It’s been a long hard winter for Team Japspeed in the run up to the start of the BDC season. New rear-mounted cooling systems and Quaife transmission developments have been high on the agenda. The first round of The Maxxis British Drift Championship started with a bang at Teesside Autodrome on 21st and 22nd of April.
The series itself has had some changes in the quest for it to remain the number one drifting contest in the UK, these changes have gone down well with both drivers and fans alike. The BDC is drawing in pools of talent from across the continent with Europe’s top drivers being desperate to join to compete for the honours.
A full grid of 96 cars mean that every class is packed to capacity, so there’s no shortage of action and competition is fierce! Team Japspeed started their weekend with a swift reminder of how tough the competition has become, both Shane Lynch and Steve “Baggsy” Biagioni were unable to qualify. The harsh and continually changing weather of Teesside was causing several upsets within the field and proved how high the standards are for 2012.
The weather was changing wildly from torrential rain, hailstones and when the rain finally stopped you had mixed conditions of dry sections merging into deep standing water. It placed even more pressure on drivers, finding that perfect balance and consistency wasn’t an easy task.
While both Shane and Baggsy were nursing slightly wounded pride from the shock news, they took the judges decision on the chin and settled in for a weekend of supporting the remaining Team Japspeed Super Pro drivers, Paul “Smokey” Smith and Shane “The Dark Horse” O’ Sullivan.
A good nights sleep was essential on Saturday night because everyone needed to have to have their wits about them to take on the tricky Teesside track on Sunday. Just when Baggsy thought he could relax, he was told that he was being brought back into the final 16 to compete! Reeling from this shock revelation, he was informed that this was becuase of the unfortunate news that Brendan Stone had an oil pump failure. It was a devastating blow for Brendan after traveling all the way from Ireland to compete. This unfortunate dropout from the final 16 allowed everyone to move up a place and it brought Baggsy into play.
The battles on the run towards the final were some of the closest we’ve seen, the new judging panel had some tough decisions to make, many duels were so close that the judges had to ask competitors to run again; such was the high standard and incredible skill displayed from the drivers.
An in-house battle was on the cards in the later stages as Shane O’Sullivan was drawn against Baggsy, the team mate banter had to be put to one side while the duo went door-to-door with each other. Shane quietly claimed his victory and moved on to face Steve Moore. Meanwhile, if that wasn’t enough, Baggsy was told he was going to have to play part in another Japspeed battle, this time it was against Smokey Smith to decide 3rd and 4th place honors. You never know what will happen next in the BDC! Baggsy just nipped the victory and got himself the pride-swelling 3rd place podium finish.
Next was the Super Pro Final, Shane pulled a blinding performance against Steve Moore for a crowd pleasing face-off, it was intense and so close that the judges required a “OMT”, One More Time, to separate the two stars. This weekend showed just why he earned the nickname of “The Dark Horse in his Irish ProDrift days.
It was a true action packed bonanza all weekend, with some true world-class driving on display. Team Japspeed’s rollercoaster of emotion was rewarded with one of their best results in three years, boasting , 1st, 3rd and 4th place! Still dizzy from this success the Team are now setting their focus firmly onto The Norfolk Arena for the “Night Fight” held on 1st and 2nd of June. We hope you’ll be there to take in all the action of the Maxxis British Drift Championship, and to cheer us on!