The middle of the Maxxis British Drift Championship season took Team Japspeed back to Teesside for three intense days of drifting. With the title race gathering pace, there was everything to play for; not forgetting the annual Team Triple Drift Event!
The Team looked great as they all proudly wore their new race suits from Axcel and they just couldn't wait to get out onto the Autodrome track, regardless of the testing and continually changing weather conditions. During the Friday practice sessions before qualifying, drama struck! Paul "Smokey" Smith had a high-speed accident as his S15 left the track! Thankfully due to the well-prepared car and safety features, he walked away unscathed but sadly his Nissan was definitely out of action and will have to be fully stripped to confirm it will be safe to repair.
This left the Team facing a brief dilemma but Paul happily jumped into team-mate Shane Lynch's V8 twin-turbo S15 and proved his class by punching in an impressive 2nd place on the qualifying leader board! A huge achievement, especially as it was the first time he'd ever driven the car. It was a run of flair and excitement that the crowd appreciated.
At the end of the first day, Team Japspeed looked to be in a powerful position with 1st, 2nd and 14th place qualifications. Everyone was focused on pushing further still for the championship round on Saturday. With this being the middle of the season, it really is the "make or break" time for many, so everyone was game for a fight and there would be no easy wins out there on the circuit.
During the twin battles "Smokey" proved it wasn't a lucky run and drove the car as if it was his own, he was powering around the circuit with smoke bellowing from those rear MA-Z1 tyres. Baggsy's twin battles were so close that he swapped paint with rivals and O'Sullivan was ruthless and looked to be in a league of his own. After some extremely close-fought world-class drifting, it was over to the judges. On the podium we had O'Sullivan with his second 1st place trophy in three appearances and "Baggsy" with another vital 3rd place, grabbing yet more vital points for the championship race.
If this success wasn't enough, there was also a further chance to shine in the Team Triple Drift event. Team Falken were strong favourites after lifting the trophy for two years running. The Japspeed drivers were game for a fight and sent out a shockwave with a 2nd place qualification, the Team was hungry!
During the team event, the crowd gave a huge appreciation to the smoke and symmetry from the drivers as they worked their way around the Teesside track in perfect formation, they battled hard and pushed close to the clip points while remaining on each other's doors. This is what the Triple drifting was all about! A true spectacle that just engulfed Teesside in Maxxis tyre smoke. It really was a treat to watch and showcased the deep pool of talent within the Maxxis British Drift Championship. Team Japspeed really got into a rhythm and were rewarded for it
with another illustrious 1st place trophy to cap off another fantastic weekend of drifting!