After a good start, British spring time struck again at round one of the Maxxis British Drift Championship. After a bright morning for the Semi Pro and Pro qualifying sessions, the heavens opened on Lydden Hill circuit in Kent meaning the Super Pro’s had to wait.
Which ment Sunday became 5 hours of non-stop drifting for the big crowd that turned up in the glorious sunshine.
The Super Pro qualifying kicked off the day with some great single runs and one not-so-great one when a mechanical failure resulted in BDC favourite Steve “Baggsy” Biagioni ploughing straight into the tyre wall and rolling. The marshalls and medical team got him out and away to safety, righted the car and the session continued.
Steve (Baggsy) Biagiioni crash on video:
It’s not unusual to fall off the track when pushing this hard but others were caught by the gravel traps.
Highlights from the Top 16 battles included Lassa’s Simon Perry and Driftworks’ Phil Morrison fighting it out to move up the ladder. Perry chased hard on the 1st run, closing on Morrison fast into the hairpin and ultimately taking the win after a “botched gear change” from Phil in run two made the judges decision easy.
Two of the most noteworthy cars were next up to battle. Huxley’s insane 4litre V8 Volvo 240 estate against possibly the smokiest car of the day, Luney’s Lucas Oils Supra. The big Volvo was no match, but still very impressive when you consider it wasn’t running at all when it arrived on Saturday!
But Mark Luney was destined to rise no higher than 4th. A few uncharacteristic mistakes let reigning champion Paul Smith in the Japspeed S15 goes through to the final.
Leaving Luney to battle Waterworth for 3rd. The pair filled the valley with smoke in the first run in their battle for 3rd place and thanks to some incredible driving, Waterworth too the podium spot.
The final was a clash of the tyres – Maxxis vs Lassa. Two great cars, two great drivers, one great battle.
Simon Perry in one of Lassa tyres cars. His teammate, Jody Fletch was knocked out earlier in the other by Paul Smith.
Last years Super Pro champ, Paul Smith in the Team Japspeed S15
“Smokey” Smith following Perry into the hairpin
It was close, Paul Smokey Smith took the win from Simon Perry, starting 2013 off the same he finished 2012.
The final results were:
Semi Pro Class:
1st – Matt Samuel
2nd- Matt Hitchcock
3rd – Nick Statham
1st – Jay Green
2nd- Jay White
3rd – Chris Hawkins
Super Pro Class:
1st – Paul Smith
2nd- Simon Perry
3rd – David Waterworth
Round two takes place on the 8th and 9th June at the Pembrey Circuit, Wales.
Photos by Simon Pow
Baggsy video by Grant Buchanan