Round 1 of the British Drift Championship kicked off at Driftland in Fife. Driftland is Europe’s only purpose-built drift track, it has many layouts. The British Drift Championship released the layout before the event which gave me time to practice on the simulator. I quickly got to grips with the track and was looking forward to putting it into practice on the in person.
Friday 7th August 2020 (Practice Day)
Practice went well and I was loving the layout, the sim had helped so much. The Ps13 was handling like a dream, I had only driven the car a few times before this event, but I seemed to gel quickly with the car, and I was soon sticking it to people’s doors. It was so good to finally have the power and the grip I needed to be successful.
Saturday 8th August 2020 (Race Day Pro 2)
I took my spot on the start line for my first qualifying run and was really pleased to put in a 92.33 which was enough to qualify in 3rd place. I had to do something very special in my second run if I was going to beat the amazing 94.33 run that David Goldstraw had put in. Unfortunately, I missed a gear on entry, and it wasn’t to be, but I held on to 3rd place and was happy with that.
I won my first Battle, which was against Mark Brown in his amazing Subaru Impreza, and my second battle against Will Gibbs. I also won my 3rd battle against Jay Wilding who had a mechanical issue just after the start line. Stu Adsley was next up, and it was the battle I was most worried about, Driftland is Stu’s local track and I know he is an amazing driver. I got a good start and stuck to the qualifying line to put in a good lead run. Stu struggled to get proximity and my Dad told me on the radio that I really needed to stick it to his door. I did what I was told and won the battle which put me into the final against first place qualifier David Goldstraw. David put in an amazing lead run and I had the power and the grip to keep close proximity around the whole track, I was pleased with my chase and if I could put in a good fast lead I would be in with a chance of winning. I got a good start and pulled away from David I just had to keep to the qualifying line which I did, over the line and I was confident I had done what needed to be done.
The results came in and it was confirmed, I had done it, I had won Round 1 of the British Drift Championship. What an amazing feeling! All the hard work that my dad and I had put in had finally paid off and I would be competing with the Pro Drivers tomorrow, it was a dream come true.
Sunday 9th August 2020 (Pro Race Day)
When you look at the driver list from the pro class, it was never going to be easy. Three time Irish/British Champion Duane McKeever, 2020 Champion Ollie Evans, Luke Barker, Martin Wonnacot, Kevin Quinn, the list was endless. I put in a decent qualifying run of 89.67 which was enough to put me into the top 8 and give me a by-run straight into the top 16.
My first battle was against Martin Cowley who is an amazing driver, I remember seeing Martin drive at Battle Royale and telling my Dad that I wish I could drive like that. I got the win and went through to the top 8 where I was to battle Luke Barker in his 650+ 2jz powered Nissan 350z.
I gave it all I could and knew it was close, I stood on the finishing line with Luke and neither of us knew who had the win. The judges took what seemed like for ever to announce the result, it seems they also couldn’t decide so we had to go one more time. We took our place on the start line and Luke got a really good start. I had to cut the track slightly to gain proximity and drove the legs off my car. The power and grip levels were enough in Pro 2 but Luke’s monster 350z was too much and Luke got the win by 0.2 of a point.
I was so proud to have competed with the pro drivers and honoured to be awarded the Lucas Oil Hard Charger Award. I think with a little more power and grip I will be more competitive in the pro class, but the win in Pro 2 was a dream come true.
Round 2 will take place on the 10th 11th 12th September at Three Sisters in Wigan where I am hoping to repeat my success.
Thank you so much for all of your support.