TANDEMS AT TEESSIDE

So I went back to my second home again, Teesside.

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This time I was not there to watch but to take part. It felt like a lifetime since New Year’s Eve and I was craving the smell of tortured tyres again. Money being tight I had to find a way to get myself back out there. A quick check of the car showed only minor repairs were needed ready for the event, that being said the biggest cost of drifting for me is TYRES. so a few of you are thinking just use part worn, now that’s a great idea if you work in a garage and have a constant supply of worn tyres but I am a teacher and that means complaining teens rather than a supply of free tyres. Luck landed on me this time with a good friend Craig Brown donating 4 tyres it looked like I was all set and my plan to keep drifting cheap was going great.

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As always the night before was a mad dash to load my car but my mind was elsewhere as I had the pre drift blues. I had a big worry in my mind that everything had come together too good and my engine was 28 years old, would it hold up? As if I wasn’t stressing enough a lot of friends and family had confirmed they were coming to watch, what if they travel all the way there and I crash or the car dies? All these questions plagued my mind but then to top it all off the founder of DEATH OR GLORY was also coming along!…….. Now to most that’s not a big deal but for me it meant a lot, over the years I have had many brands on my car and I love them for supporting me but no company has ever been as good to me as DEATH OR GLORY so I really wanted to put on a good show for them and do the brand proud.20190422_115605 (1)

Most of you reading this will be more than aware that I have access to Death or Glory’s Facebook and Instagram and like a true idiot I agreed prior to the event on a Facebook post to drift with a 500+bhp ex BDC skyline in my 1.8 s13 that makes about 260bhp at a push. What could go wrong really?

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Up at 5am raring to go i picked up my friend and sole pit crew Connor and set off. Amazingly my car made it in one piece and we prepped the car and headed to the driver brief.

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Before I even got my car up to temp to go the first victims of excessive ambition had been out and returned to the pits in a battered state. I didn’t let it faze me I threw on my helmet and went to pit lane ready to go. For some strange reason I always say “I am going to do a few calm laps to start with” and for some reason as soon as I set off that all goes out the window. 2 laps in and my exciting first lap had a very negative affect on the car, I lost drive and my car was just revving I rolled into the pits had I killed a clutch or shaft?

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On inspection everything looked ok, I let the car cool down and then went back out what did I have to loose. I have no idea what had caused the issue (driver error) but it was working so away we went.

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With the car performing better than ever I tried several different lines and entries on west track some worked well some not so great but with the car working well I decided it was time for the national track.


A few solo laps in and my power steering started to play up but I just took the car to the pits and cooled the pump and then it was back to business. I lined up waiting for my turn and who should be sat across from me none other than Ryan Miller in his r33 skyline(yep that’s right it was time to twin). We lined up ready to roll and my heart was pounding, the marshal gave us the signal and away we went I smashed through the gearbox giving it absolutely everything to try to stay with him by the first corner he had pulled a heavy gap but I pedalled the hell out of the car and reduced the gap through the tighter section.

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Coming off a chase lap Ryan gave me the signal to lead now little did he know I was totally crapping myself I had never done a lead lap before and I knew that skyline was fast I turned up the boost I knew I would need it. Shaking like a dog sh***** peach seeds I set off focusing on the track I couldn’t hear the skyline theN I initiated and the roar could be heard loud and clear sadly the nerves had put me on a shallow line into the hairpin making it hard for Ryan to follow. Ryan tried his best but due to my error he had to straighten.

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After surviving the first lead I felt better and went for it again this time I put my 13 on a much better line only missing 2 of the BDC clip points Ryan put in a much better chase when I was in the right place on the track.
The twinning had warmed my car a lot ……. time to cool off. We went in the pits had a chat with Ryan cooled off and relaxed a little.

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But that’s not the end of the day for us back out we went continuing to slide around Teesside up until 5pm

Time for a budget check:

Track fee: £80

Pre track repairs:£0

Post track repairs£45

Tyres:£0

Fuel:£50

Total cost:£175

No surprise that the drift day and good weather brought out some awesome cars and bike so here are a few of my favourites

Big thanks to my girlfriend Laura Johnson and Connor Ord for the pictures for this blog

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If you want to see me shred here is my video

Craig James

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