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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!