Team Japspeed has started the drifting season with a vengeance, with Matt Carter, stealing first place during round one of this year’s British Drift Championship. The qualifier took place over the weekend of 24 – 26 March at Rockingham race circuit in Corby, where a total of 80 drivers competed to secure their chances of taking home the champion title at the main event at Teesside Autodrome in September later this year.
With qualifying and 5 gruelling battlesscheduled for the day, Team Japspeed took on a newly built circuit, specially designed by the judges for the event. Concrete walls were introduced around the track, with an aim of encouraging drivers to push themselves and their cars to the limit. Hoping to build on its already bulging portfolio of success, the team – consisting of Matt Carter, Paul Smith and Shane Lynch – entered the races fashioning a new look, with Shane using the weekend to showcase his new livery – a display of ‘sharpie-art’.
Commenting on this, Japspeed team owner Paul McCallum: “Team Japspeed has been making waves in the drifting scene for the last ten years, and collectively, we are extremely proud of all of the team’s achievements to date. To celebrate a decade of racing together, we really wanted to try give the Nissan 370z a fresh new look. We’re really impressed with the end result. The sharpie-art design has already attracted over one million views on Facebook, and we’re hoping it’ll also see us through even more race successes.”
The team also traded in their long-serving MAZ1 drift tyres, and battled throughout the rounds on new VR1s. These were introduced after increase in torque and horsepower output from competition cars prompted a need for a tyre that could keep up, by providing maximum grip, whilst also allowing a slick performance. Owing to its softer compound, the VR1 is able to keep up with the extra output of the cars more evenly; giving it the perfect level of grip when spinning and skidding.
Pushing the new tyre to its full potential, the team persevered through the rounds with aggressive determination. After a series of nail-biting battles, Shane Lynch finished in 29th place, while Paul Smith unfortunately lost out in his top 16 battle, and ended the day there. With the day leading to the last determining race, 2011 British Drift Champion, Matt, was put against Pro-AM driver, Oliver Evans, in a neck-and-neck battle to decide the winner of Round One. After a gruelling display of speed and power, Matt earned himself a place on the podium.
Commenting on this win, Maxxis’ managing director, Derek McMartin, said: “Yet again, Team Japspeed have impressed with this incredible result. We’re extremely pleased to have the team racing on our VR1 tyre, and really showing off what great performance it is able to achieve. Results like this makes us evermore proud of our partnership with the team, and we can’t wait to see Team Japspeed through all its future successes.”
Round two of the championship will be taking place at Teeside in May, where Matt will further compete with hopes to secure another win and bolster his chances at taking the title of 2017 British Drift Champion.