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  • A FOURTH TO BE RECKONED WITH

    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.

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  • VIDEO: SHANE LYNCH TALKS BDC1

    The team at British Drift Championship caught up with Team Japspeed driver and Boyzone member Shane Lynch to talk BDC Round 1 and the realisation of the supercharged V8 370z. You won't want to miss this one!
  • A fresh start for Matt Carter

    Last weekend saw the triumphant return of the British Drift Championship for the 2016 season! Not only did it herald the beginning of a new era for the series but also for a number of teams and drivers – not least of all for Team Japspeed.

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    Alongside double Gymkhana Grid Champion Luke Woodham; former Team Lock Stop driver Matt Carter joins forces with one of the UK’s most respected drift teams.

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    Having signed up early in 2016 the team spent many long nights upgrading Matt’s already awesome 1.5JZ-powered Nissan R32 Skyline with set of Maxxis MA-Z1 tyres, a Quaife QBE69G sequential gearbox and of course the iconic black and white colour scheme with digi-camo detailing. With the final touches added just days before the event she was ready for her unveiling at Lydden Hill last weekend.

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    All things considered Matt had a fair few challenges during practice, with new and unfamiliar tyres giving him extra grip than he might be used to as well as sequential gearbox in place of his old H-pattern box.

    Despite the wet conditions Matt successfully tamed the beast; putting in a pair of solid qualifying runs in the process - an incredible performance which awarded him 5th place and ensured him a spot in the top 16.

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    With a 4 car team in the same competition there are always going to be times with teammates will do battle against one another. Unfortunately for Matt this became reality all too soon as he came face to face with teammate Shane Lynch who had so far been on fire all day in the Japspeed supercharged V8 Nissan 370z.

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    With both drivers pushing hard what took place was an incredibly close door on door battle of the giants. Although both were relatively unfamiliar to their new setups it would be Matt who cracked under the pressure as he shifted into the wrong gear; handing the advantage to his teammate.

    “I had a lot to learn with the grip from the Maxxis Tyres and the unreal Quaife sequential gearbox coming from 10 years with an H pattern box showed when I was under pressure in my battle with team mate Shane Lynch as I shifted the wrong gear but practice makes perfect and I'll learn from my mistakes.”

    -Matt Carter

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    Finishing the event in a very respectable 10th place overall we can’t wait to see his performance at Round 2 on 18-19 June!

  • Wet, Wild & Woodham

    Last weekend saw the triumphant return of the British Drift Championship for the 2016 season! Not only did it herald the beginning of a new era for the series but also for a number of teams and drivers – not least of all for Team Japspeed.

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    Rewind to a week ago and days before the season opener Luke Woodham is announced as the newest driver to join one of the UK’s most established drift teams. Having achieved success in his own right Luke would not be destined to make up the numbers of bring up the rear as he battled his way through a grid of competitors against which his reliable S14 was arguably outgunned in the power stakes.

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    With best laid plans; there will nearly always be a spanner in the works somewhere along the line. For Luke this would turn out to be a blessing in disguise. As although originally set to pilot the Japspeed 2JZ powered Lexus IS200 he would instead take the wheel of his own Gymkhana Nissan S14 owing to the need for his teammate Paul ‘Smokey’ Smith to drift the Lexus until his new JZ-powered GT86 is complete.

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    In addition to using his own car to which he is infinitely more accustomed it would seem wet conditions on track would play to his advantage. During qualifying Luke made his intentions clear and with a faultless first run jumped to the top spot. With a number of big names and BDC veterans at his heels Luke qualified overall in a very respectable 7th following his second run of the morning. An impeccable performance and one which; due to new rules ensured him a place with the guaranteed top 8 drivers of the top 16.

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    Heading into the top 8 battles and Luke went head to head with Jody Fletcher in the Team Lassa Nissan S15. Despite being under-powered in comparison Luke kept his cool and put in a strong lead run, giving him the advantage. Thanks to the increasingly wet conditions Fletcher simply couldn’t get the power down giving Luke all he needed to repeat the performance on his chase run and take the win.

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    Next up and Luke came face to face with Mark Huxley in his RA28 Toyota Celica. Huxley had so far put in an outstanding performance all day with some huge entries so it looked to be an incredible battle for the gathered spectators. With Luke to lead on the first run it was clear this wouldn’t be a walk in the park. However despite early pressure from Huxley he kept to his strength held the line and pulled a slight gap after the hairpin cut-through taking the advantage ahead of his chase run. With Huxley to lead both drivers hit the first corner with big entries however Luke scrubbed off a little too much speed which opened the door for Huxley to take the advantage and the judge’s votes.

    “What a day! It was great to get out on the drift track and I was pumped to be with Team Japspeed. Congratulations to Mark for going on to win the event, but I’m pleased with my performance, despite being under powered, the rain allowed me to have somewhat of an even playing field and I now can’t wait to push on at Round Two.”

    -Luke Woodham

    Photos: Smokin Images / Lets Go Drifting

  • RETURN TO LYDDEN - BDC RD4 2015

    For the second time in 2015 we were able to revisit perhaps one of the most popular circuits on the British Drift Championship calendar this year and on 22nd-23rd August we made the journey south from our HQ in Manchester to Lydden Hill for Round 4 of the 2015 series. A favourite with the vast majority of BDC drivers, Lydden Hill has seen some of the most spectacular and even craziest entries alongside the closest battles throughout the championship’s history.

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    It is fair to say the British weather really can make or break an event for a lot of drivers and arriving to a dry circuit meant plenty of grip and things looked great for qualifying. Shane Lynch, Shane ‘Sully’ O’Sullivan and Paul ‘Smokey’ Smith couldn’t wait to get out there and smoke up those Maxxis Tyres!

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    It is easy to see why Lydden Hill is so popular amongst the BDC grid and it was no surprise to see every driver giving their all and pushing their cars to the limit in order to secure a place in the all-important top 32. On such a familiar circuit each of the Japspeed drivers put in a series of impressive qualifying runs which would settle them comfortably among the top 32, qualifying in 17th, 9th and 3rd place.

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    Heading into the top 32 battles and first up was Shane O’Sullivan against Wayne Keeber. With both drivers on top form the gathered spectators were treated to an impeccable set of runs from the 2014 Champion advancing him to the top 16.

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    Meanwhile and in an unfortunately ironic turn of fate Paul ‘Smokey’ Smith aka mr consistent due to his affinity to his 1.5JZ S15 and relaxed driving style became anything but as he took on Barrelsprint veteran Luke Woodham. Rainy spells earlier in the day had resulted in unsettled and somewhat unpredictable conditions…conditions which would cause a misjudgement from Paul and hand the top 16 place to mr Woodham.

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    Similarly Shane Lynch was drawn against Jay White. With his new 370z undergoing continued testing Shane took to the track in the Japspeed Lexus IS200 instead. As both are highly competent drivers and a great pairing to watch this would mean a tough battle to call however the judges would unfortunately put an end to Shane’s weekend with their decision awarding Jay a place in the top 16.

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    Continuing with an increasingly dryer track as the day went on Shane O’Sullivan faced Gary Mills in his top 16 battle. Making the most of the 600bhp Japspeed S15 Shane made things very difficult for Gary who dropped two wheels off track during Shane’s lead run. Driving home his advantage Shane applied the pressure to an already disadvantaged opponent to take the win and proceed to the top 8!

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    Coming into the top 8 battles you can rest assured there’ll be awesome performances from every driver and of course plenty of smoke as some of the UK’s top drivers go head to head in epic battles. This could certainly be said for Sully’s pairing with Matt Carter. At such a high level of competition both drivers clearly pushing themselves and their cars to give 110%. What took place was an awesome battle to watch with at least a few nerve clenching moments but perhaps non so much so as Shane’s self-correction during his chase run. Convinced of an impending collision Shane had little choice but to let off the pressure straightening as he did so. This would prove to be a move which would unfortunately hand his place in the finals to Matt Carter.

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    Like so many BDC drivers we always look forward to a round at Lydden Hill. This really is an incredible venue and never fails to provide some of the greatest battles in BDC. Everyone at Team Japspeed would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Jack Shanahan, Matt Carter and Michael Marshall on taking podium at this event.

    Next time we return to BDC for the final round of the 2015 series at Anglesey Circuit. Tickets and information are available at www.thebritishdriftchampionship.co.uk.

    Bring on round 5!

  • SMOKING UP KING OF EUROPE 2015

    Regarded as one of Europe’s top professional drift events Monster Energy King of Europe Pro Series is an 8 round championship which takes place at locations across the continent on some of Europe’s most well-known circuits and as well as boasting a grid filled with highly successful drifters this is one event year after year we just can’t resist the opportunity to take part in; especially when it came to UK soil last weekend.

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    Having come away with 2nd place overall in the 2014 event; Japspeed driver Paul ‘Smokey’ Smith couldn’t wait to get out there and smoke his way to the top in the cloud of Maxxis Tyre smoke he is known for.

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    With the heat of the summer sun shining down on Lydden Hill, Saturday’s event saw open practice and an entirely new line compared to the British Drift Championship event earlier in the year. Perhaps it was this change in line and his drive to reach the top which saw Paul Smith push his trusty 1.5JZ-powered S15 so hard as to take a slight trip to the gravel in pursuit of his limits. With the limit firmly found and practice otherwise going well, the stage was set for qualifying.

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    True to his form qualifying followed much in the same way as practice. A series of powerful runs saw Paul qualify in a strong position ready for the main event and top 32 battles in the morning. With the sun setting and a relaxed yet optimistic atmosphere in the Japspeed camp the main event was set to be an exhilarating day.

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    As luck would have it and unusually for the UK the Great British weather held out with another day of sunshine….perfect conditions for plenty of Maxxis Tyre smoke! With little need for adjustments from practice and qualifying the day before it was time to give the car a quick once over ahead of the top 32 battles.

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    Top 32 battles saw Paul Smith drawn up against fellow BDC competitor Kirsty Widdrington in her PS13 Syril. Incredible runs from both drivers made for a tough decision from the judges however by the smallest of margins and plenty of Maxxis Tyre smoke Paul Smith would come out on top and advance to the top 16!

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    In an ironic twist of fate and despite the large number of international drivers taking part in the event for his top 16 battle Paul was pitted against BDC driver Michael Marshall with his highly regarded and distinctive BMW E92 M3.

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    Faced with fierce competition from the Team MnM driver, Paul knew he had to give everything he could muster. With both drivers giving it their all, a slight misjudgement from Paul saw him push a little too hard, clipping the rear of his S15 against the wall as he did so. Despite only minor damage to the car, this was enough to put an end to Paul’s weekend.

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    King of Europe is always an amazing event and a great opportunity to meet our friends from overseas as well as add a little mix to the drift scene here in the UK. With that in mind we’d like to congratulate Adam Kerenyi, Mike Marshall and Adam Frank on taking podium at this event.

    We can’t wait to return next year and see if Paul can beat his 2nd place record.

    The action doesn’t stop throughout August as we head back to the Emerald Isle on 15th-16th August for the penultimate round of the Irish Drift Championship at The Corrin Event Centre, Fermoy, Co. Cork. Check out www.irishdriftchampionship.com for all the details.

  • BACK IN ACTION AT BDC ROUND 1!

    After a winter of big changes and new builds, Friday 17th-18th April 2015 saw the return of the British Drift Championship to Lydden Hill Race Circuit in Kent – a firm favourite with the Team Japspeed drivers. Especially with experience of running the circuit in both directions after the Round 4 of the 2014 Championship took the grid by surprise with a reverse running order.

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    With the new class structure of the Championship in place Shane Lynch, Shane O’Sullivan, Paul Smith and Danny Eyles would have to wait until the Saturday morning to re-acquaint themselves and gain the all-important seat time ahead of the qualifying and finals later in the day.

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    Practice kicked off on Saturday morning and with all four drivers highly familiarized with Lydden Hill it didn’t take long until the air was filled with Maxxis Tyres smoke!

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    With first testing only shortly before the event Shane Lynch decided not to compete with the new supercharged V8 370z but would instead be behind the wheel of our 2JZ Lexus IS200. With the 370z being completely new to Shane the decision was made to spend more seat time practicing and fine-tuning the car before it is ready for competition at Round 2.

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    While similarly 2012 British Drift Champion Paul ‘Smokey’ Smith would begin his 2015 BDC campaign with his highly reliable 1.5JZ-powered Nissan S15!

    After a long winter break, qualifying was a huge success with all four drivers securing a spot in the top 16 battles.With podium places in secured during both the 2013 and 2014 seasons, Shane, Shane, Paul and Danny fought hard to maintain the team success and climb the podium for a 3rd year running!

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    The top 16 battles saw Shane Lynch up against Jay Green. Despite a fantastic chase from Shane; Jay put in some very early accurate entries which would put an end to Shane’s run for the podium!

    Meanwhile in the 1JZ Subaru, Danny goes head to head with Driftworks own Richard Grindrod. With an incredibly consistent performance from Danny and a series of small errors from Richard; Danny progressed to the top 8!

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    In his top 16 battle against Wesley Keating; Paul Smith kept the gap small and managed to stick it in the Wesley’s door. Both drivers putting in an amazing performance which gave the judges no option but to call for one more time! Both drivers put in a series of very close runs with slight corrections being made from both sides. Ultimately Wesley Keating put an end to Paul Smith’s day.

    Shane O’Sullivan faced Louis Geldart in his top 16 battle. A spin by Louis in the first run hands Shane the win. Shane now joined Danny Eyles in the top 8!

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    With his top 8 battle against Mark Luney in the Lucas Oil Supra; Danny knew he’d have to charge hard to make it through. After a call for one more time from the judges and some fantastic driving from both Danny stuck to the judge’s line and made it through to the semi-finals.

    Meanwhile Shane O’Sullivan faced off against Wesley Keating in his top 8 battle. With both drivers pushing hard and plenty of door-on-door action it would be Wesley to go through to the semi-finals after a tough decision from the judges.

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    An exhilarating weekend for Team Japspeed which saw Danny Eyles against Jack Shanahan fighting for a place in the final! Following a very close battle and awesome driving from Jack would go on into the final against Phil Morrison.

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    Danny put in an impressive performance against Wesley Keating in his final battle which would ultimately award him 3rd on the podium! A fantastic result following a truly exciting weekend!

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    We’d like to take this opportunity to express thanks to all our sponsors for their continued support.

    Make sure you catch all the action when we head to Knockhill for Round 2 of the British Drift Championship on 13th-14th June!

     

     

  • Three Out of Three for Sully!

    Round 4 of the Maxxis British Drift Championship saw us return to Lydden Hill circuit in Kent – a firm favourite with the Team Japspeed drivers. However, the big news news of the weekend was that the track was going to be run in reverse, meaning all of the drivers competing were doing so on a level playing field.

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    Practice kicked off on Saturday morning and Shane Lynch, Shane O’Sullivan, Danny Eyles and Paul Smith all set about getting to grips with the new track layout and dialling in their cars to suit.

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    With Sully going into the event leading the championship by a handful of points, a win at Lydden could pretty much seal the championship in his favour. A man on a mission come qualifying, Shane lead the Japspeed charge with a spectacular 88.5 point run, netting third place in the process.

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    Danny Eyles followed closely behind, securing ninth place and a spot in the Top 16 battles. Unfortunately for Shane Lynch and Paul Smith, small mistakes from both drivers but paid to their chances of earning a passage through to the following day’s duels.

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    After a fantastic series of battles against Wayne Keeber and Wesley Keating, Sully found himself drawn against Driftworks’ Phil Morrison in the Semi Final.

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    The first run saw Phil make a big error heading into the first corner, understeering heavily and leaving Shane with nowhere to go but backwards into the wall! Thankfully the damage sustained was only superficial and Sully was able to compete in the second run, gaining the advantage and a place in the final in the process.

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    The final saw Sully line up against David Waterworth and his Viper powered S15 in a battle that was all about Shane. After chasing extremely hard and then leading convincingly when the roles had been reversed, the judges were unanimous in their decision to award the victory to Shane!

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    Shane O’Sullivan is now the first driver to secure back-to-back victories in the hotly contested Super Pro class and, added to his current three podiums in the three events streak, he is by far and away the favourite to take home this year’s championship!

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    With him sitting nineteen points clear at the top of the points table, it’d take a brave person to bet against Shane on bringing the British Drift Championship title back to Team Japspeed. Will he be able to secure the win at Round 5 at Silverstone? We’ll have to wait and see!

    Head over to our Facebook page to check out the rest of our photos from the event.

  • Perfect Preparation Prevents Poor Performance

    With the first round of the 2013 British Drift Championship fast approaching we've been working flat out to get the cars ready in time. It's not easy building and maintaining a drift car (let alone five of them), so in order to iron out any niggles and inevitable issues we decided to head down to Lydden Hill at the weekend to join in with a track day that they were running there.

    With the 2JZ Lexus and V8 S15 in tow we gradually made our way south...

    ...and did quite a bit of filming on the way.

    We had to make a couple of stops on our way, the first of which was Protuner in Redditch so that we could pick up the freshly remapped Scooby. Greg from Protuner has had his work cut out recently as he has had to map both the V8 S15 and the Scooby in the last few weeks. His PS13 was also in the workshop; it's fair to say that this car is a work of art and we can't wait to see it competing in this year's BDC.

    Paul Smith's 1JZ S15 was also on the rollers, having been dropped off earlier in the day.

    We hung around to watch a couple of dyno pulls but unfortunately had to dash to our next destination before a final bhp figure had been reached.

    Our next port of call was Monster Energy HQ in London and, while we were there, we couldn't resist firing up the V8 and letting Shane loose...

    Our Monster exhaust tips also seemed to go down rather well while we were there!

    Once Shane had decided that he'd laid down an adequate number of doughnuts for one afternoon we made our way ever further south towards Lydden Hill. After a few pints, a decent night's sleep and a rather peculiar hotel breakfast (chicken sausages anyone?) we arrived at the track bright and early to get the cars unloaded and to make the most of the time available to us.

    The Scooby's front bumper has been painted black since its last outing - what do you think?

    Pro BMXer Ben Wallace was also there, ready to clock up some more track miles in his R33.

    While we were in the pits we had to admire the bravery of the owner of this pristine 240Z; he definitely wasn't holding back while ragging it around the Lydden Hill circuit.

     

    Josh's new haircut earned him a few new nicknames, the publishable ones ranging from "Tin Tin" to "John Travolta".

    The aforementioned Greg from Protuner was on hand during the day in order to map the flat shift system in the V8.

    It's no easy feat making adjustments on a laptop while hurtling around a track!

    There were many familiar faces in the pits; Ross I'Anson of Doristars fame and the legendary Bon Bon being among them.

    Mark "Sweeps" Buckle was also in attendance to give his AE86 its first ever shakedown after five years in the making.

    With the engine from his S15 yet to be rebuilt, Sully was alternating between the Scooby and Lexus...

    ...although he wasn't the only one. Our new driver was also switching between the Scooby and the Lexus; more details will be released shortly.

    The new map on Smokey's S15 was working wonders as he was able to give his Maxxis MA-Z1 tyres absolute death all day long.

    The Scooby also had no trouble leaving trails of smoke billowing out behind it.

    Bon Bon was also chucking his E36 around like there was no tomorrow.

    Shane and the V8 S15 were having a few issues during the day but the track time was still very useful in order to resolve these niggles. It's much better to find out about a problem at a practice day than at an event!

    With four cars and plenty of track time it was inevitable that plenty of Maxxis tyres would meet their demise.

    The freshly installed Shotgun system on the Lexus sounded absolutely wild as it amplified the gorgeous 2JZ tone.

    It was interesting to see how the car responded to various setup changes as the team tried to find the best balance of speed and consistency.

    Overall we enjoyed a very productive day of testing and are looking forward to the first round of the BDC even more than ever.  As always there are still a few niggles to iron out over the coming weeks but we will definitely be back and firing on all cylinders come the start of the season. We can't wait!

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