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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.
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!
The British Drift Championship is no stranger north of the border with the infamous Knockhill Circuit a mainstay on the calendar in previous years however for the 2016 season the series instead headed to the newly created Driftland Circuit to host the second round of this year’s Championship.
A specially designed drift layout saw the grid of over 70 drivers taking on challenging lines with massive angle and close proximity to each other…and the walls.
For this event Team Japspeed arrived in style thanks to our newest partner CMG Rescue Services who delivered our cars to the circuit in an artic transporter. With the cars rolling out the lorry, the pits were soon setup and the cars given a quick going over ahead of the practice session on the Saturday afternoon.
With the sun shining Shane Lynch, Paul ‘Smokey’ Smith and Matt ‘doorhunter’ Carter took to the Scottish circuit with the sole aim of pushing their cars as close to the walls as possible for maximum points and maximum entertainment.
All three drivers and cars ran on top form with each of the team pushing harder and harder on each consecutive run. The last minute dyno session only days before the event had clearly ensured Shane’s 370z was well prepared for this tight and technical layout. Everything was lining up for a fantastic weekend of drifting. With practice over and the Pro event taking place the following day, the drivers could take some down time in the pits and cheer on fellow drifters in the Pro-Am class competition
An early start on the Sunday morning and the two hours of practice brought to light a few minor technical issues with each of the cars. A faulty crank sensor on the 370z gave fuel-cut issues which were soon swapped out to bring the car back on form. Meanwhile an electrical issue with ‘Smokey’s S15 unfortunately hindered his performance throughout the day. The final issue the team faced was with Matt Carter’s rear quarter which was repeatedly taking abuse from the walled section of the circuit due to Matt’s consistently aggressive and entertaining driving style; loved by the judges and crowds alike.
Heading into qualifying, all Japspeed drivers put down committed and precise performances, placing all three drivers in the top 20. With the arrival of the rain…just in time for the battles, the track conditions became extremely treacherous.
With limited time to adjust a basic wet setup was applied to each of the cars in order to help give them the edge in the coming battles.
The first set of battles saw Shane push the car as close to the judged line as possible taking it one step too far and making contact with the banking. Despite a very impressive second run the battle was unfortunately lost; seeing Shane end his weekend early.
After claiming victory in his first battle, Paul ‘Smokey’ Smith retired from the event due to the electrical issue having developed over the course of the day.
Meanwhile Matt Carter faced a series of opponents who fell victim to his aggressive battle driving style…a style which has longed earned him the name ‘doorhunter’ and took him all the way through to the final against Jack Shanahan.
With the persistent rain having only gotten worse throughout the day, the conditions on track made for a very exciting and unpredictable final battle. Both drivers performed exceptionally with equally impressive commitment, aggression, and precision. A very closely matched final called for a tough decision from the judges…a decision which ultimately handed Matt Carter 2nd place and secured Team Japspeed 1st place in the Team Constructors Championship for Round 2.