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With the Irish and British Drift Championship series are now concluded for another year and what a year it has been! From an incredible debut for Shane Lynch and the new supercharged 370z at BDC Round 1 to the Drift Kings competition at JapFest which the newest Japspeed recruit Matt Carter putting in 100mph+ reverse entries!
The Irish Drift Championship season came to an explosive end at Mondello Park with Shane ‘Sully’ O’Sullivan taking 4th at the final round. Although this may not have earned Shane a spot on the podium at the event however a spectacular performance throughout the season has ensured a 3rd place finish in the overall 2016 standings.
Throughout the 2016 season Shane’s aggressive driving style has consistently seen him place well; particularly at Rounds 1 and 4 which saw him take 2nd and 4th places respectively.
A veteran of the series Shane is often known as the ‘Dark Horse’ of the series whose experience and skill has earned him progressively better results year on year. Having finished 2nd in 2013 and 4th in 2015 Team Japspeed would like to congratulate Shane ‘Sully’ O’Sullivan on his 3rd place finish in the IDC 2016 standings.
Meanwhile the British Drift Championship revolution came to a dramatic end with Team Japspeed’s Matt Carter sustaining some noticeable cosmetic damage at the final round. Although it may not have been his best performance of the year it is fair to say Matt has performed exceptionally well during his first year as part of Team Japspeed.
Piloting his 2JZ-powered Nissan Skyline Matt is a fierce competitor who consistently positions himself squarely on the door of his competitor; a tactic which quickly earned him the nickname ‘Doorhunter’.
With successes at Rounds 2, and 4 alongside a series of jaw-dropping backwards entries at over 100mph at competitions and shows, Team Japspeed would like to congratulate Matt ‘Doorhunter’ Carter on his 3rd place finish in the BDC 2016 standings.
The Irish Drift Championship 2016 season came to an explosive end last weekend as the best Irish drifters descended on Mondello Park to defend their undefeated streak against a plethora of International guests – the Final Fight.
Shane ‘Sully’ O’Sullivan and the Japspeed.ie team arrived early on the Saturday to an unseasonably dry track; perfect conditions for Shane to get out there and cover the place in Maxxis Tyre smoke during practice.
With the RB-powered S15 as reliable as ever the team were in high spirits and full of confidence for the main event the next day. All that was left now was to sit back, relax and take in the sights and sounds of the Semi-Pro Competition.
Things looked just as bright on the Sunday morning as the dry weather prevailed into the morning’s practice session. With only minor adjustments and tweaks the S15 was on top form ahead of qualifying. Full of confidence a high qualifying position seemed almost guaranteed however the Irish weather had other ideas and downpour began only moments before Shane’s first run.
With the car setup geared towards drier conditions Shane’s determination, combined with his consistently aggressive driving style saw he put in a pair of solid qualifying runs despite the conditions. A performance which earned him 11th place qualifier.
Having qualified 11th Shane headed straight into his Sudden Death Battle against International driver; Jérôme Vassia. Having experienced technical difficulties with his own car Jérôme took the wheel of a borrowed AE86 as he took on Shane’s experience at the wheel of the Japspeed S15. All in all an entertaining match for the crowd and one that would quickly push Shane forward to a place in the Top 16.
Headed into the Top 16 Shane came face to face with Mark McBurney who had only been promoted from the Semi-Pro to Pro Class the day before…an incredible achievement. A fantastic battle ensued with both drivers pushing hard however Mark’s inexperience in the Pro Class was no match for the IDC ‘Dark Horse’.
Progressing on to the Top 8 battles Shane was drawn against John McCarthy in his 5.0l V8 E39 M5. Both drivers laid everything on the line, laying a fresh blanket of tyre smoke over the Mondello Circuit in the process. A close call for the judges however one made in Shane’s favour calling him forward to the Top 4 Battles.
First up in the Top 4 Shane came head to head with Richard Bradley at the wheel of his freshly re-built Nissan S14. It was clear from the outset both drivers were keen to claim their place in the finals, despite the increasingly wet conditions. Unfortunately for Shane, the judge’s call came in Richard’s favour.
All was not lost as this meant Shane would now face off against Nigel Colfer for 3rd/4th position. A fitting battle for the final round of the IDC 2016 season saw the Japspeed S15 pitted against Nigel’s 2JZ-powered 180sx. Both Shane and Nigel put in an incredible performance resulting in an awesome show for the gathered crowds. A close call for the judges would see Shane come in 4th at the Irish Drift Championship final.
Everyone at Team Japspeed would like to congratulate Duane McKeever, Richard Bradley and Nigel Colfer on taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively at the IDC final.
We would also like to congratulate Shane ‘Sully’ O’Sullivan on not only a consistently fantastic performance throughout the 2016 series but on taking 3rd place in the overall standings. A well-earned result and we can’t wait to see more from him in 2017.
The British Drift Championship revolution came to an explosive end last weekend as Team Japspeed headed down to Anglesey Circuit for the final instalment of the 2016 series. With one of the fastest track layouts of the Championship and everything to play for this was set to be a spectacle like no other.
Arriving at the circuit on Saturday Paul ‘Smokey’ Smith and Matt ‘Doorhunter’ Carter had the chance to practice the qualifying line however Shane Lynch would join the team the following day due to conflicting commitments. A faultless practice session ensured the team were well prepared for the main event the following day.
Heading into practice on the Sunday, the BDC team placed a tyre wall on the first corner due to a number of over-eager entries from drivers across the grid the day before. With a full team on site Shane, Matt and Paul took full advantage of the available practice time ahead of the main event.
During practice it became apparent Shane and the 370z required longer gear ratios to handle the significantly faster pace of the circuit compared to previous BDC rounds. Only 1 hour before Qualifying Matt Carter took an unfortunate trip through the tyre wall having over anticipated the speed of another driver during twinning practice; causing him to brake heavily sending the car through the tyre wall due to understeer.
Following a frantic 45 minutes and Matt’s Skyline albeit looking a little worse for wear was back out on track and pushing just as hard as before for each of his Qualifying runs. Qualifying 14th Matt would also be joined by teammate Paul Smith who qualified 18th.
Heading into the Top 24 battles and Paul Smith came face to face with Aleksandar Kantarovski. A strong performance from both drivers made for a crowd pleasing battle however the judges called in favour of Katarovski following an impressive chase run.
Meanwhile Matt Carter came up against Julie Robinson. The battle of the Skylines, however with a distinct advantage in power; Robinson couldn’t keep pace with Matt…a performance which quickly earned him a place in the Top 16.
Just as the rain began to fall Matt Carter came up against BDC veteran Wayne Keeber in his JZ-powered Toyota Soarer. Both drivers meant business however the wet conditions would play to Matt’s advantage and following a hard fought battle the judges handed him the place in the Top 8.
Due to an incident during earlier battles the track was now covered in sawdust as Matt headed to his Top 4 battle with Jay White. Unfortunately for Matt the conditions would play against him on the chase run as sawdust kicked up from his opponent filled his helmet and car, causing him to drop back…ultimately costing him the battle and a place in the Top 4.
Team Japspeed would like to congratulate Richard Grindrod, Fraser Stark and Jay White on taking podium.
With the season now complete we would also like to congratulate Matt Carter for finishing 3rd overall in the Pro Class Championship…a very impressive first season with Team Japspeed.
We are now approaching the end of show season, and have completed both Carfest events….Carfest North and Carfest South.
Carfest North for BBC Children in Need took place at Bolesworth Castle in Cheshire on 29th-31st of July. This was our 4th year featuring in this event and once again it has been improved upon previous years. The track layout this year was the most obvious change moving from Oulton park race circuit with wide track, over to the new hay bale lined circuit just wide enough to fit two drifting cars between.
Despite the tight track circumstances Matt Carter and Paul Smith still went at full speed drifting through the bales putting on a fast smoky show for the crowds. When off the track the team were able to check out the awesome cars on show from hyper cars to Formula 1 cars parked in the paddock.
The final show of the season was Carfest South which was one for the books! With the fast track layout, the large crowds and the all night entertainment it was the right show to end the season with.
As well as putting on displays for the crowds we auctioned our spare passenger seats off for a thrilling ride through the sporting bears charity for children in need helping to contribute £1.2k towards the overall £58k raised through passenger rides in the cars featuring in the show.
The track layout was a fast straight circuit with two chicanes and two large areas for donuts. Each run started with an attack on the senses as Matt Carter launched from the line using his ear bashing anti-lag. Running the hay bails as close as possible with the rear of the cars, the guys were covering the crowds in hay and smoke putting on an incredible display. Heightened further when Matt Carter’s anti-lag lit the hay bails on fire with the flames popping from his exhaust during the donuts!
Once the track action was complete we headed over to the main stage for the night’s entertainment, being one of the perks of this event, to see acts like, The Feeling, James Morrison, Ronan Keating, Stereophonics, The Darkness and Status Quo.
We can't wait to do it all again next year so we can come and put on our show for the crowds!
Returning to Lydden Hill for the 2nd time in 2016 last weekend saw Round 4 of the British Drift Championship. However this time the BDC team reversed the circuit to create a more complex and challenging run for the competitors. Leaving HQ early on the Friday for the long journey to Lydden the team were prepared for a stormy weekend with wet weather forecast throughout the event.
With Shane Lynch, Paul ‘Smokey’ Smith and Matt ‘Doorhunter’ Carter on site Saturday saw the first practice session and a chance for the driver to get to grips with the new layout. Despite surprisingly dry weather this time would prove particularly important for Shane due to work carried out on the V8 370z following the Round 3 of the series.
Unfortunately towards the end of practice mechanical issues began to appear with the 370z and the Japspeed Lexus IS200. For the weekend this meant Shane would be out of action for the weekend while Paul Smith spent the Saturday working to rectify drivetrain problems. Meanwhile Matt Carter completed practice without issue ready for the main event the following day.
Arriving on site on the Sunday the team began work to rectify the drivetrain issues with the Lexus. Despite the best efforts of all involved the car would need to be taken out of action for the weekend. In the true spirit of the sport our friends at DieMax Engineering kindly offered to lend Paul Smith their new S15 – which incidentally is the same shell Shane used to drive before the 370z.
Going into Qualifying Paul Smith had to quickly acclimatise to a completely new car and despite putting in two clean runs this would not be enough to see him through Top 24. Meanwhile Matt Carter true to form and very familiar with his car put in two incredible qualifying runs earning him a score of 91.92 and 2nd place qualifier.
Top 16 battles and first up Matt came face to face with Samer Khadra with his Nissan R34 GTT. A strong, clean battle from both drivers made for a tough call from the judges however living up to his ‘doorhunter’ name Samer simply couldn’t escape Matt’s chase leading to a unanimous decision in his favour.
Heading into the Top 8 Matt was drawn against BDC veteran Wayne Keeber in his 2JZ-powered Toyota Soarer. True to the spectacle BDC fans have come to expect neither driver would disappoint. Another close proximity, tyre smoking battle and an obvious win for Matt which propelled him through to the Top 4.
Straight into Top 4 battles and first up Matt found himself against Jack Shanahan. Going into this battle Matt knew he would have his work cut out to take down the current Champion leader. Despite an overall clean run, Matt pushed so hard going into the first corner he pushed that bit too hard resulting in a slightly wider than ideal line; handing his opponent the win.
However all was not lost as this placed Matt into a 3rd/4th place battle against Marc Huxley in the iconic old school Celica. Following the same form all weekend Matt put in an incredible chase and lead run. Unfortunately for Matt Marc kept pace resulting in a close proximity battle filling the air with tyre smoke! As the smoke cleared the judges call awarded Matt 4th place overall.
A mixed weekend; we had an awesome time. Everyone at Team Japspeed would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Jack Shanahan, Martin Richards and Marc Huxley on taking podium.
We’ll be back in action 26th-28th August for CarFest South. Don’t miss it.
What a weekend it has been for Shane ‘Sully’ O’Sullivan and Team Japspeed’s Irish division! With the Irish Drift Championship now in full swing, Shane and the team descended on Watergrass Hill for the 4th Round of the 2016 series.
Following the same format as previous rounds Shane and the team were able to take full advantage of the practice time available on the Saturday ahead of the Semi-Pro competition later that day and the Pro Class competition to follow on Sunday. This meant Shane could fine-tune the RB25-powered Japspeed S15 perfectly for the judged course. Having case a layer of Maxxis Tyres smoke over the surrounding area Shane was able to sit back and take in the sights and sounds of the Semi-Pro Class.
The following day Shane and team arrived on site with steely determination. With the car ready to go and a dry track, conditions were perfect for a day of smoking tyres, close proximity and screaming engines.
Practice clearly paid off as evidenced from a set of impeccable qualifying runs and a personal best of 89.6 Shane secured himself 4th overall in qualifying and a strong position for the coming battles.
Heading into the top 16 Shane found himself against John McCarthy in his BMW E36. Both drivers keen to claim a top 8 place Shane had to push hard to progress. Following his performance in qualifying Shane had little trouble taking his place in the top 8.
In the top 8 and Shane came face to face with IDC veteran Mike Fitz and his RX7 FC3S. The competition soon began to heat up at this point and the judges had a tough call to make. With both drivers pushing hard for the win the gathered crowd were soon covered in a cloud of tyre smoke. A tough call for the judges fell in Shane’s favour placing him into the top 4.
Coming into the top 4 Shane came up against Duane McKeever who would actually be piloting Richard Bradley’s S14. Pushing just that bit too hard Shane unfortunately made contact with his opponent…a minor misjudgement which would unfortunately cost him the battle.
All was not lost as this meant Shane now faced Tomás Kiely in the 3rd/4th place battle. Both drivers had everything to play for. A hard fought battle from both drivers and a tough decision to be made from the judges meant Shane took home 4th place overall…only narrowly missing a podium place.
All in all it was a fantastic weekend and one of Shane’s top competitive performances so far in 2016. Everyone at Team Japspeed would like to congratulate Jack Shanahan, Duane McKeever and Tomás Kiely on taking podium.
We’ll be back in action 20th-21st August for the British Drift Championship at Lydden Hill. We’ll see you there.
Today is the day that we received our very own Snap-on tool box. But for the first time ever this really is our very own Snap-on tool box.
Snap-on became a partner with Team Japspeed at the beginning of the 2014 racing season. Following a successful year Snap-on approached us to offer us the opportunity to be a main feature for their new tool box design for 2015.
The car of choice was the brand new build at the time in the form of the Japspeed V8 supercharged 370z driven by Shane Lynch. The box was to feature shots of the car in action and sat static.
Once the final design was complete the box was unveiled by Shane Lynch at the Snap-on dealer's fair in Birmingham. Needless to say we were very impressed with the finished piece and overwhelmed by the amount of people who immediately placed orders for the box.
Following the Snap-on dealer's show, the tool boxes went on sale to the general public. It wasn't long before our Facebook messages began to fill up with images of the tool box in workshops around the UK which we were very humbled by to see so much support from the car enthusiasts of the UK.
2016 saw a brand new event in the form of IGNITION: Festival of Motoring. An exciting new celebration of all things motorsport on 5th-7th August which saw Team Japspeed heading north of the border to Scotland's SECC exhibition venue.
Here at Team Japspeed we're always on the lookout for new events to introduce people to the sport of Drifting; so when the call from the team behind Ignition came through we couldn't wait to get revved up and smoke some Maxxis Tyres. With a series of demonstrations throughout the 3 day event, Shane Lynch, Matt 'Doorhunter' Carter and Paul 'Smokey' Smith would be kept busy wowing the crowds in a large “Drift Pen” to play in with diggers and trucks to manoeuvre around followed by a long perimeter road allowing the guys to drift at high speeds; putting on a major smoke show and ripping up the tarmac.
While there was plenty of action on track there was an incredible display of motors and machinery off track, not to mention a host of famous faces including F1 star David Coulthard. We're all motorsport fans here at Japspeed so the guys couldn't resist a photo opportunity.
Friday evening saw Shane join a panel of Motorsport greats such as Nikki Shields, Gordon Sheddon and Mark Webber for a relaxed interview show for the public. Back on track the Team Japspeed 3 car drift train was putting on a show with large figure of 8 drifts followed by donuts and finally signed off with high speed street drifting.
2016 was the debut year for IGNITION: Festival of Motoring however judging from the public response it was an enormous success. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Scotland and can't wait to do it all again next year.
A firm favourite for driver and fans; the British Drift Championship returned once again to the legendary Teesside Autodrome on 16-17th July. With a weekend of adrenaline fuelled, close proximity drifting ahead and the sun blazing down on the Middlesbrough circuit the air was filled with a buzz of excitement and anticipation for what lay ahead.
Arriving early on the Saturday, Shane Lynch, Paul ‘Smokey’ Smith and Matt ‘Doorhunter’ Carter were able to take to the track for an hour long practice session to familiarise themselves and their cars to the new qualifying line for 2016.
Full of confidence Matt Carter held no punches back, throwing his 2JZ-powered backwards into the first corner at speeds of 70mph+. Not unlike his previous performance earlier in the year during a visit to Silverstone for JapFest 2016.
Meanwhile Paul Smith took to the circuit behind the wheel of the Japspeed Lexus IS200. Sporting 500bhp+ ‘Smokey’ Smith made good use of all the available power as he lived up to his name filling the surrounding area with Maxxis Tyre smoke.
Following success at Round 1 and 2, Shane Lynch was keen to get out with his teammates and unleash the prehistoric sound of the Japspeed supercharged V8 370z. Following a few runs, minor power steering issues became apparent leaving the team with a challenge to resolve the problem before the main event the following day.
With the arrival of race day all three drivers took to the track, putting on an incredibly smokey practice session aided by the continuing scorching heat from the previous day. An extended practice session saw Paul Smith and Matt Carter perfect their setup ahead of the main event. Meanwhile Shane Lynch saw significant improvement in the handling of the 370z following hard work of the team to rectify the power steering issues that had plagued prior practice runs.
All three drivers put in repeated safe and respectable runs throughout qualifying earning them 5th, 19th and 22nd. With Matt Carter clear of the sudden death battles his second run was a crowd pleaser putting everything on the line with a show-stopping backwards entry!
Qualifying in 22nd and 19th Shane and Paul were faced with sudden death battles to earn their places in the top 16. First up and Shane faced off against Jay White with his E46 M3. Eager to claim the top 16 place both drivers clearly meant business. During his chase run Shane overshot his mark and dropped two wheels off track with an impressive dirt-drop – a great spectacle for the crowd but a move with would hand Jay White the advantage going into the second run. Going into his lead run Shane knew a safe, clean run was the order of the day to gain back some points. High on adrenaline from his lead run Jay pushed too hard placing three wheels off track in his bid to keep pace with the Japspeed 370z; handing the advantage and the top 16 place to Shane.
Meanwhile Paul Smith found himself face to face with Acorn Motorsport’s Mark Lappage in his top 24 battle. Two evenly matched drivers their runs presented a tough call for the judges until Paul ‘Smokey’ Smith tried to gain advantage with proximity on his chase run. Pushing too hard he came in too hot causing him to slam on the brakes, straightening his car and handing the win to Mark and ending Paul’s weekend.
Heading into the top 16 battles; Matt Carter came up against Gary Dunne. Fuelled from outstanding practice and qualifying runs, Matt came into the battle brimming with confidence; pushing hard in his efforts to take the top 8 spot and put on a spectacle for the gathered crowds. Unfortunately Matt overestimated Gary’s pace forcing him to take evasive manoeuvres and under-steer; handing the place to his opponent.
In his top 16 battle Shane came up against Australian Aleksandar Kantarovski in his SR-powered PS13. New to the BDC grid in 2016 a series of miscommunication at the start line caused a couple of false starts, causing Shane’s tyres to cool rapidly ahead of the coming battles. Without time to get some heat back into the tyres to get them back up to optimal operating temperature; and as any drifter will testify tyres don’t perform at their best when cold. As a result heading into the first corner Shane unfortunately dropped two wheels off track handing the advantage to his opponent.
In the second run both drivers put on an awesome spectacle, wowing the spectators and filling the air with screaming engines and clouds of tyre smoke! A tough call from the judges would put an end to Shane’s run for the podium.
All in all a phenomenal weekend and one Shane, Matt and Paul won’t soon forget. Team Japspeed would like to congratulate Jack Shanahan, Aleksandar Kantarovski and Nigel Colfer on taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively.
We’ll be back in action at Irish Drift Championship for Round 4 on 13-14th August but in the meantime we head north to Scotland’s SECC on 5-7th August for Ignition Festival of Motoring. We’ll see you there!
One of the biggest drift events of 2016 took place at Mondello Park last weekend. Throughout the history of the Irish Drift Championship a number of international superstars have arisen to challenge the Irish 12 year undefeated streak on home soil but never before have drivers from 14 countries descended on Mondello Park to try and take the title. This was undoubtedly the highest-profile and most significant drift event ever held in Ireland.
Representing Team Japspeed Shane ‘Sully’ O’Sullivan headed to Mondello Park with the Japspeed RB25-powered Nissan S15 alongside Matt ‘doorhunter’ Carter making the journey with his Japspeed R32 Nissan Skyline.
An early start on Saturday saw Shane and Matt giving their cars a good shake-down; pushing harder and harder with each consecutive practice run…despite the typical wet Irish weather and even in practice both drivers were out to show they meant business with no quarter given in mock battles throughout the session.
With both cars running faultlessly Shane, Matt and the team were confident of a strong performance the following day.
Sunday morning and a welcome break in the weather saw qualifying take place on a circuit which became increasingly dryer as the day progressed. A couple of quick changes to the cars setup, allowed both drivers to put in strong performances. Fighting off fierce competition both Shane and Matt qualified respectably in 5th and 10th positions.
Heading into the first round of battles Matt Carter came face to face with Dennis Haggblom for his top 32 battle. Both drivers clearly out to prove themselves amongst such an expansive grid of international drivers which made for an impressive spectacle for the gathered crowd. However Matt kept his cool and applied the pressure on his chase run which ultimately secured him a place in the top 16.
Meanwhile Shane O’Sullivan found himself matched with Michael Meegan for his top 32. Both Shane and Michael are very familiar with Mondello Park which gave them great confidence in a no holds barred battle of angle and proximity. A close call for the judges but one which swayed in Shane’s favour earning him the place in the top 16 alongside his teammate.
First of the top 16 battles saw Matt up against Andrius Vasiliauska at the wheel of his 1000bhp+ BMW E46 M3. A car on everyone’s radar; Matt had his work cut-out with such a fierce competitor. Despite a difference in power Matt gave his all and successfully held his own against the turbocharged M3. A series of spectacular lead / chase runs saw both drivers fill the air of Mondello with clouds of tyre smoke. Unfortunately for Matt; Andrius took the advantage and the place in the top 8 putting an end to Matt’s weekend.
Heading into his top 16 battle, Shane O’Sullivan headed out onto the circuit against Fredrik Oksnevad. A spectacular battle to say the least, both drivers put in an impressive performance to the awe of the gathered spectators. A strong international competitor Fredrik showed he was taking no prisoners and a close call from the judges put an end to Shane’s charge for the podium.
Everyone at Team Japspeed would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Jack Shanahan, James Deane and Andrius Vasiliauska on taking the podium.
We’ll be back in action on 16th-17th July for British Drift Championship Round 3 at Teesside Autodrome. See you there!