not sure I ever expected to see a Escort Cossie up against a Toyota KE70.
Frazer Jamieson and Ian Lonsdale both had spins on their lead runs resulting in a OMT. Both drivers stepped up their game and the judges put Frazer into the top 8
After two OMTs the judges had to make a decision in the battle between Justin Richardson and Tom Hutchinson, and it was Richardson who continued into the top 4
Mark Webb drove superbly all day so it was no surprise to see him progress to the final. Oliver Evans would battle the loser of the other semi for 3rd place
Peter Hayden progressed to the final battle against Mark Webb, leaving Justin Richardson to fight for 3rd spot against Oliver Evans
The battle for the 3rd place on the podium was won by Oliver Evans
The final would be between Peter Hayden and and Mark Webb. I saw Mark compete at a few events last year and while his 1JZ RX7 looks epic it could never match those looks with a winning performance out on track. So for 2016 Mark has swapped to a s14a and with a guaranteed podium spot in his first competitive run it looks to be a good move.
The fight went to a OMT with Webbie taking the win thanks to his proximity on his chase run
The 3 guys in the judging tower making all the hard calls today Paul Smith, Ryan Pothecary and Dan Firmager.
Due to his 100% commited driving all day the The Aford Award Hard Charger Award went to Barry Stevenson
The top 4 drivers now have a chance to drive in BDC round 1 at Lydden Hill in April.
The standard of driving at this level keeps getting better and better and I hope some or all of the top 4 make it to Lydden Hill in April to see how they do.
The next round of Drift Cup takes place at the Adrian Flux Arena, Kings Lynn on May 14th. All the details are on the Drift Cup website