Events & on track

BDC RD3 masterclass, or redemption?

Day 1.

When I wrote the last blog about round 1 I was also very excited at the thought of seeing the championship land in Sunderland for round 3 but there was a catch.

As the date crept in closer a worry set in, no venue was announced would the event get cancelled? Then as if they could read my mind the post came up….. BDC would now be held at Teesside for round 3. I love Teesside for drifting and in my eyes it is the home of British drifting so although it’s further away I couldn’t complain.

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I now had a chance to see if there was progress in the future for BDC. I would see how much had changed since round 1.

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Where do I start, well I guess from the start, sadly I didn’t make it to the practiced day but I was up bright and early on Saturday for pro Am. when I arrived it was clear someone had been reading the last post the trade section was full of life and well actually, it was full in general. It had a variety of stalls including Driftnuts/Project touge, Walton motorsport (which felt like a real shop this time), Ratrap and BDC merch. That wasn’t all the trade area had many cars on display which filled the voids and made it feel like it flowed well. The music from the RC track and the live stream playing at Walton motorsport stall made the area seem more alive.

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So overall the improvement hadn’t been drastic but it was a big step in the right direction.

Right down to the action

It’s no secret I was hoping to see Ian Rutherford do well and I was in for a treat but before that we had the pleasure of seeing some drivers put it all on the line.

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The day wasn’t without its victims Jolene was one of the first to fall from grace after putting in excellent runs during practice and fighting gearbox issues it seemed she was going to be a worthy contender but it all went downhill with a bang on Southbank as her diff give up the go (insert hello darkness my old friend song).

William Hanna was soon to follow retiring for unknown reasons it was a real shame to not see these drivers in battle.

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Another return for this round was team battles. As a spectator this was a nice addition, hopefully in time more teams will take part. Sadly although the team runs were fun to watch they held a heavy price for Nerijus Voliukevicius seeing his skyline burst into flames at the end of the run. Thankfully the fire was put out fast but meant he wouldn’t make it to his battle with Maciek Blazejewski.DSC_0892

Throughout the day the new comer Maciek ran a nice high line round southbank which helped see off the competition and put him in contention for his first podium. Veterans of the sport would not make the fight easy as Ian Rutherford and karl Farrar also landed into in the battle for a podium.

The day ended seeing new comer Maciek land in a well deserved 3rd, Ian 2nd and karl 1st. It was fantastic to see Ian end the day on the podium as a regular at Teesside.

Day 2.

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After an impressive day 1 it seemed the bar had well and truly been stepped up. Practice went well and was rather uneventful seeing most drivers take a safe approach. The weather had been fantastic up until qualifying then it all went wrong…………….

The track turned into a pool and most people ran for cover in the driftnuts tent.DSC_0860

Thankfully the rain was short lived and action was back underway after using the drift cars to dry the track.

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As the drifting got back underway we had the pleasure of seeing drivers of days gone including Sweeps the founder of BDC, the king of style Alex Law and fast and furious Scotty. Although there weren’t many returning faces it defiantly gave BDC the feeling that a void had been filled. Hopefully the team at BDC will continue to invite drivers back.

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The real heroes of drifting.

The staff at BDC had kindly gave me pit access for this event so as qualifying wrapped up I headed to the pits to see what was happening. Something that is overlooked by many is the people that keep the cars on track and I wanted to catch a small look into the hard work of the teams.

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As teams ran to each others aid many cars sat in what appeared to be a state of disrepair.DSC_0334

Sadly no matter how good the team were some cars sadly did not manage to make it back out but in amazing fashion some seemed to perform miracles bringing the monsters back from the dead.

Time for war

Onto battles it went sadly the low origin got bumped out in qualifying but the battles had some heavy hitters paired up early on. Sadly one of my favourites Martin Wonnacott got knocked out prematurely after a tough battle and destroying the rear of he car on the final wall …. again, poor car

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I think it is fair to say something had happened since round 1 the level of driving had really hit another level, at the start of the year I thought it would be a walk in the park for Aurimas but many driver had really brought the fight

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The man on a mission was Ricky Lawrence fighting off many big names and eventually battling it out in the final to see off Aurimas for first place.

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Redemption?

Well many companies ask their customers what they need to change and they clearly don’t listen was BDC the same?

As amazing as it seems the staff at BDC really had stepped up and cover absolutely everything mentioned in the previous blog.

Everything from the trade area, old school drivers and even the commentators had all been stepped up.

If the BDC keeps up this standard and still builds on it there will be a promising future.

Driver spotlight

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How can you not love this car really? With a real JDM feel and a nice reminder of Ken Nomura’s D1GP car Lee Barker has been around for a few years and is a big fan favourite and I must admit having a death or glory sticker on his car defo makes me love it more.

Sadly Lee was knocked out earlier on in the day but with a consistent driving style and the confidence to run the wall he is a driver to watch in the future.

Go follow his drifting https://www.facebook.com/leebarkerdrifting/

Big thanks to the BDC for the pit pass and see you all at another event keep up the good work

Words and pictures by Craig (Project Thirteen)

Thanks for reading

Everything Else

Roberts angry mx5

In a sea of clapped out missiles and bangers flooding the drift scene it is really hard to find a unique car on a drift day. That being said there is potential in every car and Robert has proved he is the master of rising the phoenix from the ashes.

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This story started back in 2017, as a regular at Teesside I tend to recognise the cars but I saw Roberts mx5 for the first time in all its glory……… or lack of it.

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The mx5 is a fantastic first/budget drift car so they tend too look a bit rough but Roberts really did set the bar pretty low, having said that with an initial price tag of £400 you get what you pay for. The plan was clear get as much seat time as possible and it was going well.59680870_2364119227155428_1901051309457408000_n

Roberts regular appearance at Teesside and googly eyes were boosting popularity of the happy looking MX. Every drift day Robert progressed making upgrades and tidying up the little car. Most just drive their cars into the ground but Robert seemed to have developed a love for this car and that’s when the money started to flow into it.

Robert was kind enough to share the spec of his car

Engine: 1.8 standard motor.

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Engine mods: air filter, big radiator, 2.5″ exhaust, stage 3 clutch and erm 1 silicone hose ……….

Suspension: HSD mono, rack spacers and Destroy or Die hubs.

Diff : standard ratio welded.

Wheels: Rota Grid V’s front and Japan Racing rear.

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Body kit: Duce aero, BGW, custom hardtop and neons.

Interior: 1 x bucket seat + harness, hydro, Kode steering wheel and 6 point cage with door bars.

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As you can see the make over paid off the once jolly MX is now an angry little monster!DSC_0273.jpg

I have a lot of respect for Robert and his car as he has built this car himself don’t get me wrong it has little flaws but I think it suits them and when Robert talks about the car he uses the little things to bring back fond memories like the shortened bash bar from the reverse Teesside day and the paint job he did the day before an event.

Part of drifting is the enjoyment you have building your car and enjoying it with friends, Robert has this down to a tee and you very rarely see him without a smile.

As Robert has shown you can have a total blast of a time in one of these plucky little cars without totally destroying your bank.

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What does the future hold for the angry mx5? As the car stands it would benefit from a little boost well Robert has that covered he has a turbo conversion and is just awaiting time to start the change over from n/a to turbo this is fun car to keep an eye on.

Robert would like to thank:

Brad and Chantelle at Driftnuts

Teesside Autodrome (for many toes out of the gravel)

and the whole drift fam Owen, Pete, Martin and Chris and of course my fiancé Katie that helps out and keep the dream alive.

This is my first feature car I hope to do more in the future so keep an eye on the blog.

Photo credit:

Craig Johnston (project thirteen)

Laura Johnson

C Whites photography (image supplied by Robert hall)

Events & on track

JAE 2018

It’s taken a while for me to get around to writing this post, but its finally here.

What is JAE?

For those who don’t know or haven’t been JAE stands for Japanese Automotive Extravaganza, and it is essentially a weekend long car show where like minded Japanese car enthusiasts from all walks of life congregate for two to three days of food, drink, sunshine, silliness and JDM goodness.

For the past few years, Lucy and I have been in attendance mostly as traders (previously with STLTHY.com) and every year we’ve had a blast! Meeting new people, chatting, drinking and looking at the wide variety of vehicles on show, so we were looking forward to heading back to Peterborough show ground and this year we also had the company of Craig, his S13 and a friend of Craig’s.

On arrival we were already surprised by how empty the venue was, but we put this down to the fact that in previous years there had been an extra day before to allow clubs to head down and get set up. So with that in mind we got our tent set up and got to work setting up the trade stand. Then, as it was getting late in the day we cracked open a couple of cold(ish) ones got some food and chilled out for the evening.

The next morning we got up, got the stand open and lay in wait for ur first customers. Throughout the day, it was surprising just how few people there were walking around the trade area. At first we thought it was just because the weather was so warm that people were lazing around making the most of it, but as the day wore on it became clear that this wasn’t the case.

Evening came and we decided to shut up shop for a bit to get some food and then wander round and have a look at the cars on show. This is when we realised just how much smaller than usual the attendance was. In previous years we would be walking for what seemed hours taking photos and chatting to folk, and looking around all you could see was tents, cars and people. But now there was mostly grass with a small cluster of cars and tents in the middle.

Nevertheless there were still some gorgeous cars on show:

Even the atmosphere from previous years felt different, there was a sense that people didn’t really want to be there or at least if they did they weren’t enjoying it as much as usual. I can’t really explain it but the whole thing just didn’t feel the same as it had done in previous years.

It was a real shame to see a show that was once the highlight of so many car clubs and individuals show calendar reduced to this.

Events & on track

E85 winter meet

One of the most common thing you hear in the car scene, “the car scene is dead” well if anyone was going to prove it wrong it was E85.

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As everyone knows the winter months really do push cars into hiding, with excessive salt use and dreadful weather it is probably for the best too. That all being said a meet was announced for JANUARY!!!!!!!!!! With much doubt I attended anyway as these meets seem to draw out some rare JDM goodies.

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Being one of the first to arrive I had the pleasure of watching the hoards of cars descend on the usually quiet car park. Before I knew it there was a line of cars waiting to get into a car park that was bursting at the seems. Like a scene from the fast and the furious cars revved their engines and played loud music, the event could be heard for miles.

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It was only when I stared walking around the true monster showed their face. Feeling like I had just stepped onto the streets of japan I was surrounded with some of the coolest Japanese cars to have ever graced our roads.

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From Evo’s to skylines there was a bit of everything but one of the first to really pull me in was a white Nissan s14a.

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This car seemed like a lightly modified s14, low with minor body changes that was until you look under the bonnet.

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Sporting an rb26 skyline engine this was clearly not your average car. Hats off to the owner this car put most cars to shame tonight and drew some of the biggest crowds.

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Although I am a sucker for big RWD cars the Japanese hot hatches brought their A game too. A Suzuki ignis sport parked away from the action really caught my eye, I think its fair to say that these are very underrated sporting a 1.5 engine, bucked seats and a body kit as standard they are a great started car and have a real JDM look.

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Several Mazda mx-5s came and went but this one kinda caught my eye with a lightly modified look and an excellent choice of wheels it really did look like a street drift car.

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As always there where a few rare cars but the two that got my attention where a volvo(yes I know its not Japanese but its rwd and can drift like a hero) and a rather odd import corolla.

The fun didn’t stop there as far as unusual cars go, have you ever seen a bright yellow Micra with 3 spokes and neon’s ? well you have now!

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Whilst we are on the subject of Micra’s I came across this rather clean Micra sporting the death or glory stickers.

Overall E85 drew out some awesome cars for a winter meet and I look forward to the next one.

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words and images by Craig Johnston