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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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
They say a lot can happen in a day – it was definitely the case for Team Japspeed last weekend as we attended not one but two separate events, coming away with silverware on both occasions.
The eagerly anticipated Irish Drift Championship made a triumphant return for the 2016 season on 24-25 April with Japspeed’s ‘dark horse’ Shane ‘Sully’ O’Sullivan on hand to smoke those Maxxis Tyres and run the wall in his bid for a podium place!
Meanwhile teammates Shane Lynch, Matt Carter and Luke Woodham would descend on the home of British Motorsport, Silverstone for the annual JapFest event – a true celebration of Japanese engineering old and new.
As has become tradition for the team at IDC the 2016 series began at Mondello Park who due to the sheer popularity of drifting have introduced new layout purely for the sport. No chance to rely on previous experience for the IDC drivers and a whole new exciting dimension for the gathered crowd. With the winter refresh completed on schedule and the Japspeed RB25 S15 freshly painted Sully was keen to head out on track and settle into things. As it would turn out this wouldn’t take long at all!
Following a recent mapping from the team at TDP.ie both Shane and the S15 were on top form throughout practice and qualifying. Everything looked great for the main event on Sunday – even the sun was shining which meant plenty of Maxxis Tyre smoke!
Having qualified in 9th place this meant Sully would go straight into the new Sudden Death battles against Chris Brady. Despite the new layout Mondello is a circuit that plays to Sully’s strength which meant he soon found himself in the top 16.
Heading into the top 16 and Sully’s first battle saw him face to face with IDC veteran Mike Fitz. Both drivers pushed hard – so hard in fact that the two drivers collided! With the advantage passing back and forth throughout each run this made for a difficult decision for the judges however votes in Sully’s favour shot him forward to the top 8.
Pitched head to head with Tomas Kiely; it was clear this was going to be a memorable battle for the gathered spectators. Despite minor damage to the steering system on the Japspeed RB25-powered S15 from his previous battle; Sully advanced to the top 4 in a cloud of tyre smoke!
Heading in the semi-finals Shane found himself representing his home nation as he battled international guest driver Forrest Wang who would be piloting Darren ‘Dmac’ McNamara’s 240sx. “These Irish drivers are a force to be reckoned with, that’s for sure” Forrest has said following the event. It’s fair to say both Shane and Forrest put on an incredible show however as the smoke cleared and the judges votes cast it was Shane O’Sullivan who headed through to the finals.
With only the final battle between him and the top spot on the podium Shane headed out onto the Mondello circuit against Duane McKeever. Both drivers evenly matched in skill and experience as well as both opting for RB25 engines this was set to be a final to remember. Shane had been flying all weekend thanks to his persistent, aggressive style. With little between them Duane pushed just that bit further claiming the top spot with Shane so very close and taking the 2nd spot on the podium.
Back on home soil and Shane Lynch, Matt Carter and Luke Woodham had arrived at Silverstone for the ever-popular JapFest event. Set to take part in the annual Drift Kings competition all three drivers were eager to get out onto the famous circuit and smoke some Maxxis Tyres for the 15,000 strong crowd from all over the country.
The event was open to any driver in the British Drift Championship irrespective of their competition class. Every driver would battle it out to see who would be crowned Drift King 2016 and with it take the £1000 prize fund. At least that’s how things usually go down but this year the driver’s decided to put a different spin on proceedings.
Prior to the event every driver taking part collectively agreed that putting on an awesome show is more important than prize money and what better way to show this than donating the prize fund to charity (later chosen by the event sponsor). This meant the drivers could spend the day consistently attempting to outdo one another with ever greater entry speeds, ridiculous angles and of course drift trains for the gathered spectators.
While they weren’t out on track the fans at JapFest could get up close with the cars and drivers of Team Japspeed in an open pit setup. Between Shane Lynch’s supercharged V8 370z, Matt Carter’s 1.5JZ Skyline and Luke Woodham in the Japspeed IS200 its fair to say the Japspeed pits were extremely popular throughout the day.
However there has to be a winner and in this case newly signed Japspeed driver Matt Carter took the title after wowing the judges and fans with whopping 107mph entry speeds as well as the majority of his runs seeing the car enter the first corner at 90° and beyond!
All in all an incredible weekend and one we won’t soon be forgetting. Everyone at Team Japspeed would like to congratulate Duane McKeever, Shane O’Sullivan and Forrest Wang on their performance at IDC as well as Matt Carter on his performance at JapFest. We’re back in action on 2s-22nd May for IDC Round 2. We’ll see you there!
If you were able to make it down to Lydden Hill for the opening round of the 2016 British Drift Championship, you might have noticed Team Japspeed driver, Shane Lynch giving TV presenter and adrenaline junkie Torie Campbell a tour of the new Japspeed 370z.
While it’s not an unusual sight for Shane to be followed by television cameras wherever he goes, what is exciting are the rumours of a brand new television series with the former Boyzone member taking centre stage alongside the renowned F1 presenter.
Aiming for something between TFI and Gadget Show, the series could be set to hit screens as early as next year. Not only that but it looks set to be packed with famous faces and iconic names including test and stunt driver Mauro Calo.
Pilot footage is reportedly being produced from the team at Men & Motors and although nothing official has come from the company just yet executive producer Alice Dyson-Jones has told us “Watch this space”. It is still unclear who the broadcaster will be although it is believed Sky1, C5 or ITV4 could well be in line to air the series.
Expect a mixture of fun and facts – entertaining as well as an informative look at up-coming technologies is the name of game here.
We’ll have more on this story as they develop. Watch this space!